TLDR: Most of us have inconvenient relationships with our in-laws. It’s natural, and it’s certainly not the end of the world. The key is to work with your partner to establish boundaries that make you both comfortable. And remember, your parents are in-laws too (it goes both ways!)
Tango's Take: In-laws 👀
In the field of relationship science, we often talk about “thirds” which are people, things, and/or activities that intrude on a relationship. In-laws are a common type of “third” that can cause challenges in any relationship. Let’s see what our in-house psychologist, Dr. Rothman has to say about managing a relationship with in-laws:
“Navigating relationships with in-laws is one of the most commonly discussed topics in couples therapy. Some of us are fortunate enough to enjoy or even love our in-laws; most, however, are less fortunate.
When your relationship with your in-laws is less than ideal, it’s important to find balance between protecting your peace and respecting your partner’s needs. Are there things you can learn to tolerate about your in-laws? Things you can accept? Things you can ignore? Are there boundaries you can set regarding how and how often you spend time with them? Whether your partner visits family without you sometimes or all of the time? Keep communication open with your partner and release some of the pressure on your in-law relationships–it is perfectly okay if it’s not the best. Inconvenient? Yes. End of the world? No.
When couples have children, it becomes particularly important to establish boundaries with in-laws to ensure that both partners feel their parenting styles are being respected. Be sure to communicate openly with your partner about your expectations and what boundaries you want to set. Because your partner knows their own parents/families best, let them help guide how those boundaries might be communicated and set most effectively.”