There’s a reason you can tell your mother she’s driving you crazy but just cannot tell your mother-in-law- you don’t have a relationship with her, you didn’t grow up with her, and you don’t know how she would react to your criticism. The same thing applies to every other in-law you have.
Despite this, you can’t ignore problems forever so you must know where to draw the line and it’s essential you bring your partner’s attention to these problems whenever they may arise. As such, this doesn’t mean you place him in a position where he has to choose between his family and you (this is so wrong really). Instead, it’s about making them realize that you don’t appreciate it when you are being mistreated and when necessary you, your partner or the both of you make demands on how they should behave when around you.
However, if it happens that your partner is not ready to handle the issue or demands you manage it yourself, below are some quick tips to get rid of a disruptive behavior without letting go of the person.
1. THE CRITIC
You have an in-law that consistently criticizes the way you do things, from the way you dress to the way you choose to raise your kids.
SOLUTION- Most likely, an in-law behaving in this manner has serious insecurity issues and the more you react, the more satisfaction they get. In this kind of situation, use a non-defensive response like “You're entitled to your opinion, so let's agree to disagree.”
2. THE "ENGULFER"
As it has become to be known -the in-law that drops by unannounced and insists on having Sunday lunch together every week.
SOLUTION- You have to put your feet down firmly and tell them you have plans of your own too for your weekends. Set clear boundaries, make a schedule that is realistic and sticks with it.
3. THE MASTER OF CHAOS
It’s one problem after the next with your sister-in-law, and she always comes to you and your husband for help, even when it’s completely unnecessary.
SOLUTION- To fix this, you have to tell her off, so she learns to be more responsible for her actions and her life. If your partner insists on helping, remind them there is a difference between supporting and rescuing because maintaining is temporary; saving is for life.