10 Ways to Survive in Your Marriage When Your In-Laws Hate You

BY: - 23 Jan '14 | Marriage

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It’s finally happened for you.  You have found the one that you love and they love you back.  The two of you decide to join together in holy matrimony.  You are finally getting your happily ever after.  There is only one problem…(record scratch)….his family hates you.  Not just a normal dislike, I mean they actually have chosen another for him and want him NOT to marry you!  His mother even tells you to your face, that you are very pretty but absolutely not the one for him.  As you proceed with your vows and you look out amongst the guests, you see his family glaring…not smiling.  The ones that even accepted the invitation that is.  You accept this moment as a glimpse of what your future in this family might be like, but you proceed with the “i do’s” because love conquers all.  Right?

Wrong.  The truth is that in-law created conflicts can lead to divorce!  A lot of people believe that having a good relationship with your in-laws is crucial to maintaining your marriage.  And they are right to a certain extent.  I believe that having a good relationship with your in laws could definitely enhance your marriage. However, not everyone gets that kind of happily ever after because of mean and messy in laws that will do everything in their power to destroy your union. You and your spouse can most definitely survive AND thrive without having that mutual affection.  If you and your spouse have done all that you can to foster a relationship with the opposing family, to no avail, then you must do what you have to survive and most importantly maintain your marriage.

Here are 10 Ways to Survive in your Marriage When Your In Laws Hate You

1. Don’t take anything personal.

A lot of times, the problem that in laws have isn’t with you its with your spouse.  There may be something that your spouse used to do for them that they don’t do anymore because you came into the picture.  They may believe that you have taken something from them.  Most families are very protective when it comes to their children.  Sometimes this protection turns into an obsession.  It means that nobody will ever be good enough.  They often times will direct this anguish at you. Recognize this and don’t take it personal.

2. Don’t blame your spouse for their behavior.

Your spouse cannot be held responsible for the behavior of another adult.  When your in laws behave in a less than desirable ways towards you, don’t blame your spouse.  It is not their fault, they can’t do anything about it.  Blaming and ultimatums only lead to arguments and resentment.  Don’t do it.

3. Keep the lines of communication open with your spouse.

Tell them how you are feeling.  Let them know when something bothers you. Encourage them to express how they feel.  A lot of times your spouse may not be aware that you have been offended or feel disrespected.  Instead of grinning and bearing it, release it, so that it can be calmly discussed.

4. Don’t buy into it.

If your in laws are really hateful and dislike you, then they are going to love knowing that they have provided drama for you.  Things like calling you by the ex’s name or excluding you are all childishly purposeful behaviors.  They feed off of your negative reaction.  Don’t buy into it.  It will only add kindle to their fire and encourage them.

5. Pick your battles.

Of course there are going to be some situations that you will not be able to quietly walk away from.  However, you must not make every situation into a major one.  Don’t make a fuss about every little thing.  Choose the lines that you have that won’t be crossed and choose very carefully.  Set the boundaries, and as long as they mind those lines everything else should be brushed off.

6. Keep a united front.

Your happiness with your spouse is your victory!  Your successful marriage is your sword.  They cannot bring it to you if you have created a united front that they know they cannot penetrate.  You don’t have to be fake about it.  Just be real and be happy. Your solidarity is in your love for one another.  Remember that a weak front can be easily penetrated by the enemy.

7. Don’t hold grudges.

A lot of times your in laws may need you to grow on them.  If they caused drama for you in the beginning of your marriage, but appear to be cool with you now.  Let it go and go with it.  Do not carry that initial experience with you.  Get over it, move forward.  Forgive and try your best to forget.

8. Don’t ever use your children as pawns.

Whether they care for you or not, don’t keep your kids away from them (unless there are safety issues). Your kids are their blood and deserve to know their people.  Don’t let the kids suffer because of ignorant behavior.   And don’t bad mouth them in front of your children either.

9. Always be cordial and respectful.

Dignity goes a long way.  Hold your head high and represent your family.  Don’t stoop to levels that are lower than you.  Be cordial & respectful because thats the right way to be.  Ignore snide remarks and comments.  Don’t allow yourself to be goaded into an argument.

10. Don’t be afraid to pack your things and leave.

In some situations there may be no way to resolve or diffuse a conflict that has started.  Instead of staying and participating, leave.  Pack your kids, your mate and leave.  You should not be required to stay anywhere that you are not wanted.  Even if you are attempting to be cordial and respectful, people cross the line sometimes.  There is no harm in walking away from a confrontation.

Doing all of these things might be hard.  You might be saying to yourself, “I am not doing any of it!” or you may have already given up.  It’s never too late.  If you think about these actions before REacting you will avoid so much unnecessary stress, negativity and drama…which is what they want! Ultimately in the end, you will win and your mate will respect your ability to stay in control. The view of the troublemakers in their family will change once they see who the aggressors really are.

You will be showing your children how to carry themselves as respectful adults by not arguing and being involved in negative interactions.  I read something one time that went something like, “Never argue with a fool, because a stranger may walk by and not be able to tell who is who.”  Well it’s true, so don’t do it!  Life is too short to live your life with regrets.  Understand your position with your mates family and handle it accordingly.  Don’t let anything come between your love and commitment to your spouse.  If their family does not accept you, then so be it.  It does not have to destroy your marriage.  And if all else fails, you can just drink a lot of wine whenever you are around them!  Then you won’t care!

BMWK – Do you have a good relationship with your in laws?

About the author

Stacey Taylor wrote 51 articles on this blog.

Stacey Taylor aka "The SistahChick" is the 40+ SuperChick behind TheSistahCafe.com, Sistah Buttah, and OurNaturalKids.ning.com. She is a writer, blogger and Social Media Maven with a passion for natural hair and her community. Through her online presence she promotes generational self acceptance for women & children alike. Since 2009 Stacey has used her blog to share her love for Atlanta's thriving social scene, natural hair and her successful life as a wife, mother & entrepreneur. Stacey is an Indiana native currently residing in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and kids.

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27 WordPress comments on “10 Ways to Survive in Your Marriage When Your In-Laws Hate You

  1. Ashley-Louise Sinclair

    Thanks for this article. I’m engaged and always wondered if the inlaws could hinder God’s blessings in my marriage even if I’ve tried to make peace with them and honour God.

  2. Jesse

    Thanks for the article & tips. My life has gotten to the point where not only would they exclude me, make rude comments but they would only introduce my husband to their friends or other acquaintances despite the fact that I am standing next to my husband. It is as if I do not exist. The best advice that was given to me was to avoid them at all cost and for me not to attend any of their gatherings. My time is better spent elsewhere. Out of sight out of mind kinda thing and it works for me. I have found peace finally. But yes I do not use my kids as prawns. At the same time if he wanted them to spend time w his family then he is to drop the kids off and to pick them up. That’s another way for me to avoid surrounding myself with ignorant people.

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  4. d

    Good article but too late for me. I had to pack my baby and leave my ex his family was terrible. I choose celebate walks these days. No more drama at its entirety

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  6. Missy

    I’m so glad I found your blog. You have given me very good advice, although some is easier said than done. My issue is with my sister in law, not even my brothers wife but my husbands brothers wife…….????. I mean really now?! She goes out of her way to exclude me, she only communicates with my husband, won’t even phone the landline, only his cell, emails him, even makes her kids only speak to him. It’s more annoying when you don’t know why. After reading your blog I’m definitely going to take a different approach. You can’t please everyone and not everyone will like you…..Jesus had enemies too??. So thank you for your sound, solid advice.

  7. Nancy

    I have been with my husband for 11 years married for five and blessed with 3 kids 9,7 and 2.My ML is very unfriendly so are his daughters.She doesnt even know my name,has no interest in her grand kids only phones his son.I love my man but I dread spending holidays with his family, every time I wish I’d get hospitalised just to escape his weird family.I think forced interactions never work.

    1. Anonymous

      Force interaction is a “front” that doesn’t work. Your husband needs to address his folks about their attitude toward you. Or you may have to address these people for him.

    2. TheSistahChick

      I totally understand, I usually pack a lot of wine for “family time” and drink my way through. lol. If thats not a good option for you, you may have to address the behavior or remove yourself from their gatherings until they can learn respect. They dont have to like you, but the need to respect you.

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  9. miss sewing bee

    I am going through separation nowadays because of my in laws. My husband has a very large family in which hes the youngest and I had no mother in law. I’ve tried nearly everything on the blog from being respectful to them,and not using my child as a pawn.To keep the peace with my husband I used to call them every month, buy gifts for them attempt to go and see them.The funny thing is whenever I used to go to see his sister she behaved very nice with me but at the same time she used to make us fight. I went abroad to see the rest of them it was a worse story.In the end I decided that I will pack my bags and leave which means I don’t want anything to do with them out of sight and out of mind thingy. Then recently my husband picked up on un necessary arguments which lead to further domestic abuse and then separation. I guess my relationship was weak for this to happen and no understanding between us because he’s far too attached to his sisters and he treated them like more than his mother’s. Very Sad!!!In a way I’m glad I m out of that weird family.

    1. Jo

      What horrible story. Your husband sounds as if he was very immature. Plus, you mentioned domestic violence. Girlfriend thank God this man child and his family is gone. Take this time to reflect and focus on you. God bless you.

  10. Dodge

    After yet another ungrateful, embarrasing encounter I say FUCK EM! I am leaving my wife and her leeching arsehole parents for good! Good riddance and hope you all drown in your own bile!

  11. Sharm

    Hi. I am very happy for this blog and hope for some honest opinions/advise. My in laws do not like me for their son/brother because I was married before and have 2 children from that marriage. My ex left me and our kids for my best friend and never looked back for his kids. So when I met this younger man who was never married and had no children of his own I never thought it would get anywhere. 2yrs later we married with the secret disapproval of his parents and 2 sisters. They hated me for him but pretended to appreciate me in public for their reputation’s sake. I shrugged off their negative comments and insults they expressed behind my back….but one day I heard my sister in law say to my husband “I don’t know what u picked up, older woman with kids as if u couldn’t do better. What happened is that how bad p—y got u? That girl is nothing but a cross in ur life”. That did it. I m still upset and hurt to this day. My husband said nothing to this younger sister and I was livid with him for not saying a word at the moment. However they were her words and now I refuse to have anything to do with them. Its not about pride, it’s about self respect. They have done enough and now it’s at the point that I told my husband that if he agrees with them that I should be forgiving even though no one is apologizing then he can join them in their hypocrite world cause I do not want to be a part of it. I did not curse her or anyone I just refuse to go where I am not liked. I don’t wish them any harm as that will only be my bad karma.

  12. Pingback: How to Cope When Your In Laws Hate You – Love and Pearls

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10 Lessons You Learned in Pre-School that Also Apply to Marriage

BY: - 23 Jan '14 | Marriage

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Just recently, I overheard my son having a conversation with my ten-year-old niece. He was asking her about her basketball game and if her team won. When she replied “no, we lost”, he replied back, “Well you need to come up with a plan!” Needless to say, we all had a good laugh at that one. But it got me thinking about what we’re teaching our kids and how they are processing what we teach them at such an early age. Coming up with a plan is a life lesson in general. But it also applies so well to marriage specifically. Did you come up with a plan before you were married?

Chances are, you had a plan and even some learned lessons about marriage long before you ever walked down the aisle. Chances are, you learned a lot of lessons about marriage when you were in pre-school.

Here are 10 lessons you probably learned in pre-school about marriage.

1. Have patience. You can’t always get what you want, whenever you want it. Sometimes you have to wait your turn. In marriage, your patience is strengthened because it’s no longer just about you. It can’t always be your way or the highway. Marriage will test your patience over and over again.

In marriage, you have to embrace imperfection. There will be plenty of messes along the way, but it can always be cleaned up when working together as a team.

2. You Don’t Have to Be Perfect. In pre-school, we learn that it’s ok to color outside of the lines, and that it’s okay to make a mess as long as we clean it up. In marriage, you have to embrace imperfection. There will be plenty of messes along the way, but it can always be cleaned up when working together as a team.

3. Be truthful.  In pre-school, we are taught the importance of telling the truth. Lying can hurt other people. In marriage, being honest with each other is the only way to grow. Being truthful allows for a level of vulnerability that is key in any marriage.

4. Unconditional love is everything. In pre-school we are taught not to judge, and to love others even when they are being unlovable. In marriage, we learn the true meaning of unconditional love because we know we are in it for the long haul. We know that we love our spouse in spite of (fill in the blank)…

5. Understanding. In pre-school, we are taught to learn and understand that people are different and that’s okay. In marriage, we learn to understand and accept our differences with our spouse. Rather than trying to change the other person, we come to an understanding of why they are who they are…and then we embrace it.

6. Have fun. Life is all about having fun in pre-school. Every day is approached with new excitement and possibility. Having fun is a non-negotiable when it comes to marriage. You can’t take yourself too seriously. Marriage is an exciting adventure.

7. Be kind. In pre-school we are taught to be kind to others. Being mean is not acceptable behavior. The same holds true in marriage. Even during disagreements, being kind is a must. It is essential to also having mutual respect for each other.

The great thing about marriage is that we have a partner to share our challenges with. We just have to remember to ask them for help when we need it.

8. Have trust. Pre-school aged children have no doubt that their needs will be met. They don’t have a reason not to believe their parents when they say they’ll do something. Trust is an integral part of marriage. We have to learn to trust our spouse like our children trust us.

9. Ask for help. Pre-school children understand (for the most part) when they need help, and they ask for it when they are challenged. The great thing about marriage is that we have a partner to share our challenges with. We just have to remember to ask them for help when we need it.

10. Live in the present. Pre-school children live in the moment and are quick to forgive. They have no concept of past hurts or future anxiety. In marriage, we have to learn to forgive over and over again…like we’re back in pre-school. We can’t dwell on past hurts or mistakes. Instead, we have to enjoy the here and now.

Proverbs 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

BMWK: What marriage lessons do you live by now that you learned at an early age?

About the author

Christine St. Vil wrote 153 articles on this blog.

Christine St.Vil is co-author of the Whose Shoes Are Your Wearing: 12 Steps to Uncovering the Woman You Really Want to Be. A happy wife to an amazing hubby of 8 years, and homeschooling mother of three, she teaches moms how to FLY (First Love Yourself). She uses her corporate background to work with women who are ready to start a new business, accelerate their career growth & design a life they love. She's on a mission to help moms to battle the mom guilt epidemic, so they can begin to put themselves first on their never-ending list of priorities.

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