You’ve met the love of your life and decide to get hitched. A close encounter with the future in laws is imminent. Surely they must instantly love you? Parents can have their own emotional agendas and problems, so handle them with care. Make the first meeting with them a covert reconnaissance mission on how to deal them in the future.
One in ten marriages ends in divorce due to interfering in laws. It is really important to make the relationship with the in-laws work. However, sometimes the dice are so loaded against you undercover tactics are needed. Use the following survival guide to protect your marriage.
Talk to your spouse about how you feel if in-law interference is worrying you. Being bitchy and negative about your partner’s parents could rebound so choose your words carefully. A united front and a plan of action is more productive.
Show respect to the in-laws. Listen to their opinions, don’t patronize them or try too hard to be their new best friends. Be yourself. If you don’t agree with them let them know in a non-confrontational way. Boundaries are really important. No one should take over your lives; rather than having a “do drop in” policy, schedule visits. Be aware of how much information you share. Pouring out problems to them may mean you will continually receive unwanted advice.
If they let you know that you are never going to be good enough then the following guerilla tactics may be necessary.
Negative in-laws can be neutralized by kindness. If they are really kicking off, become the epitome of sweetness and light. This will infuriate them so much that they will have to surrender. Never underestimate the power of positivity and playing dumb.
If you are under constant critical fire remember the in law concerned must have major insecurity issues and is therefore more to be pitied than scorned. To snap back with a smart remark would be counter productive and give them ammunition. Take a deep breath, compose yourself and tell them that they are entitled to their opinion, so agree to disagree.
To ensure infrequent visits from particularly pernicious in laws prepare their least favourite foods when visiting. Make boring conversation, get a pet they have an aversion to and pretend to have a stinking cold.
Get yourself a reading with a talented tarot or psychic reader.
They can give you the lowdown on your in-laws personalities and what to expect. Forewarned is forearmed!