How can I deal with other conflicts with my in-laws

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Whatever type of conflict you have with your in-laws it is very important to gain the support of your husband in order to change a situation that bothers you. Your in-laws are his parents, they probably love him madly, and will, therefore, more readily give way to his wishes than to yours.

It is therefore always a good start gaining his support and sympathy in order to solve problems with your in-laws and the following strategies may help you do so:

  • When seeking help from your husband keep calm, do not yell or cry. Explain the things that bother you and make sure he understands what exactly is upsetting you. If at first he does not understand the issues, try again and again until he does. It is vital that you convince him of the need for his support.
  • Try not to attack him, to reproach him or to offend him. If you do he will start to defend himself (which is a human reflex) and may no longer be willing to listen to your explanations. Be nice, not angry. Try not to see him as part of your problem but as part of the solution to your problem. As your husband, he is your natural ally, not your enemy (at least he should be) so do not put pressure on him, instead, ensure that he understands you are asking for his help.
  • A frequent issue for many couples is that the wife wants to leave his husband‘s parents‘ home and set up a nuclear family. Whilst this may be entirely understandable many men hesitate to agree. Should this be your problem, try to understand and respect your husband‘s loyalties towards his parents and do not question them. Instead, try to explain what exactly is bothering you about your current living situation and together look for possible changes that might satisfy you without challenging (too much) his loyalties towards his parents. Hopefully, it will be possible to make some adjustments to your living arrangements instead of moving out. If not, remind him - firmly but gently - that as your husband he now owes you some loyalty too.
  • Never think that by talking to your husband about your worries and problems you will create further conflict. The worst possible thing that can happen to a married couple is for them to stop talking to one another. Should this happen it will undoubtedly worsen the situation so continuing to talk to one another is vital in any relationship. Keeping your feelings to yourself all the time can only increase stress and tension.
  • Never think your husband will not understand you, or your problems, and that it is pointless discussing them with him. If initially he does not understand you must try harder to make him understand. Men and women are different in many respects. They think, feel and act differently. They live different lives and often have different views on many things. So do not get impatient if your husband needs time to understand you or the problems you are trying to explain.

Try to focus on what is good in your life and what you can do to make it even better. You can always make positive changes. You are not helpless.

  • Burns, A. A., Niemann, S., Lovich, R., Maxwell, J., & Shapiro, K. (2014). Where women have no doctor: A health guide for women. Hesperian Foundation.
  • Audiopedia ID: en021017