It’s no secret that in-laws can be a source of stress in a marriage. Can a marriage work if you hate your in laws?
The answer may depend on the reason for the hatred. If it’s simply a case of not getting along, it may be possible to work through the issue with patience and communication. However, if the hatred is based on something more serious, such as abuse or infidelity, it may be best to cut ties with the in-laws altogether.
Whatever the case may be, it’s important toTalk to your spouse about your feelings and come to a decision that works for both of you.
This is part of a series called, Can A Marriage Survive, designed to help couples navigate the challenging parts of marriage.
Jane first noticed her mother-in-laws strange behavior toward her right after she and Mark were married. She was cold. Allufe. Distance.
Over time things escalated. She seemed heartless toward Jane. It appeared she took joy in making her daughter-in-law’s life miserable. Everything Jane did was wrong. She was constantly pointing out her faults. It was clear that she was never going to approve of Jane, no matter what she did.
Mark, was caught in the middle. He loved his wife and he loved his mother. But he could see how much pain his mother was causing Jane. He tried to talk to his mother about it, but she was stubborn and refused to listen. Jane was considering leaving Mark, even though she loved him, because she couldn’t stand the thought of enduring the ridicule of his mother for the rest of her life.
Mark was desperate to find a way to make things work. He loved Jane and he didn’t want to lose her. They both needed ansswers and direction.
Unfortunately, this scenario is not uncommon. Sometimes, it is the reverse. The husband gets the brunt of the ridicule. Regardless of how it plays out, problems with in-laws can be very destructive for a marriage.
1. It’s no secret that relationships with in-laws can be difficult.
Marriage can be difficult if you don’t get along with your in-laws. In-laws are likely to be involved in your life to some extent, whether through holidays, family gatherings, or just being part of your extended family. Having trouble getting along with them can make these occasions more difficult and cause tension in your marriage.
Conflicts can arise when you have different values or ways of doing things. You can strain your marriage if you’re constantly arguing. Your frustration may lead you to resent them for not taking your side, or you might feel like you’re walking on eggshells. If you’re constantly fighting, it can be difficult to feel like you’re part of a family, and this can make marriage very difficult.
As we dig into this topic, there are two big principles you should understand:
Hate Will Destroy Your Life
Hate is self destructive because it is an emotion that is based on negativity and resentment. When someone harbors hate, they are only harming themselves because they are not able to let go of the negative feelings. This can lead to resentment and bitterness, which can poison a person’s outlook on life.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but hate is like drinking posion and expecting the other person to die.
Hate usually has very little impact on the other person, but it has a tremendous impact on your ability to process pain, and enjoy love from others.
There are many principles that make marriage work (including relationships with in-laws). Among the most important are love, acceptance, and forgiveness. Learning to accept others without the need to control them, and practicing forgiveness will make life much easier.
It May Be Hard To Avoid Them, But It’s Important To Try
Here are 6 steps you can take to try and bridge the gap and make sure your marriage doesn’t get caught in the crossfire.
- Establish clear boundaries with your in-laws and communicate these boundaries to them directly.
- Avoid talking about controversial topics with your in-laws.
- Seek out common interests and activities that you can enjoy together.
- Make an effort to get to know your in-laws on a personal level.
- Be respectful and considerate of your in-laws at all times.
- Communicate With Your Spouse About Your Feelings.
Also Read: 9 Characteristics of a Healthy Family
2. Is it possible to have a successful marriage if you hate your in-laws?
For some people, the difficulties are so great that they wonder if it’s possible to have a happy marriage if they don’t get along with their in-laws.
Having a bad relationship with your in-laws isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker when you’re trying to have a successful marriage.
There are a lot of things that can contribute to a happy marriage, even when there’s tension with the in-laws. First and foremost, it’s important to have a strong relationship with your spouse. If you and your partner are able to communicate openly and support each other, you’ll be in a much better position to weather any challenges that come up, including disagreements with the in-laws.
It’s also important to remember that you’re not obligated to spend every waking moment with your in-laws. If you find their company difficult to tolerate, it’s perfectly acceptable to set boundaries and limit the amount of time you spend with them. In fact, it might even be necessary in order to preserve your sanity!
Of course, there will be times when you’ll have to interact with your in-laws, whether it’s for a holiday gathering or a family event. When those occasions arise, try to focus on the positive aspects of your relationship with them. Maybe you have some common interests, or you can appreciate their sense of humor. If you can find even a few things to like about your in-laws, it can make a big difference in how you feel about them overall.
It’s also important to keep in mind that your spouse is likely to have a different relationship with his or her parents than you do. Just because you don’t get along with your in-laws doesn’t mean that your spouse doesn’t love them. Try to respect your partner’s feelings and avoid putting him or her in the middle of any conflict.
In the end, it’s possible to have a successful marriage even if you don’t always see eye-to-eye with your in-laws. By maintaining a strong relationship with your spouse, setting boundaries as needed, and finding some common ground with your in-laws, you can make it work.
3. What are some of the challenges you may face if you do marry someone whose family you can’t stand?
There are a number of factors that can make or break a relationship with in-laws, including personality differences, different values, and jealousy.
Here are some of the challenges you may face:
You’ll have to deal with family gatherings.
We mentioned this previously, but it’s important to realize you WILL have to interact with your in-laws at some point. Whether it’s holidays, birthdays, or just a Sunday dinner, you’ll have to deal with spending time with your in-laws.
This can be tough but you should try to make the best of it by focusing on your spouse and spending time with the people you do like in the family.
You may have different values.
If you and your spouse come from different families, you may have different values and traditions. This can be a challenge when it comes to raising your own family. Try to compromise and find a middle ground that you’re both comfortable with.
When Michelle married, we immediately had a blended family. We both had two children. We both had different holiday traditions, birthday experiences, and family habits. We decided early on to do our best to blend these together and create new traditions where necessary.
In our case, this was pretty easy. For other couples, there is friction when trying to navigate traditions and values. These things must be discussed with your spouse.
Our first (and most important) recommendation is to work together (apart from other family members) to decide what is best for your family and marriage.
You may have to deal with family drama.
If you’re marrying into a family with a lot of drama, be prepared to deal with it. This may include things like meddling relatives, jealous siblings, or even financial problems.
Try to keep your cool and be the voice of reason in the midst of all the drama.
You may feel like an outsider.
If you’re marrying into a family that’s close-knit, you may feel like an outsider. This can be tough, but try to remember that you’re marrying the person you love, not the family.
Focus on your relationship and don’t let the family dynamic get in the way.
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4. Can you learn to tolerate your in-laws, or even grow to like them over time?
It’s important to remember that you can’t change your in-laws, but you can change the way you interact with them.
With some effort, it is possible to have a happy marriage even if you don’t have the perfect relationship with your in-laws.
It’s Possible To Make A Marriage Work Even If You Don’t Love Your In-Laws. Here Are A Few Tips To Make It Better
It can be difficult to get along with in-laws you don’t like, but there are some things you can do to make the situation easier.
The important thing to remember is you can’t control them, but you can control you. The following four tips will help you stay sane when you feel like things are crazy.
First, try to find common ground.
You may not have anything in common with your in-laws, but you can try to find something. Maybe you both like to garden or you can bond over your love of cooking.
If you can find something that you both enjoy or have in common, it will be easier to get along.
Second, be respectful.
Even if you don’t like your in-laws, it’s important to show them respect. This will go a long way in making the situation more bearable.
Make a decision to live by the gold rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
It’s tempting (and easy) to gossip, blame, and get back at them for the way they treat you. This rarely has any positive results. It most often irritates the issue and makes you feel bad about yourself.
Third, set healthy boundaries
What do we mean by healthy boundaries? Boundaries are the rules we live by in relationships. They set limits on how much you’re willing engage and what you will tolerate in the relationship.
One couple said this about boundaries:
While we were in college we lived very close to my parents. We would go over every week for Sunday dinner. It was nice to see them, but ended up being a lot. My husband and I decided that we would go over every other Sunday. We talked with my parents and explained that we wanted some Sundays to have to be with each other. After talking with them and setting the boundary of going over every other week our Sunday dinners become more special and a lot more enjoyable.Utah State University
You might need to limit the amount of time you spend with them or the amount of information you share with them.
It’s okay to put your foot down and say, “I’m not comfortable with that.”
It’s also healthy to limit the amount of time you spend with them.
Healthy boundaries guard your heart and keep you from getting hurt over and over.
Finally, don’t take things personally.
This is perhaps the most difficult step. It’s hard not to take things personal when the hurt comes from people you love and are suppose to love you.
Just because your in-laws don’t like you, doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.
They may not be the easiest people to get along with, but that’s their issue, not yours.
When we take things personal, we tend to bury it in our heart and it festers into a bigger problem. As difficult as it may be, work on not internalizing their behvior. Remind yourself, ‘This is their issue. Not yours.’
Check out our free checklist on how to safeguiard your marriage.
5. What should you do if your spouse’s family is truly toxic and you can’t stand being around them?
If your spouse’s family is truly toxic and you can’t stand being around them, you may need to consider spending less time with them or even completely severing ties. This can be a difficult decision to make, and should only be done in extreme circumstances.
If your spouse’s family is constantly putting you down, making you feel uncomfortable, or otherwise making your life miserable, it may be the best option for your mental and emotional health.
Talk to your spouse about your concerns and see if they are willing to help you set boundaries with their family. If not, you may need to take matters into your own hands and limit your time with them or end the relationship altogether.
Here are a few steps to take if you cut off ties with your in-laws:
1. Discuss the matter with your spouse and let them know how you feel.
This sounds like a ‘no brainer’ but it’s imoprtant to be on the same page with your spouse. Agreement over this matter can be the difference in growing stronger as a couple, and watching your marriage erode.
Lack of agreement on big issues is one of the major leading causes of divorce in the United States. Since extended family relationships are part of your life, it’s vital to find common ground with your spouse. Discussing the issue is the best place to start.
2. If you have children, make sure to explain the situation to them in an age-appropriate way.
They will likely be confused and may even be hurt by the decision, but it’s important they understand that this is not their fault.
Just because you feel the relationship is toxic doesn’t mean it is damaging for your children. Keep an open mind, and if possible don’t punish your children for your lack of relationship with your in laws.
3. If possible, try to stay cordial with your in-laws.
This may not be possible or desirable in every situation, but it can help to prevent further conflict down the road. If you can, keep the lines of communication open and avoid speaking ill of them to others.You do not have to agree (or even like someone) to show respect. It's a choice you make based on YOUR character, not theirs. Click To Tweet
We’ve already mentioned the importance of respect. You do not have to agree (or even like someone) to show respect. It’s a choice you make based on YOUR character, not theirs.
4. Work Through Issues With a Professional Counselor.
If you’re struggling to cope with the situation, it may be helpful to talk to a professional counselor. They can help you work through your feelings and develop a healthy way to cope with the situation.
It’s difficult to completely divorce yourself from in laws without it affecting your marriage. It’s possible, but not easy. Since your spouses parents will always be a part of your life, get help understanding how to process your relationship.
There are many online services that are helpful. The important thing is to get the help you need.
Final Thoughts on Dealing With In-Law Problems
If you find yourself constantly feuding with your in-laws, it may be time to take a step back and reassess your relationship. Communication is key in any relationship, but it is especially important in a marriage.
If you and your spouse are not on the same page when it comes to your in-laws, it can put a strain on your marriage. If you are constantly arguing with your in-laws, it may be time to sit down with your spouse and have a serious discussion about the future of your relationship with them.
In this article, we looked at five things to consider if you have in-law problems.
- 1. It’s no secret that relationships with in-laws can be difficult.
- 2. Is it possible to have a successful marriage if you hate your in-laws?
- 3. What are some of the challenges you may face if you do marry someone whose family you can’t stand?
- 4. Can you learn to tolerate your in-laws, or even grow to like them over time?
- 5. What should you do if your spouse’s family is truly toxic and you can’t stand being around them?
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