I need some advice on In-Laws.

Brook - posted on 09/28/2010 ( 37 moms have responded )

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My in-laws are very difficult, to say the least. I really need some good, Christian advice on how to deal with them and make the most of a not-so-great situation.

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Sweetie, there's a great book called Boundaries. It has helped me in many different areas in my life. You need to pray for them diligently for salvation. We had to limit the grandparents and Aunts and Uncles de to their difficult ways.
I had very very difficult siituations to overcome and ifyou want to be specific id be delighted to give my two cents worth of advice.

Jaime - posted on 10/05/2010

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Inlaws should be a blessing to you and your family. But, it does take some work as do all relationships. I found in my experience that clear boundaries need to be set by you and your HUSBAND. Your husband plays the key role in all of this. After all if he stands up for his new family his parents will more likely accept what you both have to say. Lots of prayer and thought should go into how you present your issues with them, because family is irreplacable. Remember to honor them as your parents, even when you feel they don't deserve it. Then let God guide you through the rest.

Amanda - posted on 10/05/2010

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my in laws live 7 blocks away less then half a mile and most days i cant stand my MIL... she has no faults and can clearly point out our faults the best thing i have found for us is i have talked to my husband he knows i try hard to bite my toung and avoid confrentation but when i feel its getting to b to much i grab my things and walk out he usually come out fairly quicky to see if we need to leave or whats going on... if most of the head butting or confrentations happen when ur at there house or even when there at ur house talk to ur husband and come up with something like hunny i need to call kelly and that would mean hunny shes driving me crazy and let him deal with them while u step outside or in the other room for fresh air every1 needs a break sometimes, also its not just inlaws that forget what its like raising kids both of our parents have forgotten what rules our for kids and say were to hard on them when we would have been beaten for it lol try and laugh a lil hun talk to ur hubby u will get it figured out i promise

Jennifer - posted on 09/29/2010

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Well my sister your MIL sounds like my MIL. Distance worked for us but I can see how that isn't an option. One thought might be to set aside a family night once a week. There really is no pleasing her but maybe instill a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night supper. Maybe she feels she has to make up reasons to see you or she's feeling lonely and bored since she works very little. Anyway with a "family night" in place maybe you and your husband can also make it a "sonny-do" night. Where if there are things they need help with, that can be accomplished after supper. Monday thru Thursday nights make it clear that the boys have homework and will benefit by staying home and getting that done as well as having your own family time. My MIL still dropped by when we lived close, and I still made her angry, but she got her time with us and we got time together without feeling bad about it. Just some thoughts. In Prayer ~Jen

Brook - posted on 09/29/2010

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They live about 30 minutes from us. My family is also close by. My inlaws are just very manipulative and deceitful, especially my MIL. We go through phases where everything is fine, then it gradually gets worse to the point that I don't even want to be around them. My MIL tends to be dramatic and always has her feelings hurt about something. In the eight years that I have been part of this family, I have never known her to be completely happy with everyone all at the same time. If she's ok with me & my husband, then she's mad at someone else. Everything has to revolve around her and if it doesn't she gets very upset. I truly think distance would help solve a lot of the issues we have just because we wouldn't be so convenient and be expected to drop everything at the last minute and rush over to their house for whatever they have going. However, at this time, that is not an option. My husband and I both work full time jobs and have 2 boys in school. We are very involved with our church, the kids' activities and other community activities. My FIL is self-employeed as is my MIL. She works 3 1/2 days a week, pays someone to clean her house and do laundry, etc. She seems to have forgotten what it's like to work full time, have young children and be short on time to get everything tended to. Since she doesn't have stuff to do on the weekends, then we shouldn't either. They are both Christian, but don't attend a church regularly. Having said that, they tend to "bend" scripture to fit what they desire. I do try to "turn the other cheek", but the more I do that, the worse they get. It's get so bad at times that is causes problems within our marriage. I just really need some help with this and especially prayers on what to do, not do, etc.

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Carla - posted on 06/22/2013

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Elizabeth, you are in a very tough position. Are there other family members that could pitch in and either everyone contribute to find them a place (other than yours), or have them stay at their houses, and take some of the burden off you? My mother lives in the mother-in-law house 20 feet out my back door, so I understand your feelings. I pray peace for your home and the situation until the family can help take the stress off.

If Hubby knows how it is, he needs to help as much as possible, and/or talk to his mom--this IS, after all, YOUR home!

God bless, hon, prayin' for ya.

Elizabeth - posted on 06/21/2013

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I need some christian advise, My MIL leave with us toguether with her in law is 100 year old, my mil take care of her but we do not get alone toguether she is very sturband and messy my husband knows how she is but she can not move until she is takign care of the other one, I feel overwarm we do not have privacy, I need help please

Sharon - posted on 10/12/2010

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I can tell you true, Brook. I have had a real struggle with a member of my family for years and on my journey with God and trusting him to help me discern the why the struggle, I have made an about face. By that I mean once I started praying about it and asking God for wisdom and strength to do the right thing I finally felt a heavy load was lifted. Once I learned about the strength of forgiveness and my very own attitude change I found so much relief. Love one another and find the good in everybody and pray on the bad.

Jill - posted on 10/10/2010

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Well Anna I tried that at first and all the advice my MIL wanted to give was clean clean clean any advice about recipes?? NOPE!! Any advice about friends NOPE Just clean Got old fast It didnt help that she worshipped her son

Jill - posted on 10/10/2010

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also if its one or the other Id be as far away aspossible form the ofneding in laaaw(s) and if you need to be near them be sure there is an objective 3rd party there to keep words at a minimum If it helps at al I know how yo ffeel

Jill - posted on 10/10/2010

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I would get the help of your husband if at all possible See if he can be supportive when they (he/she) "dis" you Your husband is not their fathers son or baby anymore--he started a new life

Lisa - posted on 10/09/2010

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Just pray and ask god to have mercy on there souls and open up there hearts to recieve you as a son in law.

Anna - posted on 10/09/2010

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my mom told me that I had to remember that if one day my parents were gone that my in-laws were to take their place and become my parents. So I started treating my in-laws as if they were my parents asking for advice, asking for help and letting them know that there were boundaries they couldn't cross. Just as though I were dealing with my parents and the situation got better.

Lisa - posted on 10/08/2010

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take the Christian high road and love them to death. invite them over, make sure the kids/husband spends time with them, show them that you aren't there to take away their son, but rather grow them a family.
My MIL thought I was the worst person ever and talked badly about me, and wasn't too pleasant to be around, but this last summer I was encouraging my husband to spend more time with her, we worked on her house a lot, helping her paint. We also invited her over a lot and had bbqs and I have been nice and polite and listened to her when she never listened back. well...it took three years but she actually calls me to talk, comes over when my husband isn't home, bakes me things she knows I like, and gives me hugs and kisses when she leaves.
It's hard, very hard, especially when someone mocks your religion and calls you stupid, but you can do it. Be polite, vent to someone else not involved and maintain your smile. Your loving ways will eventually turn them. and if it doesn't then just pretend like they are grumpy little kids who didn't get their way so it will give you more patience in dealing with them.

Cara - posted on 10/08/2010

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I have been married for 13 years. My mil wasn't bad for the first 4 years b/c my fil would call her on the carpet when he saw her being overly needy or manipulative. She actually called my hubby (actually my bil's first) CRYING one Christmas b/c I signed DH's name for him on our Christmas card and simply signed it "The Wilson's" with no "Love" or message first. OK, so I was working full time, school part time and traveling 2 1/2 hours every weekend and school break to care for my mom who was critically ill and doing all 200 of her Christmas cards and shopping. My mil never even asked how my mother was. She also often talked behind my and my sil's back about each of us. Once we all put our foot down and said "I don't want to talk about (insert SIL name)", she got very upset and would fuss and try again, but eventually it stopped. When my fil died she went to a WHOLE new level. I kept my mouth shut unless venting to my hubby. Learned to stick to only the facts b/c this is my husband's mother and he loves her regardless. To him this was just normal and if I got insulting, he got resentful. Over time, he began seeing the big picture and started standing up for our family more and more. He is very appreciative of how I have handle myself. You need to let things roll off your back. Sometimes all I could do was sit there and just laugh b/c her immature behaviors really were comical. At her age you are not going to change her. Accept her for who she is and pray for her. Learn to live with it within appropriate boundaries. My mil eventually got so bad my husband decided we needed to break off contact with her completely. We started fostering and she was not happy about this. Became emotionally unhealthy for any of my children to be around due to this, talking to them about inappropriate things, and other issues I won't go into. It was very sad. Just keep in mind your children are watching you and your interactions with her. Set an example for how forgiving and tolerant (with in reason) you would want your future dil/sil's to be with you. I am not saying there aren't times where you have no choice but to stand up for yourself, just pick your battles carefully.

Carla - posted on 10/08/2010

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Jaime Hersh, good advice! My mil took an instant dislike to me when we married. We didn't meet until after we wed, so she didn't get the chance to voice her objections ;) I was 21, divorced, with a 6 and 4 y/o, she was devout Catholic. Her baby boy had married a divorcee! We moved from Washington State to where they were in Michigan. My husband, only 20 at the time, told her that I was his wife now, and if she didn't like and accept me and the kids, we would pack up and move back to Washington. She calmed down. Mil's will listen and take heed a lot better if her son is the one to set the boundaries.

God bless, sweeties!

Sarah - posted on 10/07/2010

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The best way just to pray for them, and pray that God gives you encouragment to go on. Are they christians too?

Lanae - posted on 10/07/2010

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Boundaries are very important in any relationship. When it comes to you mil your husband needs to set them not you. He needs to sit down w/his mother & firmly but lovingly tell her that you are his wife & the mother of his children (her grandchildren) & for those reasons she is to treat you w/respect. If she does not treat you w/ respect she will get 1 warning & then he will gather up his family & leave if at her house or he will ask her to leave if at your house. He needs to say that he loves her, but will not put up with the mind games & manipulation. That he wants her to be a part of his family, but not at you expense or the expense of your children. Do not give in to the guilt trip, the way she reacts is her choice. you can not make her happy she has to choose to be happy. Invite her to games & family activities if it works for your schedule, treat her w/love & respect, but don't allow her to abuse you. If your sil's want to take her side that is their choice as well. We can not control anyones actions but our own. Most importantly continue to pray for her.

Dianna - posted on 10/07/2010

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Pray before they come over, think about topics they are interested in, or get everyone out for a walk, trip to the park, etc. instead of just "visiting"? - try to use I sentences - like I feel like this about what you just said, or did(not always easy I know) - ask them questions about what they are doing in their lives, get them talking about themselves - lots of points!

Joanne - posted on 10/07/2010

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I feel as though I can't comment as I believe the issue I have with my in laws are mine and theirs to resolve but my pastor said something when I went to counseling with him about some issues going on he said there was a reason that they make the movies about MIL. We live in the same house as my in laws and from the day we moved here there have been many issues we can not resolve. We had no problems when we had r own place but since moving to the farm to help the in laws we have had nothing but problems and issues and things had gotten better when my husband finally told his mom she had to stop blaming me for everything because she wasn't helping the situation any and not everything could be completely my fault. things got better for a couple of years but now the last year and a half have been a lot worse as the "rest" of the family mainly my husbands brothers family has been saying things that my hsband and I aren't saying or doing and my MIL has come to blame me for it all again. We are at the point where we avoid talking when his brother calls or spending time with the rest of the family just so that we can say we didn't tell them anything everything they are saying is coming second hand and just rumours. I handle it by telling myself things have to get better and just by going to counseling myself to make sure it's not something I'm doing to create the prolem and my husband is aware that I'm trying my best to make things right.

Priscilla - posted on 10/07/2010

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I have the same problems...well not so much as when we first started dating then our first years of marriage. The good thing was distance. Dh was in the Army.After that my BIl ex wife was evil..so that made me look like I was a catch! hahaha either way, just be kind...kill them with kindness. Try not to argue with your in laws unless it just totally forces you to try to do something that your are really against. In spanish we say...Sige le la corriente...meaning just go along with it. My mil will come to my house and tell me these things and I may know shes wrong but Ill just be like "Really OMG I DIDNT KNOW!" or "Wow, You learn something new everyday" Thats the way I handle it. or sometimes Ill say "wow...I also heard this on tv or read it on the internet." I dont know what else to say to this subject but Ive dealt with such bad behaviour from them that in a sense I only deal with them when I have to, that when I bump into them or when they visit me, cause I dont visit them.

Renee - posted on 10/07/2010

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I so feel your pain. I have a very manipulative MIL who loves to use guilt on her 3 grown children. It's all about what they can do for her in her house etc. I have put my foot down on many occasions but like the whack-a-mole game, she just keeping popping back up with her demands. I have been insulted over the years aplenty by this woman. 12 years worth of cmments about my weight, my job, my choosing to be a SAHM now instaed of nursing in a hospital, my kids, my parents. Goes on and on. She is very bitter about her marriage to an unbeliever(who recently passed). I've prayed heartily about her. I am respectful for my husbands sake. But I fear another confrontation is on the horizon soon due to her taking advantage of my husband who is out of town for work 4-5 days a week and has 3 kids under 6 and a wife who miss him. She oversteps so much. I would be interested to hear how other moms resolved this as well. Take moving out of the equation tho....

Alisha - posted on 10/06/2010

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Well, you do have to see them for the rest of your life, so you will have to be loving towards them and very gentle if you make and suggestions. The Lord says love your enemies because they will give you nothing in return and that is praisworthy to the Lord.

Maggie - posted on 10/06/2010

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without any specifics the best advice i can give is to pray for them fervently, and pray for you to develop the same attitude of love for them that God has. this will help you know how to react to them when they are difficult.

Brook - posted on 09/30/2010

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Tammy,
Sadly, I have tried that tactic, too. If I do not accompany my husband EVERY time he goes over there, then my MIL is offended. He has explained repeatedly to her that it has nothing to do with her at all. Like I said, I have my own family who lives very close also, including my grandparents. My maternal grandfather is in a nursing home in a nearby town and my paternal grandmother is in one here in the town that we live in. The extra time I have when not working or being involved with church and school activities, I try to dedicate to them as much as possible. She even gets her feelings hurt if we don't come because one or both children are sick.
And my SILs do not help the situation any. They both do whatever she wants, whenever she wants. They automatically get mad at us if she gets her feelings hurt. She encourages this behavior a great deal, but then wants everyone to get along. I have told her the only way for them to stay out of her problems is if she leaves them out. Don't call them crying all the time with every little bitty thing. Apparently, that idea is inconceivable to her. And yes, she complains about them, too. None of them are people I can talk to about any of this. It all gets so twisted and repeated that it's worse than it was to begin with. I am an outsider as far as they all are concerned. One SIL wants me to go away and I am "nonexistant" to the other. My MIL wants me to feel about her the way she did about her own MIL. My husband's grandmother was the nicest, sweetest person I have ever met. If my MIL was 1/2 as nice as her, I would have no problems at all.

And Carla,
Thank you very much for your words of wisdom. I truly hope that when I have DILs of my own, I will remember my own experiences and be a better MIL because of them.

Carla - posted on 09/30/2010

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Being a mil is extremely trying! Especially to dil! My sil and I will butt heads sometimes, but we love each other dearly, and go out of our ways to extend courtesy to each other, even when I would rather wring his neck ;) dil's are a different story, because they are naturally more close with their own parents, and mil feels left out. I have had to put spiritual duct tape on my mouth more than once!

Common sense would tell you that as you get older, you get wiser, so the in-laws SHOULD be figuring this stuff out, and being the bigger people, but, sadly, this is rarely the case. For some reason mothers think of themselves as the matriarch of the family, and all her whims should be considered royal commands!

The only thing I can tell you, from having a mil to being one, is to life your Christian life the best you can in front of them. No one is ever going to be happy with you all the time, so trying to please everyone is a tiring task that, in the end, doesn't accomplish anything other than making you crazy! Pray for them, that they will find Jesus, and if they are professing Him, pray that they actually LISTEN to what He has said! We are to be nurturers of our family, not the instrument of destruction. And, remember how you feel about your mil, so when the time comes to be one, you will be able to avoid the potholes!

God bless, sweeties!

Tammy - posted on 09/30/2010

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It might also help You to just let your husband and sons go visit. It took me years to realize that one! You can stay at home and get housework done or just enjoy a little quiet without all the guys around. :) Of course I don't mean stay home every time just sometimes.

Jennifer - posted on 09/29/2010

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I understand. my MIL would dislike me one month and then out of the blue call me and be angry at one of my SILs. She traded between the 3 of us pretty regularly trying to cause us to be mad at each other. We just discussed accusations with each other and we all got along great and took all she said with a grain of salt. I'd just use the relationship as a lesson like you said for future relationships, take what she says with a grain of salt and give it to God. Give her, her thoughts, and words to the Lord and let Him have her. He's not done yet. :) in Christ ~Jen

Brook - posted on 09/29/2010

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Jen,
I have actually thought about writing a "book" of my feelings and such. I thought it would be nice to reflect back on when I myself have DILs and maybe even pass a copy on to them to let them know I understand how they will feel sometimes. I have 2 brothers, one who is married. I have liked my SIL most of the time and always respected that she was his wife. My other brother has had a few "serious" girlfriends and I have liked all of them as well, if only because he did. And, I am insistent that my husband treat his own BILs the same way. He doesn't always like things they do, but I tell him to keep it to himself. I know I don't like getting griped at about every little thing and I'm sure they don't either. I truly want to be a good DIL and SIL, but it's very difficult when I am constantly berated about everything. Most importantly, I want my future DILs to be able to talk to me about any problems without being worried about the outcome. I have been told repeatedly to let my MIL know if something hurts my feelings or offends me in any way. I rarely take her up on that, but the few times I have has actually made it worse instead of better.

Jennifer - posted on 09/29/2010

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It's awesome to have the support of your husband... keep praying about it and realize too that you are a wonderful woman, a great mom and a phenominal wife... I know you are because we all are. Even if it's not enough for others. And remember this too... you have sons and I have brothers, No one will ever be good enough for my brothers and the women your sons choose someday may not be what you feel is right for them.... But remember these moments too and how they feel. Someday you may need to look back on them. Prayers for you and yours! ~Jen

Brook - posted on 09/29/2010

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We have tried sitting down and talking to them, and yes, Jamie, your are right: it is always my fault or at least mostly my fault. I have also tried staying away from them as much as possible, but that doesn't work either. My SILs live in the same town as their parents and they are at their house constantly, mostly to "mooch", but we are bad people because we're not over there all the time. Even though it is not too far for us, apparently it is too far for them because they hardly ever attend anything our children are doing (ball games, church events, etc.) We have had our blow-ups over all this, more than once, which I hate. It just gets to where I cringe at the thought of going over there because I know something will be wrong. We had one of our "discussions" about a week and a half ago, which did not go well, but at the end everyone agreed to let by-gones be by-gones and move on from that point. The thing is, we've had that exact same discussion at least 5 or 6 times, always with the same result. And things will be better for a little while, maybe a few months, then we will be right back where we started. Thank goodness my husband sees how they are and tries to do what he can to make it easier to bear.

Jamie - posted on 09/29/2010

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My inlaws are both divorced and remarried. my first set is a VERY christian oriented wife who is very stuck up and my father in law who is absolutely wonderful. my second set of in laws is a guy who cant stop talking about sports and has a sarcastic attitude and then theres my mother in law. o my. she goes to church every sunday just to say she goes to church yet she does not practice anything that is preached to her. I married her only son who happened to be my sisters best friend from elementary school and i have always felt like i dont measure up to what she has set in her head of the perfect daughter in law. After i married my husband, she and i had a HUGE blow up fight and she didn't speak to us nor did she make an attempt to see our then 2 month old daughter for almost 5 months, all because i told her she needed to stop being a control freak and let us live our life the way we wanted and not under her thumb. I dont like arguing and i know it affected my husband in a very negative way to see two of the most important women in his life fighting but not being able to fix it because were both hard headed. Finally i was the bigger person and took my daughter to see her and it kind of broke the ice on a very high stress/tense situation. The best advice i can give you.. speak your mind within your christian values. Sit down and explain how your feeling, how things they are doing are affecting you, or causing stress to your relationship. They will probably get defensive and tell you its all your fault, or they may actually listen. Sometimes a length of time apart may be the best thing for them to realise what their missing. I hope all goes well. I will never understand why people have to be so difficult. (:

Cecilia - posted on 09/28/2010

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What is going on exactly, my mother in law used to be a problem for me but I helped her find God and become a chrisitan by encouraging her to go to church and she liked it and kept going.

Stephanie Jo - posted on 09/28/2010

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Sorry to hear that. Can you give us some idea so we can try to help.Praying.

Jennifer - posted on 09/28/2010

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My in laws were very difficult to deal with as well.. If distance isn;t an option (my mother in law and I got along great when 500 miles separated us) then maybe sitting down and explaining to them that the things they're doing are appreciated (the thought) but not necessary. Other than that turning the other cheek and forgiveness and prayer... It also depends on what they're doing.

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