Today, I want to talk about …
Every marriage brings with it an extended family. My experience with in-laws was a good one. They weren’t intrusive. At the time I married Mike, he had lived on his own for years. He had a health relationship with his parents, and they lived in another state. Their involvement in our lives centered about holiday visits and trips to visit their place in the summer. And on occasion, a trip to the Santa Cruz where his parents and their friends and family would vacation every year.
Marriages struggle when either spouse fails to become fully liberated from their parents. This is often an issue with your spouse’s maturity and also a proximity issue.
I can tell you from many emails to this ministry that dealing with in-laws is a REAL thing that challenges marriages. I will also tell you that as a mother of an adult son, there is a very special and unbreakable bond between the two that is a life-long reality. (We have a healthy relationship and I live in five hours from him.)
So, what to do if your spouse is still linked to home and Mom-in-law or dad-in-law interferes with decisions and the direction of your family?
If you are dealing with an overbearing, and ridiculously interfering family member, of course, conversation with your spouse is where you start. Pray and ask Jesus to create a perfect opportunity to talk about extended family. Gang, BATHE this conversation, before it takes place, in prayer. Ask the Lord for the right words. Leave accusation and ridicule of the family member out of the discussion. Take about the issues and how the meddling creates strife and leads to conflict and unhealthy boundaries and decisions. Offense will arise quickly in a spouse when talking about a mom or a dad. Tread carefully but with sound examples and SOLUTIONS that would have made for a better outcome.
Listen. Listen. Listen.
Forgive, forgive, forgive.
Love, love, love.
Determine to set healthy boundaries. In an overbearing situation, space is the only way to gain autonomy. And finally moving a distance away may become your only viable option.
Okay, I need help here. What are the in-law’s dynamics in your home? How have you handled interference? OR better yet, how have you and your spouse set healthy boundaries with the in-laws.
How to you restrain your own mother or father from interfering with your family? I’ll see you in the comments.
LOVE loudly this week. Love and bless your in-laws in your prayer time. Let’s see what happens by Friday? Perhaps a few tiny miracles in the extended family. Hugs, Lynn