Building and maintaining healthy relationships with in-laws can be like walking a tightrope. Whether you’re a newlywed or have been married for years, finding the right balance can be challenging. Let’s solve some common challenges people face in their relationships with in-laws and explore practical advice to help you cope with in-law-related issues.

how to handle interference from in-laws

How to deal with interference from In-Laws

Imagine your mother-in-law constantly dropping by unannounced or offering unsolicited advice on how to raise your children. Dealing with interference from in-laws can feel like navigating a minefield. Research from the University of Michigan suggests that interference from extended family members can lead to increased marital conflict. Setting boundaries in such situations is important. For example, you can let your spouse speak with his mother about discussing her travel plans with him before coming to visit, or your spouse could kindly explain that while you appreciate her input, you and your spouse have your own parenting style and would prefer to handle things independently.

For good relationships to last, especially with in-laws, you need to set boundaries.


how to set boundaries with in-laws

How to Balance the Time Spent with Your In-Laws and Your Spouse

Finding the right balance between spending time with your in-laws and nurturing your relationship with your spouse is vital. According to a Pew Research Center survey, 74% of married adults believe that a strong relationship with their in-laws is crucial for a successful marriage. Studies show that close in-law relationships have different effects on men and women. Men who have a close relationship with their wife’s family members are less likely to have issues with their in-laws, compared to women who either live with their in-laws or are too close to them. It has been reported that these categories of women are more subject to criticism and unsolicited advice from in-laws if they live together or spend too much time with them.

When familiarity starts to get in your relationship with your in-laws, always know when to draw the line. You might need to spend less time with them. Even though family ties are important, it’s more important to put your self-respect and value first. You can be firm about your preferences and create your space and still be nice to them. This can be a good way to prove that you have good intentions.

To strike a balance, don’t get too involved with in-laws’ personal matters. Whenever they visit, there should be an agreed time for them to go back to their homes, and they should be reminded in a polite manner as the time draws near. A polite way of reminding them may be to buy gift items for them to take with them when leaving.

Also, consider scheduling regular family get-togethers where both your in-laws and your spouse feel included, or designate specific days for family time and couple time.


how to avoid conflict with in-laws

How to Avoid Conflict with In-Laws

Conflict with in-laws is not uncommon and can strain relationships if left unresolved. A study in the Journal of Marriage and Family links constructive conflict resolution to increased marital satisfaction. Suppose you find yourself at odds with your sister-in-law over holiday plans. In that case, it’s essential to approach the situation with empathy and a willingness to compromise. Seek common ground and focus on finding solutions that benefit everyone involved.

Creating your own space and setting boundaries is a natural way to defer to in-law preferences; it’s equally important to establish your own space within the family unit. This ensures that your relationship with your spouse remains a priority and helps prevent conflicts.


Related Article: 10 Worst Advice That Can End Your Marriage

how to cope with in-law's cricism

How to Deal with Criticism from In-Laws

It takes patience to deal with criticism from in-laws. If you complain to your partner about your in-laws, it could hurt your relationship. Instead, talk about your worries with a friend you trust, or stay quiet when they give you unwanted advice. It’s important to talk to your partner about real problems in a positive, non-defensive way, focused on solutions instead of criticism.

Avoid giving your in-laws advice or insisting on your views; this can help keep the peace. Saying something like “That’s an interesting idea” or “I’ll think about it” lets them know you heard them without making you feel like you have to do what they say. If you need to, you can politely raise another topic and avoid getting into a controversial conversation with them.

If you must express your opinion, allow your spouse to confront his family and save yourself from unnecessary enmity.

how to have mutual unerstanding with in=laws

Establishing Mutual Respect and Understanding

Building mutual respect and understanding with your in-laws is essential for creating positive relationships. Take the time to get to know them and consider doing things together, such as cooking together, attending their parties, calling, texting, or sending them gift items on their birthdays.
Creating opportunities for positive interactions with your in-laws can help strengthen your relationship and create lasting memories.




Managing relationships with in-laws requires patience, communication, and a willingness to compromise. By setting boundaries, addressing conflicts constructively, and nurturing positive interactions, you can build strong and harmonious bonds with your extended family. Remember, a little effort can go a long way in fostering a supportive and loving family environment.