One of the less talked about side effects of being married is having to deal with in-laws. As someone who has been married for a few years now, I can tell you that navigating the in-law relationship can be difficult and sometimes more exhausting than dealing with my own family. But, as I have come to learn. For any marriage to work. There has to be an acceptance and working around in-laws to some degree. This can be in slight and subtle ways. Or straight forward and direct ways. For me the best has been to be direct.

By this I mean setting boundaries for what I will and will not talk about. And ensuring that my husband is aware of my boundaries. Having a partner who also understands is a big part of setting any form of boundaries between myself and my in-laws. Because sometimes no matter how many times you say something. It just sounds better when you partner, who knows his or her parents best. Steps in and makes it clear what boundaries exist in the relationship.

And whilst in African culture the idea of boundaries, let alone healthy boundaries can seem difficult at first. It can be vital in the survival of your marriage. Especially when boundaries are crossed and things are said that make you feel judged, unheard, misunderstood and  sometimes just hurt. I can tell you now from experience that when I was first married, one of the main issues I had to deal with was feeling misunderstood. Being married to someone from a different culture made the relationship between my in-laws and I extremely difficult.

Add to that the fact that my husband, who was caught in the middle, did little to support me or help diffuse the situation. Many years later and I have become clearer about what I will and will not talk about. Chief among those things includes how to raise my child. Especially when I receive very little emotional support from my in-laws who are barely around. The second thing is around my health. And lastly how we spend our money as a couple. To me these three things seem obvious but it was not until I put my foot down did my husband and in-laws understand that I was uncomfortable and would not like to discuss these issues.

At the end of the day the way I see it is that in-laws can be a great addition to your family. But at the end of the day the only family you and your partner should worry about is the one you created together. And no-one and nothing else should get in-between that unless asked.

Hav you ladies set healthy boundaries with your in-laws?

RELATED POSTS

LEAVE A COMMENT