There are so many wonderful things about being married I could hardly list them all, but as always, with the good comes some bad. And for many of us, the bad comes in the form of the people who raised the one we love ... the dreaded in-laws.
It should be easy to love them ... after all, they raised your spouse and presumably did a pretty good job since you fell in love with him, right? But all too often your mutual love for this person sets you at odds.
JoAnn From Bensonhurst takes them on in the latest episode of her show, where her parents join her. (Her parents are so clearly in love, it's really sweet, and her mom needs her own spinoff, please!). And she's got the true secret for dealing with in-laws:
Shut up. That's it. Keep it to yourself and leave your husband out of it. As someone whose relationship with my in-laws was less than warm, I have to say, I agree with her.
That doesn't mean you should let toxic people walk all over you. If you need to set some boundaries, do it. if you need to just distance yourself from them and tell your husband that he's responsible for his own relationship with his family from now on, do it (because otherwise you'll be stuck buying birthday cards for someone who hates you your whole life). I certainly know of some truly toxic mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships where it's just better for all concerned that they not speak.
But try to cut your MIL a lot of slack. Think about how much you love your kids, and then realize that hopefully, you yourself will be a mother-in-law someday.
My own MIL died three and a half years ago, and my two big regrets are that I didn't take my kids to see her more and that I didn't try to see what she was saying in a good light, instead of assuming the worst, always. We were never going to be best friends, but I could have done a better job of being kind and accepting.
You never know when you might lose someone, and there's always less time than you think to improve your relationship with them.
Of course, if that fails, there is the in-laws drinking game my husband and I invented for my brother's now former in-laws: Whenever they say something judgy/racist/stupid/passive-aggressive/whatever sets you off, sip your drink. Just make sure you're not driving.
Check out how to deal with your annoying in-laws and other relatives in the video:
How do you get along with your mother-in-law?
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