Do you have an over-bearing mother-in-law? A demanding father-in-law?
What do you do? Grin and bear it? Confront them? Make your spouse confront them? Nothing, just complain to anyone and everyone not in your family about your in-laws?
Thankfully, I do not, but this is a problem many, many couples face. In fact, problems with in-laws is cited in the top five most common thing couples fight about! (along with money, sex, work and kids)
In today’s episode, we are using some helpful tips from Dr. John Gottman (and our readers!) to talk about how to gracefully deal with in-law problems in order to strengthen your marriage.
And Rich’s karaoke re-write of the lyrics involves a mother-in-law showing up on your doorstep to clean and had me cracking up. It is not to be missed!
John Gottman’s 7 Principles For Making Marriage Work
Rich’s re-written lyrics:
“Open my eyes, roll out of bed, breakfast of fruit loops
The time it has come, you flew on a jet, you’re visiting aren’t you?
You knock on our door, your luggage in hand,
You ask me a question, “Oh it’ll be so nice to help you out with some well needed cleaning…”
I’m gonna be your daughter for the rest of your life
You’re not impressed I guess and you let me know
You are both passive and aggressive and you make me cry
We’re stuck, my friend, but here’s what I know:
In-laws they need boundaries too.
Set by both your spouse and yoooou
Yes they do need boundaries too
But they may bother you anyway…
But you can stay strong (if they bother you anyway)
Help your marriage along (if they bother anyway)
Yeah we can be strong
And we’ll be a family
We all need these boundaries too…
I hate to do this, I have no choice, it’s not enough to be a good son
I know you love us, both but you see, my first job is as a husband
I’ve got to staaaand and say, my wife has my loyalty you know
Mom I love you but you know, I will go ANYWHERE she goes.
You’re gonna be my mother for the rest of my life
Let me stress, I guess, cuz I need you to know
That *I* sure love you deeply but the fact is this
I love, my wife, she’s my priority you know…
In laws they need boundaries too
Set by both your spouse and you
Sometimes things will not go smooth
But we can manage them anyway
You can stay strong (if they bother you anyway)
Make our interactions smooth
I married your son (married him anyway)”