When you first meet your in-laws, your number one goal is to impress them. You’ll do anything in your power to prove that you’re an excellent match for their child and can fit in with the family.
But after you have passed the test and been with your partner for a considerable period of time, the dynamic shifts, particularly when you have a child together.
In-laws can get intrusive and trespass into territory that you’re not comfortable with them being in, even if your in-laws do have the best of intentions. For example, they might stride right in and take over caring for your newborn baby without your permission. Or maybe they completely disregard the guidelines you’ve set for your toddler.
Either way, their interference might make you feel frustrated and like you don’t have any control over your own life, leading to feelings of resentment.
So in order to prevent that from happening and continue maintaining a strong family relationship, you must establish some boundaries.
Setting boundaries requires some tact, and if you’ve just been going with the flow for a while, you might be uncertain of where to even begin. So here’s how to handle the situation.
First of all, confirm that you and your partner are on the same page about what boundaries should be enforced. You must present yourself as a team when you state your case. Otherwise, no successful change will occur.
If you start discussing the terms of your boundaries in front of the family members you’re trying to get through to, it’ll be easier for them to break through your defenses, and it will make your argument weaker.
In addition, you need to stay firm and be persistent about your rules. Don’t compromise your values just to keep the peace, and don’t be afraid to use the word no.