Q:

What can you do about meddling in-laws?

A:

Meddling in-laws can be combated by setting up boundaries and not sharing marital problems with extended family members. Intrusive in-laws can create unnecessary tension between couples if the situation is not dealt within a reasonable time frame. Family members should be encouraged to maintain a relationship with their son or daughter and the significant other; however, meddling in-laws need to be stopped because they can damage a relationship.

According to Dr. Phil, it is the responsibility of the married couple to let family members know what behavior is and is not appropriate. Relatives can offer advice, but they should not be dictating how the family home is run. Also, it is important that personal disputes are kept private unless they concern other family members. Some in-laws are only too happy to offer counseling, but it should not be their place to do so.

Speak to meddling in-laws directly and let them know what they shouldn't be doing. Family members only want to see the best for the relationship of a new couple, so they are often open to suggestions about unwanted behavior. Finally, meddling in-laws should be given appropriate time with any grandchildren, nephews or nieces because it will help them to remember that they are not the parents.

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