Dealing with Your Difficult Daughter-in-Law or Son-in-Law

Many estrangements occur as a result of a conflicted relationship between the parent and their child’s spouse. While there are many reasons, the family history of your daughter or son-in- law may be a cause. In general, whatever issues they have with their own parents, there’s a good chance that they’re going to have them with you.

If they felt over-controlled by their own parents, there’s a good chance they’re going to view you as being overly controlling. If they felt rejected, devalued and abandoned by their parents they may view you as that way, over-react to something that you do or say, and convince your child that you as parents are much more critical and rejecting than that child realizes.

If estranged from their own parents, they’re much more likely to push your child in that direction. You see how this works? When your kid marries somebody they’re not only marrying that particular person. They’re also marrying the psychology of that person and the family relationships that have been built up over the years in that person’s unconscious.

They’re also marrying that person’s sensitivities, vulnerabilities, and the ways that they’re immature, unresolved, undeveloped, problematic or even unfortunately, psychologically disturbed.

The more that parents understand these things, the better they’re able to navigate the often treacherous terrain of having to deal with somebody who has a knife to your kid’s throat, saying, “Choose between your parents or me. You don’t get to have both.”
Often when a baby arrives there’s an increase in anxiety on the part of the son or daughter-in-law, which often leads to stress and a potential estrangement.

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