boundaries with in lawsQuestion: I am not looking forward to spending the holidays with my in-laws as it creates a lot of stress in our marriage. Whenever I share with my husband my feelings about his parents, he always gets defensive and stands up for them over me. I dread spending holidays with in laws. What should I do? -Why I dread spending holidays with in laws

Answer: Know that blood is thicker than water. Even if you think your husband will agree with your criticisms about his parents, he is still likely to feel hurt and may take it as a personal attack if you say something negative about them. Try sharing your feelings in a safer way by taking ownership and using “I” statements that focus on how you feel as opposed to how bad they are. For example, “ When your mother asks me personal questions, I feel violated,” as opposed to, “Your parents are so nosy and disgusting.” If you don’t attack, he’ll have less need to defend.

With best wishes for your relationship success,

Shlomo and Rivka Slatkin

P.S. We work a lot with couples and their in-laws. Contact us today if you have an in-law situation that you need help with.