Question: 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 and my desire to set boundaries with the inlaws, 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


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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. The process of setting boundaries with the inlaws needs to be done carefully and most likely with the help of a professional.

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Tags: boundaries with in laws Parenting & Family