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‘Buy-One-Get-One-Free’: In-laws

‘Buy-One-Get-One-Free’: In-laws

According to Co-operative Legal Services which surveyed over 2000 married couples and 800 divorcees, 1 in 10 divorce in the UK are caused by interfering in-laws. Little wonder research shows that many couples try to avoid their in-laws altogether. The reality is that in-laws come with the package, it’s like a ‘buy-one-get-one-free’ arrangement you see around the shopping malls, hence learning to work with them will do you good in the long run. This is often easier said than done, as I hear and see very stressful and toxic situations as I coach different couples. Some situations demand more effort, resources and patience than others. However, where there is a will, there is a way. Having said that, if your mental health or your life is being threatened, you must seek help immediately from a qualified professional. Don’t die in silence.

We must understand that sometimes, parents in-laws are only being protective of their children. At this point, we must earn their trust as worthy ‘custodians’. That way, they relax, knowing their children are in safe hands. On the other hand, if your spouse complains about the overbearing interference of your parents, siblings, Uncles and Aunts, you must do your best to consider his/her opinion seriously and objectively, rather than just dismissing it. The fact is that when we are biased and emotionally involved in a situation, the percentage of blind spots often increases, thereby hindering our judgment. Many men/women have abandoned their families because of this. Sometimes, we may still have child-parent relationship with our parents (extreme attachment) without realising it, even when we are married. This may seem harmless, particularly when it ‘serves’ you or helps you get benefits, such as financial support from your parents. However, research has shown that it obstructs the development of true bond between spouses.

Are you still calling home every minute to get advice without consulting your spouse? What would happen to you or your marriage if your parents pass on? Maintaining relationship with your parents is very healthy, but balance is the key!

THINK & ACT: Develop your relationship skills as life and marriage is about balancing relationships. Subscribe to our blog to get specialised life-changing trainings.

Chidi & Victor Akunna
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Comments (2)

  • Anonymous Reply

    I hope someone learns from this. Extreme attachment to my parents wrecked my marriage. My husband would initially subtly complain, but I just felt my parents had more experience, so knew better. He would always tell me, “it’s ok for us to make our own mistakes. I’m not saying we can’t seek advice from them, but please carry me along”. I felt he was opposing my parents and cried about it to my parents. They were so upset that I was upset and asked me to come home that evening. I went to see them and because I was crying uncontrollably, they won’t let me go home in that shape. I slept over at theirs that night and returned home the next morning.
    My parents were hurt that my husband never called to find out where I was. On the other hand, he was hurt (knowing that I would certainly be at theirs) that I just went to spend the night with them without telling him. I guess I was just a spoilt cry-baby.
    My marriage has not recovered from that incident. After seeking counsel, I know better. I am praying God touches my husband’s heart soon.

    March 17, 2016 at 11:12 am
    • Kwandah Reply

      I jointly pray that the Holy Spirit would touch your husband’s heart to give you another chance, especially now that you know better and are willing to do things right. I really admire your honesty because so many marriages/relationships are broken because people blatantly refuse to accept their errors. God bless you and I hope and pray that I’d read from you again when you come back to testify about the restoration of your marriage.

      March 17, 2016 at 4:01 pm

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