It may have been all smiles at your wedding, but now that you are a full-fledged member of your partner's family, you may be seeing a shift in your relationship with your in-laws. The days of keeping their opinions to themselves are over, and they have no problem letting you know exactly how they really feel about you and how you are doing things in your home. If you think you may have a monster-in-law on your hands, you should be looking for some of the signs your in-laws are toxic before it's too late.
Constant criticism, lack of respect for your parenting rules, and unrealistic expectations are just a few of the ways in-laws can have a negative impact on your marriage. And although you may not be able to change your in-laws' toxic behavior, you can do your best to make sure their behavior doesn't get the best of you. Refusing to take criticism personally and setting limits on visits can help you keep the peace, according to Woman's Day.
Toxic in-laws can be more than just annoying. Issues with in-laws can spell trouble for your relationship with your partner, if things get out of control. As Psychology Today advised, it is best for you and your partner to present a united front. Even if you don't agree on everything, you should make a conscious decision to support one another as you work to find a way to find the best way to get along — at least on Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July.
1. They Never Have Anything Nice To Say
It may be difficult for your in-laws to accept that you are the new love in their child's life, but they should be able to throw you a compliment every once in a while. If your in-laws' comments are more hurtful than heartfelt, you may be in a toxic relationship. But as Women's Health advised, it's in your best interest to keep your cool. Engaging in a battle with your partner's parents can only make things worse. Don't allow them to push your buttons.
2. They Don't Respect Boundaries
Does it seem like your in-laws have become a permanent fixture at your kitchen table? It's fine to drop by every once in a while, but it's important to let your in-laws know that you'd like them to respect your privacy by calling first. According to Psychology Today, a lack of respect for boundaries can make for a difficult relationship.
3. They Want You All To Themselves
When two families merge, holidays and special occasions can be tough — especially when you don't all live in the same neighborhood. Toxic in-laws have a hard time accepting that you have to spread the love around to both sides of the family, according to The Nest. Unfortunately, that may mean that you have to split your time or miss certain events all together.
4. They Compare You To Others
Your partner picked you for a reason, and the parents need to get on board with that decision. That means, they need to give up on the hope that your spouse will reunite with an old high school flame. When in-laws are constantly comparing you to friends, family members, or worse — an ex, that is totally toxic behavior, according to HuffPost.
5. They're Too Attached
Your spouse may have loved curling up in bed every night with mom as a kid, but now that you are married, it's time to cut the cord. Your mother-in-law needs to respect your marriage and allow the two of you the time and space to establish your own connection. According to Greatist, in-laws who are too involved in their children's lives can do more harm than good.
6. They Don't Respect Your Parenting Rules
Grandparents are supposed to spoil their grandchildren, but their niceness shouldn't totally come into conflict with your house rules. If you are raising your kids vegetarian, Grandma should understand that means hamburgers are off limits. According to the aforementioned article from The Nest, in-laws who don't respect the way you are raising your children can have a negative effect on your relationship.
7. They Think Their Child Can Do No Wrong
It's not uncommon for parents to think their children are angels, but if you find that your in-laws are constantly defending your partner or making excuses for bad behavior, something is not right.