Sally writes: I have been married for a few years and still have difficulty dealing with my In-laws. My mother in law is extremely overbearing and controlling and my father in law agrees and goes along with whatever she wants. My husband and I are constantly fighting over this and he just doesn’t understand. Since my parents live in another city, I have to go with my children to my in-laws for almost every holiday. Any relationship advice you can offer on how to cope and deal with this issue as it wears on my relationship with my husband?

Debbie, I give you a lot of credit and empathize, as I know how taxing it can be to be in the company of your in-laws and also have it affect your relationship with your husband.
· First I would keep in mind that you are doing this for your husband and children. They have a relationship with your in-laws and you are nurturing this relationship because you care and believe in keeping the family together.

· Another thing to keep in mind is that as controlling and overbearing as your mother in law can be, you are the one raising your children and living with her son. You ultimately have the power. Once you know and own this, it doesn’t matter what she says or how she acts out. Stay centered and try not to allow her behavior, requests or demands get to you.

· It’s critical that you make sure you are on the same team as your husband. Communicate with him on how and why you see things differently from his mother in a calm way. And remember, she is his first relationship in his life and she does have influence. I’m sure he knows his mother’s ways and may even turn a blind eye, but remember you are now his partner for life and the mother of his children.

Best Wishes to you Sally. If YOU have a question you’d like me to answer live, please send it

Enter your name + email below for a free audio lesson that’ll teach you how to calm your nerves and express yourself in a positive way.

To find out more about my services click here: Couples Counseling