Dealing With Your In-Laws
If They Baby Your Husband...Figure out why it bothers you. Does your mother-in-law do things that suggest she still thinks of your husband as her little boy (buying him underwear, say, or telling him how to wear his hair)? "Most in-law problems boil down to the intrusiveness of one person and the sensitivity of the other," says psychologist Pauline Wallin. "How does one person send a message, and how does the other receive it?"
While your mother-in-law's actions may well be inappropriate, examine why they bother you. Is it because you feel threatened? Discuss your feelings with your husband―it's his job to tell his mother that he's old enough to manage his life. If her babying gets on your every last nerve, put yourself in her shoes. "Empathy is an important part of any relationship," says psychologist Bob Murray. Maybe your mother-in-law is acting this way because she's worried about losing touch with her son. "When you can feel empathy for someone, you won't feel so threatened," says Wallin.
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