I heard someone caution young women who are about to wed with this old saying: “Remember, when you marry your Prince, you inherit the king, the queen, and the whole court!”
That warning applies to every prince marrying his princess as well. And let me add – you may also get a “court jester” thrown in as well!
Jokes about the “meddling mother-in-law” and the “grumpy father-in-law” are funny because they’re true often enough that stereotypes develop.
But the conflict that often arises between couples and their in-laws is no laughing matter.
A study out of Cambridge University reported:
- 60% of women feel friction with their husband’s mother has caused them long-term stress.
- 15% of men complain that their mothers-in-law cause them problems.
- Two-thirds of wives feel their mothers-in-law are jealous of their relationship with the son.
- Two-thirds of mothers-in-law felt excluded by their sons’ wives.
How can couples overcome these challenges and create a relationship with their in-laws that thrives?
Authors Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend say, “Good boundaries.”
Both Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend are licensed psychologists, authors, conference speakers, and are best known for their landmark series of books called Boundaries.
They say that good boundaries are essential to a marriage’s survival. Healthy couples not only set limits on their individual needs, desires, and demands, they also set boundaries between their relationship and the outside world, including their in-laws.
If conflict with your in-laws is negatively impacting your marriage, tune in to the Focus on the Family Broadcast “Establishing Healthy Boundaries with Your In-Laws.”
Drs. Cloud and Townsend are with us to address challenges common to husbands, wives, and their in-laws. They discuss what healthy boundaries look like and offer practical advice for creating them.
I’d like to extend an invitation for you to become a special partner with us through our monthly “Friends of Focus on the Family” program. When you do, I’ll send you a copy of Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend’s book Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life as a way of saying thank you for touching others with the love of Christ. You’ll also receive member-exclusive benefits. To make your pledge, or for more information, visit our website or call 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).