In-laws and Marriage | Top 5 reasons parents involve in your marriage

Marriage is a sacrament, a vocation two people choose to be “one” until death do them apart. Marriage is one of the important relationship as a matter of fact, the first relationship God established on earth.

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Genesis 2: 24

Most marriages are two separate individuals brought up in a different environment; have a different background from that of a spouse; these two differently individuals are then united in the sacrament of matrimony. Most long term married couples know while courtship is all sweet, sugar and spice; when it comes to marriage it is the ‘real deal’. There is bound to be differences, you are working your way out to know each other and grow as a family.

So are in-laws a negative influence on your marriage?

In-law and marriage

It depends, to address this, one must understand the basic concept of parent and child. They have been nurtured and cared for your spouse and the bond of trust between the parent and a child is strong. Most parents tend have a protective instinct no matter how adult the child is.

When differences arise, the probability of you resolving the conflict on your own is a lot higher; as you are part of the conflict, you understand the precept in which things are said. When a spouse goes to their parent for counsel, it naturally tends to be one-sided and gets heated up and they meddle in your marriage making it worse than it actually was.

Top 5 common reasons parents involve in your marriage:

  • The protective instinct of a parent to avoid their child being hurt from the son/daughter-in-law makes most in-laws to be involved, this does more bad than good. Learn to resolve your issues and work on them without  involving either set of parents, this is possible through good communication.
  • Jealousy: This is also one of the common cause and sadly a dangerous one. They tend to miss your connect with them and now there is ‘someone else’ that is grabbing your attention. It is crucial for the couple to set boundaries at the same time allow the spouse to spend time with his/her set of parents. The frequency of the meetings need to be agreed upon by both spouses.


  • You are not them: The idea that you are doing it differently than them can set them off. They used to ‘run the place’ and things were done in a certain way. Sometimes, they may try to teach you on how it needs to be done, if that method is simpler and effective than yours be humble about it and thank them for the guidance. If it is something you are uncomfortable about let them know gently that you prefer it your way.


  • Enemy : In harsh cases, they don’t like you and your association with their child. They are probably “putting up with you”, chances are they have clearly communicated this to you. This is a tough one and you may feel a sense of rejection and that feeling of rejection may dominate your behavior with them. Which is natural and we get you! However, there is no good that would come out of it. The first thing you need to do is accept the “spouse parents and their rejection” and forgive. The healing process would do you more good than for them. The second thing would be to have an effective communication to your spouse on the situation; it is wise for them to handle the situation and confront it and lay the boundary.
  • Genuinely trying to help: There are a good number of parents who are genuinely trying to help! They believe they have immense experience and wisdom and want to share that with you or spouse. As much as they have good intentions; they fail to realize you and your partner are not them! You both are a different couples with your own ideologies and have own set of issues that is different from theirs. It is important you gently set a boundary and explain to them light-heartedly that you both are figuring it out in your own way.


I heard a wise woman once say “ if your marriage is in place, everything else is in place”. This stuck with me and thought to myself ‘how true!’ We cannot deny that marriage in essence brings two families together; we cannot hold on to ‘only the spouse’ ignoring his/her family. We need to accommodate them. To do this, the two core pillars –the husband and wife needs to be strong and should be of a solid foundation. This is achieved through trust, love and effective communication.

At retrouvaille, this could be attained! When you attend our weekend program; you are encouraged to discover or rather re-discover each other. We teach you techniques on effective communication resulting in deepening and strengthening your marriage. Get in touch with us for more information about the program