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How to maintain a cordial relationship with your overbearing in-laws? 

How is it even possible to stay at peace with in-laws who neither respects you nor your emotions? Let’s first understand why it is important to maintain a cordial relationship with your in-laws from the graphic below –

how to maintain a cordial relationship with your overbearing in-laws

How to Maintain a Cordial Relationship with Your Overbearing In-Laws – 12 Working Ways

Here you go –

First, Learn To Be Assertive As A Daughter-in-Law

Arguments happen in all families; only that we should ensure to close them on a healthier note.

Speak Clearly and Confidently, That’s The Major Requirement

Once I planned to attend a close friend’s wedding with my family in a different city. And it was decided that we also visit a few famous temples along.

As I was discussing my plan with my mother-in-law, she did not like the idea. 

Though I made my stand clear that I would be going, she was like, “We could visit those temples on a different occasion. What’s the need to visit now?”

Nevertheless, I was affirmative about the plan.

I was not rude to her. I did not disrespect her in any way. All I did was assert my stance on the matter. Is there anything wrong in that?

By being assertive, I not only remained calm, composed but also within the confines of the respect-line. Though the discussion gave rise to conflict of interests, the way I handled it helped me retain the existing cordial relationship with my mother-in-law. So number one, stay assertive!

Practice & Speak to the Point

Of course, it is not wrong to stand up for oneself but it is important to manage your composure however inconveniencing the situation is.

Meaning, it is not good for the DIL to be triggered of the situations & pass on inappropriate comments..

Ensure Never To Deviate from the Point Of Your Discussion

No matter how cold the relationship is with your in-laws, you should know what you are speaking.

Heated arguments would sure evoke unnecessary talks and make the situation worse. So ensure not to bring up any bitter instances from the past.

Number two is, speak less and that’s a significant hack to maintain a cordial relationship with your overbearing in-laws in the long run.

Be Sensible and Clear, That’s The Best Way Forward, Dear Daughter-in-Law

At times things could turn frustrating with the In-Laws. You might have a view, they might have a view. But should that give rise to a debate, things get heated up between the two parties.

To avoid any such bitterness, it is important to handle the situation appropriately and with clarity.

So Better Talk with Substance, Let It Be Subtle yet Powerful

Take these 2 scenarios –

Daughter in law 1 – “I will go to my Parent’s house no matter what ” 

Daughter in law 2 – “My Parents are feeling lonelier. So I am planning to visit them”

Out of these two, which approach looks less-conflicting yet assertive?

Is it not the second daughter-in-law who is sounding a lot sensible than the first one?

So number three – Instead of being Crude, when you ensure to sound more sensible, it would automatically ensure cordiality in your relationship with your overbearing in-laws.

Always Be Genuine With Your In-Laws No Matter How They Are

Your In-laws need not necessarily be on the wrong side always. Knowingly or unknowingly, DILS commit mistakes too. But then, would they find the courage to admit them?

In a Qualitative Study of mother-in-law, daughter-in-Law relationships published by Nuner, Emmons, daughters-in-law who changed their stance in a Positive way happened to establish a good relationship with their In-Laws.

how to maintain a cordial relationship with your overbearing in-laws


Dear Daughter-in-Law, It Is Not Wrong To Apologize For Your Mistakes

When daughters in law make it a habit to accept and apologize for their mistakes genuinely, they will automatically earn respect for themselves.

More or less, this would also set the plank straight for the daughters-in-law to strike the chord right with their In-laws in the long run, isn’t it?

Limit seeking Validation From Your Overbearing In-Laws

It is ABSOLUTELY NOT WRONG FOR married women to have their views and act accordingly.

This is possible only when they realize that they need not seek Approval from their in-laws for each and everything.

Daughters-in-Law Should Not Hold themselves Back from Pursuing their Thoughts

The problem with most daughters-in-law is that they hold a lot of inhibitions about their in-laws and fear what kind of a reaction their actions would bring on them.

To all such DILS –

Please understand that you are living your own life and you need not seek validation from your in-laws OR anyone for that matter.

If you feel like going out with your husband, do it.

If you feel like visiting your parents, do it.

What is the need to worry what your in-laws would think? As long as you are not doing anything wrong, just give them the information they need to know and mind your work.

By making this a practice, daughters-in-law will not only create a space for themselves but also make their in-laws adapt to that space.

The more the daughters-in-law retain their own selves, the better it is for them to maintain a cordial relationship with their overbearing in-laws.

Seek Your Spouse’s Intervention Wherever Necessary!

Whenever you get a feeling that you cannot handle your in-laws on your own, approach your husband.

Call Your Partner For help While Handling Sensitive Issues

It is understood that most DILS under most circumstances cannot openly express their thoughts to their in-laws. 

It could be something that you don’t like about your in-laws.

Or it could be when you want to communicate something sensitive to your in-laws.

This is when your spouse’s intervention should come handy and help you maintaining peace in your relationship with your in-laws.

Dear Daughter-in-law,  Never Forget That You Have Decorum and Self-Respect To Maintain

No matter how annoying the in-laws are, if you react, you will end up handling your in-laws disrespectfully.

Do Not Lose Your Character At Any Cost

This is why you should consciously dictate yourself to stay within your limits when around your in-laws.

Just imagine how bad it gets when a daughter-in-law loses her temper and raises her voice against her in-laws. Wouldn’t she be losing her dignity & character as a whole?

Showing Respect is fundamental and Daughters-in-law should never compromise on that aspect.

However overpowering the in-laws are, speak up only when required and do so formally. This would ensure to save your self-respect as well.

Never Be Revengeful Against Your In-Laws

It’s natural for women to store negative instances from their past and hold grudge against their in-laws.

When such an attitude is seeded and becomes deep-rooted, it would for sure shatter the relationship with their in-laws.

If Possible, Daughters-in-Law Should Sort Out Their Differences With The In-Laws

This is why, if it is possible, make an attempt to iron out your differences with the in-laws then and there.

Be considerate enough and forgive your in-laws however bad they are; for by doing that, you will be relieving yourself of the pain you are carrying within.

Ignore Your In-Laws’ Annoying Behaviour

Some in-laws keep commenting the same thing over and over, that it turns frustrating for the DILS to handle.

To cite an example, I often see my mother commenting on my sister-in-law that she could dress better and wear a better attire.

And the same she does with me as well.

Being a daughter, I know my mother well, so her comments never affect me. On the other hand, how could I expect my sister-in-law to not be offended of my mother’s remarks?

Guard Yourself From Your In-Law’s Annoyingly Repetitive Behaviour

But then, it is something my mother does always and I understand that she is far too aged to change her behaviour.

As a well-wisher, I told my sister-in-law to just ignore her behaviour as we cannot change my mother at her age.

So Understand that your in-laws are aged too and it is impossible to change their behaviour & ideologies for their age.

If you could understand this and ignore your in-laws whenever they annoy you, your relationship with them will stay unstained.

Keep Yourself Occupied

Housewives face the maximum wrath of their over-bearing in-laws day in and day out. But wouldn’t that affect their Sanity?

To avoid such situations, it is better for the daughters-in-law to keep themselves occupied with other activities.

Daughters-In-Law Should Be Financially Independent

When you are working, you don’t have time to engage in unnecessary conversations with your in-laws.

Plus you earn a place for yourself in your marital home because you are financially independent.

Again this would indirectly help retaining cordiality in your relationship with the in-laws.

You Should Never Over-Engage With Your In-Laws

Even if you are a part of their family, you don’t have to necessarily share your personal affairs with your in-laws.

Daughters-in-Law Should Only Share What is Necessary With Their In-Laws

You know what happens when you share each and everything with your in-laws? Be it about things that concern your family OR your friends OR any issues you might be facing at work, it might cause friction. .

So it is not advisable for the daughters-in-law to give way for arguments that could result in bitterness in unexpected ways.

Attempt To Make Your In-Laws feel Secure

Whether you are living with your in-laws OR not, talking to them whenever possible will keep your relationship with them intact.

Check on Your In-Laws Once in a While

When away on a business tour OR quick trips to parental homes, you could check on your in-laws to let them know that you have not forgotten them.

Creating a secure feeling in them would keep them comfortable and happy, thus paving the way for a cordial relationship.

Now please don’t ask me if I follow it – Let me tell you, I am not a phone-person, so I don’t really fit into this category!

I have written a whole blog on the signs of an Insecure MIL, you could check it here if you want to 🙂

how to maintain a cordial relationship with your overbearing in-laws

Inputs from a Study on Gender and Stress by American Psychological Association


In hindsight, daughters-in-law should never repent their actions as they cannot undo them. 

Hence, no matter how irrational OR mindless OR authoritative OR overpowering your in-laws are, keep all these Points in mind and follow them religiously. It will help you in cementing a cordial relationship with your in-laws in the long run!

Let me know how this blog helped you in maintaining cordial relationship with your overbearing in-laws in the Comments section below, I would love to hear from you 🙂