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How to maintain a cordial relationship with your overbearing in-laws in this patriarchal society? Don’t you think it’s an arduous task? 

No matter how empowered women are these days, their in-laws’ obstinate mindset have been causing severe friction to their relationship.  That said, how could daughters-in-law establish cordiality with them?

What could be those possible ways that will help them handle their overbearing in-laws delicately? Well, let me help you find solutions through this blog.

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

How to Maintain a Cordial Relationship with Your Overbearing In-Laws – 12 Sure-Shot Ways JUST FOR YOU!

In order to make it easier you, I have come up with a list of ways to manage your overbearing in-laws in a smooth manner. Read on to find what they are.

1. Daughters in Law Should be Assertive

Arguments ensue in all families; only that they should end on a healthier note.

Daughters in Law should speak clearly and Confidently

Once I had a travel plan to attend my brother’s friend’s marriage with my family in a different city. And we decided to visit a few famous temples along with the wedding which had long been on my list of pending visits.

As I discussed with my mother in law of the plan, she did not seem to 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 and simply said, “I am going, amma”. 

And she could not say anything. 

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

Rather if I had turned harsh and fought back, it would have led to unsought for skirmishes between us.

By being assertive, I not only remained calm, composed but also within the confines of the respect-line. That, I believe, saved my relationship with my mother in law from irreparable damage that day. 

Though the discussion gave rise to a conflict of interests, the way I handled it paved the way for retaining the existing cordial relationship with my overbearing mother in law. Don’t you agree?

2. Daughters in Law should Speak to the Point

Certain demanding situations at home could give rise to DILS speaking up for themselves, I am sure you would have been in one yourself. No, it is not wrong to stand up for yourself, just that you should ensure not to lose your composure however inconveniencing the situations are.

Meaning, DILS should put across their argument concisely. Rather, when you make the discussion lengthy and inappropriate, it would only aggravate the situation further.

Daughters in Law should not Deviate from their Discussions

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

Heated arguments would for sure provocate and bring out unnecessary subjects to the fore.

In order to prevent that, daughters in law should ensure not to bring up bitter instances from their past which would only give rise to chaos in the family.

This practice when cultivated properly, would save daughters in the law from straining their relationship with their overbearing in-laws thereby maintaining a cordial relationship with them.

3. Daughters in Law should be Sensible and Clear

Frustrating situations with In-Laws are inevitable. You might have a view, they might have a contrary view. But should that give rise to debate, things get heated up between the two parties.

In order deal with such instances, DILS should handle the matter with appropriate relevance and clarity.

Daughters in Law Should ONLY Talk with Substance

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 woman?

So instead of being Crude, when daughters in law ensure to sound more sensible and clear, it would automatically ensure cordiality in their relationship with their overbearing in-laws.

4. Daughters in Law should ensure that they are Genuine

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

It is not always the In-laws who are at the wrong side. Knowingly or unknowingly, Dils commit mistakes too. But then, would they find the courage to admit them?

Daughters in Law should Apologize for their Mistakes

As a Daughter in Law myself, I feel there is no harm in daughters in law directly apologizing to their in-laws when they go wrong. Isn’t that one’s moral after all?

The other day, by mistake, I dropped a vessel on my mother in law’s feet.

I genuinely apologised to her for that and she was okay with it.

On the contrary, Had I not apologised to her, wouldn’t she have felt infuriated?

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?

5. Daughters in law should Limit seeking Validation from their Overbearing In-Laws

Is it wrong for a married woman to have independent thoughts and views?

As grown-ups, it is significant for the dils to 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 build an invisible fear-wall around themselves unknowingly.

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 want to go out with your spouse, do it.

If you want to go to your parent’s home, do it.

If you want to visit your friends, just do it.

You don’t have to get that nod from your in-laws for each and everything.

It really doesn’t matter what your in-laws 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 their own selves but also make their in-laws adapt to that space; isn’t that an appropriate way to establish understanding in such a relationship?

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.

Also Read :: Are Indian daughters-in-law Taken For Granted?

6. Daughters in law should seek their Spouse’s Intervention Wherever Necessary!

It is always good for the daughters in law to take their spouse’s help when dealing with their overbearing in-laws.

Daughters in Law should use their Partner’s help To Handle Sensitive Issues Around Their In-Laws

I am pretty sure that most daughters in law cannot openly speak or express their thoughts to their in-laws under certain circumstances. And that’s when their spouse’s intervention would come handy.

Probably it could be something that daughters in law don’t like about their in-laws.

Or it could be when the daughters in law want to convey a complex message to their in-laws.

Such issues could be handled easily when they seek their spouse’s help  – This would not only help them out of their problem but also retain cordiality in their relationship with the in-laws.

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

7. Daughters in Law should Maintain their Decorum and Self-Respect

No matter how annoying the in-laws are, the daughters in law should always ensure to be respectful of them under any circumstances.

Daughters in Law should not Lose their Character At Any Cost

Daughters in law should consciously or subconsciously dictate their minds to stay within their limits around their in-laws.

Just imagine how the situation would look like when a daughter in law loses her temper and raises her voice against her in-laws. Wouldn’t that affect her character?

Showing Respect is something fundamental and Daughters in law should never compromise on that aspect as it would take a hit on their characters.

However overpowering the in-laws are, daughters in law should neither be submissive, nor arrogant. They should speak up only what is required and deal with things formally and wisely. This would ensure to save their self-respect as well.

8. Daughters in law should Not be Revengeful Against Their In-Laws

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

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

Daughters in Law should Sort out their Differences with the In-Laws

Though it is complex, daughters in law should attempt to iron out their differences with their in-laws then and there.

If possible, daughters in law should be considerate enough and forgive their in-laws however bad they are, for by doing that, the daughters in law would be doing a great service to themselves. 

Meaning, they would prevent their minds from getting clogged with unnecessary negativity, as well retain cordiality in their relationship with the in-laws.

9. Daughters in Law should learn to Ignore their In-Laws’ Annoying Behaviour

It is important for daughters in law to understand that their in-laws are aged and that it would be impossible for them to change their character or attitude for their age.

Daughters in Law should not React to their In-Law’s Annoyingly Repetitive Behaviour

For example, I often see my mother commenting on my sister in law that she should dress neatly and in good attire.

And the same she does with me as well.

Being a daughter, I know my mother better, so her talks never affect me. On the other hand, how could my sister in law not feel offended of my mother’s behaviour?

But then, its something my mother does always and there is nothing one could do to stop her.

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

Such is the kind of attitude, all daughters in law should develop under similar circumstances, as that would keep their relationship with their in-laws unstained.

10. Daughters in Law should Keep themselves Occupied

Housewives face the maximum wrath of their over-bearing in-laws as they would have to put up with them day in and day out.

But wouldn’t that affect their Sanity?

In order to avoid such situations, it is better for the daughters in law to keep themselves occupied through other activities.

Daughters should be Financially Independent

As a daughter in law myself, I know how important it is for the daughters in law to be working as that would save them from a lot of hassles at home.

This again would pave way for the daughters in law to retain cordiality in their relationship with the in-laws.

11. Daughters in Law shouldn’t Over-Engage with their In-Laws

Though daughters in law are part of the family, they don’t have to necessarily share their personal matters with their overbearing in-laws.

Daughters in Law Should only Share what is Necessary

When the daughters in law share each and everything with their in-laws, be it about things that concern their families or their friends or even issues at work, it would more or less lead to chaos in the family in unprecedented ways. 

Under any circumstances, daughters in Law should make sure that they do not give way for arguments that are less sought for as that would only result in disputes and friction in such delicate relationships.

In order to maintain a cordial relationship with the overbearing in-laws, daughters in law should only discuss important things and stay within their limits.

12. Daughters in Law should make their In-Laws feel Secure

Whether the daughters in law live with their overbearing in-laws or not, talking to them once in a while would retain the good rhythms of their relationship intact.

Daughters should Check on their In-Laws Once in a While

When away on a business tour or quick trips to parental homes, daughters in law should ensure to check on their in-laws whenever possible to let them know that they are not forgotten and that they have a person to take care of them at any time.

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

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

Just in case you need it, I have written a whole blog on the signs of an Insecure MIL, you could check it here 🙂

Better Late Than Never – Save Your Relationship With Your In-Laws NOW!

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 would not only defuse those untimely stir in your relationship, but also roll out the red carpet for you to shake hands with your overbearing in-laws – Go and Cement a cordial relationship with your In-Laws right away!

How do you think of these ways to dealing with your over-bearing in-laws? Do you have any point to add to this or wish to share your experiences?

Post them in the Comments section below, I would love to hear from you 🙂