7 Signs Your In-Laws Are Toxic

Watch out for these signs of an unhealthy family situation.

Last updated on Feb 24, 2023

toxic in-laws Matheus Bertelli via Pexels

By Tylia Flores

Nowadays, dating can be difficult. However, it’s even more difficult when you have future in-laws that are toxic.

If you’re looking for a long-term partner, as opposed to casual dating, then unbearable in-laws might be a reason for you to reconsider the relationship.

RELATED: 8 Small But Powerful Ways To Fix Your Toxic Relationship With Your In-Laws


7 signs of toxic in-laws

1. They are always in your business.

This is a huge red flag. They may be your partner’s parents, but they don’t have a role in your relationship, especially when you’re in a disagreement with your SO. They’re always going to influence your relationship, and nobody needs that headache.

2. They belittle you and your choices.

When I was with my ex, his parents would belittle me when I would drink with a friend or do things to better myself. This is a major sign that your future in-laws are toxic and it’s time for you to run.

They should be supportive, not put you down!


3. They give you a set of rules to follow when it comes to dating their child.

My ex’s mother gave us a list of rules to follow, and if they weren’t met, she would punish him by taking his phone away for a day or two. Keep in mind we were 20 years old.

This is extremely controlling and not something you should tolerate.

4. They’re always influencing your partner’s life choices.

This is a bad sign about your in-laws and your partner. As adults, we are in charge of our own lives. Parents should not try to make every decision for their adult children.

Moreover, your partner should be setting boundaries with parents that try to do so. If they don’t, you should have an honest conversation with them or rethink the relationship.


Signs of toxic in-laws

RELATED: 5 Ways To Have A 'Working' Relationship With Difficult In-Laws

5. They start fights over the littlest things.

No one should have to deal with needless fighting all the time. When I was with my ex, his family would start fights over any little thing that they disagreed with.

For example, one time, I posted something on Facebook about my celebrity crush, Blake Shelton, and this caused a big fight to the point where I didn’t speak to my ex for 4 days. It’s way too much of a headache than it’s worth to deal with in-laws like this.


6. They make you ask permission to buy gifts for your partner.

Imagine that you have to get approval before going gift shopping for your partner.

This is a major sign of having toxic in-laws! It shows that they want to have complete control over the small things, and they will do anything to get it.

7. They have complete control over your partner’s daily schedule.

I wish I had realized how problematic this was when I was with my ex. His parents would have complete control over what he did throughout the day, from watching television to reading books.


Even if they live in the same town, they shouldn’t keep managing your partner as if he or she still lives under their roof. Plus, the in-laws are most likely to do the same thing if you were to get married.

RELATED: How To Deal With In-Laws Who Don't Like You

Tylia Flores is an author and a writer for Unwritten and Digital Fox.