I Might Ruin My Marriage Because I Can't Handle My In-Laws

She hates coming home and hides out in her room to avoid being judged on how she parents by them.

Woman crying, sad Liza Summer / Pexels

How a person interacts with their in-laws can really make or break a marriage.

The relationship between one woman and her husband’s parents is on shaky ground after the ‘mental torment’ she says has been inflicted on her. She’s resorted to ‘hiding in the room’ to avoid them and says her in-laws are ruining her marriage.

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Her in-laws don’t just stop in for a routine visit. Every time they come to visit, they stay for several months at a time.

In her story, shared in the subreddit, r/TrueOffMyChest, she started by making it clear that she doesn’t have a story of evil in-laws to share, but rather a consistent problem with her mother and father-in-law overstepping their boundaries.

According to her, “They come for several months at a time and start to take my role. Childcare. Cleaning. Home projects with my husband. Dinner. Each time I think it’ll be different, but it isn’t. I hate it. I tried to bond but with a language barrier I get confused stares.”


But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The woman also said that they correct her parenting style when it comes to the son her husband already had before the marriage, reprimand her for what she eats and drinks, and complain about how much time she spends on the phone. The constant scrutiny has led her to throw up her hands and say, “I hate that I will be with my stepson, and they’ll contradict my parenting.”

Her husband and his parents decided to buy a condo and add her to the paperwork without first discussing it with her.

The most recent slap in the face was when she was informed that she and her husband would be involved in the logistics of her in-laws buying a condo to live in. Although they won’t have to foot the bill, they will be a responsible party and have the purchase appear on their credit reports.


The worried wife said, “Instead of just having my entire summer ruined, I’ll now have a home on my credit that will make finishing school, as I need loans, difficult. I only earn 50k on my own and have a split $3300 mortgage.”

Photo: BearFotos

Now that she is in doubt about the family dynamics, she admits she did not have a clear understanding of her husband’s culture and how involved his parents would be in their lives and the rearing of their future kids. She feels excluded when his parents are around and is just going through the motions.


On her husband’s part, he thinks she is overreacting and refuses to acknowledge her concerns. Although she loves him deeply, she doesn’t believe they can be happy in the long run under the current circumstances.

“I love him so much, but I don’t think it’s enough for me to be ‘married’ to his parents too. I know I’m being weak, but I’ve opted to hide in my room unless I have to go to work.

The first commenter pulled no punches and advised, “Never ever ever cosign on a mortgage with someone else who you don’t wanna end up living there with unless it’s a business venture. Walk away. The other stuff sucked already, but this ain't no Sou-sou. You married him so the two of you can have your own life. And you don't have to accept an extended family and their expenses.”

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In order for a marriage to succeed, each partner has to set healthy boundaries with their own parents and encourage them to respect their spouse. 

Just because the in-laws are not flagrant with their disrespect and do it under the guise of helping doesn’t make it any less dysfunctional. They meet all of the criteria for being toxic in-laws, including getting into the couple’s business, belittling the wife’s choices, making rules and expecting her to follow them, and influencing their son’s life choices.

Her story is no different from those of many spouses. Opinions about raising children, differing perspectives, and conflicting cultures are some of the top reasons for tension with in-laws. The only way to resolve it is for a spouse to support his or her partner in building good relations with their parents.

Couples need their own space and opportunity to connect on a deep and personal level and the constant presence of others in the home can leave them feeling disconnected and devalued. The thing that makes a house a home is being able to be yourself. It should be a place of peace, love, and solitude.


The husband in this situation should address his wife’s concerns, set boundaries with his parents, and stop making life-changing decisions without his partner’s input. If not, the relationship will continue to deteriorate, and the marriage will end under conflict-ridden circumstances.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington. She covers lifestyle, relationship, and human-interest stories that readers can relate to and that bring social issues to the forefront for discussion.