If you are facing a romantic relationship with Toxic In-laws involved, take a deep breath and slow down. Don’t end your relationship or pull away from your mate if their parents are abusive — give them the opportunity to explain to you how they feel knowing the people who they love most are attempting to harm or to triangulate the two of you.
The first step towards romantically surviving Toxic In-laws is to show a solid front with your spouse or your love interest that is healthy. Taking your mate’s side as if they rather than a birth parent — meaning “forsaking all others” — is actually part of the marital contract most couples sign up for when they marry.
Once a couple marries, they become family and parents of both parties as well as siblings, grandparents, and others outside the union become socially irrelevant. That does not mean what those folks say, think, or do does not matter. It does mean that when the proverbial ship is sinking both parties of a couple turn toward one another to bring along in their personal lifeboat.
Set and enforce boundaries with In-laws from the start of the relationship. Keep social interaction light and pleasant whenever possible in order to avoid family controversy.
Establish healthy boundaries with your In-laws about things like when they can and cannot simply drop by your house, when you prefer that they call (during non-emergency situations), and strive to ensure that they understand you are adults and they are people you love but who you will not interact with if they are socially violent, triangulating, striving to alienate your affection or that of your children from any loving party, or prone to manufacturing chaos.
Their behavior should be no less polite and professional towards their own child and that child’s mate than they would be to a judge, a person at their local church or house of worship, or to a client who walked into their office seeking to create a short or long term successful business arrangement.
Communicate to resolve conflicts with your mate first. Decide together if it is necessary to do or to say anything with or to a Toxic Parent or Toxic In-law together (noting a little listening and validation for the person harmed will ease anxiety and the person is not out of their mind for feeling hurt or being offended by a caustic remark or someone’s abusive behavior. It also goes a long way for the victim of a Hospitality Abuse purveying stranger).
After listening to what the Toxic In-law did or had to say to the targeted abuse victim, the person being triangulated between affection for their mate and their parents should also be heard about what their situation trapped in the middle of warring parties feels like.
Set realistic expectations from there. Oftentimes the best solution is to limit the time the mate is exposed to their love interest’s Toxic Parents while the Adult Child self-advocates and lets their Abuser know what is and what is not going to be tolerated in the relationship.
Never place the victim of abuse in the hot seat to defend themselves not only against their mate’s In-laws but against their mate themselves. Unless, that is, you want a divorce.
Keep your cool — and your sense of humor — when and if any Toxic Family members blurt their nonsense or start attention-demanding. When someone blurts insults they tend to reveal their personal life history as well as their own insecurities.
Sometimes remembering that the person doing the insulting or manufacturing chaos is behaving like an emotionally hedonistic child can help you decide when and if further enmeshing with Grandpa or Grandpa Cranky Pants further that day, week, month, or year is necessary to make their world or your own a better, more loving, or socially supportive place
What did the Monster-In-Law have to say about you or about your mate personally or professionally as of late? Watch the movie “Monster In Law” with actresses Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda to give yourself a spiritual uplift on particularly hard processing family trauma type days.
Listen for those pearls of wisdom the socially violent speaker juts. Depersonalizing the abuse while avoiding minimizing the medical and psychological impact their Narcissistic Abuse rituals have on you is key to getting past their malarkey.
Were the Social Predators made fun of for their looks, their weight, their height, their family social status, their wealth (or lack of funds)? Did their parents or grandparents role model dysfunction related to Somatic or to Cerebral low brow intellect or high brow Nurtured Narcissism?
Were they slut-shamed as a child, as a teenager, or as an adult by socially predatory parents or some other toxic group? Were they made to feel fear of losing control at some point of other people’s time and emotion?
Are they unable to express things safely in their own mind like complex emotions? Is their neuroplasticity in the process of freezing due to age or exposure to medicine or some other form of toxic neurochemical or substance?
Does the parent or set of parents doing the offending have issues related to the use of drugs, alcohol, or other addictions issues? Are they on or off the proverbial wagon and when was the last time they or you read literature from Al-Anon or attended a meeting?
Were their parents or grandparents alcoholics, violent, or in some way socially and emotionally handicapped and left with access to have and to raise children?
Do they have issues related to abandonment? Are they afraid if their child pair bonds with another adult that they will not be welcome or valued in their adult child’s life anymore?
Are they fearful of aging and envy your youth? Or are they simply aging Cluster B personality type people who are not pleased with anyone because they don’t physically grasp how to love or to like either of you?
Does the person manufacturing the chaos and harm to your life fear losing the time and attention or the affection of your mate?
If so, realize they may be trying to eliminate you from the picture by placing themselves in the emotional position of being their own adult offspring’s primary love interest — seeing you, the interloper, as their albeit twisted but still form of a romantic rival.
Such behavior from In-laws or from anyone else towards another human being in the 21st century is medically, morally, and legally not okay. Bullies are social Con Artists playing nothing more than sinister and life sabotaging “pay attention to me” kinds of games.
Refuse to enable abuse or your own social predation. Make yourself busy when they call and demand to share holidays. Take back control of your life, your privacy, and your family.
And before sending your children or child to go play house over at Toxic Grandparents houses, realize whatever made your mate suffer the most harm socially and emotionally in life as a direct or indirect result of knowing them is the only thing you are giving to your child by sending them like meat for Mommy Dearest and any of her Enabling Henchmen to devour.
Read up on things like how Borderline Personality Disorder and Golden Child Sibling Rivalry are nurtured. Save yourself and your children first from toxic NLP damaging exposure while being a social support person of affection to your mate.
If they love and like you, having a parent who does not agree with their summation of your worth in their life is truly a painful and emotionally traumatizing social fate. One that a proper adult respecting that they are not the person who has to have sexual chemistry with you would never in a million years wish on their own or on anyone else’s offspring.
If your mate comes with Toxic In-laws as baggage, read this article as many times again as you need to over and over in order to figure out what to do to survive them. No matter what their past or emotional circumstances, no parent has the right to behave in ways towards their child or towards their child’s mate that are rude, socially competitive, or in any way abusive.
Be the bigger person by engaging in self-care and limiting emotional as well as social enmeshment. Let the Abuser be the person reflecting on whether or not their strategy of striving to estrange you or your love interest from their own mate gets them invited to dinner more often than fate.
Their baggage is theirs. You and your partner have enough on your plate without needing to allow an interloper in your bedroom to actively or passively triangulate.