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Dealing with a Meddling In-Law

When an overly controlling in-law meddles in a marriage, anger and desperation can rise very quickly to the surface. The strong familial bonds can leave you feeling fairly helpless to change anything. You realize you are “stuck” with the person, after all, and it can begin to seem that you are being tyrannized. While it is good to stay in the place of unconditional love toward your in-law, you still have the responsibility to hold them accountable for mean-spirited words and actions.

That said, it’s important to remember that a meddling in-law may have some unhappiness within them that is the result of something or someone in their own past. Exercise care and compassion, but remember that it is you and your spouse’s responsibility to set realistic boundaries that your meddling in-law cannot cross.

To Try: Have a conversation with your spouse about at least three boundaries that you will establish with your meddling in-law and before you implement them, pray together for a spirit of peace and compassion. Remember that God loves you, your spouse, and your meddling in-law!

Scripture for Reflection: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

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