There is nothing worse than an overbearing parent. Indeed there are tonnes of stories about parents who do not know boundaries and will not let their babies leave the nest in peace. Monster-in-law much?
Whether you asked for their opinions or not, some parents will let your partner know what they think of them, often crossing the line to even being disrespectful to their child’s significant other.
There are several red flags or warning signs that you may have meddling parents or in-laws.
Some parental interference is slight and subtle, while others have almost declared war on your relationship.
1. His mother inspects his white shirts! For her, they cannot be beige or eggshell. Madam has declared that her precious son must have white shirts for work so you had better go invest in some blue soap.
2. Your father refers to your husband as ‘de boy him’. To look at a grown man and reduce him to the level of ‘boy’ speaks to the utter contempt he has for your spouse. Fix it Jesus!!
3. The children must refer to them as Mrs. or Mr. so-so, not grandma or grandpa! Because you had the audacity to water down the gene pool, they are not readily interested in embracing your offspring.
4. When your mother-in-law comes to visit, she runs her hand over your furniture, checking for dust. Now the dust in your house is really none of her business but apparently, it will confirm to her if you can ‘keep house’ properly.
5. His mother constantly questions how you raise and discipline your children and overnight she has become ‘Doctor Ruth’ and is now a paediatrician as well as a child psychologist.
6. Your culinary capabilities are put to the test when his mother insinuates that you are not feeding him adequately and he is wasting away under your care.
7. Your father comes by uninvited and stays as long as he wants. Soon he will be demanding a key.
8. Your father-in-law takes his daughter shopping for furniture and accent pieces for YOUR home, thus picking out stuff without consulting you on items that will decorate or take up space in your home.
9. Your husband goes home daily to eat his mother’s cooking before coming home to yours! That is tantamount to betrayal!
10. Your parents refuse to sit down at any family gathering or even acknowledge your spouse as long as you are with them! Yup, it cannot get any worse than that.
You will have to decide to either cling to your partner or give up your relationship as you cannot make both parties happy.
If parents love you unconditionally, they will learn to at least be civil towards your spouse. If they are unwilling, you may very well have to love your parents …from a distance.