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9 Ways Your Parents Can Ruin Your Marriage. And How You Can Deal With Them!

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One of the causes of married couples fight has to do with their parents, and all the intrusive ways the older folks make their presence loom over the union.

While parents mean well most of the time, there are some times you wish they wouldn’t just drop by and imperiously insert themselves into the life you’re building together.

Here are some ways parents can actually tear your marriage apart, and what you and your spouse can do to tactfully and respectfully set boundaries:

#1. Suddenly showing up without notice and overstaying their welcome

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Photo credit: myfirstapartment

Some parents are still on protective mode and want to know everything that’s going on in your lives, but the best way to tell them you need your privacy is to set up rules about calling before visits, mentioning they may accidentally walk in on you having sex to curtail the sudden intrusions once and for all. Because what parent wants to get an eye-full of their offspring doing the nasty, right?

#2. Assuming you’ll follow in their footsteps just because you’re their child

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Photo credit: JW

Whether its who wears the pants in the family, when to start having children, how many kids to have, or how to raise them, some parents believe you’ll observe the same rituals and traditions they had in their own marriage. The best way to disabuse them of this notion is to thank them for their opinions, but firmly convince them each marriage is different, and you and your spouse have made your own decisions as to where your union is headed, and how.

#3. They keep providing for everything they think you need

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Photo credit: Focus on the Family

Like a house, a car, a vacation, or your child’s tuition. While it seems a relief to have them spring for these necessities, don’t be fooled into thinking the gifts don’t come with strings attached, because pretty soon, your parents are likely to dictate every single move in your marriage without you being able to say anything. Be kind about refusing, and set rules about gifts not costing more than a certain amount, like say $100. While it may take longer for you and your partner to save for that dream house or a long-coveted vacation in Hawaii, it will make it all worthwhile once you finally reach your goals because you know you both worked hard to make them happen.

#4. Putting your spouse down, or bad-mouthing them

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Photo credit: Dr. Prem

A lot of parents believe no one is perfect enough for their child, and they may feel it is their duty to lay on the criticism, whether or not your spouse is in the same room. Instead of just keeping silent and making them feel they have a right to say bad things about your partner anytime they want, tell them firmly that you have made your choice and you are happy with it, and they may either be nice to your significant other, or you’ll have to stop seeing them altogether.

#5. They criticize your marriage

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Photo credit: Woman's Day

Perhaps because of #2, where you have chosen to have a different marriage your parents had, your folks may start nitpicking about how you and your spouse live your lives – from the home you’ve chosen, from the number of children you have, or the lack thereof, and even to your lifestyle. Stand by the choices you and your partner have made. While your parents may vent their opinions, it is your marriage after all, and not theirs.

#6. They expect you to observe the same family traditions and rituals

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Photo credit: Top Best

When you got married, you became a part of two families, yours and your spouse’s. So if your parents become incensed over your attending an in-law’s birthday dinner instead of visiting them for the weekend, explain its a give and take between your two families. And always make sure you inform your folks of your plans beforehand to prevent any misunderstandings later.

#7. They aren’t ideal parents and have made a mess of their own marriage

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Photo credit: huffingtonpost

So your dad is an alcoholic, your mom has been married more than a couple of times, and they fight like cats and dogs. Learn from their example, and instead of falling into the same pattern, set all your energies into making your own marriage the best you can make it.

#8. They spoil your kids rotten

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Photo credit: hughash

This is unavoidable, true. Grandparents are known to circumvent all the rules for their grandkids, particularly the ones mommy and daddy have set. And while you will find your children loaded up with sweets or staying up way past their bedtime, try to curtail this occurrence by repeatedly reminding your parents of your rules (the same ones they set for you when you were a kid), and shortening their visits to limit their influence on your children.

#9. Its your spouse’s parents who are the repeat offenders

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Photo credit: Psycop

Instead of attacking your in-laws directly and making enemies for life, have an honest talk with your partner about how you feel. This way, you can both team up your efforts into making the in-law situation more bearable instead of allowing it to become worse.

How have you dealt with parental interference in your own marriage?

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