When a spouse is overly dependent on your in-laws, how do you cope?
Years before you even met, your spouse has had a supportive community around them. Their family has been through them since childhood and have an important place in his life. This does not change when you get married. As they say, when you marry—in the Philippines, at least—you’re tying the knot with an entire family. So it’s natural for the lines to get blurred. When does their involvement in your life become a threat to your marriage?
First off, you need to assess just why your spouse seems to be relying more on their family—your in-laws—than on you, who is supposed to be their partner in life. Are there needs they’re not expressing to you and what’s stopping them from doing so? The only way to get to the bottom of it is not to sweep things under the rug. Talk to your spouse. Chances are, they don’t even notice that their closeness and dependence on their family is causing strain in your relationship.
The key to drawing the line is valuing their role in your partner’s life
Know that even when you’re married there will be other relationships in your life that require attention if you are to grow and constantly improve as a person. Your spouse has a similar need. There will be times when he will need support and to connect with those other than you. Respect that their relationship with their family is important.
It’s also important to work on your own relationship with your spouse’s family. Make an effort to establish ties with them instead of expending too much energy on trying to get your spouse on your side all the time. Strong marriages are build upon love, trust, and respect, often not just between the two you but between your loving families.
This article was first published on The Asianparent Philippines