How to Deal With Disrespectful In-Laws?

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Woman having an argument with a man - How to Deal With Disrespectful In-Laws?

When you marry someone or are together for an extended period, you don’t just have to worry about your relationship. Most of the time, your relationship includes not only you and your partner but also your friends and family.

In particular, a family can be quite tricky, especially if you have a rocky relationship with the in-laws.

There are many reasons why this may be, but one may be because you’re dealing with some very disrespectful individuals and because of their relationship with your partner, you may find it challenging to address the issues.

There are different things you can do to deal with disrespectful in-laws. For example, you can have open, honest communication with your partner and become a united front or try to reduce the time you spend with them.

These are just a couple of ideas of ways that you can deal with in-laws that are disrespectful or maybe promote a toxic relationship between the two of you.

If you’re struggling with this, it can be challenging and have a high impact on your overall relationship, so we completely understand wanting to figure out ways to work through this.

Because we know how difficult it can be, we thought we’d put together this quick article that maybe could give you some ideas on how to deal with this situation constructively and successfully.


Is This Common?

The humorous stereotype of the disapproving in-laws and snarky comments is there for a reason.

Though it is not something that happens every single time and plenty of couples have a wonderful relationship with their in-laws, quite a few struggle with this aspect of their relationship.

This is especially true if they are disrespectful and not accepting of the relationship. But just because the relationship starts like that doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to stay that way.

There are ways you can work on your relationship with your in-laws, and if that doesn’t work, there are also tactics that you can utilize to ensure that when you do have to, you can handle the situation with maturity and calmness.

Understanding this will help you navigate through this but only if you have an open dialogue with your partner.


How Can You Deal With It?

Having a bad relationship with your in-laws can put a lot of strain on your marriage. They are an integral part of your and your partner’s lives, and having to deal with constant disrespect or a toxic environment can cause tension between you and your partner.

That being said, there are ways that you can deal with disrespectful in-laws and still maintain a strong and cohesive relationship. Here are a few of our suggestions on ways that you can deal with toxic for disrespectful in-laws:


  • Be open and honest with your partner so they can understand how you’re feeling and where you’re coming from. Once this is done, then the two of you can form a united front.
  • Be respectful but also stand your ground when it comes to these in-laws being disrespectful.
  • Ensure that you are setting clear boundaries for what you accept and won’t accept when it comes to communication and interaction with your in-laws.
  • Suppose even after having open communication and being very clear with your boundaries, they still tend to be disrespectful or create a toxic environment. In that case, you may reduce your time spent with them.
  • Try to keep your partner’s feelings in mind.


This is a tense situation, and they find themselves in the middle quite a bit, so understanding their feelings and how their relationship is with their family can help you find ways to deal with disrespectful in-laws.


Should You Confront Them About It?

There are a lot of things that could come from you confronting your disrespectful in-laws. In some ways, it could potentially help, especially if they’re unaware that this is how they’re coming off.

But on the flip side, it could also cause a lot of tension and stress and lead to fractures within a relationship.

This is why, before you talk about confronting your disrespectful in-laws, you and your partner need to sit down and have a long discussion.

You need to listen to how they feel and they, in turn, need to understand where you’re coming from. By having these open conversations, you’ll be able to decide whether it’s simple boundaries that need to be set or if an actual confrontation is necessary.


How Long Does It Take to Improve Your Relationship?

Whether it’s differences in culture, socioeconomic upbringing, or religion, There are many reasons why you and your in-laws just can’t seem to get this relationship on the right track.

Unfortunately, depending on how stubborn both parties are and how often you get together, it could potentially take a long time for your relationship with your in-laws to improve.

Many relationships between spouses and in-laws never completely improve. But there are some things you could potentially do that may help you improve your relationship.

Besides being open with your feelings and trying to understand where they come from, you can also try:


  • showing interest in things that matter to them
  • trying to remain flexible and understanding while still being firm in your boundaries
  • sometimes it may simply be a thing of contact and so spending more time with them may get them to know you better and therefore earn more respect
  • try as hard as you can not take it personally. A lot of the time, being negative about the interaction can only exacerbate your feelings and worsen your relationship.


Is It OK to Break Any Contact If It Doesn’t Work?

It’s sad to say, but just like with any relationship, there comes a time when there is no longer room for compromise and empathy finds itself thrown out the window.

If you’ve tried everything you possibly can, and yet the in-laws are still disrespectful and create a toxic environment, it may come time for you to sit down and discuss them.

This is a hard conversation with their families that you’re talking about. But if during the whole process, you’ve been open and honest with how the in-laws make you feel and have come together as a couple, then this may not be a surprising conversation.

The decision to cut ties is a big one and must be done with at most respect and care. You need to make sure you consider the ramifications and aren’t doing this out of anger.

All the issues need to be addressed practically, and if there are children involved, there has to be a heightened level of consideration in handling that particular issue.

In the end, though, this has to be a united decision and may be one of the most challenging ones you make in your whole relationship.


Final Thoughts on How to Deal With Disrespectful In-Laws

Being disrespected and living in a toxic environment damages one’s mental and physical health.

With friendship or acquaintances, it’s hard to handle disrespect, but when it has to do with your immediate family, that adds a whole different layer of considerations that must be made.

In this article, we’ve talked about many ways to deal with the toxic or disrespectful in love and improve the relationship. In the end, though, it must be about you and your partner’s marriage and what is best for you as a unit.