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Those in-laws


A very sensitive area for men in anger management are in-laws. They can have a lot of power, influence and toxicity if they are given it. It’s up to the couple to define what is OK and what is not OK. In many respects this can be harder in immigrant families than N American ones as the” family” in some cultures is more important than the couple. They may have chosen the partner and have assumed role which could work over seas but not here in N America. This can be further exacerbated by them moving permanently or for long periods of time.

246 inlaws

 

 

 

Either side can be very vulnerable to attacks from in-laws, they may not be direct but remarks can be loaded with criticism under the  guise of advice. It is up to the couple to create and enforce boundaries in order to protect themselves. Often daughters will talk too much with their mothers rather than their partners and then say “My mother says…”

So what is the man’s role? It is his partnership that is paramount. He needs to protect and respect his spouse and his family. It’s not his job to criticize her family but it is his job to voice his feelings to his spouse and have her deal with the in-laws. Or equally if his mother is critical of his wife, his obligation to protect his wife and tell mother to butt out.  Yet in such a way as to stay emotionally detached.

The temptation is to revert to the parent child relationship, it has a powerful chemistry. Moreover the parents are not going to change. So it is up to the man to not be a boy again and to  assert his rights and responsibilities as a man to keep his on family whole.

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