Marriage Today | – Parents and In-laws | Marriage Today | Jimmy Evans

Even when we’re adults, relating with parents can be both a blessing and a challenge. Jimmy Evans shares proven guidelines for having successful relationships with parents and in-laws.

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About The Author

MarriageToday Since founding MarriageToday in 1994, Jimmy Evans and his wife Karen have encouraged and coached thousands of couples toward building rewarding marriages and healthy homes. MarriageToday. Jimmy and Karen know firsthand that no marriage is beyond hope. Their own marriage almost ended in divorce, but applying the principles they now teach saved their relationship. After 35 years together, they understand every couple has a 100% chance of success in marriage.

Comment (50)

  1. My mother inlow very often ask my husband to do things for her even though she has her own husband( my husband step dad) and younger son to help. Every time when she ask him to do somthing for her It makes me angry. I don't know what to do. i confronted her but she told me that something wrong with me. Help! I need an advice.

  2. My fiancé's Mother is very manipulative and spiteful. My fiancé's brother & His wife has been living with their Mother to help her out with bills because she made poor financial decisions. Long story short they are tired of living with her, bought a house and will be moving out and starting a family. Well now that his Mother knows she will no longer be able to collect their Money she has been trying to bully us into moving with her so we can help her pay her bills. Now why in the world would we do something like that when we have a house of our own, and will be married. We are a young couple and need our privacy. His Mother is acting as if her son is her boyfriend. I made it clear that I will not be moving in with her.

  3. My wife hangs on every word her parents say. Especially her father. His life revolves around her. He is more like her husband and father to our son. He even says he loves his grandson like he was his own son. She doesn't make any decisions without consulting him. And most decisions they make, I don't even get the descency to voice my opinion in the matter. It's go along or get out. The worst part is that there are 5 divorces between the two of her parents so it's like Stevie wonder asking ray Charles to help him safely cross a busy intersection. No matter how many times we hear the counselor say just what you have said, she runs back to her daddy and he just eats it up

  4. My husband a momma boy.he left two weeks ago haven't seen or heard from him. We have little ones. His mom lies for him. When we argue he runs to her. I hate it. Cuz makes her happy that she comes first. I'm tired of him. Been thinking of divorce he can keep his momma

  5. I'm on the verge of leaving my husband. he's such a mama's boy and has made it clear that HIS family is his everything that I can't say anything about them . I have had past issues with them.don't know what to do please pray for me.

  6. I needed to hear this. My husbands mother is a drug addict and my husband a clean recovering addict. My mother in law literally said she will do whatever to ruin our marriage. In my husbands face she smiles and as soon as he turns around she mouth bad stuff to me. No matter how many times I tell him his response is I cant stop her, so I'll go see her alone. They are on the phone EVERYDAY several times a day. This woman has told my son to f off n go die. He still took her side and when I try to tell him how I feel he throws scripture in my face. My marriage is doomed and hes the only one who doesn't see it. He also feels like he HAS to take care of her but he cant take care of himself. Especially with an addictive personality. Hes like a chamillion. Hes whom ever the person in front of him wants him to be ….oh gosh, I really need help!

  7. I can't say anything to my mother inlaw because she's bipolar. Before any one gets mad at me they actually told me I can't let her know when she's doing something that bothers me. I need to let her get into my pantie drawers rearrange everything. Also she just came in when I was induced for my first born. Idk about most women but I don't want my mother inlaw there when someone is feeling if I have dilated yet. My relationship is going well but this is messing it up. Because my husband won't support me in this issue.

  8. In laws destroyed my marriage. Just left my husband 2 days ago. They kept enabling my husband and took over my marriage and it escalated to my husband leaving me completely powerless in my marriage. I spent years in a controlling abusive marriage that my in laws not only enabled but excused and denied. My husband has a warrant for his arrest for domestic violence and has been in trouble to many times to count for domestic abuse. Please don't listen to the statement that it they give you money they have some say. That is exactly how narcissistic in laws and spouses take your power away and take control . They use money to buy their children and create monsters in the process. A marriage is a partnership between two people, a partnership cannot exist when you bring in a 3rd party. It's the sure fire way to destroy your marriage. Mothers must stop being so destructive to their children , a grown man does not need mothering. The only marriage any person is entitled to have control over is their own marriage, it's none of your business and It's meddling and intrusive to feel you have the right to have any say or influence in another person's marriage . Marriage was meant to be sacred , allowing others in destroys that bond . Why do so many parent keep making the same mistake. They are hurting so many marriage and creating so much conflict and stress in marriages they people they love. I have never once heard any person talking about how much they love their in laws meddling and how it really helps their marriage IF your child is married , stay out of it, don't encourage your child to tell you about marriage issues, that is to be discussed within the marriage,. If your intention is to help instead of intrude that is the only advice that should be offered.

  9. Amen. My wife and her father act like the married couple. He's been divorced 3 times and at some point gave up and groomed her to be his surrogate wife. They will praise god all day long until they hear this message. Then they'll give you the proverbial middle finger. They get nasty when you talk about boundaries and overstepping them. I've had to confront her dad directly and he calls me all sorts of things with my wife in tow to shut me up. 13 years of marriage counseling and seminars and podcasts and sermons that we've been to and heard the same message. After all these people saying the same thing, I'm the manipulator and asshole and need to grow up and so on and so on. One day I read a quote that sums it all up……..people that get angry when you set boundaries are the ones who benefited from you having none.

  10. My mother in-law is disrespectful, controlling, and completely overbearing. We lived with her for a short time and it was horrible. We have our place and it's the same thing, I'm at the point whereas I am ready to leave my wife

  11. You said if your in law gives you money they deserve more information, but what if my wife and I didn’t discuss asking them for the money and he just blurts our that I can’t afford it so have the mechanic call me directly and I get to make the decisions on your car because it’s my money? I said hold the phone in a nutshell only to have he and my wife tag team on me until I relented.

  12. So, because my FIL pays rent, he gets to tell me what to do? I could afford to live without him, but I can't afford to support him without his contribution to the household. He cannot afford to live on his own. I also have to loan him money every month. If I don't do what he says, he has tantrums. Sometimes he doesn't voice what he wants, but still has a tantrum if I don't do what he wants. Sometimes I don't know what I did wrong.

  13. I told my in laws that when I say no to something I dont need to explain why it's just no if it involves my kids or anything in general, feels like the question me or my reasonings. Was this wrong of me?

  14. I agree with you. However, when our parents get older our spouse should support us in that process. For example, if my parents live away he should come with me when I visit them, help me take care of some matters where they need help, etc

  15. My father in law says “nope that’s not how marriage works”. He tells me “she’s MY daughter”, “she’s my best friend”. According to our marriage counselor my wife and father in law have an enmeshed relationship with narcissistic tendencies and no matter how many classes we take; my wife continues to run to him as her savior. He forces his way into every aspect of our lives. He’s on our kids school board, volunteer bus driver so he goes on all the field trips (he also tells me “those are MY grandkids”). He’s in our church. I can’t go anywhere without his presence. He says my wife is his best friend and my wife says he will always be her number one man and he does whatever he can to make sure she sees him as the hero. I try to set boundaries with him just to be called a manipulator and listen to you this and you that and nothing I listen to him spout off about has anything to do with what I presented to him. I took this matter to my church and they said “this isn’t right” and then told me they aren’t marriage counselors and literally turned his back and walked away. My family is his hobby and he’s been divorced three times and is single. My wife tells me my happiness is not her responsibility but will tell you it’s her responsibility to make sure her daddy isn’t lonely. My wife just turned 40 and her phone was face down on the table and it rung. Her dad picked it up to see who was calling her. It took everything in me to not crush his face in. I’m sick of the disrespect to our marriage and my wife and I’m constantly having him project the disrespect onto me. This jezebel is wreaking havoc in our life and there is no peace. I’m drained.

  16. My husband's oldest sister was the problem in our marriage. As soon as she moved up to the US I noticed a change in my husband's attitude towards me. She was the reason for the first major argument we had in our marriage just one week after she came to the US. I realized I had to stand up to both her and my husband and place some firm boundaries around my home life. This caused a lot of issues as well but I wasn't budging. I later realized how intrusive she is with all her siblings. I think she feels like she had that right because she's the oldest. Well, she met her match with me because she's since backed off even though that strained any type of decent relationship she and I would have had. Oh well!!!

  17. My inlaws have absolutely run rampant through our marriage even though they have been cut out of our life. They have used their sphere of influence to cause us no end of pain, calling the hospital when our children were born, every time we had a child it was made into a traumatic experience. False accusations to CPS and Custody battles against the State, planting child pornography on our computer and trying to have us framed. They've paid unscrupulous underworld figures to bring harm upon me, which is now multi generational and those peoples children now target our children. I would be lying is I said my heart hasn't been ablaze with desires of payback and revenge. This is the workings of a Narcissistic mother in law that has brought our 20yr relationship to the brink and at this moment we are separated and holding on by a thread. We need a miracle from God, we need his protection but I feel as though he allows this to just run rampant on us.