Ask The Swag Gal (August 21, 2009)

Happy Friday Swag Nation!

Let me start off by saying “thank you” to everybody who submitted their questions this week! There were so many quality questions that it was nearly impossible choosing only a few of you to reward. That said, here are the Swaggernauts that will see a rewarding surprise the next time they log into their Swag Bucks accounts:

westiemom – (“Do you think a woman should even have to play down her intelligence just to please a man’s ego?”)

Mommaofmany – (“How can parents help the kids to unwind after they get home?”)

ravenswood – (“I work in an office with several hundred people; and of those, about 80% have school age children. Nearly every day (and definitely every holiday) someone brings in a catalog of items that their child is selling to raise money for their school, their team, their church, etc. Over the course of a year, it adds up to a lot of $20 donations. How can I politely tell people that I am not able or not interested in contributing to these causes any longer? I’ve purchased my share of giftwrap and Girl Scout cookies. It’s just overwhelming. Help.”)

Congratulations to the three of you. I look forward to answering your questions in future installments of “Ask The Swag Gal”! Of course, that brings us to today’s question courtesy of Mary L., from New York, New York.

Most of my married friends don’t like their in-laws, myself included. What can I do to make things more pleasant in dealing with them. There are some cultural and religious differences involved as well. Or is everyone who gets married doomed to dislike their in-laws.

Does anybody else’s imagination immediately flash to Meet the Fockers?! Come on…Robert De Niro? Talk about a frightening father-in-law! On a more serious note, dealing with the in-laws is a tough issue. On one hand they are your family now, so you have to put forth effort to create a healthy relationship. On the other hand, in-laws tend to behave in ways sometimes that overstep their boundaries (i.e. butting into your personal life; marriage; raising your children; etc.). It’s difficult to wear a happy face when half the things they do or say gets under your skin. If you’re feeling this way, consider some of the following to help you cope with the “In-Law Invasion”.

If something they say or do bothers you…..

Address it directly. Don’t let it eat you up inside until you ultimately have a breakdown. Instead, confront the issue and let them know that it is either not their business or their place to have a say. Eventually they will get the hint that they need to back off a bit and let you live your own life without their 24/7 input. (Remember to do this kindly, you don’t want to hurt their feelings or be pushy). In the long run, you will avoid having unresolved issues with one another.

Don’t take yourself or the situation too seriously. Have your sense of humor intact. Insults and criticism tends to roll off the shoulders much easier if you let things go and just laugh at it. Even better, once your in-laws see that they’re words don’t phase you, they may begin to ease up on the critiques and comments. 

If you have to spend undesired time with them…

Discuss this issue with your spouse first. Let he/she know how you feel and devise a plan or think of a code word that you can use when you both feel it is time to leave. This will eliminate any problems when you are actually there.

Dealing with in-laws can be very complicated and there’s certainly no way we can address all the issues you might encounter in one short blog post. Just remember that every problem has a diplomatic solution. Odds are you’re going to be spending many years of your life in the company of in-laws. Learning how to properly address the bumps along the road will help save you a lot of heartache, time, and possibly even your marriage.

Good luck!

Keep sending your questions to Have a safe and fun weekend, and I’ll see you next week!