I often hear my friends complain on how they can’t get along with their parent-in-laws. May iba naman diyan, yung mga siblings-in-law ang hindi makasundo. This triggers tension in the family or worse, between you and spouse.
If you have this kind of problem, I have to tell you that you are not alone. Sa mga friends and mga kakilala ko pa lang, ang dami na nila so I guess maraming makakarelate sa problem na ito. It’s not surprising to have this kind of problem. When you married your husband, you didn’t just marry him. You actually married his family too whether you like it or not.
Baka mabwisit kayo sa akin because I will say that I am one of the lucky few who I do not have problems with my parents-in-law. Hindi nila kami pinapakialaman. I can say Alvin doesn’t have a problem with my side of the family too. Everything is all good in that aspect. However, I cannot say na never nagkaroon ng problem ever in our almost 9 years of marriage. What I can say is that everything is manageable because of what we did to prevent misunderstandings and because of our current set up now.
One, Wowa advised me that it is best if you do not live with your in-laws in the same house. Right after we got married, Alvin and I were actually invited by my MIL to live with them. We begged off. After a year or so, nagpatayo sila ng apartment beside their house so we can live near them. We begged off again. We begged off very politely with Alvin explaining to his mom that we wanted to try standing on our own. Kahit na saktuhan lang pera namin dati, we opted to rent a small, cramped house and lived there on our own. Wala naman masama dun and I think his parents understood. Pero the real reason behind that is we know that living with the in-laws, no matter how kind they are, can be a source of conflict between family members. Alvin knows about my resting b*tch face and I cannot mask what I really feel (lumalabas talaga mga bakla sa mukha ko), so iniwas na din niya ako sa future potential conflicts.
Second, it’s best if you have open communication with the in-laws. Establish the rules and boundaries. When they are in our house, our house rules governs. Bawal si Anika uminom ng coke often. She cannot eat chocolates. Kakain siya sa mesa. No gadgets. My in-laws and my side of the family know this. Hindi nila pinupush. However, ibang usapan na yan if nasa bahay ng grandparents si Anika. Pa-bebe, sobra!
Third, against quesihoda sinong in-law man yan, ang magkakampi dapat is yung mag-asawa. Your loyalty is always to your spouse. Walang laglagan. Dapat you have a united front. Pwera nga lang if loka loka mga asawa niyo and wala na talaga sa lugar. Kailangan na ng intervention yan. Pero worst case scenario na siguro yun. Otherwise, it’s a no-no when a spouse sides with his/her family. Apart sa nakaka-irita yun, well, nothing. Nakaka-irita talaga yun. Hahaha. Best if you resolve issues with the spouse. But you know, they said, never make your spouse choose between you and his family daw. At first, I didn’t agree with that. Pero not unless sobrang grabe na talaga ang ganapan, don’t do it. It will break your spouse because heller, that’s his/her family. Kung may choosing man na magaganap, for me, your spouse should choose you ng kusa without anybody making them choose. Hopefully naman you guys won’t need to come to that point.
Fourth, keep in mind that these people are your partner’s family. You still need to give the respect that is due to them. Diyan mo makikita yung breeding mo (and your patience of course). Remember, fighting back is not always the solution. Sometimes, silence speaks louder than words. Kung inaaway ka nila, deadmahin mo. What Sally says about Beth says more about Sally than of Beth, ika nga nila so remember that. Try understanding them too (kahit na sobrang hirap). Do not expect them to be the same as how oldies are in your family.
Fifth, know that it is not your responsibility to turn yourself to what your in-laws want you to be. You do not need to constantly prove yourself to them. Ang toxic nun, mga bakla. If hindi ka daw marunong magluto, get take out whenever they visit! Hindi ka daw marunong maglaba? Okay lang! You can afford naman to buy that 50k automatic washing machine. Ang gulo daw ng house mo? Okay lang! Masaya naman kayo and ang mga bata. They think you work long hours? Deadmahin mo. Hindi mo daw inaalagaan yung anak nila? Isoli mo kamo baka gusto pa dumede sa nanay nila. Charot. Don’t say that! Hahaha! It will start World War 3.
Sixth, be the mature woman that you are. Understand that you weren’t brought up by your in-laws and they are not necessarily obliged to like or love you. Napag-aaralan yan over time so don’t take it personally. Magka-iba kayo pinalaki ng asawa mo so pwede magka-iba kayo ng values and how you see things and that is okay. Try to see where you’re in-laws are coming from. If they are very pushy or they meddle when it comes to your kids, isipin niyo na lang that they care too much for the children. If malabo talaga makita, try again. If malabo pa din, deadmahin mo na lang rather than saying something bad back at them. Bite. Your. Tongue.
Lastly, I hope that it won’t come to this, know when to walk away and let go of these family members. Remember, ang important is yung family niyo. That is your priority now. If things around you are getting toxic and are threatening your marriage and your immediate family’s harmony, you have to stop and analyze na your priorities. Talk this through with your spouse. You do not need toxic people in your life.
I know there are too many to mention more incidents out there but the best advice is good communication. Talk with your spouse. Talk with your in-laws. Say what you feel, what you like, what you would want to happen and do it nicely.
It may not be much but I hope I was able to help.