No one likes dealing with in-laws if they are insensitive, intrusive, and outright rude. Your mother-in-law gripes about the way you wear your hair or your father-in-law just gripes in general. Dealing with your rude in-laws, unfortunately, is something you are going to have to adjust to. Because, like it or not, you did not just marry your husband, but you married his entire family.

When dealing with your in-laws, most of the time you are going to have to grin and bear it, no matter how much you want to put her into her place, that is not your place.

Don't Take the Bait

Let's get a little example. You are going home for the holidays. The first thing dear ole mom does when you walk in the door is brush past you and kiss her baby boy. Her passive aggressive remarks "You're so thin" or "Isn't your wife feeding you?" kind of strike a nerve. A little secret, she is trying to get a reaction out of you. Nothing would please her more than to have you return a snide remark or just get all out catty with her. Because guess what, she's not going to be the one that looks bad in that scenario. The best thing you can do is kill her with kindness. Compliment her on something, and try to mean it. If you make everything into an enormous battle, your life, as well as your husband's, will be nothing short of miserable.

Be Patient and Keep Your Cool

So you've been in their home for a few hours now and the comments and off handed remarks just keep coming. Your nerves are wearing thin and your patience thinner. Take deep breaths because now is not really the time to pick a fight with her, especially when all the relatives are coming in. Be respectful of her house, but at the same time, make it known that you aren't going to be walked all over either. Try your hardest to pacify her until you can get a chance to talk to her. Go help her in the kitchen. This may be a disaster, but remember, you're going to get your chance to talk to her.

Keep the Conflict Between Her and You

By now you should have already had a discussion with your husband. Remember, this is his mother, respect that. Would you want him belittling and talking badly about your mother or father? A good suggestion would be to ask his opinion on how to deal with her, after all, no one knows how to deal with his mother better than him.

While asking him, don't put him in the position to where he feels like he is forced to choose a side. This is unfair to him and unfair for you to do it to him. That's his mother and you're his wife, no man should have to choose between two of the most important women in his life. This could eventually drive a huge wedge between the two of you. No, keep whatever issues you have between the two of you.

Now Is the Time to Speak Your Mind

So the dinner is over, you've sat through the entire thing, dry turkey and all. Everyone is gone, so now is the time to approach her. Pull her to the side, just the two of you, with no one else around. Perhaps, go into the kitchen for a glass of wine or iced tea. Be up front and honest, but more than anything don't get defensive. If you are defensive going into the conversation, it will start and end very badly. You may approach it with something like… "I'd like to talk to you about something that has kind of been bothering me." If you are calm and approach the issue in a manner that is not attacking, there is a very good likelihood that the issues can be resolved very easily.

Don't sugar coat when telling her what your problem is, however, don't be disrespectful. If you are up front and honest from the beginning, she will appreciate your candor. If you try to pull the wool over her eyes she is likely to see it and call you out on it. Tell her how much you love her son and you took your vows very seriously. You're the other woman that took her baby away.


  1. Amy Carvalho

    Whoever wrote this is either not married or has never dealt with rude in-laws. (1) you never put your self reapect second to anyone. (2) you actually DID marry just your husband/wife and NOT their families as well (3) the spouse is never put in the middle! You are MARRIED! There is NO middle! (4) If it is worth a talk with an inlaw you absolutely bring your spouse into it to support YOU and the marriage. Good Luck! This advice from 1902!!

  2. Goodguys

    The best defense IS always a strong offense. When in laws are passive aggressive or make snide remarks, bide your time. Ignore those, because you are waiting for them to get direct with their insults, and they will eventually go there. That's what bully's do, and when they do it's time to get in their face. Stop them in their tracks.

    Stay sober for this. Refuse to drink alcohol or eat food at these family gatherings. You will send a strong message. When the direct insults come, and they will, stop the person mid comment if you can. Motion and ask the offending relative to step aside with you somewhere private in the home. Place your hand on their back and encourage them to come with you. Then simply look them square in the eye, and say, "Never say that to me (or about me) again. If you do I will leave and take my spouse and/or kids with me." When you say that they will likely smirk.

    Tell them, "And you had better wipe that smirk off your face." Then walk away from them. If they say anything else sarcastic or rude, and the worst ones likely will, then leave the gathering and don't come back. Never attend another gathering of the family when that person will or may be present, and tell the family why. That's how you handle disrespectful in-laws.

    1. Valera

      That's how you handle disrespectful in-laws.

      Great comment. Thanks for chiming in.

  3. Sheila Armstrong

    What to do when you have jealous, violent, drunk, catty, miserable in-laws? They don't have a spouse and hates the fact that their sibling does. They tell anything personal about you or others to make you look worse than there situations.

    They are always sick or extremely needy and happy when you are not doing well. Hates the idea of anyone in the family getting along with you and always make you the outsider. My spouse does not even know how to deal with his own siblings and their attitudes and if he does deal with it, it turns out violent. He will always care about his family and go to the rescue for anything they need.

    It is a terrible relationship with the family mess! I think they would outcast anyone who will not give in to their idiotic mess.


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