Many of my newlywed clients seek out Houston relationship counseling because of problems with their in-laws. But it’s not just limited to newlyweds — even couples who have been together for years can have these types of issues.

Perhaps mom or dad-in-law are clingy and around all the time. Or the couple will make a decision, only to have one discover that the decision has been overturned after their spouse has a chat with mom and dad. Or the in-laws – intentionally or unintentionally – seem to belittle everything their son or daughter’s spouse says or does. Whatever the problem, the slighted partner doesn’t know how to deal with the situation because they feel like bringing it up will cause a fight between them and their spouse.

And here’s the truth: it might. Family politics can be quite touchy, and anything that could be perceived as a slight against parents may cause hurt feelings and anger. But there’s a greater truth. Not talking about it will be worse, because the problem won’t just go away. Besides, if you’re in a serious relationship, these are the kinds of tough problems you’ll have to deal with.

Marriage Advice: Talk about It Now to Avoid Bigger Problems Later

Houston relationship counseling will tell you that if you’re having a problem with your in-laws and don’t deal with it, the problem will only get worse. If the in-laws are causing you frustration now, what happens when they disagree with how you raise your kids and you haven’t spoken with your spouse about their behavior? The best marriage advice I can give my clients is to bite the bullet and talk to their significant other.

Treat it the way you would any sensitive situation. Be aware of your spouse’s feelings and don’t bad-mouth their parents, but explain how their actions are making you feel. In Houston relationship counseling, I advise my clients to be positive instead of negative. If the in-laws are intruding too much, say you want the best for your relationship together, and that means spending more alone time with your spouse. If they are undercutting decisions you’ve made together, tell your significant other you want to show the world that you’re both adults and can make your own choices.

Obviously, each specific situation is going to be different, but going into it by talking about the positives you hope to achieve in your relationship together can go a long way toward assuaging any hurt feelings. If, after trying to talk to your significant other, you still feel like he or she is letting the in-laws come between you, seek out Houston marriage counseling.