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    Getting Along with Your In-Laws
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD posted:
    When you get married, you gain new family as well as a spouse. And your relationship with your new "parents" can have a profound affect on your life -- positively or negatively. So, it's important to work with your spouse to keep the relationship as positive as possible.

    What have your experiences been with your in-laws? How did you and your spouse work through any tensions that came up?

    If you would like to read more in detail about this topic in my post for WebMD's Relationships blog, click here .

    Dr. Becker-Phelps's discussions and her responses in those discussions are for general educational purposes only. If you need help for an emotional or behavioral problem, please seek the assistance of a psychologist or other qualified mental health professional.

    fcl responded:
    Frankly, it wasn't easy. I am from the north of Scotland and was brought up to be fiercely independent and to take care of myself. His family is Mediterranean French. We came from two different planets where family is important but in entirely different ways.

    I felt totally smothered by his mother (she kept wanting to DO things for me...) and she probably felt rejected by me because I kept my distance.

    Anyway, she had the keys to our house and would drop in during the day and leave a cake or something on the table for us. I didn't like it but tolerated it for his sake. I was working long hours with endless transport (out at 6 in the morning, home after 9 in the evening) in a highly stressful job. Things came to a head when we got home one Friday evening and found that she had been there. She had done all the ironing, cleaned our bedroom, washed the floors and done the dishes that were sitting waiting in the sink. I sat down on the kitchen floor and wept. I took it like a blow to the heart. I told him that it had to stop and either he could do it his way or I would do it mine...

    I don't know what he said but there then followed nearly 6 months of offended silence... We slowly got back in touch, discovered that we had similar interests and started going to exhibitions, castles, shows together but the boundaries were set and respected and I just wished I had started with that - boundaries. My husband was not at all involved in the process - he stepped back and let us sort it out (an it was the wisest thing to do , in my opinion).

    Over the years we developed a really close relationship and you cannot imagine the pain an grief I felt when she died. She was an exceptional woman in every sense possible and I still miss her today ... nearly 10 years later.

    With his father it was a bit different. I only really got to know him after my MIL died. Before that he considered me to be a bad influence on her I encouraged her to live her life for herself, to do what she really wanted to do. This resulted in her taking several holidays with friends and without him (he refused to even leave the house when he wasn't at work) among other things ... He has loosened up quite a lot since he's been on his own.
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.

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