Advice – My future in-laws are driving me crazy!

/u/Moz22 on /r/relationships writes…

“My fiancé’s parents have driven me insane. What pushed me over the edge was today. My fiancé lives about an hour away from his parents. They are asking him to drive there after work today to move boxes for them because his mother can’t do it herself. His father can’t do it because he’s literally 300 lbs, 5’3”, and can barely walk.

So my poor fiancé, who has something due at work tomorrow, has to drive all the way to his parents house (1.5 hours from work) to move some boxes because they have guests coming in town back home (1 hour).

To say I’m furious is an understatement. I am not going to say anything to my fiancé right now because I know he’s already stressed out. We are currently long distance so I can’t do anything to help either. How do I handle this? What can I do? What can I say to my future in laws without pissing everyone off?”

Photo by Emre Can on

Dear Moz22,

I think the better question to ask here is “How can I help my partner handle this?”

Interactions with your in-laws is always very tricky. They are your extended family that you inherited through your partner. Yes. They are your family by relation and by law, but they are not the same family that you grew up with. As such, your relationship with your in-laws should be handled differently from your own family.

These are his parents, and it is on him to establish and communicate his own boundaries with them. He is an adult. And he can handle his own adult relationships with his parents. If he really does not want to do this favor for his parents, he can say no and explain why he can’t make this trip. If after helping his parents with this favor that he realizes that was a mistake, then he can do a better job of communicating his own needs and boundaries with his folks for himself.

Your responsibility here is very simple. Go support your fiance.

Let him vent to you about what he is experiencing with his parents. Discuss with him what proper boundaries might look like. And if things really get that unbearable for you to be around your in-laws, then you too can establish your own boundaries about his in-laws. You too are an adult. And you don’t have to surround yourself with people or interactions you don’t find personally rewarding.

Good luck!

Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.

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