Getting Along With The In-laws Jenna D. Barryís new book titled, A Wifeís Guide to In-laws: How to Gain Your Husbandís Loyalty Without Killing His Parents gives tips on how to have a great marriageóeven if your in-laws arenít so great. BY JENNA D. BARRY
Don't let in-laws get in the way of your happy marriage.
Excerpt taken from Chapter 7:Stop Making That Face or It Will Get Stuck That Way: Exposing your husbandís false beliefs
According to some guy on the internet, the second Law of Gun Safety is: Never Point a Gun at Something Youíre Not Prepared to Destroy! In the past you have probably directed your anger toward your husband and his parents whenever they behaved like jerks. But that hasnít done you any good, has it? Thatís because youíre wasting your energy on yelling at your hubby and criticizing his folks when it would be better to focus on destroying the false beliefs causing the problems. This chapter will (1) teach you which false beliefs contribute to your husbandís specific behaviors and (2) suggest things you can say/do so your husband will begin to question them. The next time your husband behaves in a way that makes you want to rip your entire wedding finger off, ask yourself what is causing him to behave that way. Once your husband is free from his prison of warped thinking, he will begin to transform from a guilt-ridden parent-pleaser into a confident, independent adult. Itís impossible for me to list all of the false beliefs that contribute to your husbandís behavior, but here are seven major ones:
1. My parents are superior to me even though I am an adult.
2. Itís my parentsí duty to judge me and give me advice.
3. My parentsí needs are more important than my own.
4. It is important that I maintain just as close a relationship with my parents now as I did when I was young.
5. Itís my responsibility to keep my parents happy.
6. I should continue to place my loyalty with my parents even though Iím married now.
7. Itís better to pretend everything is fine, rather than rock the boat.
Now letís take a look at these false beliefs one at a time.
False belief #1: My parents are superior to me even though I am an adult.
If your husband believes that to be true, then his behavior will probably be like this:
* He rarely, if ever, considers the possibility that his parents might be flawed in their thinking or behavior.
* He assumes he is wrong whenever he thinks differently than his parents do.
* He tells you that youíre wrong whenever you disagree with his folks.
* He believes you are rude, selfish, and/or disrespectful whenever his parents say you are rude, selfish, and/or disrespectful.
* If you and his parents describe a situation differently, he believes their version because to do otherwise would be calling his "perfect" parents liars. He accuses you of exaggerating, overreacting, and/or imagining things.
* He does everything they ask him to do because he thinks it would be disobedient to do otherwise.
True belief #1:My parents are not superior to me; we are all equal adults.
Once your husband believes this to be true, then his behavior will start to look this way instead:
* He will admit to himself that his parents arenít right about everything all the time, and that their behavior isnít always perfect.
* He wonít assume youíre wrong when you and his parents disagree about something.
* He will form his own opinions about you instead of believing his parents when they say you are rude, selfish, and/or disrespectful.
* He will consider your version of events when you describe a situation instead of assuming that his parentsí perception is 100% accurate. He wonít accuse you of exaggerating, overreacting, and/or imagining things.
* He wonít feel the need to obey his parents.
Here are some things you can say to help your husband replace his false beliefs with the truth:
* "I know youíve always looked up to your parents. Iíve always looked up to mine, too. But the truth is that sometimes parents are wrong, Honey. They have flaws just like everyone else."
* "Do you do everything your parents ask you to do because you think you have to obey them? You arenít a child anymoreÖ youíre an adult. You donít have to obey them any more than they have to obey you."
* "Honey, why do you feel it is disrespectful for me to disagree with your parents?"
* "Just because your parents donít think the same way you do doesnít mean you are wrong. Thereís no reason to be ashamed of your opinion, so stand by it. Your parents arenít right about everything just because they are your parents. Youíre an adult too, and your opinions are just as valid as theirs."
Here are some things you can do to help your husband replace his false beliefs with the truth:
* Set an example by not bossing him around or belittling his opinions.
* Set an example by making sure you donít always assume your own parentsí opinions are superior to yours and/or his.
* Encourage him to read the chapter entitled "Illegal Crack" because it will address his false beliefs in a way he can relate.
From "A Wifeís Guide to In-laws: How to Gain Your Husbandís Loyalty Without Killing His Parents" by Jenna D. Barry. Copyright 2008 by Jenna D. Barry. Published by Lulu, Inc. Available at www.WifeGuide.org.