How to Stop In-Law Stress that Exacerbates Your Paruresis

Mothers-in-law and other members of your spouse’s family can drive you nuts, heightening your stress levels that can worsen your paruresis. But it doesn’t have to be that way, thanks to a number of suggestions from Psychology Today that focus on making in-law relationships a bit less rocky.

Psychotherapist, teacher and author F. Diane Barth offers up six tips that lessen the in-law stress and enhance the in-law pleasure. Barth tells us to:

  • Accept that your in-laws, with all of their flaws, are part of your lifeThis doesn’t mean that you actually have to like your in-laws. But it does mean that they are part of your life and that it would be good to find some ways to live in peace with them.
  • “Adjust to and adapt to some of their behaviors and traditions, which will inevitably be different from those of your own family….”
  • Be aware of hurt feelings. “More in-law difficulties arise from intentional or unintentional hurting of feelings than from almost any other factor.”
  • “Respect. What do we have to respect? Everything! But two really important items to keep on the respect agenda are differences and boundaries.”
  • “Compromise. It is hard, of course, when we feel that we’re in the right and the other is completely wrong, to even think of compromise. But if you try to keep in mind the maxim that there are many different sides to in-law conflicts, it can help you remember that yours is only one perspective.”
  • “Don’t put your spouse or child in the middle.” This can only lead to more complicated conflicts and more hurt with more loved ones. 

Barth reminds us that we don’t have to like our in-laws but we do have to live with them. And we don’t have to let them stress us out and worsen our paruresis, either.

Check out Barth’s full article: