How to Deal with in Laws Who Are Pretentious: 3 Steps
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Get past your snooty mother-in-law.

A pretentious pair of in-laws can feel like a thorn in your side. A mother-in-law who's always dressed in designed brands -- and turns up her nose at the discount-store-duds your tots are wearing, or a father-in-law who goes on tirelessly about his days at country club are enough to try a daughter-in-law's patience. If you have a duo of in-laws of this variety to handle, the way you approach the situation can have a major impact on your marriage, as well as your future relationship with your in-laws.


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    Respect your spouse’s feelings. Rule numero uno when dealing with your pretentious in-laws is to make sure that your interactions with them don’t hurt your spouse. Remember, as annoying as they may be, your in-laws are your husband’s mommy and daddy. Yes, they may seem obnoxiously pretentious to you, but to him, they're the ones who taught him how to ride a bike -- and offered a shoulder on which to cry the first time a girl broke his heart. Before you deal with the problem, speak to your husband about your concerns in a calm manner and ask his advice. He might offer to speak to his parents and take care of the problem himself, saving you some major effort.
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    Admire them. Pretentious people often act the way they do because they're seeking admiration. Yes, it may feel like you're giving in, but often the easiest way to get them to stop acting so haughty is to give them the attention they are so actively seeking. If your mother-in-law rolls up in a new car that costs nearly as much as your two-bedroom fixer-upper, just gush over the car a bit. This will likely satiate her need for adoration -- at least temporarily -- and give you the opportunity to move on to more productive interactions with her.
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    Agree to disagree. If your pretentious in-laws are driving you to your wits end by offering unsolicited advice that includes everything from how to raise your kids to where you should shop, you will ultimately have to call a truce for your own sanity -- and for the sake of your marriage. Put the kibosh on the fighting by being the bigger person and calling a cease-fire. You might simply put it right out there by saying, “I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.” By making this powerful statement, you can assert yourself without irreparably damaging the tender, budding relationship.

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Categories: Education and Communications

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