I have a pretty demanding job and my in-laws never fail to point out that I “work too much.” They make little side comments whenever they visit and I get home late, or am checking my work email at night. They say it’s not good for my health, I’m not paying enough attention to my kids, etc. It’s making me hate having them over and is a real source of tension between me and my partner, (who also works hard, by the way). What should I do?
I am so sorry that you are living under the guise of such pressure. The good news is that I think it can be easily taken care of, with a bit of work from both you and your partner.
The most valuable takeaway I have in my tool kit as a result of our relationship workshops and therapy, among other marriage work, is that my man and I are at the top of the (let’s call it) happy pyramid.
Everything else — and I mean everything — is a distant third: work, friends, your own parents and yes, IN LAWS!Tell Me, Chantal: I’m Dead Bored In My Marriage. What Should I Do?
Talk to your husband. It sounds like you need reassurance that he loves you and your feelings are valid and that he wants to help fix the situation.
Make yourself vulnerable. Tell him it’s important to you to host his parents, because you love him, but you feel pressured when they comment on your work. One of two things will happen: If he becomes offended and triggered, it’s an indication that you have work to do to get to the point where no one else matters — just the two of you and your wellbeing. At some point, you will have your “come to Jesus” moment.
If however you’re already living by that standard, he’ll be happy you told him, and will reassure you that you don’t need to take them on! Perhaps he will tell them in his own way that you’re not comfortable in your own home when this is happening, and it needs to stop or they can’t come anymore. It’s his job to defend you. Even if it means insulting his own parents. They are after all, No. 3 on the list!
Once you truly live by that standard and value, you will find your relationship goes to another level of fulfillment and respect and peace. You’ll have a deeper connection and the intimacy will be more beautiful than you imagined. You are in each other’s care. The rest is easy.
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