Mindfulness And Self-Care: Dealing With Toxic In-Laws


Adulthood is worrying about liabilities, necessities, and relationships – stress! Too much of it can cause you mental health problems. And make no mistake – it can kill you! You have probably heard about people who committed suicide out of depression, and the number is growing day by day. Besides committing suicide, depression can cause you to acquire several diseases such as cancer, heart, problems, and more.

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Being with the wrong people is the number one cause of stress. Problem is a part of life, and there is nothing we can do to avoid it. However, when we are with the people who uplift us, problems become manageable. We tend to not think about our worries because we are with the people who say “It is okay.”

“In other words, there’s a moment of choice before we react to stress and pain in life. However, for most of us, we’re unaware of this space “between stimulus and response” because we get caught in habitual patterns of reacting to life.” — Will Baum LCSW

Sadly, most of us are not with the right people. When I say right, it means the people who help you to grow emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Most of the time, people end up marrying the wrong person or maybe caught up in having to deal with toxic people, like in-laws.

In-laws are the people who highlight the problem, making it ten times worse than it is. They affect your relationship with your partner because they intervene so much. Maybe it is because they still haven’t fully accepted that they are not in charge with your partner’s life anymore.

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Yes, it is right to respect the family of your partner but not to the extent that you will lose yourself and have mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Never allow them to look down on you because being your partner’s parents doesn’t give them the right to crush you.


How To Deal With Toxic In-Laws:

  1. Never pretend to be stupid to gain your in-laws’ affection. Most of the time, they would act as if they know it all. Sometimes, it is sweet to pretend that you have no idea about what they are talking about and that you are actually learning from them, but they would eventually think that you don’t know anything.
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“Our turbulent times require us to be resilient so that we can face the disruptive changes going on in our lives and in the world with courage, integrity and grace.” — Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D.

  1. Never live in the same house as your in-laws. Remember that there is only one king and one queen in a castle, and the moment you agree to live with them, you deny yourself with the right to have a say about everything. You will only be a person in the house, and you don’t get to disagree without a negative reaction from them.


  1. Never hide anything from your partner. If there is something your in-laws say that hurt your feelings, always let your partner know regardless if it will upset him as well. He needs to know that you are suffering emotionally. Otherwise, he would think that you are okay.

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  1. Never let your in-laws dictate your relationship with your partner. You may hear your mother-in-law say, “If there’s someone who knows him well, it is me.” Don’t let this affect you. No one knows your marriage well more than you do.


  1. Never spend so much time with your in-laws if you don’t want to. Let your partner know how you feel, but nicely tell him. Make him understand that you are uncomfortable with his parents around, and though you can be respectful and civil, let him know that you need a boundary.

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People are easy to point fingers when things are not going smoothly. However, our situation is under our control. If you have toxic in-laws and they cause you too much stress, maybe even depression, there are no buts and ifs. It is time to step away and set your boundaries. It is not rude or disrespectful; it is mindfulness and self-care.

“Now more than ever, we need ways to attend to and navigate the inherent and inevitable sources of stress that permeate our daily lives and interpersonal interactions.” — Lisa Ferentz LCSW-C, DAPA