The family interferes in the couple's relationship

The family interferes in the couple's relationship

The stability of the couple relationship can also be compromised by the families of origin.

The family interferes in the couple's relationship

Last update: July 03, 2022

When the family interferes in the couple's relationship, the scenario is considerably complicated. You will find yourself facing situations that you may not have been prepared for. Among other things, you will understand that choosing a partner also means accepting his family.

The problem is obviously not new. If there comes a time when families interfere in the couple's relationship, conflicts, clashes and discrepancies become recurring.

In addition, as numerous studies reveal, three out of four couples have serious problems with their in-laws. Furthermore, 60% of women have very difficult experiences with the mother of their partner or husband.

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family, on the other hand, is unfortunate in its own way ”.

Lev Tolstoy

Conflicts with in-laws

Stanley Kramer's famous film Guess Who's Coming to Dinner tells of the enormous conflicts and prejudices that the parents of a white girl show towards their future spouse, a black man.

Parents think they have educated their children to perfection, that they have passed on to them values ​​and indications on how to face life and how to behave. Often, however, partners are chosen who never fully meet the family's expectations.

The problem lies in the fact that many parents do not view their children as free people able to choose their own paths, including career goals or boyfriends. They see them as extensions of their lives on which to project a series of ideals.

So when they start a relationship, it surfaces the shadow of disappointment, the result of the feeling of failure which becomes a sense of guilt for not having done "everything possible" to avoid it.

When the family influences the relationship, if the problem is not addressed openly, the foundations of the relationship can falter.

When the family does not accept the partner

As Oscar Wilde said, nothing is as secret and mysterious as that house whose curtains prevent you from seeing what is happening inside.

Certainly there are parents with healthy emotional intelligence who will be able to understand their role, staying on the fringes of the relationship, and doing everything to support the romance that the children show they want to carry on.

But this is not always the case, unfortunately. Family affection can become toxic, overly intrusive, and even bossy. Often you start a relationship without keeping in mind that, in addition to the partner, you will also have to take care of his family.

And this is where the most poisonous rivalries and the most unfavorable dynamics arise. Because in addition to the classic difficult and complicated relationship with the in-laws, you can add the rivalry between brothers, the judgment of some cousins, without forgetting uncles, brothers-in-law, grandparents, often criticisms and who enjoy sowing discord.

The family must therefore be understood as a microcosm full of multiple meanings and dynamics. Sometimes we will clash with older relatives who try to maintain their position of authority or with mothers used to passive-aggressive behavior.

There may be friction over how to raise a child, divergent views on religion or politics. Without forgetting that for the partner's family we will never be "enough".

When this emerges and strikes, the relationship begins to suffer and destabilize. When the family influences the couple's relationship and the limits of privacy are exceeded, it will be necessary to intervene.

What to do when the family interferes in the couple's relationship?

There are those who prefer extreme decisions, putting their partner with their backs to the wall and forcing him to choose. Others take sides with one of the parties, favoring real clashes.

Still others prefer silence and let go, accepting to be the center of all complaints, the puppet who endures everything for the love of the partner.

Sooner or later, all of them these situations will end up influencing the relationship to the point of triggering sad dynamics and disappointing. To avoid all this, it is advisable to resort to some strategies:

  • Communicate with your partner. Each problem must be addressed directly. What concerns one, concerns the couple. Avoid criticism, facing reality without falling into contempt or offense.
  • The situation of each family is particular. Starting from this idea, it is necessary to distinguish between what is acceptable and what is not, between what is understandable and what becomes abuse.
  • Set limits shared by the partner. They will be about what you accept and what you will not be willing to allow. There must be total consent between the couple, but the most important aspect is to impose limits valid for both families which will serve to protect the couple.
  • Highlight what hurts or worries in front of those who criticize you, such as mother-in-law, brother-in-law or another family member. Thanks to assertiveness, they will understand the negative impact of their behaviors and that they have pushed themselves well beyond the limits of the couple. This will also help strengthen the relationship.


It is not always bad when the family interferes in the couple's relationship. Sometimes this is essential to overcome and resolve moments of crisis, helping husband and wife to reconnect and reflect.

Conversely, if the influence is negative, it is important to establish a strategy with the partner. In this way we will receive her support and very likely the relationship will emerge strengthened from this experience, stemming and overcoming any conflict.

When the family interferes in the couple's relationship, talk about it with the partner and establish a strategy together to be able to act effectively.

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