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- In this week’s episode of “Married at First Sight” – the reality TV show in which people tie the knot immediately after meeting each other – tensions flared as multiple couples met their in-laws for the first time.
- Jessica Studer met her husband Austin Hurd’s mother and faced some tough questions as her mother-in-law asked questions to determine whether Studer wanted a long-lasting marriage.
- While meeting your in-laws on national television may be extreme, building a relationship with your spouse’s parents can be difficult for anyone.
- Dr. Melissa Robinson-Brown, a relationship therapist and founder of Renewed Focus Psychology Services, told Insider there are four telltale signs that an in-law relationship is negative.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Meeting your fiancé’s parents can be a nervewracking experience for anyone. So doing so on a TV show with a partner you only just met can unsurprisingly lead to some fairly tense moments.
In this week’s episode of “Married at First Sight” – the reality TV show in which people tie the knot immediately after meeting each other – tensions flared as multiple couples met their in-laws for the first time.
Jessica Studer met her husband Austin Hurd’s mother and faced some tough questions as her mother-in-law tried to determine whether Studer wanted a long-lasting marriage. Eventually, Studer was able to gain the trust of her new in-law and the couple concluded the episode happily.
Michael Watson had to disclose some difficult information to his wife, Mika Jones’ family as he admitted to emotionally cheating in previous relationships. While her mother was initially upset, she and Watson seemed to end their conversation on a cordial note.
Some apprehension between partners and their in-laws is to be expected. But if the tension lingers, this might be a cause for concern. Dr. Melissa Robinson-Brown, a relationship therapist and founder of Renewed Focus Psychology Services, said that hostility can be a sign that families are jealous or trying to guard their child.
“There may be moments in which family may feel like they’re losing their daughter, their son, or their sibling,” Robinson-Brown said. “In order to prevent that loss or keep the family member closer, in-laws may behave in ways that create hostility. ”
Robinson-Brown spoke with Insider about the telltale signs of a toxic relationship with your in-laws.
Your in-laws asked invasive questions or give unsolicited advice constantly.
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The stereotype of the overbearing in-law appears in sitcoms and movies alike, but according to Robinson-Brown this kind of intrusive behavior can be an indication of a deeper problem in the dynamic.
“Perhaps they also provide unsolicited advice about how you should keep your home, how an argument should be settled, or how you should raise kids,” Robinson-Brown said.
While these actions can be well-intentioned, they send a negative message about a partner and lead to a bad relationship in the future if boundaries aren’t established.
“It’s essential that individuals are open and honest about who is important in their lives,” Robinson-Brown said. “Hiding a partner or spouse will create anger, resentment, fear, and sadness in many people. In addition, it’s important for you to set boundaries with your family.:
They lack clear boundaries.
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While advice can be a gesture of care, it can cross the line when in-laws begin to insert themselves in decisions about children, finances, and even family vacations.
“It’s also important to remember that you and your partner are a team who have chosen to create a life together,” Robinson-Brown said. “It’s important to get clear on your priorities and boundaries as a couple and present a united front with family.”
They ignore your presence in spaces.
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The silent treatment is another indication that there might be some conflict between an in-law and a partner. Being ignored can be a major sign of disrespect and disapproval, according to Robinson-Brown.
“Be mindful of in-laws who are in your presence, but don’t greet you or talk to you,” Robinson-Brown said. “They might have conversations around you and pretend or act as if you are not there. This suggests a lack of respect”
They pit you and your spouse against each other.
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According to Robinson-Brown, in-laws who have a negative relationship with their child can try to drive a wedge between couples in a variety of ways.
“This might mean causing an argument, creating drama, or sharing information that has been disclosed in confidence in order to incite conflict,” Robinson-Brown said.
Ultimately, Robinson-Borwn said it’s important for partners to be on the same page about each others’ families.
“It’s not ok for your family to ‘screen’ your spouse or go into a serious round of vetting someone to determine if that individual is suitable,” Robinson-Brown said. “That’s the work that should already be done by you before bringing your partner home and your family should trust your decisions.”