Setting up boundaries with parents after marriage is a delicate topic since most parents don’t think they should have those discussions with their adult children.
It is hard for a parent to realize that things are different after their children are in a relationship or married, so that is why talking with your parents about boundaries that you and your spouse want to have is not easy.
We will talk later in this article about different circumstances and how they might influence the boundaries you need to set and how likely it is that your parents will accept them.
How do you set boundaries with your parents after marriage?
I will give you five tips to consider when you want to set boundaries with your parents after you get married.
1. Talk with your parents about how you see the situation.
It is not enough to complain about how your parents don’t see that they are crossing some boundaries regarding your relationship with your spouse.
You should discuss with your parents how you see the situation and what you think they are not considering, and set some clear boundaries that you would like them to respect.
This doesn’t need to be a fight, they might be unaware that you feel those things, and in most cases, they are not crossing the boundaries on purpose but rather they are used to not having any boundaries when it comes to their children.
So you have to make sure they understand that things are changed now, and those boundaries are really important for you and your spouse.
2. Stand up for your spouse
You should stand up for your spouse when your parents criticize them, even if they are not there. Usually, they will not talk like this when your spouse is around, but you should stand up for your spouse if you don’t agree with them. Even if they might be right, sometimes they should not criticize your spouse since they don’t know them as well as you do, and it is not for them to judge or draw conclusions, it is for you.
It can be the other way around, and you might have to stand up for your parents even in private talks with your spouse, but this is not the topic for today.
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3. Respect your parents
Make clear that you respect your parents and love them, and you are setting new boundaries because the situation has changed it is not personal, and it will not affect how much you love and respect them.
Even if it might look like it since you will talk less with them and, in some situations, even visit them less often, now you have your own family, which requires your time and commitment.
Explain to them how not respecting your boundaries can deteriorate your relationship with them. At the same time, how respecting the boundaries will make you and your spouse respect them more because this shows that they are mature and respect you as an adult.
4. Be independent as much as you can
Being independent of your parents will increase the chances that your parents will respect the boundaries you set.
If you live with them in their house, there are boundaries they will not be able or don’t want to respect. It’s hard to explain to your parents that you need your time with your partner when you live in their house. It’s not impossible, but it is hard.
If you have your own house and money, there are fewer chances that they will cross the boundaries you set with them since they will not be around you as much.
That doesn’t guarantee they will not stick their noses in your relationship, but you can cut that off much easier than living with them under the same roof or on their money.
5. Stop complaining about your spouse all the time.
This is more of an extra tip for avoiding them crossing the boundaries you have. If you always complain to your parents about your spouse, they will tend to protect you and don’t behave respectfully with your spouse.
There is a fine line you should have in mind when you complain about your spouse. You should be honest with your parents and complain about your spouse when you need to solve a problem, but sometimes we like to complain and exaggerate how things are in reality.
Also, you know that thoughts come and go, and if you share all of them with your parents, it can look like your relationship is a mess because most people share much more easily what they don’t like at their significant other compared to what they like. I know this doesn’t sound encouraging, but we all know those kinds of people, and they are not only a few.
Setting boundaries when you live with your parents in the same house
As I said before, setting boundaries with your parents after marriage is not easy if you still live with them in the same house.
I understand that depending on your country, moving out of your parent’s house might not be easy or worth it, but you have to accept that living with your parents while married is much more different than living with your parents alone.
The first thing that changes when you are married and lives with your parents is that your spouse will need attention from you, and your parents will have a hard time understanding why you don’t spend as much time with them anymore, even if you are in the same house.
Privacy is the most important boundary to set when you live with your partner, you can’t watch a movie with your spouse, and your parents invite themself to watch with you.
When your spouse moves in with your parents, you should understand that there are big chances to be differences when it comes to house cleaning and keeping things in order that you and your parents didn’t even consider before since you already have your habits and way of doing those things.
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Boundaries when you don’t live with your parents
When you don’t live with your parents, the type of boundaries, you have to set with them after marriage differs, but some still have to be set.
One of the most common problems concerning parents that don’t live with their children is how needy they are. I mean here that they can call you every day and expect you to talk with them about everything you have done that day.
This is fine until you are in a stable relationship and you start talking about those things with your partner, and the never-ending calls from the parents are now annoying and take away the time you can spend with your significant other.
Also, unannounced visits are a big problem, or they visit you too often. Nothing bad about your parents visiting you now and then, but when you are in a relationship, those visits should be announced. They should be announced even if you are not in a relationship, but it is more important when you are.
One more important boundary to set when it comes to parents that don’t live with you is to not let them talk badly about your spouse, especially since they don’t spend too much time with your spouse to get to know them better.
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It is hard to set boundaries with your parents after marriage, and it is not something you had discussed before because you didn’t know in advance what your partner likes and don’t like when it comes to the interaction with your parents.
So it’s a new thing for all of you and your parents acting shocked is normal.