Family Matters: How do you deal with your in-laws when they move in?

When you marry your partner, you are not just solidifying your relationship, you are starting an intimate relationship with your partner's parents. While there are many jokes surrounding difficult in-laws, the reality is that your relationship with them has a huge impact on your marriage.

According to a newly released study, men who are on good terms with their wives' parents are more likely to enjoy a long-lasting marriage than those who struggle to get along with their in-laws.

Read: Is marriage overrated? Listeners share differing views

Researchers also found that a wife's relationship with her husband's parents is a bit more complicated and less indicative of overall marital happiness.

Relationship coach, Stephanie Dawson-Cosser these relationships become particularly complicated when parents move into your marital home.

Wherever we fall in the family, whether we are the first generations of parents who become the grandparents or whether we are the young married couple who subsequently become parents, when we get into this three generational relationship, things can get complicated.

Stephanie Dawson-Cosser, relationship coach

Whether a couple moves into a family home, or parents move in because they are elderly or need help, Dawson-Cosser says the sudden competition between these relationships are cause for complication.

Suddenly, instead of having an equal relationship of husband and wife or a partnership, we are now also competing for the mother/daughter, parent/son space.

Stephanie Dawson-Cosser, Relationship coach

A way to ease or prevent this unhealthy competition in the home is good communication, according to Dawson-Cosser. She adds that relationship boundaries should be understood for what they are, and respected by all parties concerned

These boundaries should be outlined as soon people move into the home.

Listen to the full interview below:


This article first appeared on 702 : Family Matters: How do you deal with your in-laws when they move in?


CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
Talking Sex with Dr Eve: Bullied as a child, sexually dysfunctional as an adult?

Talking Sex with Dr Eve: Bullied as a child, sexually dysfunctional as an adult?

Eusebius McKaiser and resident sexologist Dr Eve speak about how being bullied as a child could affect your adult sexual life.

ANC stalwarts to host independent consultative conference

ANC stalwarts to host independent consultative conference

Karima Browns says the ANC has responded to the stalwarts' gathering stating it is not a sanctioned party event.

Naked Scientist: Discovery of an earth-sized planet called Ross-128b

Naked Scientist: Discovery of an earth-sized planet called Ross-128b

Chris Smith joins the Eusebius McKaiser Show every Friday to answer questions on science or just about anything else.

Your marriage matters

Your marriage matters

This week the world has celebrated International Marriage Week which takes place from September 1 to 7.

How infidelity affects marriage and families

How infidelity affects marriage and families

A clinical psychologist and relationship coach discuss what constitutes infidelity and the complex reasons behind it.

Raising the family underdog  - your less talented child

Raising the family underdog - your less talented child

In most families there is one child who has more than his or her fair share of ability, Nikki Bush chats to Relebogile about this.

Popular articles
Military coup feared after Zim army chief demands a stop to Mugabe regime purge

Military coup feared after Zim army chief demands a stop to Mugabe regime purge

Zimbabwe's army chief Constantino Chiwenga has demanded a "stop" to the purge in President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF.

WATCH: Innovative spray limits toilet flushes and saves water

WATCH: Innovative spray limits toilet flushes and saves water

Loo Me is a simple yet effective scented foam that takes the yuck out of "mellowing" toilets preventing multiple flushes.

Employers better think twice before booting out an older staffer

Employers better think twice before booting out an older staffer

Doris Viljoen says SA should regard older people as valuable contributors in the advancement of our economy.

Zuma denies state capture, describes it as a fake political tool

Zuma denies state capture, describes it as a fake political tool

On Monday night, President Zuma sat down for an hour long interview on ANN7.