there are four in-laws in my house right now…

…and need I say that I’m not happy about it?  Let’s just say that my sister-in-law is something else.  Something else that I really would like to smash to pieces.  There.  That sure feels better.  Well, not really.

At times like these, I turn to my how to deal with crazy in-laws bible: Toxic In-Laws by Susan Forward.  I purchased this book in my dark days of being hurt again and again by my in-laws while still trying to please them, thinking that if only I did what they wanted they would stop hurting me and accept me.  Well, thanks to this book, I now know better.  If for nothing else, this book is a sympathetic supporter, which I did not have in my husband.  It affirms that other women suffer through the same hell as I do and that it’s not my fault that my in-laws are highly unreasonable people.  The book is divided into two parts: the first includes descriptions of the five different types of toxic in-laws and the second part describes strategies for dealing with them.  Strategies include how to set boundaries, how to get out of their negative conversations, and how to get your spouse to understand and be on your side.  It was and is a quite useful book for dealing with my in-laws even though I don’t get to use those great conversation stoppers too much because of the difficulty getting the same point across in a different language.  I do wish that it covered more issues, like how to deal with cultural expectations and conflicts, which is a large part of my in-law problem (even though many would say that our cultures are almost identical) and how to deal with the whole in-law family and not just mother-in-law and father-in-law since I’m having trouble with the siblings-in-law as well.  There aren’t really any books out there that cover these two issues, so this one is the best compromise.  I just try to adapt what I’ve learned in this book to my other issues.  Maybe someday when I’ve found the magical way to deal with these people, I’ll write a how-to-deal-with-in-laws book that covers these points.  At least I can sleep well tonight (with this book under my pillow) knowing that the sister-in-law is leaving tomorrow morning.

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