RelationshipsMarriageMy Husband’s Family Is Toxic


My Husband’s Family Is Toxic

Family is an important aspect of a person’s life as this is where the person is able to learn about core values, ethics, and social norms. There are occasions when families can become toxic but when your own husband’s family becomes toxic then it will have an adverse effect on your marriage.

There are many forms of toxicity and toxic behavior including criticizing, controlling, manipulating, and disrespecting. It is vital to recognize the signs of toxicity and take action accordingly in order to protect yourself and your marriage. Communication is crucial in such a situation and this is why you should let your husband know about how you feel and set clear boundaries. Looking for support from a therapist can also be beneficial as they will be able to guide you on how to handle such a situation effectively. We will discuss the signs of toxic in-laws and provide tips on how you can deal with such a situation.

The Behavior of Toxic In-Laws

The behavior of toxic in laws

Toxic in-laws can take many forms but they often exhibit a pattern of negative attitude that is emotionally draining and harmful. One of the signs of toxic in-laws is when they frequently criticize or belittle you. They could also be controlling, and manipulative and try to interfere in your personal space. Toxic in-laws could also be disrespectful of boundaries and expectations, and not acknowledge or respect your choices and decisions. They could also engage in gaslighting which involves denying your experiences or feelings and making you doubt your own perception of events. Toxic in-laws can be very skilled at hiding their behavior and it may take time to recognize the patterns of toxic behavior. Therefore, it is important for you to trust your instincts and seek support from your partner, a therapist, or other trusted loved ones if you feel that the behavior of your in-laws is toxic.

Signs That Your Husband’s Family Is Toxic

Sometimes families can be toxic and when it’s your husband’s family then it can have an effect on your marriage. Toxic families cause emotional distress, affect mental health and it can even strain your relationship. Some of the signs that your husband’s family is toxic are:

Signs that your husbands family is toxic

Lack of Respect

One of the most significant signs that your husband’s family is toxic is a lack of respect. When you feel that you are being disrespected by your husband’s family then it can cause a significant amount of stress. There are many ways for your husband’s family to demonstrate a lack of respect such as ignoring you, talking over you, and not considering your feelings or opinions.


Another sign of toxic in-laws is manipulation. If your husband’s family tries to control your life or manipulate you into doing things that you don’t want to do this is a clear sign of toxicity. Manipulation can take many forms which include emotional blackmail, making you feel guilty, and even gaslighting.

Overly Critical

Toxic in-laws can be overly critical of not only you but your husband as well. If your husband’s family is constantly being overly critical of you this can result in low self-esteem and a sense of inadequacy. It can have other effects as well such as stress, anxiety, and depression.

Lack of Boundaries

A lack of boundaries is a strong sign to indicate that your husband’s family is toxic. If they try to interfere in your personal space, share your personal information, and try to control your life then it is a major red flag. It is highly important that you set boundaries with your in-laws and make it absolutely clear to them that it is your own life and that you can make your own decisions.

Negative Attitude

A toxic family tends to have a negative attitude toward life, other people, and themselves. This is the same for toxic in-laws. If they are always complaining, gossiping, and being negative this can have a profound effect on your mental health.  Negativity can be contagious so you should surround yourself with positive people if possible.

Lack of Support

Another sign of toxic in-laws is when there is a lack of support. If your husband’s family doesn’t support you it can cause significant stress and strain on your relationship. A lack of support can be shown in many ways which includes not attending important events, not helping with childcare, and not being there for you when you need them the most.

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Ways to Deal with Your Husband’s Toxic Family

There are numerous ways through which you can deal with your toxic in-laws. We all have had toxic people around us making our life extremely difficult and worrisome. In such a situation finding out ways to deal with your husband’s toxic family becomes crucial. Some of the ways through which you can deal with your husband’s toxic family are:

Don’t Pay Heed to Their Gossip

Your in-laws will often be busy talking behind your back or sometimes in front of your face. They will try to put you down by talking about things that make you sad. They could even talk about certain controversies you could have been part of. When such a situation does arise it is best for you to not give importance to what they have been saying irrespective of whether they are saying it right to your face or behind your back.

Dont pay heed to their gossip

Stop Trying to Please Your In-Laws

A sad thing is that no matter how hard you try you will always find it difficult to please your husband’s family members. For sure few incidences here will be there where your husband’s family will be complementary of you but the majority of the time this will not be the case. Despite your best efforts, your husband’s family will find flaws in anything that you will do. So you should stop trying to please your in-laws.

Stop trying to please your in laws

Increase Your Confidence Levels

One of the most effective ways of dealing with your husband’s toxic family is by increasing your confidence levels. You can do this by focusing on yourself and starting to do things that make you happy. You could be the type of person who doubts her own abilities but you should stop doing this immediately otherwise your in-laws will make use of this and try to manipulate you into doing something that you don’t approve of.

This might be hard to do because your husband’s family puts you down and that can cause a lack of self-esteem. That is why it is doubly important to make sure that your confidence in your own abilities does not waver. Talk to friends and your own family and take confidence in them instead of your husband’s family. At least that way you can validate your confidence in yourself!

Increase your confidence levels

Be Headstrong

Being headstrong is a great quality for facing up to toxic in-laws. This will allow you to be determined and not be affected by what your in-laws are doing or saying about you. When you are headstrong you will be able to be confident in what you stand for and the things that you are willing to tolerate. Additionally, you will also be able to communicate your feelings in a clear and assertive way.

Be headstrong

Try to Forget and Forgive

When you are dealing with toxic in-laws you will find it can be difficult to let go of hurtful experiences and forgive the family members who have caused you pain. But being the bigger person and trying to forget and forgive can be an effective way to move forward and heal. Forgiveness is not the same as accepting bad behavior rather it is a way to release negative emotions and move on. Forgiveness helps to break the cycle of toxicity and promote healthier relationships.

Try to forget and forgive

Engage in Other Activities

Dealing with a toxic family can be emotionally exhausting so engaging in activities that bring you joy and help you manage stress is important. Finding new hobbies or doing activities that you enjoy can be an excellent way to take a break from the toxicity and recharge your batteries. This can include exercise, reading, spending time with friends, and exploring new interests. Engaging in other activities provides a sense of control and empowerment when dealing with your husband’s toxic family.

Engage in other activities

Avoid Getting into Arguments

Engaging in arguments can often escalate the situation and make things worse when it comes to dealing with toxic in-laws. It is helpful to remain calm and try to talk to them in a respectful manner. If your husband’s family says something hurtful you should assertively tell them of how it makes you feel but without attacking them. Setting clear boundaries and sticking to them can also be helpful in avoiding arguments.

Avoid getting into arguments


1. How to deal with my husband’s toxic family?

You should set boundaries with your husband’s toxic family. Communicate clearly and assertively about the type of behavior that is acceptable.

2. What can I do when my husband doesn’t see the toxicity of his family members?

Talk to your husband about your concerns and have an open and honest conversation about how the toxic behavior is affecting you.

3. How can I protect my children from my husband’s toxic family?

Monitor the interactions that your children have with your husband’s family members and limit how long they interact if necessary.

Final Thoughts

Dealing with a toxic family can be difficult especially if it is your husband’s family. It can cause a great amount of stress, and anxiety, and can even lead to depression if not handled properly. Many people struggle with toxic in-laws and there are many ways to deal with this situation protect your marriage and maintain your mental health. It is essential to identify the signs of toxic behavior, communicate with your husband, and set clear boundaries. In order to protect your marriage from toxic in-laws it is not necessary to cut them out of your life but to create certain boundaries that allow you and your husband to be happy.

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Andrew C. Smith, an expert in couples and family psychology, brings years of experience in enhancing family dynamics and parent-child relationships. With a private practice background, Andrew is now a valued writer at Merge Family, sharing insights on communication and more

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