Toxic in-laws are family members who create genuine chaos through various assaults -- aggressive or subtle -- on you and your marriage, and they can be recognized in a wide variety of guises:
And the longer that conflicts with these in-laws remain unresolved and not dealt with effectively, the more damaging these conflicts and people will become.
How to recognize and stop these destructive patterns
Now, from bestselling author Susan Forward, comes a remarkable self-help guide that is both practical and powerful. She draws on real-life voices and stories of women and men struggling to free themselves from the frustrating, hurtful, and infuriating relationships with their toxic in-laws. What makes in-law problems uniquely difficult is that they are part of a triangle -- you, your in-laws, and the person you married. One dynamic of these destructive relationships is that you often feel as if you are in the middle of a powerful tug-of-war for your partner's loyalty. And the hurt from your partner's lack of support is often more painful that anything your in-laws do. Forward shows you clearly how your in-laws manipulate your partner. This new clarity will help you feel less bitterness and far more empathy toward him or her so that you can begin the vital process of protecting your marriage.
Strategies that work
First, Forward offers you highly effective communication and behavioral techniques for getting through to partners who won't or can't stand up to their parents. Her unique methods allow you to defuse the anger and feelings of betrayal that flare up when a partner won't defend you. Next, she lays out accessible and practical ways to reclaim your marriage from your in-laws. She shows you what to say, what to do, and what limits to set. If you follow these strategies, you may not turn toxic in-laws into the in-laws of your dreams, but you will find some peace in your relationship with them. Most important, you will reclaim your dignity and self-respect, and reconnect more strongly than ever with the one you love.
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Susan Forward, PhD, is an internationally renowned therapist, lecturer, and author. Her books include the number-one New York Times bestsellers Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them and Toxic Parents. In addition to her private practice, she has served as a therapist, instructor, and consultant in numerous Southern California psychiatric and medical facilities.
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