When you marry, for better or worse, your spouse comes with extended family. Whether your in-laws or parents are opinionated or hands-off, chances are you and your spouse will need to get accustomed to your new family members.

Sometimes parents or in-laws try to be helpful by constantly giving their opinions, but you may find their advice intermeddling. Other times you may be in a family business that supports your lifestyle, but your extended family may comment on your expenditures. Perhaps, one set of in-laws constantly stops by your house unannounced, but then complains about your parenting style or housekeeping.

It is also helpful to learn how to communicate with your extended family, so intermeddling habits do not escalate to the point where they consume your thoughts. Complaining to your spouse about extended family when your anger has festered will not resolve extended family problems. It may make you more anxious if your spouse becomes protective of his family.

The point is extended family issues can cause anxiety leading to arguments between you and your spouse. They can also make extended family gatherings feel like a command performance that makes you tense before you arrive.

If your extended family is causing anxiety that is affecting your marriage, it may be time to reach out for outside help. I am a licensed counselor who has been helping patients, throughout Main Line Philadelphia, resolve marital conflicts and stress that stem from issues arising from extended family members.

I can help you learn how to communicate with your spouse and extended family. You can learn how to voice your concerns in a positive, calm manner. Together we can create a strategy, so that you can create boundaries for your extended family and respond to unsolicited advice. You and your spouse can agree on a strategy for communicating with extended family, so you can have the privacy and respect you need to make your marriage flourish.