Ending the In-Law Comparison Game

How do I get my husband to stop holding my parents to the same financial standards as his parents?

So your in-laws have gifted you with something very nice, or very expensive. Let’s say it’s a large sum of money to go toward a down payment on a home for you and your spouse. What happens when your parents can’t match the same contribution your in-laws have made? And how do you handle it when your spouse holds your parents to the same financial standards as his or her parents?

In today’s video, we’re discussing strategies for ending the in-law comparison game, particularly when it comes to differences in money and lifestyle.

When we grow up in a family that is privileged, whether we realize it or not, it’s easy to develop a sense of entitlement. So much is available to us that it becomes an expectation, even from people who don’t possess the same resources.

Maybe your spouse’s family had more than they needed of everything–wealth, material possessions, etc. And when we have more than what we need, it’s easy to start thinking we should get good stuff and nice gifts from everybody.

We’re sure your spouse is a well-intentioned person, but maybe he or she just doesn’t realize what kind of attitude they’re displaying. Most of the time, we don’t intentionally try to create an arrogant, demanding spirit within ourselves…but left unchecked, this can easily happen. When it does, we unintentionally put a tremendous amount of pressure on our spouse and our in-laws.

Have a conversation with your spouse about their attitude in a way that helps them see from your perspective. Don’t condemn or blame. Instead, gently lead your spouse into your family’s world and illustrate the circumstances from your perspective.

Generally, word pictures are very effective, as well as talking in terms of percentages. Maybe that down payment your in-laws gifted you was 1% of their yearly income, but 25% of your parents’. Laying these details out could be all your spouse needs to be able to understand the discrepancy in the gifts from each of your parents.

Finally, focus on the tangible, non-monetary gifts that your family brings to the table. This will gently help your spouse shift their focus from money and possessions to other things of value.

Have you and your spouse clashed when it comes to financial differences between in-laws? How did you handle it? We’d love to hear from you!


Leave a Reply