#33 In-Laws Invading! In-Laws Invading! ft. Dr. Scott Woolley
Couples therapist Dr. Scott Woolley returns to the show to discuss how to deal with intrusive in-laws. The interview is preluded by Grace and Zach’s new segment “We’re In It With Ya” (1:20). They analyze their communication skills during a vulnerable and sensitive situation (8:20). Grace then shares Dr. Woolley’s credentials (12:05).
Grace’s first question is why some in-laws feel entitled to deep involvement in their children’s marriages and lives (15:30) Dr. Woolley’s answer includes the in-laws’ own experience with their in-laws (16:40) and insecurity (20:15).
The two then turn to how to navigate situations where the in-laws encroach upon the couple’s time (24:45). Dr. Woolley recommends that the biological child of the in-laws does the talking when approaching their parents (25:15). He also talks about what to do when only one spouse feels the in-laws’ behavior is unacceptable (27:05). A common trap is debating what is “normal,” when what really matters is how the behavior feels—does it feel respectful or disrespectful? (30:00) Relating to that, Dr. Woolley identifies a key question that drives most marital disputes (32:15). He also spends some time talking about the importance of being aware of cultural differences (36:10).
Next, in-laws intruding into the home is discussed (40:00). The nuances of how to talk to the in-laws are traversed again. Grace and Dr. Woolley then turn to dealing with in-laws whose opinions feel intrusive and controlling (45:05). After outlining strategies, he reminds us to keep perspective (53:30). Finally, Grace presents the situation of an in-law breaking boundaries that were set up for safety reasons (58:00). Dr. Woolley ends the episode with a message of hope (63:15).
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