(Closed) In-Laws: Unsolicited Advice Edition

posted 5 years ago in Family
Post # 3
2299 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

tell them. when she sent that email for your sister in law i would have sent it back to her with a note that said ‘thanks for thinking of her, but she has a wonderful husband, family and friends to draw from. i think that receiving this advice from someone she doesn’t know would overwhelm her and i certainly don’t want to do that at the moment.’ ie – butt out. 

same with the crap she says when she’s over. one well placed ‘x i feel like you’re always finding things about our home that you don’t like – it’s hurtful. are there any positive comments you’d like to make? we love our home and would appreciate it if you could keep your negative comments to yourself in the future.’

yeah – it’ll suck the first few times, especially if your husband is behind you miming ‘my wife is a sensitive baby, sorry’ BUT unless she is literally stupid or deaf, she won’t do it after being nicely shamed a few times. 

Post # 4
527 posts
Busy bee

@peonyinlove:  Ditto! Or throw her uninvited advice back at her next time you see her. “You really shouldn’t wear that color; it’s not flattering on you”, “you should consider whitening your teeth so they don’t look so yellow”, etc.

Some people just need a big bowl of their own BS served up to them to get it. She sounds like a textbook candidate. 

And it really sucks that your hubby won’t back you up … It really makes your feelings seem invalidated and that is a crappy feeling from someone who is supposed to be your partner. Does he know it hurts you when he doesn’t have your back?

Post # 5
3283 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

Oh gosh, my family does this SO much. They’re incredibly pushy, too. They get onsessed with things and then call and email constantly about those topics. For me, there’s nothing I can do. If I get annoyed, it just makes them want to give advice MORE–then I seem to REALLY need it, I guess.

I’m sorry your hubby won’t back you up. If my Fiance was really upset about how crazily much my family gives advice, I would just tell him that there’s really nothing to be done for it, though I *would* validate his feelings!

Your options, as far as I know:

-ignore emails from them–literally just don’t open them if you know you’re going to get annoyed.

-find things that you CAN ask them for advice on (like, maybe something they actually ARE knowledgeable about? or something you don’t really care about?) and every time they give you unsolicited advice, change the topic to those things.

-pick one or two things and say, “I’m very confident in my knowledge about X and Y. I feel a little put down when you give me advice about X and Y, because that’s my area of expertise.” (If they’re anything like my family, this will work only the littlest bit. My father still frequently gives me advice about my literature PhD, lol. He has a degree in physical education and is a law enforcement officer.)

-unfortunately, your best bet is just to let it go. My life got a LOT less stressful when I learned to let this stuff go in one ear and out the other.

Post # 6
12248 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

Just smile and nod.

It’s like working in a Hellish customer service job that never, ever ends… The only good response is to smile and nod (and make fun of their shitty advice in your head)

Post # 7
214 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

Just smile and nod. Say Thanks. Don’t really engage. Change the subject. “Sorry you feel that way” works best of… “Well I like it!”


dont fight with your husband over it. he is just trying to maintain peace. While they seem super annoying, they haven’t been devastating mean to you, for your hussband to jump in an intervene. welcome to the world of inlaws

Post # 10
7561 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

I think they have a problem, but in ignoring this problem you’ve started directing your anger at your Darling Husband. It seems totally normal for your husband to suggest you ask his sister about something. If his sister wasn’t so nosey, would it be an annoying suggestion? I would try to divide the problems here. Like some of the others have said, I would tell them that their advice isn’t needed. Then I would try to keep your frustrations with his family out of your relationship with your Darling Husband. 

Post # 12
720 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I think the bigger problem here is your husband. Even if he personally doesn’t find it annoying, you do, and he should help you out – at least try to see it from your side. When you grow up in something, it’s easy to see it as normal. From the outside, what’s “normal” can actually be really hard to live with. I hope you can get him to see that. And no, he shouldn’t be running to his family every time something comes up. What would he do if he didn’t have a family? Sit on his bum and refuse to come up with his own ideas? I doubt it. I say this, by the way, as someone who comes from a crazy close family – you  have to do your own thing, for yourself, and your marriage needs to be YOURS. It’s fine to casually discuss this or that, but don’t bring every hiccup to the family – they’re not part of your marriage.

As for your in-laws’ advice: smile and nod, and change the subject. Don’t commit to doing anything they’ve suggested. “I’ve got it covered, thanks.” Don’t let them get into it. Seriously, I had a friend like this (past tense, notice?) who was an “expert” in everything, all the time, whether you needed her to be or not. No one in our group of friends has spoken to her in nearly 5 years, because she drove us all insane. I finally snapped and told her off, which I’m guessing you probably don’t want to do with your in-laws.

Otherwise, a calm, honest, “That’s the fifth time this afternoon you’ve offered me advice I haven’t asked for. I know you think you’re helping, but I end up feeling (whatever you’re feeling). I’d appreciate it if you would (what you want them to do).” Who knows – maybe it would work. Good luck!

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