Family house(Courtesy of

Scroll down any message board and you're bound to read hair-raising tales like the ones on's in-law board. As one mom writes, "My MIL comes over once a week to spend time with my son and uses that day to tell me what I am doing wrong -- I'm feeding him too much, he's not ready to walk yet, it's too cold outside, it's too hot outside, it's too windy outside, his feet are cold, his feet are hot. Apparently I'm an idiot and she is Dr. Spock. My husband and I have fought so much over her."

Writes another mom: "Most of the time, we visit my in-laws at their house or at a restaurant, where we pay for their meal (even though I stay home and we are on a limited budget -- they never even pretend to offer). One time my MIL handed me a 'gift' for my daughter and said, 'I'm not sure what this is, but here.' Hey, nice to see you put some thought into the gift."

Sound familiar? If you're like most moms, you can weather the friction with your own parents way better than you can with your in-laws -- after all, you've been negotiating with your parents forever. With your in-laws, you aren't always sure what you're allowed to say and how you're expected to express it. You may find yourself saying the wrong thing and hurting their feelings. Or you may keep silent while your resentment grows and grows.

Bing: Getting along with in-laws

And just to make things even more complicated, your husband probably has a huge investment in keeping his parents happy. As one mom says, "Every time I bring up something that my in-laws did or said that bothered me, my husband just starts defending them and makes excuses for them." So when the two of you don't agree about how to handle conflicts with his parents, you've suddenly got two conflicts on your hands.