Figure skater Johnny Weir’s divorce is playing out in the public eye as both Weir and his estranged husband, Victor Voronov, have spoken to tabloids about their breakup.
Voronov blames the marriage breakdown on Weir’s mother, Pamela, and offered Weir an ultimatum: Voronov would call off the divorce, but only if Weir agreed in writing to no longer let his mother meddle in the marriage!
“Johnny’s meddling mother was definitely the source of the breakdown of our marriage,” Voronov was quoted as saying in People magazine.
Tips for Dealing with Your Parents & the In-Laws
Weir and Voronov’s situation is not uncommon. In our 20+ years as divorce attorneys in Albuquerque, we have seen plenty of couples unable to pick up the pieces after meddling in-laws become the third party in their marriages. Below are a few tips by the attorneys at Sandia Family Law about how to keep the in-laws OUT of your marriage:
Tip #1: Spouses stay loyal to one another first
When you get married, your primary loyalty is no longer to your parents—it is to your spouse. If your parents or your in-laws are dividing loyalties between you and your spouse, it is a sign that boundaries have been crossed. Marriage counseling may help to prevent a further divide.
Tip #2: Establish healthy boundaries…
Are the in-laws dropping by at all hours without calling first? Are your parents peeking into your finances? You and your spouse need to decide how far your parents may step into your lives. Negotiate with your spouse about what is and what is not acceptable. Establish boundaries and then stick to them.
Tip #3: …and Enforce those boundaries.
Now that you’ve established boundaries (e.g., parents are only allowed over after calling) you and your spouse must have a united front as you enforcement. This may require an uncomfortable conversation with your parents or your in-laws as you tell them what contact is and is not acceptable.
Tip #4: Try not to criticize your spouse
If your in-laws are placing strain on your marriage, it won’t do any good to criticize your spouse for his or her relationship with the parents. This can put your spouse on the defensive and actually reinforce an unhealthy connection with the parents.
Tip #5: Side with your spouse, not your parents
If your spouse is complaining that your parents are interfering, double-check to ensure you are following tip #1. When you and your spouse are having an issue and you go to your parents rather than resolving the issue with your spouse, you are hurting your marriage.
Remember that if conflicts between you, your spouse and either set of parents is escalating, meeting with a marriage counselor may prove an effective tool to keeping your marriage in tact. A marriage counselor can hear the details about your conflict and help you and your spouse understand, set and enforce boundaries.
Need Divorce Help in New Mexico?
Whether you are thinking about separation or divorce, or have already filed a divorce petition, our lawyers can help you make sound legal decisions that protect your future. To reach the Albuquerque, New Mexico divorce lawyers at Sandia Family Law, contact us at 505-247-1726.