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Don't Roll Your Eyes: Making In-Laws into Family Paperback – September 4, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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  • Don't Roll Your Eyes: Making In-Laws into Family
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Offering plentiful composite case studies, the fair-minded, inclusive, and congenial Nemzoff doesn't promise quick solutions and realizes some problems are unsolvable, but she focuses on helpful ways to improve relationships that with time and effort can be fixed.” ―Publishers Weekly

“Family therapists know that the main difference between humans and animals is that humans maintain relationships with their in-laws. Ruth Nemzoff's Don't Roll Your Eyes is a trenchant and insightful exploration of that species-specific behavior.” ―Brad Sachs, PhD, author of Emptying the Nest

“Indispensable advice! Ruth Nemzoff's recipe for healthy in-law relationships rests on impeccable research and a wealth of real-life experience, but it is also well-seasoned with a depth of wisdom and common sense that is truly exceptional. Her straightforward strategies make this book the perfect wedding gift--not just for the bride and groom but for their parents and siblings too.” ―Gina Stepp, Family and Relationships Editor, Vision Media

“Ruth Nemzoff thinks wisely and deeply about family connections. She presents a carefully nuanced consideration of this oldest of topics. Don't Roll Your Eyes has something to teach everyone. It would make a wonderful gift to any family member and is an essential addition to the bookshelf of any professional working with families.” ―Judy Osborne, author of Wisdom for Separated Parents

“With her characteristic wisdom and wit, Ruth Nemzoff treads into the minefield of in-law relationships, from extended families to grandchildren, money, religion, and myriad other issues. She offers examples and expert advice to help us keep in-laws from turning into out-laws. An indispensible field guide for generations on both sides of the in-law divide.” ―Mary W. Quigley, www.mothering.21.com, NYU professor and author

“Dr. Nemzoff's clarity and candor, wit and wisdom really shine through. She is not afraid to tackle any issue, any modern permutation of the extended family in the 21st century.” ―Joan Wise, former general counsel AARP

About the Author

Ruth Nemzoff is the author of Don't Bite Your Tongue, and a popular speaker on the topic of parenting adult children and family dynamics, including at the AARP. Ruth was profiled or interviewed for many national and local papers and radio and television, including The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Jewish Advocate, and InterFaith Family. She is a resident scholar at Brandeis University's Women's Studies Research Center, and lives in Boston, MA.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230338992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230338999
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #674,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm a daughter-in-law seeking an improved relationship with my mother-in-law. I've read many books, scoured countless blogs, and talked with a therapist about improving this relationship. Of all my "research," reading this book (twice) has been the most fruitful activity.

This excellent (and quick) read acknowledges the complexities of in-law relationships while still providing clear, concise recommendations for both generations. But here's the kicker: you must be prepared to do your part in making things better. Don't read this YET if you're still at the point where you just want to complain about your in-laws. The author challenges you to be a bigger person, so read this if you're ready to do some work and be happier!

The author is a wise, wise woman. This book could very well improve many lives!
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By Lily on February 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was an easy read. The theme to me throughout is you need to turn the other cheek. Covers alot of different situations. You can complain to friends or a spouse but really need to control your emotions toward the in laws to keep peace. Very complex time going though the empty nest and trying not to be competitive,not alot of concrete answers on how to deal but that differs with personalities. I think life plays a cruel trick in that alot of us won't be around to see our own kids go though these life adjustments. I think it's very hard for the 2 generations to communicate. The author mentions that in the book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a mother-in-law seeking to improve my relationship with a daughter-in-law. This book was an easy read. It's good as a help for any in-law relationship. I'll have to see how it works when I try to put the suggestions into practice.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book as a daughter-in-law trying (and currently failing) to forge a workable relationship with my in-laws. I agree with the previous reviewer who said that it's not for people who aren't ready to change their own behavior. The author includes many examples that basically get to the main message as I understood it - in each situation, whatever it may be, you have a choice how you will act (or react), and your choices can and will make the relationship better or worse. It's a good reference book for any in-law just in terms of bringing up issues that commonly arise and giving options of how to deal with them. I felt like she brought together the best of mature, balanced advice that one might receive from a wise matriarch or patriarch and made it available to everyone. I appreciated some of her more outrageous examples because she acknowledges that while it may be within a person's rights to react negatively to negative behavior, it's usually not in the best interest of anybody in the long run. I also appreciated her repeatedly asserting that while they do seem to take a lot of work, in-law relationships can be rewarding for all parties through the years.
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Format: Paperback
Ruth Nemzoff is a wise woman whose writing truly resonates with me. She offers advice on what to do when perfect strangers--or people you wish were strangers--become your family, namely in-laws.
Nemzoff is an expert at navigating family dynamics and grasps all the different perspectives of intergenerational relationships. She examines the forces that make in-law relationships troublesome as well as how multiple generations can benefit from them.
She writes from experience and says that of all her careers--teacher, administrator, state legislator, and professor--mothering has been the most rewarding. She has four adult children, four in-law children, and seven grandchildren, with whom she has very satisfying relationships. It's easy to understand why, given her insight and communication skills.
Here's an example of how she nails a basic problem: The generations often blame each other when expectations they don't even know they have are not met. We find ourselves angry, for example, when no gift arrives and we realize we expected one. We feel our emotions before we realize what we actually want. We often hang onto nostalgic expectations of family roles when roles are changing.
The ease or difficulty of these relationships depends a lot on the willingness of all parties to make things work, says Nemzoff. Both generations want to be appreciated and acknowledged for their efforts and not taken for granted or judged.
Don't Roll Your Eyes focuses on specific issues that can cause tension among the generations. Nemzoff explains that because of popular in-law jokes we can be wary of one another before we even meet. Or we can have different ideas about how much closeness we want. Another problem can be competition between sets of parental in-laws who may vie for priority.
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