If you are a bride-to-be or have been married for a while, you may be familiar with your husband’s mother in some way. If you’re lucky, she is either a very nice woman who respects your marriage and gets along with you at least most of the time (sort of like a second mom) or she is resting in peace somewhere. If neither of these apply to you, then you may be struggling with a mother-in-law who isn’t pleasant at all. Perhaps your mother-in-law is more like a monster-in-law, and you are literally two seconds from yanking your hair out from stress. Don’t do that, though… it’s not cute.
Dealing with a difficult mother-in-law is never easy. In a perfect world, you would be able to at least be cordial and see eye to eye for the sake of your spouse (or children). On the other hand, we don’t live in a perfect world. I know what it’s like to be in a tug of war for respect with your mother-in-law, and I can say first-hand the challenge that awaits you if you don’t learn how to stay respectful, but gain your respect as her daughter-in-law.
After over 16 years of being together and two children in, I still struggle with Mother-in-law issues very now and then. I believe there is something special about a woman who realizes that her son is in love, and instead of welcoming the young lady with open arms, she chooses to do everything in her power to make her miserable. Sometimes, it can be challenging to grit your teeth and continue smiling in your happy relationship, when all you want to do is scream. However, I’m going to give you five easy tips to get the monster… I mean mother of your darling husband, to not only like you but adore you in so many ways.
Be Yourself the First Time
Don’t pretend to be some innocent person who has never cursed, went without cleaning up the house, made mistakes, and blemish free; just to impress your spouse’s mother. Any real woman can see right through that, so who wants to eventually be exposed. If you want to impress her, be YOU right out of the gate. The worst case scenario, she doesn’t like you or your character. However, that’s a whole lot better than her realizing you were a fraud in the beginning, because true bonds cannot start with a lie. Start with honesty and grow from there.
Keep Your Business in Your Home
It’s none of anyone’s business what goes on in your home, especially NOT your mother-in-law. As much as you may want to confide in her about your relationship, finances, or personal troubles… DON’T. This will only be issues that she uses against you in the future. If you are having problems with her respecting you, telling her your problems, than being vulnerable around her isn’t going to soften her heart. No matter how she tries to play it, keep your hand close. Mind your business and keep yours to yourself. Even if she wants to call you (or your spouse, because some lonely moms do that) to gossip about her lack of sex, horrible friends, or the latest news about other family member’s, keep it short and simple. Let her know that she is welcome to come over for dinner or during the weekend, because she is less likely to gossip around the children or other family members, but don’t be her on call therapist. Mean mother-in-laws love to turn their son’s wives and girlfriends into their pet/sidekick/frienemy when it fits them… you’re better than that. Stay back.
Set Clear Boundaries with an Open Mind
Your mother-in-law shouldn’t just call in the middle of the night, unless something is wrong. She should not have a key to your house, unless it was something agreed upon between you and your spouse. Your mother-in-law should not be able to repeat personal conversations that you had with your husband. Nor should your mother-in-law have access to money and funds that you haven’t touched yet. She also shouldn’t think that it’s OK to yell at you, hit you, or have tantrums in front of your children. There has to be some boundaries in your relationship with your mother-in-law and your spouse. If you married a grown man, then everyone should treat him like a grown man. Your mother-in-law should not be able to treat you or your spouse like her children anymore… those days are over. That does not set a great example for your own children, if they constantly see you being chastised by their grandparent. Make it clear that your relationship and home are just that… Yours. Never allow her to impose on your privacy or life just because you want her to like you and are afraid to upset her. Don’t make your life miserable trying to impress someone else’s difficult parent. However, if you are blessed to have a very close and positive relationship with your mother-in-law, then continue to do whatever makes you comfortable. If she is helping you around the house, caring for your kids, that’s awesome. It’s beneficial for some families when the mother plays an essential role in a multi-generational home. No matter how much pride you may have, nothing beats another woman’s trusted and caring assistance in raising a family. If that your situation, count your blessings. Otherwise, keep an open mind but make those boundaries clear.
Never Show Fear of Standing Up For Yourself
I believe this advice applies to all types of people, but especially your mother-in-law. If she is consistently disrespectful, condescending, and manipulative… I say pray first. But then I believe it would behoove you to stay strong and stand your ground. Don’t match her drama with more drama of your own, because you run the risk of you both losing the love and respect of your spouse. Keep it classy at all times. However, explain to your spouse (not whine and complain) how challenging it is for you and how you want to keep the peace. If you genuinely want to get along with his mother, your actions must speak to that. He will eventually see who is doing what, and make moves to bring peace to his family himself. That’s what real men do. However, if after standing your ground, neither your spouse nor his mother is letting up on the misery, it may be time to reconsider your place in that weird depressing love triangle.
Kill Her with Kindness… until She Kills Herself
If your mother really wanted peace and harmony in the family, she would appreciate you being kind to her. Despite some mean comments and behaviors, you remain sweet and respectful to your mother-in-law, showing that you are the bigger person. Sounds awesome! However, I know many of you are like, “yeah, right! If it were only that easy.” It’s not easy at all. But it’s something you have to do. You can’t disrespect the mother of the person you love, no matter how nasty they are to you. It doesn’t look good, that you can’t show the person who brought your spouse into this world respect. It also says that you don’t want to keep peace in his family, something that should be essential to your future with your spouse. So when your monster-in-law is showing her selfish side, acting like a baby with a tantrum because her son/daughter needs to give her the attention that she has been used to their entire life, you have to keep a positive attitude and show respect. Be kind, let her know that you care and value her child, and that you will always be there for them. If you are lucky, you will eventually see that her ‘hate” for you has subsided and she realize that she has to let him be a man. However, if you are not so lucky, your spouse will have to realize that his/her happiness is not a priority to their mother and they will treat her accordingly. Either way, you get rid of a problem with the just the cost of being nice. Sounds like a bargain to me.
“You can’t expect respect and love from anyone else, if you haven’t first developed a love and respect for yourself.”
Ok, so maybe these tips won’t necessarily make her adore you, but hopefully this will bring you to a mutual understanding. The goal is to bring peace to your family, keep your spouse happy and stress free, while still maintaining a mutually respectful and loving relationship with his mother. It can be done, but it takes work. It’s up to you to be the bigger person sometimes, and do something different. I would walk into it fearlessly knowing that what’s meant to be is already yours.
The truth is, there is really nothing you can do to make your mother-in-law like, you, love you, or even treat you right. There are just some moms in the world, that aren’t ready or are uncomfortable that their sons may marry a strong, opinionated, and independent women. Perhaps it reminds them of themselves or the lack thereof. Often times, by you just loving her son and being in a happy relationship with him, it reminds her of what she doesn’t have and how lonely she is. It’s not your man’s fault (unless he isn’t speaking up about the disrespect and lines being crossed), so you shouldn’t take it out on him.
Side Note: You ever notice some women with husbands and long-term relationships don’t spend too much time worrying about their kid’s relationships, when they children grow up? They’re too busy keeping their own man happy and tending to their own households. Just an observation.
Check out my Video Vlog of a Recent Experience I Had of My Own:
Note the fact, that we all have problems from time to time with our very own loved ones. There are no perfect people. I believe that as long as we continue to encourage each other and remain transparent, eventually we will all come to some compromise.
When Your Mother in Law Hates You | GaptoothDiva Life Vlog
Your responsibility is to continue to be a good woman to your man, responsible, honest and drama-free. If you maintain that level head and a cool attitude, a smart man would see that it’s not you and deal with it accordingly. Often times, you’ll find yourself being baited into arguments and tedious spats, and that’s because your mother-in-law is bored and lonely. Don’t take the bait! Show the person you love that you are capable of not allowing the behavior of his/her family members affect you to the point that it becomes detrimental to your relationship.
It’s never easy dealing with your spouse’s family, if they are mean and disrespectful. Nevertheless, your love for your spouse is far more important than someone you’re not sleeping, creating a family, or paying bills with, any day…. Period.
How do you deal with issues with your Mother-in-Law?
Please comment below and let’s start the conversation.