So I was asked about this topic from at least 3 people however as I’m writing this I’m struggling in this area and wasn’t sure if I wanted to answer this topic.
I’ve been married to my husband for 2 years and it’s not been the easiest thing and even as I write this there are a lot of background things going on but I’ll write about that at another time.
I met my mother in law initially in 1999 when I met my husband in college. She came off to me as a regular mother. My husband is an only child so I knew from all the stuff she said about him and their relationship that she wasn’t going to be okay with another women coming in and stacking any claims.
We had over the years a lot of good memories. We spoke often and I saw her often enough to know her personality pretty well. Being that my husband is an only child I definitely had my apprensions when it came to marrying him.
We got married in August 2012. She seemed on board with it and I didn’t feel that she didn’t want me to marry her son however I knew she wanted to be an extension of that marriage. I was raised for a man to leave and cleave. I know for mother in laws reading this it sounds as if I wanted to marry him and make sure I drove an immediate wedge but that’s not quite the case.
My goal was that since she wasn’t with his father or any other man that she would always know that her son would make sure she was taken care of and had whatever she needed. She would always be welcomed to family outings and that her grandchildren would know her and love her.
Before we got married we moved in with her to save money however I don’t need to tell you how that is. She obviously is set in her ways and I’ve lived on my own since college and have my set of ways as well. To say it’s been a bumpy ride is an understatement. I would never paint the picture of her as an evil monster in law because that would he a complete lie.
Mother in laws and daughter in laws have issues getting along due to both parties trying to accomplish the same goal of marking terrority. The best advice I can give is to set boundaries early with your husband and let your husband respectfully communicate that to his mom. I don’t agree with daughter in laws telling off mother in laws however that doesn’t mean you need to become doormats either.
I think as a wife it’s never my place to get involved with my husband’s family disputes. Separate your emotion even though it will be hard. One thing you will find is that if you get involved the family will take more to heart what you said and are less forgiving.
My other suggestion is to let your husband go to family functions even if you aren’t able or don’t want to attend. it’s never ok to make your husband choose or vice versa. If your husband is am family person he should be able to continue that. My husband and I set the major holidays on how we spend them and allow family to say whatever about it. What’s important to me since I have kids is that both sides have time with the kids. We do Thanksgiving in Philadelphia, Christmas in Lancaster and alternate between both for Easter. For mother and father’s day we spend with our respective parents alone. It works for us. Set your own holiday schedule.
If you can get close to your mother in law please do so. They offer an invaluable resource for you. If you have gotten to the point where being cordial is hard remember to always show respect. For me acknowledging her presence should always be key. It cost nothing for you to say hello. If you have kids they need to see you interact as adults in front of them.
Also don’t get discouraged when other members of your husbands family make their opinions based on what your mother in law says. When you see them always be polite and smile. I had to learn that quick. My mother in law can take a situation that happened in the house and paint it more than what happened. That’s not anything negative to her trust me I’ve done the same.
To keep your sanity always speak up. I’m not a yes person but im also okay when conflict occurs. When I was going through post partum I would go off so now whenever I speak I get labeled as disrespectful. It used to bother me but it learned to accept the response and make sure that I am respectful even in disagreements.
What to do If you find you and your mother in law can’t get along
If after you have set boundaries and have attempted to be nice and that won’t work, just remain who you are. Apologize where you have done wrong. I think any mother in law reading this can appreciate an apology. Be sure you as a mother in law that you give one as well. Remember that although you are older you can be a gate of love to your daughter in law who really just wants your acceptance.
Now with my mother in law it’s not always a bowl of cherries but I can agree to disagree and voice my opinion as well show respect. My husband’s family are pretty much you get what you see and I enjoy family functions. I’m sure my relationship will get better as time progresses. I’m the mother of her grandchildren and as long as I respect her we will be fine. I’ve always believed that no matter how bad things are they could get better.
Lastly regardless of the wrongs done on both sides you are responsible for your actions. If you have children you will have to see your mother in law. The same respect you want your husband or boyfriend to show your mother be sure to show to his.
Lastly and this is something I was told to do was to write a book with things that disturb you about your mother in law and say a prayer regarding it. When you pray about it, something happens- you change. Imagine the change that will take place within you that will equip you to handle anything including your mother in love. Change what you call her as well. Turn the negativity into a positive.
Write me and I’ll update you guys as well on how things progress!
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