Ask Toi: I’ve taken a break from my mother in law but she won’t change…

On this past Sunday was mother in law day.  I withheld this question on purpose.  Mother in laws vary from the truly supportive to monster in laws.   Knowing where you and yours fit is important.

When you have tried what you can to make it work and it doesn’t, stop forcing it.  Yes sorry to the mom in laws out there but the reality is a daughter in law should always be respectful.  They don’t need to be a bestie.  Respectful to me means acknowledging your presence and staying cordial.  It cost nothing to speak to strangers so you can give the same courtesy to the mom in law.

There are extremes where neither women speak but again those are extremes.   You need to if you have children to make it work so she the mother in law can have a relationship with her grandkids.  You can also allow your husband to foster most of the relationship.  You don’t need to cause tension in your home due to the lack of relationship with your mother in law.   Unless it’s truly disrespectful behavior learn to filter her.   We want our husbands to speak up against his mom and that doesn’t always happen.  He needs to speak up when a serious situation occurs but just like with our own parents we don’t check them when they do things.  Dont expect him to check every bad tone taken. He’s not fighting in the matrix.  He can’t take every hit.   He needs to tell her you’re his wife.  He needs to not allow blatant disrespect.  He can’t check her on every word she says.   She’s grown like you.   As much as we want to check adults the power we have stops at the edge of our nose.  We want our men to do it all and they can’t.  They are human.  Men don’t want to be in the middle so do your part too.

I know I’m going to get flack for this but it’s the truth.   We as adults are in bad situations where things happen all the time you can’t fight everything all the time.   Some of what happens is for your growth.  Acknowledge it and note it and move along.  Your mother in law is your husband’s mother so you will have some times when you will have to be the bigger person.   Why?  Cause she’s an elder and that doesn’t mean she can do anything to you, but she’s set in her ways stop trying to change her and use that energy to change you.   If you can’t get along than its best to go around only when you truly have to like holidays and such.   Don’t be somewhere you don’t have to be.  Maybe she will change and maybe she won’t but you can stop giving her power over you and your emotions.  Trust me I’ve been there.   Spoken up and acted up just to show my mother in law that she wasn’t going to treat me any kind of way.  Guess what?  She heard me.  She saw me get loud.   She didn’t change her thoughts towards me but she did change when I stopped the theatrics.

Say what?  Yes I merely stopped trying to get her to like me.   I stopped answering every ignorant thing I perceived as an issue.   I stopped telling my husband about it because at the end of the day he knew how she was.   I started putting distance between us.   I came around when I wanted to.   I did make sure she had full access to the kids.   I stopped letting her pull me in.  So what she rolled her eyes, they could have fallen to the floor I didn’t need to call her out on it.   You can be tired and done and not be moved.  You take the sting out.  Now I have peace. I’ve gone to her home with and without my husband and its been peace.  No battle axes or knives.  I refuse to allow an issue to keep me from my peace.  It’s hard it took me years to get there.  It’s not overnight.

You could be in the beginning where you want to fight but rest assured it won’t stop much on her end.   Calmer heads, distance, and a retreat on your emotions are in order.

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