5 suggestions on how to deal with a mother-in-law who's too invasive
August 13, 2020
Mothers-in-law get a bad wrap. Perhaps it's because they have the tendency to tell their daughters-in-law that no one is perfect enough for their sons. Before marriage, they probably tried to arrange the wedding how they wanted it, and not how you did. Now that you're married, they try to give you passive-aggressive advice on how to clean the house and raise your children. All couples know that mothers-in-law are an important figure in the family. You can't live with them, but you can't live without them. That's why we've decided to offer 5 suggestions on how to make it work with your mother-in-law. If you follow all of them, you might just find the two of you getting along.
via Psychology Today
- Give her the right amount of importance: don't try to hide information from her that could affect her life as well (e.g. having a baby). As long as you are including her in the important things in your life, this will help her feel appreciated and respected.
- Keep your distance, but don't be closed off: it's obvious that your mom and mother-in-law alike have been a huge help through wedding arrangements, among other things. This doesn't mean that they now have the right to walk all over you and your spouse. Don't be afraid to let them in your lives, but make sure you are setting some boundaries. After all, as a married couple, you and your spouse have the right to some privacy.
- Take her criticisms with a smile: although you don't have to agree with whatever she is cricitizing you for or complaining about, choose your battles wisely. Sometimes it's just easier and better for the whole family if you just listen to what she has to say and then, when's she's left, disregard it.
- Be clear with her: don't try to invent reasons why you can't go to lunch with her or spend time with her. It's better just to be clear from the getgo why you aren't interesting in spending more time with her. It may seem counterintuitive, but if you want to build a healthy and constructive relationship with your mother-in-law, "honesty is the best policy."
- Be yourself: Try to behave naturally while she's around instead of creating a false front for yourself. Showing her who you really are could lead to genuine conversation to the point where you might just discover you have some things in common: perhaps a favorite author or tv show, or maybe even a passion for cooking. In any case, being yourself will help draw you two closer together. Even if you two don't end up being best friends, a close relationship with your mother-in-law has its perks.