How to deal with a dominating mother-in-law?- She is your extended family!

‘’Difference between law and in-law is you can justify yourself before law but never before in-laws"

“The mother-in-law frequently forgets that she was a daughter-in-law”- Unknown

You are rather apprehensive about your mother in law as you are always doubtful that she instigates your spouse against you. It is one relationship which is always thorny and prickly. Why do you doubt this relationship so much?

  • Is she really the terror she is made out to be?
  • Can’t she be your friend?
  • Why do you feel averse of her?
  • Is she really scheming?

Your mother in law feels she has an extra right towards her son\daughter as she had brought him\her up amidst so much of problems. She had so far enjoyed the monopoly of the love of your spouse without contest. When you enter into her son’s\daughter’s life as the lawful partner, she feels her position as the all commanding mother in jeopardy.

When she sees you interacting intimately with her so far clinging son\daughter, she feels pangs of jealousy and thinks that you are an intruder to her hitherto unclaimed rights as the most important person in the life of her child.

You aggravate the situation by deliberately pulling your husband\wife away from her. This makes her even more wary of you. Mostly the tug of war is between the daughter in law and the mother in law, while there are some cases of sons-in-law complaining about the wrong things she teaches his wife.

How to handle your mother-in-law when she tries to crush you with her unreasonable demands?

The most important thing you should remember is that she is not your enemy and you should not harbor unnecessary ill feelings against her. She is the mother of your spouse and deserves the respect due to her.

But she should know her limits and take a step back to let her son\daughter lead his\her life.

  • What should you do if she tries to take over your life?
  • Should you let her have her way?

Your married life is very important to you and you should not allow anyone intrude into your privacy. This does not mean you should thrust her away from your life. If you do so your spouse feels anguished that his\her mother is treated with scorn by you and he\she feel resentment building against you.

How to get into her good books?

  • You should make her understand that she has your respect and support.
  • You should consult her in important family decisions so that she feels involved.
  • You must include her in family conversations and not make her feel an outsider by completely ignoring her. This is the mistake you deliberately make to show your power as the rightful spouse to her son\daughter.
  • You must make your children interact with her so that she feels the emotional security of family bond.

What should you do when she tries to make your married life nightmarish by giving wrong advice to your spouse?

  • You should not let her dominate your married life in a negative way. It is indeed sad when a person who should actually feel content at the happiness of her son\daughter trying to spoil it.
  • You should have a frank talk with her when she instigates your spouse against you.
  • You should be able to convey the message that you would not take her mean intention lightly.
  • Your voice should not shoot up aggressively, but be firm and pleasant.
  • Get across the message that you respect her, but would not allow her messing up your life.

In fact, your mother in law is your extended family and good relationship with her indirectly helps your marriage. Your spouse feels relieved when you are friendly with her; because his\her marriage to you does not in way lessen the love he\she has for his\her mother who has hitherto given so much of selfless love.

© 2013 mathira

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Comments 4 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

I am quite certain there are millions of people who can benefit from this article. :) Well done once again.


mathira profile image

mathira 2 years ago from chennai Author

billy, your encouragement makes me want to do better and better. Thank you.


salmeen 23 months ago

why only daughter in laws should understand and make the first move? why not we try to change thd old dirty mentality of these dominating mother in laws?


shruti 19 months ago

This article is written by a mother in law.

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