No matter what people say, when you marry someone, you marry the family and not just your partner. You have more than one new relationship to get to know and welcome as well. While for some this might be an easy and seamless experience, for others it is difficult and annoying thanks to the Mother-in-Law!
If you are the latter kind and have a nice but annoying mother-in-law, then you know what we are talking about. Maybe you have a mother-in-law that visits unannounced, one who tells you how to fold the laundry, spoils your children with that extra bag of candy, or maybe the one who expects her son to choose her before you everytime. No matter what kind of mother-in-law you have, we have some tips and ideas for you to live with a nice but annoying mother-in-law!
This is the most important step in building and working towards your relationship with your mother-in-law. Talk to her clearly and let her know that you understand that your partner is her child and the whole transition and situation might not be easy for her as well. Ask her what you can do to make it easier and smoother for her.
At the same time follow it up with things that you expect from her or want to set boundaries for. Maybe you want her to call and ask before she visits or not tell you how to raise your kids or how to cook for her son. When you talk to her, chances are she might understand and back off. She may be doing this out of habit, her mother in law might have done the same with her and she might be not realising it. Talk it out calmly and with clear examples.
When talking to her directly does not work, ask your partner to set up some boundaries. This actually works because when she will hear things from her child, it might be more convincing and understanding for her.
But will have to be very clear with your partner about what your expectations and boundaries are when it comes to his mother. Also, talk to him about how it affects your relationship as husband and wife.
Sometimes the best thing to do when something is bothering you is to ignore it and not take it personally. This works when it comes to mothers-in-law as well.
When it comes to smaller things like her nagging about your food not having enough spice or how she would love to help you out with the kids, it’s best not to take it personally. Just accept that’s how most mothers-in-law are and it’s not you who needs to do better or lacks anything. You are doing your best!
Whether you like it or not, this one works the best for both you and your mother in law. Plan something fun, a movie night or a brunch for your mother in law and your partner. This way she gets to spend some time alone with her son and so does your partner without you constantly around them.
Having a break will give perspective to each of you and relieve some of the stress from the relationship.
This one is very important. As humans, it is natural for us to compare people, things and feelings. But when it comes to your mother in law, don’t compare her with your parents. The kind of relationship you might have had with your parents while growing up or how they would have raised you might be entirely different from what your mother in law would have done with her son. But that’s absolutely fine! Everyone is different and that applies to her as well. She might not be like your parents but all mothers just want the best for their kids!
Sometimes when we enter a relationship with a preconceived idea or when we are in the thick of things it's difficult to think straight. So, always make sure that you first try and understand her feelings and thoughts, where is it coming from. Does she mean well to you? Is she doing something to just help you out or is she just pulling you down? First try to understand where it is coming from, because sometimes all your mother in law may want is to be there for you.
Finally, the bottom line is when you love your partner it means loving your mother in law as well! So, we hope that you make this relationship work and some of the above tips help you out.