Have you seen the movie Monster In Law with Jenifer Lopez and Jane Fonda? Well, that movie was in many cases a gross exaggeration. What happens when it’s not? What happens when your mother in law really is the monster in law? How do you handle it?
A family member of mine as had to deal with her mother in law for over 30 years. This woman has tried everything to break them up, including accusing the wife of being pregnant with another man’s baby. Another family member has a mother in law who couldn’t care less about her grand kids, or anything in relation to their lives. Every situation would be different depending on the people involved.
I can honestly say I’m very grateful to have a wonderful relationship with my mother in law. She has in the last 10 years become a 2nd mother to me. That includes fussing me out when I do something wrong, just like my own mother does. Have you ever been fussed out by two mothers for the same exact thing? yeah, it’s not fun. Lol
So how do you deal with it when you have the monster in law instead of the mother in love?
1) Set boundaries: While this may be easier said than done, it must be done. You don’t have to do it rudely or aggressively, but it must be done firmly. Of course there will be some monster in laws who couldn’t care less about boundaries, we’ll get to them.
2) Don’t: Allow your husband to include his mother in your personal affairs, and don’t include your mother in the personal affairs either. When there are hard times in the marriage, the mothers will have a tendency to take the side of their child, naturally. When the rocky times get better, they may hold on to those hard times too and hold it against your spouse.
3) Do: Work on building a relationship with your mother in law. Remember, she was the first woman in your husband’s life, and it can be hard to step back and allow another woman to become that number 1 in his life now.
4) Remind: Her of boundaries if she is overstepping them. If she has to be continually reminded, you may have to implement consequences. For example; If you can not respect us in our house, you will not be welcome over anymore. You have to stand firm in order for those boundaries to be respected.
5) Compromise: Allow your mother in law to play an active role, so long as she can respect you. Often they just want to feel included, and feel like they’ve lost their child when the child gets married off. Allow her to pick a restaurant for lunch sometimes. Or a movie. It’ll help her feel more involved instead of cast to the side.
Do you have a mother in love or a monster in law? What has worked, what hasn’t? We’d love to hear your stories.