Marriage is one thing, having meddling in-laws in another. We have all heard horror stories of meddlesome family members who make things uncomfortable if not downright miserable for couples to enjoy their union. While some do not see it as a big deal, others are fearful that the influence of a mother-in-law, in particular, can negatively taint their primary relationship.
If you know what to look for, you can try to deal with the little issues before they become bonafide problems. You will also be better prepared to tackle them and alert your spouse so they can then handle their family member before it gets mean and nasty. It will also make you aware if your spouse is willing to stand up for you or will buckle under familial pressure.
1. When she comes over, she starts rearranging your furniture.
2. She wanted to go on your honeymoon. She said it was a perfect time to bond with you. Ehmmmm…it’s a no love.
3. She refers to your spouse as her baby. If he/she is her baby, they are not really ready to be your mate.
4. She tries to dictate what they should and should not do.
5. When you talk, she is dismissive of your ideas and opinions.
6. She likes to be in control, even in YOUR own home
Now, if your mother-in-law seems like she intends to be a ‘monster-in-law’; here are some things you can do to mitigate the impact she has on your life. Firstly, do not feed into her negativity or her antics. If she is confrontational, walking away lessens the conflict because if she is arguing by herself, she will look and feel silly.
If some of her behaviours are triggers for you, recognise them so that you can avoid them. Look at the larger picture and do not be baited into a tit-for-tat kind of relationship. Someone has to be the grown-up, and until she recognises that you are not her minion to be manipulated, that adult will only be you.
Set your boundaries and enforce them even if there is push back. If you say she has to respect your space and shouldn’t come over unannounced, both of you have to mean it and stick by it. While you do not want to be combative you also have to stand up for yourself and your relationship, but your partner should also play their part in supporting your decisions. There cannot be a division or else it is not going to work. He or she has to be your cheerleader and assist their parent in understanding how important you are to them and that you are not going anywhere.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of BUZZ or its employees.