How to Deal with an Overbearing Mother-in-law

March 2, 2012 by melissa j. clark  
Published in Women

How to deal with an overbearing mother-in-law.

Since the beginning of marriage, there have been husbands and wives who are dealing with in-laws and often, they are dealing with problems that arise in the in-law relationships that the marriage has brought into their lives.  By far, the most typical in-law trouble lies within the relationship of a wife and her mother-in-law.  There are several reasons for this, from the fact that mothers are very protective of their sons to the idea that women in general can be more “catty” than men are in their relationships.  Although there are some husbands that have a difficult time with their mothers-in-law, it is not as typical as it is with wives. 

When a woman marries, she is usually very excited and anxious to begin this new life with the man that she has fallen in love with.  All seems to be going well until she does that first thing that upsets his mother.  She may not be keeping the house clean enough.  She may not be coddling her husband the way that his mother would.  Or, she may be spending more money than her mother-in-law thinks is reasonable.  Whatever it is that the wife and her mother-in-law can’t see eye to eye on, there is going to be a problem if the mother-in-law is the overbearing sort. 

When the trouble begins, the new wife will often find herself trying to keep things as peaceful as possible.  She may succeed for a time, but eventually, she will begin to feel resentment seeping in.  Instead of trying to hold these feelings in, where they will do nothing but grow like a disease, the difficulties with an overbearing mother-in-law should be addressed and dealt with from the start. 

While it is important that a wife respect the mother of her husband, she need not be trampled on by her.  Learning to stand her ground is going to be very important.  She should not change the way that she does things simply because her mother-in-law says that she should.  However, there are things that the younger woman can learn from her mother-in-law, which will enhance her own relationship with her husband.  There is a balance that should be attained which has nothing to do with either woman being controlling, but with gaining wisdom and knowledge. 

A mother-in-law who is overbearing may simply be feeling unneeded and her daughter-in-law can relieve that feeling by asking her advice occasionally and including her in family events.  She should ensure that the mother-in-law feels appreciated, even if only for the fact that she produced a son that the woman has found love with. 

Overbearing mother-in-laws are very frustrating to the wives of their sons, who generally only want to love and care for him in their own way.  If this is not in the same way that his mother would, watch out!  There may be trouble lurking just around the bend.  While both of these women only want to do what’s best for the man that they love, they will both be hurting him if they can’t learn to have a relationship that is grounded in respect for one another and hopefully, friendliness and love.

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