The mother-in-law relationship is most stressful for the daughter-in-law. Learning how to manage your feelings and the situation is critical in taking care of your wellbeing if your in-law situation is causing you anguish.
Give yourself a time out to evaluate the situation and develop a game plan that’s right for you before you can take on your mother-in-law. Find a quiet space, free of distractions, where you can note everything that has taken place to date.
Allow yourself to process the list, getting all feelings out until you can revisit it with a calmer frame of mind. In this way, you will be able to constructively take on the situation, coming from a more rationale versus emotional space, in moving forward.
1. Consider where your mother-in-law is coming from.
Try to see your mother-in-law’s side of the story and how her behavior may be a symptom of larger issues that she has with herself and her relationship with her son, not you. His mother’s hostility towards you is an act of frustration over being disconnected from him in some cases. This is something that your husband needs to work on with his mother.
Try to be objective as you evaluate the situation while challenging. Ask yourself honestly if she has a valid opinion about matters. In case this needs to be acknowledged in managing her consider if her actions and words are coming from a place of love and if she is struggling with feelings of having been dethroned as the family’s powerful matriarch, plus if there are ways you can still make her feel important and needed in her own way.
2. Trust your instincts.
Listen to your intuition if it is sounding like an alarm. Kate, a 38-year-old consultant, learned, “The first time I met my mother-in-law I found her warm and beautiful. But when she hugged me good-bye at the end of that evening, something went off in me indicating that this wasn’t a good person. Sadly, my instincts weren’t wrong.”
3. Ask yourself what role you are playing in this situation.
There are situations where a person has done nothing to cause the relationship with mother-in-law to become strained. However, you can also face situations where the daughter-in-law is doing, or not doing, something that is causing the mother-in-law to treat her the way they are .
Therefore, think back to how you have been engaging your mother-in-law. Ask honestly yourself if a third party could possibly find fault with that. Do you do or say things to instigate a negative response or are you a total victim in this scenario? Consider how you can change the way you are handling the situation or reacting to it in order not to invite any antagonism if the scenario applies to you.
4. Be okay with not having your mother-in-law’s approval.
You do not need anyone’s approval to live your life the way you want to. Never drive yourself crazy trying to get the thumb’s up from your mother-in-law. Not having a care in the world as to what they think about you will be incredibly freeing and empowering.
5. Stop having any expectations.
We can all learn from Buddhism’s belief that expectations lead to suffering, weather you follow this religion or not. Never allow yourself to suffer any more. Let go of expectations around how things should supposedly be when it comes to family relationships. Stop wanting what you can’t have.
Be realistic about the situation, including any non-negotiable circumstances instead. You are not going to be close or given what has transpired. Contemplate how you can work with the way things are instead of trying to live out some Hallmark holiday card. For example, is a coolish relationship possible?
Imagine that you have a toxic mother-in-law. How could you rely more on your intuition and learn what is your role in the conflict? In which case could you give up your expectations? Write your discoveries down in the journal of success.
Author: Victoria Herocten Writer and coach.
Since 2009 she helps women with abuse to start over and how to be happy .
The co-author of the bestseller “Gratitude Book”.