How to hate your mother-in-law without hurting your marriage
What to do if you hate your mother-in-law: strategies for keeping the peace, improving your relationship and saving your marriage.
he mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship is one of the most complex that we enter into upon reaching adulthood. Sometimes the two of you will be best friends, and for some people it is truly like gaining a second mother. At other times, however, the relationship is not what you might expect. It can be one filled with tension, spite, jealousy and even hatred. If this is how you would describe the relationship with your mother-in-law you are not alone. Many women don’t get a long with their mothers-in-law. Having feelings like this is not only unhealthy, but it could affect your marriage in a negative way.
In an order to better understand this dynamic, you may want to assess the reasons that you do not get along. Try to remove all feeling and emotion from the situation and approach it from a different angle. Does she see you as a threat? Are you jealous of the control she still wields over your husband? Could she be jealous of you? Do you have differing opinions on how to raise children? Try to talk with your partner and get to the bottom of what is really the cause of your problems. It may be hard at first, especially when emotions are running high. Express to your husband your desire to get to the bottom of what is really going on between you and his mom. He should be willing to help; it is his mother after all.
Once you have gotten to the bottom of what truly lies at the heart of what it is that bothers you so much, you should strategize your next move accordingly. Try to take the high road and extend the olive branch to her. Try to get to know her outside of your predefined roles. Make an effort to get to know her as a person, not just as your “monster”-in-law. Be honest with her about your feelings if at all possible. Avoid statements that make blame. Instead of: “You make me really angry when you feed the baby M&M’s” try: “It hurts me when you don’t have any respect for my wishes.” Make sure that you are taking your own advice by showing her respect as well.
If the relationship with your mother-in-law is so bad that you don’t think there is any hope of mending fences, then discuss with your partner what you will do. It can be very sad when families part ways and this should only be used as a last resort. If she is in any way endangering the health and well being of your family then it may be best to cut her out of your life.
If you have exhausted every option and find that the two of you just can't get along then try an “agree to disagree” approach. Agree that the two of you have differing opinions on many issues. That’s okay though. What is not okay, however, is to constantly nag your husband about the situation or force him to try and take sides. Nothing is so important that it should come between the two of you. Try your hardest to present a united front and approach the situation in a direct manner. Keep in mind that someday you are going to be a mother-in-law yourself. Aspire to be the type of daughter-in-law that you hope to have someday.