So you’ve begun a relationship with your partner and, after a few positive dates, the time has come to meet their family for the first time.
It can be a nerve-wracking occasion as you try to prove to their parents that their son or daughter has met a fine partner.
In most cases, everything goes swimmingly and their parents thankfully take a shine to you. Sometimes, though, you and they don’t quite hit it off, which could lead to friction that may amplify if you and your partner ultimately get married.
This infographic from Loyes Diamonds contains some sound advice on how to handle complicated relationships with mothers-in-law.
It begins by exploring some of the character traits from mothers-in-law which can be irksome:
- She doesn’t so much advise as give her opinion on everything and she gives it in such a forthright manner that she won’t accept alternative points of view.
- She worries constantly about both their son/daughter and you, as well as any children you may have.
- She broadcasts everything you tell her to friends and neighbors, even when it’s something that is much better kept in-house.
- She intervenes with empty, meaningless platitudes which might be intended as helpful but, if anything, only make matters worse. For example, when something involving you or your partner goes majorly wrong, she’ll tell you that it’s “for the best” when that’s the last thing you want to hear at that time.
- You tell her one piece of information and she then follows up with a multitude of questions every time she encounters you. For example, you tell her that you’re planning to host a dinner party and she keeps asking you who is going or what food you’ll be serving, even when you haven’t begun to think about it.
- She will make light of something that is very important to you. For example, you might feel passionately about animal rights and have strong views on the topic, whereas she makes frivolous, disrespectful comments when the subject is being discussed.
- She has a preconceived notion about how you or her son/daughter should behave and will constantly try to reinforce it, even in adulthood.
- She blames you alone for any chinks in your relationship with your partner, believing wholeheartedly that her son/daughter can do no wrong.
When your mother-in-law exhibits traits such as these, it clearly can drive a wedge between you and them.
The temptation might be to get involved in a heated argument with her, but you’re both adults so you should both be capable of discussing your issues in a mature fashion.
If there are areas of disagreement between the two of you, **talk honestly about these and try to forge a compromise. **
If you let a difference of opinion turn into intense dislike or even hatred, your partner ends up caught in the middle, effectively forced to choose between their spouse and their mother.
One thing you’ll always have in common with your mother-in-law is that both she and you love your partner deeply, so if there is tension in your relationship with your mother-in-law, try to work through it via reasoned discussion.
If you both can manage that, it will be most beneficial to all parties in the long-term.