A common and tricky part of any marriage partnership usually involves a difficult mother-in-law. According to Psychology Today, most couples face extraordinary challenges in establishing a proper balance in relationships where a mother-in-law is toxic. Again, most partners complain about mothers-in-law wanting to hijack their parenting roles. The belittlement and spite at almost every turn can also make things sour.
A US poll targeting over 2000 couples states that most marriage breakdowns are due to meddling mother-in-laws. So, what do you do when faced with a negative and controlling mother-in-law? Do you ignore them? Or do you become the bigger person and try to mend the relationship, however difficult the journey might be? The most important thing in such a scenario is learning to take care of you by managing your feelings. The stronger and confident you can then establish a proper balance for their family irrespective of how stressful your relationship is with your spouse’s mother. Here is how to how to handle typical mother-in-law stresses
Evaluate the Whole Situation
Before you can entirely give your mother-in-law a blackout, assess the issues you have with them. Could you be doing things that are not just right? Maybe without knowing, you are disconnecting her from her bloodline? Ask yourself where all the strain and resentment are coming from and see if there is room for change. By processing all your feelings and mulling over everything that is happening, you can see if you are part of the problem. Sometimes having a pinch of empathy can also help to see where your mother-in-law is coming from, including any insecurities involved. It is then much simpler to handle any future difficulties and strains with her.
Create Clear Boundaries in Your Relationship
The truth is that you can choose your spouse, but you can never choose their mother. Nonetheless, if they are difficult, then keep the distance. The best news is that you are under no obligation to be friends with her. You even do not have to like her. The greatest thing with establishing such stringent boundaries is that it eases the pressure to please her. Is your spouse pushing you to establish a relationship with their mother?
Insist to them that it is okay for them to maintain their relationship without you in the picture. For example, allow them to do things together without involving you. Once you set these rules, you do not have to go the extra mile to please her. No fake smiles, and they do not have to ruin your happiness in a get-together or holidays. Lastly, you may be surprised that your spouse agrees with you and finds great relief about your desire for physical and emotional distance from their mother,
You Can Go for the Forgiveness Option
Although it is easier said than done, forgiveness can turn things around. It can also heal you and create a peaceful environment in your relationship with your spouse, even if it is not with their mother. That is all that matters. Think of all the wrongdoings your mother-in-law has committed against you and shove them in the dustbin. It frees you completely, and you can move forward without having to shoulder any resentment. Again, one of the best ways to avoid an argument with your spouse is forgiving their mother. Generally, forgiveness requires thoughtfulness, it requires you to be the bigger person, and once you make up your mind, nothing can ever burden you again.
You Do Not Need Their Approval
It would help if you accepted that the relationship is not working as you have envisioned. And it would help if you also were okay with not having your mother-in-law’s approval. After all she is only human and has her failings. If you have been driving yourself crazy, wanting them to say yes, then it is time to stop and begin living life without such expectations.
Finally, think of what your spouse wants. Do they have a great relationship with their mother? Unless they also do not want to have anything with them, do not ignore your mother-in-law. Don’t try to fake the relationship either. At this point, all you need is to be assertive and be as courteous as possible.