Marriage is a beautiful journey, a new chapter of life that comes with its share of good and bad. As a newly married bride when you settle into a new home, patience is what you need the most. Apart from the new environment, it is the in-laws, especially the mother-in-law, who can be the most difficult to understand and handle.
Many times it is the initial handling of relationships that paves way either for a beautiful and fulfilling or a bad and unpleasant relationship.
Here are 8 smart ways to deal with your difficult mother-in-law:
1. Have patience
Before you begin to form an opinion about your mother-in-law, wait, and understand why she is being like that. Is it the fear of losing out on her son to another woman? Is she feeling she will become less important now that you are there? Or is she afraid of losing out to you as a woman who had the dominant position in the house? Or is her nature like that? Once you are sure of what lies behind her firm tone, crisp talks, and ‘this doesn’t happen in this house’ kind of comments, then figure out your ways to deal with it.
2. Don’t run to your husband with MIL complaints
Every time you have had a tiff with your mother-in-law, don’t go to your husband. Men feel sandwiched between their mother and wife and most of the time, are at their wit’s end as to which side to support. And by complaining and confiding to them about your problems with his mother can also affect your relationship with him. Instead, talk to your close friends or confide in your sister or your mother or whoever you think is capable of offering you neutral advice.
3. Talk it out
The best thing in any relationship is communication. If you feel your MIL has any fear or misconceptions, then talk it out. Assure her that your presence will never affect her relationship with her son. In a calm and peaceful manner, you can also communicate to her what are the things even you cannot compromise on, and as two mature adults how you can make it a worthwhile relationship. You can also make her feel reassured by telling her you will be counting on her experience from time to time.
4. Just let her be
If your MIL is just visiting you once in a while, then it can be a good idea to let her have her own way for that brief duration. This way there will be peace in the house, and she will leave satisfied without cribbing or talking bad behind your back.
5. Let your spouse speak to her
There can be times when it is difficult to make your MIL understand what you want, and it could be really killing. In such cases, ask your husband to step in and communicate what you want and set the boundary for both of you. It is possible if the son communicates in a firm tone, the mother will understand that if she doesn’t let go then her relationship with her son might be in danger.
6. Switch-off and take off
If things reach a boiling point and you cannot take it anymore, then just take a break. Go out with your friends, have something nice to eat, a cup of coffee maybe, and vent out to your heart’s content. Taking this break once in a while will help you to overcome negative emotions. A me-time always works well.
7. Stop taking things to heart
Figure out if your MIL is like that with everyone. If she is, then don’t take anything to heart. Give her that space, as it is her nature. Ignorance is bliss, so in this case, ignore her negative attitude and create a happy space for yourself without letting her nagging or sarcastic words affect you.
8. Repay with kindness
Instead of getting angry with her and talking back, become kinder. Make her a glass of lemonade, praise her cooking, ask her to teach you something, there are chances, you will be able to melt her heart and become good friends with her.
Not enough tips? Here are 5 more tips for handling a difficult mother-in-law!
by Tasneem Dhinojwala