An integral part of a lot of marriages seems to be an irritating, annoying, or cold mother-in-law. I agree that there are some psychotic mothers in law whom you have to stay clear from. However don’t hastily diagnose your mother in law as psychotic. For the most part they really love their child and therefore deep down inside they also love you, the spouse. It is only jealousy, misunderstanding, or fear that is covering up this love.
Here are some steps though that you can take to make the relationship with your mother-in-law better and even pleasant. It takes work but it is for sure worth the effort.
- Talk to her on a regular basis. When you speak to her once or twice a week on a steady basis she won’t be afraid that “you want something” from her and that you are only speaking to her to “butter her up”. In the beginning keep the conversations very light.
- LISTEN. LISTEN. LISTEN. Listen to what she likes and what irritates her. After you hear what she likes if you know nothing about the subject “Google it” and so that the next time you speak to her you’ll connect with her easily.
- Invite her to do things that SHE likes to do. After you know her likes and interests invite her to do some of these things. If she likes to go out to eat take her out to a restaurant. If she likes to go to the movies take her out one afternoon to the movies.
- Ask her to do something that YOU like to do. As long as she doesn’t despise doing something that interests you, whatever you do together is an act of bonding. (Of course, if it is the husband who is trying to get to know his mother in law, then he has to be creative here. She probably won’t appreciate an invitation to watch a football game with a beer!)
Remember your mother in law is your spouses parent and a part of the family whether you like it or not. To completely sever ties with her, although it might be a very enticing thought, is very hard and in the can cause lots of pain and problems “down the line”. Therefor it is in YOUR best interest to do everything you can within reason to make that connection, now and in the future.
You’ll see that under that annoying and irritating skin lies a lady that truly wants your good.