Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Having Mother in Law problems. What can you do?

Having mother-in-law problems is nothing to laugh at. In reality, a single visit or phone call from your mother-in-law frequently injects us with a serious dosage of tension and aggravation that lasts for weeks, months or longer.

The solution to one’s mother-in-law problems seems obvious, although not the sensible solution. You could live as far away from her as possible, restrict her visits and exposure to your children, and make sure your spouse knows his/her mother is the sole culprit in the bothersome relationship. In other words, you could establish that you’re usually right and your mother-in-law is frequently wrong! Surely these are not the most sensible solutions!

Having realistic expectations is vital when addressing mother-in-law problems. We all want to keep our sanity, while not allowing a tense situation to escalate. Is there a sensible solution for all concerned?

Three Steps to Sanity:

* Become One – Marriage unites two unique individuals into a single body, mind, and spirit. Tension arises when either spouse includes a relative or non-professional into their personal decision-making process viz finances and family planning. Even the best intentions do not justify a mother-in-law’s involvement in the marriage union. The husband-wife relationship is one of honor and respect for one’s spouse intimate and separate from outside influence.

* Set Priorities – Loyalty and devotion to your spouse’s well-being is crucial. Loyalty, however, doesn’t justify taking sides against the mother-in-law. Are you fueling animosity towards your spouse’s mother? Does your spouse have to defend your fiery attacks on his/her mother? If your mother-in-law is a constant irritant, address the issue constructively. In choosing to protect your marriage, you will give priority to cultivating harmony instead of hostility towards your spouse and both mothers-in-law. Through your “oneness,” a couple can establish the priorities and attitudes that foster a loving atmosphere in your home.

* Exchange Respect – Your mother-in-law is the mother of your beloved. Her personality, physical characteristics, and care-giving shaped your beloved life-mate. As a mother-in-law, she must realize that she contribute to that relationship viz good, bad, or ugly with that unique individual, her child’s chosen partner for life. Even with diverse backgrounds and traditions, it is possible to exchange mutual respect.

Your response may be “I am constantly having mother-in-law problems! You don’t know my circumstances!” You doubted that your mother-/daughter-in-law’s relationship could ever change. You had forgotten the healing power of faith and forgiveness.

God heals damaged family relationships. But we have to relinquish our rights: to get even, to find fault, and to be angry. Only then can He accomplish the impossible through us.

1 comment:

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I am male 30, my mother in law has real attitude problem. I have very good things to say about my wife and even she is on my side. I often stop her from fighting with her own mother.
I want to post in multiple sites, anonymously. It will be my greatest contribution to the word of poor husbands
I have tried to summarize my mother in-law’s problems.
1. She has practically 0 listening mother-in-law, during any conflict, she questions to everyone, "why should I listen to you?"
2. By god’s grace I have more financial freedom than her family so she gets jealous. She told me that all the money that I spent (she is supposed to) for the delivery of my first child was a waste!! I chose a good hospital; she thinks pregnancy can even happen in a clinic like in old times?? (That saves a lot of money tough)
3. She thinks her daughter (my wife) should be saying "I was happier before marriage when I was at my home". But she knows that she is happier with me. I always taught mothers are proud of this situation but my mother-in-law is not.
4. In her sub-conscious mind she compares me with my wife's brother who is not very financially stable but of my same age. This creates jealousy
5. Towards the end of my wife's pregnancy, I taught of making myself available and help my wife. But my in-laws don’t understand love; they told me with vengeance "Why do you hang around everything? She is our responsibility now". They mistook my love for my wife as distrust for their parental care.
6. Finally yesterday, 10 days after my child was born (3 days of me staying in their house. For 7 days I was down with fever and staying away so as not to spread it). She told me that my presence affected their family privacy and I can visit only once over weekends in spite of her house being just 30 kms away. What right does she have to restricting me from seeing my child and wife for 1 time a week? She also said I am eating up the current and internet bill (broadband unlimited, fixed rate).
7. We had our war of words and came back on a bike at 4:30 morning

8. She doesn’t love her own daughter, she is not afraid about the loss of her own daughter's happy married life
9. I would still visit her house but not on weekends, on week days when my mother-in-law is not there at house
Just one word of advice- Be careful
10. During the first conflict, I apologized for her lack of understanding of my point of view.(because I don’t want to offend) But that just made her feel more Bossy, She didn’t come down. IN 30 years I have apologized to many people of different gender, race, and age. They all came down to my level. Infact that was one of my strategy if I want the other person to come into my side or not offend. But with my Mother in law it took a ugly bossy turn.
Since my wife is on my side, I don’t care