Mothers in-law are the most meddling in-laws in any health relationship and marriage. They go from telling their son the kind of wife to marry – “She must be from this town” you dare not bring an outsider into my home!. To the estimate amount to use for the wedding – “why would you buy her a wedding dress? What happens to hiring ones!. They also tell you if your wife should travel with you after marriage or not – “you just got married, I advice you leave your wife with me and go hustle money before coming to pick her”. Mothers in-law can also go to the extent of telling you when to sleep with your wife! “I need a grandson now! Why haven’t you and your husband given me one?.
All these behaviors are because they feel their sons are been snatched from them. Many problems with mothers in-law come from letting go of their own children. They are not monsters. They are victims. Some ladies do pray their mothers in-law should die before they come into the family which is wrong. When you understand they don’t do these intentional but are hurting inside, you will really device good means to deal with them. Imagine striving hard to train your son in school, the sleepless nights, the hustle for money and food and a woman comes from nowhere to take his attention? Oh c’mon…. Its worth fighting for.
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A wise woman builds her home but the foolish one destroys it. Be the wise woman here and build your home where your husband doesn’t hate “how you treat his mother”
However, if you have got the “jealous mother in-law, the needy mother In-law, the meddling mother in-law, the I know- it-all-mother in-law, the judging mother in-law and the nagging mother in-law, below are the various ways you can deal with them and still protect your relationship.
1. Set boundaries from the beginning – Because we ladies are desperate to get married, we show some “niceness” in the beginning. Imagine if your fiancé tells you to prepare as you two will travel to see his parents, you will start buying “heaven and earth”. You buy one “Indian clothes to American shoes” all because you want to impress his family. When you get there too, you will wake up before the sun and start cleaning and dusting and washing- something you aren’t used to.
My dear, you really want to be treated as house helo or wife? Yes, its good to show these homely behaviors but not too much. Allow mother to wake up and instead join her in the kitchen to help. Its better mother says “you don’t work much as a lady” so she won’t start expecting much from you, even when she visits than she saying,” hah! Son, this one is a Jackie! Be clear, concise, have pride, do things gently yet kind. That way you have shown her you are a wife not a maid.
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2. Use the “thanks but no” approach to mothers in-law advice – They tend to offer some advice, telling you how it worked for them. My dear, what works for one must not work for another. Don’t be stubborn too, if it will work for you, don’t hesitate to use the advice and thank her later but if you think it won’t, don’t be dull to say no.
She will surely be feeling she is super helpful with her housekeeping advice from her decades of experience as she been doing it for long, forgetting that times have changed. Don’t hesitate to remind her in a quiet kind words “I know you are trying to be helpful but we want to make our own mistakes”
3. Don’t show desperation – Many of us rush into marriage not considering lots of things because “we are getting old” or because “My mates are married”. My dear, age is just a number. If you don’t consider lots of things before getting married, you won’t have a rosy marriage. Marrying a man who is still living with his parents doesn’t always give peace. I will always say, I rather move to a small hut with my husband than staying in a family house.
Lots of faults will be seen in you and you won’t be able to avoid a meddling mother in-law so save money with your spouce, get your own apartment and avoid meddling mother in-law to an extent.
4. Don’t take it personal – Remember when you married your spouse, you married into a family too. As you study your spouce, don’t forget to study the family members. Understand where some of their problems stem from as that can be incredibly helpful in your approach to them. A mother who had lost few men in the hands of women tends to be meddling when the surviving one marries.
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5. Change the topic when it starts going too far – You are discussing with mother in-law and she starts using words relating to your behavior, just know her meddling behavior is creeping in.
6. Pretend to seek for your mother in-law’s advice – Look around and find a problem in your home or family that you could ask your in-law for advice on such as how to prepare a special dish the son loves, use the advice and come back telling her how helpful it was. Your mother in-law will start liking you more because she feels respected that her advice was used and that you still cares for the son to prepare his special dish.
7. Don’t report her to your husband – Reporting your mother in-law to your husband is a bad option. What do you want to get? Your husband will only tell you:
“Honey, she is old, you know that? Treat and avoid her” and that will only make you furious. If you report too much, your husband will start seeing it that you hate his mother, so to avoid that, don’t report mother in-laws to their sons. Rather, walk up to her, pour out your feelings to her, let her know you have come to stay and build your home and train your children.
Point out areas she needs to stay clear off. Say these things in a calm voice, no need for arguments or fights.
I believe when all these points are used, your mother in-law has no option than to leave you alone. Try them, you deserve to be happy in your marriage not allowing some old woman to make you frustrated🙊🙊