Everybody has some version of their own Mama Drama, but in this case, I’m talking about one of the most dreaded relationships out there: the one with your Mother-in-Law. Even as a child I was aware of this delicate and often volatile relationship. Come on, we’ve all seen our fair share of movies where the mother-in-law causes arguments between the spouses, a frantic house cleaning, and the couple is worn out before she’s even arrived! In particular, I remember the relationship between Fred Flinstone and his mother-in-law. Talk about rocky! (Pun not intended) This relationship has been the source of ire for women for centuries, so much so that you can find plenty of websites where women share stories about their mama-drama.
I mean, come on, does every mother think her son is God’s gift?! If Jesus ever tied the knot, I could see why Mary might act a little superior, but come on!
Even if you like your mother-in-law, the relationship still can be awkward at times. Many couples cite it as one of the biggest problems in their relationship -one of their biggest problems, and here’s why:
- Whether they are willing to admit it, MIL’s are always worried about being replaced. You’re the number one woman in his life now, and this gives you power. Some MIL’s resent it and are always struggling to get that power back.
- She’s secretly afraid you’ll cut her off.
- She doesn’t think you’re good enough/smart enough/pretty enough (and before anyone judges me for including this, my MIL once told my husband that I was not “pretty enough”)
- In some cases, the mother/son relationship actually was quite rough while your DH was growing up, and so that drama carries over into your marriage.
There are only a few reasons, but if your relationship with your mother in law fits into any of these categories, maybe this advice will help.
- In whatever way you can, assure your mother –in-law that even though she is not her son’s number one anymore (that should be you) she still plays an important part in your family.
- As long as she isn’t doing anything dangerous, continue to allow her time with you and the grandkids, even if your relationship isn’t going too well at the moment.
- If your mother-in-law, for whatever reason, doesn’t think her son should have married you, there isn’t anything you can do to change it. Accept that she has her opinions, as hurtful as they may be to you, and be thankful that your husband chose you anyway.
- If your husband’s relationship with his mother was rough, you may be surprised at how it carries over into your own relationship. Your husband will probably be more needy, because he never got the affection or relationship from the first woman in his life. Also, it can complicate your relationship with your MIL, because she holds grudges from the past, which might carry over to you. All you can do is be patient, try to talk your husband through it, and take it slow. Things may improve with time.
Whatever your situation may be, good luck! You’re going to need it!