Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


Do You Get Along with Your Mother-In-Law? 5 Tips to Help

posted by Linda Mintle

distress womanIn a few weeks, I will become the mother-in-law. For years, I have helped people in therapy deal with their  in-laws. In-laws can easily become out-laws in families.

In fact, researcher, Sylvia Mikucki-Enyart at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point polled mothers whose child was about to marry. She overwhelming found that moms were more worried when their sons married than their daughters.

Why?

Moms felt more uncertainty and insecurity with the daughter-in-laws to be, wondering how they might influence their sons when it comes to family relationships. Mothers also worried that the wife may change their sons in ways that would create distance. And daughter-in-laws wondered about their mother-in-laws, are they talking about me, going to be too involved, etc.

When the two women dance around each other and don’t work out their relationship, distance can occur. The key is to work through the uncertainty of the relationship, defining it as you go. Sons need their mothers and new wives to work out their relationships. Mothers-in-laws can be strong advocates, helpers and supports to a couple.

So here are a few tips to help make those relationships positive:

1) Mothers do better when requests come from their sons. If something has upset his wife, a son should ask his mom to behave in a way that doesn’t upset her, not just tell her that she upsets his wife. Talk through strategies as to how to approach and solve problems quickly. But make sure those strategies are healthy. For example, a son can’t ask his mom to avoid problems. Relationships don’t grow that way.

2) Daughters-in-laws should keep their mother-in-laws involved in the family. Spend time together and pick their battles. Like any relationship, spending time together and working through issues strengthens relationships. This relationship is too important to ignore or be a battle. Working through conflict is essential. Don’t keep problems inside and don’t avoid.

3) Both should avoid seeing their relationship with the son/husband as a competition. It’s not and both love differently.

4) The couple should be a team and present as a united front. This means couples need to work through the issues and decide how to deal with them together.

5) Two women come from two different family systems. Both need to learn to accommodate the other but work on healthy strategies for relationships. For example, if one woman doesn’t hold boundaries, that is an area of work. If the other avoids conflict, that needs to be worked on too. Dysfunctional family patterns should be addressed to improve the relationship. After all, feminist say we marry our mothers. When both women have worked on healthy patterns in their own families, the relationship between them will go better.



Previous Posts

Waiting: The Trying of Patience
Flying is no picnic these days. I dreaded the two-stop flight I recently took and for good reason. I was delayed on each leg. Fortunately, I had long lay overs and didn't miss connections, but several people on my flights did and found themselves waiting in airports for hours. What should have been

posted 7:27:31am Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Loving Your Body, Imperfections and All!
Is it so difficult to accept the bodies we’ve been given, to celebrate them as uniquely designed by God and created in His image? Apparently. Loving, even liking, your body is a rare thing in today’s culture. It seems we all belong to the sisterhood of the dissatisfied traveling pants! If we

posted 6:00:33am Oct. 16, 2014 | read full post »

What Type of Decision Maker are You?
Last week, I was going out of town for the weekend. I spent hours going over my wardrobe choices. What if it rains, gets cold, I want something more formal, etc.? My husband opened his suitcase, threw in a few outfits and was done with it. No looking back, waffling or hanging in the air with poss

posted 6:00:55am Oct. 14, 2014 | read full post »

5 Coaching Tips to Improve Adult Mother-Daughter Relations
Mandy was at the end of her rope with her mom when she called me for coaching. Every conversation ended with frustration. Why couldn’t the two of them get along better? Why did her mom constantly criticize her and tell her what to do? But Mandy’s biggest concern was how could she handle her mom

posted 6:00:18am Oct. 13, 2014 | read full post »

Why Our Wants May Not Turn Out to Be Our Likes
When our first dog died, we thought we wanted another. We did, but when we got the dog and our schedules all demanded more time, the dog became more of an imposition. Don’t get me wrong, we love her to pieces, but sometimes our happiness goes out the window when we are all trying to figure out how

posted 6:00:09am Oct. 09, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.