- Law

Making the Best of Your Relationship With Your New Mother-In-Law

As the old jokes and sitcoms tell it, one of the biggest problems in every marriage is the interference of the bride’s mother-in-law. These historically-nasty women plague their new daughters, because they hate giving their sons to some bimbo, and they feel that they can still take better care of their sons than the young wives can. It’s the reverse situation of that in the sitcom, “Bewitched”, in which Samantha’s mother pulled all kinds of tricks on her son-in-law in addition to belittling him any time she got the opportunity. Fortunately, few marriages receive this much mother-in-law interference, but the problem can still arise. When it does, you need to know what you’re looking at and come up with ways to diffuse a potentially-difficult situation.

It’s true that a mother-in-law can be an antagonist when it comes to sharing her precious son with another woman. One way she can do that is by treating her daughter-in-law as if she doesn’t exist and isn’t even in the room. It may be that she’s just being nervous around this new person in her life and her own new role in her son’s life, and if your husband is paying more attention to her than to you, it might just be his years of caring about his mother’s feelings that are coming into play. Give him, and her, the benefit of the doubt. There has always been a relationship between the two of them, and there always will be, and most men just plain aren’t good at finding themselves caught between two women.

Never expect your new mother-in-law to accept you immediately into the bosom of her family. Many of them are more likely to make you feel like an outsider and no part of the family at all. Just don’t allow yourself to get sucked into the game. Be courteous and give her time. Don’t try to forge a strong bond that really isn’t even there yet. Let her get to know you, and most likely she’ll have a change of heart someday. If not, console yourself with the fact that she won’t always be in your lives and that eventually you will have your husband all to yourself.

Some mothers-in-laws seem to take it for granted that their sons are still going to come at their beck and call. This can really hurt you, but try not to let your feelings get the best of you. Your new married relationship is different for everyone involved, and it’s going to take some time for all of you to get used to the altered arrangement. You and your mother-in-law can have a civil relationship as long as you take her behavior in stride. Realize that you aren’t unique in situations such as this. It happens all the time, and it’s just a part of married life.