With Mother's Day around the corner, I thought it would be apt to write about how you can learn to love the other woman in your man's life- your mother in law (MIL)! I'm quite lucky this time round because my boyfriend's mother is very easy to get along with. However, I've had my fair share of witches from past relationships.
Here are a few suggestions on how you can deal with your witch of a MIL if you're unlucky enough to have one.
Create a Bond
You can prevent relationship issues right from the start by making her feel that she is a significant part of your and her son's lives. By inviting going for a meal with her, calling to say hello, acknowledging important dates and asking for advice, you will make her feel valued and helpful. When she feels accepted and valued, she will less likely harbour irrational hatred toward you.
Talk to Her Nicely
Give your MIL the benefit of the doubt that perhaps she does not even realise how intrusive and controlling she is. To her she may think she is being 'caring'. If that is the case, a heart-to-heart talk will clear the air.
Stand Up for Yourself
Sometimes things will become worse if you don't stand up for yourself. Set boundaries and stand your ground if she crosses them. Be concerned if your husband doesn't stand up for you against his mother. You don't want to have a momma's boy as a husband!
Get Your Game On
Don't let her outsmart you with her mind games. Some MILs might tell her son one thing ( behind your back) and you another. This is only for her wicked personal gain and she wants to turn you both against each other. Take a step back, assess the situation, don't just be hasty.
Get Your Husband's Help
I think the best way to raise any issues is that the husband should deal with his family, the wife with hers. This is because families can easily forgive their own family members, not an 'outsider' (i.e. you). So, instead of dealing with your spouse's family directly, talk it over with your husband and do your best to win his support and understanding. Then, get him to do the dirty work.
If all else fails, then..
Kill Her ... (with Niceness)
If the talk does not work, and she is still a mean witch, then kill her with niceness. And I mean sickening sweet niceness. No point fighting fire with fire if it is a war you cannot win, so don't even try. If you truly love him then you accept his mom as she is, crooked nose, broomstick and all. Many women have to deal with MILs or boyfriends moms who do not like them. Just act respectful and get on with your life. Don't hanker for your mother-in-law's approval.
If it doesn't come even at her deathbed, it does not mean you are a bad human being. Believe in your own goodness. In the end, be a good enough person to not stoop to her level.