How to Avoid Mother-In-Law Drama
The reality is you cannot pick your mother-in-law from a catalogue and have her act in a precise manner that makes you happy. You meet your wife or husband, fall in love and have to then deal with whatever family package they come with.
Most couples come to me with stories of how their mothers-in-law continue to meddle in their marriages. This is one of the most recurring issues experienced in marriages. “She’s ruining my marriage ZeeZee!” is something I hear very often from men and women in relationships.
It really doesn’t have to be this way!
In a marriage, it is important a couple has a plan to deal with third party relationships and agree how influential they will be in their marriage. Yes! Without this agreement, a mother-in-law, uncle, brother or some external force will always have influence in your marriage and mostly, that influence is not acceptable to the other spouse.
Who does she belong to?
An instrumental part of planning how to deal with your mother-in-law is to ensure that the only person who addresses any issues with her, is the partner she gave birth to. It is important for her child to set the agreed boundaries of the relationship with her. Asking your spouse who isn’t her child to enforce rules or handle issues, is very counterproductive, as this will cause strains in his/her relationship with her. This doesn’t help the relationship in any way.
For instance, if your husband has an issue with the way your mother consistently involving herself in his home, you should be the one to address this with your mother and not him. This rule is also vice versa. If there’s an issue where your mother is affronting your wife, then it doesn’t work to have her handle the issue directly with her, as it will cause further dissension. Your mother needs to hear from you the rules of engagement in your home.
Reminder: You are meant to be a united front as a couple!
There should be no external force strong enough to come in between you and your spouse. The third-party relationships you have are important, but once you get married, they become secondary. I’m not saying you don’t relate to them any longer, you just don’t give them the first say in your relationship, or the right to override your spouse.
She is just looking for a way to belong!
While you shouldn’t let her influence any part of your relationship without express agreement from your spouse, meddling mothers-in-law are mostly just looking for love. Every mother wants to remain relevant and her meddling is a way to remain a constant part of her child’s life. Don’t forget she birthed your spouse and after a long time of getting guidance from her, they suddenly have to leave her and cleave to a stranger with her expected to take the back seat? She needs to be loved through this stage.
Love diminishes the feeling of you being a threat
Even though she doesn’t always articulate it in this way, it is important to reassure her that she is loved and respected greatly, because she was the vessel through which you were blessed with your spouse. Most times, your mother-in-law sees you less as a threat when you show her love. She must be respected but very importantly, boundaries set – with her child being the enforcer.
Most couples find it extremely hard to execute a rules of engagement plan because they have very fractured relationships with their spouse. Working on your marriage with your spouse to create a wholesome relationship will help you not fall under the influence of any third parties. You are each other’s support and once you are able to solidify that, it becomes easier to protect each other with all your might.