Tips & Tricks

A troublesome mother-in-law? This is the best way to deal with this

My friend Paul’s girlfriend’s mother is someone he can’t really get along with. Despite him having tried many things before to change this, without success, he has now found ways to strengthen his relationship with her. And he’s here today to tell you how!

1. Don’t expect anything

Try not to have expectations of certain family relationships. If you and your mother-in-law aren’t a match, try not to have any expectations from this relationship. Try to see the relationship as it is and make it work.

2. Don’t expect approval

It can be awkward or sad when you feel like your mother-in-law doesn’t approve of you or the relationship. Yet you don’t need that approval to live life the way you want to.

3. Trust your gut

Your intuition will never let you down. When you’re in contact with someone (in this case your mother-in-law), your gut will always tell you something and you know you can rely on it. Don’t force things.

4. Don’t force anything

If the bond with your mother-in-law doesn’t feel warm and familiar, it’s best to just call her by her first name.

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5. Be assertive

You don’t want to offend your in-laws, but it’s important to set your boundaries. By always being friendly and polite, your mother-in-law may overstep your boundaries. Indicate your own personal boundaries clearly. There’s nothing wrong with that at all.

6. Prevent discussions

If your mother-in-law is more likely to push your boundaries or make negative comments, it can be tempting to start the discussion. However, this ultimately yields very little. Stick to the facts as much as possible.

7. Don’t take criticism too personally

Always take criticism seriously, but not personally. You’ll notice if there’s a grain of truth in the comment. If so, you can work on it. If not, then leave the comment as it is. Try to remember that it probably hurts her more than it hurts you.

8. Talk to somebody

Don’t feel like going to that family gathering at your mother-in-law’s? Then take care of yourself and stay home. Of course, it’s important to make time for your in-laws, but if you can’t, that’s fine too. Talk to your partner or a friend if you want to share your story. Your partner may find it difficult to talk about this. Try to be honest and say that you find the relationship with your mother-in-law difficult, but save your lament for someone else.

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Love, Skye Lewis ❀

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