Mother/Daughter “In-Law” Relationships
April 28, 2015|Posted in: Family and Relationships
We all know the relationship between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law can be a precarious one. There are a plethora of jokes about meddling mothers-in-law. If we’re honest, almost all of us will admit to laughing at a few of those jokes! Being both a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law, I’ve experienced and considered the relationship from both sides.
A mother loves her son, wants his time and attention and is passionate in her desire for him to have what’s best for him. A wife feels the very same way about her husband. If the two feel they’re competing for his time and attention, or they have a difference of opinion as to what’s best for him, that’s where the conflict comes from.
Obviously, the best thing for a man is to have a healthy, loving and supportive relationship with both his wife and his mother. Therefore it follows that the two most important women in his life should encourage him in his relationship with the other.
Sometimes that’s easier said than done! I’ve felt the feelings of competition and jealousy as both a daughter-in-law and as a mother-in-law. But if you really and truly do want what is best for your son or husband you’ll be supportive of his relationship with “the other woman!” (Winky face).
Mothers need to acknowledge and accept that their son has a wife now and that she should be his first priority. Wives need to acknowledge and accept the fact that their husbands were once little boys whose first love was their mommy.
Choose to assume the best of intentions in your mother-in-law or daughter-in-law. Believe that she cares about you, because in all likelihood she probably really does. Include her in your life, make an effort to share your son or husband and encourage his relationship with her
A really good way to love your husband is to love his mom! A great way to love your son is to love his wife!
By the way, all of these thoughts apply just as aptly to your children/grandchildren as they do to your son/husband. Kids are most often a major part of the complicated mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship.
If you’re a young daughter-in-law who hasn’t yet had the benefit of looking at things from the perspective of a mother-in-law, it’s helpful to consider your own children (or future children). Imagine how you will feel about them when they are grown and how you will feel about their spouse. What are your hopes, dreams and desires for them in that time. Your mother-in-law’s feelings are probably very similar for her son, his wife and his children.
Focus on how you treat your mother-in-law and/or daughter-in-law, not on how she treats you. Encourage his relationship with her. Make it a practice to love and care about her, be willing to share and make an honest effort to include her. Then, on a regular basis, come right out and tell her that you love her and are willing to share and want to include her. If she doesn’t already feel the same way, she soon will!!
Although My mother-in-law has always lived in a different state, our relationship has been a good one. My husband is close to her and seeks her advice and counsel and I’m thankful that he has her in his life. My two daughters-in-law are both loving wives and caring, attentive mothers and I’m very proud of both of them. I will admit that over the years there has been a rough spot or two in these relationships. Honestly, the same is true of my relationships with my husband and sons. That’s all part of loving someone and being a family. All in all, I’ve been quite blessed; I love all three of these ladies very much and I’m thankful they’re part of my family!!
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