Finally you have a wonderful and pleasant relationship. You have found what you have been looking for for a long time and you are doing great with your partner, so much so that you have decided to meet their parents … and then the problems begin: your mother-in-law is unbearable! Situations like the one I have just described occur frequently, that’s why in Bigmatrimonial we want to talk to you about how to deal with toxic mother in law.
Toxic, jealous and envious mother-in-law
Surely you have heard of toxic people. A few years ago the concept was repeated a lot in magazine articles, conferences and there are specific books on the subject; But do you know what a toxic person is?
The toxic people are those who give us negative things. They tend to enhance our weaknesses, frustrate us and are a burden to us. For example, a friend who constantly judges us and makes us feel guilty or a gossiping aunt who leaves us in evidence by telling us about our intimacies.
If your mother-in-law influences your partner’s decisions, makes her change her mind at the last moment about something you have already talked about, despises you or meddles in how you should lead your life, you are facing a toxic, jealous, envious and manipulative mother-in-law.
The toxic-law are characterized by:
- Think that you are not enough for your perfect daughter or wonderful son.
- He believes that your way of doing things is not correct and he lets you know.
- He blames you for things that go wrong with your relationship.
- Constantly look for your flaws.
- Believe that you do not take enough care of your daughter or son.
- Influence your partner’s decisions.
- She is jealous that you spend more time with her son or daughter than she does.
Toxic mothers-in-law are also often toxic mothers. I don’t mean that they don’t want their children or that they don’t want the best for them, but they often put their opinions and needs ahead. It is common for them to be overprotective , to raise dependent children and to make decisions for them.
This is why your partner may feel in an awkward situation when having to choose between his partner or his mother.
Psychology of the relationship between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law
According to surveys, around 35% of Spaniards say they have a good relationship with their in-laws. As we see, it is not the usual thing and in fact a bad relationship with the mothers-in-law is a reason that is constantly repeated in couples therapy.
The mothers-in-law can feel displaced when they have had a very close relationship with their son or daughter and a person (the couple) appears who distances them. You may feel threatened and also, there may be characteristics of this new couple that you do not like.
If the mother-in-law does not support the relationship or does not understand that her son or daughter has chosen their partner to start a family, it can negatively influence the relationship. This will depend, on the one hand, on the degree of emotional maturity of your son or daughter and on the way they carry their mother’s interference. And on the other, of the power that the daughter-in-law gives her, as to whether or not she participates in her discussions or lets herself be brought into conflictive terrain.
It can also happen that the problem is in the daughter-in-law, that is, that she is the one who does not accept her mother-in-law. It usually happens with insecure, possessive people and with little or no emotional stability.
Possessive mother-in-law with grandchildren
The problem between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law or son-in-law is accentuated with the arrival of the grandchildren. In general, if the mother-in-law was already getting into the relationship, with the arrival of a baby she will do more. She will have a say in any decision regarding her granddaughter or grandson and will want to impose her will.
It is a perfect opportunity to criticize your daughter-in-law or son-in-law and remove the defects that she considers that she has, not only as a couple, but also as a mother or father. Probably everything that your son or daughter’s partner does will seem wrong to you because “she has already been there and knows what she is talking about.” Also, if the type of upbringing that the daughter-in-law or son-in-law considers appropriate differs from theirs, the conflicts will increase and the relationship will become even more strained.
It often occurs in possessive mothers-in-law with grandchildren who, after the baby is born, insist on moving into the couple’s home to help. This usually seems like a good idea to the son or daughter. Not so much the daughter-in-law or son-in-law, who is likely to explode at such an intrusion.
Tips for dealing with toxic mothers-in-law
To be able to live with a toxic mother-in-law we recommend applying the following guidelines:
- Try to find things in common with your mother-in-law that bring you closer in some way.
- Don’t tell your mother-in-law about your intimacies or your relationship problems. Also, if he has a choice, can you guess who he will be on?
- Don’t get into the rag. Try to avoid arguments with your mother-in-law and do not enter her field.
- Your partner should establish appropriate limits regarding your mother-in-law’s involvement in the relationship.
- Do not speak ill of your mother- in- law in front of your partner. Remember that she is and will continue to be her mother.
- Clarify the concept of family. The family until now were your parents and your brothers, but once you commit to a relationship the new family is your partner and the sons and daughters if you have them.
- Never involve children in family discussions or use them to harm yourself.
- Don’t give it power. The more you look at what irritates you about it, what it says or how it says it, the more power you are giving it. Try not to pay attention to it, and seeing that they don’t work will lessen your criticism.
This article how to deal with toxic mother in law is merely informative, in Bigmatrimonial we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.