“Andrei has a wonderful mom, we have a great relationship with her!” – Lena enthusiastically spoke on the eve of the wedding. Her friends, who had gathered at the bachelorette party, were involuntarily jealous: even here Lena was lucky – her husband loves her, and the dress from a famous designer, and her mother-in-law are just lovely. “Lena, this is unfair, even if your mother-in-law turns out to be the same as everyone else’s,” they laughed, not even suspecting that the wish would come true very soon. “Girls, you have no idea how she behaves,” Lena cried six months later and told me that all my friends, being married, had already experienced themselves: unnecessary advice, resentment, attempts to impose their opinions and quarrels over all this with my husband. “They, that, have a special course“ How to become a mother-in-law and to lime a sister-in-law in the shortest possible time ”? – through tears asked Lena. “Are all the mother-in-law the same?”
“Two chairs are empty in paradise — one for a good mother-in-law, and the other for a good daughter-in-law,” says an Eastern proverb. And the traditions of the peoples of the world convince: the tense nature of the relationship between the mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law is recognized by all mankind at all times. Some African peoples living in large tribes still have customs according to which their mother-in-law and daughter-in-law can be found only on public holidays.
In the Solomon Islands, the mother-in-law and sister-in-law living in the same house cannot perform any work at the same time and also cannot be in the economic part of the house.
Of course, this proves that the problems are the same everywhere and that they have serious reasons, since they are so common. But it can hardly be reassured – especially in the case when inbreeding conflicts are not an interesting historical fact for you, but an everyday reality.
So, it is worthwhile to examine in detail the behavior of your husband’s mother, find out his reasons and think about ways to correct the situation.
She is cheerful, cheerful and quite democratic. She is delighted with the choice of her son and (you know that for sure) tells all your virtues to her relatives and friends. She never asks unnecessary questions, and all your decisions are met with stormy enthusiasm and support.
She loves homework and is always ready with the skill of a good fairy to prepare you a five-course dinner, vacuum the entire apartment, stroke a half-meter pile of linen – and leave before your arrival (as befits a fairy). At the same time, she is a very interesting conversationalist and in general a versatile personality.
She … what can I say, she is really perfect. There is only one “but”: such types practically do not occur in life.
Why? The first reason is love.
Parental love, which makes it difficult to unconditionally accept and love the chosen one of his adult child. She pushes on conscious and unconscious opposition. And she is a source of jealousy towards the person who has now become to him, the child, very close and dear.
And although all parents realize that the departure of children from the family will happen sooner or later (and all parents actually want this), this care is a loss to the parents.
The second reason is the emotions that are peculiar to women. It is mother-in-law and mother-in-law, and not father-in-law and father-in-law more often show discontent with the situation. Men, of course, also have feelings, but are guided more by reason.
They are better able to think, decide, draw conclusions and live, guided by these conclusions (“Well, this is the choice of the son, we will not change anything here and accept everything as it is”). But women, who understand everything perfectly, nevertheless hardly keep themselves from showing their feelings.
It means that initially you should not tune in to big love from the mother-in-law or try to win it. Of course, this does not preclude good relations, but, by and large, no matter how strange it may sound, you should not love each other.
It is a bit like the ideal type, but it has some flaws or oddities in behavior. They are not so significant as to spoil the lives of others (son and daughter in law), but still deliver some inconvenience. For example, she loves violin music, which is not bad in itself.
But she after all after the concert calls and for an hour tells who exactly and what performed and how wonderful it was. Or she loves the lilac color very much, which would also be fine if all her gifts for your apartment were not in this particular color scheme. Other common disadvantages of mother-in-law of this type:
- she has a lot of friends and relatives (she constantly goes to them);
- she has no friends and relatives (she never leaves anywhere);
- she cooks poorly or she is a vegetarian (it is dangerous to come to her for dinner);
- she cooks too well (it is even more dangerous to come – then you have to go to the gym for a week);
- she gives funny and ridiculous gifts, or very practical things, or does not give anything at all;
- she has a very loud voice and starts singing on family holidays;
- and so on.
Why? It’s not just how her mother-in-law behaves.
On the part of the daughter-in-law, there is also a jealous attitude towards a woman who was, is and will be very loved by her husband. And, although open rivalry is rare – everyone understands the absurdity of the question “Who cares more to you – mother or me?”, Discontent over trifles, explicit or implicit criticism indicate readiness for opposition. This interferes with a positive attitude, and therefore complicates the situation.
Any relationship, good or bad, is a merit of two parties.
So you should start with yourself. Try to assess your own behavior and attitude to what is happening, think about whether you are too demanding on your new relatives and what you yourself have done to develop relations in a peaceful way.
Mother-in-law of this type looks very good, and with the development of different areas of cosmetology and medicine they become younger from year to year – so they are sometimes mistaken for wives, not for moms. They have no problems, which is reflected in the pleasant nature and interesting lifestyle. They are absolutely non-conflicting, kind and pleasant in all respects.
When you saw how the mother-in-law communicates with her son, you probably admired such love, unobtrusiveness and warmth. But then it turned out that they were not going to accept you into their friendly circle.
Why? This type of mother-in-law lately is spreading more and more – due to the fact that the very ideas about family life are changing. “Favorite Mommy” is a woman who gave birth to a child exclusively for herself. More often, she is single, professionally successful, never experienced any particular family and domestic difficulties.
The kid brought her only joy, and their communication was always very warm and pleasant. They did not face the problem of misunderstanding of adolescence and do not know what the generational conflict is.
But both of these are actually very important for the future life of a person – we must strive to separate from our parents in order to create relationships in which we would be better off. So even a good relationship is “too” and has a negative side.
It means that it will not be possible to quickly change the situation – no matter how much you want Criticism, ironic remarks and open protest lead to the opposite result. The husband is only convinced that he was right: his mother is really the best woman in the world – she didn’t scream, she didn’t scandal, and she always understood him.
So it is necessary to be patient and wait for the separation of the son from the mother will happen by itself (often in men of this type it happens after the birth of their own child). It happens that Mommy’s son remains so for life.
Then one thing remains – to decide whether you want to be near him (more precisely, with them)?
“I sometimes want to tell my husband to marry his mom. Her opinion is important, her abilities are exceptional, her friends are the best, her jokes are the funniest. When she is with us, I feel like an application that nobody pays much attention to.
Loving your mom is, of course, natural. But to such an extent – this is too much. “
She is actively interested in your life and, having just noticed changes in mood, she will surely sympathetically ask: “Have you quarreled?” She loves frank conversations very much and is always ready to help with advice or to calm her down. She is non-conflicting herself and in general on many issues she is in solidarity with her daughter-in-law. Very kind and sympathetic – this is a definite plus.
But what is strange is that when you begin to recall the situation of a quarrel, it turns out that it all began with the actions of the mother-in-law.
Why? All people need a sense of significance — more or less. Moms are often so accustomed to the fact that they play an important role for the child, that they can’t come to terms with what turns out to be not so irreplaceable.
The child lives his life, he copes with the problems himself, he feels good – and this is without the participation of the mother? Can not be!
They try to prove that it is thanks to the son’s mom that everything is fine now. And they are so active in the life of their son that they violate the boundaries of his family.
This means that it is necessary to delineate these boundaries themselves. Of course, everyone’s personal business is what it’s to tell mothers-in-law and other relatives, but one of the criteria for a prosperous family is “family closeness” – many questions and problems are solved only by husband and wife. The mother-in-law will initially have mixed feelings, but over time will get used to this state of affairs.
Moreover, closeness does not mean minimizing communication – it only protects the family from active and sometimes unnecessary influence from outside.
“I was going to go to work after maternity leave. Looked through the wardrobe, tried on – for three years, completely lost the habit of office clothes. The mother-in-law, who came to visit, all of this enthusiastically commented and said that I was beautiful and that men at work would simply not be able to do things at the sight of me.
It all looked like a nice joke, but she knows how jealous my husband is. Our quarrel with him reached the point that he did not let me go to work at all and blamed God for what.
And the mother-in-law then talked to him, convincing that everything was fine, talked to me, explaining how to behave in such situations. But you can not create them! ”
“I gave you my whole life — and this is your gratitude!” Is her favorite phrase. And she says it in such a way that not only the son, but all those around her immediately feel guilty. Sometimes she does not speak directly, but resorts to manipulations.
He sighs sadly and looks out the window when you are going to go to rest – but if you offer to go with you, he refuses (“Why do you need me there?”). Or it may be noted that her son was earlier much more attentive and called his mother more often (before that was before the wedding).
Outwardly, she is pretty calm, but next to her you always feel guilty and obliged.
Why? She really did only home and children – and she never expected that later, when the children grew up, she would have nothing to do.
She lacks attention, and the situation can be even more difficult if the departure of her son and the creation of his family coincided with a divorce from her husband (23–25 years of marriage are considered one of serious family crises) or the beginning of menopause (which affects one’s well-being, and mood).
So sympathy for her is justified. And, although it is not necessary to succumb to manipulation, you can help ensure that the quality of life of the mother-in-law does not suffer much.
What exactly can be done? Maybe a simple encouragement, maybe a sports club membership as a gift.
It is impossible to list everything that you may encounter in the behavior of the mother-in-law. After all, the age, the number of children, the level of education, and the state of health matter. But any behavior is always explainable, there is a need behind it.
Hence, changes in relationships are possible – with a positive attitude and desire.
The main characteristics are dominance, unwillingness to put up with the opinions of others, conflict. She is ready to criticize and point out flaws all day long, can give advice on any occasion and express her opinion always (especially when she is not asked to do so).
She is a virtuoso in the matter of caustic remarks, and it’s hard to endure her presence for more than half an hour.
Why? The point is in the nature of the character, and not in the fact that it relates negatively to you. People of this type – harsh, resolute, powerful, intolerant – constantly need to show their dominant inclinations.
And for this purpose, choosing someone who is softer in character, otherwise the need to manage will be difficult to satisfy.
So, on the one hand, you should not take all the comments at your own expense (since such a character). On the other hand, you need to protect yourself from such attacks – especially if they spoil your mood.
Best for this is the reception of the “open door”. It consists in the following.
- Immediately, as soon as you hear a message containing criticism, you divide it into two parts – the true (facts) and subjective (emotions, evaluations, exaggerations).
- You agree with everything that is fair (with facts) and do not react to everything else (“Yes, I don’t always do everything on time”). And you do this in response to every remark, no matter how long the mother-in-law intends to do this.
- Your answer should be short, better if it is a simple agreement at all (“Yes, sometimes it happens”). No explanations or excuses. You keep an even mood throughout the conversation – do not resent, do not be offended, do not sneer in response.
As a result, the lover of criticism does not get what he wanted – and ceases to behave that way. The situation of the “open door”: a person is trying to break open the closed door, and it swings open wide.
“We gave an old computer to the mother-in-law — she wanted to systematize the writings of her former students and make a catalog of the best. True, she practically did not know how to use it, but we decided that it was better to do this, than she thinks every day about her loneliness and the meaninglessness of life.
And what do you think? Now she not only found a job (she hadn’t worked since she was thirty, sitting with children), but also got a lot of new acquaintances, both virtual and real.
He does not complain about life, and we are very happy. There is only one minus: now she has absolutely no time to sit with our children. ”