How to Have a Great Relationship with Your Mother-In-Law
If you have a wonderful relationship with your mother-in-law already, that’s amazing!. You may still find some tips here to make things even better.
However, if you’re one of the many, many women whose relationship with their mother-in-law is rocky at best, this article is especially for you, my dear.
So often, I hear of stories where the daughter-in-law just can’t win. She feels criticized, judged, and resentful. Can you relate?
Maybe she tells you how to parent better, says she has a recipe she’s willing to share so your roast comes out edible the next time, asks nosy questions, shows up unannounced and then looks critically at the laundry pile on your couch and dishes in the sink. In summary, she makes you feel less than worthy of her glorious son.
There you are, stuck having to tolerate this nosy, annoying woman for the sake of familial peace. What if there was a way you could go from tolerating her, to really appreciating and even loving her?
Find Her Heart Message
What if the recipe she is offering to share with you isn’t a criticism, but a generous gift she wants to give you? What if she’s not looking critically at your laundry pile when she shows up unannounced, but instead, is remembering how overwhelmed she felt as a young mom? What if she is asking all of those nosy questions because she cares and isn’t sure how else to connect with you?
You get to decide with which lens you want to see her through. If you have been piling on the evidence for years that she is untactful, rude, or doesn’t like you, it may seem completely ridiculous to even entertain the thought that she could be otherwise.
However, you have much more power than you may think in regards to how your relationship with her is.
The next time she says or does something that rubs you the wrong way, go digging. See if there is a hidden heart message that actually points to her care. Be generous! Choose to see the best in her.
Now that you have found her heart message, thank her for it! If she tells you your seasoning is off, thank her for her feedback. If she brings your kids toys even though you requested only experience gifts this year, thank her for being a loving grandma. If she asks you nosy and inappropriate questions (no you don’t have to answer!), but you can thank her for her concern and care.
Mother-In-Law Fulfilling Prophecies
A woman named Stacy used to be convinced that her mother-in-law hated her. She lived right down the street and never came over even though she had been invited many times over the years.
One day, Stacy decided to experiment with a mother-in-law fulfilling prophecy. She called her up and invited her over for lunch on Saturday. As usual, the mother-in-law said she was busy and couldn’t make it.
Stacy used her fulfilling prophecy and said, “that’s okay. I know you love spending time with us and would come if you could”. Just minutes after they hung up, Stacy’s mother-in-law called back and said that she actually would be able to make it.
That was the beginning of what has become a beautiful relationship. Stacy’s mother-in-law later shared that she was just trying not to intrude. Had Stacy not been generous and seen the best in her, she would probably still think she was just cold, distant, and uncaring.
It may take time, but the skills are powerful and can heal even the most tense relationships. Are you willing to stretch and experiment with these tips? Who knows, maybe your mother-in-law will become your ally and friend!
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