How to Deal With Irritating Mother-in-Law
Are you finding it hard to adjust to your mother-in-law? The relationship between a daughter-in-law and a mother-in-law is a complicated one. They’re the two most important women in a man’s life. The man likes nothing more than to see you two hit it off. But if you have a controlling mother-in-law, you need to learn how to deal with her. Learn how to deal with a difficult mother-in-law with some helpful tips given below and keep your peace and sanity in check.
Reasons Why Some Mothers-in-Law Are Irritating?
You might find your mother-in-law irritating, and there are several possible explanations for her behaviour, like:
1. Raised in a Controlling Environment
If your mother-in-law has grown up in such an environment, it may lead her someone to adopt a controlling nature.
2. Experiencing Narcissism
Your mother-in-law may be experiencing an inflated sense of self and a need for constant admiration.
3. Possess an Authoritative Parenting Style
She may manifest within her expectations and criticisms of how you raise your children as compared to her.
Signs of Irritating Mother-in-Law
Does your mother-in-law purposefully ignore the boundaries you’ve set in your home or openly share her judgments and opinions, despite resistance from you and your partner? These are some signs of an irritating mother-in-law. Let’s take a look at some more signs below.
1. Always Around
She may come unannounced and fuel opportunities to criticise and assert superiority.
2. Doesn’t Respect Your Boundaries
An irritating mother-in-law will completely disregard your verbal cues that it’s time for her to leave. She may do this in a way that will make you feel bad or guilty. She frequently does things that she doesn’t have the authority to do.
3. Judgmental Personality
She judges your every move and never leaves an opportunity to criticise you. She frequently comments on your living style, dressing style, working style, etc.
4. Always Right Attitude
She thinks and insists that she is always right and that you should follow her advice without questioning her.
5. Want You to Do Things Her Way
She asserts her power and pressures on you to perform or act in a certain way or “her way.”
6. The Show of Caring Nature
To justify her domineering and arrogant behaviour, she says that she acts in this way because she cares about her family.
7. Wants to Be the Center of Attention
She is always stealing centre stage, so her presence in your home is constantly desired. While talking, she always disregards topics that aren’t about her and steers the conversation back to herself.
8. One-ups Everything You Say
When you have an illness or aren’t feeling well, she will suddenly come down with something far worse.
9. Does Not Care About Your Feelings
She always finds a way to be disrespectful to you by criticising you and your marriage.
10. Invasive Into Your Marriage
She hears gossip about your marriage and then passes this information on to her social circle.
11. Makes You feel inferior
She let you know that she has far superior knowledge of being a partner and can offer the best advice on how to handle a situation.
12. Negative Personality
Everything that she says reflects and spreads negativity. No matter how pleasant or upbeat you try to be, your mother-in-law pounds it to the ground.
13. Plays With Your Confidence
She makes you look messed up in front of your family by asking you to do impossible tasks when everyone is around. Failing to do the task shake your confidence.
14. Puts on a Drama
She puts on a drama to garner attention from her child in front of you.
15. Complaining Nature
She doesn’t believe that you can handle certain tasks properly, so she complains about how things are done when she comes over.
Effects of Having an Irritating Mother-in-Law
If you have an irritating mother-in-law, it may have the following effects:
1. Low Self-Esteem
Constant criticism from your mother-in-law results in a decrease in self-esteem and an increase in self-judgment. You start to question your abilities as a person, partner, or parent and lose confidence in your abilities.
2. Relationship Issues
It affects your relationship with your partner, which results in tension between you. They may feel that you’re being too hard on their mother and ignore or defend her behaviours.
The stress of interacting with an irritating mother-in-law, your lowered self-esteem, and relationship difficulties can all contribute to increasing anxiety.
You start believing that isolation is the answer for an irritating mother-in-law. You begin to avoid interactions with her because of the mistreatment.
5. Your Children Notice Conflict
Your children start noticing the issues between you and your mother-in-law and influence the stability of their relationship with both you and her.
Get Your Sanity Back: How to Handle a Difficult Mother-in-law?
1. Don’t Raise Your Voice
She may get on your nerves and drive you to frustration, but avoid the temptation to yell. She could use that against you to make you feel guilty. Rather, be firm and assert your point, but don’t be rude and lose control no matter how bad the situation gets. And what if you’re reaching the boiling point? Well, in that case, be modest and walk away.
2. Try to Understand Her
Have you ever wondered why mothers-in-law seem to hate daughters-in-law? Well, many of them feel that they’re losing their son to someone else. Your mother-in-law has always put him first and wants him to do the same with her. Now that you’re in his life, she could feel that she’s losing him. Try to understand her behaviour and her needs as a mom rather than taking things personally and escalating them into ugly fights.
3. Accept that She May Not Change
If your mother-in-law criticises you constantly and speaks about you behind your back, despite your best efforts to win her heart, it’s time to accept that she’s unlikely to mend her ways. The only thing you can do to save your sanity without losing control is to detach yourself from her emotionally. Respect her, but maintain a distance. On the off chance that your mother-in-law seems like she’s turning the other cheek, give it time before deciding whether she’s really changed.
4. Identify the Triggers
By now you must’ve figured out the mother-in-law issues that make you go mad. Maybe it’s her rude remarks or condescending tone or her nagging that gets on your nerves. Whatever it is, identify the triggers so that you know when to hold your tongue or walk away. The sooner you do this, the quicker you can defuse situations.
5. Don’t Nag Your Man About Her
Try to resolve your mother-in-law problems on your own. While you should tell your husband when the two of you have arguments, try to keep from complaining too much. She’s his mother and he loves her no matter what, so you need to tread carefully. Too much nagging and things could go against you!
6. Let Her Have Her Say
An interfering mother-in-law can be tough to handle. More times than most, all you want to do is rage and get her to shut up. But a better solution is to let her give you as many advices and suggestions as she wants. Simply listen rather than getting into an argument. You don’t have to follow them if you don’t want to, but letting her have her say could get her to leave you alone quicker.
7. Set Boundaries
Setting healthy boundaries with her, to regain a sense of control over your situation. Talk to her clearly what your expectations of her.
8. Avoid Her When Possible
Be possible and practical while avoiding your mother-in-law. If she shows up at your door unannounced, consider excusing yourself to run errands or attend activities. Create distance to reduce the amount of time spent together.
9. Stop Trying to Meet Her Expectations
If you know that your mother-in-law does not like you, do not try again and again to put effort into meeting her expectations. Instead, focus on what you want in your life.
10. Have Your Spouse Set the Boundaries
If your feel that your mother-in-law is stepping over your boundaries, ask your partner to interfere and talk to her to set boundaries between you two.
11. Act Maturely
Remain calm in difficult situations and do not respond to her when you are irritated because that is what she wants, so she can use it against you to provoke your partner against you.
12. Take Advice From Trusted People
Your close ones can help you figure out the solution to the problem. They can rightly advise you on how to deal with an annoying mother-in-law.
If you want to find a solution to your in-law woes, you need to get to the root of the problem first. Understand why she’s rude or indifferent towards you and learn to get around it. Try to be good to her and win her heart before terming her as a bad mother-in-law. And if that doesn’t work, it’s time to try the clever tricks you’ve learnt from reading the write-up above.