You finally 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 we want to talk to you about toxic and manipulative mothers-in-law, and how you can solve this pretty annoying issue,
Toxic, Jealous and Envious Mothers-In-Law
You have surely 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?
Toxic people are those people 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 them change their 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.
Toxic mothers-in-law are characterized by:
- Thinking that you are not enough for their perfect daughter or wonderful son.
- They believe that your way of doing things is not correct and he lets you know.
- They blame you for things that go wrong with your relationship.
- Constantly looks 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 do not mean that they do not want their children or that they do not want the best for them, but they usually 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 you or his mother.
15 Ways to Get Off a Manipulative Mother in Law
1. Time out
Take some time away from her and sometimes your partner to analyze the situation. The feelings you have towards your mother-in-law may be blinding you and preventing you from thinking clearly so you have to have a cool head in order to do something about it. Don't let your emotions of frustration or anger dictate the way you carry out that relationship, this will make you feel more secure when you have to deal with it.
2. Put yourself in her place
There are times when your mother-in-law acts in a certain way towards you because she feels that she is losing her child, she feels disconnected from him or her and that is causing her to behave in a hostile way.
Also, it may be that they feel like they are being replaced, or trying to find ways to feel included. Understand this, but don't let having compassion for what she may feel give her permission to intrude on your life so much that it backfires.
3. Define your role
Many times she is the one who is behaving improperly with you but you may also be playing a role that is not the best. If you feel some resistance from your mother-in-law, don't be closed to treating her in the same way. Think about what role you are playing in that relationship.
4. Don't have high expectations
Yes, sometimes we want the relationship with our mothers-in-law to be like a movie but it is not possible. Do not enter into the relationship with your mother-in-law expecting you to be best friends, there is a possibility that she likes to be the only woman in the family and therefore the most spoiled so your presence may not be what she wants. Don't expect your mother-in-law to welcome you with open arms, just be with her as you would be with anyone you first met, polite, courteous, and friendly.
5. Accept it
It's hard, but accepting that you don't have their approval can free you from a lot of stress and resentment. If you treat your partner well and support them in everything you can, you don't have to feel guilty for not having the approval of your mother-in-law. At the end of the day, if your partner feels that you support everything and sees that their mother is not supporting your relationship, they will see that her antagonism is not based on real events.
6. Don't fake it
It is normal that you want to have a healthy and good relationship with your mother-in-law, it is not always possible so do not try to pretend a relationship that does not exist. Don't treat her like your best friend if she doesn't, always treat her with respect but don't try to force a relationship, sometimes calling her by her name and not "mother-in-law" or "mom" will make her feel less power over you and your relationship.
7. Don't act like her
If you are in a situation where your mother-in-law is rude to you, no matter how much you want to be the same with her, you cannot let anger and frustration win you over. Always be respectful and have details with her, if it is her birthday, Christmas or if she is in the hospital, try to send her a little detail that will remind her that although you are not her favorite person in the world you have her in mind.
You will look attentive and detailed while reminding her that you take her into account in your life even though it is only because of the fact that she is a person you have to deal with.
8. Her house her rules
When you get to your mother-in-law's house, remember this phrase “her house her rules”. In her territory you are a simple visitor, so behave as calm and polite as you can. A compliment about decoration never hurts.
Also, it's time to start earning some points, helping him in the kitchen, or doing the dishes. Try to have this kind of attention with your mother-in-law, I assure you that her attitude towards you will begin to change if you are kind.
9. Watch your words
Believe me, you don't want your controlling mother-in-law to be defensive so you should avoid being the one to start the conflict. No sarcasm, no hurtful comments, much less criticism. Remember that if you want to take things in peace, you must be the first to impose it. Don't worry, if you don't give her weapons, there's no way she can attack you.
10. Include her
She may be the most irritating woman you have ever met, but including her on special dates, children's festivals, birthdays are attention you cannot miss with her. That shows appreciation and is welcome, you will see how her attitude changes with you. Be patient. There are mothers-in-law that are very difficult to deal with, but it is not mission impossible.
11. Use your partner as the mediator
Your partner can be very useful to reconcile the problems between the two of you. Avoid being the one to put a stop to the barbarities of your mother-in-law, because your partner could become defensive. Instead, talk to them to make them react so they can put a stop to it. Ask your partner for advice to calm your mother-in-law, there is no one better for it than them. After all, it's their mom.
If your mother-in-law is bad and tries to attack you, smile, breathe, and let go of any insensitive comment. In the end, the only one who looks bad doing that kind of thing is her. Avoid being the one who makes yourself known. Besides, why do you wear yourself out for a woman like that?
Face the situation with your head held high. No one can make you feel bad if you don't want to.
13. Talk to her
Contact your mother-in-law asking her what the underlying problem is. Invite her for coffee or lunch and explain that you don't want resentment and that you respect her. Calmly explain to her that you think she is arguing a lot with you and ask her what you can do to help solve the problem. While you may not like her answers, you will gain some insight as to the underlying problem.
In the event that your mother-in-law completely denies the fact that she is arguing with you, she may simply have no idea that she does, which could indicate that she is not actively criticizing you. Let the topic sit and determine if her behavior changes after you have let her know.
If your mother-in-law just says she doesn't like you, you can't do much. Avoid arguing with her and agree to disagree to show her that you are a worthy match for her daughter or son.
14. Call her out nicely
Call her out when she goes overboard as a way to set limits. In the event that your mother-in-law makes comments or criticisms about something that is related to your religion, culture, political beliefs, or class, call her to establish a firm limit. Constantly showing her that you are not willing to tolerate her comments will cause her to confront and defend her unjust beliefs. If he does not want to do it, which is the most likely reaction, she will only leave the sensitive issues.
You must do it firmly, but with respect. For example, in case your mother-in-law tells you to start going to church, you can say, "I do not criticize your religious beliefs and you have no right to criticize mine. I will not tolerate you taking me down.” See firmness but with respect.
15. Agree with her ocasionally
Find a way to agree with your mother-in-law's comments, even if it's critical. You can quickly appease a comment like "You should be looking for a good private school" with a simple "I'll keep that in mind!" or "Education is important. We will think about it." In this way, you minimize the subtext of their comments by making them not to be problems.
In case you ever say something you agree with, mention it. You can respond to a comment like "Your kids are growing fast!" with a simple "Yes they are!" Even if it is something as stupid as that, hearing an agreement or even a yes will please her.
We know that a toxic mother- in -law can be extremely exhausting and draining for anyone who has one. After reading this article, we are sure your situation will be way better, as you now know how to handle it. Start applying these tips and you will see it for yourself.