Your mother-in-law: either you love her or you hate her. Problem mother-in-laws are pretty common, and dealing with them can be a real struggle. There are a few different types of difficult mother-in-laws are different ways to handle each one.
The Jealous One
This type of mother-in-law feels like you’ve replaced replaced her in her child’s life. She may just be competitive with you, or with other women in general.
The best way to deal with this type of mother-in-law is to react to her with silence. Instead of trying to defend yourself or getting into an argument, just sit there silently and smile at her when she says something rude. This will probably result in an awkward minute before she starts talking about something else. forcing her to change the subject awkwardly will take the pressure off of you. Plus, you don’t have to drag your spouse into the middle of it.
The Needy One
Needy mother-in-laws tend to blow everything out of proportion, especially family holidays. She believes that you need to be a part of her family, not the other way around.
To deal with this type of mother-in-law, the best thing to do is sit down with your spouse away from your families and decide on how you’re going to split up the holidays. Make sure that you both get the time you need to see your families. After coming up with a plan, make sure to stick to it. It’s important for her to know that you may be a part of her family now, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a family of your own as well.
The One Who Knows Everything
This type of mother-in-law knows everything about everything. From parenting to finances to health issues to your home, she has an “expert” opinion about it.
When this type of mother-in-law tries to tell you how to live your life, just ignore her. Responding with an absent-minded “uh huh” will keep things from escalating. Remember, your mother-in-law has already had a chance to live her life, and now it’s time to live your own. Don’t tailor your lifestyle to suit her needs. Trying to please this type of mother-in-law is impossible.
The Controlling One
While a controlling mother-in-law has good intentions, she can be too controlling of your life. She probably hasn’t learned how to let go and tries to do too much for you and your spouse.
A controlling mother-in-law may seem great at first, especially if she’s helping out financially or with child care, but it’s important to remember that there are strings attached. She’s helping because she wants to maintain control. Be very aware of the strings attached to her help. Most of the time, it may be disruptive to your family. Ultimately, you and your spouse should be in control of your lives.
The Mooching One
This type of mother-in-law is always broke and asking to borrow money. Similarly, she may ask you to cosign on loans, leases, or let her use your possessions. While your spouse may feel obligated to help since it’s family, it may be awkward for you.
This type of mother-in-law can be very difficult to handle. She probably uses guilt tactics to get what she wants. It’s important for you and your spouse to sit down and talk about your limits with her. While it may be okay with you to make a down payment on a car so she can get to work, it may not be okay to cosign on a home loan. Talk to your mother-in-law about her financial situation as well. While she may actually need some help getting on her feet, it’s make sure to set your limits so that you don’t end up in debt yourself.
The Nagging One
Nagging mother-in-laws are guilting of having high expectations and nagging or whining when you don’t meet them. She usually guilts you into doing what she wants.
If you and your spouse are constantly giving in to your mother-in-law’s demands and bending over backwards for her, it can ruin your relationship. After getting married, you and your partner (and your children) are the most important people in each other’s lives. Remember to take care of yourselves and ignore your mother-in-law’s demands.