How to Win Over Your Mother-in-Law

 
 

 Terri Apter, a psychologist at Cambridge University, has used research gathered over the past twenty years to show that the relationship between a mother and daughter in-laws can be far more tense than the one between a man and his wife’s mother. After speaking with 163 people, Apter discovered that more than 60% of women felt that friction with their husband’s mother had caused them long-term stress. Despite all the gags, only 15% of men complained that their mothers-in-law caused them similar headaches. Marriage can be challenging enough as it is—add an overbearing mother-in-law to the mix, and your marriage can quickly become a crisis. You needn’t feel like a victim in your marriage, so here are some tips to help you solve your mother-in-law dilemma and set you on the right path to establishing a healthy relationship with her.

Get to Know Her Well:

If you know what irritates your mother-in-law, do your best to avoid it and save yourself unnecessary headaches. Instead, make an effort to bond over common interests.

Let Your Spouse Advocate on Your Behalf:

Without antagonizing your spouse, encourage him or her to reason with the problematic mother-in-law. Since a mother has a closer relationship to her own children, this can help defuse potential issues your mother in-law might have with you.

Be Very Patient:

Your mother-in-law troubles are unlikely to be resolved overnight. Be patient and optimistic about your situation. Perhaps she needs time to adjust to the fact that there is another woman or man who is important in her son or daughter’s life, or she might have initial apprehensions about you that will come around with time.