Expert Speak

10 tips to deal with a manipulative mother-in-law without ruining your marriage

Living with a manipulative mother-in-law can wreak havoc in your relationship with your husband. Here are some tips to reduce the damage it can cause
Manipulative mother in law

This is probably the question every married woman in the world has on her mind all the time! So we got you ten pro tips on how to make it work with your mommy-in-law!

Related reading: After being opposed to our marriage, how my in-laws finally accepted me

Tips to deal with your MIL

      1. First, try to remember that her actions might not necessarily be a character flaw but a result of her possessiveness towards her son, which is natural for most mothers.
      2. Always keep in mind that you’re not there to replace her in his life, but rather to create your own place… You don’t want to be his mom, do you?
      3. Do whatever you want to do for him, but do it out of love, not out of a sense of competition or one-upmanship with your MIL

        mother in law
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      4. If she is really manipulative, you don’t need to stoop to that level, yet you can play a smarter game
      5. If she says something when your husband is not around, and something else when he is, learn the art of weaving into conversation the things she says when he isn’t present. Don’t use an accusing or complaining tone; rather, bring it up casually
      6. When it comes to decisions, ask her opinion first, even if you’re doing it superficially (and do this in front of your husband)

    Related reading: Why I became happier when I stopped trying to please my in-laws

    Behave like an adult

      1. If you feel like she’s bullying you, then remember, a bully gets more powerful when you get riled up. Stay calm, firm and remind yourself that it’s not personal. Any woman in your place would have been subjected to the same treatment; so it’s HER problem not yours.

        bully
        Image source
      2. Don’t resort to tears in front of your husband, because you may come across as a whiner. Use clear, simple and to-the-point sentences to convey your viewpoint to him with options for a solution. Remember, he’s not your punching bag and you don’t want to subject him to displaced anger. If you need a release for your anger or frustration, go for a hard run and have a good cry in private.
      3. When you need a resolution with your MIL over an issue, do it like adults, with your husband and her present and having a civil discussion. It is more likely to yield results. Use a respectful but clear tone of voice and be willing to hear all opinions.
      4. Finally, remind yourself that it’s her insecurity that’s making her act this way, and ask yourself “If my child were insecure, what would I do to soothe that?” and then do the same thing in her case. Trust me, it’ll work wonders!

Problems with the MIL don’t have to make the home a war zone. With a little clarity and resilience on your part, you can not only tackle the tussles, but also improve the situation to your advantage. Good luck and do come back and tell us what you did!

My in-laws asked us to get out of their house

My mum ill-treated my wife despite all that she did for her

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1 Comment

  1. So basically, keep being yourself, even if she tests your patience, and prompts you to act irrational and burst. Hmm.. not easy

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