We’ve all heard about the jealous and manipulative mother-in-law, but what about the signs of a jealous daughter-in-law who refuses to share her husband with his own parents? As a result, you may end up with an estranged son due to your daughter-in-law. You also see her exhibiting many signs of a controlling daughter-in-law because she always wants things to go her way.
Daughter-in-law problems are a common household issue, and something that every family goes through. When you have an unfriendly daughter-in-law, it becomes difficult to understand what she wants out of the family and the overall adjustment takes longer than usual. You might even start to worry that she could be the reason you lose your son forever.
If your daughter-in-law is creating problems at home, refusing to accept family traditions, showing hatred toward the family, and trying to put your son against you, these are signs of a jealous daughter-in-law. She can be a home breaker and you need to deal with the situation before it’s too late.
What Is A Toxic Daughter-In-Law?
They say mothers-in-law ruin marriages, but nobody ever talks about the signs of a jealous daughter-in-law and how it can upturn a household. If you’re worried that you’re on the brink of losing son to daughter-in-law, there’s a good chance you’ve got a toxic and problematic one on your hands. Not only does she hog all the attention in the house, but she is also trying to change the rules. Refusing to make any adjustments, she expects to be served in this house and often sneers or makes rude expressions when things do not go her own way.
Moreover, one of the signs of a toxic daughter-in-law is that she lacks respect for the elders in the house. She believes that she now calls all the shots and is almost, trying to take over the reins. Instead of asking questions and weaving herself into the family, she tries to establish an independent position from day one. In addition to all that, if you notice her using insensitive language, well then, you’re going to have your hands full with her.
5 Signs You Have A Toxic Daughter-In-Law
As mentioned earlier, most conversations center around a jealous mother-in-law, but the other side of the coin is seldom explored. Why don’t we call out the rude and disrespectful daughter-in-law? Maybe because she’s not that easy to spot.
No matter how hard an individual tries to hide toxicity, the signs are almost always there. Your daughter-in-law might look like a sweetheart to everyone around you, but you know better, right? You can see right through her act, but how exactly do you confirm your beliefs, especially when your son is so smitten with her? Take a look at these 5 signs that are tell-tales of a jealous daughter-in-law.
It will be much easier to combat her when you know exactly what you’re dealing with. Here are the top signs you have a toxic daughter-in-law.
1. A jealous daughter-in-law is conveniently sweet
She won’t respond to your calls or texts; she’s almost always busy when you need her around. Maybe she pegs it on work stress or says that her phone was ‘on silent mode’. But these reasons are not applicable when she’s the one who needs a favor. All of a sudden, she’s available and sweeter than ever.
If she wants you to babysit the kids, ask about a recipe you’re good at, or borrow a dress you own, she’ll become a pro at communicating with you and suddenly act like she’s your own daughter. Super selfish and conveniently sweet, a rude and disrespectful daughter-in-law is the bane of your family, if she’s bringing this kind of selfish attitude into your household. This is also one of the signs your daughter-in-law is manipulative.
2. When your daughter-in-law turns your son against you
Maybe she’s watched far too many movies or perhaps she struggles with a lot of trust issues. But a toxic daughter-in-law second-guesses every nice gesture you make. She can’t fathom the fact that you’re doing things for your son out of pure love. If she kept her skepticism to herself, it would’ve still been tolerable. But, she tells your son that you have a scheme or plot in place, trying to create some kind of a rift and stirring drama in the family.
She asks, “Why would my mother-in-law do this? What does she expect in return?” Well, a mother doesn’t need to expect anything in return to be a mom.
Related Reading: 12 Things To Do When Your Husband Chooses His Family Over You
3. Your son is told to pick sides by your jealous daughter-in-law
A disagreement or conflict with you escalates into a full-fledged drama. She tells your son to choose who’s right. If he goes on your team, she creates a huge scene; if he sticks to her, she makes sure that he doesn’t contact you very often. An estranged son due to a daughter-in-law isn’t very uncommon to see.
She might make threats or resort to manipulation in the guise of love to control him. Statements like these might be her arsenal: Is your mother more important to you? Or does our life together not matter to you? Gaslighting and control tactics are the worst signs of a toxic daughter-in-law and she will use this profusely to the point that you will start worrying about losing son to daughter-in-law.
4. The grandchildren get caught in the crossfire
One of the top signs of a controlling daughter-in-law is her decision to involve the children in a fight. She might do either of two things, and both are equally damaging. The first is instigating your grandchildren against you by filling their minds with lies. And the second is forbidding them from seeing you outright. Both of these are unacceptable and actually, pretty cruel. They reflect that she is incapable of keeping her equations individual.
5. Daughter-in-law issues: She’s openly hostile
Aggression has many ways of manifesting itself. The first way is passive; taunts, nagging, expressions, and mean comments. The second way is overt; yelling, throwing things around, abusive actions, and so on. A toxic and jealous daughter-in-law has not learned how to manage her anger and process it in a healthy way. She is emotionally immature and prone to displays of hostility,
Now that you’ve understood these daughter-in-law issues, let’s talk about how you can tackle them. It’s important to act with a lot of maturity and composure when a daughter-in-law alienates the family. Resorting to personal attacks or crafty tactics never helps. Let’s get started on ways to deal with a jealous daughter-in-law.
8 Ways To Deal With A Jealous Daughter-In-Law
For a newly-wed bride, adjusting to a new family could take time. The entire transition could be painful, which eventually may lead to your daughter-in-law becoming jealous and controlling. It is important to understand her feelings from the initial stages of this jealousy and make her your friend before it becomes too late. So, what to do when your daughter-in-law turns your son against you or is deliberately ruining the energy in the house?
Take charge of the situation so you don’t keep grappling with the feeling of being left out by the daughter-in-law. A distant daughter-in-law could make your son distant from you as well. But at this point, you can’t really shun her out. So you might just have to become the bigger person and welcome her in.
If all you want is for everyone to be one happy family, it’s important to make her feel like a part of that family. We get that you have a jealous daughter-in-law on your hands who is out to get you. But you can turn this around by using the following steps. Here are 8 ways to deal with a jealous daughter-in-law:
1. Accept your son’s choice
Many times daughters-in-law become jealous and controlling when they see that their in-laws haven’t totally accepted them as a part of the family. Remember the film Monster-In-Law? Things became so much easier for the MIL-DIL when they accepted each other wholeheartedly.
You need to understand that your daughter-in-law is your son’s choice and she is now a part of the family. Make her feel loved and accepted. She has just entered the family, and is probably worried about impressing the in-laws too. There’s so much more to know about her. If your son chose to marry her, then it is because she made him happy. Accept that instead of looking for the signs of a bad daughter-in-law.
2. Be kind to your jealous daughter-in-law
Even though you’ve seen the signs your daughter-in-law is manipulative, you need to be as composed as you can possibly be. During the initial days of her transition and adjusting to the new family, your daughter-in-law may start acting out and show signs of resistance. It just gets difficult for some people to adjust to their new surroundings and she may be one of them. Adopting an entirely new way of life is not easy. The people and surroundings are unfamiliar and daunting.
The details of routine vary from family to family. Something as little as coffee drinking habits create a sense of unfamiliarity. She’s trying to register and process this newness, let her settle in.
Give her some time to come around. Answer her resistance with kindness. As it is, mothers-in-law are the ones who are usually rigid and controlling so she might be just wary of you. Once she sees that there’s nothing to fear, she will calm down and accept you as her family as well.
Related Reading: How I Refused To Be An Evil Mother-In-Law And Unfollowed Tradition
3. Try to be her friend
Except for your son, she doesn’t actually know anyone else in the family. So you want to help her understand the family better when you are visiting her or she is visiting you. Be the route through which she can get to know the family better.
Marlene from Kansas (name changed to protect identity) wrote: “I could sense my daughter-in-law’s hesitance. Of course, she was awkward. A family has its own dynamics and rhythm and an outsider can feel very odd. I took it up to make sure that she felt at home step-by-step. She’s so warm now, almost like a different person.”
Being her friend and confidant will help her understand that you don’t threaten her relationship with your son. Focus on strengthening your relationship with her. Once you succeed in that, she will automatically turn around from being a jealous daughter-in-law to a friendly one.
4. Think about your grandchildren
Your husband and you must have been dreaming about your grandchildren for some time now. You may have even kept a few of your son’s old clothes aside for them. But can you have grandchildren without having your daughter-in-law? You need to remember that your daughter-in-law will play a significant role in your relationship with your grandchildren.
Her jealousy could have a negative impact on your grandchildren. If your daughter-in-law hates you, the grandkids wouldn’t be close to you. She may prevent them from meeting you or say bad things about you to them. Think carefully before jeopardizing your relationship with her.
5. Get to know her before you call her a jealous daughter-in-law
Even though you’re firm in the fact that you’ve noticed the signs you have a toxic daughter-in-law in her, do try to give her the benefit of the doubt at some point. Jealousy arises when there is a sense of insecurity between two parties. This usually happens when there is a wall between you and your daughter-in-law. If you think you have an estranged son due to a jealous daughter-in-law, then not letting her in could make matters worse.
Try to see that she is also adjusting to a new marriage, and during that process, she will inevitably make some mistakes. Not knowing each other at a deeper level usually results in misunderstandings and your jealous daughter-in-law starts creating misunderstandings between your son and you. In order to avoid such things from happening, try to get to know her instead of assuming things about her based on what others say. Make your own judgment and try to act on it.
For instance, if a third party like a neighbor comes and tells you something negative about your daughter-in-law, don’t buy the version of the story and act more rationally.
6. Give space and set boundaries to avoid daughter-in-law issues
Twenty-first-century couples are about building a family of their own and spending limited time with their in-laws. They are there for you but don’t expect to see them every weekend. These aren’t signs of a controlling daughter-in-law who hates you. It is better to set some boundaries between you.
Like you wouldn’t want her to interfere in your life, she wouldn’t want you poking your nose into her matters too. Wanting her own space doesn’t make her a daughter-in-law who alienates family. Be happy with the weekend visits and be proud that your son has his own home to look after now. Your relationship with your son will remain intact and your daughter-in-law will appreciate you for respecting their privacy.
Related Reading: 15 Clever Ways To Deal With A Manipulative, Scheming Mother-In-Law
7. Don’t talk to your son about her
If there’s some friction between your jealous daughter-in-law and you feel that you should talk to your son about it, then don’t. In the beginning, you may hint to your son or express your concern about her. However, don’t make this a repetitive action or go around blaming him for giving you a jealous daughter-in-law. Instead of asking your son for help, talk to her yourself. If you keep including your son in your friction with her, she will feel that you are pitting your son against her, which you aren’t.
Instead, talk to her and try to bring her to your side. Don’t look for signs that she is a bad daughter-in-law, instead, look at the positives she harbors. Living with constant criticism from you is a very bad place for her as well. Be more tolerant of her flaws if you can’t accept them completely.
You can’t badmouth her without expecting retaliation. When you call her a rude and disrespectful daughter-in-law, ask yourself what triggered it? When your daughter-in-law turns your son against you, it calls for introspection on your end.
8. Accept your jealous daughter-in-law won’t change
Despite your several attempts if your daughter-in-law doesn’t wish to change her behavior, there are high chances that it is because that’s how she is. She is a jealous daughter-in-law, that’s it. After a point in time, you will realize that you can’t change her.
You need to accept that nobody is perfect and your son may not have made the best choice for the family. People have different ideas on family values. However, if she’s keeping your son happy at least, then it’s time to accept reality and make peace with her jealous nature. Sometimes, this is the best thing to keep things calm at home.
Every family has problems at home. Sometimes it’s a jealous mother-in-law and sometimes it’s the jealous daughter-in-law. The thing to keep in mind here is that your family should be your top priority.
Always make choices keeping in mind the family’s best interest, even if it means a little more compromise from your end. This doesn’t mean that you should not attempt to even try to know your daughter-in-law first. The sooner you are able to make her your friend, the lesser are the chances that she will turn on you.
Think carefully before making a move as it can cost you your family. After all, she is a homemaker and can also be a home breaker; you don’t want to end up with an estranged son due to a daughter-in-law.
Your daughter-in-law might be controlling and possessive but you have to ensure that you do not make her feel insecure. Try to be friends with her and make her comfortable in the new family and soon she would realize that you mean well.
Dealing with a narcissist is not easy because they are only thinking of themselves. In that case, you need to let go. Let your son be happy with your daughter-in-law and you be happy with a few weekend visits from them.
She wouldn’t want to take your advice, would try to ensure your son doesn’t listen to you either, would run her own home as differently as possible from yours, and would be lukewarm with you when you meet. When your daughter-in-law turns your son against you, that too is a sign she dislikes you.
The MIL-DIL clash is something that has been happening for ages and it stems from the possessiveness both ladies feel towards the man in their lives. Daughters-in-law dislike their mothers-in-law because they feel they are interfering and controlling.
If something like this happens, first of all, keep your cool. Do not go around stomping your feet in the house and creating more discomfort. If you’re seeing signs your daughter-in-law is manipulative and is changing the dynamics in your house, try to get to the bottom of the issue. Why is she doing this? Is it her own insecurities or something else? Then, try to develop a friendship with her and show her that she has nothing to be threatened of. This way, she will feel more comfortable.