Building a solid relationship with your mother-in-law is one of the most challenging interactions to navigate. Hence the reason it’s often the center of a great rom-com or comedy tale when it comes to movies. Think, Monster-in-Law.
A woman we’ll call “Amanda” is married to “Mitch.” Mitch’s mother, Anita, is very close to Mitch and has made his relationship with Amanda difficult.
Sad and Angry?
Amanda recently overheard a conversation between Mitch and Anita that offered nothing flattering about Amanda’s mother-in-law. Instead, it left Amanda feeling sad and angry.
Amanda and Mitch can afford to move, and Amanda would like to for several reasons. She claims their neighborhood is noisy and full of crime, which isn’t the best place to start a family. Considering she’d like to have children with Mitch, she’d like a nicer neighborhood.
During this conversation, Amanda heard Anita say that she must want to move because she’s spoiled and wants something ‘grander.’ She also heard Anita say that she must be racist and severely emotionally damaged to want to move away.
Amanda reveals that she’s beyond sad or angry. Now she’s just numb. After feeling that they were in a good place, realizing Anita would never like her is a blow.
Pay Your Bills
One contributor said, “If she doesn’t live with you or pay your bills, she can suck it.”
Several commenters were very interested to know what Mitch’s response was. “This. Having kids with this man hinges on what he said to defend his wife and future mother of his children.”
Forsaking All Others
An interested party added, “The people who deserve to have a place in your life would never say such hurtful things, but the person who’s always supposed to have your back (that whole, forsaking all others thing) should always defend you when Anita attacks your character. I’d be tempted to move to the other side of the world to put distance between me and that big bowl of toxic.”
Another person hit the nail on the head. “She said all that because she knows she will have even less control once you move.”
Someone suggested a no-information zone for Anita. “At the remark that criticized you, Mitch should’ve said, “Hold on, let me put you on speakerphone so Sober can hear you….” And for that, she doesn’t get to know your new address. No visits, no gift deliveries, no keys, no, no, no.”
Turn the Tables
A second participant recommended using Anita’s words against her. “Well, if you speak to her, you can use those words against her; she will never see the baby as she’s spoilt, racist, etc., and if she asks where it came from, you can tell her its all the stuff she called you, and you won’t have that negativity in your child’s life.”
One user reminded Amanda about the people who like and appreciate her. “MIL doesn’t like you, so what. Many people do like and appreciate you. Those are the people you spend time with, do favors for, have over for a meal, etc.”
Do What You Like
Another astute observer shared this timely wisdom. “She won’t like you; she doesn’t even like herself. Don’t worry about it. Instead, find freedom in it. Now that you know nothing you do will ‘fix it,’ you can do what you want. If someone is going to be upset no matter what you do, you might as well do what you like.”
Someone wanted Amanda to remember it was all about her reaction. “What you can control is what you decide to do about their bad behaviors.”
Time to Run
Another forum poster wanted Amanda to evaluate her husband’s reaction to his mother’s comments. “If Hubs didn’t stand up to her, it’s time to run. If he doesn’t now, he NEVER will. Then you’ll find your kids in the crossfire, being picked on because she doesn’t like mom. Guess how I know.”
No Love Lost
It is never easy to learn that someone doesn’t like you, particularly an in-law. In Amanda’s case, however, there’s a chance to cut and run before adding children to their relationship. Whether or not Amanda will get Mitch to go along with that plan remains to be seen.
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