The most common hypothesis that “your mother-in-law can never love you like your own mother” has made this a very fragile looking relationship. A mother-in-law plays a vital role in the lives of every married couple. Sharing a tricky relationship with her can bring trouble in your wedding bliss. Thanks to the Indian TV shows where mother-in-laws are portrayed in the bad light this relationship gets even more complicated. But, even in real, she may be strict and restrictive.
How can you deal with a strict mother-in-law?
Get familiarized with her
Knowing your mother-in-law even before the wedding will help you gain some more time to learn how to tackle her. Spend ample time with her, both in the presence and absence of your fiancé. You may be prejudiced against her or she must be having an opinion about you. By spending quality time you both will be able to understand each other better. This is your time to impress her and let her know about yourself.
Veena Venugopal the author of The Mother-in-Law: The Other Woman in Your Marriage claims,
“Research has proved that with every yard between you and your mom-in-law, the chance of your relationship with your husband lasting, improves.” So go ahead and spend time with your mother-in-law.
Your mother-in-law like anybody elder will expect you to respect her. There should be a mutual respect between you both. It can be possible that she doesn’t return the respect so what do you do? Respecting her and being polite yet open can help you avoid giving her any opportunity to badmouth about you to anybody.
Suppose, her verbal remarks may hurt you and if you retort, she’s likely to talk to your husband about it. This would lead to a subjective battle of your words against hers and there is no conclusion ever.
So respect the relationship and maintain the discipline while speaking to her.
You need to understand that your mother-in-law though strict isn’t necessarily a bad person. Lay down your expectations about yourself so that there is never a chance that she claims of not knowing. You need to make your voice heard. You cannot be following something which you don’t approve only because she finds it right.
Blindly following something you don’t like may make you unhappy. It can frustrate you and this can ultimately affect every relationship. You need to clearly categorize what you like and dislike and boldly present it out.
- Understand the WHYs
Your mother-in-law may restrict you from doing certain things. You may not like it but to keep things smooth you may be forced to follow them. The list of such thing may be long but, have you tried understanding why?
Psychologist and relationship expert Vidya Bansode says,
while the conflict between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law has been existing since ages now, the difference in the outlook of the young, progressive modern woman has added another layer to this problem. So break the stigmas attached to a modern woman and try to build a mutual understanding with her.
Don’t have unrealistic expectations
Irrespective of your mother-in-law’s behavior while living together you may not be able to decide how much you interact with her. Assuming that she is the closest to your husband you have to maintain the relationship with her which is healthy for both of you.
Also, you must understand that your mother-in-law is not another mother. It is unfair to expect her to be like your parents. You may be disappointed leading to misunderstandings.
Don’t expect her to change for you when you don’t want to make changes in yourself.
Get your spouse involved
Let your partner know about the discomfort you feel because of her strict rules. He may be able to handle her better than you. Neither criticize her nor protect her. Your spouse can help you understand your mother-in-law’s behavior better. He would know how to impress her and win her trust. He can be a very important and convenient help in dealing with your strict mother-in-law.
It is not impossible that mother-in-laws are like friends to the daughter-in-laws. This can be possible if they understand each other. Mother-in-laws need to know that there has been a generation gap between them. Expecting the daughter-in-law to change herself only to fit in is unrealistic.