According to research, up to 60 percent of women have complained of long term marital stress due to mother–in-law problems. For generations, people (both men and women) have come up with issues that they have had with their mother–in-laws, but have never known how to resolve these issues.
What we fail to do, while remaining preoccupied with the issues that others create for us, is come out of our comfort zone and step into their shoes to try and understand a specific situation from their point of view. Hence, a sense of empathy it is, that can go a long way into creating a strong and healthy bond between you and your mother-in-law.
Here are a few things your mother-in-law longs to tell you which remain hidden beneath all her tantrums and ill-treatment:
EVEN THOUGH NOW YOU’RE NEARER TO MY SON I AM STILL HIS MOTHER
She is not the lead woman in your husband’s life anymore; you are. But she expects you to be considerate of her position in his life. Both of you hold different positions in your husband’s life, each of which must be respected by the other.
ACCEPT ME LIKE I HAVE ACCEPTED YOU
You can’t change her, so just like you accept your own mother for who she is, accept her – is what your mother in law wants to tell you. She may have her eccentricities but don’t we all? Let’s forgive each other’s flaws and concentrate on the positives.
HELP ME UNDERSTAND YOU
Let her know politely, whether she has hurt you on any occasion and as to how she could help herself from hurting you in the future. You need to be open to her about your feelings. She wants to get to know you. She isn’t perfect but she doesn’t want you to hate her. She in fact wants to feel closer to you and wants to be loved by you.
TRY TO UNDERSTAND ME
Just like she wants to understand you, she wants you to understand her as well, because she cares about building a good relationship. She might not be very direct in her approaches of wanting to get to know you but you have to look for subtle signs. She is insecure which might make her do wrong things unintentionally only to pacify herself and feel more secure, this is when she wants you to understand her and not judge her for her wrong choices.
KNOW THAT WE ARE FAMILY
You aren’t a separate entity to your mother-in-law. She has accepted you as part of her family and she wants you to consider yourself as a part of it so that you fit into it effortlessly and love and care about the people in the family as they are your own.
COMMUNICATE WITH ME MORE FRANKLY
She doesn’t want you to be awkward and pretentious around her. You are her son’s wife and she craves to connect with you because you are a part of the life of the most important person in her life. Let disappointments come to the surface and let them be resolved by being honest with one another.
GET TO KNOW THE PERSON I AM
Not only does she want you to understand her instead of judging when and if she makes any sort of mistakes but she also wants you to know her as a person. She wants to get close to you. She wants to share a bond with you. So asking to know her favourite cuisine or the kind of movies she likes; her weaknesses and strengths will not only raise the comfort level between the both of you but you will also be able to understand each other better when you get to know about one another’s choices.
EXPRESS YOUR EXPECTATIONS CLEARLY
If you want her to stop feeding your kids ice cream so frequently, just let her know, instead of nurturing your anger until it bursts out one day and you use passive aggressive means to get at her. You should rather be open to your mother-in-law about your issues, so that even though there may be fights and disagreements; there won’t develop a distance between the both of you.
HELP ME GET TO KNOW MY GRANDCHILDREN
She wants to get close to her grandchildren and spend time with them. The older she grows the more time she wants to spend with your kids. She loves them and she has a lot to share with and impart onto your kids. Don’t make your mother-in-law feel as though your kids don’t have time enough to spare for her.
DO EXPRESS GRATITUDE
When you and your husband leave for work she looks after your kids. She loves it no matter how tedious it may be for her, considering her age and fitness. Hence when you acknowledge her presence in your life she feels wonderful. Just say “thank you” sometimes and let others know how grateful you are to have her around helping you with a lot of things.
I AM THANKFUL TO YOU
She wants to tell you, that she is thankful to you for choosing to stay with her son and encouraging him to maintain a great bond with her; for taking care of him and her grandchildren, for understanding and sticking to him through thick and thin. She wants to tell you how happy she is to have you and that you feel like her own daughter.
Hope this will help you in getting along with your mother-in-law a little better, because now you know what she is really trying to express when she bad-mouths or yells or goes quite for days.