How to handle a possessive mother-in-law?
Have you recently been married to someone who happens to be the only son of the family? Better still, he happens to be the only child of the family? More often that not, he will be accompanied by a possessive mother, who monitors and judges each and every move of his and has all her brain cells working on how to optimize his actions to the highest degree. This possessive mother in all likely-hood consider every woman incapable of looking after her son’s ‘unique’ needs and even if she has agreed to the marriage, she might have done so reluctantly.
It is tough to be in such a relationship. There is no denying the fact. But if you really love the man, you need to work out some ways to help everyone live in peace. Here is some helpful advice which might see you through the day. However, we do recommend use of some highly creative ideas which can only come to you if you keep a firm head on your shoulder!
First of all don’t try to change anyone. Either him or your mother-in-law. This is one thing that will only lead to a bottomless pit of frustration which just might end up screwing up your own relationship. Instead, use the possessiveness to your advantage and include yourself in the equation each and every time your mother-in-law plans something.
For eg, if she obsesses about food and wants to cook for him, don’t fret. Throw in the towel (and your giant size I-can-also-cook-well ego) and ask her to cook for you as well. Not only do you save yourself the hassle of cooking (God knows that we modern women consider cooking to be the bane of our existence) but also get a well cooked meal as a bonus.
Become a sycophant. Instead of berating your mother-in-law for berating you, heap her will loads of praises and keep saying that you want to become just like her. This is going to get you in her good books faster than you can imagine and also keep the relationship with you and your husband argument-free. Over a period of time, she will forget about bad mouthing you ever and at the end of the day, both of you might just have a good relationship with each other.
Don’t forget the fact that she carried him for nine troublesome months in her womb (you can be sure that she will not let you or him forget that) and has lived through all him childhood tantrums and put him through school and college to make him the man you love. Appreciate her in public if you can. Remember, that though it is said that though you can fight fire with fire, it is only cold water which douses the biggest of fires!
Handling a possessive mother-in-law is going to take a lot of patience, understanding and thought. There are some do-nots which you must follow if you want to become a success in this challenge:
- Do not bad mouth her in front of your husband
- Do not rise to the baits which she will throw your way by way of comments on cooking, housekeeping, saying how much weight her son has lost since marriage etc.
- Do not discuss your personal relationship with your husband with her. You never know when she might use it as information to be used against you.
Most women who have married men and are still in some way tied to the apron strings of their mothers find it difficult to manage the possessive mother-in-law and feel bewildered around her. That is exactly what the possessive mom wants to do: show her son what a bumbling idiot he has married! If you want to avoid falling in this category, then keep a cool head and follow the advice of the wise that have already been through this drill. Remember, when you can’t beat them, you join them!
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Possessive mothers who don't allow their children to discover independency deny their right to be happy.
I think that for someone to call you a good parent you have to know when to let your children feel free, you have to allow them to realize on their on skin what means to live on their own. Even if it is possible that they get hurt. Otherwise they risk becoming inadaptable to the surrounding reality.
My opinion is that mothers must understand there is a time in their lives when they have to let their children, no matter if we talk about daughters or boys. But when a girl gets married and she has a life of her own with her new husband what is the point of her interfering all the time in their lives?
There are moments when you need her pieces of advice because you have to take care of the house and there are things you have no idea about but at the same time you want to enjoy the moments spent with your husband as newly husbands.
There are times when you want to surprise your husband with a romantic dinner, a sexy outfit and candles all over the house. But when you are dancing and enjoying to the full your kisses your mum, who by the way has the key to your apartment, comes in because she knew you wanted to clean the house and she thought you might need a helping hand. Bad timing especially if you also take into consideration the embarrassment and the blush in your husband's cheeks.
You don't want to upset her but she must understand that you have got your own life and you don't want to feel controlled like she used you do when you were in high school. You have now a family of your own and there are times when you want to be let to take your own decisions, even if they might be right or wrong.
What sort of a mother are you to your son?
Confronted with a possessive mother, a son has two options: "To laugh it off or run away," explains our expert. But where is the line between a loving mother and apossessive mother?
"A possessive, underming mother is shouting out the pain she feels at seeing her son leave her as he grows up. It's all about keeping her son with her." Why do some women become possessive mothers? Because they are afraid of losing control and of not being loved, fears which are very often rooted in their own pasts. "Don't forget that the bond that a mother builds with her son is unconsciously shaped by her own relationships with men, and images of men that she has built over the course of her life."
Possessive love is obsessional love, which leaves no space for anything else. To survive this opression, the child develops strategies to cope with it, which can include anger, silence and behaviour problems and finds it hard to see himself as a man: "In my practice, I've noticed that the problems boys may have as they grow up into men are more closely linked to absent or distant fathers than over-protective mothers.' Maternal love is important, but our expert recommends that you ask yourself this important question: How far away should I be from my son so that he feels good about himself and feels comfortable with other women? Think about it.
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