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The 3 Biggest Mistakes Mothers- (and Daughters)-in-Law Make

Why can’t mothers- and daughters-in-law all just get along? Here are the 3 biggest mistakes each side typically makes:

The 3 Biggest Mistakes Mothers-in-Law Make:

  1. Thinking your mother-son relationship doesn’t change after he’s married. You can’t treat him like your baby boy anymore. Big and little things are their business now, not yours (even his haircut).  

  2. “Helping out” around the house. Don’t walk into your son and daughter-in-law’s place and start cleaning or moving anything around. Aside from the fact that it’s not your home, any time you do stuff like that, it’s immediately taken as criticism. Think about it - if everything was OK, you wouldn’t be moving it around. You can offer to help, but if your daughter-in-law says no, drop it. You have to understand that this is her castle, and she has first dibs on the prince.

  3. Getting in the middle of their relationship and taking sides. When my son and daughter-in-law were engaged, I sat them down and told them that when they were married, neither one of them could come to me to complain about the other. They could talk to me together if they needed advice or help with something, but I made it very clear that I would not hear only one side of the story.

The 3 Biggest Mistakes Daughters-in-Law Make:

  1. Being too thin-skinned. I think most daughters-in-law expect their mother-in-law to be critical, so they take everything they say and do as an attack on them and overreact. However, everything your mother-in-law says and does is not an insult or a criticism. She’s at least twice your age, and she knows probably four times what you know. If you’re willing to listen, there’s probably something to be learned or gained. So, assume your mother-in-law is not a bitch. There easily can be misunderstandings about innocent things, so don’t take a confrontational stance too quickly.

  2. Not dealing with your mother-in-law directly. If your mother-in-law has a view or suggestion that differs from yours, don’t keep quiet and then later bitch to your husband (who then has to deal with his mother separately). Just say, “That’s an interesting idea. I may try it,” or, “That’s an interesting idea. I want to do it differently, but I appreciate your input.” Then it’s dealt with right then and there, and nobody feels insulted or unimportant.

  3. Not showing respect. Just as you and your parents are not equals, neither are you and your mother-in-law. Your mother-in-law is older, more experienced, and raised the person you can’t live without, and that deserves a lot of respect.

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Tags: Behavior, Choose Wisely-Treat Kindly, In-Laws, Marriage, Parenting, Relationships, Ten Stupid Things Couples Do to Mess Up Their Relationships, The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage, Tips
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