“In-Laws vs. Out-Laws”

I recently heard from a very close friend, she and her daughter-in-law, were having issues. Not new to me, suffering some issues my self in the past, I sympathized with her and tried to console her.

Two areas come to mind when Mother and Daughter In-Law problems arise.
Is there a right or wrong answer, or a right or wrong resolution?
First and Foremost, being that I am a Mother of two Grown Sons, both being married, or have been married. And, being a Daughter-in-Law more than once.

I can speak from first hand experience.
Years ago, a very wise woman in my life, told me the best friend a Married Woman can have, if applicable, is her husband’s mother. Fact in most cases, no one knows her husband better than his mother.

Making friends and being extremely patient with your Mother In-Law is crucial. Keeping in mind, in her eyes, he is still her little boy, and depending on the closeness of their relationship, will determine her attitude towards you.

Some Mothers I admit, do have a tendency to be just a little over baring when it comes to advising others on the behalf of their sons.

On the other hand, Son’s wives can sometimes be extremely jealous of a mother son relationship, therefore making a strong stance on their own behalf for equality. Especially when it comes to children of the Son and wife.

I have always vowed never to be a “medal ling mother in-law. And, for the most part, have not been. On the flip side, I have always tried very hard to please and get along with my spouse’s mother. This could be an acceptance issue. Always wanting to make sure I was accepted and to make my spouse happy.

I have had the domineering Mother In-Law, not pretty. Always telling me what to do, and how to do it. Never good enough, never worthy enough. To the point, it did cause a divorce.

And then again, I have had Daughter In-Laws who could care less about anything other than their own opinions or concerns to the point, I was left completely out of the picture, if they had their way. One basically even told me, Grandparents have no rights to discipline or opinions when it comes to their children, even if they are visiting your home. That is where I draw the line.

The Line in the sand is called “Respect”. No matter the situation, or the reason. All parties should be respectful of each other, and display such when addressing each other.

If you are visiting the home of your Mother and Father, as the Son and Daughter in-law, you should respect them and respect their wishes when it comes to how you monitor yourselves and your children. Rules are honored and followed. Discipline should be conducted if applicable, and Grandparents should and do have rights in their homes to expect that.

I find in talking to other people who have grandchildren, this is one of the biggest problems they face in their on going relationships with their grown kids.

Seeing your grand-kids getting away with issues you would never allow your kids when they were small. Younger parents tend to be more willing to “let go” of situations or problems rather than take the time to teach or correct. It is the gentle approach, and less aggressive. In some respects I disagree.
Not that I agree with harsh discipline, however, laughing or giving the kids a timeout just does not always cut it.
What some parents fail to realize or understand, if the children are not taught to respect and mind their manners at home, they will not be respectful in others.
And, if they become defensive when others try to correct the children, (Grandparents), then that is being disrespectful of their homes and possessions.

So, with all of the above, we both could use a little more understanding and try harder to be more respectful of each other.

Daughter In-Laws need to be more open to advice and help from their Mother In-Laws, and Mother In-Laws need to be less domineering. Providing Wisdom and examples of what might be of use. And only offering when asked.

Daughter In-laws need to respect others homes and wishes when visiting, keeping their children in toe, and trusting grandparents in their want to help and nurture.

The Stress that is caused when there is tension among the family, can be damaging, and can create serious problems between the Husband and Wife. Both in the children and the parents.

Try to be more compassionate and understanding on both sides, and a happier, healthier relationship will blossom.

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