August 15, 2023  •  7min read

How to Get Along With Your Mother in Law? Our Top 10 Tips

how to get along with mother in law

Whether you have a great relationship with your mother-in-law or are currently struggling to get along, maintaining a good relationship and communication with them will help you lighten your tension in marriage. It’s possible to get along with your mother-in-law, even if you have differences from time to time. 

When trying to maintain a relationship with your mother-in-law, you may require a guide that all healthy relationships follow. This guide will help you maintain a great relationship with your mother-in-law and ease tension.

Remember Your Boundaries

Boundaries are a kind of set of rules that you’ll need for a happy and smooth relationship. Will you be okay with your in-laws suddenly dropping by? Are you all good to receive some unsolicited advice? If the answer is no, you’ll need to make it clear to your mother-in-law that you aren’t comfortable by setting a few solid rules. 

We know that setting boundaries may be uncomfortable, but having the same issue happening over and over may hurt your relationship in the long term. This will also eliminate all the enjoyment you should be experiencing in a relationship. 

For example, if she comes over without letting you know, you could say, “Oh, I’d love to spend time with you, but I’m currently in the middle of something. Let’s meet on Saturday instead when I’m not busy so that we can enjoy our time together!”

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Talk to Your Spouse

You may struggle to have your mother-in-law’s respect, and she may not understand your boundaries. You can always let your spouse know about it and let them speak to her as no one understands your mother-in-law better than your spouse. 

But first, it’s essential that you and your spouse understand each other and know the reason why it’s important to speak with their mother regarding your issues. To accomplish this, try stating your thoughts without blaming your mother-in-law. For example, “I don’t feel comfortable with your mom coming over and checking out all our stuff without permission. Can you try talking to her and let her know that I feel that way?” Hopefully, your spouse will understand or even feel the same way which will straighten things out. 

Speak Directly with Your Mother-in-Law

If you don’t want to get your spouse to do the talking and play referee, you can try handling your mother-in-law’s issues by yourself. This also takes the heavy weight off your spouse.

If your mother-in-law crosses the line, let her know that she is crossing your boundaries, but make sure to deliver it in a way that won’t offend her. “I appreciate that you’re giving my kids some sweet treats, but I’m worried about how many sugary treats they’re having. Can we have a nice dinner together instead the next time you visit?” 

Build Mutual Respect

Of course, you may already have a great relationship with your mother-in-law. But it’s important to maintain mutual respect to ensure things will remain well. Even if you have trouble with this occasionally, showing mutual respect will help you in the long run. Here are three ways to show respect to your mother-in-law:

Listen to her actively – When your mother-in-law is speaking, make sure to make eye contact with her and ask a question every once in a while. Be interested in her and make a statement that shows you’re listening.

Avoid offensive behavior – if you want your mother-in-law to respect you, don’t call her names, yell at her, or engage in other abusive behaviors.

Find agreement – when you agree with someone, it disarms them for a moment, even if they aren’t happy with you or enraged. 

She also Wants the Best for You and Your Spouse

If your mother-in-law is overly nosy, gives you advice on everything you do, and doesn’t seem to respect your ability to do house chores, remember it’s all because she cares. Even though the way she expresses it may not seem constructive, she may not realize that you feel disrespected.

You can try saying things like, “I appreciate your thoughts and advice, and it would be meaningful if you wait for me to ask for it. That way, I’ll be in the right mind to process your advice better.”

You can also try asking your mother-in-law for support, “I know you’re more experienced and familiar with the challenges of life after marriage, but I’m also trying to find my way of being a good spouse. I think I need to find my own way for a little while, and I will ask for your advice when I need it.

Focus on What Matters

A study in the Western Journal of Communication states that when daughters-in-law let their mother in laws to visit their grandchildren, there was less friction in the relationship. Also, when there’s a solid principle in the relationship and viewpoints on their family, things go much smoother. The bottom line is to make an effort and time for grandma and look for anything in common with your mother-in-law to make the situation better. 

In other words, focus on the positives. When there is negativity, don’t focus on it, as it will keep you angry and uncomfortable. Focusing on her behavior that is bothering you will cause nothing but constant agitation. You can’t control her personality, her feelings, and how she acts, so you shouldn’t worry about it. And it shouldn’t affect how you feel about yourself. 

Guntur author at Bali Wedding
Guntur has been writing tips and tricks for weddings in Bali since 2020. He has written everything from preparing a pre-wedding in Bali to the best wedding dress and makeup you should choose for a wedding in paradise.

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