8 Ways of Dealing with a Controlling Mother In-law.

 Is there any way of dealing with a controlling mother in-law? Do you feel frustrated?

It’s never been understood why a percentage of mother in-laws seem to think that it is their duty to interfere in their sons/daughter’s relationship, it’s one of those things that is still a mystery till date.

Most women whose sons/daughters have gone onto marry or are in relationships, often feel that it is their duty to determine what is right or wrong, because they think they know everything there is to know about babies, or running a household. The reality is neither of these are particularly difficult to work out, humans have been doing this with varying degrees of success since the stone age.

Most women in our culture today, are very bad at being parents, because being a parent means to raise your kid so that you are not needed anymore. Some mothers want to be mommy for life in our society.

They’ll say;

Do not try and do this to him/her; this is how he/she loves it and how he/she wants it done.

If you are not willing to do it, then you are just going to be driven quietly insane until you break up with him/her. There is no crime. I’m not saying it’s a crime telling you son/daughter in-law how your son/daughter wants certain things but it’s their home, allow them run it their way.

Yes I know they say what an elder sees while standing, a young person cannot see it even they climb the highest mountain. Need I tell you that most times, they see nothing? They just want you to be their baby forever and they come up with the, she/he would not make a better partner for you.

According to daily.lessonslearntinlife.com, a bride wrote how her mother in-law was laying claims to her son ON HIS WEDDING DAY, can you beat that? and she shared pictures on Reddit to back up her story. In the photograph, the mother in-law was kind of doing her best to make sure she let the bride know HE IS STILL MY SON. Its kind of annoying you know.

There’s another story on the mirror.co.uk  of a mother in-law who booked herself  into the same resort the newly wed booked for their honeymoon. This sounds absurd, don’t you think so?

When you happen to find yourself in such situation, what do you? How do you handle it? Do you accept her behavior, confront her about her behavior, Leave the relationship, or Talk with your boyfriend/spouse about the situation?

To be honest when you find yourself in this situation, you have to extremely careful of anything you say to her so she will see it as an attempt to come between her and her baby boy/girl. If you accept her behavior, it will only get worse.  Everyone wants to want to have a relationship with their husband’s mother, it’s family but you must also understand you cannot force it.

 It’s quite unfortunate that you cannot change other people; you cannot even make them understand how much they are hurting you. And even when you try to let them know, they use it against you. They find more opportunities to hurt you more. So, what then would you do?

The truth is this, it’s not in your place to set things right, you can’t do anything. You cannot talk to the mother, nor confront the mother, nor debate the mother or any of his family unless you want to be seen as the bad person.  So what would you do?


The first step is;

  • Is to find out how your spouse feels about his mother’s behavior. I’d advice that you should be prepared for him being blind to her flaws and unwilling to see things from your perspective. Don’t kid yourself that this will change when you marry. It probably won’t.
  • You need to have your spouse support. You need to tell your spouse that, he/she needs to take a stand for your relationship. You must understand that unless your spouse is supportive, then this is very difficult to resolve
  • Know when to speak and when to keep shut.
  • Talk about boundary setting with your spouse where there are weak boundaries. It really is up to each person in a relationship to establish the boundaries with their respective families. It does not work if one partner is expected to do battle with the ‘in-laws’. He/she needs to tell his/her mother that any issues that she has regarding you, she must keep to herself and he/she needs to tell her that he/she is not going to tolerate her meddling into your relationship for the rest of his/her life.
  • If you do not want to go on a no contact practice grey rock techniques, Do not get too in depth with personal stuff. You must understand that a clingy mother in-law will look for everything to make you look bad in her son/daughter’s eyes, so mind what you share with them. Do not share too personal information with such mother in-laws.
  • When you set boundaries, be kind but firm on your boundaries even if the narc mother in-law gets upset, stick with them.
  •  Remain calm when the mother in-law purposely pushes your buttons and remove yourself from the toxic situation as soon as possible.
  •  Stop feeling like you always need to explain yourself. Depending on the context always reply in a short sentence and don’t sound unsure.

In as much as i know it hurts, honestly; you cannot come between your spouse and his/her mother. He/she must be the one to tell her when she’s been out of order; otherwise it will reinforce you as the villain which would suit her agenda. I have seen lots of movies (even though they are make believe picture) were a mother in-law would be the one attaching the son/daughter in-law, as soon as she hears her son/daughters voice, she starts acting as the victim making you look confused and stupid. Trust me; nobody will be happy coming home to meet his/her mother in such a situation.  You must also know you cannot change her. The best thing you can do is accept it and understand that it has nothing to do with you.

I want you to think back to how you have been engaging your in-laws and honestly ask yourself, if a third party could possibly find fault with that.  Are you a total victim in this scenario or do you do or say things to instigate a negative response? If so, consider how you can change the way you’re handling the situation, or reacting to it, as not to invite any antagonism.

You can only talk to your spouse; he/she must stand up to his/her mother, or you will simply go insane by the way the mother in-law is acting. But if you talk to him, he/she may be willing to make a few adjustments in your lives for the greater good of all. Just be open to the fact that they may not see her as being controlling and may not understand why you do.


When You have got a great guy/girl, forget those parents, and make it happen.

Written by: Juliana Jonathan

Photo credit: Reddit.com



I’m Julia Jonathan, I write on relationships, communication and lifestyle advice. I believe there’s always room to improve no matter how incredible you think you are. If you think so too, follow me to see more inspirational stories and articles

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