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  /  Family   /  Conflict between daughter-in-law and mother-in-law
Conflict between daughter-in-law and mother-in-law

The mother-in-law can either poison the life of the young daughter-in-law, or she can become her best friend. There is already someone as lucky. In this article, we will discuss the first option. After all, it occurs much more often than the second. 

There are even cases when the mother-in-law provokes discord between young spouses. Sometimes they even become the reason that their marriage breaks up.

So what is a family in the classical sense of the word? They are husband, wife, and children. But, as often happens, the mother-in-law also lives with the young family. Is she considered part of the family? Your answer to this question will say a lot about your relationship with her.

The mother-in-law

The difficult character of the mother-in-law, who, often, itself provokes the emergence of scandals out of the blue, can aggravate an already imperfect relationship. The best advice here would be to part ways. But sometimes this is impossible due to the age of the mother-in-law, the difficult financial situation, and other reasons. A very difficult situation is when the husband’s mother is bedridden or in a wheelchair and needs special care. If a young family does not have funds for a nurse, caring for her falls on the shoulders of the young housewife. And this is hard both mentally and physically. Especially if you add the incessant whims of an elderly woman, abuse, and caustic remarks.

Living with the mother-in-law

Living with a mother-in-law makes the position of a young mistress in the house very ambiguous. Many women who come to see a psychologist with this problem admit that they don’t feel themselves to be true keepers of the hearth; they take second place in their family. Yielding to the first to the husband’s mother. The mother-in-law often torments the daughter-in-law with incessant claims and reproaches. Endless advice regarding housekeeping and raising children, not entirely appropriate demands for attention to herself and annoying whims.

The situation is exacerbated if a young husband goes over to her side, finding fault with his wife for and without a reason, who already begins to feel like a poor relative who has come to a new family, not as a full-fledged mistress, but as a beggar who has been welcoming. And no matter how she tries to please everyone, the husband and mother-in-law still remain dissatisfied. The young woman begins to feel anger, helplessness, and extreme dissatisfaction with her life.

Separate houses

If a young family lives separately, then the relationship between the daughter-in-law and the mother-in-law is more successful. But this does not guarantee the absence of their dissatisfaction with each other. The husband’s mother, who has always been in the first place for her son, begins to be jealous of his daughter-in-law, emphasizing that her soup is not so tasty, and the house is so clean, and she does not iron her shirts thoroughly enough. He, of course, cannot but listen to these remarks and is surprised to find that mom is really right. And this can cause a serious quarrel in a young family. Moreover, if the criticism is not objective. It turns out that the husband’s mother is again to blame for the discord between the spouses, who does not even live next to them.

 

How does the conflict start?

Of course, not a single young daughter-in-law, entering her new family, is going to conflict with her husband’s mother. But it often happens that claims and mutual misunderstandings arise out of the blue and practically in the first days of life together. Both sides are to blame for the flaring up conflict.

When the mother-in-law comes to the psychotherapist’s appointment and the specialist asks them if she is ready to let her son go into independent family life, the answer is yes. But as practice shows, on a subconscious level, this is not the case at all. The reason for this is the syndrome of the empty nest, and jealousy of the young daughter-in-law, and the fear of loneliness.

In fact, the essence of the conflict is ridiculously simple – two women cannot share one man. Therefore, the slightest reason is enough for a full-scale showdown to begin. This is especially true of situations when the newly-made spouse is the only child in the family and the meaning of life for his aging mother, the fear of loneliness, which generates unreasonable aggression towards the young daughter-in-law. On a subconscious level, she tries to get her son back, which is destructive for both of them. The mother lives with the illusion that she is still the main thing in his life, and the young man becomes infantile and indecisive due to excessive care and concern. This situation needs immediate correction. A specialist will help to put everything in its place.

When mothers are overprotective

Overprotective mothers don’t like their daughters-in-law. And this is not surprising, because it’s impossible to please them, because they see a dangerous rival in them. As a result, the mother shows excessive jealousy, constantly interfering in the life of the young family, and the daughter-in-law is trying in every way to become the main one, pushing the mother-in-law into the background.

Some men are able to adequately assess the situation in their family and do their best to reconcile their mother and wife with each other. They understand how hard it is for his beloved women, and try in every possible way to please both one and the other. The peculiarities of upbringing create on the subconscious of some men an unshakable axiom: “A mother is always right because she is a mother,” which significantly spoils the relationship between him and his young wife. Receiving the tacit approval of her son, the mother-in-law can cross all available boundaries and norms of decency. She can, on her own initiative, shift things in the matrimonial closet, spend the entire family budget on a large purchase, throw away the dinner prepared by her daughter-in-law. The reaction of the young wife will be appropriate.

 

The reasons for the conflict between the daughter-in-law and her mother-in-law.

A mother-in-law rarely approves her son’s decision in terms of choosing a life partner. And the reason for this is female jealousy, which occurs on an unconscious level. A woman who raised her son and considers him to be her support simply cannot accept the fact that she is no longer the main one in his life. A mother-in-law, tuned in this way, will do everything to destroy her son’s marriage. And then she will offer her boy options for girls that are suitable in her opinion, who are the daughters of her friends, neighbors, or work colleagues. They, as it seems to her, will obey her in everything and not claim the main role in the life of her son. Although there is no guarantee that everything will be so.

The young daughter-in-law sees this situation differently. Surprisingly, the state of the “second role” and the need to yield to someone comes from childhood. If in childhood we are accustomed to the fact that someone controls us and makes us obey, then sooner or later we will return to this already in adulthood. For some, this situation will develop with an authoritarian husband, for others – with a mother-in-law.

And there are actually two reasons for this:
  1. You subconsciously chose such a man as your life partner, for whom you will never be in the first place.
  2. This situation is not only acceptable and understandable to you, but also quite beneficial to you.

Many young wives agree that their spouse rushes between them and his mother, which makes him a mistress who will also be young, beautiful, and sexy. After all, if it is still possible to somehow agree with the mother-in-law, but the husband’s new passion can take him away from the family forever.

The conflict between mom and wife forces the man to rush between two fires. In the meantime, there is discord in the family, he least of all wants to look for love joys on the side, which suits his wife quite well. It turns out that she continues to “add fuel to the fire” supporting a sluggish war with her mother-in-law just to protect herself from possible betrayal. And without noticing it, she forces her husband’s mother to actively participate in the life of a young family.

 

What is the risk of a conflict between a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law?

The most severe family conflicts between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law flare-up in those families who live together. Everyone suffers:

  • A mother-in-law who thinks that her daughter-in-law is doing everything wrong and her dear son devotes too much time to her, forgetting about her aging mother.
  • A daughter-in-law who wants to spend more time alone with her husband and be a full-fledged mistress in the house.
  • A son and a husband who is forced to live between two fires, supporting one or the other side of the conflict.

You can understand everyone. The marriage of an only son for any mother is a huge trauma. She thinks that her daughter-in-law is bad and does not fit into their family at all. The young wife wants her husband to support her in everything, taking her side in their conflict with his mother. And the man ends up in an ambiguous situation. He cannot betray his mother by openly defending his wife and vice versa. A wise woman will not involve her man in such a conflict.

 

Domestic war

The scale of domestic wars between a daughter-in-law and a mother-in-law depends on their temperament and general psychological state. The dispute begins, as a rule, with household trifles and sometimes goes very far. Only one of the parties can end the war. And one of the women who will be the first to understand that the man she loves is next to her will do it, he surrounds her with love and care, therefore further hostilities are meaningless.

But not always the painful jealousy of the mother-in-law and the wounded pride of the daughter-in-law are the reason for the conflict between them. The reason for the war can be the young wife’s rejection of the traditions established in her husband’s family, and her unstable emotional state, which can be aggravated by pregnancy, and psychological immaturity, which prevents her from becoming a full-fledged mistress of the hearth.

It is not uncommon for the mother-in-law to be the instigator of the conflict. This is especially true for those women who have completely and completely decided to devote themselves to their son’s family. She voluntarily takes on the role of a victim and expects gratitude from the young spouses for this. It is sometimes impossible to explain to her that they do not need it because she has already decided everything for herself. Is very difficult to resolve such a conflict, one might even say that it is impossible. It will inevitably lead to a break in relations either between spouses, or between the family and the husband’s mother.

And finally, the most commonplace situation is that the daughter-in-law simply does not like her mother-in-law for a number of reasons. Only time or the appearance of grandchildren can help here. But sooner or later, the young woman will still be accepted into the family. However, she will have to spend a lot of nerves in the fight with her husband’s mother.

 

How can this situation be changed?

First, you need to try to understand for yourself that the root of the problem is in yourself. After all, you yourself provoked this situation due to low self-esteem and distrust of your chosen one. You have convinced yourself that your husband can easily cheat on you, that you are not beautiful, smart, and economical enough for him to remain faithful to you. In other words, you voluntarily accepted the position of the victim and, out of your own fear of betrayal, decided to wage war with your mother-in-law, considering her a weaker rival than the other woman.

Second, you should start raising your grade immediately. You need to rise above conflicts with your mother-in-law and try not to sink to the level of scandals, abuse, and mutual reproaches. This can be helped by practical psychiatry, which will allow you to raise your own significance, grow, and develop. You need to love and accept yourself for who you are. This will help you immediately understand that you are worthy of your husband and that he should be afraid of losing you, and not vice versa.

Third, give up your vague role in the family. This applies primarily to housewives. If your husband makes money himself, this does not mean that he himself makes all decisions. You should not be in his shadow, and every new event in your family should take place by mutual agreement. If you voluntarily entrusted your husband with the role of commander, and you yourself are content with the role of a subordinate, then you will not let go of the fear that sooner or later your spouse may decide to leave the family, and you will only have to obey him unquestioningly. From this, at the root of a wrong perception of oneself, an urgent need to leave. This may require the help of a specialist.

 

How can you help yourself?

Full self-confidence will help a young daughter-in-law to rise above conflicts with her mother-in-law. If you find yourself in such an unpleasant situation, you can also change it yourself. The simplest thing to do right now is to increase your importance in this life. You will have to get a profession or start building a career. Engage in public affairs or creativity to your liking.

You must be active and in demand, and always be in the center of events. As soon as your relatives see that in this life you know and are able to, other people need your services, they will understand how much you mean to them. Your husband and other close people will respect you, and you yourself will become a self-confident person who has your own opinion and your right to vote. You will stop fighting with your mother-in-law, you will no longer have time for this. And you will no longer be so afraid of losing your husband because you will become a comprehensively developed and self-sufficient person.

 

How to properly build relationships in a new family?

In order for a young wife to properly build relationships in a new family in general and with her mother-in-law in particular, you need to adhere to some simple rules:

  1. Don’t sit around. Work, study, engage in social activities, in a word, be useful in society.
  2. You should treat your husband’s mother with respect, but you shouldn’t play the role of a “good girl” indefinitely. You should always remain yourself, be educated and benevolent.
  3. Always remember that the mother-in-law can seriously affect your family. Therefore, you need to try to do so that your spouse is good, cozy, and comfortable next to you. So that he would like to devote all his free time to you.
  4. If it was not possible to avoid the conflict, try to understand its essence. Any conflict situation can be resolved only by eliminating the cause of its occurrence.
  5. In no case should the husband be involved in the conflict. You and your mother-in-law will have to resolve it yourself.

These will help you build relationships in a new family and try to avoid conflict with your husband’s mother. Regardless of whether she lives with you or you live separately. After all, you are still dear people who, as you know, should stick to each other.

The resolution of the conflict between the daughter-in-law and the mother-in-law is quite possible. But only with the correct behavior of the young wife. Any mother is very pleased to see that her son is loved, respected and taken care of. And also to know that he is married to a worthy woman and everything is in order in their family. This will certainly take time. But any even the most severe conflict between close people is completely resolvable. This is what we should strive for.

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