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How to Handle a Toxic Mother-In-Law

Are you newly married and having trouble with your spouse's mother? Here's some tips for learning how to handle a toxic mother-in-law.

Do you think you're noticing some of the signs your mother-in-law hates you? If you are in a situation where you need to handle a toxic mother-in-law, you may need some tips on how to stand your ground and/or communicate better with your family member so that you can move forward with your relationship. It is important to be on even ground with mother-in-law, and not feel bad about your situation. Many times, setting the boundaries early on can be necessary as opposed to being passive aggressive. There are many different strategies to keep family relationships strong and prevent monsters-in-law from getting ugly. Here is some of our best advice.

Have boundaries.

When you have a toxic mother-in-law, you need to stand your ground and make sure you’re setting the boundaries. Don’t let your mother-in-law push your buttons and make you feel bad. You can’t be the victim all the time and let difficult mothers bully you into a place where you feel upset or uncomfortable. Set necessary boundaries so that spending time with your family members doesn’t feel like a chore. Being a good daughter-in-law doesn’t mean you have to be a slave to whatever your mother-in-law says at all times.

Try to include her anyway.

A great way to learn how to handle the "other woman" in your man's life is to take an inclusive approach. Familial relationships can be stressful, and bring a lot of tension between the son or daughter and the in-laws. One solution can be to try and include your mother-in-law more often in your daily life. Change the subject away from the fight and the tension, and find positive ways to enjoy spending time together.

Seek out advice from your side of the family.

If you can't figure how to deal with a toxic mother-in-law, try to seek out advice from your side of the family. If you feel misunderstood, there is no one better to talk to than your immediate family who has known you since day one. Spending time with your parents will make you feel grounded. Family members can bring a lot of comfort in hard times. Seek advice from the ones who know you best.

Recognize small progress.

If you have to learn how to handle a toxic mother-in-law, don’t forget to recognize small progress. Even if things are not always perfect with your family members or your monster-in-law, try to recognize when you’ve made it past the small battles, because those things make a huge difference. Difficult mothers need recognition, attention, and you’ll have to choose your battles wisely in these familial relationships. Don’t feel bad, feel grateful when you succeed even slightly.

Separate yourself.

If it becomes necessary, when you’re learning how to manage the toxic relationships your mother- or monster-in-law is responsible for, you may just need to separate yourself. Take some time to calm down so that you can come back to the situation, change the subject, and move on without being passive aggressive toward her and letting the tension continue to build. If you realize that you need to separate yourself for long periods of time and your mother-in-law is too toxic to keep in your life on a regular basis, then that is okay too.

Ask yourself if you’re at fault too.

If you are contemplating how to handle your "unruly" mother-in-law, evaluate whether you may be at fault in the situation too. Have you been playing a toxic role in your mother-in-law’s life as well? Is the entire toxic relationship a two-way street? Understand that you could be at fault in some way, shape, or form. You don’t have to feel bad about admitting that you’ve played a role. Just do your best to understand the root of the problem, no matter what the cause may be, and try to move forward from it.

Don’t take it personally.

If you have issues with family members, try not to take it personally. Maybe your mother-in-law dislikes you for deep, set reasons that have nothing to do with you at all. Maybe she is upset about losing her son to another woman. Maybe she is upset with herself. Whatever the reason may be, there is a good chance that it isn’t personal.

Be okay if approval doesn’t come.

There is a chance that no matter what you do, approval from your mother-in-law may never come. If you’re trying to figure out how to handle a toxic mother-in-law, you’ll need to be okay with the fact that no matter how hard you try to gain approval from your mother- or father-in-law, you may never get their approval. As long as you have genuine love for your husband, then you should be able to live with this.

Be honest with your fiancé about how you feel.

When learning how to go about setting a strong foundation for your relationship between you and a toxic mother-in-law, you need to be honest with your husband about the situation. They know their parents better than anyone else. They will be able to mediate the situation and figure out how to mend it if possible. Go to them for advice and comfort in your time of need. If your husband can’t help you or understand your issues with their mother, then you have bigger problems at hand.

Have an honest conversation with her.

Lastly, when you learn how to handle a toxic mother-in-law, the best solution is to have an open and honest conversation with your mother-in-law face to face. This is the only real way to solve whatever issues you two have with one another. Put any tension you have to the side and try to work it out for the sake of your marriage, and for the sake of your husband. In the end, you two are family now, and it is best if you try to get along.

In-laws aren’t always the easiest to get along with, but in the end, you have a shared love and a shared connection because you have chosen to marry into the same family. For this reason, it’s best if you try these solutions to communicate and make peace at all costs, or at least look at these ways to deal with an irritating in-law. Good luck with your mother-in-law and we hope you find a way to live happily!

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