The long-standing, covert conflict between a spouse and their mother-in-law is a widely recorded, sometimes satirized, and frequently discussed struggle. Personally, I've found this to be a rather trivial dispute and I've never encountered it with my beloved mother-in-law. My significant other prioritizes me, as it should be.
1. I practice open communication
I don't assume my partner knows my boundaries instinctively. I communicate when I'm uncomfortable and actively listen when he explains his actions. This approach applies to his relationship with his mother too. If I feel neglected in favor of her, we have an honest conversation and work towards finding a compromise. Often, he isn't even aware of his behavior.
2. I'm not a pushover
Once, my partner and I had a significant event scheduled for weeks, but his mother unexpectedly invited him over for dinner on the same day. Initially, he accepted, but I had to object. I mean, seriously? We had put so much effort into this! After realizing my perspective, my partner understood his mistake. Interestingly, when he told his mother about our plans, she scolded him for not informing her earlier.
3. It shows my husband's family that we have a strong marriage
Whenever my husband can confront his mother and explain why he needs to prioritize me occasionally, it reinforces our strong and respectful relationship. He demonstrates his loyalty to me and proves himself to be trustworthy. This shows his mother how significant I am to him and how we support each other. It helps her understand why our boundaries are crucial to us.
4. I'm not isolating him from the people he loves
I strongly advocate for equilibrium and reciprocity. I actively support my partner in spending time with his family. I don't view this as a competition because it shouldn't be. Consequently, it's not a matter of choosing one over the other but rather seeking balance and compromise, which is what healthy relationships entail.
5. I respect his mother
My partner's mother is lovely, intelligent, and compassionate. Though she has always been a bit strict with me, I understand that it stems from her love for her son. It's similar to how fathers can be overly protective of their daughters- women can also be fiercely defensive of their sons! I profoundly admire her for giving birth to my partner and cherish their close relationship. I have no intention of disrupting their bond. Instead, I find it beautiful that an adult and their parent can maintain such a strong connection.
6. His mother respects me too
I have put in a lot of effort to win over my partner's mother. I've demonstrated my love for her son and my commitment to him in every way possible, and I believe she has recognized that. She comprehends that marriage alters one's life and values, and I've demonstrated that I am the best fit for him. As long as my partner visits her, keeps in touch with her, and shows his affection, she is content. Additionally, she has been in my position previously and didn't appreciate her mother-in-law overshadowing her own partner!
7. It doesn't always have to be a choice
Suppose my partner and I want to relish our infrequent free weekend, but he hasn't visited his mother recently. Why should we have to choose between us? Rather than attempting to determine who gets the weekend, we transform it into a family gathering. Isn't that what we are, after all? We can pack into our vehicle and travel to his family home for the weekend. It's a win-win scenario that demonstrates my eagerness to be a dynamic member of the family.
8. I've become his family
I don't imply that a mother is not family. It is crucial for both men and women to always love and respect their parents. However, my partner firmly believes that when you marry or commit to a long-term life partner, you are essentially establishing a new family that should become your top priority. I share the same belief. When you become one with another person, your obligation lies with them from then on. This is perfectly acceptable for women to do when they get married, so why shouldn't it be the same for men?
9. I talk to his mother
I make an effort to maintain regular communication with my partner's mother. It's important to me that she knows how much I appreciate her as a person and value being a part of her family. As a result, there is no animosity between us, and we can discuss any concerns or issues that arise directly with each other. It's amazing how many potential misunderstandings can be resolved simply by talking openly and honestly.
10. His mother and I want the best for my husband
Ultimately, my mother-in-law and I are both mature adults and it's not a competition for who gets my partner's attention. Our goal is to work together towards his happiness, and that's something we both want. It's a great foundation for mutual understanding and cooperation.