“Making promises you don’t intend to keep leads to resentment,” says Tina B. Daughters-in-law want to establish their place in the family, while mothers-in-law want to ensure they’re not excluded.
Many wives blame their mothers-in-law for their hubbies’ shortcomings.
“I hinted to her that I wished she’d taught my husband organizational skills,” admits Sarah.* “She took offense and called me uptight.” Not surprising. It also involves her in your marriage, which can get messy, and prevents your husband from taking responsibility for his own actions. Their daughters-in-law favor their own parents, says Dr. “My daughter-in-law celebrates every holiday with her family; her parents’ photos are all over the house and there are none of me and my husband,” says Kathleen.
“What’s your mother-in-law going to do other than get defensive? “Though it may seem easier to fault the mom, you and your husband should deal with your own issues,” says Dr. While it’s reasonable to feel more at ease with your parents, “daughters-in-law need to accept that they’ve joined a family and figure out how to include them,” says Dr. Step one: Talk with your husband about things like where to spend each holiday.
Daughters-in-law want to establish their place in the family, while mothers-in-law want to ensure they’re not excluded.
Even when the women love each other, their roles can be hard to figure out.
To avoid causing family stress, we asked real mothers-in-law (and some daughters-in-law too) about comments that have rubbed them the wrong way—and asked experts how you can address issues peacefully. For instance, Judy’s* daughter-in-law told her she’d be there for her if she needed anything.
“But when my husband developed Alzheimer’s she went AWOL,” leaving Judy hurt and confused.
Politics, religion and other hot-button topics can turn a family dinner into a battleground.
“During a conversation about politics, our daughter-in-law forcefully told us our view was wrong—I was stunned,” says Sharon.* If you can’t keep your cool in these situations, Dr.
Brann suggests begging off from the conversation by saying, “Politics really gets me going; I’d better stay out of this!
” If you enter the fight, no one comes out a winner.