In-law tensions hit women hardest | Life and style | The Guardian
But a recent study conducted by the online marriage portal, Though my husband never had any problems, my mother-in-law didn't like it. Whenever her mother-in-law came to stay, Vanessa Trent would go out of in the six out of 10 married women who can find their relationship with their yet it seems many mothers-in-law have trouble moving with the times if. Marriage, as wonderful as it can be, certainly has its challenges -- especially when you throw your relationship with your mother-in-law into the.
As I combed through hundreds of reports of in-law relations -- ranging from loving and respectful relationships to "in-laws from hell" -- I uncovered three terrific lessons for insulating your relationship from problems with one another's' families.
These rules for in-law relations have been tested by hundreds of the oldest Americans for decades -- given what's at stake, we should pay close attention. Your loyalty is to your spouse. Life is full of difficult decisions in which no solution leaves everyone happy. Unfortunately, that's exactly what a difficult in-law situation creates -- a classic example of ambivalence that in a worst-case scenario may persist over years or even a lifetime.
But sometimes the elders cut through all the complexity and just tell you what to do. Here's their advice on dealing with the supposed ambivalence of in-law relations: In a conflict between your spouse and your family, support your spouse.
The elders are unequivocal; it is your duty to support your husband or wife and to manage your own family in a way that consistently conveys this fact.
Further, you both must present a united front to both families, making it clear from the beginning that your spouse comes first.
In couples where this allegiance did not happen, marital problems swiftly followed. In fact, some of the bitterest disputes occurred over a spouse's failure to support his or her partner.
When I asked Erin, 66, to describe a conflict that came up in her marriage, she didn't hesitate: Oh yeah, his mother. A lot of conflict. I had the impression she didn't like me very much. I could live with that, but my husband never stuck up for me, so we fought about it. The apron strings were tied to him, and you just didn't go against Mommy.
And we fought about it because he would say, "Oh you're crazy, she never said that. And after it was over I'd say, you know, how stupid we're arguing about this, God forbid we get divorced over her.
My husband would never say anything like "Hey mom, that's my wife, cool it. So when there is conflict between your family and your spouse, don't feel caught in the middle, because your place is on your spouse's side. To do otherwise is to undermine the trust that is the underpinning of your marriage.
Remind yourself why you are doing it.
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This tip from the elders is one that many have used like a mantra in difficult in-law situations. You are used to putting up with your own relatives and you have accommodated to their quirks and foibles. But now you have to do it all over again.
Marriage Issues vs. Mother-in-Law Issues: Tips on How to Know the Difference | HuffPost Life
The closest thing to a "magic bullet" for motivating yourself to put the effort into in-law relations, the elders tell us, is to remember that you are doing it because you love your spouse.
Most important, by staying on good terms with his or her relatives, you are honoring and promoting your relationship in one of the best ways possible. Gwen, 94 and married 67 years, puts it clearly: You may not like your mother-in-law or your father-in-law or your in-laws very much but you certainly can love them and stay close to them.
Remember that they're your loved one's family. I learned to love them. Not quite family, but never really friends, the mother and daughter-in-law relationship has tension built into it from the start.
After all, it's a bond that brings women with different values and upbringings together with the expectation they should agree on what it means to be a wife and mother.
There are now signs that this problematic relationship is coming under even further pressure. We no longer live in an era when a woman's chief role is still seen as a supporter of her spouse and a homemaker, yet it seems many mothers-in-law have trouble moving with the times if their daughter-in-law's career ends up affecting their sons or grandchildren.
They focus on whether they feel connected to their in-law.
Trouble getting along with your mother-in-law? There’s a reason why
There is also a competitive aspect that comes into play. Entertainment Film Dr Angharad Rudkin, a psychologist who works with families, says it is difficult for a daughter-in-law and mother-in-law to ever make it work entirely. It's a barrier few manage to jump over completely, especially if the underlying position of the in-law is 'are you good enough for my child?
Secretly, however, Mitchell admits she thinks her daughter-in-law is not grateful enough for her son, who she feels gets stuck with the lion's share of the bedtime routine after he's done a day's work at the office. I'm left sacrificing my new career for my daughter-in-law's, especially when she asks me to do extra babysitting.
It's as if my career is a hobby because I am over If I'm good enough to look after her child, she has to put up with my way of doing it.