Not everyone gets along with their in-laws which can be very hard. Some try to find ways to make the relationship better. To do so, you could be asking ‘why do I find my mother-in-law so annoying?
Finding a mother-in-law annoying can be a result of controlling and overprotective behaviour towards children. They may seem to hold grudges, judge the actions of the children-in-law, and give unsolicited advice on parenting. These mothers could have different beliefs that can cause clashes to occur.
In this article, we’ll discuss why people find their mothers-in-law annoying and what steps they can take to make this relationship better
Why do I find my mother-in-law annoying?
You may find your mother-in-law annoying because of controlling and protective behaviours that are highlighted when their children get into relationships. Many mothers struggle with the concept of their children growing up and having to let them go. Once you are in a serious relationship with someone, this comes with naturally combining your lives. This includes moving in together, potentially moving away, spending more time with one another and starting families. Mothers-in-law can become protective at the thought of their child moving on in life and not needing them as much. This results in overprotective behaviour from their mother that can cause her to feel annoying.
A mother-in-law might undermine your authority by questioning your decision in areas such as parenting and lifestyle. They can sometimes treat you more harshly than other people. But not all mothers-in-law are mean or have cruel intentions. Sometimes you two may just have different beliefs which can cause irritation in the relationship. Sometimes you get off on the wrong foot and have misjudged one another. A lot of the time, the behaviour of a mother-in-law stems from loving their child too much. One thing you should try to do is take a step back and consider what it is that is causing the feelings of irritation towards your mother-in-law. If you can identify specific actions and behaviours, you can potentially sit down and talk with her about them. This can help clear the air and start building a better relationship with your mother-in-law.
Why do daughters-in-law dislike their mother-in-law?
Daughters-in-law can dislike their mother-in-law she inserts herself between her child and daughter-in-law. Studies have found that mothers worry about their relationship with their children once their child gets married. Mothers start to feel more insecure and uncertain of their place within the relationship as their children shift to depend on their partners. This insecurity can cause a mother-in-law to try and insert herself into the relationship too much. Where this insecurity exists, mothers in law and daughters don’t get along.
Daughters-in-law often voice disliking for the ways mothers-in-law comment on their parenting, cooking, and other household, and lifestyle choices.
Privacy is another cause of conflict between married women and their mothers-in-law. In-laws often visit unannounced and probe into lots of details about how the marriage is going. They may not realise that they are invading the privacy of the married couple. This comes across as nosiness and contributes to daughters-in-law disliking their mother-in-law.
There are also some mothers-in-law that do pressure their daughters-in-law to make specific choices. This can be tied to guilt trips about not seeing them enough, or pushing for answers on when they are starting a family. It can extend to pressure about their work and social lives, and much more.
Another factor that can cause a daughter to dislike her mother-in-law is if she feels excluded from the family. Without encouragement from a mother-in-law, many married daughters can feel left out at family events. By sharing family traditions and telling a daughter-in-law she’s part of the family, a mother-in-law can greatly improve the relationship between her and the daughter.
Is it ok to not talk to your mother-in-law?
If something very bad has happened between you and your mother-in-law, it is ok to not talk to your mother-in-law. But in most circumstances, you should do the best you can to try and make the relationship work because your mother-in-law is your partner’s family. While you may not have the best relationship with your in-laws, they are still very important to your partner. So, you should try everything you can to work on this relationship and maintain it. Keep talking to your mother-in-law for as long as possible and never make your partner choose between you and her.
The best thing you can do is try to have polite and civil conversations with a mother-in-law that you don’t get along well with. Avoid talking about sensitive issues when around each other so as not to upset one another. Always be kind. It doesn’t matter how anyone treats you; a stranger, friend, partner, or mother-in-law. You should always be kind.
What do you do when you don’t like your mother-in-law?
When you don’t like your mother-in-law, you should communicate your feelings with your partner and try to establish some boundaries. If you can gently let your partner know that you’re having problems with their mother, they may be able to help ease the tension. They will start to pay more attention to your interactions and could help build a better relationship between the two of you. This can lead to conversations between you, your partner, and your mother-in-law about your boundaries. This can relate to visits or unsolicited advice. Things that occur between you and your mother-in-law that you are uncomfortable with. Talk about setting clear boundaries to respect each other within the relationship and family.
If you find that there are lots of big issues that you disagree on, try and agree to not talk about those things. Or just stop yourself from engaging in those conversations around your mother-in-law. We have to respect each other’s beliefs and sometimes the best way to do so is to not address these ideas during family visits. These conversations could relate to religions, relationships, parenting, and more. Respectfully set boundaries in your conversations as you do with other aspects of your relationship with your mother-in-law.
When you don’t like your mother-in-law, two of the best things you can do is ensure that you are always kind and patient. No matter what, as we said, you should be kind because this can potentially lead to a better relationship with her in the future. And this is where patience kicks in. Good relationships take time and effort. Stay patient and understanding and you could end up developing a great relationship with your mother-in-law.
Mother-in-law from a completely different background
When a mother-in-law is from a different socio-economic background, there can be a struggle to understand one another. This can cause you to see value in many different things than your mother-in-law. For example, she might see value in having lots of expensive items, whereas you are happy with second-hand purchases and giving items a second life. This difference in views can sometimes be a struggle between mothers-in-law and their children’s partners. It can extend to more than just items. It can refer to your whole lifestyle.
Did you grow up in a happy home? Did your mother-in-law? Was education for women valued in your upbringing? Was education valued the same in your mother-in-laws time? What were your adversities growing up, compared to hers? And for those from a different culture than your mother-in-law, there would be a lot of additional challenges? Whether you or your mother-in-law had a harder life is not really the point. The point is, our experiences make us what we are. They form our view point on the way things are and should be. If your mother-in-law is annoying you, there is a good chance that your values and opinions differ due to the different life experiences that you have had. So try and take a look at it from her point of view, and agree with it or not, you might gain a little bit of understanding of WHY. And that might help you step back, take a breath and not take the anger on.
Everyone sees value in life differently. The best thing you can do is try to consider another person’s perspective. If your mother-in-law has a different socio-economic background, consider what may be important to her that isn’t to you. Then be respectful of this difference in views. You can appreciate a difference in opinion without having to adopt that view yourself. If you can create this respect with different socio-economic backgrounds, you can have a good and understanding relationship with a mother-in-law.
How do I stop being annoyed by my mother-in-law?
Once of the best ways to stop being annoyed by your mother-in-law is to try and understand why she is acting the way she does. Try and understand what in her history makes her like that. Women these days in general have been given more opportunities to grow, obtain education and be independent. Maybe your mother-in-law is not as independent as you which can be frustrating, but if you look at how lucky you are to have had the opportunities you have had maybe you can find yourself being more gracious. Or maybe she acts like you aren’t doing the housework correctly? It might be that she just doesn’t get your different role and she is reflecting her role at the same as on to you. Another reader raised that her mother-in-law lies all the time. In that you can question how did that habit form? What was her upbringing like? Did she feel she had to lie to get on? The biggest reason your mother-in-law annoys you is because you have been raised differently and you have different habits and values. If you can take a little bit of time to try and understand why she is like that, just maybe some of the anger will dissipate and you can let the annoyances roll off like water on a ducks back.
Navigating relationships with mothers-in-law can be a challenge. But you won’t always find a mother-in-law annoying, especially if you make an effort to develop a relationship. Remember to be kind and understanding, but don’t let an in-law overstep your boundaries.
If you enjoyed this article, you should check out our other health and lifestyle advice on our Vidar Australia blog! We answer questions such as ‘what to do when you start hating your child’ and ‘where does happiness come from?’ Plus, we have a range of exercise advice as well!