Is good friendship between son- in-law and mother-in-law impossible?
Not at all.
Mostly this relationship does not have the scalding heat of a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationship. But it does have its own share of doubts and suspicion.
Son-in-law feels that his mother-in-law instigates his wife against his family. He is annoyed at the power she has over his wife. He feels his mother-in-law should realize that she can no longer intrude into his family life.
Mother-in-law also has many doubts about her son-in-law.
She feels that her son-in-law draws a line between her and her daughter after marriage. She is sad when he thrusts his family on her daughter just because he married her. She also feels her son-in-law does not have the right to come between the loving relationship she shares with her daughter.
So this mother-in-law and son-in-law relationship is more like walking on egg shells.
Very delicate and easily breakable.
I have an excellent relationship with my son-in-law and he treats me more like a mother- Hopefully!
Do you think my friendliness with my son-in-law happened on its own?
My whole world always revolved around my only daughter. We were more of friends. But after her marriage, things did change a wee bit. I was no longer able to make decisions for my daughter. She was also no longer wholly mine. It took me painful days to realize that I should step back from her life.
My daughter was married. She had her husband to look after her. Though she still loved me, I knew I was no longer her whole world. This factor did hurt me very much.
I had to accept certain harsh realities.
My daughter and my son- in-law were a family. They had different vision about their future. They had the right to live their lives as they wished without my intrusion.
It was after all their personal life, wasn’t it?
I finally decided that I should not thrust my views on my daughter any longer. It would make me an intruder in their relationship.
When I stepped back from the life of my daughter, I felt a huge weight off my shoulders. My daughter was loved and cared by my son-in-law.
A precious gift to me.
He is friendly with me. I can joke with him. I need not be put on an act to show my respect. I can be my natural self.
I think I am blessed.
My relationship with my daughter is more loving and meaningful than before. I now know she will never outgrow her emotional love for me.
But if I had barged into their life, my son-in-law would have resented me. I now know that spacing is very important to maintain friendship between son-in-law and mother-in-law.
What makes many feel that there can be no true friendship between son-in-law and mother-in-law?
Mistakes son-in-law feels his mother-in-law commits
You are bit apprehensive about your mother-in-law, aren’t you?
Though you do not outwardly show it, you inwardly fume that she is a force to be reckoned with in your wife’s life.
- You feel she over stays your hospitality.
- You are doubtful that she advises your wife against your family
- You are annoyed when your wife listens to her more than to you.
- You are jealous that your wife adores her mother a little too much for your comfort.
- You are irritated when your wife often talks lovingly about her mother.
When you have conflicts with your wife, you want to resolve your issues between yourself. But sadly, your wife goes to her mother with a complaint list about you.
Your mother-in-law cannot tolerate to see tears in her darling daughter’s life.
She confronts you with the complaint list your wife has given to her. She goes on and on about how her daughter was brought up with overwhelming love. She accuses you of ill-treating her dear daughter by thrusting your family on her.
You want to shout at her to stop, don’t you?
When your wife asks you to buy her dress\jewels, you do not immediately buy it for her. You feel there are many family financial commitments to be met. So, you want your wife to wait for a while before you satisfy her wishes.
But your mother-in-law steps in immediately to fulfill her precious daughter’s wish. She showers your wife with things she had asked you.
You feel prickly about it, don’t you?
You are resentful that your mother-in-law has proven to your wife that she is more indulgent than you are. You want to lead your married life without her unnecessary interference.
Now the tug of war of supremacy begins. But strangely unlike mother- in- law and daughter in law relationship, this relationship is neither too hostile nor too friendly.
Mother- in-law also has her own complaint list against her son-in-law
- You feel your son-in-law does not care for your daughter as lovingly as you did.
- You are angry that he thrusts his family on your daughter.
- You are sad when he is unfriendly and remote to your gestures of respect and care.
- You feel uncomfortable when he is too formal and distant towards you.
As you can see, the relationship between both is not very hostile and argumentative.
Maintaining friendship between son- in- law and mother-in-law is not very difficult. Both should just know the tricks.
Top things son- in- law should do to make the relationship friendlier
- Don’t keep suspecting that your mother-in-law is advising your wife against your family.
- Be friendly when you talk with her.
- Never make derogatory comments about her to your wife- She will flare up.
- Do not make your mother-in-law feel like an outsider by being distant and unfriendly.
- Understand that mother and daughter relationship is unique and emotional.
- Never interfere into this emotional bond and infuriate your wife.
- Treat your mother-in-law with respect, as your wife is very dependent on her mother for emotional support.
Top things mother-in-law should do
- Do not intrude into the fights your daughter has with her husband.
- Do not make negative comments about his family to him.
- Be friendly with your son in law, as he is more of a son.
- Do not give suggestions unless it is asked for.
- Let your daughter live her life.
- She knows how to handle her in-laws. You need not advise her about it.
- Never enter the personal zone of your daughter.
- Let her handle all her problems with her husband by herself.
As you can see, the relationship between both is not very hostile and argumentative. But it is a cautious and wary relationship.
In reality, the relationship between son-in-law and mother-in-law is tolerable as the daughter plays the role of a pacifying mediator. She will never let go her mother as she has great emotional bond with her.
Spacing and mutual respect is the best way to make the relationship between both tolerable and pleasurable.
When there is friendship between son-in-law and mother-in-law, the daughter feels very happy and relaxed. There are times when the relationship between son-in-law and mother-in-law blows hot.
But it can also bring in cool breeze of friendliness when both know where you stand in each other’s life.