5 Tips for Dealing with Your Mother-in-Law

5 Tips for Dealing with Your Mother-in-LawMothers-in-law are often difficult to deal with. It's not that they are all bad people per se, they just wish their sons the best and think that's enough of an excuse to meddle in their family life. Here are five tips for dealing with your mother-in-law when she becomes overbearing.

Keep calm and don't pick fights. It can be hard to stay calm when you are constantly treated with condescension or being chastised like a child. But making sarcastic remarks or raising your voice will only make things worse. If you let the conflict escalate, you will soon have a full-blown war on your hands. Your husband will have to take one of the sides, and this never end well, regardless of the side he chooses.

Stand up for yourself. Not picking fights does not mean that you should not stick up for yourself. You are a grown woman and have every right to do things in your own way without seeking for your mother-in-law's approval. Defend yourself without losing your composure and don't sound like you're apologizing. You have absolutely nothing to apologize for. The only person who has a say in how you run your household is your husband, not his mother.

Don't try to change her. You feel frustrated when your mother-in-law wants to change you, don't you? Well, this goes both ways. If your boyfriend's mother doesn't like you when you've just started dating, this might change because she just doesn't know you well yet. If she's become your mother-in-law and still doesn't like you, this will hardly change. Don't go out of your way to make her like you. Just be polite and keep your distance.

Talk to your husband. It is OK to let your spouse know that his mother hurts your feelings and discuss your grievances. It is not OK, however, to criticize her using character assessments. You can complain about the things she does and says, but you should not criticize the person she is. Remember, she is still your husband's mother, and he loves her. Don't ask him to choose between you and his mother; ask him to protect your marriage from unwanted intrusion.

Don't drag your children into your conflict. If you have a child or children, don't use them against her. You must not tell your kids that their grandma is bad or prevent her from seeing them. However, you as mother decide how to bring them up. If you don't let your children eat sweets before dinner, your mother-in-law must do the same. Set the rules and make sure she understands them.