Is your M.I.L. friend or foe? Some of you may be still getting used to your new title as a “wife”, and of course with this title comes a few additional responsibilities… some of which you may not have thought of pre-wedding!? You’re married now; which means that you now have another family to be a part of and share your life with! I see this as a blessing, but don’t get me wrong there can also come a few obstacles with your new role in your spouse’s family.
First off, the biggest obstacle (or some may refer to as a battle) is establishing a relationship with… (you guessed it!) your M.I.L., also known as your Mother-In-Law. Establishing and developing this relationship can be a breeze for some of you, and conversation and friendship may be of second nature! For others, the relationship can be walking a fine line!
If your spouse has always held a close friendship or bond with his mother, you may find yourself wanting to take over the reins as the new ‘woman’ in his life, however; it is important to know your role and she will learn to know hers as well. You are his wife now, but his mother is… still his mother! That still doesn’t mean that it’s OK for her to call him every day just to “talk”! If your spouse has always been sort-of-a “momma’s boy” placing distance between the two of them is not going to happen overnight, but it will naturally diminish over time.
The key here is, as it is for most things in married life, communication, and equally important, knowing when to bite your tongue! As long as you and your spouse understand each others’ point-of-view (your feelings and your opinions–because you’re entitled to them), and you also make an effort to understand and respect where your MIL is coming from, the roles in this tripod relationship should be comfortable and non-threatening! Take the first step to open up the lines of communication if you are finding yourself in an awkward situation with your MIL, and show her you want to be her friend more than anything- that will work out in your favor in more ways than one!
At the same time, if you are feeling that some boundaries need to be set, talk about this with your spouse so that you don’t hit your boiling point! As much as you are trying to be #1, and be the best wife possible; know that he already sees you that way…and his mother knows this too. There are always going to be disagreements in marriage and throughout life in general, and you won’t always see eye-to-eye, especially with family members! Be confident in who you are, and show your spouse’s family the fabulous woman that you are!
And remember this, kindness and mutual respect will go a long way as you decide to deem your M.I.L. friend or foe!