When Rochelle first came to see me, I did not know that mothers-in-law could cause so much trouble. You see, my mother-in-law was a great mother-in-law (unfortunately, she is no longer with us) and I had only read stories about “the mother-in-law who can ruin your life” or seen them in movies.
Rochelle was teary the whole session. She talked about a husband she loved very much and a mother-in-law who gave her hell and stood between them. “She even tells me I can’t have any kids yet, because she doesn’t want to be a grandmother”, she said.
For six months, until she figured out it takes two to Tango, Rochelle was frustrated, feeling rejected and afraid for her relationship with her husband. But then she realized she had the power to change her mother-in-law by changing herself and her reactions to her, and as if by magic, her mother-in-law stopped being “Cruella de Vil” and became her best friend.
There are millions of people like Rochelle around the world in conflict with their mothers-in-law. If you have a good relationship with your mother-in-law, you are considered “lucky” and rare.
When you marry a person, you also marry their family
As much as you do not like to admit it, what my mother said is true (in this case). So you have two ways to look at it:
- Bummer, now I have to get along with some more people
- Cool, I have just enlarged my support structure and have a bigger family
Which of them do you choose?
I say, “If you cannot beat them, join them”.
Couples that come for coaching always get to the in-laws section and look for ways to improve the relationships and happily co-exist with them. Whether you like it or not, if you or your partner have any kind of relationship with them, they have an influence on your life. When kids are involved, the in-laws’ role gets even bigger and having a good relationship with them is essential.
How to make friends with you mother-in-law
Recently, I come across a wonderful book called The Daughter-in-Law Rules: 101 Surefire Ways to Manage (and Make Friends with) Your Mother-in-Law! written by Sally Shield and immediately thought about Rochelle. It was funny, but Sally Shields has a whole new way of getting along with her mother-in-law…
In her book, Sally writes in a funny way 101 revolutionary strategies for making coexistence with your mother-in-law possible at last! I loved Sally’s keen sense of humour and unique style.
Here are just some of Sally’s tips (not in the order she wrote them):
- Compliment your mother-in-law
- Call her regularly
- Remember her special dates
- Ask for her advice
- Say nice things about her cooking
I think she makes it so funny that your thoughts about your relationship with your mother-in-law can actually shift to liking her.
I believe that readers in conflict with their mother-in-law can find in the book comfort they are not alone.
In honour of Mother’s Day, Sally is having an official launch for the book. And for a day only (Today, until Midnight EST, Tuesday May 6th) she is giving along a bonus gift worth $2,000 absolutely FREE. A Great gift for daughters-in-law and brides.
Mothers-in-laws are still mothers and they are part of every family. Call your mother-in-law and wish her a happy mother’s day – This tip alone can change your relationship.
Happy Mother’s Day,