How to deal with a difficult mother-in-law

Have you ever wondered what the best way is to deal with a difficult mother-in-law? Some mothers-in-law are fiercely protective and always willing to share their opinions. They’re not inclined to keep things to themselves and won’t think twice about “letting it fly,” especially when it comes to their sons. Here are some tips for convincing your mother-in-law that you’re good enough for her son.

Never say anything negative about her son

First off, in her eyes, he can probably do no wrong, so don’t make the mistake–no matter how frustrated you are with him–of venting in front of a difficult mother-in-law about what a slob he is or how you wish he’d help out more with the kids. This will only make her defensive and more sure than ever that you’re just not fit for him.

Butter her up

If you’re wondering how else to deal with a difficult mother-in-law, tell her what a great job she’s done raising her son, what a great man he is, and how proud she should be of him. Don’t forget to throw in how lucky you feel to have him. Complimenting her on her skills as a mother will go a long way toward softening her up–just don’t lay it on too thick.

Nobody makes it like mom

Ask her for cooking tips. Rave about her ropa vieja. Tell her yours just can’t compare and that you’re dying to know her secret. Mention that you’d like nothing better than to be able to faithfully recreate the light-of-your-life’s favorite dishes in an effort to make him happy. Don’t forget to add that yours will never compare–but she’ll already know this.

Don’t be a doormat

Even though it’s your goal to get along for the sake of your relationship and the man you love, don’t make the mistake of rolling over and playing dead. This will only empower her to run with it and truly become the mother-in-law from hell. You need to set some clearly-defined boundaries and limitations with her early on in a firm but diplomatic way. It’s the only way you’re going to maintain any semblance of a backbone in your relationship with her, and she may actually respect you for it. Your biggest ally in your effort to deal with a difficult mother-in-law should be her son, your husband. Make sure that he supports you. If he doesn’t have your back, you may have a momma’s boy on your hands, and that’s a whole other problem.

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