How to manage your partner’s mother…


Ah mothers, mums, mama’s, god love ’em all and with Mothering Sunday this weekend, we’ll no doubt be proving just how much with various gifts, flowers and treats. But maybe your partners mother (shock horror!) isn’t feeling the love for you.  Awkward!

Quite literally ‘stepping in’ between this troublesome triangle, we welcome Andrea Cupid, a psychology enthusiast for The Cupidious, a US blog dedicated to helping you date happy…

Relationships between partners and mothers are recurring problems in couples. If you have this problem with yours, you are far from being the only one. But your relationship doesn’t need to be conflictive.

In movies for example, we’ve seen lots of fun scenes about conflictive relationships between wives and mother in laws. In real life, it sometimes turns into a disaster. Often, she becomes too invasive. Often she thinks she knows stuff better and insists on you doing it her way. And a lot of the times, she just doesn’t like you. If you want to avoid future problems, here’s a guide to managing the relationship with your future mother in law…

Monster2The root of the problem: First let’s understand the root of the problem. Human behaviour specialists say that the major cause of conflict between partners and their mothers is simply a love for the same person.  It’s not the same type of love, but they still love your partner.

If you want to handle this situation, there are lots of stuff you can do. First, understand the personality of your partners mother. If you’re lucky, they don’t create any problems for you. If she is problematic, start by knowing which of the three categories she belongs to. Is she the sticky, the invasive or the destructive mother?

The sticky mother never intends to harm you. She just wants recognition for all she has done for her son/daughter. Her wish is to feel loved and cherished. This is the reason she always tries to be useful. It often goes to the extent where she gives advice she shouldn’t give. What she doesn’t understand is that her child needs autonomy.

In any case, this is the easiest of problematic mothers to manage. The solution is to allow your partner to visit her as often of possible (within a reasonable amount of times). And you shouldn’t be too close to her, as this can backfire later if you oppose her.

The invasive mother:  This one is intrusive! She doesn’t see why she should be let out of your relationship, especially after having gone through years of sacrifices for her offspring. When the girlfriend marries her son, she has the impression that someone stole the most precious thing she possesses. This mother can feel very negative towards you to the point where she feels you deserve to be punished.

And she is ready to go to desperate measures to get her child closer to her. The sources of her problems will somehow be channeled towards you. This mother cannot stand feeling left alone. And when she isn’t focusing the problems on you, she typically tells herself that she has given everything without having received anything back.

The best way to react is to be indifferent but polite. You want to keep a respectful distance. You should avoid entering into her game. Just make sure that you have your border of security so that there is a clear boundary between her and you and your partner.

If she tries to invade your space, then use the strategy of diplomacy. For example, if she takes improvised trips to your house, make her understand, in a kind manner, that it’s better that she calls before coming over.

The destructive mother:  She will do anything to sabotage your relationship. Very often, she will try to get between you and her son. To achieve her goals, she allows herself to do anything.

To control her, you should make sure to decline her offers. If not, she’ll have the upper hand as you feel you owe her stuff (and she does as well). You systematically have to decline her offers. And you systematically have to make sure that you cannot be available for her.

Also, avoid justifying yourself and don’t insist going to deep into discussions. You want to make sure that there is a reasonable distance between you and the couple. It might also be an idea not to get too included in family gatherings.

monster3Two crucial tips

Whether your partner’s mother fits into any of those profiles you should always:

1.Open it up for discussion: In all circumstances, it is necessary to communicate! This is maybe the most important advice. So if you feel there is tension, make sure to talk it out. There is nothing like a good talk with a good explanation to clear up misunderstandings. You want to remove the tension before it explodes.

2. Do not put your partner in the middle – This might be the most difficult thing for a wife/ girlfriend who appreciate the support of her partner. After all, getting the support of your partner is one way to feel loved.

But It’s not smart (at all) to put them in the middle of the two people they love the most. Although it is hard, you just shouldn’t involve them in this problem of yours, as it will in most cases just make everything worse. Instead, talk to your friends about it.

Which category does your partner’s mum fit? Got any stories or tips? Spill the beans @Lovestruck

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