Mother-in-Law: Enemy or Ally: Should Spouses Appease Them?

Fef 2012/08/24 19:00:00
Add Photos & Videos
Jenna Price, a blogger for the Sydney Morning Herald, frets about her relationship with her mother-in-law and how she will act as a mother-in-law. Ms. Price reports:
What I'd like to vote for now is a complete rethink on this primal relationship. It's the relationship between the woman who had the child - and the woman who married the child when he became an adult. So, on behalf of feminists everywhere - in fact, on behalf of women everywhere - I want to campaign on behalf of one particular sector of women, a group which has been much maligned through the centuries. The mother-in law.
Christy Rittenour, an assistant professor of Family and Interpersonal Communication at West Virginia University, teaches: A mother-in-law helps to create a family relationship by making the daughter-in-law feel as if she can come into the family just as she is. Not only does the mother-in-law listen, chat and share stories with the daughter-in-law just as she would with her own daughters, but she also does so without ignoring or trying to change the things that make the daughter-in-law unique. She embraces the daughter-in-law for who she already is.

Read More: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/motherinlaw-enemy-or...

Add a comment above

Top Opinion

  • Rocky 2012/08/24 19:41:04
    Yes and no. I have been married twice. First time when I was young and tried to do everything right. Tried to be her friend - didn't work. Second time around - his mother had been dead for 10 years so - no problem there!!!

Sort By
  • Most Raves
  • Least Raves
  • Oldest
  • Newest

  • Louisa - Enemy of the State 2012/08/27 20:12:19
    Louisa - Enemy of the State
    Not at all. I don't want to be 'appeased'. I want to be myself, you be yourself and we should get along just fine. And if you don't like me, that's ok. You didn't pick me, You picked my daughter.
  • dear•LT13☻ 2012/08/27 17:47:37
    not always.
  • Derbyhat 2012/08/27 16:51:48
    Mother in Laws should realize that the happiness of their child relies on limited friction caused by another's mother and/or father. The couple must be themselves as their relationships grow.
  • Ozymandias 2012/08/27 16:37:39
  • glen 2012/08/27 16:10:00
    To a limited extent . If there is a control issue , no way!
  • andrews 2012/08/27 15:23:24 (edited)
    i think so at least ma gf did it well. she impressed in first shot.
  • terrabytes 2012/08/27 14:54:04
  • jeremyperryfranz 2012/08/27 14:03:22
    If you're married you have to at least make believe you like them married
  • Smokey 2012/08/27 13:57:22
    I'm not saying to cater to a "Ma Ma's Boy," but YES, YES, and YES. You do ANYTHING to make that mother-in-law happy because if there is discourse and complaining, your HUSBAND will NOT be happy. For the simple fact that he loves YOU (first), and then his MOTHER (second). But you as a wife shouldn't come in-between the love he has with his mother. You should be a "peace maker..."
  • Ian 2012/08/27 09:02:13
    Waste of time, only last Christmas i purchased a lovely chair for my mother in law, and she still has not plugged it in to the mains.
  • Lizzy 2012/08/27 08:39:01
    I have 2 daughter in laws, i welcomed them into our family, i was so pleased my sons had met someone they loved + then married. As soon as these girls had the ring on their fingers they became different girls !!, controlling + jealous of the relationship i had with my sons !!. It was a very difficult time + very hurtful but they`ve matured + are fine now.
    I never expected or wanted them to appease me, just accept we are a Family.
  • Arse-Whole Lizzy 2012/08/27 19:33:06
    You said it a little better than I did. I don't exactly expect appeasement, but there will always be a struggle for standing in the "in-law" situation. My brother married a girl who just kind of tolerated us while they dated but shortly after the engagement demanded he move back to her hometown with her family and all but cut us out of his life. That is especially heartbreaking to my mother who has a more intimate bond with us than any spouse
    will understand before they have kids. Now they have 2 boys and wouldn't you know, she micromanages every aspect of their lives and even cringes at the thought of them staying with their cousins for a night without her supervision. Now how is she gonna feel 20 years from now when they meet some girl that fulfills all the needs mommy used to provide? That's right. Just like my mom feels now.
  • Lizzy Arse-Whole 2012/08/28 06:52:16
    Yes you`re right there will always be some kind of struggle + resentment. My own mother in law could be so unkind in a very diplomatic way !!, yet i was very kind + showed a lot of consideration for her. She also resented her other daughter in law.
    My eldest sons mother in law is a difficult woman, she lives in Ireland, even though they are so far away this woman interferes + causes a lot of unpleasantness. So some mother in laws are a problem, it seems to be a power thing over the new woman or man in the family. No Mother wants to lose her son or daughter, you are right most mothers do have a bond that the new member of the family may not understand. It`s a very difficult situation. It`s often a clash of one or the other of the women who just have`nt grown up or matured. You do have to accept + let go of your kids when they marry + hopefully their partners will see you as not being a threat to them. Human Nature is very strange.
  • Arse-Whole Lizzy 2012/08/28 16:05:21
    Strange, indeed.
  • Arse-Whole 2012/08/27 05:46:07
    Just going against the grain here. Watch every woman say "no" then turn into the exact same thing they're combatting. Women are control freaks. Envious, spiteful ones at that. And you're talking about another girl coming in and replacing you as the most important thing in your sons life. Don't act like you aren't goIng to die a little inside when that happens to you in 20 years.
  • JoeM~PWCM~JLA 2012/08/27 04:10:05
    Not just no but HELL no.
  • ★misfit★ 2012/08/27 03:31:03
    Be nice, yes, appease, no. You have to make your own decisions as a couple.
  • Azrael-In GOD we trust 2012/08/27 03:22:11
    Azrael-In GOD we trust
    NO appeasing should be done.
    I believe a mother-in-law should be smart enough to butt out when needed. My folks never stuck in our marriage and I stay out of my son's marriage.
    My daughter-in-law is a sweet girl whom I respect; however, there are some things we differ on, but each accepts that.
  • Flamingolady 2012/08/27 03:04:09
    My mother in law was an absolute horror of a human being, and when she passed away, I did not shed one tear. I never told my husband about the awful things she said to me, until maybe 15 years after her death. He wanted to know why I was silent, and the only reason I could think of, was it would only hurt him. But the question about appeasing mother in laws, no, just be nice to them. My two daughters in law and I get along very well, and we never intrude on the other. We keep things really light, and I learned a long time ago about giving advice: Be wary of giving advice, because the wise don't need it, and fools won't heed it.
  • Kozmo, Kostable of the Kust... 2012/08/27 01:00:40
    Kozmo, Kostable of the Kustodian
    But that's one Mutha of a "Holy Cow" to deal with..
  • joe mauro 2012/08/26 23:29:18
    joe mauro
    avoid them when possible
  • Red Branch 2012/08/26 22:07:56
    Red Branch
    I could have used another option. I will give the elder the benefit of the doubt.

    What is being appeased? Somethings make no difference, so go ahead and other things should not be considered.
  • Michelle 2012/08/26 21:34:50
    I think spouses should try to get along with their husband's family the best they can. That said, when it's really a lost cause, it's not worth pursuing. A relationship is two ways, after all, and if the mother-in-law doesn't want to be friendly with you, there's not much you can do.
  • ~head~first~fearless~ 2012/08/26 19:53:23
    Absolutely not. If your boyfriend/fiance/husband loves you enough, then you shouldn't let his mother affect you. He loves you the way you are, and you should stay like that. You married him, not his mother.
  • ..tisha... 2012/08/26 19:48:50
    Well I have good relationship with my bf mother...so if we ever decide to take that next step then I'm fine.
  • DP 2012/08/26 19:14:58
    No, f*** them.
  • Bob P. ... DP 2012/08/26 20:01:31
    Bob P. Clarkson
    Your relationships must not be very emotionally satisfying.

    It's apparent your mother and father did a poor job of teaching you ethics or morals.

    Like a mad dog, someone should do the world a favor and put you out of your misery.
  • DP Bob P. ... 2012/08/26 20:06:16
    Sorry, I'm asexual, so I don't need fulfillment through relationships. Science fulfills me enough, but you conservatives don't believe in that. Go away before I put my mask on.
  • GLaDOS 2012/08/26 16:36:49
    To some degree, however, I luckily don't have to worry about that.
  • Valerie© 2012/08/26 16:18:41
    My soon-to-be mother-in-law is an amazing woman. I've known her for years, and she is like a second mother to me. I can talk to her about anything. I couldn't ask for better.
  • VintageLys 2012/08/26 15:27:53
    when she can but should stand up for herself if she is being pushed around
  • Just Jenn for Now 2012/08/26 14:46:52
    Just Jenn for Now
    No way. It's one thing to be friendly, but don't go above and beyond. A mother-in-law should tone down the stereotypical expectancy of perfection for their baby boy/girl and accept someone for whom they are, as long as they make their child happy.

    After all, the only things that matter are the happiness of the couple and do their best to do right by each other. If the family can't get along with the new bride/groom, maybe it isn't the said person of focus that is the problem.
  • That1Guy 2012/08/26 13:56:36
    Well in my case no, my mother passed away when I was a toddler.
    So my possible future wife won't have to worry.
  • Karl 2012/08/26 08:12:54
    But then, I don't ever see my mom as being the bad mother-in-law type.
  • sky blue pink - American 2012/08/26 07:45:36
    sky blue pink - American
    I adore my mother in-law.
    Have a nice day !
  • Cat 2012/08/26 07:04:58
    As long as she doesn't live in your home you can make yourself be nice no matter how nasty she is to you during her visits. There's no reason to start a family war with the other in-laws.
    My mother in law was never nice to me until she fell, became crippled and moved to a nursing home. I was the only one who visited her regularly and would take her out for lunch. Then we became close and she mentioned how much she appreciated and loved me. But she never apologized for all the years of treating me like "that woman who stole her baby from her". go figure.
  • red 2012/08/26 06:06:47
    I am a wife, mother, and a mother-in-law. As a wife, I didn't marry you, I married your son. I don't want to have to make you happy. If you don't like me get over it. WE love each other or we wouldn't have gotten married. I love and respect you but BUTT out unless I ask for your help, and please don't take sides, because you really don't know both sides.
    As a mother, I want you both to be happy, but don't ask for my opinion if you don't really want it. My son/daughter will come to me in times of need, I will gladly help if I'm able, but I'm NOT a push over so don't expect me to help out all the time. Although I love my grandchildren, I have a life. New Years I spend with my husband and friends, so get a baby sitter way in advance because I'm NOT available. Any other emergencies I'll be there. I will respect your privacy if you will respect mine. Please, please, please don't tell me about your sex life. EWWWW, I don't want to know..
  • laydeelapis 2012/08/26 05:55:55
    I don't think you should hate on them or anything but if they're going to disrespect you for no reason, then you should go out of your way to prove your own worth. I find that so many mothers are so territorial about their sons. And yeah, it's understandable but at some point you've got to realize that he's not a little boy anymore and he's allowed to have a close relationship with another woman. God, my ex's mother didn't like me because I wasn't of the same background as them. -.-
  • Madi 2012/08/26 04:36:38
    Well my boyfriend's mother hates me for no reason so why try?
  • katy.isodo 2012/08/26 04:35:11
    To a certain degree - just keep it civil for your spouse's sake in most circumstances. That being said, there is a point at which that's just not practical.

See Votes by State

The map above displays the winning answer by region.


2016/02/09 05:56:30

Hot Questions on SodaHead
More Hot Questions

More Community More Originals