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The old adage is true: When you marry someone, you marry their whole family — and that includes their mother. Mothers-in-law often get a bad rap for being overbearing or controlling, but it only makes sense that the person who changed 's diapers, fed them, and nurtured them for the first couple decades of their life would have strong opinions on their life now. Still, that doesn't make it any easier when your mother-in-law gives you a parenting manual with highlighted parts! The best way to deal with the weirdo things your new family member by marriage says?


When you are partnered with another person, you have no choice but to become a part of their familyand that means you have more than just a new relationship with them: You have their entire family to get to know and welcome as well.

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For some, this is a seamless and pleasant experience. You might even find yourself the lucky beneficiary of micro-aggressions that turn into passive aggression until they morph into full-blown aggression. Maybe she tells you the right way to fold the laundry or frequently stops by unannounced. Maybe your mother-in-law shows s of jealousy over your marriage, or she begins to manipulate situations to cast you in a bad light.

16 toxic mother-in-law behaviors that deserve a punch in the face

Whatever it is, these behaviors tend to pile up over time until they begin affecting your mental and emotional health and well-being. Just remember, you have the right to eliminate toxic behavior and toxic people from your lifeno matter who they may be. Your mental health and well-being are paramount. We get it: An overbearing mother-in-law can make family visits feel like you would rather have your eyelashes plucked out of your head with chopsticks than endure another visit from her.

So, here are a few tips to help you navigate this tricky relationship, survive family get-togethers, and — most importantly — retain your sanity. Chances are if you tell her in a nice calm way, she will stop. Call it out calmly and succinctly.

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Approach the conversation with clear examples and why that behavior is toxic and unhealthy. Whether you are on her turf or she is on yours, plan something fun for her and your partner to do without you. And it will be a win for your partner hopefully because they will get to spend time with their mother without you threatening to chop her hair off once she falls asleep.

And it will be really nice for you. Having a break in the action may be just the thing to keep you from speeding away in the car as soon as she knocks on your front door if she does that kind of thing. We once saw an episode of a talk show during which the host was counseling a couple who was struggling with this exact issue — the mother-in-law was overbearing and her son was having a hard time telling her to back off a bit when she came to visit.

10 ways to deal with an overbearing mother-in-law

It was putting a huge wedge between him and his wife. The wife was starting to speak up to her MIL, and no one was happy. If your MIL is stepping over your boundaries, chances are she might not listen to your cries for her to stop. However, she might listen if her child comes to her.

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If she gives your house the white glove test and drags her fingers across your picture frames to see how much dust she can collect, then offer her the Swiffer Duster. Pass the torch to the one who knows how to keep a home in better shape than you do.

10 s you have a toxic mother-in-law, according to a therapist (and how to deal)

Problem solved. If you can stand it, just accept the fact that when she comes over she is going to pick at things or question the way you do things. Realize she is there to see your partner and the grandkids and let them have their time and space so their relationship can blossom.

In other words, suck it up and scream into your pillow every night to relieve the built-up anger and stress if you can do it without affecting the relationship between you and your spouse. Good luck. You do you. Get out of there and away from her. Leave your partner and MIL in the dust and have some fun by taking a spin around Target, stuffing your face with fast food, or going out with girlfriends.

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Sure, you may feel rude momentarily. If you can not take it personally and go about your business, maybe it will stop.

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Maybe there is someone else out there who understands her particular brand of criticism, and the two of you can go out a few times a year to bitch about it and share an ice cream sundae the size of your head. When she does or says something that feels off-putting to you or makes you uncomfortable in your home or hers, tell her how amazingly wonderful she is.

16 of the batsh*t craziest things mother-in-laws have ever said

Remaining sweet and calm will drive her crazier than any clever clap back. OK, maybe that really just sounds like sarcasm. Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying, right? So, when your MIL is driving you up the wall, take a breather and read through some funny jokes about mothers-in-law. Here are a few of our favorites:.

Adam and Eve were the happiest and the luckiest couple in the world… Because neither of them had a mother-in-law. Fred and Rick were in a pub. Mine is still alive.

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Bottom line: We love our partners, and sometimes that means loving a MIL we may not like all the time. We use cookies to collect information from your browser to personalize content and perform site analytics. Visit our Privacy Policy for more info. Get daily updates, kick-ass content, and curated recommendations.

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A few of my girlfriends and I have developed a sacred vow with regards to our future mother-in-law status that goes like this: If I ever behave like that , please punch me in the face — and I promise to do the same for you.


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