I've been thinking a lot about being a mother in law and wondering why some of us become meddling, judgemental, critical, interfering cows when suddenly our children choose their life partner and get on with their own lives.
I am not quite one yet but practising…being a mother in law that is, not necessarily an interfering old cow.
I am trying to be supportive but distant.
I never had mother in law problems just because both (yes twice) of mine had already left this mortal coil by the time I came on the scene so it was pretty much a MIL free zone for me.
And, as for father in laws, well they are never any trouble are they?
I wonder why that is. You never hear of father in law jokes do you???
I think many women become more of a MIL from hell with their son's partners as opposed their daughters. Am I imagining that?
I recall my father’s mother telling me horrific stories about her mother in law. For instance, when my grandmother's mother in law came to her kitchen tea (do they still have those things?) just before her marriage she gave her a beautiful fine bone china dinnerset. However, when the party finished her MIL picked up the present and took it with her. It was all for show. Their relationship never improved her whole married life. Her MIL just didn't think she was good enough for her blonde, blue eyed boy.
The sad part of that story is that my grandmother treated my mother, the wife of her own blonde haired blue eyed son, in a similar way but could never see it at all. A beautiful grandmother and mother but for some reason a problematic mother in law who had to have the attention of her son as often as she could.
Then a friend told me this week that after 15 years of arguments with her mother in law she had made the decision to cut her off completely. She said that her mother in law had tried to cause so much trouble between her husband and herself that they both thought it best to remove themselves from the pressure of never meeting her expectations. They didn’t make this decision lightly but after years of constant conflict and of making no headway with her.
Kind of sad for everyone involved really. What makes some women who seem perfectly lovely people want to become so entwined in their grown children's lives that they create such havoc to the point they are ostracised and cut off from those they love the most?
Do MILs from hell really exist the world over and why? You know my future son in law will appreciate the advice I am sure....