Maybe you dread those intense conversations, the ones where you have to talk about more than your weekend plans or the weather. Maybe you just don’t get around to discussing the deeper things in life. We all have things we wish we could understand about our in-laws, but sometimes we just don’t have the conversations to figure them out. Whether or not you’re close with your mother-in-law, these are six things she probably wants you to know.
- “I’m still his mother.” She doesn’t stop being his mother when you’re married. She doesn’t stop loving him like a son. Of course, her relationship with her son has changed and will continue to change now that he’s married to you. But that process isn’t quick and easy. It requires patience and care to attain to the balance of a mother whose son now belongs to someone else—you.
- “I want to share my experience and wisdom with you.” Believe it or not, she cares about the quality of your relationship with her son. It’s not all about power and control (although it may look that way). She wants to share her knowledge of her son and keys to a healthy relationship together. She wants you to listen to her stories, understand her point of view, and help you learn a thing or two from it.
- “Don’t put me in the middle.” Of course she doesn’t want to be pushed to the sidelines of a relationship with her son (and now you.) But she understands that the two of you have to work things out between yourselves. She can’t be the mediator or the one he (or you) runs to when you encounter issues.
- “Don’t expect my son to be perfect. Trust me, he’s not.” If anyone has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of your husband, it’s the woman who watched him grow into the man you love today. She can be a gentle reminder that he doesn’t always wake up on the right side of the bed, and that’s ok.
- “Remember, I’m a real person.” The word “in-law,” tends to dehumanize people. But a mother-in-law is more than a potentially awkward holiday encounter. Getting to know someone who’s behavior and lifestyle is so different from yours is always a challenge—for both of you. Be willing to get to know her, and remember, just like any relationship, it takes time.
- “Yes, we’re family.” No, you don’t have to call her “Mom.” You don’t have to understand the reason she does what she does. You don’t have to have anything in common. Just remember, you have one thing in common, and he makes both of you very happy. (this gift says it all)