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The Power of the Mother-in-Law-Daughter-in-Law Relationship and What That Really Means

September 8, 2014

MIL-DIL protesting each otherSunday (September 7) was National Grandparent Day! I know many of you (if not all) are thinking, I have never heard of Grandparent Day. Who even knows about this holiday? I have to admit it is not a day that is really celebrated by anyone I know, and when I mentioned it to people in passing they have seemed pretty ho-hum about it. However, as I thought about Grandparent Day, it led me to think, again, about the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship (As if I need another reason to think about this relationship, right?)

Grandparents mean in-laws, which mean mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law. I know I’ve said it before, but it remains true – the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship is the most critical relationship in any family system. My current research is proving this out. When a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law do not get along it affects everyone in the family. Whether it’s a father-in-law, husband/son, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, or children/grandchildren, every family member or in-law is impacted. People often feel the need to take sides – whether openly or in a quieter, more subtle way. Regardless, no one is immune from what is going on in this relationship. (more…)

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Mothers-in-Law: When Your Daughter-in-Law Blames You

August 27, 2014

DIL mad at MILDoes your daughter-in-law say and do things that seem completely off base and then says it is your fault that she does and says those things? She indicates that she is acting this way because she believes you’ve offended or mistreated her in some way. And you’re scratching your head wondering, What is she talking about? I didn’t do that or I didn’t say that! She’s nuts!

I know you probably see yourself as someone completely different from that person your daughter-in-law says you are, and you may hang on to your belief about yourself for dear life. Regardless of how you see yourself, if your daughter-in-law sees you so differently that it creates a problem in your relationship with her…well, you probably have some work to do. At least you do if you want a relationship with her, your son, and your grandchildren. (more…)

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Are You Uncomfortable Setting Boundaries for Your Mother-In-Law?

July 14, 2014

Setting a boundary for your child is one thing, but setting a boundary for your mother-in-law? Yikes! When I talk with women on the phone about having to set boundaries I can almost feel them cringe. It doesn’t seem right to have to set boundaries with an adult. Adults are supposed to know the basic rules and social norms. Most do, but unfortunately there are some adults who either don’t know the rules and norms or, as is the case most of the time, choose to ignore them. And these particular adults have learned that if they ignore what most of us hold sacred – the basic rules and social norms that we live by – they will get their way 98% of the time. (more…)

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