All Things In-Law...

Dr. Deanna Brann's Blog

As I’ve spoken to many daughters-in-law I’ve learned that knowing when an issue is a marital issue and when it is an issue with her mother-in-law can be quite confusing. And it is! Sometimes it may start out as a mother-in-law issue but then it shifts – now all of a sudden it’s a marital issue. You don’t know when the shift happened. You didn’t see it coming. But now, you have a bigger mess on your hands – not only are you frustrated and angry with your mother-in-law, but now you are frustrated and angry with your husband.

What can also happen is the marital issues are already there, but when you add your mother-in-law into the mix, what tends to happen is she becomes  the focus, and thus the problem. In reality though, the marital issues are the real problem. At least they are the problem that needs to be addressed first and then the mother-in-law issue can be addressed. In this blog post I will give you things to look for when it is a mother-in-law issue. (The next post will cover marital issues) If these things are occurring then you can bet your issue is purely a MIL issue.

It is a mother-in-law/daughter-in-law issue when:

  • Your husband clearly gets your issues with his mother, and you and he are both on the same page.

  • Your husband can listen to your concerns without getting defensive or protective of his mother (even when he may not completely agree with you).

  • You and your husband can come up with solutions together to make the situation with his mother better.

  • You want your husband to be more of a sounding board than to fix the problem.

Next week you’ll learn what to look for if it is a marital issue. You’ll also get a few strategies that will help you resolve the marital conflict before it becomes WWIII.

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