All Things In-Law...

Dr. Deanna Brann's Blog

The holidays are here! Many of you will be spending time with your mother-in-law or daughter-in-law. Here is a chance to create a different outcome from what you’ve possibly experienced in the past. I know many of you will disagree with me, but how you experience your time with your in-law is up to you. You are in control of your feelings.

If you want to have it be a miserable experience, filled with tension, drama, and those feelings you’ve become accustomed to, you can have that. If you want to be at ease, feel energized and light while enjoying the experience, you can have that. You decide!

Yes, your in-law will be behaving as she always does, whether that is overstepping boundaries, keeping her distance from you as she creates a chill in the air, or any of those other behaviors that have bugged you in the past. Her actions do not control how you feel. Remember this is a dance the two of you do. You can change the steps. You can change the direction of this dance.


  • She is family! I know she is not your blood family, but she is still family – appreciate her for who she is. Find something good or funny about her or about her actions.
  • Decide before you see her how you will experience her. Create a plan for yourself to bring the positive, instead of focusing on the negative.
  • Be proactive – Take the initiative to do something different – something that will bring a smile and lightness to you and those around you.
  • Love her – She is an important person in this family – whether a mother-in-law or a daughter-in-law your son/husband loves this woman. Appreciate what she brings to him!

This is a chance to create a new tradition – one of appreciation and love. Who knows as you change the direction of this dance with your in-law you may find that you’ve started changing the relationship for the better. Food for thought….

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Share This