You had great expectations for your son’s wedding.
You were relieved to see him go on a new chapter of his life.
Perhaps you have been blessed with grandkids already, or perhaps you are still waiting.
However, everything is not bliss.
By erecting walls between you and your son and grandkids, your daughter-in-law has become a cause of contention.
Daughter-in-law issues may be very difficult and hurtful.
The stakes are very high, since your relationship with your son and grandkids is obviously at risk.
Why Is My Daughter-In-Law So Obsessed With Control?
A daughter-in-law may feel as if she is competing with her mother-in-law for her husband’s affection and admiration.
She may feel she has to establish her family status in order to protect her husband’s perceived position as the family’s most essential member.
However, achieving this in the face of the mother-son connection may put a daughter-in-law under extreme strain.
As a consequence of this scenario, a demanding or dominating daughter-in-law may develop.
Deanna Brann, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychotherapist and author of Reluctantly Related—Secrets to Getting Along With Your Mother-In-Law or Daughter-In-Law, writes that a woman may attempt to undermine her husband’s or children’s view of her mother-in-law by making belittling and critical comments.
She wants to diminish the mother-in-position law’s in order to raise her own.
Her attempts may extend to harassing her mother-in-law and excluding her from family life to the maximum extent feasible.
According to Dr. Brann’s study, tough daughters-in-law bully their mothers-in-law out of poor self-esteem and insecurity. Her conduct is presumably motivated by a need to feel significant and therefore strong.
What Should You Do If Your Daughter-In-Law Is Not a Fan of Yours?
When you have a rude daughter-in-law in your life, a strong emotional reaction is normal. However, retaliating with knee-jerk responses would not help.
Allow yourself a chance to cool down for the sake of your connection with your son and grandkids. Once you no longer see yourself as prepared, you may formulate a logical reaction that may help improve the situation.
Here are some suggestions for strengthening your bond with your daughter-in-law:
- Recognize her power inside her home and over her children.
- Refrain from fighting with her.
- Make no attempt to coerce your kid into taking your side.
- Provide the warmth and affection you would extend to your own daughter to her.
- Be patient, since developing a trustworthy connection takes time.
How To Deal With a Difficult Daughter-In-Law: 10 Considered Steps
Are you unsure how to handle a tough daughter-in-law? You have a few choices. A kind heart and some tactful maneuvering may go a long way.
- Consider Your Treatment of Her
Have you given much thought to your treatment of her? You may be unaware that you continue to function as the main female figure in your son’s life. What do you think? He married, and the focus has shifted away from you.
Consider the times you may have disregarded her viewpoint or made her feel unimportant in any manner. It’s natural for you to engage in such activities out of jealously for her.
Your son is now married to her, and you are used to competing for his affection and attention. If you see yourself engaging in any unpleasant conduct, vow to offer her more love and respect in the future.
- Inviting Her to Spend Time With You
Her reserved demeanor may stem from a sense of exclusion. She may even be hesitant and unsure of how to approach you. Stress and even fear are not unusual when dealing with a mother-in-law.
Developing a connection requires real care. Consider your encounters with her in the past.
Was she just used as a conduit for communicating with your son or grandchildren? Did you interact with her in any meaningful manner as a person worth knowing?
An offer to do something enjoyable with you that is not involving your son or grandkids may help to mend old wounds.
- Refrain from Criticizing Her
While you may not attack her directly, you may make disparaging remarks about her to your kid, spouse, or anyone else who would listen.
You should find a way out of this gloomy morass. You’re conditioning your mind to only view her in a negative way.
- Inquire as to her reservations about you.
Attempt to have a calm discussion with her about what is troubling her about you, if feasible. Preventing this from developing into an argument is critical. Gently introduce your worries.
For instance, you might inquire, “Is there a reason you’re opposed to my taking my grandson to the zoo?” This question enables her to express her views about the subject. Allowing for discussion rather than tiptoeing around each other may result in increased trust.
- Avoid Making Comparisons Between Her and Your Other Daughters or Daughters-in-Law
You probably compare her to your other daughters or daughters-in-law if you have any. This conduct will elicit a protective response from her.
She is likely aware of your good connection with the other ladies. This awareness may make her feel uncomfortable and unsure of how to behave in your presence.
She may be resentful at being forced to fight for your favor and respond by pushing you away.
- Acquaint yourself with Her Manipulative Techniques
Your own misunderstandings and errors are not usually the cause of conflict with your daughter-in-law. She may have her own agenda and attempt to influence you in order to accomplish her goals.
Dealing with a manipulative daughter-in-law requires you to maintain your composure and resist her attempts to blame you.
She may engage in passive-aggressive conduct in order to absolve herself of blame for the relationship’s difficulties. When you request anything of her, she may delay or behave sullenly.
Complaints about being undervalued or defrauded are widespread. When she displays hatred, she will do so subtly and as a victim.
What are your options for dealing with a passive-aggressive daughter-in-law? You should begin by observing her behavior closely in order to pick up on her techniques. Your most powerful card in the passive-aggressive game is your refusal to apologize when you are not at fault.
Explain calmly to her that you see her attempt to escape responsibility by portraying you as the bad person. Inquire as to whether she believes she is being fair to you. If she attempts to coerce you into agreeing with her, explain that you will take some time to consider her point of view.
As you progressively withdraw your support for her tactics, she may learn to behave more rationally.
- Refrain from Offering Advice
All parents often share counsel and wisdom with their adult offspring, which their mature children mostly ignore. If your daughter-in-law has not requested your opinion, refrain from offering it.
Even if your counsel is well-intentioned, your daughter-in-law will take it as a signal that she is not good enough in your view. Unsolicited counsel adds to the pressure already present in an already strained relationship.
While you may disagree with her, you should strive for peace in order to preserve a positive connection with your son and grandkids.
- Devise a Strategy for Coping With Her Boundaries
Every individual need limits. What you see as restricted access to your grandkids may really reflect her wish to spend more quality time with her children. She may want to avoid overscheduling her children if they are already involved in a variety of activities.
Perhaps she disagrees with your parenting style or other life beliefs, prompting her to restrict your impact on her children. Although you may not agree with any of these unpleasant realities, you should consider learning to live with them.
You may have a better chance of success if you respect her limits. When she perceives you as less invasive, she may be more receptive to your invitation to join her family.
- Maintain Friendly Contact in the Hope That She Will Warm Up
You and your son’s wife are often forced into close family connections without the advantage of years spent together. You may feel as though you are strangers and may be very dissimilar individuals.
Even if you believe the connection is stagnant, leave the door open.
- Maintain consistent contact.
- Invite more family members to family gatherings.
- Inquire about seeing your grandkids.
- Make an effort to be nice to her and avoid being angry.
Over time, your perseverance may convince her that you deserve to be involved in the lives of your grandkids and son.
10. Engage in the Long Game
Fear of losing contact with your son and grandkids may cause you to lose your temper. By acknowledging your fragility, you can cultivate the patience necessary to foster a relationship with a woman who perceives you as a danger.
When possible, make an attempt to praise her. Encourage her since she is likely to be frustrated by marriage and parenthood. There may come a moment when she recognizes your worth or even requests your advice and assistance.