How To Cope With A Difficult Mother-In-law: 7 Sure Ways

  • 10 mins read

It’s hard to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t want to be there. Whether they’re a new partner, an old friend, or a family member, it’s frustrating when someone tries to pull you down instead of lift you up.

In my case, I’ve learned that my mother-in-law has never been happy for me—no matter what I do or how successful I am. This dynamic has created conflict between her and my husband that makes both sides unhappy. It has also caused tension between their siblings and myself as well as creating stress within our own marriage! So how did we get here? How can we move forward? Here are some tips on how to cope with a difficult mother-in-law:

1/ Don’t take her comments personally.

How To Cope With A Difficult Mother-In-law

Most people are only trying to be kind and helpful when they offer advice or tell their stories, but this can backfire with mothers-in-law if you don’t know how to handle it. Your MIL might tell you that your son is too fat or your daughter needs braces, but she’s not doing it to hurt your feelings or make a point about how “right” she is. It’s just the way she expresses herself, so don’t let her comments get under your skin!

It can be very tempting to let yourself feel bad about yourself after being told something negative by someone else; however, it doesn’t do anyone any good if you let the things people say to get under your skin and start making you feel like crap about yourself! The only way out of this trap is through self-confidence. So instead of letting those words overpower us and make us feel bad about ourselves (or even worse—start believing them!), try replying “thank you!” instead of engaging in an argument over whether or not what they said was right/wrong/inappropriate, etc… And if possible, try changing the subject altogether!

Read Also: 5 Surprising Reasons You’re Not Getting What You Want In A Relationship

2/ Some topics are better left unsaid.

Here are some important topics you should never bring up with your mother-in-law:

Money and debt issues, especially if you are in debt. If she asks about these things, be honest but brief. Don’t get into details about how much money you owe or how little money you make. These types of conversations will only lead to arguments between the two of you. Instead, focus on being positive and avoiding the topic altogether by saying “That’s not something we talk about” or “I don’t feel comfortable discussing that right now” until she backs off or changes her mind about asking any more questions related to this topic.

Another thing you should avoid talking about is your sex life and past relationships. These topics are both personal topics that should be discussed with discretion even within a marriage where both partners have open communication with each other regarding these matters because they can sometimes cause tension between spouses who aren’t ready yet willing at times like these (or maybe ever). It’s best not to go there either way until someone brings it up first!

Let’s face it: politics is the last thing most people want to talk about with their families. And for good reason—it’s often a sore subject among families who don’t always agree on how to solve problems or what constitutes “fair.” So why go there?

Instead, try asking her about her favorite movie or book or food, or maybe even ask her what she thinks of your new puppy! She’ll love talking about something she enjoys (and it will help her feel more comfortable around you). After all, if we can’t find common ground with our own family members, how can we expect anyone else to understand us?

3/ Communicate with your partner about how you feel.

How To Cope With A Difficult Mother-In-law

A difficult mother-in-law can be a very hard situation to deal with, but it is important that you do not keep these feelings bottled up. Your partner will want to know what you are going through and this is an important step in building trust between the two of you. You may also want to consider counseling, as this can help both you and your partner deal with this issue from a neutral perspective.

While it may seem difficult at first, talking to your partner about how you feel is one of the best things that you can do in order to improve your relationship. You should always be honest with them and tell them exactly what is bothering you so that they can address these concerns head-on.

Don’t be afraid to talk to your partner about it. Tell them how you feel, what’s bothering you, and why this person is so upsetting. By sharing your concerns with someone close to home who understands you well enough to give good advice (or just listen), they’ll be able to provide valuable input that could help solve the problem at hand.

4/ Limit the time you spend together.

It can be frustrating when a difficult mother-in-law is constantly trying to get the best of you. But what if I told you that the only way to deal with a difficult mother-in-law is to limit the time you spend together?

I’m not kidding! This can be hard at first, but it gets easier over time. Think about it: Would you rather spend an hour with someone who’s always trying to make you feel bad or spend an hour watching TV by yourself?

If you choose the latter, then great! You’ve just found your answer.

But what if she’s always around? It’ll be hard to avoid her and her negativity.

Make sure you have an escape plan. If she starts in on one of her lectures, excuse yourself and go for a walk or take a bath or anything else that will get you away from her until she’s forgotten what she was mad about.

If possible, avoid talking about your partner with your mother-in-law. Her opinion is not going to help things!

You don’t need to explain yourself to anyone, especially someone who doesn’t understand what’s going on with your relationship (or just doesn’t want to).

For Stronger Relationship With Your Spouse, Read:

5/ Set up boundaries.

How To Cope With A Difficult Mother-In-law

Setting up boundaries is the best way to cope with a difficult mother-in-law.

The first step to setting up boundaries is to recognize that you have the right to set them. You’re an adult, and you don’t have to put up with someone else’s nonsense.

Once you’ve got that realization down, it’s time to start thinking about what your boundaries should be. What are the things that are unacceptable for your mother-in-law? Is she allowed to call you names? Is she allowed to criticize your parenting skills? Is she allowed to criticize your housekeeping style?

Once you’ve got those things in mind, it’s time for step two: communicating your boundaries clearly and concisely. This can be as simple as saying “Mom, please stop calling me names” or as complicated as writing out an email outlining all the ways in which she has crossed the line in her behavior toward you and your family.

After that, it’s time for step three: enforcing those boundaries! You may not always be able to enforce them immediately—it might take some time for her brainwashing of your husband (if he’s susceptible) or other family members (if they’re susceptible)

7/ Understand why your mother-in-law acts the way she does, and try to see her side of things

It’s important to understand why your mother-in-law acts the way she does, and try to see her side of things. Why is she so overprotective? What is going on in her life that makes her behave this way? Maybe she is having a hard time at home or maybe she just has different values than you do.

You can also try to empathize with your MIL’s point of view by keeping in mind that sometimes it’s hard for people who have been married more than once (like my husband) not to compare their past relationships with their current ones.

Of course, there are some situations where it’s impossible to see things from the other person’s point of view. If you’ve been dealing with a difficult mother-in-law for a long time and haven’t made any progress, then it might be time to take action. The best course of action is probably talking about her behavior with your spouse because that can help both sides come up with an agreement about what should happen next.

You don’t have to be best friends, but you can make the relationship bearable for all involved

It’s important to understand that it is possible to have a difficult relationship with your partner, your children, and even your mother-in-law.

While this may sound obvious, it can be hard for some people to accept. In truth, there are many different kinds of relationships we can have with those around us and they don’t always feel like the ones we want or expect them to be. But if you’ve been feeling frustrated by your interactions with certain people in your life lately—whether it’s a long-time friend or an acquaintance from work—you should know that this is completely normal. And as long as you’re working on making yourself feel better about things (without making anyone else suffer), then everything will turn out just fine!


Let’s face it: your mother-in-law can be difficult to deal with. She may always have something negative to say, or she may seem completely oblivious to the feelings of others around her. It’s not easy being on the receiving end of her criticism and negativity, but it’s important that you don’t let these things get under your skin. You don’t have to be best friends with her, but if you want any kind of relationship at all then these are some things that will help make things easier for everyone involved.

In conclusion, the key to dealing with a difficult mother-in-law is to first accept that among humans there are people who are just plain hard to get along with. You can’t change them, only you can change how you deal with them. So try to set up clear boundaries that don’t allow too much interference from her into your lives, and if she crosses those boundaries, then go ahead and tell her, “If you have an issue with me, talk to me directly. When you come at me through my husband and children that is unacceptable.”

Have you had an experience with a troublesome mother inlaw? How did you cope? Share with us.

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