How often is too much intend to look at when the generous approach of mother in-law moves from being appreciated to becoming a problem between husband and wife.
With regards to my years of experience, I understand that this case can be quite applicable in some families while at the same time it might not necessarily work for others. Aptly, It might pose problems for some families while it might absolutely mean nothing to others. The main objective of this post is to cater solutions for the people in the category where it poses a great threat to the success of their family life.
Sometimes ago, there was a family I counselled on similar matter because the husband felt the mother in-law was displaying intense caring attitude. The man felt it was too extreme but the wife was seeing it differently. Her point was that her mother was only being her self. She has always been that way to her and her siblings.
The incidence generated argument between husband and wife to the point where the husband angrily said he was going to give it straight and direct to the mother in-law that it was enough. The wife on the other hand doesn’t see anything wrong with her mum’s approach. The situation became aggravated that the wife was beginning to think whether the husband had something against her mum.
If you are confronted with similar issue what will your advice be like? I will like you to make between three to five suggestions for this couple before continuing the reading.
Welcome back from your suggestions! Before I proceed to my suggestions, I will like us to understand the dynamics of what is happening here.
First and foremost, you need to answer the following questions:
Is my spouse’s relationship with her family very cordial as at the time we started our relationship? Y/N
Did we really discuss this peculiarity during our courtship days? Y/N
Is the type of relationship that exists in my spouse’s family similar to that of my family? Y/N
Is my in-law’s approach in my home similar with her other children’s home? Y/N
Is there a similar contention in my spouse’s parent home with their own mum, If still alive? Y/N
RESULTS: The more “YES” you answered, the lesser the issues should be with you when your mother in-law bring stuffs into your home. The more “NO” you answered, the more it should be an issue for you when a mother-in-law brings stuff to the house.
This simple questionnaire just brought out the fact that you are different as to what to expect, and to what extent from your in-laws.
Useful suggestions that could help:
Moderation: Bringing stuffs to your house is not out of place. The key word here is moderation. I think it will not be a problem between husband and wife until the party affected begins to see an overbearing influence in the home. It will really not be a problem if the party concerned does not feel a sense of loss of control in his/her own home. It is therefore important that before it get to this stage, the affected person brings the matter up for discussion.
Attitude: You need to have a positive world view. Whichever approach your in-law used, see the intent and not the action. Sometimes, her approach might not be acceptable to you, but the motive behind the appoach will reduce the anger to a large extent. I once read a book by Keit Harrell titled: “Attitude is Everything”. The position to maintain is the control of your attitude to fit every occasion that arises in your life. In this instance, your in-law. Wade Boggs gave a quote to buttress this point: A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.
Understanding: Your level of understanding about life and dealing with in-laws in this regard plays a vital role in influencing your behavioural attitude. You need to develop the capacity to accommodate what you are not used to. Your approach to issues in your home as a single person will most likely be different from the type of approach that will bring success in your home as a married person.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
― C.G. Jung
Flexibility: Having a good understanding will make flexibility easier to exhibit. A rigid mind will always meet a brick wall because it will definitely not be like business as usual. Your mind has to be softened and become tender in order to let go of your old ways of seeing things. The way you conceptualize the dynamics of relating with in-laws might require a little adjustment in order to make the current reality work. You might not be used to what your in-law is doing right now, but it might not necessarily be wrong.
“Have the capacity to adapt to change, it’s your healthy growth, intelligently and emotionally.
Our life can be full of extrinsic surprises, your flexibility is a key when you accept changes.”
― Angelica Hopes
Maturity: You have to grow up. It is not in all cases that you must react irrationally to things, even when it’s so clear they are wrong. If you have to contest everything you don’t approve of, then you will develop a new career in that line in addition to other main obligation you have to carry out as a spouse.
“Maturity is when your world opens up and you realize that you are not the center of it.”
― M.J. Croan
Love: You must have unconditional and genuine love for your in-laws. The love I am referring to here is based on “DECISION”; quite different from the one that led you into becoming husband and wife. The same way you demonstrated love by decision to your wife, you must exhibit same for your in-laws. Love breaks barriers of hatred, overlook faults, justifies action and believe the best of the other person.
Effective communication: The expediency of communication cannot be over emphasized. It is the life stream of any relationship. Poor communication will give room to a lot of mis-interpretation. Mis-interpretation simply is a mis-representation of intents to any action taken. You should deliberately work at it and ensure that you and your spouse have a good grip of it. When it is in place, you will speak with one voice, seeing on the same camp by your in-laws. Chances will not be given to unhealthy speculations that will bring up unnecessary friction between you and your in-law.
I believe the effective working of this dynamics will help your family deal with the challenges that may arise as a result of this cause.
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