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The Good, The Bad, The Amazing! Nuggets of Wisdom on Mothers-In-Law



african-mother-daughter BNI recall the incident quite vividly as if it happened yesterday yet it was over 15 years ago. I attended an event with my aunt and on our way back, a few of her friends decided to ride back with us. There were four of us and I was the only one not married.

I’m not sure how the discussion veered into the ‘mother in law’ territory but somehow it did and I will never forget how scared I was on that ride home. Each of them shared stories of their experiences in the hands of in laws; whether it was sister in law, brother in law, father in law and of course most of it centered on the mother in law. It was as if they were trying to outdo each other as the stories only got worse. That night, all the romantic idealizations that I ever had about my future husband and his family disappeared. I was already engaged and looking forward to marriage but nowhere in my imagination or dreams was there a horror story about in laws. After that incident, I knew there was a lot of work to be done and it was mostly to pray as I could not control the future. I prayed to God that I would have a different experience and that after our wedding, that I would not have similar horror stories.

Today, I have stories to tell, from my experience with my mother, father and sisters in law and they are not ‘horror stories’ Challenging? Yes, Trying? Yes, but not horrific. So I can say God answered my prayers. There was actually a time that I became closer to my mother in law than my mother. So much so, that I would pray for God to help me keep a balance. Eventually some things happened that jolted me into reality and I now know for sure that my mother in law can never be my mother and vice versa. However, I love them both, in their individual capacities.

So with over 15 in marriage and still learning, here are here are some life lessons I would like to share:

1. Your mother in law is not your mother neither is she your friend. Love and respect her but remember there is an invisible line you should never cross. She will never love you more than her son.

2. You have the upper hand: No matter how much your mother in law tries, one thing is clear – she does not sleep with her son. You are the one who goes into the bedroom with him and that is a very powerful thing. You can settle a lot of things behind closed doors. A wise woman will use that power smartly. Not to manipulate or be conniving, but be aware of it and use it appropriately.

3. Pick your battles. Not everything demands a battle cry. Stop and reflect on the motive behind the action. Is she doing this to get at you or is she doing it because she loves her son? Don’t make everything a big deal otherwise your husband will get tired of coming to your defense all the time.

4. Your husband is not stupid. He sees how you treat your side of the family compared to his side. If you are obviously partial, he will try to get even with you. You cannot claim to love him yet hate his family.

5. If you love your husband, you will take ‘crap’. Suck it up; write it as the price for love and peace in your home. If you want your marriage to be a loving one, you will have an imaginary closet with nothing on the other side of it. When offense arises from your in laws, you open the closet and throw the offence away, never to be seen again. Tag the closet ‘because I love him’. It will give you peace and your husband will love you more for the sacrifices you make on his behalf.

6. Can you take the litmus test? The bible says you will reap what you sow. Another way of saying this is ‘what you put into it is what you will get out of it’ So what is the litmus test? Can you pray to God to give you a daughter / son in law like yourself? If you can truthfully say that prayer, then you know that you are on good grounds.

Let me know if you took the test and the outcome. Comments are welcome.

Photo Credit:
Bola O is a business executive. She lives happily with her husband and daughter.


  1. Funmi

    July 30, 2013 at 9:57 am

    I will put it this way, i learn to love my husband’s family. And God made it so easy for me that we dint leave in the same state for more than 2years after marriage. So my experience(s) or challenges are nothing to write home about.
    Meanwhile, some that i have witnessed are not so bad either. It all depends on who your man his, what he will tolerate and how far he will permit his family to go in his home. If mothers in laws train their children wella, she will reap the discipline instilled in them as they grow n matured to have homes of their own. Both males n females.

    • zsa zsa

      July 30, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      My husband is quite close to his mum whois very frail now and his sisters, we get along just fine. Nothing too special or fairytale-like, my sister in laws respect my husband a lot because he is quite hard headed and he does a lot to protect me from any family drama.
      Men definitely play a role in how their wives are treated by their family, the women also influence how the husband is treated by her family. My family does not mess with my husband and his family does not mess with me….not sure i agree with point #5 or maybe based on my experience i’m not sure where the “crap” would come from.
      At the end of the day, it’s all about respect….i think.

  2. Tess

    July 30, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Thanks Bola, I love my mother-in-law and respect her soooo much. I think I respect her more than my own mom. My mother-in-law has suffered more in life than my mom, yet she has accomplished sooo much more, whereas my mom is always waiting for others to take care of her. My MIL is very stern but if you understand her, you know it is borne out of good intentions. I believe she knows I love her and we have a great relationship. She makes efforts not to shower too much gifts on me compared to her other daughters-in-law because she doesn’t like to look partial. I’ve taken the litmus test, and I will want my son to have a wife like me in future.

  3. Tayo

    July 30, 2013 at 10:16 am

    There is alot of wisdom in this piece.

  4. Teris

    July 30, 2013 at 10:24 am

    wow. that was not very encouraging.
    not untrue o, but sounds like the battle lines have been drawn and this is a “battle” plan. goodluck luv and to everyone who’s going thru the in-law challenge.

  5. Ann

    July 30, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I’m not yet married and i’m really grateful for this info. Definitely time to start praying for God to see me through when it will be my turn. And I just love the last part, “Can you pray to God to give you a daughter / son in law like yourself? If you can truthfully say that prayer, then you know that you are on good grounds.” Real food for thought.

  6. damsel

    July 30, 2013 at 10:43 am

    this is really a piece to ponder on. thank u for sharing. i am still single and hope to settle soon to my own home. trust God for a MIL dat will love me like my mum and sure i can take d litmus test. i know am a good lady and pray my MIL sees dat side in me

  7. tito

    July 30, 2013 at 10:46 am

    No one should scare those intending (marraige). In laws are wonderful people. it takes two to make the in law relationship work.

    It is a decision I made before I entered. My husband told me how important ( dearly he loved them) his mother and sister are to him and I made a decision to love then for him. I wont say I havent been jealous sometimes, but I have always jolted myself back to reality when I ask myself these questions.
    This woman carried, nurtured, invested all she had in her son before he became the man I loved.
    Shouldnt she reap where she has sown?
    I love my mother in law and I know she loves and cares for me.

    If you have issues with your in laws; maybe you should ask yourself if you hav’nt been selfish.

  8. Abana

    July 30, 2013 at 10:50 am

    She would never love you more than her son. Probably not. But she can love you as much as she loves her son and my aunt’s relationship with her mother-in-law is testament to this. Her own daughters sometimes go through my aunt to get to their mother. She loooooves my aunt die. And my aunt has been married 15 years. So it is possible. I am not married, but when I do get married, I hope I have the same kind of relationship with my mother-in-law that they have. Its a relationship of total acceptance.

  9. Nomy

    July 30, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Don’t have a MIL yet, but I do want her to be my friend. I mean she birthed and raised my choice. Among men, did she not? She may not love me as much as her son but that’s ok, I have my own Mum for that. But I do want us to be friends!

  10. Brown Sugah

    July 30, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Hmm……I am just smiling as i read through people’s comments and the story itself. I will say marriage is not a battle ground but test the waters carefully so you know the first foot to put forward. I repeat TEST!!!!

  11. natty

    July 30, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Thank God for the sane commenters on BN today, I have heard single girls praying that their future husband’s mum should die before they get married so they won’t have any in-law issues. At times the MILs aren’t to blame, some DIL’s just look for trouble where there is no trouble. I am single but I plan on having a great relationship with my future MIL and I am not giving her the option not to like me, its by force!

  12. Gracie

    July 30, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Encouraging write up

  13. mia

    July 30, 2013 at 11:48 am

    from my little experience with in-laws, approach them with an open mind, love them and treat them well but never over stretch yourself or pretend to be able to do what you won’t be able to continue. like the writer said, there is always a line, an unseen line, make sure you don’t cross it and also mind your business. there are times that there will be discussing family issues, just act like the iyawo that you are and never make comments, cos trust me, when all has been said and done, they won’t remember their own comments, but nobody forgets iyawo’s comments.
    i also have learnt not to lose my guard, don’t be so predictable, there’s a way it makes in-laws give you a respect they don’t even know they have for you. my 50 cents.

  14. ziki

    July 30, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Thank God fr my MIL,we hav a good relationship, we tlk lke everyday n gist lke friends and i kno by the grace of God it will continue lke dat

  15. Beauty

    July 30, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    I’ve always believed that a woman who truly loves her son would want his happiness and peace. I believe such a woman would love the lady her son decides to wed. I don’t think its gonna be a problem just live a good life with your husband, love and embrace his family and you’ll be fine.

  16. Puhleese

    July 30, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Great Article. I am currently single but I am trusting that I will get married soon. A book that also encouraged and inspired me not to expect the worst is “My Mother In Law” By Oyinda Ige (The Late Bola Ige’s Daughter in Law). Great book. You should all read it.

  17. Drpeperempe

    July 30, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Don’t start something you can’t keep up with. In other words, don’t pretend to be all sweet n darling just be yourself n if your inlaws will like you, they will. That said, don’t act poorly and say “well that’s just me”

  18. oose

    July 30, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    the bottom line to be honest and not belittleing the challenges of men BUT LOVE WINS AT ALL TIMES >> AND PATIENCE INDEED helps one cultivate that love

  19. mha

    July 30, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    I took the test and I can indeed pray for my son to find a wife like me. Thanks for the write up. Quite inspiring

  20. Chicadimples

    July 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    For how old have u been married???

    Nice write up!

  21. Dee Nina

    July 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    My in-laws are the best! They gave me such a warm welcome into their family and into their hearts. Some people were not supportive of them (Yoruba) allowing their only son to marry an Igbo woman. My parents in law said, “We don’t care about tribes; we care about people.” They said I was the perfect woman for their son and politely advised people who didn’t like it to mind their own business. I thank God for my in-laws =) My FIL recently became a Flavour fan, and he loves having me translate the lyrics for him lol.

  22. obaa

    July 30, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Recently met my MIL to be and my perception of her changed drastically. My fiance put her on a pedestal before i got to meet her, painting this picture of a superwoman or even a queen. I was constantly told of what to say and what not to wear and me kneeling when i spoke to her as it is a yoruba culture (im ghanaian raised in the uk) and this put so much fear in me prior to meeting her. I was instructed by my man not to even say HELLO! as she isn’t my mate. However on meeting her i realised how simple and lovely of a woman she is and all my initial worries were completely wiped out on meeting the first day. Looking back on it i realise the picture painted by my man put fear and made me harbour unnecessary hatred for and jealousy of the woman but in all she turned out to be an awesome woman!

  23. damepenelope

    July 30, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Concise, profound,well written!

  24. Naveah

    July 30, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    This is an awesome piece! It serves as a lesson for the single/engaged woman and as a reminder for the married ones.

    I have been blessed with a wonderful mother in law. I really appreciate her because as much as I have proven myself worthy to be part of their family by the way I treat her son, she has proven herself worthy to be part of my family by the way she’s treated me. It is not a one way street, it is a constant state of give and take from both sides.

    Treat your mother in law the way you would want your mother to be treated by her daughter/son in law.

    Treat your mother in law the way you would want to be treated when you become one to another person’s child.

    I don’t know if I agree with the part of having the upper hand because that man can get another wife but he only has ONE mother. When you start thinking in terms of upper hand then you are thinking in terms of competition. There will and should never be competition between a wife and her mother in law because believe me the wife will LOSE. It may appear like she’s won but she will lose because there is nothing like the bond between a mother and her son.

  25. demilade

    July 30, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    from personal experience, if your mother-in-law doesn’t have a husband, you are in a polygamous marriage….No amount of love you can show to the mother-in-law that will prevent her from having issues with you….every woman loves attention; and they like to seek it everywhere they can get it.

    • sek

      July 30, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      THANK YOU!

    • Dee

      August 23, 2013 at 11:39 pm

      Totally agree with you. My MIL does not get attention from her husband so she wants to get it from her son. Calling him to find out if he has eaten and always sending him food. It irks me

  26. Hurperyermie

    July 30, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    hmmmmmmmm i pray for a good one when i get married

  27. Blue Ivy

    July 30, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Apt article. Just what I needed to know. God bless the writer for sharing such insightful wisdom. @mia, your comment has also come in handy

  28. milly

    July 30, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    This is an excellent piece! Most ladies just create problems for themselves! Take a cue from Ruth in the Bible who stuck with her MIL through thick and thin, she was grafted into the lineage of our lord Jesus Christ. All what ladies quote this days is” a man will leave his family and cling to his wife’ forgetting other scriptures about marriage, most DIL are so wicked this days especially the one from wretched homes who happen to marry into money.
    I am single but will be married soon and I am looking to be the best DIL ever.

  29. cheche

    July 30, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    My motherinlaw is an awesome woman. To be honest with you I thought I would have issues with her since she is very opinionated and religious. On the other hand, believe me, its my own mother that turned into something else since the day she heard I was getting married. We used to be best friends and very close until i got married to a family she admired. Not only is she trying to relive her life through me, she also believes the parents should be in charge of what my husband and I do. Intact, she decided to immerse herself so much that she is at my inlaws house every weekend checking up on them. Don’t get me wrong, am happy both sides hav a good relationships but it shld be done in Moderation. I have spoken to her several times but she doesn’t seem to care. Because my inlaws are so accommodating, they just going with the flow. I joke around with my husband that when he married me, he married my mother and I. Every of my inlaws family events she is there. She only needs to hear about it. Sad thing is that this has destroyed our relationship. She will rather be seen going to my inlaws than having a relationship with me. She has never been to our matrimonial home but gas been to every of my inlaws house or acquintances. Its an ongoing struggle. there r times when my mother will go report me to my mother in law for not obeying her wishes and my mother in law will set her straight immediately, about letting us be in charge of our marriage. I am more closer to my mother in law in the 2yrs I’ve been married and has been more of a mother figure to me. She indeed has been a blessing. I just pray my mother sees the damage she is doing before it’s too late. My husband and I are not even free to visit his parents or family cause she is always there. I just wonder y she didn’t put this much energy into the family she married into. She still has her own inlaws for Gods sake.

    • deep

      July 31, 2013 at 4:45 am

      She’s probably still doing that to remain in control of your marriage (like that overbearing parent that will want to make friends with your friends when you were a teenager, so that they can tell you who your friends are and tell you about yourself before anything manifests).
      I think you should sit her down and talk to her and if all else fails, let the in-laws slowly wean her off, such as call before she comes, etc. She might also need a man if she’s single.

    • Jubemi

      July 31, 2013 at 11:11 am

      I think you should let her know how much she is hurting you. If you have other siblings, you should also tell them to speak to her, maybe when she hears it from someone else, she will understand. Kpele

  30. doll

    July 30, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    WELL i was prepared to love my MIL like my own mom but she quickly showed me that she is not my mom. SO I AGREE NO 1 is SO ON POINT

    that said, my inlaws are nice people…the hubs is the last and he has 5 elder sisters with the eldest the same age as my own mother….its not been all smooth cuz of inter tribal differences and maybe age differences but iv learnt to anticipate what they want and give it to them the way they want it…chief amoungst this is respect

    they dont live with me or even live in my state so it is also easier,….whenever there is a family function i just make sure i am on my toes

    • Jubemi

      July 31, 2013 at 11:02 am

      Hmm. well done. Love your practical comment

  31. D

    July 30, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    I have great in-laws, in fact, with my FIL I get embarrassed, when I go to visit them this man will carry my purse (yoruba man) that we will start struggling over the darn purse and he is way older than I am even older than my own father. My MIL encourages me that I am a daughter to her although I take note of rule #1 not so much because of the love issue because I know she does but the way I deal with my parents many Nigerian families will disagree with it. I was not raised the typical Nigerian esp yoruba way, we talk to our parents and can be very blunt and I know even dealing with my husband after we got married it took him awhile to get used to me talking to him that way so I know I can’t just cross that line with his mum no matter how much she wants me to. Don’t get me wrong we have had our challenges with the in-laws but an unwritten we seem to have fallen into as a couple is that my hubby deals with his family and me with mine and they both sides (most especially mine) are fully aware that certain lines cannot be crossed but the boundaries were set prior to us getting married. But that does not make me ignorant of the fact that there are in-laws from hell.

  32. Jubemi

    July 31, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Wow! ‘My mother-in-law is not my mother and not my friend’? Now I’m scared. Just started seeing a guy and it’s pretty serious. Now I dread meeting his mother. No thanks for scaring me.

  33. demashi

    July 31, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Great post. I would say it would be foolhardy for any woman not to love her mother-in-law. Setting a wedge between a mother and her son is a sure way to marital distress.

    Earlier on in my marriage, wy wife was giving me stress over the level of care I was showing for my mother & I couldn’t understand the whole furore. This was someone who invested in me to be at least half the man you considered worthy of your hand in marriage and yet you causing so much stress. I agree I might have had taken things overboard but then some of her reactions were inexcusable.

    Years back, I decided to take my mum on a trip as she hadn’t travelled in living memory for me & my wife was upset due to that. I didn’t get it & I thought, doesn’t this woman deserve just s little care. I warned her to take it easy in this regard cos the tables could turn. And the tables have indeed turned, years after she had an opportunity to take her mum on a trip which has turned to a yearly affair. In fact, she sent me pictures of the vacation right now & I thought, I could make a fuss and say, is it only your mother that knows how how to travel? But that would be immature & I guess she’s gained a whole more understanding on the MIL issue.

    My advice to any lady, except your MIL is a confirmed witch, it would be in your best interest to get her onto your side.


  34. ty

    July 31, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    wow…demashi, u;r really a matured man…nice comment….i dont av a mother in law yet but i pray to have her as a friend n a mother…i knw hw much she loves her son, though i’v not met her before n i’m really scared but there’s nothing prayer can not do…it is well oooh

  35. ty

    July 31, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    her son (my bf)

  36. Baby for real

    July 31, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    I guess it’s luck to have a great MIL. Mine is not at all, her advices r worse off. And she really knows how to come in btw me and her son. She is a drama queen. But I have learnt to deal with her and put her in her place. She is very materialistic , she wants everything u have. See her telling my friend in my house the other day she would tell her son ,she wants to go to America despite not having a family in America because me and my kids just came back from America. By the way she frequently visits London and Ireland where her kids live. Recently lost her husband , not even up to 1 week she is disturbing her son about going for summer vacation. She is……

  37. favoured girl

    July 31, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    I have the most amazing mother inlaw because I never see her loool we live in different countries and I make my two minutes calls once a month. Suits me well. She is very lovely oo but let’s all just keep respecting each other from afar. My father inlaw on the hand is a legend I get on him better. Each to their own

  38. anny

    August 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    naveah, lucky you. my mum in law had successfully destroyed 3 marrieages,1 in my very presence. she is helplessly wicked. any time i have issues with my husband in the early years of my marriage he would call to tell her. she will come at the speed of light to charge at me asking her son to send me packing. my hubby also has this mummy’s apron thing and doesnt even realise he has it. i have suffered in this woman’s hand. infact she made me regret ever marrying at all. i made up my mind to stand up to her at what ever cost. i did and put her in her place sternly. i also labored hard in prayers and fasting,loosing a lot of weight in the process. the above tests are very good when you are dealing with the average MIL. some are evil personified. now she is so miserable that out of her very many kids, my hubby and i are the only stable family unit. she wants to come and stay and i refused bluntly. the man has a lot of role to play in the relationship between your MIL and the wife. if he sets certain boundary it will help him. you cant be discussing every family issue with your mum as a man. you cant afford exposing your home and wife or trivializing your marriage to prove to your family that you are not weak. God really defended me. may God help us all

    • Rosy

      August 14, 2013 at 12:56 am

      @Amy, I can relate to ur story, as am presetly praying and fasting. my MIL is super evil who doesn’t wnt her own son to succeed, talkless of having a successful marriage. What kind of MIL in law travel to different countries every year when his son his out of job n have no money to feed his wife n kids?. and still d MIL is still using juju to fight the wife whon is d breadwinner. God have mercy!

  39. Rhodie

    August 2, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    This is kind of new to me because my mom and her mother in law are tight. My grandma even told me that of the 2 numbers she has memorized, my mom’s is one. So before I started watching all these Nigerian movies, I assumed every woman was like a daughter to her mother in law. I honestly don’t think I can do that suffer-head life.

  40. Fola-Richie

    August 6, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    This is a wonderful piece! However my advice to us women is seen in last paragraph of this piece ” do unto others as u’ll have them do unto u”. Treat ur MIL the same way
    u’ll expect ur would be DIL Treat u. If she happens to be the Mean or wicked type, be nice to her, be urself & commit her unto God in prayers, God will touch her heart.

  41. Tinuola

    August 7, 2013 at 12:08 am

    I don’t have a MIL,my husband actually never knew his
    mum,she died when he was a baby,but boy o boy,I have a SIL that is
    made in HE’LL,she sees her self as my MIL,things were actually very
    good when we were struggling ,she was very nice and warm and use to
    see very little of her ,things changed when things became good,am
    now the gold digger that has come to EAT her brothers money,I don’t
    care that she does things for her because it hasn’t affected the
    things he does at home,but she is still not ok with that,she tells
    me to my face that I can’t come and snatch her brother from her,he
    sent her kids to school abroad,sends her for summer,brand new
    car,just name it , but she still wants me out of the way,I have
    left her to God ,I come from a very wealthy family and didn’t marry
    her brother for money,we actually started humbly but to God be the
    glory,but she wouldn’t let me rest .am so happy that she has 4
    girls,whatever she sows ,she would surely reap.

  42. Mercy

    August 12, 2013 at 4:40 am

    How come most of the attention is on mothers in law? I had a mother in law close to perfect. I loved her like my mom. ..she is dead and i miss her…my sisters in law are selfish and evil and I know they hate me. In 2 decades of marriage I don’t think they have jointly given my children anything worth 10,000. They are stingy and entitled.. Even asking my husband to send ticket for a visit to us while already in the country we live. I use my personal money to contribute to all their elaborate party plans as they levy us and my hubby cannot afford to meet all the demands. Yet they don’t acknowledge me or ask after the children.. I think you may have a wonderful mother in law like mine was but evil SIL

  43. hope

    August 12, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    lovely write the practical comments too.

  44. smike

    August 12, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Anny is so far the only person that has said ur man has a huge say in how his family treat you.
    The way he places you is how they would carry you.
    My inlaws are ok. But they tend to run their mouths because my husband doesnt caution or correct them.

    One accused me of something once, I told my husband about it, he checked and found out it was lie. He did not go back to tell them I was accused wrongly. His mum callef me months later and made remarks regarding it. I told my husband. He did nothing. I year after the incident, the one that accused me called me and referred to the incident again and actually saif ‘anyway, I have now forgiven you’

    I hung up the phone and gavr my husband the story of his life. Now I interact with them as little as possible since my husband doesnt fight fot me with them.

  45. Abolayo

    September 10, 2013 at 7:46 am

    My friend and I had come to an agreement that her future mother-in-law has a serious problem (we weren’t really that generous) for not allowing them to do the traditional part of the wedding before she had a chance to meet my friend. Four months after our last bashing session, I was singing a new song. The difference, I had given birth to a son. Now I told her only a really careless mother would let her son even propose to a girl she hadn’t met (as if all men would clue their mothers in nowadays). Thankfully, they have met and adore each other.

    My own mother-in-law is a wonderful woman especially if you’ve seen someone like my grandmother in action as a mother-in-law. And no, my mother didn’t have to turn me against her. She extended the animosity to us, “that woman’s children”. I can’t remember a time that I didn’t pray for my in-laws to be the amazing new family members I now have (I was clued in early to the fact that prayerfully killing of ones mother-in-law (what exactly is witchcraft again?) does not guarantee peace as other members of his family might be worse than a bad mother-in-law). When I was getting upset on my friend’s behalf, it was about avoiding a mother-in-law like my grandmother, not mine.

    A mother-in-law once told me that she would not speak against, much less curse, her daughter-in-law for the sake of her son’s happiness. So unless your mother-in-law is like my grandmother, you may need to check yourself. However, there are mothers who smother.

    All that said, this article and subsequent comments has put some things in perspective for me. The bottom line is, how do I look to my in-laws, bearing in mind the love they have for my husband? That might determine how they treat me. The way they receive me might be due to his presentation, but their perception of me may determine my ultimate place in the heart of the family.

    What do I know though? I am, after all, very new to marriage.

  46. theangrybuddhist

    March 16, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    Thank you! “Not everything demands a battle cry.” That is exactly what I needed. My MIL told me she would take care of my two kids and neglected them instead. My son ended up with a diaper rash and my daughter was dehydrated and sick. Well, I gave her hell and now she acts like I must get upset about everything….including lettuce, which is certainly not the case. I’m usually such a calm person. I love your closet idea, and I hope you don’t mind that I use those words, because that’s exactly how I feel; very few things actually deserve a battle cry.

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