You did it, you got married! But now you might find yourself dealing with the many terrible traits of a jealous mother-in-law.
Why are mother-in-laws jealous?
After a mother gives her precious baby away they might get jealous of all the love that they used to get from their son now being given to you and they are very resentful for that.
However, it’s not your fault her son chose you, he’s ready to give someone else his unconditional love.
There are lots of other reasons a mother-in-law could be jealous of her new daughter-in-law and that could include feelings of abandonment and loss, her feeling like her son stopped talking to her when he met you, and lastly, she could feel intimidated by you.
How do you know if your mother-in-law is jealous of you? Check by familiarizing yourself with the traits of a jealous mother-in-law.
1. She doesn’t respect your boundaries.
A jealous mother-in-law will never respect your boundaries and you will find yourself getting constantly frustrated. She still thinks she makes the rules and doesn’t care about your opinion or your wants and needs.
She shows this by speaking over you, never listening to you, discusses family plans without you, shows up completely unannounced, and always invading your privacy.
2. She tries to take time away from you and your husband.
She will always want to spend every second of every day talking and spending time with your husband. You might feel like she’s icing you out and that she doesn’t respect your time or relationship with her son.
She also will play the role of the victim in saying she just wants to spend quality time with him, however, there is a line that she can cross and you believe she’s crossed that.
3. She speaks to your husband behind your back.
It’s not like your partner has to tell you everything he talks about with his mother, although, he should tell you if she is talking about you behind your back as that’s not fair to you.
There’s another trust level between you and your partner versus the trust between them and their mother and usually, your bond is stronger as it’s normal to complain about parents with your significant others. This could potentially create a rift between you and your mother-in-law that could be a sticky situation.
4. She speaks to you through her son.
This is called triangulating someone. She speaks to you through her son because she doesn’t respect you enough to talk to you face to face.
This can be extremely frustrating and it can cause you to do the same thing because of how petty the two of you could get through doing this. She could further separate you and her son by doing this as it’s a very stressful thing to do.
5. She drives a wedge between you and her son.
Some mothers-in-law can be very toxic, they will literally try to distance you and her son so that it will be so difficult to be with him you’ll feel like you want to give up.
6. She pits you against your own husband.
A toxic mother-in-law will try at every cost to pit her son and you against each other if she doesn’t like you or can see that you are taking away all the attention from her.
She also may try to spark arguments against the two of you and this could result in a divide between the two of you and your mother-in-law.
7. She sabotages your plans.
She may interfere with your plans in order to test your loyalty to her while also attempting to create tension. This will become very frustrating if this happens frequently because it can cause you to become more distanced from your husband and her.
It feels as if she purposely interrupts your plans and that’s because she is doing that.
8. She ignores you.
Your mother-in-law may ignore you at family gatherings, parties, and more if she doesn’t approve of you and wants to create a split between you and her son.
She will try everything to exclude you and never give you the time of day as she will always ignore you and not engage in conversation.
9. She makes it very stressful around her.
She will try and make your life a living hell if she doesn’t like you and will make you so stressed out you just want to scream.
She will try her best to keep you stressed and constantly overwhelmed with her presence, her plans, and her interference in your marriage.
10. She speaks badly about you to other people in your family.
Whoever else is in your partner’s family, if he has siblings or cousins or aunts and uncles, she will talk trash behind your back and try and get the entire family to be on her side of things.
She doesn’t care about your feelings and acts in a totally inappropriate manner.
11. She incites chaos.
You feel as if you literally cannot do anything right because your mother-in-law is always telling you you did something wrong or that whatever you did wasn’t good enough.
Nothing you do ever gets her stamp of approval and it drives you insane.
12. She constantly criticizes you.
She is always criticizing your work or your efforts to be a part of her family. She will make very rude and insincere comments to your husband or other family members and make it exhausting to endure her constant negative attitude and feelings towards you.
How to Handle a Jealous Mother-in-Law
In order to handle this toxic situation with your mother-in-law, there are some things that you can try and do to mend things between her and try and manipulate her into liking you and not being so jealous anymore.
The first thing you should do is, if you can, try and understand where she’s coming from and her feelings. Try to understand her behavior and see what her triggers are and insecurities are. You could try and get a sense of why she’s being so terrible to you and let her know that you want to try.
You can do this by giving her attention, which is what she wants, but you can try and develop a strong relationship with her so she can learn to love and trust you. In order to do this, you have to give her a lot of attention which will be hard if she has made you want to hate her.
According to Clinical Hypnotherapist and Family Expert, Keya Murthy, the way to handle a jealous mother-in-law is to be blunt, open, and frank. “The way to win an enemy is not through aggression or flattery but communication. Talk to her and include her on occasional family outings.”
Another good thing is to include her in your family and treat her like you would with your family members so she doesn’t feel like an outsider as much with you. Let her know that you acknowledge her relationship with her son and that you’re not at all trying to take that away from her.
“When you marry a person, you marry into the family. A jealous mother-in-law is an insecure woman. Do what you can to make her feel secure while maintaining your boundaries. Be friends, do your best, and forget the rest. When you fuss too much over her, you give her more power,” says Murthy
If you try all these things while also speaking to your husband, avoiding conflict, and always communicating, it should help your mother-in-law become more comfortable with you and stop trying to ruin your relationship.
Megan Hatch is a writer at YourTango who covers pop culture, love and relationships, and self-care.