How to Handle a Toxic Mother-in-law

Just like toxic people, a toxic mother-in-law does not contribute anything positive. Many times it potentiates your weak points, depreciates you and tries to influence all the decisions of the couple. Toxic mothers-in-law love to give and impose their opinion. 

They do not have the capacity to make self-criticism. They are not empathic. They do not know how to respect the decisions of their children. Nor do they understand that they have grown up and are capable of building their own stories with whoever they want.

Dealing with such a negative and nosy person is not easy and will require a lot of patience and emotional intelligence. Below are some practical tips to help you avoid getting into this dispute:

1. Create a physical and emotional distance

This helps reduce the climate of tension and anguish that toxic relationships often cause. In addition, this distance will be important to see the situation through another perspective. Don’t feel guilty about not going to all of your partner’s family events and sometimes not answering your mother-in-law’s calls.

2. Stop trying to please her 

A toxic mother-in-law is never going to be satisfied and happy. By giving in and doing things her way, you will be overriding your personality. And neither will the conflicts end because there will always be a new demand, a new criticism. For this reason, it is important to start worrying about your happiness and not about pleasing her.

3. Talk to your partner

Remember that this problem only exists because your partner does not know how to put a limit on his mother. He is now an adult to decide with whom and how he wishes to lead his life, without external interference, and he should make this clear to his mother from the beginning. If your partner doesn’t get involved in defending you and starts saying no to your mother-in-law, the tension is likely to escalate.

4. Do not try to break the mother-child relationship

Mother is mother and it is highly unlikely that a child will break the relationship with his mother to give exclusive priority to someone else. By getting into this type of dispute, the relationship between you tends to worsen because your partner will not be able to remove his mother from his life. The ideal is to find a balance in this relationship, by delimiting the role of each of the parties.

5. Evaluate whether the relationship is worth pursuing

Children of toxic mothers are not always capable of ending this dependency. If after talking with your partner about the problem, you notice that things are still the same, maybe it is time to reflect on whether such a relationship really makes you happy and if you want to move on with this person. In such cases, couples therapy can help find a way out of the conflict.  

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