Improving a relationship.

@Pose123 (21667)
Canada
December 2, 2010 9:12am CST
Here is an example of of the point I'm trying to make here. A mother doesn't approve of the woman her son is about to marry and although she may not say it to her face, the daughter-in-law to be, can easily detect it and begins to resent her. I think that we would agree that this is a bad start to the relationship. If one or the other decides later, that this is wrong and want the relationship to improve, how do you think they can go about making the change?
6 people like this
15 responses
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
2 Dec 10
I believe this situation happens far more than is obvious. Its only natural for a Mother to resent another female, coming into her sons life, usurping his love, and her importance. However in most cases as the Mother comes to know her new Daughter-in-law, she will be gradually drawn to her, and will soon come to love her as a daughter.
2 people like this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
5 Dec 10
Hi barehugs, Thanks for commenting and I agree, at least with the first part of your statement. I'm sure as both mature and eventually mellow a little, things do improve but over too many harsh words have been spoken and there has been so much gossip repeated that reconciliation becomes almost impossible. Blessings.
• India
2 Dec 10
Dear Pose Here in my religion most marriages are arranged by parents, so indirectly all marriages are 100% approved by the parents, inspite of this there are quarrels between some mother in laws and daughter in laws.. I say, remove this 'inlaw', the problem gets solved.. Thank you so much for sharing. Professor ‘Bhuwan’. . Cheers have a lucky day ahead. God bless you. Welcome always.
2 people like this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
5 Dec 10
Hi Professor, Thank you for responding and I guess these things happen everywhere. We all need to look at positive ways to improve things. There is good in everyone but sometimes it can be difficult for others to see. Blessings.
• Philippines
2 Dec 10
It's easy to say things but when you're in that actual situation it seems impossible for the mother or the girl to voice out their feelings. They don't like each other but if the couple loves each other, this won't matter. There will be problems, for sure, but they should be ready for this upon knowing it from the start.
2 people like this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
4 Dec 10
Hi frontvisions, Thank you for your comments but some people seem to work it out quite well, sometimes it just takes longer than others. Saying hurtful things should be avoided because there is both good and bad in all of us. I know that actually being in the situation gives it a completely different perspective and ofter there doesn't seem to be a way out. Blessings.
@chuyins123 (2118)
• Philippines
2 Dec 10
It is a common phenomenon that the in-laws have really something to say. As to how the two could sustain and improve the relationship, well I agree with the comment/advice to be NICE. well, try to shun the impressions, because usually the in-laws have their own impressions and biases, she just have to try to prove those biases and impressions wrong. And well, actions speak louder than words, her actions should speak for her intentions and reasons why she's marrying the guy. Still, best thing to do, is be NICE... it wouldn't be too difficult if she really loved the guy... :D God bless you pose! have a happy life! :D
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
4 Dec 10
Hi chuyins, Thank you for that response and you make a good point, being nice is very simple and usually works. Sometimes people have to work at it a bit harder but remain positive and look for the good and try to bring it out, because there's good in everyone. Blessings.
@wolfie34 (26793)
• United Kingdom
2 Dec 10
It is a difficult situation because if the mother voices her honest opinion to her son it could swing against her in that it will push the son closer his fiancee, or it might cause a rift between the relationship of mother and son. But if she doesn't voice her opinion is the animosity towards her son's wife going to go away or is she going to accept her son's choice and learn to get along with his wife? I think a good way would be to have a dinner engagement or go somewhere on neutral territory to improve relations. Sometimes, however people just don't get on and there is no middle ground, it's being adult to accept it and to be civil to each other even though you don't like them.
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
3 Dec 10
Hi wolfie, I agree it's a difficult situation, yet some people seem to be able to handle it well. We all have our good points and the best idea I think might be to concentrate on the positive rather than the negative. For example, the daughter-in-law might might praise her mother-in-law for some dish that she does a really good job with, and ask if she'll teach her to make it. This is just one thought and I'm looking forward to other responses. Blessings.
@dodo19 (32873)
• Beaconsfield, Quebec
17 Dec 10
This is definitely a difficult situation. Certainly not the sort of situation many of us want to find ourselves in. I think that the best thing to do is to try and talk about it, very calmly. both sides should listen to what the other has to say and just have patience and stay calm. This would be my advice.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
24 Jan 11
Hi dodo, Thank you for responding and I'm sorry that it took me so long to get back to you. I agree with your advice. Blessings.
@phyrre (2324)
• United States
13 Dec 10
If a relationship starts out wrong like that, it's really hard to fix it later on. Of course, it is possible, but it's going to take work from both parties and it would mean that both parties would need to be dedicated to making the change. I was lucky enough to get a good mother-in-law who actually wanted my husband and I to get together (and had wanted it for a long time, really). I consider her a really good friend and almost from the start she basically considered me as the daughter she never had (and she did want one, but had two boys instead). This relationship, of course, is important to me because I will be giving birth to our daughter in a few months and it's important to me for our families to get along so that she can know her grandparents. On the other hand, my mother is in that same situation, where she's had trouble with her husband's family and they have had a bad relationship from the start and given her grief. At first, my mother tried hard to work to make the relationship better, but no work was put in on his family's behalf, so eventually she gave up. It's sad to see because that means that my sister rarely gets to see that side of the family and there's really not a lot of interaction there because of the strained relationship. I think the first step towards making the change is for all parties to take a step forward. An apology, first off, can go along way, just to say you know I used to think this about you, but I see now that I was wrong and I'm sorry for having judged you like that. After an apology, you might even offer to "start over again" and if both parties agree that can be a great foundation for a new and better relationship. But, again, the key thing is that they both need to want to make the change otehrwise it'll never work.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
13 Dec 10
Hi phyrre, Thank you for sharing this and we agree. You are fortunate to have a good relationship with your mother-in-law because so many don't and it puts a strain on the family, as I'm sure your own mom can attest. It is possible, as you say even after a long time but it does take some doing. Blessings.
@gabs8513 (48716)
• United Kingdom
4 Dec 10
Well Pose I have been there The way I handled it is to keep my feelings to myself, I treated her like my own, I knew though she would not make my Son happy, I knew she would end up hurting him, I also knew she was cheating on him, but I did not interfere It is a known fact that if you try to tell them they will not listen and just blame you for interfering, even though both my Children know me really well and know I would not say anything unless there was a reason, but in this case it is different, they need to learn but you need to be there for them when they need you and never ever say .........I knew this would happen because.....just be there for them
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
5 Dec 10
Hi gabs, Thanks for sharing and that's very good advice, especially what you say at the end. No one wants to hear, "I told you so" or words to that effect. We have to just be there for our children, if and when they need us. We have raised them and they are adults now and must make their own decisions. Blessings.
@Mirita (2668)
• United States
3 Dec 10
Is important to get to know people before we judge them ,so everyone deserves a opportunity before we jump into conclusions. The mother can be honest with the daughter in-law and express her concerns.
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
5 Dec 10
Hi Mirita, Thank you for sharing and that is very good advice. Blessings.
@savypat (20246)
• United States
3 Dec 10
As a mother-in-law I have very strong feelings about this. I raised my kids and I value their feelings enough to stay out of their lives. Whom ever they chose they are the ones that have to live with the relationship, I will accept who ever they pick. This has kept me out of a lot of trouble since several of the marriages didn't go well. But one was great.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
5 Dec 10
Hi savypat, Thank you for sharing this and we agree, it's best for in-laws to stay out of their children's lives, unless they ask for help and than to only make suggestions. My son's mother passed away when they were young men and wasn't there for them. One of my son's came to me for advice in the first or second year of his marriage saying that there were problems. We discussed it and I made a suggestion that he agreed with, but reminded him that the choice was between him and his wife. I didn't speak of it to anyone and I think they may have followed my advice as they are still together seven years later and his wife has always been on friendly terms with me. Blessings.
• Singapore
3 Dec 10
I think the son should try talking to the mother about it. If the future daughter-in-law were to marry the son, then it'll be the start of a bad relationship between the mother and daughter-in-law. When this happens, the son will be in a dilemma everyday, thinking of who to side with. Secondly, the son also has to try talking to his future wife about it, and telling her that no matter what happens, he'll always be with her. Actually, relationships can be improved easily, just by communication. Ever heard of, communication improves harmony? Yes, that's right. Once you communicate, the other party will come to realize it and start to change. One all is done, the son should try to talk his mother into liking her daughter-in-law and that she will be his wife, and also her future daughter-in-law. After that, everything should be ok. Now when they're married, they should always give pocket money to the mother and this task should be done by the daughter-in-law. The daughter-in-law should also frequently take the mother out for shopping and outings, this is another way. Overall, there are a lot of ways to improve a relationship but the most important one of all is communication, I can't stress this enough.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
5 Dec 10
Hi JudgeIronFist, Thanks for sharing those thoughts and I agree, communication is the answer because once that stops there is bound to be trouble. The two must try to find common ground and looks for the good points in each other. Blessings.
@lingli_78 (12845)
• Australia
3 Dec 10
for me, honesty is the best policy in any relationship including mum and son relationship... it is better if the mum be very honest and open to the son as to why she despised his future wife to be rather than waited until both of them getting married... the future daughter-in-law need to know the reason as well... if the mum just keep quiet and let it pass, i'm afraid sooner or later it will affect her son's marriage life in the future... so i think honesty and open communication is the way to improve the relationship in this case... take care and have a nice day...
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
5 Dec 10
Hi lingli, Thanks for sharing this and I agree. Honesty and open communication is very important. If the two can refrain from gossiping about each other, it's a step in the right direction too. Blessings.
@lelin1123 (15645)
• Puerto Rico
2 Dec 10
If I was the daughter-in-law to be I would confront my future mother-in-law and ask her what is wrong, why don't you like me, what did I do to deserve this? Then depending on the answers we may be able to straighten some things out. There may have been missed messages that either on was getting. Then hopefully everything can be worked out. Now if the mother-in-law goes crazy on you well then I think it will be a horrible position to be in for the rest of your life. My future husband might have to get involved to fix the problem or just walk away from his mother. Or we just learn to live our lives without communications from each other and deal with life that way. I would hope things would work itself out and everyone would learn to accept each others differences and just learn to be happy.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
5 Dec 10
Hi lelin, Thanks for sharing your thoughts and honesty is always good. We have to remember too that the mother often resents any women taking her place in her son's affections, she feels that she's being replaced and for some that's hard to deal with. If the daughter-in-law realizes that this is the case, she may not take it so personally. In any case I think they should be nice and look for the good points in each other. Blessings.
• Mexico
2 Dec 10
Hi pose: I think that the mother should talk to her future daughter and law and tell her that she is sorry because she doesn't want to make this situation happends and even if she doesn't agree with some of the things about her she wants to improve their relationship for the sake of her family. I think that to be honest would be a good option. ALVARO
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
5 Dec 10
Hi starsailover, Thanks for sharing your thoughts and that's a good answer. Of course the daughter-in-law has to be willing to do her part as well. When people are willing to look for the good and offer honest praise when they see it, things usually improve. Blessings.
• United States
2 Dec 10
Pose- Dear friend, been there done that and have the t-shirt. I just remained who I was and didn't change for anyone. It is their choice not to come around, to be resentful, and so forth. It is not just the daughter-in-law who may be resentful, it is also the mother-in-law. In my case I simply stayed true to myself. I did not change my husband to suit his mother's wants. I refuse to change anyone to be honest. Now, this does mean we don't see them hardly but they are there in the background peeking in from time to time. I welcome them with open arms when we do see them and as Stine said I am nice. I honestly harbor no ill will toward them and their early treatment of me. That is their issue, not mine. I guess I've just no strength or time in my life to focus on the negative. Things are what they are and I can only do what I am supposed to do in this life. I cannot live the life of someone else for them. Namaste-Anora
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
5 Dec 10
Hi Anora, Very true words, no one can live someone else's life for them. We all change with our experiences but we must remain true to ourselves. It is wrong to try to make someone into something they are not and they will resent you for it. Being nice, being kind and looking for the best in another is the only way. Blessings.