If marriage was a fairy tale, you would have won the heart of your Mother in Law without compromising on yourself, and she would have showered you with all sorts of love and pampering. But Knock Knock – This is just a dream (Except for a few lucky ones). The reality is pretty hard to face especially for girls. You have to make all sorts of adjustments to make your MiL happy. But what if she thinks you as her property and tries to control your each and every move.
From the moment she enters your life- she talks about the changes you need to make to adjust in the new home. She will not ask your opinion about anything, but will always give you orders, which you have to follow even if you do not like it. Her presence makes you nervous and anxious rather than happy.
Signs that You Have a Controlling Mother in Law
You may want to raise the subject of over-control with your Mother in Law but do not want to offend her. How do you know if she is overly controlling, or just protective?
Also read: Dealing with the mother-in-law from hell!
Mother in Law who is control freak tends to want “everything in its proper place.” She sets rigid structures for you and often issues ultimatums if you do not follow instructions to her specifications.
Always knowing what is best.
And then, your pushy MiL always assume that she knows what is best for you and your family. She refuses to consider alternative courses of action and does not give you the freedom to make decisions.
Being perfectionists, your controlling MiL may set unrealistic goals for you. Her demands, such as perfect cooking, crystal clear home are unreasonable and may cause you to feel that you are incapable of doing anything. To make sure that you do things her way, she often offers constructive criticism. You may lack initiative, as you are too used to her making decisions for you.
Pushy Mother in Law wants a say in your relationships.
Your controlling MiL may want a say in your relationships. She is always around when you invite your friends’ or relatives home and often eavesdrop on your conversations.
Controlling MiL instills self-doubt.
As a means of getting you to do things her way, your manipulative MiL may nitpick on everything you do. She may resort to fear-mongering or over-dramatizing the consequences of not following her actions.
Manipulative MiL monopolizes her child’s affection.
Your pushy MiL may be selfish about your Partner. In an attempt to have him/her for herself, She tries to cut you off from your partner. She may even resort to force to get you to obey her.
Manipulative MiL communicate with you on your partner’s behalf
Your pushy MiL is probably micromanager for your partner. She will do tasks on his/her behalf, fearing that you will make mistakes. Her actions make you feel as though you are not capable enough to take responsibility for your family.
Controlling MiL makes decisions without input from you.
If your MiL is control freak, She will make decisions without consulting you. It tells others that you are incapable of making them on your own.
Controlling MiL always be in touch
Your MiL will bombard your phone with calls if She is pushy. She will want to know about every detail of your life about your workplace, about your friends. She will interfere in every walk of your life.” Your MiL may even cross the line and inquire about your sexual relationships.
Controlling MiL will burden you with unnecessary responsibilities.
In an attempt to monopolize you and your time, your MiL may overload you with responsibilities. The weight may make you feel as though you cannot have a life of your own.
Pushy MiL is always around.
Pushy MiL fails to understand the concept of “three is a crowd.” She always needs to be around and fail to notice when her presence is not wanted.
Controlling MiL is passive-aggressive.
Pushy MiL is often passive-aggressive. She will withhold affection or communication until you fall in her line. Her “silent judgment” is a form of control.
Pushy MiL is impatient.
Controlling MiL is anxious MiL. She does not spare the time to listen to your explanations for your actions. To her, your methods are a waste of time; her ways are always the best.
Dealing with a controlling Mother in Law
Your MiL may display a few, or worse, all the above signs. Do not be discouraged; tapping on a few coping mechanisms will make it easier to adjust to her controlling behavior.
You may have MiL who try to keep you in an Alcatraz-like, emotional prison, but you are responsible for your actions. Develop a plan to set boundaries and gain control of your life.Make the decision to stand up to her, and not get overly angry. Do not obsess over pleasing her; remember that you have your life to live. You are mature enough to handle things on your own. It is absolutely normal that you have your own ways of doing things. Learn from her experiences but just do not let her control your ways of doing things.
Also read: In-Laws Interfering in Your Married Life?
Remember that she is your MiL, even if you disagree with her pushy ways. Resolve the past and let go of any misgivings for your sake, not hers. Confront her with respect, and let her know how you feel. Set your boundaries and let her know, again respectfully, if she has crossed lines. Consider seeing a therapist if she still tries too hard to manage your life.
Try and understand her point of view
Try and practice empathy. Maybe your relationship with your spouse is making her feel insecure. Maybe this is the reason she is trying to control you. Try and make her comfortable and make her realize that changes are for good. You are not trying to take control of her son/daughter. Rather you are a family and she is also an important part of your life. A little empathy will make her more malleable. If you have made early opinions about her based on her controlling behavior then you should overcome it and give her a chance. Spend some quality time with her and maybe you will find out a different aspect of her.
Talk to your Spouse
Have a communication with your spouse and make them feel the stress you are going through due to controlling behavior of her mother. They can always be the best bridge between you and her.It is important that your partner understands your situation. But do not ask your partner to choose between the two.Don’t let difficult relations with in-laws seep into your relationship with your partner.
Do not let your anger overcome who you are. Patience is the key to conquer her. Listen to what she says but do what you like.More than trying to change the other person, accept and adapt ourselves is a better way to deal with this stress.
If none of the above remedies works that the safest is to maintain distance from her. You cannot change your MiL; that is a fact you must accept. However, you can choose to distance yourself from her. Stand your ground, and do not get too defensive if she accuses you of neglecting her. You can say things like:
“I am sorry that you are angry, I can understand why.”
You can steer the relationship with your over-controlling Mother in Law if you set limits with a little tact.If you have any questions you would like to ask, please comment below or ask our expert relationship counselor here.