I need prayer for a relationship with my Monster-in-law

Carol - posted on 04/21/2013 ( 48 moms have responded )

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I don't handle my mother- in- law well at all. My husband and I have been married for 8 years and I had a big blowout with her last month. I feel like the best way to get along with her is to spend minimal time around her because she is always criticizing me. Is that wrong? He is an only child and my 2 boys (4 and 6) are here only grandchildren. I have sure tried to get along with her, but it has never worked. She is always undermining me with my kids and criticizing me for who I am and how I am. I feel that she doesn't know how to close her yap ever and the best thing I can do is limit my phone time and visit time with her tremendously. I think it's over with her and I and the best thing to get along is to spend very little time together. My husband isn't very happy with this but understands how mean she has been since day pretty much the first month she met me. She has given continually snyde and rude comments. When I was pregnant with our 2cd she said "We really thought one was enough". It's continual and I try ignoring it but I can't for some reason. I never limit my husband or the kids, but I just can't be around her very long. So, I need prayer to ever be around her anymore.

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Carla - posted on 04/22/2013

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Gee, Carol, you must be a long-lost sister-in-law ;) I am going through this with my own mother (as Angela will attest), and I know for a fact it isn't easy. From having been there with my own mother, I think your limiting your exposure to her is the right thing to do. But there's something else that you need to also think about: your kids. My mother bad-mouthed her grandchildren's 'other' gramas, resulting in them naturally shunning the other grama and favoring her. She felt we weren't well suited to motherhood and therefore tried (and succeeded in a couple) to get the grandchildren to live with her and my dad.

Confronting her MAY help, but, it may not. I will tell you the same thing I told myself FINALLY, pray for her, but give her a wide berth. My mother lives about 10 steps outside my back door, and not having a relationship with her is indeed difficult.

And what is wrong with Hubby? WHY is HE allowing her to speak to you in such a manner? 'A man is to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and they two shall become one'. You two are now one, so if she is bad-mouthing you, it SHOULD also offend him. This is going to be a bone of contention in your marriage if you two are not on the same page. Talk to him openly about how this hurts you. Tell him you don't want your children exposed to her damaging words. If she is mean to you, will she do the same with the children? Really, honey, this is a no-brainer, and yet--we let our mother go on much longer than we should have, out of fear--yes, fear. She can let go of such wrathy words that you feel physically wounded, and she has been physical with us all as well.

Father, You tell us to honor our fathers and mothers, which we have tried to do. But situations such as these are damaging to the family YOU gave us. I pray for Carol as well as for myself, that we can confront our respective mothers' situations with Your love. I pray for wisdom for us both, that we will do what is right--honoring and yet protecting ourselves and our children and grandchildren. In Jesus' Name, amen.

God bless, babe.

Angela - posted on 04/22/2013

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She thought "one was enough" because SHE only had the one child!

After 8 years of marriage, this old trout's not going to be so easy to put in her place. You should have spoken up earlier.

Instead of responding to her aggressively or avoiding her - why not try the questioning approach? Every time she offers a word of criticism - ask her WHY she feels she has the right to say this. Remember you're asking her why she has the RIGHT to say it, not why it's a reasonable/sensible/valid/wise/appropriate comment to make.

The most important point you need to make to her (and also establish with yourself) is BOUNDARIES. Your husband may be her only child but his first loyalty needs to be with YOU.

Here are some useful weblinks on boundaries in marriage and how to keep interfering in-laws within the boundaries they must observe. Some links are from Christian sources, others are secular - all give good counsel.

http://www.todayschristianwoman.com/arti...
http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage...
http://www.christianet.com/christianmarr...
http://www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage...
http://marriage.about.com/b/2007/05/29/i...
http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/kreitz/Ch...
http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/2...
http://www.wikihow.com/Deal-With-a-Diffi...
http://www.hitchedmag.com/article.php?id...
http://www.parentsconnect.com/parents/fa...
http://www.covenantkeepers.org/index.php...

Karen - posted on 06/11/2013

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Sometimes those mother in laws don't realize what they are saying or that they can lose their only son if they don't quit the comments. You need to be respected by your husband and children, and if she refuses you should keep her away from the grand kids too. You don't need her undermining your parenting. Your husband needs to be the one to take a stand and demand that she treat you with respect and make no comments about you or the whole family will shun her. She can't have it her way. Her way will hurt the grand children's view of their mother.
My mother was very rude to my brothers wife. She disapproved of his choice of wife. She made enough comments to hurt the wife's feelings and put a dent in their relationship. My brother did the right thing and moved his family 3 hours away from The mother in law/ grandma. They were all happy except grandma. She could call her son,say hello and catch up, but he wasn't coming over unless his wife was happy to visit. Never happened. So, it pays for mother in laws to be nice to their daughter in laws if you want to keep your son in your life. Otherwise, the bible teaches that a " man shall leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife."

Rebecca - posted on 04/26/2013

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Father please grant Carol the fruit of patience. Help her to understand this relationship with the mind of Christ.

Rebecca - posted on 08/03/2013

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Father, please give Carol the wisdom to know the right thing to do and the courage to do it.

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Rebecca - posted on 07/30/2013

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Father, you are the source of all wisdom. Please give Carol wisdom as she deals with this situation.

Rebecca - posted on 07/30/2013

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Father, please help Carol to be alert to the schemes of the evil one. Please protect this family from him. Help Carol and her husband to walk in oneness in Christ. Let nothing undermine their relationship.

Rebecca - posted on 07/25/2013

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Please help Carol to love and fear you alone God. Help her to do what is right in your eyes.

Rebecca - posted on 07/22/2013

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Father, help Carol to commit this relationship with you and trust you. Thank you that you can do immeasurably beyond what we can even dream of.

Carla - posted on 07/15/2013

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I agree 100%, Angela. Paul said 'with whatever is within you, live in peace with your fellow man'. There are some people that live to push other people's buttons. They are not happy unless they are stirring up trouble, then lament because their family is fighting. Nothing makes them happy. They are usually terribly self-centered, so because their lives aren't perfect, they set out to make every one else miserable, too.

I HAVE to limit contact with my mother. It's sad, but a fact of life. Staying away from a person who doesn't have the capacity of acting loving and civilized is wise. Give her to the Lord and ask Him to change her heart, then walk away. Make sure your husband understands that if she starts bad-mouthing you to your children when he takes them to visit, he needs to withdraw them from the situation as well. This is another manipulation tactic aimed at making the children think she is the one who loves them best, and will try and separate you and them. Been there, done that.

My prayers are with you. This isn't an easy situation, but allowing her to divide the family isn't doing her any favors.

God bless

Angela - posted on 07/15/2013

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@ Danielle Costin .....

To quote part of your post: "she will never need to get better because the hope is you will grow and you will see her as God does."

I really disagree with this. If someone - anyone - is falling short of the mark where they need to get along with others, particularly family members, it's wrong to say they will NEVER NEED TO GET BETTER and that others will (hopefully) develop a similar insight to God in order to be able to accept them!

None of us are perfect of course and all of us will have some habits and behaviours that irritate other people. But overstepping boundaries within the family is a biggie!

I do agree with the rest of your post, by the way.

Rebecca - posted on 07/14/2013

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Father please meet Carol's needs for wisdom, patience, understanding and support in this situation.

Danielle - posted on 07/14/2013

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its ok to see people when your able to cope. its not about tolerating your mother in law its about how can you love her.
just like you, she is a person with limitations. comments made to you regarding having 2 kids is prob related to what she could cope with. i find people who make snide remarks are people who have low coping skills.
if you need time to learn to be respectful then take it, take the time to learn how to respectfully disagree and read up on how to protect your boundaries. you are a great wife, mother and daughter in law, spend your time working out how you should act and she will get easier to cope with.
she will never need to get better because the hope is you will grow and you will see her as God does.

Rebecca - posted on 07/14/2013

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Dear God, Help Carol to build her life on Jesus. May she look to him for the wisdom, courage and strength she needs.

Rebecca - posted on 07/09/2013

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Father, please help Carol and her husband to live with each other in an understanding way. Help them to put their relationship first.

Rebecca - posted on 07/02/2013

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God, who can even bring dry bones back to life, you are a God of miracles. We ask for a miracle here for Carol in her relationship with her mother in law. Please bring peace and healing.

Rebecca - posted on 07/02/2013

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Father, please give Carol the wisdom and strength she needs to handle this and her other relationships well.

Rebecca - posted on 06/28/2013

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God, who is able to do infinitely beyond our wildest prayers, desires, hopes and dreams, please restore this relationship.

Rebecca - posted on 06/25/2013

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Father, help Carol to walk in your light and truth. May she be quick to confess any sin against her mother-in-law. Help her to be blameless in this relationship.

Rebecca - posted on 06/22/2013

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Father, help Carol to do all that is possible to show love and respect to her mother-in-law. Help her to love supernaturally by faith.

Rebecca - posted on 06/18/2013

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Thank you God that we live in your strength and grace. Please fill Carol up to the full with all she needs today.

Rebecca - posted on 06/16/2013

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Dear God, please work in Carol and her mother in law. Please heal this relationship. Please bring good for them.

Rebecca - posted on 06/15/2013

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Thanks Father that Carol belongs to you. Help her to walk in confidence as your child.

Carla - posted on 06/12/2013

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I met my husband in Washington, where he was stationed, and after we married and he was discharged, we moved to Michigan. I was divorced, 21, with a 6 and 4 y/o. My children were absolutely adorable, and nobody in their right minds wouldn't want a relationship with them ;) My mil, a devout Catholic, disapproved because I was divorced. My husband, 20 at the time, told her if she didn't accept the children and me, we would move back to Washington. Although our relationship was a little shaky, she never spoke about me to others. She made the comment to him 'no one in our family has been divorced!' He said 'really, Mom? What about Dad?' Oh, she had forgotten about her own HUSBAND ;)

If this little kid I married had the guts to stand up to his mother, this should be an example to the older guys. Your wife is now a part of you. Your mother cannot separate you--unless you allow it.

God bless, all

Rebecca - posted on 06/10/2013

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Father, may there be love and understanding in this family, especially between Carol and her husband.

Rebecca - posted on 06/09/2013

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Father, we continue to commit this relationship to you. Thank you for putting this woman into Carol's life. Please give Carol wisdom about how to handle this relationship. Please work good out of this.

Alisha - posted on 06/08/2013

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That's tough! Did you try talking to her about why she is critical to you or did your husband talk to her? I definitely would not talk bad about her around the kids. You can't say you and her are over because you did marry into her family so you will have to deal with her. Maybe make a trice with her if she has a suggestion she should tell your husband if she doesn't know how to say it nicely. That's tough!

Rebecca - posted on 06/07/2013

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Thank you God for your victory. Help Carol to walk in your life, your strength, your peace.

Rebecca - posted on 06/02/2013

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Father, help Carol to be strong in you. Help her to walk in your truth and your love.

Rebecca - posted on 06/01/2013

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Father, please help Carol to find her security and significance in you. Help her to abide in your truth and walk in wisdom.

Rebecca - posted on 05/28/2013

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Father, help there to be love and respect in this family. Help Carol to be a good example to her boys in how she deals with this difficult situation.

Rebecca - posted on 05/24/2013

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Father, please give Carol great wisdom in handling this relationship. May she be pure and blameless in her dealings.

Rebecca - posted on 05/21/2013

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Father, please give Carol much grace as she deals with this challenging relationship.

Rebecca - posted on 05/18/2013

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Thank you God for the good work that you are doing in this family. Please help Carol to continue to trust you and choose what is right. Please conform her to the image of your son.

Rebecca - posted on 05/14/2013

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Father, I ask again for your help for this family. Help these children to be able to have good relationships with their parents and their grandparents. Help Carol's husband to understand and support her. May his loyalty be to her above his parents.

Rebecca - posted on 05/13/2013

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Father, please help Carol's marriage to be strong through this. Help them to love and understand each other and to put each other first.

Rebecca - posted on 05/11/2013

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Father, please help Carol to be able to handle her mother in law in a godly way. Help her to trust you for the strength she needs.

Rebecca - posted on 05/07/2013

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Father, please help Carol to do what she needs to do, but with campassion and grace.

Rebecca - posted on 04/30/2013

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Father, please help Carol to walk in your truth. Help her to handle her mother-in-law with grace and truth. Keep her from sinning against her.

Rebecca - posted on 04/28/2013

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Father, please help Carol in this relationship. Help her to love and respect her mother in law while protecting herself and her own family. Please give her wisdom on how to do this.

Rebecca - posted on 04/22/2013

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Thanks Father that you love Carol and have a great future for her. Give her wisdom in how to handle this difficult relationship. Help her to be patient and tenacious in bringing her mother in law before you in prayer.

Linda - posted on 04/21/2013

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You didn't say whether she was a Christian or not. Also, have you ever tried to confront her, telling her that she is saying cruel things? I think I would tell her that I would love to have a relationship with her if she can be civil but that if she cannot, then the relationship would have to be limited. You just can't submit yourself to repeated abuse forever.

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