Mama Drama – Mother-in-law edition
Dear Funny Problems,
I have a…complicated relationship with my mother-in-law. Whenever she stops by my home she tends to make disparaging comments about my decorating choices. She also moves things around without asking for permission. While I have grown accustomed to this behavior I feel like her most recent move has crossed the line. Yesterday she stopped by the house and dropped off new throw pillows for my living room couch. What the hell?! The pillows I have are perfectly fine and this time she has gone too far. Do I have to put them out and is it ok if I put this woman in her place?
99 problems but a pillow aint one
Dear 99 problems,
Ouch. Kinda sounds like your MIL is playing house in your house. What does your husband think about this? Actually, don’t answer that. Mothers and sons are weird about each other. Anywho, you’re offended and I understand why. Do I think you have to put these new pillows on your couch? Absolutely not. They were a gift (I think) and you can just say thank you and throw them in a closet. However it’s clear that this FP is about more than just pillows; you feel disrespected and boundaries have been crossed. Let’s dive in, shall we?
I think intention plays a big role in this. Are you open to the possibility that her heart is in the right place but that she’s just a touch uncouth? Her behavior says a lot more about her personality then it does about you and your sense of style. This may be a trait of hers, not necessarily an attack on you.
Or, what do I know, maybe she is rude and is intentionally trying to hurt you. Either way you have some options here. You can:
A. Accept that this is who she is and anticipate more in the future. Hopefully this will help you take her actions less personally. Remember this is about her, not you. If it helps try to focus on what you DO like about her.
B. Tell her that she’s upsetting you and try to repair/change the relationship. Be mindful that this option will alter your dynamic (if you want it to) so make sure your heart is open to positive change. If you go into the conversation looking to get into a fight my guess is that you’ll find one and end up feeling even worse afterwards.
C. Turn it into a drinking game and take a shot every time she offends you.
The option you choose is based entirely on what you want from this relationship. If you’re looking to attempt a more peaceful coexistence with your newly managed expectations, I would choose A. If you’re looking to run the ball down the field with her and attempt to form a closer bond/better understanding of one another, I would choose B.
Mother-in-law dramas have been playing out since the beginning of time and don’t forget that one day you too might turn into the big bad MIL.