Ripe with dramatic flair, the daughter and mother-in-law relationship has spawned countless stand-up routines, movie plots and novels. Remember J-Lo and Jane Fonda’s hysterically dysfunctional relationship in Monster-in-Law? Despite being a cliché and an easy punchline, the scenario gets repeated in living rooms across the country as wives desperately ask everyone they know for mother-in-law advice and husbands are caught between the woman they gave a rock to and the hard place his mother will be happy to put them in if she is not satisfied.
The clash seems somewhat inevitable according to Terri Orbuch, psychologist and author of Finding Love Again, who tells CNN: “If women are close to their in-laws, especially early in marriage, this interferes with or prevents them from forming a unified and strong bond with their husband. Also, since women are constantly analyzing and trying to improve their relationships, they often take what their in-laws say as personal and can’t set the clear boundaries.” So while it may impossible to prevent turbulence as a new family is formed and each woman settles into her role, Orbuch implies that setting boundaries and working on the relationship can improve it. In honor of Mother-in Law Day on October 26, here are 14 unexpected pieces of mother-in-law advice.
Speak to your mother in law with respect. Regardless of whatever else is going on between you, she is your elder and the mother of the man you chose as a partner. Either of those two descriptions is sufficient to earn her a baseline level of deference at all times.
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