Updated 19 February 2013

Mom vs. wife

In-laws who don't like her and a mother-in-law who is still friends with an ex-girlfriend are making these wives see red.

It’s an age-old problem, the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationship. Conflict between a partner and an in- law can cause distress to a marriage. Our forum users give advice to two women. 

Q: My mother-in-law is still friends with my husband’s ex girlfriend.

How would you feel if you found out that your MIL is still friends with your husband’s ex-girlfriend? Here’s the background: we have been together for 10 years, since school. He had a girlfriend throughout high school and they broke up, and a few months after that we got together, and have been together since. The ex-girlfriend and I were never good friends, but we shared the same circle of friends when we were younger. Throughout the years I was lead to believe that nobody in his family liked her while they were dating, and things like that - you know, the gossip. To my surprise, I found out on the weekend that my MIL is friends with her on Facebook, and is regularly updated on what she and her kids are doing, and even dared to say what a good mother she’s become.  

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Forum user answer

I understand your frustration and you being upset, however, you did say that you have both moved on and both happily married. I personally wouldn’t stress too much about it. My opinion is that it’s your MIL friend not yours. If you find out she is talking about you and hubby then you take up that issue but you don’t get to choose her friends. 

Q: My in-laws don’t like me, this is tearing my marriage apart, what can I do?

I have been married to my husband for three years now but ever since I have been with him it has been a nightmare. We got involved soon after he broke up with the mother of his first child but his family didn’t accept that they have broken up.  The mother didn’t want to move on, when he went to introduce me to them they never gave me a warm welcome but I was never negative I just thought that it was just because they are not used to me and they still need time to deal with the fact that their son has moved on and he has another person in his life.

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Forum user Answer

This is very difficult. Remember, just as your new baby will always be a part of you, your husband will always be a part of his mom. Not a lot of people choose their partners above their family. They expect us (the wife/husband) to accept the new in-laws. And they don’t realise the problem normally is from both sides even if it started from their side by now you surely can’t like them.

I have no problem with my in-laws. But SIL will never be my best friend, we are too different - hubby sees this as me not liking her. 

I have no problem with my MIL - but she is like 20 years older than my mom. So it’s different! My mom takes care of me but I have to take care of MIL. He doesn’t understand that I don’t want MIL around when I am sick or just after baby is born. 

I have no answer for you. Except that you should try to rather not tell him how the in-laws treats you badly - he sees this as a personal attach. Try to handle it yourself.

Decide if you would like help after your baby is born. Then ask MIL yourself if she’d help: flatter her (even if you don’t mean it -do it for your husband and your unborn baby). Tell her she has raised such a great son and you are uncertain if you’ll cope after baby is born, if she’d mind if you stay with her for the first week.

Perhaps this is what you both need for the relationship to become better? If you’re not up for this, tell hubby you’d prefer for you three to be alone together for the first few days to bond better. 

(Compiled by Leandra Engelbrecht, Health24, June 2012)

(Picture: Angry woman from Shutterstock)

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