What to do when your future mother-in-law doesn't like you

In life you have three options. Your mother-in-law is going to love you, hate you, or simply tolerate you. Nothing more, nothing less. I am blessed to have an amazing mother-in-law, but I have some friends who are not so lucky. So what do you do when she doesn't like you? Below are a few tips:


So first things first, think deeply. Have you given this woman any reason not to like you? Have you made any shady remarks about the family or her son specifically in her presence? Ever stood her up or canceled last minute plans with the family? Is your partner an only child or did he take on the “man of the house” title when his father left and now there is this weird mother/son slash mother/boyfriend dynamic that she just can’t let go of? (Yo, it happens.) Either way, it's good to reflect and think about why she may not like you. Yes, you’re probably perfect and she’s just hating on you for no reason, but there’s also a chance that something happened in the past that she’s holding against you. Any ideas could help you figure out what to do next.


He may not realize it, but when he proposed and consequently when you exchange vows, he is committing to making you the number one woman in his life. While his mom will always be important to him, she has to take a backseat to you now. So it is his job to make sure that you feel loved and protected, even from his mama.

So how do you do that without being confrontational? Try, “I don't think your mom likes me, what do you think I can do?" Then, be open to his suggestions. Yup, that means putting your petty boots aside and extending the olive branch. You have to think long term here. If this is the man you plan to be with forever, then you also have to expect to put up with his mom for a good amount of time too.

Not let me make sure i say-I did NOT say give him an ultimatum. They’re not healthy in any relationship and most times they don't work. You tell him it's your mother or me, he picks his mom, you stick around anyway, now you're angry and resenting him, a few years later you’re divorced.... Just Don’t!


Now if you’re bold enough, set up a time to talk with her, maybe over dinner. Be aware that you will need to tread lightly and you may even want your partner at the table with you for back up. Start with small talk and then ease into the conversation. For example: "(enter mom’s name) I invited you here because I feel like there’s some tension between us. Do you feel that too?" Then listen. Include things like, “I really care about you and (enter boyfriends name) and I really want to get to the bottom of this. Is there something I said or did that I’m not aware of?” If she plays dumb, be persistent. Bring up specific situations where you felt uncomfortable (this means that you will have to reflect on these before you get to the table).

The most important part is to listen. If you’re one of those people who doesn’t listen to understand, but rather to reply get yourself a large glass of water. Every time you want to interrupt or make a quick response back, take a long drink of water. This will help you think before you talk. The purpose is not to build a deeper hole here.  


Now this is not the easiest route, but it will work well for my passive people and it will allow you to sleep better at night. So, be super sweet and respectful. Address her in a loving manner.  Send her photos of special moments that the family shares. Ask for her help when planning family events or celebrations (promotions, graduations, parties). Finally, praise her for raising such an amazing son, thank her for being a part of the special moments, and for giving her time so generously. In short, treat her so well that eventually she will have to question why she’s treating you like shit. Want to take it a step further? Pray for her ---relentlessly. Maybe she won’t change on her own, but if you’re a praying woman then you know that God changes things.


If you're like me and had a kid out of wedlock or plan to have some in the near future, this is important. 

Now, I get it, I get it. You’re thinking why would I allow this woman to be around my children when she can't respect me. The truth is as long as she’s not an unfit grandparent and is not bad mouthing you to your kids, then you should let her have her time. Yes, it makes your skin crawl, but don’t punish the kid, which is what you do when you don't allow them to establish a relationship. This is a problem between you and her. I'm assuming you both want the best for your child(ren) and so she may not like you, but she will get her act together to see them. If push comes to shove, let your partner drop the kids off if you don’t want to be bothered. Just make sure that you put your child’s well-being first and keep in mind how important family is. 

So what did I miss? Whether you agree or disagree, comment below or share this blog on your favorite form of social media below and start a conversation with your friends (unless your future mother-in-law follows you). Want access to our library of resources about dating, sex, and relationships? Sign up here!