Everyone remembers the 2005 movie Monster-in-Law starring Jane Fonda as a mother-in-law from hell. The movie was a comedy, but if you ask anyone who is dealing with a monster-in-law in real life they will tell you that it is no laughing matter. The sad truth is that dealing with in-laws is frequently cited in divorce cases, but you don’t have to become a statistic.
Not all mothers-in law are evil incarnate. In fact some are very much beloved and respected. They are the antithesis of a monster-in-law – someone who is over bearing, demanding, controlling, a bully, and very intrusive. What can you do if you have a monster-in-law?
- Accept the sad truth that your monster-in-law probably won’t change.
- The only thing that you can change is how you respond.
- Try to find some humour in the situation.
- Set clear boundaries.
- Try not to be alone with your monster-in-law so that you can avoid finger pointing and the no win “you said, she said”.
- Try to avoid situations that trigger certain behaviors.
- Try to detach yourself from the situation as much as possible.
- If you need to address an issue with your monster-in-law do it as a couple with your spouse. Choose a neutral locale and a relaxed time – not at the heat of the moment.
- The critical element in surviving a monster-in-law is a supportive spouse. You must present a united front. If not, you are doomed to failure.
If you haven’t yet been able to find any humour in your situation here is a fun Monster-in-Law quiz that may amuse you.