5 Ways To Set Healthy Boundaries With Your Mother-In-Law

Written by , BA Hons Indrani Karmakar BA Hons linkedin_icon Experience: 2.5 years
Last Updated on

Marriage is not just about marrying your spouse; it is also about uniting two families and accepting each other as your own. Even though the law dictates that his mother is your mother now, you rarely develop unconditional love for her overnight. Through centuries this estranged relationship has been projected in the form of novels and movies. Even though some are blessed with MILs who are caring, others struggle to define boundaries in the relationship. No one wants to wake up to see the MIL reshuffling the furniture according to their choice. Here is how to set healthy boundaries with your MIL without offending anyone in your house. Read on to know them all.

1. Involve Your Husband In The Workings Of The House


In most cases, the house is run by the mother alone, and the children, especially the son, have very little idea about most things. When that son marries and has a wife, he is as clueless as he was before the marriage and doesn’t want to mess things up. This is why he involves his mother in running the house as she has done this for him in the previous years of his life. This might seem like a nuisance to you, but he is doing it with good intentions. The best way out is to teach him how the things in the house work. Once he is confident about himself and his ability to manage things, he will stop depending on his mom to solve stuff in his own home.

2. Don’t Compete With Her

Image: Shutterstock

The last thing you want to do is compete with your MIL for her son’s love. But it doesn’t have to be this way. A mother’s love and your love for your spouse are never the same. And loving one does not mean abandoning the other. So once you are married and share the home with her, you don’t have to try and be a better person in the house. If she likes cooking meals for the family, let her do it the way she likes. If she runs the place in a way, do not try to change the house’s course in one day. Most MILs have strained relationships because they are scared of losing their authority in the place. Once you assure her that you are not a threat but a support, you might even win her confidence and have a mother in the house to depend on.

3. Don’t Obstruct The Mother-Son Relationship


You might want your husband to yourself, and for the first few months, no one wants to disturb the newlyweds, but do not try to stop your husband from being with his mother. This will not only upset your MIL but also your husband. Just because he calls her first and wants to get her affection does not mean he is giving her your share of love. You and your husband should make schedules where they can go out and spend time together. You can do the same with your family too. This way, it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

4. Say No With Confidence

Image: Shutterstock

No matter how badass and sassy you are, no one purposely wants to break the poor lady’s heart. So if your boundaries are not set already, she might be walking into your house when she wants, calling you when she wants, and even bringing in guests at her own sweet will. If you think pleasing her once or twice will send her the message, it probably will do the opposite. The best thing to do is set boundaries from the beginning. Communication is key, and the earlier, the better. Be as polite as you can and explain why she can’t call you at work, or you can’t be there to receive her and the guests at home all the time.

5. Try Family Therapy


With our experience, there is a good chance you could be stuck in a place where none of the above tricks work on your ‘situationship’ with your mother-in-law. This is when you need your family to be by your side. Sometimes explaining boundaries to your mother-in-law can be tricky, especially when she barges into your life with all good intentions. Make sure you share the weight with your partner, and don’t try to take it all on yourself. There is nothing wrong with defending your boundaries, so you shouldn’t be guilty for taking a stand against what your likes and dislikes are. If you still feel that sharing with your family and communicating with your MIL is not bearing effective results, it’s time to take a break and find peace in your married life.

The relationship between Mother-in-law and daughter-in-law is not an easy going one. This is mainly because people assume either of them to be a monster who will bring problems to the relationship. Thankfully with time, MILs are more understanding, and daughters-in-law no longer pose a threat of taking the son away from the mother. The trick is to be involved in one’s life without disrespecting each other’s boundaries. So, which of these points could you connect to the most? Let us know in the comments section!

Was this article helpful?
Indrani Karmakar
Indrani KarmakarSenior Social Writer
Indrani is a writer and artist who likes to add a dash of humor to everything she does. She has two years of experience in writing articles across beauty, health, and lifestyle genres. After graduating in Political Science from Calcutta University, she took a detour into the world of creativity and discovered her knack for social writing, advertising, designing, and doodling.

Read full bio of Indrani Karmakar