Is She Meddling or Just a Concerned Mother-in-Law?

Updated 04/05/19

Marriage is a blessing. New in-laws? Not so much. Beginning a life with the person you love is beautiful, and their partnership may help you deal with your first major hurdle: rocky relationships with new family. 

We have all heard stories of mother-in-laws driving newlyweds crazy. But lest we forget the ones who meddle throughout a couple's marriage. Being able to sniff out meddling mother-in-laws is one way to confront the problem and make sure it does not get in the way of your relationship. Read on to discover the top 10 signs that you have a meddling mother-in-law on your hands. 

10 of 10

She tries to take over your wedding.

Credit: Matthew Sperzel. Getty Images

The movie Monster In Law shows this scenario with a comic tilt; it's about a MIL who attempts to sabotage a wedding to avoid growing her family. Often this types of in-law mistake such celebrations as her own. Consider it a red flag if yours attempts to throw herself the wedding she never had. 

09 of 10

She thinks she’s your B.F.F.

Do you already have a good relationship with your MIL or does she just want you to think so? While it is possible, even wonderful, for you to be friendly with your partner's mother, it is unlikely that you will want to spend a lot of time together or speak too frequently. If she calls you all the time and offers unsolicited advice (which may actually turn out to be veiled criticism), then that could be a warning sign of meddling. 

08 of 10

She wants to join you on the honeymoon.

An overbearing mother-in-law hates the thought of her little one being looked after by anyone that isn't her; this could apply to vacations or other big commitments like moving away. Don't let your situation get too similar to the tale of Oedipus.

07 of 10

She starts arguments between you and your partner.

Who knows us better than our moms? That can come in handy for a MIL looking to start some drama between you and your spouse. A meddling in-law will consistently start fights. She my bring up sensitive subjects that you may be uncomfortable with or bend the truth about past events that you had settled long ago. This behavior is highly manipulative and should be stopped in its tracks. 

06 of 10

She cleans your house and does your laundry.

This is a tricky one. On the surface, this seems like a good deed. After all, your mother-in-law is helping you complete household chores. With some mother-in-laws, that is exactly what is happening—she is there to help. But with others, there are ulterior motives, like going through your things or criticizing your housekeeping abilities. You’ll know if your MIL is one of the latter types if she makes snide comments or you catch her snooping.

05 of 10

She negotiates with you for your spouse's time.

Meddling mother-in-laws fail to realize that their adult children are married and that their spouses get first dibs on their time now. Instead, they go straight to the spouses to make up schedules and demand a certain amount of time. All three of you are independent people, and these negotiations are also a sign of manipulation. It will likely affect your spouse just as badly as it affects you, so together you can tackle the issue. 

04 of 10

She makes you feel guilty.

Skillful mother-in-laws will get you to feel guilty about things you didn’t even do or that you shouldn't apologize for. The guilt is the first step in manipulating your decisions and your relationship with your partner. Marriages are about making decisions together, but do not let your MIL become a third voice against your own best interests. 

03 of 10

She treats your spouse like they are still a baby.

There’s a difference between being a good mom and treating an adult like they are a child. Watch out for MILs who are proud to still be a huge part of their child's life, especially in front of you, a representative of her child's new life. It’s too weird, and it’s a problem you must nip in the bud with your spouse. 

02 of 10

She dictates your life.

If your partner puts too much stock into Mom’s opinion or turns to her before turning to you, then you could have a meddling mother-in-law on your hands. If her opinion is more important to your husband, he could be swayed into making decisions that affect your relationship based on his mother’s desires. This is particularly dangerous because it could get in the way of your marriage, but keeping an open dialogue from the very start will make it easy to deal with. 

01 of 10

She wants to move in with you.

There’s no question that you are dealing with a meddling mother-in-law if she is doing all she can to move into your home with the two of you. She can’t accept that her child is married, and she wants to be in the middle of your marriage constantly. This is the worst case scenario, so hopefully you won't reach this far before realizing your mother-in-law is not to be trusted. 

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