The Husband’s Mother
Ahhhh the stories and blogs I could share with you about my mother-in-law!! I could fill volumes of books about the woman who gave birth to the husband. It is a complicated relationship between a wife and mother-in-law. The MIL is the first woman in a husband’s life. She was his g0-to-person, the one who nursed his boo boos and chased away the monsters from his bad dreams. She raised him and made him into the man that he is today.
It must be hard to then be “replaced” by a wife. I know a mother can never be completely replaced but when a wife comes into the picture, she suddenly becomes the go-to-person. She is now the one the “boy” shares his hopes and dreams with, the one who will support and comfort him and eventually create a family with him.
How can a MIL not feel some sort of power struggle with the wife, especially if the wife is the first one among her 3 sons?
Welcome to my world. I have been with the husband for 15 years, married for almost 12. He is the oldest of 3 boys and was the first to get engaged and married. To say his mom and I have not always had the best relationship would be putting it mildly.
In the beginning it was great, we were as sweet as pie to each other. We would laugh and tell stories with each other and even buy each other little gifts for no reason. I desperately wanted this woman to like me, maybe love me, and think that I was THE BEST thing to happen to her son and family. I tried my best to live up to her expectations of a “good wife” but I don’t think I ever met them. Honestly, I don’t think anyone could, including herself.
Our relationship can best be described as a roller coaster ride, with extreme highs and lows. I thought once I had kids our relationship could change, now she would have grandchildren (4 boys no less) to spoil and carry on the family name. Things have changed but it is not the bliss I dreamed it would be. With kids came LOTS of unsolicited advice which was not always appropriate.
After all these years I would like to think that the MIL and I have reached a level in our relationship that comes with some comfort, respect and civility. I know that she is not going anywhere and by now she knows that I am not either. We both love her son and her grandchildren and know that they will always connect us. It is not a perfect relationship but it is what it is and I try not to complain too much (try being the operative word) but no one is perfect right?
When the husband and I got engaged my MIL would sign my birthday cards love. When we were newlyweds she signed my birthday card The Husband’s Mother and Father and this year my card (which was early) simply had my in-laws first names on it with no signature whatsoever.
At first I was HIGHLY insulted and complained to my mom and Mrs. Jeter. How could she not put anything after all these years, not even a fondly?? I whined. Mrs. Jeter and my mom both told me I was asking for too much and that I should just be happy to have gotten a card. Wasn’t it better to not have some fake “love” or “fondly” attached. They were right but I still huffed and puffed and threw the card on the counter. I even tried to start a fight with the husband over it (very mature of me I know).
Now as I sit here (when I should be working) I think it’s fine that she didn’t add a fake signature. I need to really accept our “relationship” for what it is and be done with it. Life is too short to waste time and energy on things like birthday cards and now that I am approaching 40 I need to let it go. One day the boys will have wives or partners and I wouldn’t want them to fight over me (even though I am THE perfect mom!).
That being said, please cut me some slack because this is WAY easier said than done and it will take LOTS of time!!!!!!!