Navigating the Matrimonial Bridge: 6 Unspoken Rules for Mothers-in-Law

Navigating the intricate dance of the in-law relationship can be fraught with challenges. Mothers-in-law, in particular, tread a delicate path, balancing their love for their children with respect for the marriages their offspring have created. Here are six unwritten rules to keep in mind on this journey.

Avoid Picking Sides

One cardinal rule for a mother-in-law is never to take sides in a couple’s squabble. An outsider’s interference can cause a ripple effect, leading to marital discord and even divorce. It echoes Genesis 2:24, which states, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” This principle applies equally to both men and women, signifying the sanctity of the marital bond.

Refrain from Disparaging their Spouse

Mothers-in-law should resist passing negative comments about their children’s spouses. Such words can cause wounds deeper than physical hurt. To insult a person’s spouse is to wound them directly – a cut to one is a cut to both.

Keep Critiques of the Home at Bay

When it comes to the home a couple has built together, it’s essential for mothers-in-law to refrain from criticism. Each home is a labor of love, with each piece of furniture, and each decor choice a reflection of the couple’s joint tastes and decisions. Negative commentary can cast a shadow over the pride and joy they feel for their home.

Bite Your Tongue on Care Critiques

Judgments about a child’s care should also be held back. It’s not fair to criticize a spouse for not caring well enough for their partner. Each individual is unique, and what might seem like negligence to an outsider could simply be a consequence of the person’s nature or personal habits.

Hold Back on Childrearing Chides

Comments like “I’d never let my child do that!” can cause a deep sting. Such declarations indicate a judgment on the parenting abilities of the son-in-law or daughter-in-law, which is neither fair nor productive. Grandparents’ wisdom is invaluable, but it should be offered when sought, not enforced unasked.

Avoid Delving into Past Relationships

Lastly, mothers-in-law should never bring up past relationships. Revisiting previous romantic failures serves no purpose, and comparing the current spouse to an ‘ex’ only sows seeds of discontent and inadequacy.

In conclusion, these rules apply equally to fathers-in-law, too. Couples must be allowed to face and solve their problems independently. Interference can breed tension and adversely impact a marriage. After all, love, respect, and understanding are the cornerstones of familial harmony, extending beyond the immediate family to the in-laws as well.