…nearly 60 percent of all marriages suffer from tension with mothers-in-law, normally between the daughter-in-law and her husband's mother.
From the archives: In-Laws
I wonder how many of you felt your blood pressure rise at the mere mention of this topic? Well, considering the statistic above, I can bet a number of you bristle in this area of your marriage. And, to our guy readers, I can only address this topic from my perspective but would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
See if you relate to any of these statements:
"She's always telling me what to do"
"She keeps meddling"
"She wants constant companionship"
"She competes with me for my husband"
These tend to be the most common complaints of wives. But for me, I think what I struggled with was the distance. Not just the miles, more than 400 separate us, the emotional distance.
I wanted connection and friendship. My mom-in-law wasn't so good at that. Looking back now and knowing my husband's mother is in the later stages of Alzheimer's, how I wish I could have sat at the kitchen table with her. Chatted like friends, asked questions such as, "What was he like when he was ten? What was his favorite toy and why. Did you have to get after him much?"
My mom-in-law was way to uncomfortable with intimate talk.
Now all these years later knowing this also helps me to see why my husband struggled in our marriage to be demonstrative in his affection. I was raised in a family where we said I love you often. We hugged, kissed, held hands, wrestled on the flood, made popcorn balls on Sunday nights. We loved. We loved out loud. We were also all kinds of other dysfunction but one thing we did right was to tell and show our love.
What I would have given for some of that insight in the early years of our marriage. With this knowledge, however, comes understanding, then forgiveness, and love. And I am determined to show, demonstrate, even teach my husband how to love his daughter out loud. He's come a long way.
As I type these words I feel a tiny bit of anxiousness as I think of my in-laws. My Father-in-law remains a staunch unbeliever. Even after reading our book, Winning Him Without Words, he called me and said, "I really enjoyed your book. You made me laugh and I found it a good book but like my son, faith isn't for me."
I believe I have shared my faith with both of them. But, there are nights I lay awake and I pray for their salvation. I may have been the only one who was sent to them from God to share the truth. I pray that Jesus knows I tried. I will never stop praying for them as long as I have breath and they have life.
What are your struggles with your In-Laws? How do you work through them? Let's help each other out today and share your wisdom in the comments. Your words may be exactly what a struggling wife needs to hear today.
On Monday, I will give you and update about this topic. See you then.