Women often worry what they did, or did not do, to make their mother in laws hate them.
The funny answer is, you did nothing. As a matter of fact, it’s not about you at all.
She doesn’t hate you for who you are, she hates the idea of not having a job.
You see, before you came in the picture, she was pretty much responsible for keeping the household in place. She was the Chief of House.
But then you come in the picture, which also means it is time for her to step back, not exactly retire, but at least no longer be the one who calls the shots.
This puts her in a very uncomfortable position. Earlier she had an identity, a specific well defined role to play. And now, you’re here, so she is going to have to let-go of her prime duties.
This is hard for her, because she is attached to her job, and doing it in a specific manner.
That’s when she begins to micro-manage you. In her mind, you are a new hire, who needs to be trained, and taught her ways. Even when you didn’t ask to be trained.
In truth, she isn’t trying to train you, she is simply wanting to judge you, and do so harshly, because then she gets to complain about you, and say how bad you’re at your job.
Simply because if she accepts that you are in fact great at what you do, then she will need to resign.
It means losing her job, and the sense of self she derived from it.
Being a homemaker was not just her duty, it was her whole identity.
As a daughter in law, you pose a threat to that identity. You know why? Because she knows just how valuable you are.
You are the next Chief of House. An undeniable fact.
Yet, she may not be ready to accept it, without first bickering, and making some noise.
However, if you don’t give in to her drama, and just carry on with your life, she will see that you are not interested in her non-sense.
She might go a level further, and try to influence other stakeholders at house: your husband, your father in law. But anyone in their right mind, will be able to see what’s really going on.
This is also the phase, where the family as a whole needs to come together and have compassion for the lady who did her best to keep the house in place.
It’s much like an old, hard working employee, who knows he is about to be replaced. You don’t go about bashing him for his cold reaction, but instead extend your understanding, support, and encouragement to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
As a daughter in law, the right thing for you to do, is see what is happening, and attach zero value to the drama.
As time passes, the mother in law will see, she is having no effect on you, and if you respond with kindness each time she attacks you, she will have no choice but to melt.
Love is the most soothing balm, for the aching of the ego.
Slowly, but surely, her insecurities will die, and with each passing moment, your bond with her will grow so strong, that she will transform from your enemy, into your most trusted ally.
You might think that this is more fantasy than reality, but it is a fact.
Doing so requires character strength, and a loving heart.
In the end, marriage is for adults, and not children. And the definition of being an adult is being the master of your self, who does not allow circumstances to define you, but who stays unshaken, even in the midst of chaos.
The key takeaway here is: if you want to conquer ego, do so with love, nothing else works.