Think your the relationship with your mother-in-law is doomed? Would you believe if I said it might not be?
It’s certainly not possible in every circumstance. Our readers confirmed that when you all so generously shared your stories in 10 Things A Mother-in-Law Should Never Utter To A Daughter-In-Law. Some of the stories left in the comment section (and in the readers round-up post prompted by them), I couldn’t even fathom. There are indeed some MILs out there who have psychological and mental issues that are far beyond repairing.
Yet assuming that the relationship with your mother-in-law is just strained and/or uncomfortable, there may be hope. Before you close the door forever on your husband’s mother, consider the fact that it might actually be salvageable, says family therapist Tom Kersting, Ph.D.
Kersting is the co-host of the new series “Monster-in-Laws,” a reality show set to premiere on A&E October 24th:
“We taped 13 episodes with families all across the country that were at war with each other. I became a constant in their lives for two weeks while I used some pretty unconventional techniques to get the in-laws of both generations to see eye-to-eye. The results were amazing. In the end they’d be in one another’s arms crying and hugging and saying they finally understood each other. So peace is possible if people get professional help.”
Is it really that easy though? I suppose if both sides are willing to work it out, anything is possible. It’s just that in many cases, either the DIL or MIL closes down, each feeling they are right (or have been wronged), and is unwilling to put work into the relationship.
In quite a few of the stories sent to us from readers, not only did the MIL/DIL relationship end, but so did the marriage, and many said the MIL played a large part in the demise. Others said the whole family was crazy and they have never been happier than to be away from them once and for all. In those circumstances, maybe parting ways is the best thing you can do. Certainly if anyone’s behavior borders on psychopathic, ceasing contact is the healthiest choice for you and your family (husband included).
But if it’s not that extreme, therapy can be a wonderful thing if both sides are game. “Monster In-Laws” will feature real-life married couples. Relationship experts bring the family together to face their issues head on with the goal of reaching common ground and mending the relationship. The show will premiere on A&E October 24th in back-to-back episodes.
When it’s the daughter-in-law’s fault: 5 Things A Daughter-In-Law Should Never Do!
Read Danielle’s blog Just Write Mom.
Absentee Grandparents: They say they’re excited, but where are they?