Mother-in-Law and Daughter-in-Law

Mother-in-Law And Daughter-in-Law: The Power of Family

Updated on July 5, 2024

The relationship between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law is one of the most complex and misunderstood relationships in society. Often portrayed negatively in popular culture, this relationship can be a source of tension and conflict, but it can also be a source of love, support, and friendship. In this article, we will explore the dynamics of the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationship, and offer tips on how to navigate it successfully. Whether you are a mother-in-law, a daughter-in-law, or both, this article will provide you with valuable insights on how to build a strong and positive relationship with your family members.

Mother-in-Law And Daughter-in-Law Relationship

The relationship between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law is a longstanding issue that has persisted throughout human history. While this issue has diminished in intensity in our modern world, it still exists as an undercurrent. The rise of nuclear families has played a role in reducing its intensity. Nevertheless, this relationship is still fraught with tension and conflict, with some mothers-in-law unable to view their daughters-in-law as their own and some daughters-in-law unwilling to accept their mothers-in-law as their own. In today’s world, daughters-in-law may be more assertive, but according to traditional beliefs, mothers-in-law are often viewed as the main culprits in this issue. Therefore, we will focus on the role of mothers-in-law in addressing this issue.

The relationship between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law has been a topic of discussion for generations. It is a complex relationship that is often portrayed negatively in popular culture, but it can also be a source of support and love for both parties. In this article, we will explore the dynamics of this relationship and offer some advice on how to navigate it successfully.

Understanding the Dynamics

The relationship between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law can be complicated for several reasons. First, it is a relationship between two women who may come from different backgrounds and have different values and beliefs. Second, there may be a power dynamic at play, with the mother-in-law traditionally being seen as the head of the family and the daughter-in-law being seen as a newcomer. Third, the relationship may be influenced by cultural and societal expectations that can be difficult to navigate.

Uninvited interference

We can find many mothers-in-law tend to interfere in the affairs of their sons and daughters-in-law in inappropriate ways. They offer unsolicited advice and attempt to exert control over their sons as if they were still children. However, most daughters-in-law are uncomfortable with this level of intrusion into their private lives, which can create significant problems in their relationship. The uninvited interference can be seen as a breach of trust and can lead to further tension and conflict.

Differences in customs and culture

Differences in culture and customs can be a significant source of tension between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law. Often, mothers-in-law may hold on to traditional values and beliefs that differ from those of their daughters-in-law. This can lead to misunderstandings and disagreements over issues such as child-rearing practices, household duties, and religious or cultural practices.

Every family has its own unique culture and practices. When a daughter-in-law joins her husband’s family, she brings with her the values and traditions she learned from her own family. These beliefs and practices may be positive or negative. However, when a mother-in-law insists that her daughter-in-law immediately conforms to her own way of doing things, it can cause a breakdown in the relationship. This lack of transparency can lead to misunderstandings and conflict, as the daughter-in-law may feel that her own opinions and traditions are being disregarded. In order to bridge these differences and build healthy relationships, both parties must be willing to listen, respect, and compromise.

Using hurting words

There are some mothers-in-law who often use words that are sharp and bitter, which can cause great harm to their daughters-in-law. Such ill-intentioned language can lead daughters-in-law to feel a sense of animosity towards their mothers-in-law.

Hurtful words from a mother-in-law may include insults, belittlement, criticism, judgment, and mockery. Examples of such words might be calling the daughter-in-law incompetent or lazy, criticizing her parenting or household skills, making negative baseless comments about her appearance or behaviour, or mocking her opinions or values. Such language can cause significant emotional pain and harm to the daughter-in-law and may strain or even sever the relationship between the two.


Many mothers-in-law harbour a selfish desire to keep their sons close to them and under their control. When they sense that their sons’ love and attention are shifting towards their daughters-in-law, they may begin to view their daughters-in-law as enemies and start to resent them. As a result, they may be unwilling to grant their daughters-in-law authority over household matters, insisting on maintaining complete control themselves. When a mother-in-law assumes sole authority over the household, it can create significant problems and lead to strained relationships between the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.

Selfishness on the part of a mother-in-law can manifest in a variety of ways, including a desire to maintain control over her son’s life and decisions, a reluctance to share household responsibilities and decision-making with her daughter-in-law, and an unwillingness to accept her daughter-in-law’s opinions or suggestions. This can create tension and conflict in the relationship between the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, as the daughter-in-law may feel disrespected, undervalued, and unappreciated. In order to build healthy and positive relationships with their daughter-in-law, their mother-in-law must learn to let go of their selfish desires and work towards mutual respect and understanding.


Many Mothers-in-law often have a tendency to compare their daughters-in-law to others in their community. They may praise other daughters-in-law for their skills and abilities while overlooking those of their own daughters-in-law. However, no daughter-in-law would appreciate being compared to others, particularly when it comes to sensitive topics such as dowry, employment, or family history.

When a mother-in-law compares her daughter-in-law to others, it can cause significant emotional distress for the daughter-in-law. Such comparisons may involve comparing her appearance, abilities, or accomplishments to those of other women in the family or community. Additionally, comparisons related to sensitive issues such as dowry, employment, or family history can be particularly hurtful. These comparisons can cause the daughter-in-law to feel inferior, criticized, and unappreciated, leading to strained relationships and resentment.

Tips For Strong Relationship Between Mother-in-Law And Daughter-in-Law

However, it is important to remember that this relationship can also be a positive one. Mother-in-law and daughter-in-law can form strong bonds and provide each other with emotional support and practical advice. They may also have shared interests and experiences that can bring them closer together.

If you are a mother-in-law or a daughter-in-law, there are several things you can do to improve your relationship with each other:

Avoid inappropriate interference

It is important for the mother-in-law to believe that her daughter-in-law is just like her own daughter and to treat her with the same respect and care that you would want for your own child in her husband’s home. Create a welcoming atmosphere that makes her feel like a part of the family. Avoid interfering in every aspect of your son and daughter-in-law’s lives, and refrain from imposing your opinions on them unnecessarily.

It is essential to recognize that they are two individuals with their own thoughts and ideas, and they may be more informed than you in certain areas. Only offer your opinion when asked, and avoid making unwanted comparisons with others. Instead, focus on finding the good in your daughter-in-law, encouraging her, and understanding that she comes from a different background and family tradition. Take time to adapt to one another, and try to learn from each other’s cultural practices. Remember, both you and your daughter-in-law are right in your own way.

Communicate openly and honestly

One of the biggest challenges in this relationship is communication. Both parties should make an effort to communicate openly and honestly about their feelings and expectations. This can help to prevent misunderstandings and build trust.

The strained relationship between the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law is a major cause of family discord. Even educated daughters-in-law sometimes quarrel with their husbands, suspecting that their husbands love their mothers more. Some wives even resent their husbands if they show concern or support for their mothers. It’s important to have an open and honest conversation between husband and wife to address these issues before they become worse.

If a daughter-in-law has negative feelings towards her mother-in-law, she should talk to her husband about it. However, this conversation should not be an opportunity to criticize the mother-in-law, but rather to express concerns without bias and with respect. Since a son knows his mother better than his wife, it is essential to listen to the husband’s perspectives and opinions. It’s also important to consider the problem from the mother-in-law’s point of view.

Logical assumptions based on facts are more reliable than unfounded conjectures. Daughters-in-law should try to tolerate and accept their mother-in-law, who belongs to a different generation and is influenced by different values and beliefs. By understanding this, daughters-in-law can begin to accept their mother-in-law for who she is.

Respect boundaries

It is important to respect each other’s boundaries and not overstep them. For example, a mother-in-law should not interfere in her daughter-in-law’s parenting decisions, and a daughter-in-law should not criticize her mother-in-law’s housekeeping or cooking skills.

Find common ground

Look for areas of common interest and try to build a relationship based on shared experiences. This could be anything from a love of cooking to a shared interest in gardening.

Seek advice from others

If you are struggling with your relationship, it can be helpful to seek advice from friends or family members who have gone through similar experiences. You may also want to consider seeing a therapist or counsellor who can help you work through any issues.

Be patient

Building a strong relationship takes time and effort. Be patient and don’t expect everything to be perfect overnight. It may take some time to find your rhythm and develop a strong bond with each other.

Realize that it may take time to clear up misunderstandings and resolve issues. Change is a gradual process that happens over time. Patience is key. Recognize that your mother-in-law is a human being with her own limitations, just like you. Try to see her as you would see your own mother, and treat her with the same level of respect and care. Often, the daughter-in-law views her mother-in-law as a stranger and tends to magnify their flaws.

Simple steps for a healthy relationship

The relationship between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding. By communicating openly, respecting each other’s boundaries, finding common ground, seeking advice from others, and being patient, you can build a strong and supportive relationship with each other. Remember that this relationship is not just about the two of you – it is also about your shared love and commitment to your family.

Some mothers-in-law may follow their experience as a daughter-in-law at a young age. But that is not a good idea. One of the major problems is many mothers-in-law discuss family matters with other women who give wrong suggestions. Many of those women may put the oil in the fire.

The simple solution for a healthy relationship is to remove the words in-law and make it mother and daughter in your mind. Although this is a common problem, there are many families maintaining a healthy and happy relationship between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. There are many daughters-in-law taking care of their aged mothers-in-law and fathers-in-law.


In conclusion, the relationship between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law is a delicate one that requires patience, understanding, and mutual respect. It is important to acknowledge that each individual comes from a unique background and may have different cultural and societal expectations. However, by approaching the relationship with an open mind, accepting each other’s limitations, and making an effort to communicate effectively, the relationship can be strengthened and both parties can benefit. Correction and improvement should not be one-sided. Both parties should be willing to make changes. In the end, it is the son who suffers the most from the tension between them. Ultimately, a harmonious relationship between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law can have a positive impact on the entire family unit and lead to a happier and healthier home environment.

How is the relationship between the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law in your family?

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Featured Image Photo by Spora Weddings

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