Dealing with a Jealous Mother-in-Law: Signs Reasons and Strategies


Are You Dealing With a Jealous Mother-in-Law?

Are you struggling with a difficult mother-in-law? Do you find yourself constantly walking on eggshells around her?

It’s not uncommon for mothers-in-law to feel jealous when their sons get married. This jealousy can manifest in a number of ways, making it challenging to navigate this complex relationship.

In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind jealousy in mothers-in-law and how to identify the behaviors associated with it.

Reasons for Jealousy in Mothers-in-Law

When a son gets married, it’s natural for the focus of his attention to shift to his wife. This change can be challenging for mothers-in-law, who may feel like they’re losing their son or their place in his life.

Here are some reasons why mothers-in-law may feel jealousy towards their daughter-in-law:

  • Fear of losing son or place in his life: Mothers-in-law may feel that their relationship with their son has diminished now that he has a wife. They may worry that their son will no longer need them or that they’ll be pushed aside in favor of the daughter-in-law.
  • Feeling less important now that son turns to daughter-in-law for comfort: Sons often turn to their wives for emotional support, leaving their mothers-in-law feeling less important and undervalued.
  • Grieving the loss of a close relationship with son: The dynamics between a mother and son can change significantly after he gets married. Mothers-in-law may feel a sense of loss and sadness as they adjust to this new dynamic.
  • Frustration with changes in the relationship: As relationships change, it can be challenging to adjust. Mothers-in-law may become frustrated with the changes they’re experiencing in their relationship with their son and his new family.
  • Threatened when son takes daughter-in-law’s side in an argument: When a son supports his wife’s position in an argument, it can feel like a betrayal to the mother-in-law. She may feel threatened and resentful towards the daughter-in-law.

Identifying Jealous Behavior in Mothers-in-Law

Jealousy can manifest in a number of ways in mothers-in-law. Identifying these behaviors is the first step in learning how to navigate this challenging relationship.

Here are some common behaviors associated with jealousy in mothers-in-law:

  • Blaming daughter-in-law for any issues between her and son: Whenever there’s a disagreement between a mother-in-law and her son, she may automatically blame the daughter-in-law. This behavior can strain the relationship and create tension.
  • Being rude, dismissive, or ignoring daughter-in-law: Mothers-in-law may choose to act out their jealousy by being rude, dismissive, or even ignoring their daughter-in-law altogether.
  • Expecting son to take her side in disagreements with daughter-in-law: Mothers-in-law may expect their son to take their side in any disputes with their daughter-in-law. This behavior can create tension between the son and daughter-in-law.
  • Playing the victim: Mothers-in-law may play the victim, making their daughter-in-law the “bad guy” in any given situation, and earning sympathy from their son.
  • Being critical to daughter-in-law: Mothers-in-law may become hypercritical of their daughter-in-law’s every move to exert control over their son’s life.
  • Badmouthing daughter-in-law to husband: Mothers-in-law may badmouth their daughter-in-law to their husband, feeding any perceived resentment and causing further issues.
  • Badmouthing daughter-in-law to grandchildren and asking them to keep it a secret: Mothers-in-law may also turn to their grandchildren for support, badmouthing the daughter-in-law in secret.
  • Gaslighting daughter-in-law to question own judgment: Mothers-in-law may also use gaslighting tactics to make the daughter-in-law question their own judgment, adding to the daughter-in-law’s uncertainty and anxiety.
  • Using passive-aggressive behavior: Mothers-in-law who feel a sense of jealousy may use passive-aggressive behavior to convey their frustration, often leaving the daughter-in-law feeling uneasy.
  • Not respecting daughter-in-law’s boundaries: Mothers-in-law may also cross the line often, breaching boundaries and control over their son and daughter-in-law’s relationship.
  • Excluding daughter-in-law from social plans: Mothers-in-law may try to extract themselves from social plans that involve their daughter-in-law.
  • Trying to take control away from daughter-in-law: Mothers-in-law who experience jealousy may try to take control of their son’s life, leaving the daughter-in-law feeling excluded and controlled.
  • Trying to get son’s attention without daughter-in-law around: Lastly, mothers-in-law may try to engage their son in private, wanting to monopolize their time and somewhat controlling over their son.

What to Do When Dealing with a Jealous Mother-in-Law

Dealing with a jealous mother-in-law can be challenging. It’s important to approach the situation with empathy and patience, but also assertiveness.

Here are some strategies to help manage the relationship:

  • Set Boundaries: It’s helpful to set boundaries with a mother-in-law early on in the relationship. Be clear and assertive about what you will and won’t tolerate.
  • Communicate Openly: Open communication is critical to managing any challenging relationship. Talk honestly about how you feel, but be respectful and empathetic towards your mother-in-law.
  • Focus on the Positive: Focus on the things you have in common and try to build a positive relationship with your mother-in-law. Celebrate your common interests and try to spend quality time together.
  • Seek Support: Talk to your partner or a trusted friend or therapist about the challenges you’re facing. Seek advice and support when needed.
  • Stand Strong: Stick to your boundaries and be assertive when necessary. Remember that your relationship with your partner is a priority and doesn’t need to be compromised to appease your mother-in-law.

In conclusion, dealing with a jealous mother-in-law can be challenging, but with time, patience, and communication, it is possible to build a more positive and supportive relationship. Remember to be respectful, assertive, and focus on building a positive relationship with your mother-in-law whenever possible.

Seek support when needed and prioritize your relationship with your partner. With these strategies, you can navigate this challenging relationship and create a more peaceful and harmonious family dynamic.

Clues that a Mother-in-Law is Jealous of Daughter-in-Law

When a daughter-in-law notices that her mother-in-law is acting in a negative way towards her, it can be hurtful and difficult to know how to respond. However, by understanding the reasons behind this behavior, it can become easier to communicate and address the issues.

In this article, we’ll explore the clues that suggest a mother-in-law is jealous of her daughter-in-law and what to do about it.

  1. Constantly comparing daughter-in-law to son’s exes: When a mother-in-law continually talks about son’s exes and how they were the perfect partner, it could mean that she’s not happy with his choice of a daughter-in-law.
  2. Finding something to criticize about daughter-in-law: Mothers-in-law may find something to criticize about a daughter-in-law, even if it’s trivial. This criticism can cause tension and be hurtful.
  3. Excluding daughter-in-law from family events: Mothers-in-law may exclude daughters-in-law from family events, not inviting them, or making them feel unwelcome. This behavior can cause the daughter-in-law to feel left out and can damage the relationship.
  4. Only being polite when necessary: Mothers-in-law may only be polite when it is necessary to do so. This behavior can make the daughter-in-law feel uncomfortable and unwanted.
  5. Ignoring daughter-in-law and talking to others as if she’s not there: Mothers-in-law may ignore their daughter-in-law and talk to other family members as if she’s not present. This behavior is hurtful and disrespectful.

Understanding Mother-in-Law’s Negative Behavior

Negative behavior from a mother-in-law towards her daughter-in-law is often not personal but rather a reflection of the relationship between the mother-in-law and son. When a son gets married, it can be difficult for a mother-in-law to accept that her son is no longer solely dependent on her and that his new wife now shares his attention.

The mother-in-law may feel like she’s losing control or that her role as the primary caregiver is being replaced. This feeling can cause jealousy towards the daughter-in-law.

It’s essential to keep in mind that this behavior is not about the daughter-in-law but rather a manifestation of the mother-in-law’s feelings. This understanding can be the first step in communicating and addressing the negative behavior.

It’s also helpful to get to know the mother-in-law better, perhaps by understanding their upbringing, their values, their experiences, and their insecurities. This knowledge can help the daughter-in-law understand the mother-in-law’s behavior, and in turn, devise communication strategies that can help build a positive relationship.

Knowing about Mother-in-Law Makes it Easier to Decide How to Talk to Her and What to Do

Once a daughter-in-law understands that her mother-in-law’s negative behavior is not personal, it becomes easier to know how to talk to her and what to do. One strategy is to approach the mother-in-law and ask for her advice or engage her in conversation about something she’s interested in.

This approach may help lessen the mother-in-law’s feelings of jealousy and help create a more positive relationship. Another strategy is for a daughter-in-law to involve a third party, such as her partner.

By involving their partner and explaining their feelings openly, it can help the mother-in-law understand the daughter-in-law better. This approach can also encourage the mother-in-law to communicate her feelings, which can help bring the issues to the surface and solve them.

It’s vital to recognize that building a positive relationship takes time, patience, and open communication from both parties. There may be setbacks along the way, but with understanding and empathy, it’s possible to create a more peaceful and harmonious relationship between a daughter-in-law and her mother-in-law.


Negative behavior from mothers-in-law towards their daughters-in-law is not uncommon. By understanding the reasons behind the behavior and clues that suggest a mother-in-law is jealous, it becomes easier to communicate and address the issues.

It’s essential to keep in mind that mother-in-law behavior is not personal but rather about the relationship with their son. Knowing the mother-in-law better can help devise communication strategies that can help in building a positive relationship.

It’s essential to remember that building a positive relationship takes time and patience from both parties. In conclusion, understanding the reasons behind negative behavior from mother-in-laws towards their daughter-in-laws is vital to building a positive relationship.

By recognizing the signs that suggest jealousy and understanding the reasons behind mother-in-law behavior, it becomes easier to communicate and address the issues. It’s important to remember that this behavior is not personal but rather a reflection of the mother-in-law’s insecurities and feelings towards her son’s new relationship.

By implementing strategies like setting boundaries, communicating openly, involving a third party, and focusing on the positive, it is possible to create a more peaceful and harmonious relationship between daughter-in-law and mother-in-law. With time, patience, and understanding, it’s possible to build a positive relationship between the two.

Popular Posts

Sign up for free email updates: