Married Life

19 Things You Should Never Say to Your Mother-In-Law

Mother-in-law, monster-in-law, whatever you wish to call her, you have to admit that it is one of the trickiest relationships to handle. Having said that, if you’re married, odds are you have a mother-in-law unless she passed away before you had the chance to marry. In that case, it’s very sad but also leaves you out of the usual mother-in-law drama.

I’m sure the majority of married women can relate when it comes to mothers-in-law. Many women share cordial and warm ties with their mothers-in-law, leading them to wonder if all the fuss around this particular relationship is mere hype.

Then others would rather go swimming in shark-infested waters than spend an evening with their mothers-in-law.

Relationship with a mother-in-law

Things You Should Never Say To Your Mother-In-Law

So, however, your equation with your mother-in-law may be like, there are a few things that you should never, ever, say to her. That is if you wish to spend a blissful life with your better half. The next time these lines come to your mind, zip your mouth, picture her as a tadpole, or whatever works for you and laugh it off.

Here are things you should never say to your mother-in-law

1. No

You should be selective of the kind of words you use towards your mother-in-law. Using this sort of word toward your mother-in-law can spark trouble.

There are different types of mother-in-law; some mothers-in-law are overzealous while some are not zealous enough. Regardless of the kind of mother-in-law, not one of them will enjoy the word no.

Habitually, she has the impression that you are one of her children and you are married to her child so what she says goes, as it did when her child was younger. Consequently, she will never be happy when your reply to most of her requests is NO.

You should note that not all mothers-in-law are pushy about this, just because she did not show visible displeasure isn’t an assurance that all is well. Yours may even be super nice when you say it but every single mother-in-law will have that look of betrayal on their face. Some will even act like it’s ok but find ways to guilt-trip you.

Such a simple and short word yet can ruin things. It can also paint a bad picture of you to her. There are more polite ways to turn down her offer; you could say, “I’m honoured, but I can’t” instead of an outright NO.

2. I Won’t Let You See The Kids Again!

This is a trump card you can always use against your mother-in-law, but you shouldn’t. Maybe you came from a family that allowed communication to break down for extended periods. Rise above it.

Maybe this is the kind of thing your mother-in-law says to her own extended family. Don’t follow her example. Think of karma and your children. You would never want them to say this to you. So don’t let them hear you say it to their grandma.

3. You Do More For THEIR Kids Than Ours!

Sibling and in-law rivalry can reignite when grandchildren enter the family picture. Even if you have all the proof and evidence that your in-laws are playing favourites, find a different way to get more attention for your kids.

If your mother-in-law is more involved with other grandchildren, it may be because she feels her input is more welcomed, or needed, in those homes. If you want her to babysit, maybe you simply need to ask.

If you think she should spend more time with your children, reach out and invite her to plan some outings with the kids on their terms and at their convenience. Then get out of the way.

4. You’re Too Selfish To Be Any Help!

Well, which is it: Do you want her to stay out of your way, or take a bigger role in your family? Sometimes a grandmother just can’t win. The truth is, she has earned the right to be a little selfish with her time.

That’s the great thing about being a grandparent: All the joy, (almost) none of the responsibility. Instead of finding fault in whatever she does, be grateful that her life doesn’t revolve around your kids — but keep her close so she can pitch in when you need her.

5. It’s Not A Big Deal

All women have their “thing”, you know! It’s the thing or things that are important to you. As you age, it seems that this list gets a bit longer and more sentimental. This is one of the reasons why different kinds of mothers-in-law exist, and they all have their uniqueness. If a mother-in-law is making a big deal out of something that seems small to you, odds are, it’s one of her “things” and telling her it’s no big deal is like telling her to get lost.

Of course, just because it’s her thing doesn’t mean it needs to be your thing but saying it’s no big deal to your mother-in-law can be an invitation for trouble.

So, Also, most mothers-in-law would find it hard to forgive you for such utterance. It shows that you have no regard for her preferences and dislike. Mothers-in-law have boundaries, and they deserve respect for it. So, when addressing her, find a better way to respond that will not hurt her.

6. I Don’t Remember Asking For Your Opinion

If you have been married for a while, you’ll understand that in-laws are an unending source of (unsolicited) advice. The newlyweds, of course, have to travel a croaky road before they calmly accept this fact and move forward with their lives.

Not all the advice and counsel from your mother-in-law will be okay. But, using this sentence is enough to develop hatred between yourself and your mother-in-law. However, when the bad ones come, you should be polite in dealing with them. It is total disrespect and disregard towards your mother-in-law.

Saying this may mean she’s having bad intentions toward you and your partner. Which is not a genuine thing to conclude? It is even worse to say this when living with the mother-in-law. She will feel rejected and isolated in your home. So, stop saying these things you should never say to your mother-in-law to have a happy home.

So, unless your mother-in-law is crossing that fine line that divides concern from cockiness, there is no need to be so incensed about whatever comes out of her mouth. If she thinks it is her right to dispense free advice, you are free to decide whether you wish to follow it or not. Just remember not to let rudeness take over you.

7. We Do Not Have Time To Visit You

Here is one of the things you should never say to your mother-in-law. Every mother-in-law wants to be visited by her children and grandchildren. Such activity is healthy for them and can improve both parties’ quality of life. They love a surprise visit. But when you start telling her you are too busy, you are already crossing the line. Rejection is a thing that you must never let your mother-in-law experience.

You and your partner should explain to your mother-in-law that you may not visit her when she expects. But you reschedule a visit still. Keep to your words so you can continue to build trust with her.

8. Referring To Your Spouse As Your Son Or Daughter To Your Mother-In-Law

Doing this doesn’t sound well at all. Your spouse has a name, so use it if you don’t mind. It is utter disrespect and insolence to call her child your son or daughter to her face. It shows that you do not respect both your spouse and your mother-in-law. If you have any issues with your spouse, let it be between the two of you. Don’t drag your mother-in-law into it.

9. Could You Talk To Your Child For Me?

Again, try as much as possible to avoid involving your mother-in-law in your marital issues. Only do this when necessary to get her in the matter. Telling your mother-in-law to talk to her child for you sounds like you want her to pick your side.

The only time you can say this to her is if it is a dispute between his/ her siblings. And you must be polite when you tell her. A better way to put up this statement is, “please, we need your advice on this issue.” In that way, she is neutral in the dispute.

10. That Might Be Good For You But It’s Not Right For Us

When a mother-in-law makes a decision she will often make it feel like she’s made it for the entire family. Telling her that you and your husband have made a different decision which is good for your home will result in friction between you two.

She simply sees your response as saying no to her decision which she believes is outright disrespectful.

There are different ways to communicate with your mother-in-law on such matters. Find a softer language and idea to use that will not cause any friction between you.

11. We’re Moving

Some couples end up living with their parents. However, they find that sometimes more space is needed to feel like they’re grownups or maybe a new job has come up. Either way, if you live with or live near your in-laws, you may sound disrespectful and rude if you tell her you are moving out.

Moving out of your parent’s house as a couple is a big decision. There are lots of considerations when you bring up such a proposal. Find a politer and diplomatic way to bring up the matter.

Explain to them as politely as you can when you want to move out. They will understand and be ready to work with you on your decision. So, “we are moving out” is one of those things you should never say to your mother-in-law.

12. Your Son Prefers It Like This

Giving your mother-in-law tips about her child is not a good thing to do. If it involves folding his clothes, preparing a meal, etc. telling a mother tips about her son will land you in the hot seat. Mothers-in-law don’t like tutoring on the way to do things for their children.

All mothers think they know their children inside and out and do not like being corrected on that fact.

If you’re living with your mother-in-law, do not attempt to correct what she does for her child. The fact that you’re now married to her child doesn’t mean you know everything. Respect her opinion, and if you have an idea, give advice rather than commands. Don’t create an enmity over trivial issues and reactions.

13. Come Over Anytime

For the love of doughnuts, don’t say this. I guarantee you they will come over…often…unannounced…at the most awkward times. Think I’m exaggerating? Try it and prepare for the ride of your life.

14. You Know Squat About Parenting Today!

Mothers-in-law have it in their head that they know best so when kids come into the picture, you’ll have an entirely new battle with her. If in-laws offer well-meaning advice that goes against current trends or personal choices about child-raising, hear them out, thank them for their input — and go on following your instincts.

Nevertheless, keep listening; Don’t be afraid to listen to her tips from time to time though. After all, she’s been doing it for a while. They’re bound to be right eventually, and you’ll want to be there.

Here is the thing; did your mother-in-law do some things years ago that are flagged as improper by the parenting establishment today? Possibly. Are you doing things that will seem hopelessly oblivious to your kids when they become parents? You bet.

So, don’t be dead set against your mother-in-law’s parenting techniques.

15. You’re My Model For How NOT To Parent!

Really? Unless your spouse was abused, his parents likely tried their best to do right by him, and, as they say, he turned out all right. Maybe your mother-in-law was stricter than you would have been; but if your kids are still little, you don’t know for sure how much strictness you have in you yet.

But no matter the circumstances, this accusation won’t help your family. Confront your mother-in-law, calmly, on specific issues, if you have to clear the air. You may find she’s more flexible, and thoughtful than you thought.

16. We Booked A Hotel

If you are going to visit your in-laws, it feels rude to assume that they have a spot available but you don’t want to wait until the last minute to book a hotel. Always assume that the mother-in-law has a spot for you. Outside of breaking her heart, she may seek to make you feel guilty. Find a way to ask beforehand if you’re unsure.

17. Since You’re Visiting Us, I Booked You A Hotel Room.

This would seem outrageous unless you live in a cottage with six kids and three dogs. Which would then mean that you’re too poor to even book a hotel room. Your mother-in-law may be a pain in an unmentionable body part, but if she is visiting, you have to throw open your doors to her. Not your arms, just your door.

18. I Wish You’d Taught Your Child That!

Your partner is an entity that is independent of his parents. Blaming your mother-in-law for your partner’s shortcomings and misbehaviour is silly on your part. Why? Because your partner is (hopefully) grown-up enough to discern right from wrong, and you (hopefully) made sure of that before your marriage.

When you have issues in your home, never go asking your mother-in-law. Especially when you can slug it out with your partner, why bring the mother-in-law into the picture and be outnumbered in a fight?

19. I’ll Handle It

Mothers-in-law love to give advice…all the time…over everything. Most don’t mean to be rude or controlling (some do) so although it’s annoying, they’re most likely just trying to help. Find a nice way to either skip out of the conversation or change the subject.

Things not to say to your mother-in-law

Wrap It Up!

Love them or loathe them, you can’t imagine a life without the mother-in-law if you happen to be in a committed relationship. It is always recommended to keep things cordial in this area unless you want hell to freeze over.

Yet, nothing seems to work out between you two no matter how hard you try. Dealing with a toxic mother-in-law can be mind-bugging. There is no collaboration but only competition. A toxic person sees people in two classes, winners or losers. They’re going to do whatever they need to do to become a winner and they don’t care what they sacrifice.

Women in these situations need to admit that their relationship with their mother-in-law will likely never be what they hoped. Even if a relationship improves, it will probably remain strained.

The best thing a daughter-in-law can do is demand their partner’s support. That may require counselling to help the husband see the wife’s point of view.

Since most toxic mothers-in-law want attention and emotional reactions, a daughter-in-law should not engage with a mother-in-law. She shouldn’t argue or debate. If the mother-in-law says something awful in front of the grandchildren at dinner, go home. If her version of events is wildly inaccurate, leave it alone.

Women can tell their husbands that they want them in their presence the entire time their mother is around, avoiding situations where the mother can lie about interactions.

In the end, it is important to have a good and healthy relationship with your mother-in-law and other in-laws in general because your relationship with your in-laws affects your marriage. They are the ones who cared for and raised your spouse, and no matter what their mistakes or shortcomings are, you need to be thankful to them.

And, remember you would become a mother-in-law one day.

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