Wives: Why Your Mother-In-Law May Seem Toxic


loretta jumpingThere are very few women who can say that they instantly got along with their mother-in-law from the time they met them and that their relationship has been perfect over the years. While we can acknowledge that these very rare women might be out there, we know that most women will encounter some hurdles in developing a relationship with their mother-in-law.

The relationship is obviously a two way street but it may be helpful to begin to see things from your mother-in-law’s perspective. When someone seems to make your life a little (or a lot!) harder, it may be hard to put yourself in their shoes, but we encourage you to give it a shot.

The Need Of Every Woman

Before we go too far, it is important for you to understand your Mother-in-Law has what is deeply rooted in all women. We have a need for love. Like many women, this has translated into desire for unconditional love from a man. The problem is, us women often feel a sense of lack when it comes to our Fathers and our Husbands loving us. The grown up men in our lives are usually wounded and unable to give us the love we truly desire. What is left is a void just waiting to be filled.

The Son Fills A Need

Along comes the Son. He needs his Mom and at least while he is younger, his love is unconditional. Over time, this loving boy grows up to be a man, but your Mother-in-Law is left with the taste of what it is really like to be unconditionally loved. She has experienced from her Son what she has not experienced from other men. On a subconscious level, their relationship is proof that she is lovable. After all, she struggles with self worth like any other woman.

The Wife As The Threat

Is it any wonder that when the Son presents his new wife, she can be perceived as a threat to the relationship? The Mother-in-Law compares the Son’s wife to HERSELF. If she is not strong enough in her belief that she is okay as a woman (and most women aren’t), it is a temptation to see the shortcomings of the Daughter-in-Law so she can feel good about herself.



  1. that’s just a small part of the story–so many things play into the scenerio we will probably never get it right—–there are countless stories to be told—– “WE THINK WE KNOW, BUT WE HAVE NO IDEA!!!”

  2. A man cannot be both mama’s boy and your woman’s man – the two are inconguous and extremely unhealthy. Just like mom expected to be first in her husband’s life, so too does the daughter-in-law rightfully expect to take precedence and be first in her husband’s life. If mama chose wrong in her choice of mate, it is extremely selfish, sick and parasitic to place the burden of companship and “make up the difference of not having a man in her life” task on her son. A parents prime role is to raise strong, healthy, independent children.

    • You hit the nail on the head. I’m going through that now and have been so far for the past year. My spouse’s mother is the most miserable, cranky, selfish, self-centered, self-endulgent, flaky, hypochondriac, two-faced females I’ve ever had to displeasure of knowing. Thank goodness my spouse had the testicular fortitude to cut her off once she showed her true colors to me. But she still tries to run interference. The only way a situation like that works is if the man is willing to set boundaries and be supportive of his wife when his mother wants to show her behind.

  3. I enjoy your articles but I felt in this one you made a rather sweeping generalisation about what makes women tic (the need for validation through patriarchal validation). The Freudrian take on mother’s being in love with their sons is just one of a myriad of dynamics. Keep an open-mind and take time to know your mother-in-law as a fellow woman…her likes, dislikes, her dreams, hopes and fears for herself and for her children

  4. my husband and I have now been married for fifteen years. We were both twenty seven at the time very young, very Eager to get married. My Mother-In-Law from day one gave me the impression that O.M.G!! I’m not even gonna be this Boy’s Girlfriend too Long. (she was not Friendly at all) However, after speaking with her on a few more occassions and we getting to know and feel comfortable with each other our Relationship Blossomed! into a Beautiful Mother, Daughter Relationship. Now I’ll go over and dive into her bed get under her oh so fluffy, comfy, comforter and grab her sales paper where as, ten years ago i would not even have sat on her bed. she’s never! competed with me as far as her son’s Love. she’s even told me to Watch closely! the way a son treats her mother beacuse that’s the way the woman, or wife will be treated. my Mother in Law has truly been a Blessing to me she planned our Entire wedding in less than a month and paid for darn near Everything. she’s actually one that i speak highly of as one of my “QUEENS”

  5. This article makes sense. When the man has married and happy parents there is less chance of the mother-in-law causing issue for the wife. Hmmmm…I was looking for an orphan. Maybe I need to focus on someone with a father figure who loves his wife. Go figure.

  6. Bottom Line: There are some Mothers that need to get a life and stop living vicariously thru their children. There is a Poem called – Your Children Are Not Yours to Keep – Google it and then ask God’s Forgiveness. Then Let Go!!

  7. Now there are mothers that go to the extreme but there are some sorry ass wives too. I didn’t see a post that the mothers that are right about the wife. There are those too. Now, some do get along with the mothers. Then there’s the mothers that don’t give a rat ass if they see the wife or not. But she doesn’t interfere in the relationship. So, there are many different points of view.

  8. Any bad behavior from a Super Grown Adult means she has issues….period!, Loving self issues and using her son to caress her self esteem is even sicker. My mother taught me, look at a person foundation"home-life."……that speaks volumes more so then what comes out their mouth. I say GROW UP MOTHERS, your looking beyond stupid.