Here are six things that a mother-in-law should never do.
No one, including a mother-in-law, should ever take sides in a couples dispute or argument. Some couples end up divorced because of interference from in-laws. In the very first wedding, it was said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Gen 2:24) but we could put it this way and still be correct; a man shall leave his father and mother and leave them out of his own marriage and of course, the same thing applies to the woman.
Put Down their Spouse
I have had a wonderful relationship with my mother-in-law and she has never once said a cross word about me. Even my own late mother never said anything but good things about my wife and that has served to strengthen our marriage. If someone did say something about my wife that I didn’t like, I’d take it personally. You cut her and I bleed.
Criticize the Home
When a friend of mine’s mother-in-law joined them at their housewarming party after they bought their first home, she was very critical of the way the house was set up. She didn’t like the way the couch and tables were arranged, she didn’t like the carpet, she didn’t like a lot of things and this was in front of company. I could tell that my friend was hurt, more for his wife than himself. They had both put in so much effort into arranging their home just the way they wanted it and then, the mother-in-law ruined the housewarming party.
Criticize her Son/Daughter’s Care
I have always been skinny and so if someone said “Your wife’s not feeding you well enough,” I have to take issue with that because I have a high metabolism and I can eat, eat, and eat and not gain much weight (except that between my ears), so it’s unfair to criticize a spouse for not taking good enough of care of their daughter or son. That’s out of bounds for me.
I’d Never Let My Child do That!
This one really hurts. If a mother-in-law or father-in-law for that matter, ever says “I’d never let my child do that,” then they are interfering, and in a sense, judging their son-in-law or daughter-in-law for not doing what they themselves think is right. Yes, grandparent’s input is important but it should be asked for and not shoved down their throat. This can create some big anger issues.
Bring up past Girl/Boyfriends
It never ends well when a mother or father-in-law brings up their son or daughter’s past failures in dating. There is absolutely no reason to go fishing for things in their past when they’ve long since buried it. It makes the husband or wife feel even worse when they say, “Your old boyfriend/girlfriend is now a doctor or (just fill in the blank)” because it’s insinuating that their spouse is a loser when compared to their old flame.
Naturally, this applies to a father-in-law as well since they can do some of the very same things I mentioned above. It’s best to let couples face problems on their own. Meddling in a marriage can create unnecessary and unneeded tension in the home and that is not going to help their relationship at all.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
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