Coleen Nolan advises a reader who is constantly clashing with his partners interfering mother for whom everything is a competition and he doesnt know how to raise the issue
Dear Coleen, Im having major problems with my meddling mother-in-law. Im a man aged 36 and my partner is in her 20s, and we have a two-year-old son.
Mymother-in-lawhas always been very critical of my partner, constantly putting her down and belittling her. Since our son was born she comes over to our place all the time, telling us were doing everything wrong.
I wouldnt mind but, in my opinion, shes been a terrible mother herself, and favoured her son and nephew over her daughter.
She dotes on our son, and tells me he looks nothing like me and that he has the likeness of my partners brother!
Ive found her behaviour intrusive, especially when shedecoratesmy house and changes furniture without asking me. My partner fails to see why this upsets me (probably because shes used to it), but its causing a strain on my relationship.
What would you tell this reader to do? Share your thoughts in the comment section
I want my son to grow up with manners and respect.
Shes so rude to my parents as well everything is a competition to her and it grinds my folks down. How can I show my partner that her mothers behaviour is so toxic, its starting to cause us problems?
It is a very tricky situation. Its not easy, but you have to put your foot down. She has no right to decorate or change things in your house, so just be polite, but firm Thank you for what youve done, but we want to have our home the way we like it.
Perhaps because her daughter is younger and this is her first child, shes being extra-interfering because she thinks she knows best.
Some of it you can let ride, but other things you have to speak up about.
Theres no excuse for rudeness, though, and I think its up to your partner to explain to her mum how she comes across and that people have noted it. She needs to be aware of how her behaviour affects your relationship and wider family relationships.
You have to be strong with your partner, too this is your relationship, your house and your child, and its important to feel that you have control over your lives and bond as a family.
You dont have to like your in-laws (its certainly not a given) and you dont even have to see your mother-in-law that often if you dont want to your partner can see her mum as much as she likes.
And perhaps if you do withdraw a bit and your parents do the same, maybe shell get the message that she needs to change her attitude and that none of you are interested in getting involved in a competition.
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