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Better Communication, Forgiveness Tools, Letting Go of the Past, Moving On, Personal Responsibility

My Mother-In-Law Hates Me

This is an equal opportunity phenomenon, experienced by both husbands and wives. To be sure, an article this short cannot begin to address core issues, so know that that is not what this is about. This is about one thing. If you find that you are the focus of anyone’s unwarranted hatred, venom, or just occasional rudeness that, nonetheless, still gets under your skin: what should your mindset be?

And although what we’re talking about here can be anyone, not just a vindictive mother-in-law, the dynamics involved in a situation like this are unique. Family matters tend to matter more (we can choose our friends, but not our family!), so more care should be taken to make sure we are guided by wise choices in terms of how we move forward.

Unless you have said or done something that specifically and personally invited this woman to directly and personally hope and pray that a series of unfortunate events would happen to you, you have got to happily and deeply embrace an important and relevant fact: it is not personal.

Sure, it feels personal. It feels very personal. After all, you are being snubbed. You are being disrespected. Boundaries are being willfully ignored and crossed. Buttons are being pushed. And you are the target. You, personally, are the target. So, when you are the target of attacks and challenges and all kinds of undermining nonsense, how do you not take that personally?

Here’s how…

Gratitude.

Obviously, it is difficult to appreciate someone who treats you horribly, but it is impossible to dislike someone you happen to be genuinely grateful for. So here are some questions to ask and answer that, hopefully, will help plant some seeds of gratitude toward this person and these circumstances.

Putting aside the negativity for a moment, what admirable qualities does this woman exhibit? (How, and under what circumstances, has she made you smile?)

What positive characteristics are frequently exhibited by your spouse that came from your mother-in-law?

What positive character traits are being developed in you as a result of this woman being in your life? (How are you maturing as a result of this experience?)

Here’s a question you might be asking: How will answering these questions change my mother-in-law? Well, that’s the beauty of these questions! They are just for you, not for her. That’s right. Changing your mother-in-law is none of your business, not even when it comes to the way she treats you. The only thing you can control is the way you treat her and the position of your heart toward her. Answering the above questions – and consequently treating her as well as is humanly possible – may not inspire her to treat you any differently at all. Ever.

That’s a sobering reality, but it is also liberating! I am completely free of the burden of changing this person or of trying to correct them in any way. Halleluiah!!

Of one thing we can be certain: if her treating you badly is uncalled-for, then you treating her badly in return is just as uncalled-for. We don’t stop a cycle of poor behavior by participating in it.

For expert guidance on dealing with all things mindset, check out the resources available from PJ McClure, the Mindset Maven, at http://themindsetmaven.com/ and check him out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/mindsetmaven  

I love to consider what the Angel Gabriel told Mary when she discovered she was pregnant: “Do not let your heart be troubled.” Letting yourself get stressed out… or overwhelmed… or worked up… or offended… those are all decisions we have the opportunity to make… or not make. In other words, it is possible to not let certain things get to you. It takes some practice, but it is possible.

Toward that end, here are a couple more questions to consider:

Is my mother-in-law more likely to change her heart toward me if I treat her in a loving way no matter what, or less likely to do so? And…

Will I generally be a happier person and more at peace with myself and others by allowing myself to be offended and upset by this situation, or by not allowing it?

Sometimes we get bothered and bogged down because we ask and answer the wrong questions. Start with gratitude. What are you grateful for? If only for you, your mindset will make a difference.

Discussion

5 thoughts on “My Mother-In-Law Hates Me

  1. Awesome blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option?
    There are so many choices out there that I’m completely confused .. Any ideas? Kudos!

    Posted by http://friends.cosmicvoice.org/ | April 24, 2013, 3:47 pm
    • Yes, I would definitely recommend going to WordPress.com and getting started with a simple, free template that works for your personality and the subject matter you want to write about.

      If you are really serious about getting going with a writing and/or speaking career, you should purchase a copy of Platform by Michael Hyatt and subscribe at http://michaelhyatt.com and do everything he says to do!

      Cheers!

      Posted by Jim Aitkins | April 24, 2013, 5:17 pm
  2. Hey there! I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the great work!

    Posted by Pansy | April 15, 2013, 5:34 am
  3. I totally agree with your thoughts, I did exactly that! No matter how rude she was over the last 6 years, I always promised myself I would treat her like a “super guest” when she was in my home. My mindset was, she did birth my husband, and that made me content, and her rudeness just bounced off me.

    Posted by wagthedoguk | October 24, 2012, 10:12 am

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Author Jim Aitkins

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"Waiting to find your purpose tomorrow is a great way to ensure you don’t live with purpose today." ---Jon Acuff in his new book, Start - Punch Fear In the Face, Escape Average, Do Work That Matters Grab it here at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Start-Punch-Escape-Average-Matters/dp/1937077594/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1373909756&sr=1-1&keywords=start+jon+acuff

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