FIVE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR MOTHER-IN-LAW LOVE YOU
Trust us, she will, now that these women are letting you in on their secrets.
Women who’ve managed to do this share their secrets with you.
01 Move in with her ( just for a little while)
Living with your mother-inlaw can give you a frontrow seat to her quirks and triggers, which you can then work to your advantage. “My mother-in-law is pantang (a Malay term for superstitious),” says PR practitioner Freda Yuin, 32. “She doesn’t like us to say or do negative things – like grumbling over what a bad day you’re going to have. She feels you might jinx yourself, as the words will turn into a self-fullling prophecy.” The close proximity has also built trust between the pair. “She gets to see the way I live. It helps that I’m a homebody, not a party girl, so she found it easier to trust me, and entrust her son to me.”
02 Be dogged about communicating with her
“Take that rst step to open the lines of communication,” says doctor Elaine Kim, 35. Marrying into a Korean family, she faced a situation where her mother-in-law initially refused to meet her because she wasn’t Korean. So Elaine had to think of a better way to reach out. “I wrote her a letter to tell her I respected her, and understood where she was coming from. I also assured her I would be a good daughter-in-law and wife.” That effort succeeded in thawing her mother-in-law’s frostiness, and the pair now have a close relationship.
03 Be the bigger person
Put her needs before your own. It shows you care about what matters to her, which helps reduce friction, says Gladys Ang, 34, a senior IT administrative assistant. “I’m quite obsessive-compulsive about how things are organised in my home. But my motherin-law just wants to get things done. She doesn’t care if things are placed in the wrong compartments.” Gladys admits her mother-inlaw’s behaviour irked her. But after several months, she put paid to that tension. “Now if I see anything that is not done to my expectations, I just do it myself. So if I want the cabinets to be properly closed and she doesn’t do it, I just close them myself.”
04 Carve out one-to-one time with her
Do this without your man tagging along. It shows you’re serious about creating a bond with her, and that you’re not a threat to her relationship with her son. “I treat her with affection, as if she is my own mother,” says former TV host and model Sonya Davison, 26. “When she visits from the US, we do our nails together and spend time chatting about things. I also send her pictures of my kids regularly through Whatsapp to keep us close.” Seeing you consciously go that extra mile will make her feel special.
05 Know when to back off
It’s a mantra podiatrist Sheena Tan, 26, swears by. “My in-laws complain that my husband and I spend more time with my parents and not enough with them. It gets under my skin, as that isn’t true. But keeping my opinions to myself is crucial for preventing any kind of ugly fallout, especially if what I say might be construed as offensive and disrespectful,” she adds. But if it’s something that really bothers you, she advises sounding out your husband and letting him do the talking – your in-laws are likely to be far more receptive to what he has to say.
Well, who’d have thought winning her over would be this easy?