I can't tell you how many horror stories I have heard from brides about their mother-in-law ruining their relationship, wedding planning and even the wedding itself.
If you're experiencing mother-in-law dramas leading up to your big day then listen up! The following top tips and essential lessons will guide you through who you're up against, how to get along to ensure harmonious wedding planning, and how to deal with sticky situations without causing offense.
Whatever you do, just don't ask your mother-in-law to be your wedding planner...
The Different Types of Difficult Mother-In-Laws
Pretty much all less than favorable mother-in-laws can be broken down into four different types. Understanding who you're up against is half the battle:
The Molder - The Molder is by far the classic and most encountered mother-in-law. Your tastes and preferences when it comes to wedding planning are irrelevant because hers will always be better. She's done this before and knows exactly what her son likes, or at least that what she wants you to believe as she 'molds' you and your wedding. It starts with her bestowing you with the dusty wedding veil she wore to her own nuptials and ends with her rearranging your furniture. The Molder means well but it's best to assure her that you want to make these decisions as a couple or that you'll take her advice into consideration without flatly accepting or rejecting it on the spot.
The Meddler - The Meddler is a whole different ball game. This type of mother-in-law has her hand in everything, from your honeymoon to your bank account. Somehow she's even managed to finagle a key to your house! If you dare to ask her to partake in your wedding planning she'll take over. The best way to deal with The Meddler is to assign her tasks that don't matter as much to you, while still trying to make her feel as though she is being a huge help.
The Ice Queen - On the other end of the spectrum we have the The Ice Queen. She is completely absent and aloof, and wants absolutely nothing to do with your wedding planning. Even if you want to form a relationship she's not interested. Try your best to include her in small tasks that play to her passions such as dress fitting or crafting favors and be sure to thank her afterwards with a nice gesture like flowers.
The Babyer - The Babyer will not let you get in the way of the very special boy she shares with her son. At first you thought it was sweet when she recalled stories of how he used to suck his thumb until sixth grade, and how she was always checking in with him to make sure he was alright, but now you realize that these dependency issues are getting in the way of your wedding planning and may haunt you forever. The only way to put a stop to this woeful behavior is for your man to politely but firmly let his dear mom know that enough is enough.
How to Deal With Sticky Situations Without Causing Offense
Make Sure You And Your Partner Agree
The most important lesson and one that will guide you through all the tough times is you and your partner being in agreement and working as a team. Although your hubby to be will want to make both you and his mother happy, the only people that really need to be happy is the pair of you. Make decisions together, stand united, and no-one will argue.
Hear Her Out
When your mother-in-law chimes in with suggestions, more than likely she genuinely wants to help. All she wants is to know that you have heard what she has to say. If she keeps waxing on about how much she loves roses, ask her for more details, even if you don't intend on using them.
Acknowledge Her Suggestions
Simply acknowledging that her suggestions have been heard and are valued will go a long way in creating a harmonious relationship. This way you can't be faulted for not hearing her out.
Have Conviction In Your Decisions
Let her know that although you appreciate her ideas you already have your heart set on something else. Try not to waffle or ask her what she thinks as this way you are only inviting more helpful suggestions.
You can still allow other people to feel included in the wedding planning process without being pressured to let them make the decisions for you. Yes you need compromise between you and your husband to be, but it's not the end of the world if your mother-in-law isn't in love with your tablecloths.
What's your mother-in-law like? Share with us in the comments below...