17 Telltale Signs Your Mother-In-Law Is Jealous Of You

If you’ve been wondering lately whether your mother-in-law is jealous of you, there are ways to find out. In many joint families, where newlyweds live with the spouse’s parents, conflicts may arise from time to time. You may not get along too spiffingly with your mother-in-law, and one of the reasons for that might be the feeling that she has lost her son to you.

Most mothers are overly attached to their children. These feelings may sometimes be projected on you, making you feel uncomfortable and uncared for in your home.

Thankfully, there are ways to resolve these issues. Below, we discuss the signs that your mother-in-law is jealous of you, followed by suggestions for tackling the problem.

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17 Signs Your Mother-In-Law Is Jealous Of You

You’re probably feeling it already, but you’re not entirely sure. So here are some signs that your mother-in-law is jealous of you.

1. She speaks ill about you

Mother-in-law speaks ill

Image: IStock

You believe you have a close relationship with your mother-in-law until you discover that she has been gossiping about you behind your back to your husband and other family members. Her behavior will perplex you because she will be sugary sweet with you both in your presence and your absence. You can discuss it with your spouse, but never confront her about it, as she may react negatively.

2. She is ungrateful

You may do several things to help your mother-in-law in an attempt to win her over, but she may not acknowledge any of them. Instead, she may ignore you and dismiss your sincere efforts as a ploy to gain attention. She may even seek your assistance at times, but she may discard you once the work is completed and not even thank you for your help.

3. She strives to keep her command intact

Your mother-in-law is probably used to running the house or doing things her way. She may not want to lose her power over her family so that she may meddle in your relationship matters. She will expect you to keep her informed about everything that happens in the house. She will ensure that her opinion is sought in all major and minor decisions. These are all typical aspects of family dynamics when d living with a jealous mother-in-law.

4. She ruins your plans

Choose me or her; signs mother-in-law is jealous of you

Image: IStock

To throw a wrench in your plans, she will purposefully miss the family gatherings that you have organized. Or she could throw her party and invite her son, asking him to choose one of you. It is her way of testing her son’s loyalty while demonstrating to you that she is still more important to her son.

protip_icon Quick tip
If your mother-in-law asks her son to make a choice, you can tell him to opt for his mother. This way, your mother-in-law is happy, and you, too, are satisfied that your husband considers your opinion before making a choice.

5. She gives you the cold shoulder

She may ignore you or act indifferent to you to make you react negatively to her. When her cold behavior bothers you, and you respond to it, she has an opportunity to prove that you are a horrible person for misbehaving with your mother-in-law. Her deception will be subtle because she does not want to look bad in front of her people.

6. She plays the victim

She will express her emotions by crying about being on the receiving end of your bad behavior. She may pretend to be sad to express her displeasure with your behavior. Anything you do will be used against you. In her opinion, she is the victim of all your actions and even reactions.

7. She holds grudges

She will taunt you, seemingly forever, if you make a bad or miscalculated move. She will mock you for being cruel to her and causing her immense pain. She may use demeaning and derogatory words against you, but the moment you protest, you become a bad person because she will remind you of your disrespectful behavior.

8. She refrains from talking directly to you

Mother-in-law avoids direct communication with the daughter-in-law

Image: IStock

If giving you the cold shoulder isn’t enough, she may choose to ignore you and close all channels of open communication with you. For example, she may contact you through your partner or another family member but will not contact you directly. This is her way of emphasizing your insignificance in the family.

protip_icon Do remember
If your mother-in-law chooses to ignore you, do not mind; rather, be glad you do not have to interact with a negative person.

9. She compares you with other daughters-in-law

To get under your skin, she may constantly compare you with her friends and relatives’ daughters-in-law and emphasize how much you may lack as a person. She might even make a comparison between you and your partner’s ex-girlfriend, implying that he was happier with her than he appears now.

10. She creates differences between your partner and you

She may be so desperate to reclaim her son that she attempts to sabotage your relationship with your partner. She may say or do things that cause misunderstanding between you and your partner. When confronted, she will swear her innocence and deny any wrongdoing. In such a situation, it is critical to have clear communication with your partner.

11. She shows no respect for your personal boundaries

She may disregard your boundaries to push you over the edge. For example, she may show up unannounced at your house, make fun of your habits in front of others, and so on. To prevent her from doing so, you must express your displeasure with her inconsiderate behavior. If necessary, consult with your partner and have him explain why her behavior is inappropriate.

12. She demands her son’s attention

Your mother-in-law may be so desperate to be by your partner’s side that she will go out of the way to gain his attention. For example, she may call him at work, prepare his favorite food without informing you, and visit him at work or home without informing him. This is her way of drawing her son’s attention.

13. She lectures you on how to raise your kids

Jealous mother-in-law lectures on how to raise kids

Image: IStock

You may be the most loving and caring mother to your children, but your jealous mother-in-law will disagree. She will meddle in your family matters and frequently lecture you on how to raise children. She will thoroughly chastise you for even the slightest error and will offer unsolicited advice on how to raise children.

14. She over-criticizes you

Your jealous mother-in-law will always find flaws in you, no matter what you do or how you do it. She will try to belittle you in front of your partner or even in private. It is her way of demonstrating how bad you are for her son and how she is the best person concerned about his well-being.

15. She excludes you from family affairs

Bonding with mother-in-law

Image: IStock

If she plans any family gatherings, she will purposefully keep you in the dark or may inform you at the last minute to make it inconvenient for you to attend. She will keep her son informed in advance, but not you. Even if there is a change in plan, she may pretend to forget to inform you.

16. She tries to turn your kids against you

If your children start behaving weirdly with you each time they return home after visiting their grandmother, she is probably speaking negatively about you to them. Try to talk to her if this is the case. But, unfortunately, such tricks have the potential to impair and confuse a child’s mind.

17. She shows you no respect

If your mother-in-law displays contempt towards you, it’s likely due to her envy of you taking her son away from her. The more you interact with her, the more you may feel disliked by her. She may or may not be subtle about it, but you eventually recognize her disrespectful behavior towards you.

15 Ways To Deal With A Jealous Mother-in-law

If you’ve noticed any of the above signs, you’re probably wondering how to deal with a jealous mother-in-law. Here are some strategies for effectively handling the challenges a jealous mother-in-law poses.

1. Talk with her

The first thing you can do to reduce the tension between you and your mother-in-law is to speak with her. Sit down with her and explain how her behavior affects you. Perhaps she is acting out of concern for her son and is unaware that her actions bother you. However, if you tell her calmly and respectfully, she may consider your feelings the next time she acts possessively toward her son. Mutual respect plays a pivotal role in fostering understanding and facilitating conflict resolution.

2. Talk to your partner

Any conflict between your mother-in-law and you can cause tension for your partner because he will be unsure how to reconcile the two critical people in his life. Try to talk to him and see if he can tell his mother and family how you feel. However, it would be cruel to force him to choose sides.

3. Empathize with her

Your mother-in-law may be behaving erratically, but instead of dismissing her, try to approach the situation with empathy. When you put yourself in her shoes, you gain her perspective, allowing you to see life through her eyes. Consequently, you can understand the reasons behind her actions. Understanding her feelings puts you in a better position to comprehend the situation and address her concerns.

protip_icon Point to consider
No matter how much hatred she throws your way, you only offer her warmth, at least for your husband’s sake. This might eventually make her realize and reform.

4. Ensure she does not feel insecure

One of the primary reasons your mother-in-law may be cold to you is her insecurity. You are the object of her son’s affection, and she lost her place in his life. Acknowledge the deep bond between your partner and his mother. Assure her that her significance in his life has not diminished. Try to explain that you are another person on his side to love and support him.

5. Create boundaries

You can talk to your partner and his mother to create healthy boundaries to make it easier to maintain the relationship. Ensure the boundaries are set so that she does not feel threatened by her son’s new relationship. To maintain healthy relationships and protect your interests, it is important not to isolate your partner from his mother, as this could lead to a strained relationship. Approach the situation with assertiveness and an open mind.

6. Spend time with her

Perhaps your mother-in-law does not know you well enough to warm up to you easily. Why not spend some time with her? Talk with her. Tell her about yourself and get to know her. She might not feel threatened by you if she knows you better. And if she starts liking you, your life will be so much easier.

7. Show interest in her

Try to be interested in her life without being over-friendly. If your mother-in-law is a community or group member, stay up to date on its activities. Call her now and then to see how things are going. If she ever needs your advice or opinion, be there willingly and happily. Make yourself a part of her life, and she will become a part of yours.

8. Have your kids spend time with her

If you have children, make time for them to spend with their grandmother. It can be weekly or monthly, or yearly. You may or may not like her, but you should not keep your children away from their grandmother. Instead, ensure that they form their bond with their grandmother.

9. Praise her

Some women love being flattered, and acknowledgment and praise are the best ways to win their hearts. If your mother-in-law excels at something, such as cooking or public speaking, make it a point to compliment her on it. Tell her how much you value her hard work and dedication to a cause.

10. Spoil her with gifts

You can try surprising your mother-in-law with thoughtful gifts to keep your relationship with her cordial. For example, you can get her a gift when you return from vacation. Alternatively, if she mentions buying something for herself, get it for her without being asked. Then when she sees how much you care for her, she may start appreciating you.

11. Offer to help her

Helping your mother-in-law whenever you visit her is one way to earn a place in her heart. For example, if you’re going to her house for lunch or dinner, offer assistance serving or clearing dishes. Bring wine or a dessert, so she doesn’t have to make all the arrangements. Ask her where she needs help and do it promptly.

12. Speak up for yourself

If, after trying everything to be good to your mother-in-law, she still does not change her behavior, then put your foot down and stop allowing her to disrespect you. However, there could be times when she puts your patience to the test and acts irrationally. In such a scenario, express your displeasure. Don’t let her take advantage of your adaptability.

13. Avoid arguments

While you may be able to speak up for yourself, avoid arguing with her in any way. She may try to push you, but try to remain calm as much as possible. Do not fall for her ploys and react the way she wants you to. Instead, do the opposite.

14. Keep a healthy distance

If you believe there is nothing else you can do to make her like you, you should keep your distance from her. Do not prevent your partner or children from seeing her. However, keep your interactions with her to a minimum.

15. Try to ignore her behavior

This one is easier said than done, but give it a shot. Even if you have limited your interaction with your mother-in-law, she may still try to annoy you. Ignore her jibes and cold demeanor, if possible. Tell yourself that you have to put up with it for a short time and that you can do it without getting upset.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the reasons for my mother-in-law to be jealous of me?

Your mother-in-law may be jealous of you if she is insecure about your presence and thinks you will replace her eventually. Your better education and husband’s support may also make her feel left out. She may also harbor resentment because her hidden desires and unfulfilled wishes were sacrificed to take care of the family. Moreover, society may also influence her thoughts and create negativity.

2. Can a jealous mother-in-law cause a divorce?

No, the attitude of your mother-in-law alone might not cause a divorce. The important point here is to decide how this negativity is influencing you. Before making a sudden move, evaluate the situation, understand why your mother-in-law behaves this way, and how you can deal with the situation. Also, stop worrying about your in-law’s attitude and focus on yourself and your marriage.

3. What is an enmeshed mother-in-law?

An enmeshed mother-in-law refers to a situation where the lines between a mother-in-law and her child’s spouse become blurred or non-existent. This involves an excessively close and dependent relationship, where the mother-in-law may invade the couple’s privacy, cross boundaries, and exert excessive control or influence in their lives.

There’s a chance your mother-in-law is jealous of you if she treats you with hostility and disrespect, constantly gossips about you, compares and criticizes you, and tries to create differences in your relationship with your spouse. Her jealousy might result from her fear of losing her son and the home authority to you. If you suspect your mother-in-law is envious, attempt to talk to her, spend time with her, sympathize with her, and offer to help. If you still don’t see a change in her attitude, speak up and convey your unhappiness without arguing, and maintain a healthy distance from her.

Infographic: Ways To Deal With A Jealous Mother-In-Law

If you often feel your mother-in-law doesn’t like you or behaves rudely or inappropriately with you, chances are she is insecure or jealous of you. Since dealing with such a scenario could be tough, we bring a few helpful tips in this infographic to try fixing your relationship with her.

tips to deal with a jealous mother in law (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Pointers

  • Your relationship with your mother-in-law is delicate and may not always be cordial.
  • Acting indifferent to you and constantly comparing you with other daughters-in-law are a few signs indicating your mother-in-law is jealous of you.
  • Talking to her and keeping a healthy distance can help improve the equation.

Don’t know how to deal with a jealous mother-in-law? This video can help you understand things from a different perspective and decide what to do next.

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