Do mother in laws get jealous? If yes, what could be the possible reasons behind her jealousy? Jealousy and comparison with others only lead to long-term resentment in oneself. How does one free themselves from such a disturbing temperament?
Jealousy is one of the most common traits in a woman. I have seen the impact of a person with a jealous nature in their inter-personal skills and communication skills with others at the workplace, within a group of friends, and even cousins and relatives.
In this blog, let us try to place ourselves in our mother in law’s shoes and try to understand the reason behind her jealousy from her perspective.
Do Mother in laws get jealous?
I have often heard daughter in laws complaining that they feel dejected because of their choices and preferences they make for themselves. It sounds vague because how one’s choice can cause a feeling of dejection? There was a case wherein a woman told me she continuously bickered over her dressing style and the way she flaunts her best side. Later on, she learned that her mother in law is jealous of her way of styling herself. The woman I am referring to here is a boutique owner, and she carries herself really well.
The only problem with her mother in law was, her inflated ego never let her approach her daughter in law for any styling suggestion but yes it led to a series of rising jealousy, whenever she saw her getting compliments for her style and collection. It is simply minding over the matter. This is just a basic example there are high-level problems of a woman getting jealous of another woman. In my blog titled, Is your Mother in Law Jealous of you – Mental Health Issues? While thinking, do mother in laws get jealous tried to discuss ten traits of a jealous mother in laws and a few possible reasons behind her jealousy.
Seven reasons which cause jealousy in mother in law
Why does the mother in laws get jealous of a woman who is half of her rage and come to join her in her house? May they see her as another parallel woman in her life, an important part of the family but somehow it takes longer than usual to accept the fact that a daughter in law could be a mother in laws best companion if we start right, shedding the tons of ego, a little bit of flexibility and some understanding from the sides could just help them to bloom together.
However, in this blog, let us try to stress the reasons behind her jealousy and how can we work upon that.
|2. A well-educated daughter in law|
|3. Son supporting daughter in law|
|4. Hidden desires or unfulfilled dreams|
|5.Competition and comparison|
|6. She wants you to suffer the way she suffered|
|7. Oops, did we forgot about society?|
The topmost and the commonest of all the reasons for the question, do mother in laws get jealous? Yes, because she was the only woman in her son’s life till the day he got married and now when she sees another woman who is half of her age, experience, and wisdom she gained through aging, a girl who is like her daughter, who has come to share her house, her family and her relationships. Mother in law sees her as a threat, a source of insecurity. This causes a lot of arrogance in mother in law leading to a stressful environment in the house.
As I said, jealousy is the most common trait in women, and a mother in law can not even stand the thought of losing her powerful position in the house. Daughter in law, on the other hand, wants to win hearts, make a space in the new family, smiles, stays good just to fit in with the new members. But there is this oxymoronic situation here, which co-exists for ages. While daughter in laws does things to please their in laws, mother in laws develops a sense of insecurity seeing she will replace her, take her everything, her son, her family, and then begins this whole saga of jealousy and bitterness in this relationship.
2. A well-educated daughter in law
When a mother in law is in search of the ideal match for her son, she makes sure that apart from the good looks, good family, her daughter in law should be well educated too. Maybe she forgets about the perks a well-educated girl is imbibed with. She has seen things, holds knowledge, has solutions for problems, and can distinguish between right and wrong, and even worse if needed, can voice for her rights.
While searching for a perfect match, a mother in law overlooks these factors, thinking they can control her once she is married in the family. Moreover, an educated person is able to think, reason, and evaluate. Which is something not welcomed by the new family many times? If a daughter in law offers a quick solution to other family members for some problem because of her knowledge in that particular domain, instead of being happy a mother in law gets apprehensive about it. When you hold a certain degree of knowledge, it becomes hard for you not to intrude but it could be taken as an offensive act when you are staying with your in laws.
3. Son supporting daughter in law
Now, this is heart-breaking, for a mother. Yup, a mother is the only woman in his son’s life till the day he gets married and shares his life with another woman. But is this not a part of the whole human cycle? All the mother in laws now and the past mother in laws, went through the same cycle and this is a part of life.
But why do mother in laws get jealous? Being a mother I can understand the possessiveness a mother holds toward her kid but the fear of losing command and authority makes it difficult to think clearly. Every relation has got its own importance and own place. It is not only a daughter in law’s responsibility to balance out every aspect of family values but it is indeed a collaborative effort of the whole family. Now when a son supports daughter in law, a mother finds is offensive and very humiliating, but that son is someone’s life partner/husband now and sometimes he will have to support his wife. All these relationships are very closely knitted and way too vulnerable; only a sense of understanding can help to hold things together.
4. Hidden desires or unfulfilled dreams
Every mother in law was a young girl and a newlywed bride someday. The day she entered her family life, she might have given up on her dreams and desires she had in life. Maybe she wanted to be at a different place; maybe she had some aspirations and dreams to achieve, but due to the early marriage and responsibilities she could not pursue them.
When such mother in laws sees their daughter in laws pursuing their dreams, they feel envious of them. Do mother in laws get jealous? Yes they do and there are many ways we can understand the reason behind their jealousy. We need to understand the underlying issue, may the problem is not you fulfilling your dreams, but she not been able to fulfill her own. And when she sees you going in the direction she wanted to go, she feels restless and unworthy which develops a sense of jealousy in her, thinking that how you are allowed to do things which she could never do.
5.Competition and comparison
Comparison and competitive nature are the killers of any relationship. You cannot compare the qualities of a pear with an apple. Everything has got its own eccentric values. When a daughter in law is good-looking and is talented, she is appreciated by many other family members. Sometimes a daughter in law is good at certain skills but a mother in law who feels envious, will compare her with some random person just to tell her that anyone can do it, and there is no big deal about it.
There would be times when a daughter in law would be complimented for her beauty and the way she speaks in a family event, which will sound unpleasant to a mother in law’s ears. Sometimes these appreciative remarks create an unwarranted rage in mother in law’s mind, She feels she is being compared or criticized indirectly. Now the new girl is dominating the house. This kind of attitude restricts a mother in law to see good in her daughter in law and unknowingly starts causing problems in her relationship with her daughter in law. She abruptly indulges in jealousy and pulling her down just to keep her space intact in the house.
6. She wants you to suffer the way she suffered
Every woman has got an “In-law” story to tell. From her point of view, she is the only victim in her story and the worst part is she will always justify her actions through her sufferings in the past, which will make the listener feel sorry for her. Now tell me, if you have suffered something really unpleasant in your lifetime, will you want to pass that suffering to your daughter in law or will you try to make a change and do the exact reverse to do things right from your side? A daughter in law could be problematic too but if a mother in law really wants to change the stigma attached to her name, this is the perfect thing to start with.
Questions like do mother in laws get jealous, why do mothers in law creates problems that need closure now, we are in 2020 and have better things to do, isn’t it? Your suffering should never be the reason for someone else’s cry. You have overcome something and now you should try to pass on your learnings and value to the daughter in law to start a healthy relationship.
7. Oops, did we forget about society?
Now, when a mother in law and daughter in law decides to shed this “in-law” from their relationship and tries to get to know each other. there would be people in the form of close friends or relatives who will warn you to maintain a distance. They will share their personal bitter experiences to turn your thinking away from its present position.
Reason? They are not able to make things work at their house neither they want to be compared with the ones who are trying to hit the stigmatized societal nurturing, then how will they let you change? But you don’t have to listen to anybody, a mother in law or simply put a woman of the house should know the best thing to do for her house and she should always head towards the right direction turning deaf and blind to what others have to say or show. Try it mother in laws, you will be the pioneers in breaking the ice and many will follow you.
How could daughter in laws help mother in laws overcome jealousy?
So what do you think? Do mother in laws get jealous? Yes, they do and now we understand her own reasons too. Having understood the mindset of a mother in law and the possible reasons behind her jealousy or bitterness with you. Now is the time to make some positive efforts in order to bring some sunshine to your house. You are not going to please anyone, neither you are going to play the victim anymore. But you will be very assertive and confident in your approach while you reach out to your mother in law.
- Take her in your stride – Walk together, think together.
- Try to converse more – Be friendly and respectful.
- Understand her past life – maybe she never shared it with anyone.
- Try to become her friend – it will be easy than trying to fit-in.
- Stand for her when you feel she will not accept your help but she needs it.
How can you help yourself?
In our daily life, when we live especially in a joint family, there come several occasions wherein you as a daughter in law can prove that you are above these meager issues and you really care for your family members. With this assertive and positive approach you will surely help your mother in law to explore the real you in the coming future and also she might get along with you leaving all the old beliefs she had held up inside her against you.
Continue to be your best version, no matter how difficult a situation is but when you act mindfully, have control over your thought, and hold good intentions you have the power to alter the thought process of others. Try it out. It will take time, but it will work.
Priyanka Nair is the author of 26 Days 26 Ways for a Happier you and Ardhaviram. An NLP practitioner and Founder of Sanity Daily, helping you prioritize your mental health. Let’s build a happy community.