The stat above may have been provided from a different social terrain, but its import is just as relevant around here, maybe even more.

Mothers-in-law in this part of the world have over time become famed for being meddlesome, disruptive, overbearing and trying to exert too much influence on the marriages of their sons.

It goes without saying that while the above stat certainly has its merits, there are mothers-in-law who are nothing like the profile painted above.

Regardless, there have been far too many stories and so many wives have experienced tension with their spouse’s mums [and sometimes, husband's female siblings] for this to be an issue to scoff at.

You can win over the affection of both your mother-in-law and other women in his family. [Credit: Getty]
You can win over the affection of both your mother-in-law and other women in his family. [Credit: Getty]

So while we have already listed here seven good reasons why you should try to be good friends with your mother-in-law, now we provide helpful advice on how you can do so.

Respect

To be honest, many of the rules on how to win your partner’s mother over can be pegged under an important canopy word and that is ‘respect’.

In this context, the word is not limited to just its primary meaning which is synonymous with honour and being humble in your relationship with the older woman. Respect here is to be extended to cover concepts such as being accommodating, accepting and understanding.

As much as is reasonable, you want to accord the mother of your husband the reverence she deserves for the older connection she has with your man, and also because many times, men usually have special ties with their mothers. You need to respect that.

That many sons have a special connection with their mums is one reason why you should try to respect the older woman. [ParentToolKit]
That many sons have a special connection with their mums is one reason why you should try to respect the older woman. [ParentToolKit]

There’s no need to make a mockery of that bond by trying to set up the man to pick between you and your mother-in-law. Sometimes, this is usually unavoidable, but be fair enough to ensure that this is not as a result of your disrespect or some other devious shenanigan.

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The role of your man in making sure this works

While some mothers-in-law are just darlings that make life heaven on earth for you and pretty much know their place, some are obviously not. And it is on the premise that there are six of these disruptive ones out of every 10 that this piece is being written.

So in realization of the fact that some mothers-in-law are going to be difficult for just no just cause, it is important to talk about creating a support-system for yourself in your man.

You need to know where your man stands on the possible conflicts that may happen between his mum and his woman. This is actually one of the awkward but necessary conversations to have with your man before marriage. You need to gauge his level of understanding of this potential power tussle and what his stance is on how best to handle the situation.

You need a supportive man who can be your cover in cases like this where his female family members are trying to stress you. [Credit: Video Blocks]
You need a supportive man who can be your cover in cases like this where his female family members are trying to stress you. [Credit: Video Blocks]

Ask him questions that show the limit of involvement allowed by his folks. It makes sense to specifically limit the question to his mother and gauge whether you are on the same page on the subject.

On the chance that you are already married without having the conversation and every of your mother-in-law fears actually materialize, you would still need to have a conversation with your man. You need to let him know that he has your back and that he is on your side.

When his mum is one who tries to meddle too much and tries to disturb the balance of power in your marriage, your man is in the best position to talk about it. So channel your worries to him and let him do the right thing by having that conversation with his folks.

Even it means involving his dad or some other senior figure that the woman listens to, heeding your worries and protecting you and the marriage from this particular disruptive, external influence is his responsibility.

Every woman deserves a man who takes this as serious as they should.