“My boyfriend’s mum doesn’t like me”

“My boyfriend’s mum doesn’t like me”

So I’ve been dating this guy for about 3 years and our relationship is great. He’s a wonderful boyfriend attentive, kind and loving. I met him whilst we were at university and we remained friends for a while but had such a great connection we decided to take things further and I don’t regret doing so at all. Unfortunately there’s a major issue that is beginning to take its toll on our relationship; his mother hates me. At first we both thought it was a phase with her trying to feel me out for being a suitable candidate for her son, but it didn’t get better it got worse. Although she’s not outright rude to me she makes snide comments and I constantly feel uncomfortable in her presence, I feel like I’m even beginning to develop anxiety when I know I have to be around her. I’ve spoken to my boyfriend about it and he assures me it will pass and things will get better. He finds it difficult to address the issue with her and almost makes me feel like I’m exaggerating about her behaviour towards me. I’m at a stage now where if the relationship between his mother and myself doesn’t change I may have to reconsider this relationship as a whole. He’s very family oriented which I love about him, but that means spending a lot of time in the presence of a woman who clearly doesn’t like me. What should I do?

Dear Reader,

It is a common notion that if you marry a man, you marry his mother, so I think many people will sympathise with you. Despite this, I think you should not let happiness go because of an outside influence, no matter how close that influence may be to you. There are of course many ways to respond to her behaviour, but the most important thing to decide first is would you rather confrontational or non-confrontational. The first option offers a possible shouting match, but likely not, as you are both adults. I would take the next available opportunity to say to your boyfriend’s mother that you need to talk to her privately. I would say this in front of your boyfriend, this makes her aware that he is completely knowledgeable about the situation and it isn’t something you are hiding from him. I would then go either to another room, area, or place of your choosing and lay your feelings out on the line. She will be affronted, but you will be respectful, she can then either come clean with regards to her feelings, hide them, or completely shut you down. Whichever option she chooses at least you know you have aired your grievances.

The second option is the non-confrontational; the passive aggressive. Here I would suggest you making the effort to spend as much time with your boyfriend’s mother alone as possible. You don’t ever mention why you are now taking an expressed interest in her life, but when she offers her snide retorts you ask her favourite wine and offer her a glass. Take every opportunity to get to know her and at the same time tell her more about yourself.

If neither of these two options work, I am reminded of J.Lo in Monster-in-Law when she smacks her mother in laws head with a frying pan, now I’m not suggesting this, but perhaps imagining this scene in her presence will make you smile instead of grimace at her remarks!

Paris xoxo

www.imonlyparis.tumblr.com/writings

Find me on twitter: @missparisrenee

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