Because I do couples’ life-coaching, I have had the privilege of seeing many marriages heal as husbands and wives changed their minds and hearts. There’s few things that makes me as excited as seeing a family get a second chance at happiness and love.
However, many of the broken couples that I’ve seen, come with stories of interfering family members – of which mom-in-laws are the biggest culprits. So without judgement, I want to write this letter to all current and potential moms-in-law. I pray that this will help you and your families.
If I could give you a clean slate to start all over, let this be it today. Forget about the past and focus on this letter and changing your heart. You should have an awesome relationship with your in-law children and it is 100% possible.
Firstly, I’d like to give you a few gentle reminders:
- No one is stealing your child from you. You cannot marry your own child and they deserve to have someone to share their life with them. You won’t be around for ever and they don’t want to grow old alone. Breathe and let them marry their love.
- Your child’s spouse will not be perfect. Shocking truth: neither is your child! Their marriage will already have problems just because of their imperfection. Don’t interfere and make it even harder for them. Don’t become their biggest problem. It will expose your heart if you do.
- I believe that you want the best for your child. Their choice in spouse, might not be the best in your eyes, but you are not the one marrying that person. Give your child the best opportunity to make their marriage work, by having a loving attitude towards your child-in-law.
- If you don’t have grandchildren already, I can promise you, you would want a relationship with them one day. Make sure you build a relationship with their parents – both of them! And never badmouth the children with the grandchildren. Always respect the mom and dad’s rules. Be involved in teaching your grandchildren values and life skills, but never let your children or in-law children feel you want to take control of the grandchildren. Don’t abuse the awesome privilege of being a grandparent.
- Your child should NEVER have to choose between you and his / her spouse. And if you make them choose, they will hopefully choose their spouse. No one is more important than their spouse. No marriage should be broken because a spouse sided with his / her parents instead of with their spouse. Their marriage and their own family should come first before any extended family.
- Your child is an adult now. You can’t protect them against the pain and negativity in the world. I know – that is the worst part of being a parent – letting go and knowing that they might get hurt. And they will. History has taught us that pain will find us, regardless of race, religion or age. We all will experience pain and some degree of suffering in this life. Hopefully you have raised your son or daughter to handle whatever life throws at them. Believe in them. Don’t interfere in their fights or disagreements. Don’t take sides if they share these details with you (hopefully they won’t!). Be there for them, but let your advise always build their lives and their marriage. Never tear it down.
I think that when a young lady and a young man fall in love, the last thing on their minds is to steal your child from you. They only think about their desire to spend eternity with this person and they don’t get married with the intention of hurting them. Don’t compete with your child-in-law for your child’s love. They have a complete different love for their spouse than for you. Yes, many daughters in-law feel threatened when their husbands have a good relationship with their mothers. Don’t stop having a good relationship with your child. Just make sure you don’t exclude your new daughter. Don’t let her feel left outside. She is now one with your son. Draw her in and make her your daughter: the daughter your son chose for you.
Some daughters in-law struggle to get attention from their husbands, but one call from mommy and they jump as high as she wants them to jump. Teach your son that his #1 priority is his wife. Don’t be the mom-in-law who enjoys seeing your son (or daughter) choose you above their spouse. Your biggest desire for your children should be their happiness in marriage. Don’t ever be the cause of any of your children’s broken marriages. God knows the intentions of our hearts and He knows your heart too.
May every mom-in-law who read this letter, do everything in her power to build a beautiful relationship with her in-law children. Make it easy for the other person to love you. Let us help them believe in marriage once again! We have enough broken families. Help yours win!
Be an EXTRAORDINARY family!