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Living in Love — Help with MIL and DIL Issues

 'Two women boxing' photo (c) 1900, Powerhouse Museum - license:

It’s no secret that the relationship between and wife and her mother-in-law can be…sensitive? Rocky? Tumultuous? There are lots of reasons why this is the case. Perhaps the mother isn’t quite ready to play second fiddle to another women in her son’s life. Perhaps the wife doesn’t want another mother figure. Regardless, it can be a huge concern leading up to, during, and after a wedding.

I posed this request on Twitter and Facebook yesterday and received many more responses than I expected:

If you have a great mother-in-law or daughter-in-law and you’d like to tell me about her, I’d love to talk. Doing a series on the blog.

Most of the responses were from women who said they have amazing mothers-in-law. This is such an encouraging thing. I know my own mother-in-law is just fantastic. But I also know she was very concerned about doing it right. She was worried she wouldn’t be a good one, and she told me she was praying about it. The fact that she even cared meant far more to me than whether or not she was “doing it right.” I’m not even sure there is a “right way.”

So I’d like to spend a few posts talking about the in-law relationship–how it becomes strong, how it breaks down, how Christ works in the midst of both good and bad situations.

Here’s what I’d love from you. If you have any thoughts on the following questions, please shoot me an email (catherinestrodeparks[at]gmail[dot]com) or respond in the comments section. And feel free to add anything not specifically asked for.

1. What helps this relationship get off on the right foot? What is unhelpful?

2. How has your MIL/DIL loved you well?

3. What would you say to a new bride or mother of the groom to help them in this new relationship?

4. How do you feel you might be misunderstood in this relationship?

5. What do you think is the ultimate goal of your relationship with your MIL/DIL?

Thanks for sharing any and all thoughts on this. I’m praying it will be a help and an encouragement to moms and brides as they navigate these murky waters!

2 responses »

  1. There is so much that is assumed in family relationships that the new member just doesn’t understand. I think it would be helpful to think through and communicate those things. For example, “We’d love to have you stop by once a week.” I feel like we are constantly judged by not living up to family expectations that have not been defined.

    • Good thought, Angela. Both families bring our own ways of doing things into the relationship, and normally we don’t even think about it–we’ve been doing it a certain way for so long. Thanks for commenting.


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