Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

How to stop hating your mother in law?

148 Answers
Last Updated: 11/24/2021 at 1:34pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Jui Shankar, Ph.D


My worldview offers a systems perspective that values diverse clients and their struggles. I believe supportive and nonjudgmental therapeutic relationships empower clients.

Top Rated Answers
July 14th, 2019 6:18pm
This is a tough one; there's a reason MiL jokes exist, I suppose. It might be helpful to self-reflect to get a better understanding of why you hate her exactly or what "buttons" she pushes for you. For example, my MiL really pushes my "I'm being criticized/judged" buttons. Since sometimes it's unavoidable whether or not we have to interact or spend time with MiLs, it can also be helpful to come up with ways to take good care of yourself when she's around or you do have to interact with her. Would mantras help? Talking to your partner beforehand to come up with a game plan? Taking small breaks to go to the bathroom and take some deep breaths? Whatever will help you stay grounded and get through the interaction. Hope this helps.
October 25th, 2019 8:16pm
I would question myself and try to understand why do I hate her so much: what behaviour, attitude or character trait are particularly difficult for me. What does trigger my hate ? I would then work on trying to change my feelings toward her. I would discuss it with my partner, my friends, and maybe a psychologist to have other people's views. Basically, get some distances with the situation. I truly believe there is always something good about anyone, something of value to share with the World. I would finally change my behaviour and see the reaction. I would favorise short quality time than long stay with my mother in law.
January 4th, 2020 1:37pm
First step, Self Reflect on why you hate your mother in law. Second step, Write down the reasons for your hatred. Three, discuss valid concerns with your mother in law in a respectful manner. Conclusion, Once you discuss your problems with your mother in law you maybe able to overcome these issues and get along well. Usually the cause of hatred is avoiding discussing issues or habits that concern us. And it usually the avoiding that makes matters worse. Therefore, face your issues head on and try to resolve them with your mother in law in order to have a good relationship with her.
February 23rd, 2020 3:29am
You and your mother in law may bump heads from time to time. It is important to know that you don't need to love your mother in law. You don't even need to like her. But you do need to develop a level of understanding so to avoid any negative altercations with her. No one is perfect, but everyone has some good quality about themselves. Find that within her and focus on that. She is the mother of the person that you love, if that person is really worth the trouble of dealing with her, it would be beneficial to everyone if you all got along.
March 4th, 2020 4:44pm
I guess it depends why you hate her. If you do hate her for personal reasons that doesn't necessarily come from her, then I'd suggest to get to know her and let her get to know you. You can't judge a book by it's cover and sometimes we can judge people too quickly. Also I guess you could see what other people think, like your significant other and see how they deal with things. I hope you'll be able to like her in some way eventually and maybe you can check out some forums or try to deal with it with people in real life. Take care
April 9th, 2020 7:47am
You can't just decide to hate or love people. Emotions are much more complex than that. What you can do, is try to understand why you feel that way about your MIL. When you have a good understanding of what the issue is, you can try to come to terms with it and develop a better state of mind. if this is an option, sit down and have a conversation with her. Be understanding and polite, and try to have a rational conversation about why there is conflict. Remember, she loves her child and is a human with complex feelings and emotions too. However, if things are beyond repair, try to focus on letting go of the issue instead of resolving it. improve your own mental state; holding hatred inside is not healthy.
April 11th, 2020 4:43pm
It is completely understandable to want to have an independent, unique, private relationship with your spouse without the outside influence that in-laws pose. Mother-in-laws often also want to maintain their own relationship with their child as well - she was the one to raise, nurture, and develop that person into the spouse that you now know and love today. What others have found helpful is trying to find ways to both welcome the gratitude for where your spouse is today and also - at the same time - maintaining a separate relationship. Finding something that she takes pride in, finds comfort in, and can do for you and your spouse might be helpful in making her remember that she is still important and meaningful part of your spouse's life, and now yours. At the same time, it is ok to decide with your spouse what your relationship's boundaries will be and how those will be upheld. Maintaining frequent communication with your spouse about your triggers and an action plan with how to deal with those is important.
April 26th, 2020 6:01am
sometimes we have to realize that we cannot change others actions and perceptions only our own. forgiving her for whatever she has done and letting go of the hatred is not about benefiting her it benefits you because you decrease the negative emotions you feel. Have you ever heard about individuals who have forgiven killers for killing family members? on a lesser scale similar to that, for you to lead a happier life you need to let go of resentment. There are multiple ways such as writing a letter, burning it, exercise, lighting a candle, or even talking with your mother in law to find common ground. find a way that works for you and utilize it to make yourself happier because in the end that's whats important.
May 23rd, 2020 11:08pm
Spend time with her, getting to know her. Do activities she and you both enjoy to build a common interest you can turn to to connect with her better. When you spend more of this time with her you will be able to build a better relationship with her to develop love for her. Since she is the mother of your spouse it is very important to obtain and maintain this good relationship. Focus on trying to find different ways to do things with and for her so you will be in her good graces. When she starts treating you with more respect you will inevitably start liking her more.
June 3rd, 2020 11:51am
I think the beginning step is to identify why you dislike them, is it due to how you are feeling? Does your relationship with somebody feel at risk due to your mother in law? Express your emotions and take baby steps to bond. Perhaps you have a common interest or a positive element you are not aware of yet :)! Most importantly, take care of yourself and do not put pressure on yourself. Communication with those around you may also be beneficial, such as you communicate with your partner how you feel and asking what are the appropriate steps to moving foward.
June 3rd, 2020 5:49pm
By stepping into her shoes and by trying to understand her perspective. It's important to acknowledge her human side as well and understand that she would probably make mistakes sometimes and that is okay. It would be much easier to accept her the way she is rather than hating her. We need to stop spending such strong negative emotions over those part of our lives which we cannot control. Focus on the brighter side. These strong negative feelings does more harm to you than good. It will affect you more. It is like poison which you are creating inside you, it has potential to destroy you.
June 24th, 2020 7:47pm
try to understand her situation and where she's coming from. also keep in mind that, she is the person that raised your partner/wife and that means a lot for you wife. you san sit with her and talk to her sincerely to understand where she's coming from. Understand her role in your life. Another thing is do not set any expectation from her. try to explain yourself to avoid conflict or miscommunication. transparency is the key. I'm sure she has a good intentions for your and your partner and so do you. you both have common goal and understanding and respect is the key.
July 11th, 2020 8:16pm
Best thing to do is try to turn lemons into lemonade. Sometimes it won't work...but at least you can try. Chances are you will cry at her funeral so focus on what you can learn from her. Ask her questions like she is a friend. Try to think constructively. A day here and a day there it is okay to hate...but remember that any one can be a destroyer or a vandal... But only a few cultures on earth have done more quiet building than destroying. All people are a subset of those greater cultures. As a living and loving not hating and hurting.
August 13th, 2020 9:19pm
First, I would identify the reason behind your hatred for your mother in law. After this, ask yourself why does this make me hate someone like her? Then after you identify the what and the why, I would grow past these feelings and spend quality time with your mother in law. Even though it can be hard, just know that it's for the long run and that this will ultimately benefit your relationship with her and your partner than hurt it. Hopefully by spending time with her, you can find common hobbies and interests that create a bridge between you two. You got this! And remember to be the bigger person or at least try to!
September 5th, 2020 1:02am
Boundaries. Boundaries. Boundaries. Figure out what you are comfortable talking about with her, and what activities you're willing to do with her around. Learn short simple phrases you will say to side step moments where she's knowingly/unknowingly being combative. When boundaries are violated make incredibly clear what the consequences are. Look up 'gray rock' method and how to use it for when all else fails. Naturally all of this will have to be discussed with your significant other. It's that much harder to enforce these things when you are not on the same page. Best of luck to you and your situation!
September 23rd, 2020 5:45pm
Having strong feelings of dislike for anyone can be a difficult obstacle to overcome. However, often when we feel strong negative emotions towards someone, those thoughts and feelings can be eased by forming a sense of relatability between you and that person. This doesn't mean you have to hang out with them until they grind your last nerve, in fact, relating to someone can be work you do alone, internally. When you find things you have in common with the person, or start to build an understanding for why they are the way they are, it can become harder to blame or hate them.
October 9th, 2020 8:34am
Create a list of things you don’t like about her. Then write down different options or solutions to fix the issue. You may even want to consider having a discussion with her about both lists of dislikes and possible solutions. Communication is key especially when tensions are high. She may not know or understand why you dislike her. After having a heart to heart discussion if all else fails you can agree to disagree. At this point you both should feel the air between you is a bit more clear. You may have also learned something from each other you didn’t already know.
November 8th, 2020 6:16am
This one is tough, sometimes two people do just not get along no matter how much you want them to. First, I suggest having a hear to heart with her, even if that sounds like the worst idea ever, at least you tried to figure out where your differences are, and see if you have anything you agree on and that you can bond over. True to see her perspective, you don't have to agree with her, but understanding where she is coming from and why she does/says certain things may help you when you respond to her and interact with her. Second, talk to your spouse about how you feel when you are with your MIL (being mindful this is their mom and may be protective). Instead of saying you hate her, explain how she makes you feel. "it hurts my feelings when she..... I feel like she doesn't accept me...." and ask for your partners advice, as well as understanding that you may never become close with their mom and would appreciate if they accepted that and didn't try to push you to be close, to respect your feelings and run interference if need be. Finally, if none of that works, since you are "stuck" with your MIL, see if you can find a couple things you appreciate about her, it could even be just that she birthed your partner. That way, when she is really bothering you, remind yourself that without her, you wouldn't have your partner. Its not going to make you like her anymore, but it might help you tolerate being around her.
November 20th, 2020 11:20pm
Hate is such a strong word, why say hate. Find ways to connect with your mother in law it could be just a misunderstanding. Set some boundaries when it comes to your mother in law, sometimes they may not know that you are uncomfortable with things they are doing until you say something. Forgiving plays a major part in getting the hatred to stop. It's all about the people you are willing to tolerate in life and being your mother in law you have to tolerate for your husband's sake. Figure out what triggers you to hate your mother in law that way you know to stay clear from it or to learn your trigger to have better control.
November 29th, 2020 7:12pm
By being first to apologise and to ask her to validate your feelings and to place firm boundaries towards her. Try to validate her feelings too. Don't apologise for your actions to no one,including her. Find a way to forgive, mentally and emotionally. It is good to relieve from your pain. Forgiveness is actually setting boundaries. Do what is comfortable for when you are around her. Don't go to her in a stage of distress. Just go when you are calm and in control of yourself. If she did nothing wrong, ask yourself why do you hate her. Jelaousy, her for being her? Find a reason to respect her and see her good sides.
December 23rd, 2020 4:02pm
Try to spend time with her at a neutral place. Try to talk to her about yours needs, about all the things which lead to your hating. Give you and her enough time to improve the relationship. And it's okay to see her first as a foreign person. Maybe you won't accept she as a mum but she and you can get friends, also. Try to learn something about her. Do you have similar interests or hobbies? A new family situation with a mother in law hasn't to be easy but you could see it as a change for new options.
December 26th, 2020 6:07am
Maybe there are things that you both may have in common - interests, hobbies, that you could try to enjoy together. Bonding can be easier if it is over something both enjoy. Another idea is to think back to when this hatred started, or what the root of it may be, and try to think of what may help you work through or get past that. Depending on how open you two are with communication, you could address the problem head-on, and depending on what her feelings are towards you.. maybe there are things that were misunderstandings and neither side realized what the intended meaning was. It can be surprising how often people can read situations in such different ways than they were intended.
January 20th, 2021 8:08pm
I might give you a controversial answer here. So there is two ways. One, try to see the situation as if you were in her shoes, try to relate to what she is feeling. Her needs, her thoughts, feelings and so fourth. Just imagine yourself being in her place with none of your own baggage. The second one is the controversial one and should according to me only be practiced in special occations. That is simply. You are allowed to feel whatever it is you are feeling. You have your reasons, you have your feelings and they are okay to feel. Just know that hating someone does not have to last forever, and most of the time forgiveness is usually something very relieving and makes you feel better most of the time so try number one both before and after number two. Always remember us here on 7 cups are here to help and support you. Never be afraid to reach out.
January 21st, 2021 7:58am
Set boundaries. Try to focus on what you love about your spouse and know that your mother in law had some part in contributing to this part of your spouse that you love. Remain civil and polite, you are not married to your mother in law just their child. 1. Talk it out with your mother-in-law. Let her know you realize your partner is her child and the transition isn’t easy for her. Follow it up by being clear with examples of things you won’t compromise on. Maybe you’d like her to call before she comes over. Perhaps you don’t want her telling you how to raise your kids, or asking you why you don’t pack a lunch for your partner each day. Chances are if you tell her in a nice calm way, she will stop. Maybe this is how her MIL treated her, or maybe she has no idea it bothers you because you’ve never mentioned it before. It’s also important that parents can gaslight their own children and in-laws without realizing they are doing it. That kind of behavior is not acceptable, whether it’s on purpose or not. Call it out calmly and succinctly. Approach the conversation with clear examples and why that behavior is toxic and unhealthy. However, if that fails, try the following: 2. Plan an activity for your spouse and their mother. Whether you are on her turf or she is on yours, plan something fun for her and your partner to do without you. Maybe it’s lunch at their favorite restaurant or a trip to her favorite store and a movie. Whatever it may be, it’s going to be a win for her because she gets to spend time with her child. And it will be a win for your partner (hopefully) because they will get to spend time with their mother without you threatening to chop her hair off once she falls asleep. And it will be really nice for you.
May 21st, 2021 12:54pm
For me, removing animosity was about accepting who they are and removing my expectations from the table. It has also meant that, while sometimes I may be upset or hurt by her actions or words, I do not own them as my truth. I am continually learning how to love her without having to always like her. We are chosen family now. Some days I have to put my spouse and their shared relationship between mother and child before my feelings. It’s hard and I fail sometimes, but I also learn. Healthy boundaries with my mother-in-law have been the key to my being able to show her continued kindness in the midst of differing ideas.
May 30th, 2021 3:38am
A classic relationship that is full of emotions and tug of war. It's okay to feel the dislike or even hate but it is important not to let this hate to seep in and destroy your own behaviour , personality and peace of mind. It's okay to look at a negative stuff but it is not okay to give it a place to fester inside you. That is self harming. One good way to manage MIL is to understand a little where she is coming from and to know that if she has a lot to learn about acceptance and unconditional love. You do not have to teach her as she has to learn that lesson on her own. The best is to avoid being in a presence too much as that might trigger your emotions and this might cause a chain reaction like anger towards your spouse or kids. If you have to share your space with her then , think of her as someone you help or serve someone in a charity home. Won't you show some respect and compassion for that stranger. Well you could practise and operate from that level of emotions when you have to do things for your MIL.
October 21st, 2021 7:46pm
Mother in laws are biased simply because they're mothers. It can be hard to see things from their point of view if you're not a mother yourself. Perspective taking and asking "how would I feel as a mother" can be helpful when having difficulties with in laws in general. Understanding that they prioritize their child and their family is the first step to figuring out what makes the relationship between you and them work. More often than not, your own mother would prioritize you and your side of the family before the in laws, and this can be hard to understand, especially since you're married to someone that your family doesn't prioritize. This is a generalization, and maybe your family does prioritize the in laws and maybe the in laws prioritize you too. But looking from both sides is key to stop hating in laws in general
November 24th, 2021 1:34pm
If you love your wife, you'd love everything of her. Her issues now became your issues. Her joy, now became your joy. Her worries now became your worries. And yes, her family is now your family too. So let's rephrase your question, "How do we stop hating our mothers?" The answer is fairly simple or complicated depending on who you ask, but the basic idea is we have to accept the generational gap and take them as who they are. It is we, that have to be the larger person and accept them and love them when they annoy us/ do unreasonable things (but of course not anything that violent or stuffs like that). But if they're personalities are odd and stuff, we have to be tolerant. Because our mother raised us as a kid when we're playful and naughty, and gave them tons of trouble. My experience is when they grew older, a part of their childish side returns. And it is now our turn to take care of them. And in your case, im not exactly sure what your mother in law does, but before making any decision, stand in your wife's shoe, and do whats best for her and your family.