Taming the Envious Monster-in-Law

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Being married to someone you love is one of life’s greatest blessings. However, when you marry into a new family, it also means accepting and dealing with your in-laws. While some people are lucky to have supportive and understanding in-laws, others may have to face the challenge of dealing with an envious and overbearing mother-in-law.

In the Filipino culture, the concept of “family” is highly valued and respected. It is not just about the immediate family but also extends to the extended family. This makes it even more challenging to handle an envious monster-in-law as there may be cultural expectations and obligations that come with it.

So, if you find yourself in a situation where your husband’s mother is constantly envious of your financial stability and support, here are some tips on how to tame her in the Filipino setting.

  1. Understand the Root of Envy
    Before jumping into any conclusions or taking any actions, it is essential to understand where your mother-in-law’s envy is coming from. In most cases, it may stem from a feeling of insecurity or inadequacy. As the breadwinner of the family, your husband may have been providing for his mother and siblings before you came into the picture. Your presence and financial stability may have triggered her feelings of jealousy.

In some instances, it may also be due to cultural expectations that the son should provide for his parents in their old age. However, you must keep in mind that this does not justify her behavior towards you.

  1. Communicate Openly and Respectfully
    Communication is key in any relationship, including with your mother-in-law. Instead of avoiding her or keeping secrets from her, try to have an open and honest conversation about your financial situation.

Explain to her that your husband’s job abroad requires careful budgeting, and you are only able to provide for what is necessary. Let her know that you are not withholding anything from them but rather being responsible with your finances.

It is also important to show respect towards her and avoid arguments or confrontations. As much as possible, try to understand her perspective and find common ground.

  1. Set Boundaries
    It is essential to set boundaries with your mother-in-law and make it clear that you will not tolerate any disrespect or rude behavior towards you or your husband. This can be challenging in the Filipino culture, where respect for elders is highly valued. However, it is crucial to establish boundaries to protect your marriage and your mental well-being.

You can do this by calmly addressing any inappropriate behavior and reminding her that it is not acceptable. It may take time for her to adjust, but consistently enforcing boundaries will eventually help her understand that her actions have consequences.

  1. Involve Your Husband
    Your husband plays a crucial role in managing the relationship between you and his mother. It is essential to communicate openly with him about any issues or concerns you have regarding his mother’s behavior.

Together, you can come up with a plan on how to address the situation and ensure that you are both on the same page. He should also take responsibility for setting boundaries with his mother and addressing any disrespectful behavior towards you.

  1. Encourage Financial Independence
    One way to address your mother-in-law’s envy for financial support is to encourage financial independence within the family. This may be challenging at first as there may be cultural expectations for the son to provide for his parents. However, it is important to educate them on the importance of financial independence and self-sufficiency.

You can suggest ways for them to earn their own income or create a budget plan together. This will help them become more self-reliant and lessen their dependence on you and your husband.

  1. Be Mindful of Cultural Expectations
    As mentioned earlier, the Filipino culture places a strong emphasis on family and taking care of one’s parents. It is essential to be mindful of these cultural expectations and find a balance between fulfilling them and maintaining your own financial stability.

You can still provide for your in-laws, but it should not be to the point of sacrificing your own family’s well-being. Communicate with them about setting realistic expectations and finding a middle ground that works for everyone.

  1. Seek Professional Help
    If the situation becomes too difficult to handle, do not hesitate to seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can provide an unbiased perspective and offer practical advice on how to improve your relationship with your mother-in-law.

In summary, taming an envious monster-in-law in the Filipino setting requires a delicate balance of understanding cultural expectations, setting boundaries, and effective communication. It may be a challenging journey, but with patience, respect, and open-mindedness, you can overcome this obstacle and build a healthy relationship with your mother-in-law.

Remember, at the end of the day, family is important and finding ways to maintain peace and harmony within the family should be a top priority. With these tips in mind, may you be able to tame the envious monster-in-law and create a peaceful and loving family environment.


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