At last, Reluctantly Related: Secrets to Getting Along with Your Mother-in-Law or Daughter-in-Law gives us the definitive work on the all too common family dilemma of stressful relationships between mothers-in-law (MILs) and daughters-in law (DILs). In-law relationship expert Dr. Deanna Brann delivers an insightful, stimulating guide for determining the root causes of mother-in-law/daughter-in-law difficulties and more importantly, provides the situation-specific, practical tools to change things for the better.
When I received the opportunity to review this book, I have to be honest…I was a little nervous. The reason being…well…I was afraid! Afraid I would find out my troubles with my MIL(Mother-in-Law) were MY fault. But, I found this book to be very neutral when it comes to pointing fingers. Before I get into how this book truly helped me, let’s talk a little about the MIL-DIL(Daughter-in-Law) relationship.
I’m sure many of you reading this today agree with me when I say the MIL-DIL relationship is very hard. But why? Why is this one of the most difficult relationships we struggle to understand in our lives?
Dr. Deanna Brann helped me clearly understand this.
She says, “When your son marries, or you marry, you immediately have a new “family.” When the bride says, “I take this man…” what is really happening is that she’s taking this man and his family, including his mother, for better or for worse. So in this case, one plus one does not equal two, but usually at least six. Whether you think your new in-law is marvelous, mediocre or mean, the fact remains that you didn’t get to choose her.”
The one thing I have in common with my MIL is that I married her son. Shortly after I married her son I found out how different we were, and still are! Reluctantly Related is wonderful in the fact, it has sections for MIL’s and sections for DIL’s. I quickly found out which type of MIL I have, a “Mothering Margaret,” is what I have inherited. A Mother Margaret hangs on to the mother role because she doesn’t realize her role has changed or because she is simply afraid of letting go. I have after 9 years of marriage accepted when she comes into my house, she caters to the needs of my husband and now my children, she simply can’t help herself! I cannot change her, the only thing I can do is nicely talk to her when something bothers me.
For instance she feels the need to talk over me when I’m talking/and or disciplining my son. So instead of biting her head off and saying, “that’s enough!” I must remember she has feelings too and calmly take her aside and say something to the affect of, “I really appreciate you trying to help out with my son, but could you do me a favor? When I’m talking/and or disciplining him could you not interrupt until I’m finished? It’s really difficult for him to focus on both of us at the same time.”
So two things are happening here: First, I’m showing that I appreciate her trying to help, it’s not what she was saying, it was when she was saying it. And second, I specifically asked her to do me a favor. After all, when someone asks for a simple favor, it’s really hard to say no-don’t you think?
So how has this worked out for my MIL-DIL relationship? I used to feel guilty for biting her head off, when she didn’t even realize what she was doing. Now I feel so much better communicating with her! Don’t get me wrong it’s still difficult at times, we are both imperfect! The only difference now is we both know where each other stand in the relationship.
So no need to have those struggles with your MIL or DIL, this book is truly remarkable in the fact it is totally neutral, and with simple strategies you can be on the road to a better relationship!
From the author:
Change your struggling in-law relationship today! Through humor, compassion and focus, I?ll show you how, step-by-step. In my book, Reluctantly Related I give you the understanding and the tools to make positive, lasting changes in your mother-in-law or daughter-in-law relationship. You don?t have to feel powerless or hopeless in your relationship!
- Learn the secrets to making change possible.
- Learn practical yet effective tools and skills that build your confidence and empower you with both your in-law and others.
- Learn how to transform your relationship without having to confront your in-law.
There has never been such an entertaining yet helpful resource on the specific problems between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law. Reluctantly Related provides unique, straightforward help to any ?MIL/DIL challenged? family, and should be required reading for newlyweds and their mothers!