You want your mother-in-law to like you but the chances of that happening are about, oh, one in a million, but you still have hope.
That's OK, Mama. Everyone can have dreams. But just remember, you took her baby boy. Her pride and joy. Her reason for existing. Did you just experience a little heartburn upon reading that? Not surprising.
It's hard to understand why your MIL can love the grandchildren you made, yet wish for your death simultaneously. Don't try to understand it. You never will unless I suppose you have a son and even still, you want your son to grow up to be happy and loved, right?
Just accept that most likely, you will have to nail yourself to a cross in order for her to see how badly her behavior can sometimes make you suffer. Chances of you doing that are zero, so just realize she won't change and instead do your best to painstakingly please this woman in order to survive being her "family."
Drop the noose and Xanax and try these five easy steps, guaranteed to make her like you more than she likes the dead spider she just found in her foyer.
Step 1: Admit she is the All-Mighty
Relinquish control and assume the (lower) position.
In your head you can rest assured that as maker of the grandkids, you really are the boss, but with your actions try to show her that you honor and respect her knowledge and wise demeanor (even if it's not so wise.) When she tells you things as if they are gospel, just nod and make sure she knows you understood her wise teachings, and then later on in private, do whatever you were going to do anyway.
Step 2: Ask for her opinion... even when it's not wanted (which is all the time)
No, you don't want her to micromanage you but she sure as hell wishes you would let her. To give the appearance of Step 1, always ask for her opinion. Make it even more official by jotting it down as she's talking. Nod and give verbal cues like "Yes, yes" and "Oh, that's so right," as you listen. It actually may be a very good exercise in learning what your MIL likes and doesn't like, so you can avoid being on her sh*t list. Asking will help you gauge her barometer on just about everything.
But never, EVER ask her what she thinks about you. You really don't want to know, do you?
...for all of these steps make sure to swallow your pride, lower your self-esteem and note with your partner how you're such an awesome wife for taking one "for the team."
Step 3: Offer her tissues when she cries over missing her son
Sure, her son may be 30 years of age or more, but he was supposed to live with her forever.
You think I'm kidding? Clearly you don't understand the magnitude of a mother-in-law's obsessive nature.
I digress. When she misses her son or gets overly clingy and needy, offer sympathy even if you think she's redonk-ulous.
Remember, at one point your little boy (if you have one) will grow up and leave the nest and find another woman. Pat her hand and offer her a tissue.
Step 4: Tell her she's the favorite grandparent
This one is tricky. You don't want to piss off the other in-law or your own parents, but if you warn your parents in advance, they'll probably understand. Tell her that it's a major secret but… she's one of the favorite grandparents, or the favorite grandparent. Explain to her that she mustn't let on because the others will be horribly jealous. Tell her that she's so amazing it was an easy competition.
Try to drink before you tell her this if it's honestly a super stretch that she would ever be the favorite.
Also, for all of these steps make sure to swallow your pride, lower your self-esteem and note with your partner how you're such an awesome wife for taking one "for the team."
RELATED: A Mother-in-Law Apologizes
Step 5: Die inside and tell her you're sorry you're a shitty daughter-in-law
Die inside as a human being but quietly and humbly acknowledge how you realize that you're a shitty daughter-in-law and you can't help it because you're incredibly overpowered by her awesomeness, intelligence and true wisdom that and will always fail to compare. That in reality, you're a great and utterly fantastic daughter-in-law, but that next to her, you simply pale in comparison. You're obviously no match for her character and judgment.
Tell her you work each day to be more like her and you're wondering if she has any tips for you.
Sit back and be prepared to listen until you're knee deep in menopause…
See, what'd I tell you? Easy!