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How to Deal with a Difficult Daughter-in-Law

Not too fond of your son's taste in women? That's his problem; don’t make it yours.


  • Step 1: Keep quiet Keep quiet and respect his choice. Use breathing techniques to center and distance yourself, and learn to give up control. This is his choice; you have to live with it.
  • Step 2: Model cordial behavior Model cordial behavior – be poised, polite, and mature – no matter how crass and clueless she might be.
  • Step 3: Communicate uncritically Communicate clearly and uncritically to her that you will not indulge or take part in gossip or unkind comments, and that you don't want a fight.
  • TIP: Understand that you can’t protect him from everything, and that he has to take responsibility for his choices.
  • Step 4: Address the problem Address the problem with your son diplomatically, framing it as if asking his advice on whether you should broach it with her. He may elect to do it himself.
  • Step 5: Make peace Attempt to make peace with her. Be creative in helping her feel like part of the family. You don’t always get the daughter-in-law you dreamed of.
  • TIP: Remember that this woman may become the mother of your grandchildren.
  • Step 6: Maintain your dignity Maintain your dignity and positive attitude. Savor the few moments that are good and remember that not everyone is crazy about you all the time, either.
  • FACT: Did you know? Of a group of mothers and daughters-in-law who initially disliked one another, 10 percent never mended, 30 percent got over it quickly, and 60 percent got along later.

You Will Need

  • Breathing techniques
  • Cordial behavior
  • Communication
  • Tact
  • A peaceful approach
  • Dignity
  • Humility

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