This is a part of The Complete Guide to Dealing with your Mother-in-law – Chapter Three, Part One. (Read Part two and three here)
It is one thing to see your MIL jealous of your relationship with her son, but quite another when you are jealous of your mother-in-law’s relationship with her son (your husband).
Answer the questions below before you plunge on to see how you should manage your own emotions.
- Is your husband expressing more love to her than he does to you?
- Is your husband putting her needs ahead of yours?
- Do their phone/Skype conversations happen every day for several minutes to hours?
- Does he brag and praise a lot about his mom but hardly ever praises you in front of his mom?
- Does he openly take her side or overly defend his mom even if she’s wrong?
- Is he pressurizing you to impress her all the time?
If you have said yes to at least 2 of the above questions, your jealousy has a reason. I am sorry but your husband is a total jerk. You need to see a marriage counsellor as soon as possible because your husband clearly doesn’t understand his priorities. He’s still being a mama’s boy. You need to work on your marriage and your jealousy will disappear.
But if you have said no to the questions above, then you are being unreasonably jealous. If small joke shared between the mom and son makes your heart burn, then the green-eyed monster has awakened inside you.
- Do you hate to see mom and son together even for a couple of minutes?
- Do you absolutely hate it when your husband says something proud about his mom? (Little bit of jealousy, which vanishes in a couple of minutes, is normal when your husband says something proud of his mom, but do you HATE and hold long-term jealousy from this?)
- Do you often feel like tearing the mom and son apart?
- Are you manipulating your husband’s thoughts to hate his mom unreasonably?
- Even if your husband has been romantic with you the whole day, does a 2 minute phone call from his mom make you go green?
- Do you hate it even if your husband rarely expresses his desire to have his favourite dish cooked by his mom? (while he absolutely loves your cooking)
- Are you constantly suspicious of them? Do you feel they are talking about you/hiding something from you?
Newly married women do feel a drop of jealousy in these situations, but it disappears quickly. If that’s the case, it’s normal. However, being married for more than a couple of years and still feeling a great tide of jealousy overpowering you in these situations is a big problem.
How to get rid of your jealousy?
Jealousy springs mainly because you fear loss.
- Learn to be independent: Being independent is an extremely important skill that brings control over your life and gives you more freedom. The more independent you are, the happier you can be, because you are not dependent on another person for your happiness anymore. Accept and believe in yourself, be emotionally strong. It’s okay to depend on people but don’t let them determine your level of happiness and misery. Get control of your emotions.
- Be prepared to lose your partner: I know it’s harsh but this step really gets rid of your jealousy. You don’t actually need to give him a divorce but realise that the people you constantly depend on will not be there with you all the time. Learn independence.
- Stop your over-active imagination: Imagination is good but imagining too much is bad. It’s like trying to invite new problems which would have otherwise not been there in life. Stop assuming things. For example, your husband didn’t return from office yet and you start wondering what’s wrong. Then you assume he went to his mom’s place. Then you imagine they might be having a very close conversation laughing together and having fun. Maybe you imagine your MIL complaining about you. You worry and get jealous. All this begins from one single thought. Stop your over-active imagination.
- Practise meditation: Numerous studies have clearly proved how meditation can benefit our lifestyle. It has a profound impact on your thought patterns, your emotional control and mental stability. Don’t postpone it. Join your nearest meditation class and get started with it.
- Get Busy: An idle man is a devil’s workshop. The proverb has some truth to it. Getting busy can keep your mind occupied and doesn’t bombard you with emotions of jealousy and negativity. Work…work…work…