Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Thursday 29 July |
Saint of the Day: Sts Martha, Mary and Lazarus of Bethany
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

“My daughter-in-law can’t stand me … what can I do?”


Edifa - published on 11/10/20

Some tips to help this often tense relationship thrive.

In the classic mother-in-law/ daughter-in-law conflict, there is a tendency to look for the mistakes of the mother-in-law, who is often considered invasive and dominant. But there are cases where the reality is more complex. While it is commendable for a mother-in-law to sincerely reflect on her behavior and rethink it if necessary, a daughter-in-law should also do the same.

What is behind the hostility?

What can a mother-in-law do when she feels rising hostility from her son’s wife? She can try to understand what brought about this animosity, especially if it’s directed solely at her. Perhaps the daughter-in-law feels jealous when she notices that her husband’s mother is very much present in his thoughts and words. Perhaps she has the impression that her mother-in-law prefers the other in-laws, whom she talks about in much greater detail. Perhaps she feels that she belongs to a different social environment or is afraid that her children are being influenced, or is holding in some kind of resentment or animosity for not feeling like she’s been fully accepted by her husband’s family.

It may also be the case that a couple who loves each other but having difficulties may be tempted to look for a scapegoat so they don’t have to blame themselves for the tension in their relationship.

Unraveling the exact reason for your daughter-in-law’s hostility can allow you to find the best way forward.

Discretion filled with tenderness

Both the father-in-law and husband in the situation can provide support to the relationship, which can go a long way. But when faced with a daughter-in-law who seems to detest you, it’s important to be both discreet and tender. If she gets you out of kilter, it’s because you give her certain power over you; it’s time to take it back. Draw healthy boundaries but remember to forgive and show mercy, even when it’s difficult.

Denis Sonet


Read more:
7 Reasons to cherish your mother-in-law

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
J-P Mauro
Reconstructing a 12th-century pipe organ discovered in the Holy L...
Cerith Gardiner
Gold-winning Filipina Olympian shares her Miraculous Medal for th...
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
Joachim and Anne
Philip Kosloski
Did Jesus know his grandparents?
Mathilde De Robien
Did you know Princess Di was buried with a rosary?
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been know...
See More