The results of our exclusive poll...
Is she a mother-in-law--or monster-in-law? A friend, frenemy...or outright enemy? Maybe she really is family, like a second mom?
Mothers-in-law have always been the brunt of many a joke, but what do you really think about that other woman in your husband's life? We at Galtime.com surveyed more than two thousand daughters-in-law and asked them the tough questions. We also teamed up with ThirdAge.com, which surveyed nearly nineteen hundred mothers-in-law to see what they were thinking.
And neither side held back!
While some women praised their mother-in-law for being an "awesome grandma" or a "very wise and wonderful woman", more than a third of consider her a "frenemy" or even an outright "enemy," butting in, giving unsolicited advice, and treating their husband like he's still a little kid.
One said, "My mother-in-law is toxic." Another claimed, "She is the reason my husband and I split up." Ouch!
So what does she do to raise your hackles? Seems like it all comes down to a matter of R-E-S-P-E-C-T. In fact, more than half of the women surveyed felt that they weren't getting the proper respect from their mothers-in-law. Thirty-seven percent of those surveyed said she continually criticizes their parenting techniques and 45% claim she complains about them to their husbands behind their back. Not only that, 70% believe she still treats hubby like a child, at least some of the time.
But the real root of the problem may come mom-in-law assuming she knows best--and making sure everyone knows it. Forty-five percent of daughters-in-law say they're sick of her "butting in their business" or being "just too critical." Many said, “She gives advice about EVERYTHING!” While others noted, “It is always her way or the highway.”
What may be the biggest problem between the two is the amount of unsolicited advice the mothers-in-law offer. Almost 60% of moms admit they give their daughters-in-law advice, without being asked, about a variety of subjects.
What happens when you look at the relationship from the other side? How do mothers-in-law feel about their sons' wives? It turns out they have a somewhat rosier view of this complicated relationship, according to the ThirdAge.com survey. Over 60% say they think of their daughter-in-law as a “daughter” or a friend and the right wife for their son. Only around 10% see her as an enemy. Yet while over 50% say they like their daughters-in-law “very much,” almost 45% think she is, at best, just “okay, “ dislike her some of the time, or don’t like her at all.
And while some daughters-in-law insist they hit the mother-in-law jackpot and consider her an "elderly girlfriend" who even defends her when "her son is being a jerk," it seems the majority still face that age-old conflict, that's probably been going on since the dawn of time. Two women who both love the same man and want the best for him, but just can't seem to agree on how to make that happen...together.
ThirdAge.com is the largest website solely devoted to baby boomer women.