I don’t like my son’s wife. She seems like a perfectly likeable person, has a wide social circle, and seems to be liked by the rest of my family. Yet, for some reason I cannot really explain, I do not care for her personality. She rubs me the wrong way. My husband has told me that I’m playing into the monster-in-law stereotype and I need to stop, but I cannot seem to find anything to like about her. It’s not anything even specific that she does, it all just grates on my nerves. I want to talk to my son about this but my husband is adamant that the problem is my own and talking to my son will cause larger problems, especially as they plan to start having children in the near future. Should I bring this up with my son or just continue to try to hide my dislike for his wife?
Mother Knows Best
Dear Mother Knows Best,
There is so much to unpack here but I think I need to start with absolute open honesty.
You are an unlikeable person.
How did that feel? I am guessing it didn’t feel too nice. Now imagine how your son will feel when you blurt out your honest feelings about his wife. You admit your daughter-in-law has a likeable personality, yet you don’t like her. Not only do you not like her, you want to tell people that you feel that way so that they can… what? What could you possibly hope to hear from your son that may make you decide to like his chosen life partner?
Are you hoping he will divorce and marry a mother-approved girl?
I find it hard to believe that you have lived to an age where your children are old enough to have children and you’ve never had to pretend to be nice to someone you didn’t really like. Work functions, social events, a family wedding or funeral with the weird uncle who tells the corny jokes – at some point in your past you must have smiled and been polite.
It’s called a society and we’re trying to have a civilized one!Tweet
I think you should practice the proven technique called Fake It Till You Make It. This tactic includes smiling at your daughter-in-law, treating her with kindness, and even engaging her in surface conversation as you get to know her better. Eventually you will find at least one thing you can like and then focus on that if or when she rubs you the wrong way. That’s how polite society works. You may not always like someone’s personality, but that’s no reason to be rude to them.
However, my powers of deduction tell me that you prefer the sledgehammer approach.
Before you decide to use it, I advise you to take a hard look at yourself and be absolutely sure you want total honesty before you blurt out your feelings about perfectly likeable relatives. You may not like the honesty that comes back in your direction.
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