Why wives hate the mother-in-law who is ‘controlling’ and ‘interfering’
The stereotype suggests that it’s the husband who simply cannot bear their mother-in-law.
But wives feel exactly the same, according to the latest research.
One in four despises their mother-in-law and believes she is ‘controlling, interfering and bitchy’.
Parental control: Carolyn Bourne behaved like a classic interfering mother-in-law when she sent her prospective daughter-in-law an abusive email
In a poll, women accused mothers-in-law of routinely ‘knowing best’ when it comes to parenting, judging their parenting skills and undermining them in front of their partner and children.
Almost a third said they were made to feel they were not good enough for their partner.
Many move house to escape the mother-in-law’s clutches and for some the stress is so extreme it has led to marital breakdown.
The findings come from a poll of some 2,000 mothers by the website Netmums.
Almost a quarter, 24 per cent, described their relationship with their mother-in-law as bad or terrible.
Upbrided: Heidi Withers, the future wife of Mrs Bourn’s son Freddie, circulated the email in which her future relative bemoans her lack of manners
Some 16 per cent believe she is bitchy, 22 per cent think her rude, 25 per cent controlling, 35 per cent judgmental and 32 per cent interfering.
And many women view their mother-in-law as more stressful than fraught experiences such as moving house.
Some 24 per cent find her worse than moving, 21 per cent worse than potty training, 14 per cent worse than morning sickness and 13 per cent worse than breastfeeding.
One in 10 moves house to be further away from her and five per cent cite her as the chief reason for their marriage breakdown.
‘However mothers-in-law can be a huge support, especially for new mums, and more than ever they are helping families out by taking on childcare responsibilities.’
‘It takes some time to get on with your mother-in-law but can be worth a little perseverance, even if you have to bite your tongue sometimes.’
Netmums has coined phrases for seven different types of mother-in-law, only one of which is favourable.
There is the ‘I know best’ mother-in-law, the ‘uber-nana’ who demands unlimited access, the disinterested ‘sorry-but-I-have-my-own-life’, the ‘I-think-the-sun-shines-out-of-my-son’s-bum’, the ‘needy’, the ‘hyacinth bucket’ and the ‘glamorous granny’.
They found the ‘perfect’ mother-in-law, was one who is ‘young-at heart, independent, generous to a fault and good fun, she toes the line between offering the support you need, and butting out the rest of the time.’
The difficult relationship between women and their mothers-in-law was highlighted recently when a vicious email from Carolyn Bourne to her future daughter-in-law Heidi Withers went viral.
Mrs Bourne panned her son’s partner, calling her out for her ‘staggering uncouthness and lack of grace’.
But Miss Withers hit back by sending the email to all her contacts, from where it made its way into the news across the globe.Daily Mail