How to handle a difficult daughter-in-law

You think she’s controlling. She thinks you’re a buttinsky. Can you possibly find a way to connect to your DIL when you rarely agree on anything?

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It happens all the time: mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law just can’t see eye to eye. You clash, you argue, you give each other the silent treatment. But why?

“MILs and DILs who are different in temperament, problem solving, communication styles, and attitudes often find themselves in a feuding relationship because they forget that in the midst of their differences, they have something very dear in common,” say Melanie Greenberg , a clinical psychologist in Mill Valley, CA. “They both love the same man and they both want what’s best for the kids.” But in the wake of recurring conflict, they retreat to their corners of the ring and see their relationship as black and white.

“If you want to find a way to relate to the seemingly unrelatable,“ says Greenberg, “you have to refocus on what you have in common. From that will come compassion.”  And from that will come a happier, less contentious relationship.

As the more mature, more experienced one, it up to you, dear MILs, to find a way to relate. Here’s what to consider.