On the other hand I can barely stand being around my mother-in-law. I used to justify my disdain because she thrives in the drama that she creates. Purposely making herself into the center of every event. She'd rather be notorious than be anywhere other than the center.
And now that the drama is in my family I have had to do some serious reflection as to why I can't let her into my heart. Why I can't forgive the hurt her drama has caused and move on. I need to at least be charitable to her simply because I love her son and my son loves her.
Wasn't sure why I am struggling with this.
But it bothers me because one day I will be a mother-in-law and I don't want my future daughters-in-law to feel about me how I feel about my MIL. And then it dawned on me.
My feelings for her were a direct reflection of how I felt she felt about me. For 10 years (and 4 kids) I felt she disliked me. Considering I had never done anything to warrant her lack of affection I told myself it was just my perception. And then my parents separated and she confessed to my hubby that she should make a better effort in being nice to me now that she knows I am not from a 'perfect family'. Yes, she actually said that. I was relieved, I thought I was making it all up. At least now I knew my perception of life wasn't that skewed.
My future daughters-in-law's feelings for me will be a direct reflection of my feelings for them. I must lead the relationship. All a mother-in-law must do for her daughter-in-law is to love her. If my Mother-in-Law could show complete love and acceptance for me, then my feelings for her would undoubtedly change. Of course a truly charitable person would love in spite of how they are treated, but I never claimed to be a truly charitable person. I am hoping to make it there someday, but until then, I need no longer fear for my relationships with the mothers of my future grandchildren.
All I need to do is love them, and the rest will take care of itself.
And knowing this, I feel so much peace.
(and for the record, I am going to be an awesome grandma!)