Ask Dr. Sherry: Why Is His Mother Being So Rude to Me?

"You're dating her son — don't take it personal!" advises Dr. Sherry.

A: Jay, as bad as you may want a positive relationship with your mother-in-law, it could take some time. A relationship is something that has to be developed and nurtured. Right now, your soon-to-be mother-in-law is keeping her distance from you for some reason. She may not be ready to bond with you, or she might be unsure whether or not she approves of you being her daughter-in-law.

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Remember, you are with her son, whom she may not be ready to let go of or share. I would not take her behavior or attitude personally. She is showing up and remains involved in what you are doing. Granted, she may not be as accepting of you, despite the fact that your family has accepted him. They are two different families. Her attitude and behavior may be more about her own feelings and less about you. One of the worst things you can do is try to force the relationship. I would limit the complaints to your fiancé about his mother. I would also suggest that you stop worrying about how your future mother-in-law is responding to you, and just be yourself.  Give her a chance to get to know you. If you find yourself in a conversation with her, ask her about it. But remember, this conversation should only occur if it emerges naturally. Please do not approach her with issues that may not exist; this will only make her defensive and more distant.

Ultimately, I suggest you continue to be cordial and friendly toward her. She will most likely warm up to you when she sees that her son is happy and you are all a family.  — Dr. Sherry

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