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Mother In Law Manipulates My Husband (8 TIPS TO TRY!)

Every bride dreams of being the only woman in her husband’s life. After the wedding, this dream becomes true.

Or so you thought. Turns out, after a few months filled with bliss, you encounter an issue: the mother-in-law.

She begins filling your man’s head with ideas about how you aren’t right, aren’t making him happy. And he listens because that’s his mom telling him all that nonsense. 

It’s clear, you are dealing with a manipulative in-law. You might think you’re fighting a losing battle. But, if you’re careful, you can deal with the most extreme manipulators.

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Handling Your Mother In Law Manipulates My Husband

Understand Her Motives

Like all mothers, your mother-in-law might be dealing with a rough period. She probably feels like she lost her baby, her beloved child. She might think she’ll always be living in your shadow from now on. 

Whenever people are scared of facing the unknown, they get defensive. This defensiveness can take many forms, from silence all the way to manipulation and tantrums.

From the outside, it might seem like the mother is simply crazy for no apparent reason, but inside she might be hurting.

Of course, that’s no excuse for her trying to ruin your relationship. But trying to understand her will show you how to deal with her. 

If she’s scared, then try to comfort and reassure her. If she has doubts about you, try getting to know her better so you can alleviate those doubts. If you look for reasons and you just can’t find any, chances are she’s a bit crazy. If that’s the case, you might want to adopt a defensive strategy. 

Set Boundaries

Set Boundaries if you have a manipulative mother in law

Like in all relationships, to make sure everything is going smoothly, set some boundaries. Just because she is your mother-in-law, that doesn’t mean you have to endure her manipulation. 

If she is overly nosy, explain that you are an adult and you need intimacy. If she tries to lie about you, let her know there will be repercussions. For each and every problem and bad habit, create standards and limits. 

Let your husband know about these boundaries. Make your limits clear and try to incorporate healthy discussion into your relationship with your husband and his mother. 

Don’t Let Her Get To You

Don’t Let Her Get To You

Lying and gaslighting are common manipulation tactics.

Your in-law might be using them on you and your husband. In her effort to make you seem like the bad guy, she might try to make you believe you are crazy. She might lie to you about what your husband is doing in his free time. 

Whatever she says and does, don’t take her seriously. Don’t listen if she ever has any bad things to say about you.

And, most importantly, never trust her more than you trust yourself and your man. 

Never Start Fights

Never Start Fights

Being a manipulator, she will try to paint you in a bad light. She will try to make you look crazy and off the rails. The key is to never, ever look angry. Never let her words become reality. 

She will push you but don’t give in. Don’t start fights and refrain from getting involved in the ones she starts. The calmer you are, the worse she will look compared to you. Manipulators always self-destruct. Let her show her true colors while making sure you never become the angry lunatic she wants to paint you as. 

If possible, de-escalate any conflict you can. Being seen as the pacifist that also actively tries to calm things down will give you bonus points in the eyes of others. 


communicate with her

Whenever you have an issue with her, let your husband know. Be careful not to look like you are making things up.

Always have receipts if possible and watch your tone. His mom will have already tried to paint you as the bad guy, so any action you take might be seen as petty. 

But even so, you have to keep your husband in the loop with everything. Otherwise, he will get tangled up in the web of lies his mom tells him. He needs to know your side of the story at all times. 

Focus On Your Husband, Not Her

Focus On Your Husband, Not Her

If she’s the main external force causing your marital problems, you might spend all your energy on her. But that won’t help you. The main problem with manipulators is that they seed doubt in people.

To counteract that, you have to make sure you and your partner are united. Instead of wasting your time trying to get to her, focus on your marriage.

Communicate, spend time together, strengthen trust. Even go to marital counseling if necessary. The more your husband trusts you, the less the efforts of his mother will work. 

Take A Break From Your Relationship With His Mom

Take a break from your relationship with your manipulative mother in law

Both you and your man should try to keep your distance if his mom starts displaying toxic behaviors.

Seeing her weekly will only give her time to meddle. When manipulation is involved, you have to make sure your man can detach from his mom if needed.

The more he sees her, the harder it will be for him to let go of her for your sake. Make sure you limit contact and keep visits at a minimum. 

Learn To Forgive

Learn to forgive your mother in law

In most cases, your mother-in-law will come around after a while. Not losing your son will be more important than her petty manipulations. As soon as she does come around, be ready to forgive her. Even if you don’t genuinely mean it, this forgiveness will be for the sake of your marriage. 

You will want to be on good terms with her for your husband’s sake, so learn to let go of petty hatred. 


Having a manipulative mother-in-law is no joke. She can make your life miserable and affect your marriage. 

If she is acting up out of fear of losing her son, be there for her and reassure her. If she has malicious intent, you will deal with her only with your husband’s help and trust.

Keep him close through all this messiness and don’t give him reasons not to trust you.

Stay calm and don’t become the crazy lady his mom is trying to paint you as.  At some point, she will come around. Just learn to forgive her for your husband’s sake. 

Most importantly, take care of yourself and stay strong. 

Need Extra Help?

If you feel like you and hit rock bottom are serious about fixing your marriage and avoiding a divorce, take a second to look into Regain.

Regain offers licensed therapists who specialize in couples counseling and will work directly with you and your spouse online; anytime and from anywhere.

Serious about saving or improving your relationship?

CLICK HERE to answer a short quiz and see if Regain is right for you.

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