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What your mother-in-law is secretly thinking
Understand how your husbands mom REALLY feels. - photo by Tana Bolinger
As the mother of your spouse, she will be a part of your life forever. You may be lucky enough to never have to live with your mother-in-law, argue with her or develop any hatred towards her, but that doesnt mean you fully understand her.

She constantly thinks about you and her son. She hopes you will be able to fight the challenges thrown at you and overcome the hardest of trials.

When trying to understand what your mother-in-law is thinking, refer to these 15 possibilities:

1. I know hes your husband now.

She knows you love him. But she does not want to let go of the special bond she has had with him for past 20-plus years. He is still her son, and she wants you to recognize that and let her be an active part of his and your life.

2. You dont seem very confident in yourself.

Whenever she talks to you, you get all nervous and worried your comments are not going to be taken the right way. Acting this way actually puts doubts in her head. It causes her to wonder why you dont feel confident in yourself or in your relationship with her son.

3. Can you say thank you?

Picking up the phone and calling your mom is easy. Why is calling your mother-in-law incredibly difficult? She puts forth an effort, buys gifts and sends her love. All she wants is a thank you.

4. I can help too.

Calling your mother-in-law for advice can improve your relationship immensely. Has she accomplished something big in her life? Ask about it!

5. Be yourself; stop pretending.

When you slave for weeks preparing for the Sunday dinner she is attending, she notices and wishes you would stop.

6. Tell me you didnt like the gift.

If you pretend to love the handmade towels she gave you, expect more. If you do not like them, she wants to know just like your spouse, siblings and friends would as well.

7. I appreciate what you have done.

Even mother-in-laws can neglect to thank their families for the little things. She may not say it, but she is thankful for you.

8. Thank you for making my son so happy.

She doesnt tell you because she may be worried you will only think she is saying it to make you feel good. When she sees her son laugh when you are around, look deeply into your eyes or even smile because of you, she is sincerely grateful you are in his life.

9. I just want to know when you are going to have a child.

Who doesnt want grandchildren! When you are trying to have a child, let your mother-in-law feel involved and let her know.

10. I wish I didnt have to compete so hard with your mother.

Your mother raised you for 18-plus years. It is understandable you feel a special connection with her and choose to call her more than your mother-in-law. Just try and make it easier for your mother-in-law to feel included in your life.

11. You dont have to call me Mom.

Although she would love for you to call her Mom, she understands you may save that name for only the woman who raised you. She respects your decision.

12. Im glad you are my daughter-in-law.

Prepping the room she is going to stay in, taking her out for breakfast and keeping her son in line has made her very grateful to have you.

13. Tell me more.

Sometimes you may spare all the details to get the point across faster. Paint the full picture for her. Let her be of help when you need it.

14. Please let me give my grandchildren a gift.

You think they will act like spoiled brats if you let her give the children gifts. Let her have some fun and be an active part of the childrens lives. A gift now and then will not hurt them.

15. Can I do anything right?

She is trying hard to be closer to you and the family, so let her. Dont make her feel like you are settling to have her babysit when your parents cant.

Your mother-in-law is your husbands mom. He loves her dearly, and you fell in love with him, which says a lot about the way his parents raised him. Although you may not always see eye to eye, appreciate and love her just as much as your own mother.

You may not always know what she is thinking, but these 15 ideas may help you get a bit closer to understanding and empathizing with her.
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