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6 reasons why ‘evil’ mothers-in-law must back off their kids’ marriages

By Winnie Mabel November 11th, 2023 2 min read

In many families- both nuclear and extended- some mothers are considered to be overbearing and toxic especially after their children get married. While their immediate families might not note that they have been lumped in this ‘evil mother-in-law’ category, their children’s spouses and their side of the family are often keen to notice this.

See, some mothers-in-law do not know when to back off. They don’t want to realize that their kids are now adults who can make independent decisions and require their space to live life on their own terms with their spouses.

You will find some mothers-in-law not respecting their married children’s boundaries- they barge into their kids’ homes, they make decisions for the couple without consulting the child-in-law or being asked to contribute to decision making, they want to decide how the family will be planned and how they will be taken care of.

You find some evil mothers-in-law picking fights with their children-in-law and alienating them, simply because they birthed their spouse and their say-so is final. They can often be found trying to outdo their children’s spouses or sowing seeds of discord between the couple if they did not approve of the choice of spouse from the get-go.

But you know what? Evil mothers-in-law, and not so evil mothers-in-law alike, need to back off and fall back in the event their children get married. They need to realize there is an extent they can no longer go beyond when parenting their kids because the wife or husband now has to take over as their partner. Here’s why it would be important for them to back off:

  1. Their children will get to exercise their independence and make their own life and family decisions as stated above.
  2. Marriage is a journey, they say. Mothers-in-law must allow a married couple to chart their own path without forcing their own marriage templates on their kids. This is the only way they will develop important life skills.
  3. The couple will learn to trust each other when they are given their own space to build the foundation of their marriage. Interfering mamas will only provide a backdoor for their children to run back to them and tattle on their spouses, causing tension and destroying whatever foundation they had began building as a couple.
  4. The kids will create and experience their own unique love without it being modelled after mum-in-law “who has been married for 30 years.” No one size fits all and this will be the only way for a couple to strengthen their marital bonds.
  5. Overly involved mothers-in-law can create stress and tension within the marriage. Giving the couple space reduces this stress and leads to a healthier relationship.
  6. Each member of the couple has their own identity. Allowing them space to nurture their individuality within the marriage is essential for their happiness- maybe even beyond mum-in-law’s 30 years of marriage!
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