Mother-in-Law: A Woman with a Need for Attention, Control and The World to Center Around Her

She was a woman that didn't mind hosting events at her suburban home, because she could show off her neatly decorated and very eye-catching living-room to guests while bragging about her spacious kitchen with many cabinets.  She directed her guests to a beautifully arranged, long dining room table with shiny place settings and decorative, comfy chairs to match.  She enjoyed her company immensely, just so long as they abided by her rules and flattered her.

Her rules were simple:  she didn't want you in certain drawers or using her appliances without asking, you were to clean your hands before touching anything edible, and be respectful of those around you. If she asked you to do something, be prepared to do it preferably with a smile on your face.  As you learned more about her, there were unspoken rules as well, things you just knew not to talk to her about such as your opinion about her children for starters.

Her eldest son, knew his mother all too well, he ignored her flippant remarks if she was offended by someone or something.  His nonchalant, stubborn attitude was always a thorn in her side.  She would have preferred he too just went along with "the program" in front of guests, but this didn't always happen.  Secretly, she didn't like her son much for he reminded her of "that man" she was once married to.  A man who had been robbed of a relationship with his son, thanks to her controlling ways! 

A mother-in-law with a lot of mouth and a whole lot of act to match, she considered herself peaceful, religious, content with life, but she had her share of issues with her current husband.  He too knew her very well.  He took a violent beating from her once.  In the past, the husband described his wife as beautiful, nice and great to be around that is until she reached her menopausal years.

This woman, who had felt she could advise many on how to achieve life goals, save marriages, and direct people toward paths that would best suit them, had many skeletons in her closet.  Her personal life, really didn't look as neat and clean as her lovely home.  Secretly, she felt miserable within quite often.  She had questioned herself many times, "What did I do with my life?  Where did I go wrong? "  She had wished to be in love, but she ruined that by choosing a man she didn't really love or like to be her lifelong mate; rather she loved his finances more.  She wanted to travel but anxiety, fear, worry, and not much money kept her close to home.  Charity work was never fulfilling just something to do to keep the woman somewhat busy.  She also wished to genuinely enjoy the company of others--something she had a hard time doing since she was far too distracted observing their flaws and forming personal judgments against them.

I was a witness to the mother-in-law's manipulative strategies.  She kept her adult sons little boys while controlling them and others.  I noticed how often she was involved in their lives whether verbally or physically, and how she convinced them that part of being a close family was to talk to her everyday.  When she spoke to her sons, she volunteered all sorts of personal information so that she could find out about her sons' lives, their wives, children, and what they were doing or not doing.  She often had something to say that strategically made her sons see things her way.  She didn't like when they got ugly with her, but she took the verbal abuse sometimes, because ultimately she knew she would get her way sooner or later.  Unfortunately, her persuasive arguments, so-called Christian counseling, and other things she did in her effort to control them, typically back-fired.  While she thought she was winning her little boys, turned men, to her she was really pushing them away usually into the bed of yet another woman.  Eventually, they would see that they had been played once again by mom.  But hurt feelings die and before long, her spiritually-broken sons would be back to opening up to poor mom with the fragile heart, forgetful mind, and charming, yet deceptive spirit.

The wives were all-too-willing to appease their mother-in-law, at least in the beginning of their dating and marriage partnerships, but it wouldn't be long before she would offend them with her controlling remarks and sneaky behaviors.  The women would become distant from their mother-in-law, and that is when mom would work her magic on her sons yet again.  Pointing out the women's flaws and comparing herself to them, the mother-in-law would work on building a case that would make the men not like/love their wives so much.  The so-called words of comfort when husbands and wives didn't see eye-to-eye was really her way of chipping away at their marriages.  She knew how to play the insecure and jealous type of young ladies, she had seen her sons bring this type home to her far too many times.  The mother-in-law knew what she had created for sons.  This is why it was no surprise to her when they broke up with their women.

This mother-in-law, with a self-hate for her own ethnicity, had ran into the arms of many who didn't have her look--an appearance she didn't like much.  She felt comfort with a group she often praised, that is until they said or did something to remind her of her culture.  She would find some relief with her own people until they too, would say something that reminded her of the things she hated about her people.

Holiday celebrations were her playground, she enjoyed the role she played, "Mother-in-law" the name sounded powerful.  She was going to be sure that she lived up to the role.  She didn't want to be viewed as mean, ugly, or evil toward daughter-in-laws, at least not this time, but her attempt at controlling them was more than enough to keep her family cautious and others distant from her.

Nicholl McGuire

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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