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The 4 REAL Reasons Your Mother-in-Law Doesn’t Like You

It’s complicated.

My friend Renee recently married the love of her life, Byron. All of Renee’s friends and family members love Byron, but, unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Byron’s friends and family.

Specifically, Renee’s mother-in-law doesn’t like her and it’s straining the marriage.

Many women report tension in their relationship with their mother-in-law, a conflict that is associated with increased marital dissatisfaction. This sad situation got me thinking about the stereotypical mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship.

Does my mother-in-law hate me? And if not, why not? The actual reasons for this common conflict are somewhat surprising and likely stem from our evolutionary history.

1. You are probably not the partner your in-laws would have chosen for their child.

Why did you choose your romantic partner? Physical attraction? Creativity? Intelligence? A good sense of humor? The traits that we value in our mates are not the same as those our parents value in mates for us.

While we value traits such as physical attractiveness, an exciting personality, or a good sense of humor, our parents are more likely to value characteristics such as a good family background, sound financial prospects, or a similar religious or ethnic background.

Because of these different preferences, we may choose mates for ourselves whom our parents would not have chosen for us. This may lead to an initial dislike on the part of our in-laws, which can be difficult to overcome.

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