When it comes to mother-in-laws, I hit the jackpot. I'm happy to say that we have a wonderful relationship and are both very clear on how the other person feels. But I have enough friends to know that this is not always a common occurrence. A number of the women in my worry that their mother-in-law is out to get them or just plain hates them. Even if you' deny it, however, it's possible that there are signs your mother-in-law secretly likes you that you're not picking up on.
It's hard to say why your mother-in-law would want to keep her positive feelings for a you a secret, but whatever her reasoning, deep down she really cares. Perhaps she doesn't want to feel like she's betraying her son by thinking you're more awesome than him, or maybe her mother-in-law was rotten to her and she's not sure how to treat a daughter-in-law. No matter the reasoning, she's probably been dropping hints that she actually likes you — you're just now picking up on her subtleties. If you look a little closer, you may notice these signs that your mother-in-law likes you and wants to be your best friend rather than a potential family foe.
1. She Backs You Up
Let's face it, it's hard for a mom to battle with her son. But admitting when her child is wrong and backing you up on an issue is an easy way to know that your mother-in-law has good feelings toward you. Be sure to reinforce her support with thanks and praise for having your back.
2. She Watches Her Words
Advice or observations about married life can easily be taken as a criticism when coming from your mother-in-law, according to Reader's Digest. When you see that she is choosing carefully when to offer her thoughts and opinions, however, you know she is being considerate of your feelings.
3. She Helps Out
Does your mother-in-law pitch in when cleaning up after dinner or offer to give the kids a bath so you can take a break? Helping you out around the house is her way of saying she likes you and wants you to be happy. Be openly grateful for her assistance and don't take it for granted — she needs to feel appreciated even if she's going these things out of the kindness of her heart.
4. She Touches You (When Appropriate)
Hugs can be stiff and obligatory upon greeting and parting, but an appropriately timed touch is a sign that someone cares about you, according to Psychology Today. A pat on the shoulder or a gentle hand on your arm when you're feeling down is your mother-in-law's way of expressing her concern through her body language. Take this message as her reaching out to you when she senses you're down.
5. She Accepts Your Boundaries
There are times when family life calls for the placement of boundaries, but not all family members will follow the limits put in place. Make sure to do a happy dance if your mother-in-law accepts the boundaries you've drawn and doesn't step over the line. Not having push-back from her makes life so much easier.
6. She Respects Your Rules
As the parent, you have certain ideas about how you want to raise your children and those who are in your child's life need to be in compliance with your approach to parenting. When your mother-in-law respects that you're not serving your child sugar, and brings her grandchild veggies instead of cupcakes, she definitely likes you.
7. She's A Good Listener
When another person wants to understand what it is you need and desire, they listen carefully, according to Psych Central. Having a mother-in-law who's intently listening when you talk is a wonderful gift. This also helps build trust in your relationship since you know she's invested in your best interests.