How can I fix my relationship with my mother-in-law?

My mother-in-law has made my life really difficult, she has spread lies and rumours about me to the extent that now, when neighbours and  relatives see me, they look at me in a different way. Recently my sister-in-law was talking to one of my husband’s friends (she didn’t know that it was his friend) and told him lots of ugly things about me: that I am a slut; a troublemaker; that her parents never liked me but talk to me so as not to hurt their son; they don’t beleive our marriage will last and they never approved of our marriage because of my race.  On hearing this I cried so much and felt so bad. The last time we talked, for the first time the all feelings I had kept inside came out. We both swore at each other. After a few days, I decided to write a letter explaining my side, my initial intentions towards her and her family, thanking her for my husband and apologising if I hurt her on purpose or unintentionally. I know she read the letter but she has not mentioned it to my husband or responded to me. I am feeling very bad and wonder why she hasn’t answered. I don’t know what to do next.

It is almost impossible for you to figure out and manage the relationship with your mother-in-law. You do not have a real relationship with her.

The best that you can do is be pleasant and protect yourself from her hostile activities. You will not be able to control her and you should not try.  It will only frustrate you.

Your husband does have a relationship with his mother. He has to play the lead role in dealing with her. He has to step up to his job.  He cannot expect you to deal with his mother’s hostility. He needs to be your protector.

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