Like most freshman wives, I assumed that my mother-in-law (MIL) and I would enjoy an affable relationship, for she is no monster-in-law Jane Fonda and I am certainly no J.Lo daughter-in-law (DIL). I mean, why wouldn’t we be as close as bona fide mother and daughter? We are intelligent, respectful and kind women who care deeply for the same man. My naiveté conjured images of us laughing over tea together, trading recipes and wrinkle secrets, and bragging to anyone who would listen how we were best of friends.
One year later, that idealistic notion of a legitimate mother-daughter relationship is laughable and overrated at best. If I had a time machine, I would go back and hunt for the ultimate handbook on how to handle MILs from A-Z and read it top to bottom with a highlighter. No one warned me about the multifaceted nature and complexities of a MIL/DIL relationship. Nor did I realize the toll it would take on my marriage.