#75 – How to Set Boundaries With Your Mother-In-Law


Let’s talk about mothers-in-law! Even though boundaries and rules work the same way across all adult relationships, there’s a tendency to forget this with our parents and our in-laws (especially mothers-in-law). That’s why this episode is dedicated to the often-complicated relationship with mothers-in-law. If you’ve ever felt slighted by your mother-in-law or wanted more connection than she seems willing to give, this is the episode for you! 

Biggest Takeaways From Episode #75:

  • Keep in mind that if you’re a woman with children (or hope to have them someday), there’s a good chance that you yourself will someday be a mother-in-law.
  • Imagine your problematic mother-in-law were an acquaintance. Would you spend energy trying to develop a friendship with her? If not, why not apply that same principle to your mother-in-law? It’s okay to let go of the wish for, or expectation of, a friendly relationship.
  • If just one person is holding up a relationship, it’s not really a true relationship between two people.
  • Ultimately, it’s healthier for the son- or daughter-in-law (and better for their relationship) to practice self-care, create boundaries, and find their “I can’t.”
  • Sometimes when we pull back our energy, the other person (the mother-in-law in this case) may feel invited to become more involved. 

Highlights from Episode #75:

  • Vicki welcomes listeners to this episode about boundaries and mothers-in-law. [00:39]
  • We hear a bit about Vicki’s relationship with her late mother-in-law, as well as the question that prompted today’s episode. [02:41]
  • Vicki shares her reaction and responses to the listener’s question, as well as some advice. [08:14]
  • Over the years, Vicki has heard some truly awful mother-in-law stories. She briefly digs into these, then explains why setting boundaries is better for both the son- or daughter-in-law and their spouse. [12:43]
  • Vicki explains why it’s important for the spouse whose mother is involved to be the one to resolve the issue when there’s ongoing conflict. [17:54]
  • We hear a recap of the points that Vicki has covered in this episode. [21:38]

Links and Resources:

Vicki Tidwell Palmer

Moving Beyond Betrayal by Vicki Tidwell Palmer

5-Step Boundary Solution Clarifier

Vicki’s Survive & Thrive Membership Community

Beyond Bitchy Podcast | Episode 72: Are There Different “Boundaries Rules” for Loved Ones?


Hi, I'm Victoria!

I love guiding my clients on a journey of Returning to the authentic truth of who they are, Reclaiming what is theirs, and Receiving everything that is meant for them.


  1. Kelly Paoletti on September 13, 2020 at 7:43 pm

    Im trying to find some advise, ive been married 15 years, 2 kids, together for almost 20 years. my mother in law was find until we said we were getting married, then the trouble started, mind you we had been living together for a few years already. she has put me down, been flat out nasty and rude, my husband never stood up for me until a handful of years ago. life isnt pleasant when we are in her company, she will never chance, my husband has pleaded with her to stop the crap and she couldnt care less. what do i do? everytime she does something wrong he will say something to her and then he acts like everything is back to normal and fine, this kills me inside.

    • Vicki Tidwell Palmer on September 14, 2020 at 2:22 pm

      Hi Kelly, this does sound challenging! I would start with asking myself what can I do to take care of myself in this situation.

      Have you listened to the episode? It will help you get started.

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