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How to Get Along with Mother-in-Law

(6 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)
Written by Susan Golis   







Getting along with ones mother-in-law is essential especially if you want to have a strong relationship with your spouse.

If you marry into an Italian family, and you are not familiar with their customs and their unique way of doing things, then you are in for an awakening.  Italian mothers come first and in many cases your husband will love his mother more than his wife and children, or at least that is what your mother-in-law will tell you.  The bond between an Italian mother and her only son will never be broken.

In order to get along with your mother-in-law you will need to accept the fact that you are Loretta Castorini and you have the leading role in the movie Moonstruck. Watch the movie over and over again until you learn all of the Italian customs.

Heed these words of advice; life begins in the kitchen, and everything revolves around the tomato sauce.


Things you'll need to get along with mother-in-law

Patience * Sense of humor * Tomato sauce









Step 1:

Beware of the only son

Italian mothers bond with their only son. This bond is a knot that will never be untied. It doesn't matter if your marriage vows indicate that you forsake all others, this vow is voided out by your Italian mother-in-law! So if this upsets you, you should just make a pot of sauce.

Step 2

Have children right away

Plan to conceive many children. If you always dreamed of having a boy and a girl, well let me tell you two children are not enough! The Italian motto is; why have two children when you can have 10! Your mother-in-law will be thrilled, and you will have a babysitter, even when you are not going out.

Step 3

Tomato sauce

Learn to prepare the customary recipe; the tomato sauce. Your mother-in-law will give you the recipe on the day you marry her only son. Just accept that you will never be able to prepare the sauce correctly, or at least not the way your mother-in-law prepares it. There will always be something missing. You will never get the recipe right.  Even if your spouse makes the sauce and says that you made it, your mother-in-law will find fault in it and will rush home to get a pot of her sauce.

Step 4

Italian family

Acknowledge that the Italian family comes first and your family second. Especially on Holidays, even if you're spending the day with your parents, you must make time for your in-laws! If you don't the guilt trip will be unbearable! Leave room because it's disrespectful if you do not sit down for a meal of spaghetti and meatballs.

Step 5


Don't disagree with your mother-in-law instead agree with everything she says.  Nod your head in agreement or respond with a verbal yes.  You will never be right and you will never win. Just agree and one day she will learn to tolerate you.


1.  Many Italian women refer to their tomato sauce as gravy. If this is what your mother-in-law calls the sauce, then you should also.

2.  Make a mental note to never utter the words tomato sauce in your mother-in-laws presence. If you do, you will be viewed as disrespectful and she may hit you with a wooden spoon.

3.  Italian Mother-in-laws never forget anything.

4.  You will always be reminded of the Italian girlfriend that your husband use to date.

5.  Tears will sour the tomato sauce.

6.  I shared this article with my Italian mother-in-law and she told me it was true, and then she laughed.

Comments (4)add comment

bossypants said:

Wonderful! You have learned well -- especially since your mother in law sanctioned this article! Enjoyable read!
July 31, 2011
Votes: +0

Susan Golis said:

Susan Golis
Bossypants: Thanks for the comment and I am glad you liked my article. Of course you do realize I wrote it about my life.

My mother-in-law gave me her recipe for the key lime pie on my 16th wedding anniversary: http://www.firehow.com/2011072...e-pie.html I guess she realized she had to because we live so far away and it is expensive to send her frozen pies with overnight delivery.

July 31, 2011
Votes: +0

jswana said:

Great article. I couldn't help but think of Everybody Love Raymond's mother Marie. I believe you. Of course that's not my ethnicity but my mother-in-law was the sweetest and most generous woman. It was her son (my husband) who so contrary and hot headed. She had spoiled him as her only child. Great read!
August 13, 2011
Votes: +0

PBenfield said:

Wow- this is so true! My 1st husband was Italian and I got along great with his mom (she was a sweetheart). Excellent tips that will work with most mother in laws!
September 07, 2011
Votes: +0

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