How to deal with a meddlesome mother-in-law

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There's a knack to getting your mother-in-law to simmer down….

Monster in law

© New Line Cinema

Hold onto your hats 'cause things are getting ugly. If you're mother-in-law is meddling in your wedding day, not listening, or trying to take over - it's time to take action.

1. Know what you want
Yey - you just got engaged - now enough of that romantic stuff, it's time to get serious and take preventative action.

It's a good idea to sit all the parents down at the beginning – maybe have dinner or drinks together and then explain to them the type of wedding you want. There is no room for dithering. If the pair of you have a clear idea about what your dream wedding entails, then there is less room for meddling, sorry, confusion. Visual aids and pictures help.

2. Be united
It's one thing if your mother-in-law (or MIL to her mates) is being over bearing with your wedding (or in life) – but don't let her come between you and your other half. You need to talk to each other about what's going on and work out how to tackle it together. You don't want to have a you vs. her situ.

Tip: Don't use angry language when discussing it with your man. Talk calmly about how it's making you feel as opposed to launching in with 'You'll never guess what you're bloody mother's been up to now' rant. You need him on side remember.

3. Tactfully remind her, it ain't her day
MILs, MOBs (mother-of-the-bride), Bridesmaids – they will all want their pound of flesh. People often forget that it's not their wedding and get caught up in what they want – forgetting your needs, your dreams, your style.

Don't throw a tantrum that involves any amount of foot stomping. Tactfully say something like 'oh yes that taffeta dress is lovely, but it's not really my style' and then drag her by her hair over to the Jenny Packham section. Only kidding. Maybe.

4. Give her jobs
A busy MIL is a quiet MIL. Set her tasks to do. She wants to feel involved and important (it is her son's wedding after all) - and you can't do it all yourself. Give her a role that is suited to her talents and let her run with it.

5. Do a spot of bonding
Spa day anyone? Let her know she's valued and you are grateful for everything she's done (yes, even ordering all those chair sashes when you told her you hate them. And breathe.) She just wants to feel like she matters. You can show her while having a facial.

6. Don't let it escalate
Emotions are running high, everyone's tense – you have the power to keep things under control. Take a deep breath and think about how to handle the situation. Why is she acting like this? Put yourself in her shoes and try and identify the cause of the problem.

Don't let things escalate or speak without thinking. You don't want to cause an irreparable rift just as you are about to become part of the family.

Gin also works wonders. Just in case all else fails.

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