You could be Mother Theresa and some MILs will hate you the second they clap eyes on you, even though you’ve not actually done anything wrong. Does this sound your relationship with your other half’s mum?

The reason for this might be to do with evolution, according to scientists and psychologists.

Unfortunately if you do have a toxic mother-in-law, you are more likely to experience marital conflict as a result.  These are the reasons she might be causing problems for you, according to science.

1.  They wouldn’t have chosen you

We choose our own partners because we are attracted to them. Whether it’s physical, their intellect, their sense of humour, having things in common and so on, there are reasons why two people click and decide they want to spend forever together.   But sometimes our parents don’t value these same traits that our partners have and can lead to an initial dislike which they find difficult to overcome.

2. Because you’re too attractive

Evolutionary theory says that we often value physical attractiveness in our mates because we want our kids to have good genes. But sometimes parents can worry that their child’s partner is too attractive, because that can make them more likely to leave the relationship for a better mate.

3. Because you’re now seen as competition

Traditionally when there are multiple women in a family reproducing at the same time their offspring were less likely to survive as limited resources (eg: food) had to be divided up among other relatives. Scientists think that some MIL conflict towards their DILs has risen through a hardwired instinct for competition among women for resources.  While we don’t live that way anymore, some mothers-in-law feel they have to compete for their sons’ attention, not resources.


Top image: New Line Cinema