Over-Involved Mother-In-Law

Jasbina Ahluwalia asks Dr. Catherine Cardinal, author of, Men to Run From: So You Can Find the Right One to Run to: Your stories have been great. Do you have any stories from your clinical experience about this that you can share with our audience to really bring the point home?


Dr. Catherine Cardinal

Yes. I had a couple come in for some stress and anger management. I do stress and anger management coaching as well.


Over-Involved Mother-In-Law: Wedding Planning

They were fighting. They came in for some relationship coaching. They were talking about how they were planning their wedding. The mom was coming in on everything, such as the flowers and the dresses.

In the book, the woman’s name is Mindy. Mindy was so taken aback by this. George kept saying, “She just wants to help. She’s always been very helpful with my projects.”

Mindy said, “Your projects? This is our wedding. She’s being too pushy. She’s always telling me what to do.”


Over-Involved Mother-In-Law: Different Perspectives

What George was seeing as helpful, Mindy was feeling controlled. This was the different point of view they had about the mom’s behavior.

Mindy would talk and I would add my two cents. George saw that it was true. He realized that, ever since college, he was checking in with her.

She would call. He was a healthy enough young man to realize that his mom was a little too involved in his life. It was emotionally incestuous.


Over-Involved Mother-In-Law: Set Boundaries

Over a couple of sessions, we laid out a plan. He started setting boundaries with his mom. That one had a happy ending. The mom didn’t want to lose the relationship.

I have another story where one of my clients was dating a guy from a background where men a very revered.


Over-Involved Mother-In-Law: Mama’s Boy

The first-born son is very revered. The mother would cut his food. They would share food off each other’s plates. Whatever the woman said, he would say, “My mom says you shouldn’t cook that for me.” The mom would say, “That’s not good for him.”

It was a mess. This was a true story.

She told me she was getting fed up with it. She came in one day and told me they had gone to a restaurant. They were leaving the restaurant and the mom literally jumped on the young man’s back. They were riding piggyback through the parking lot. I’m not kidding.


Over-Involved Mother-In-Law: Enough is Enough

She said she realized that he would be carrying his mother all his life. She broke up with him because it was too much.

It’s all matters of degrees. That’s why we want the helpful hints. This was a boy who was not going to be able to make the separation.


Tell Us:

Have you dealt with an over-involved mother-in-law? How did you manage? Share you advice with us in the comments section below.


The above is an excerpt from Jasbina’s interview with Dr. Catherine Cardinal

The entire interview transcript is at: Catherine Cardinal Interview – Men To Run From To Find One To Run To

Listen to the entire interview on: Intersections Match Talk Radio – Jasbina’s Lifestyle Show

Listen to the entire interview on Blog Talk Radio: Men to Run From: So you can find the one to run to

Listen to the entire interview on iTunes