Archives for October 2017

Fear of Mothers-in-law

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I was surfing the web on mother-in-law and saw this word, pentheraphobia. So what is this phobia? Pentheraphobia is the fear of your mother-in-law. We also have the Soceraphobia. It is the fear of your parents-in-law. What causes phobias? Phobias can be caused by traumatic events, experiences early in life, and also we just don’t know. What could cause someone to fear you and me? Fear is an unpleasant emotion that you feel when you think someone or something is going to cause you pain or is a threat to you. What could be causes of Pentheraphobia?

We have fear that has been implanted by the media over many years. Mothers-in-law are portrayed as causing pain to people in TV shows, movies, jokes and more. Some of us have earned the meddling, interfering and critical role and many of us have not. This stereotype can be hard to overcome in relationships. Stereotype is a picture in one’s head. Changing pictures that have been put in and may be hard to take out.

Another cause could be events that have been seen between the mother and the grandmother. When we do not see a good relationship modeled growing up, then fear could develop of having the same kind of bad relationship as an adult with the mother-in-law.  Adults do not realize the fear that can be instilled in children when they see anger hashed out through harsh words. Fear of what could be can cause a stand off in the relationship.

Fear of the unknown is a phobia all by itself. H. P. Lovecraft says “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown”. There can be fear of not being accepted. Fear of not being loved by the mother-in-law.  Fear of not being able to make all the decisions with the husband. Fear of not being the main woman. Plenty of fears to roll into one big fear of the unknown.

So how do we work at easing any fear of the mother-in-law in our relationship. We have to work overtime with portraying an openness. We want to be open to work out any problem that arises in the relationship. We have to practice the one another passages in our Bible. We should show love to one another. (I John 3:11) We should pray for each other. (James 5:16) We should live in harmony with one another. (I Peter 3:8) We are to be at peace with one another. (Mark 9:50) I think you get the picture. When we have fear to over come, it will take a lot of positives to overcome the negatives.  The bigger question is do you want to move past fear and grow a relationship. Jesus asked the woman, “do you want to be made whole?” The question is ours to answer.

This week my mother-in-law went to heaven seven years ago. There were fears of the unknown along the way. I am so glad we both worked at overcoming the fears and moved into a loving relationship. The desire to have a close family was stronger than fear of each other.

Paul and Mattie