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Woman explains the causes and patterns behind unhealthy relationships with mothers-in-laws

She explains how societal norms in place are responsible for making mothers-in-law toxic toward their son's partners.

Woman explains the causes and patterns behind unhealthy relationships with mothers-in-laws
Cover Image Source: TikTok | @briknighttt

Unhealthy relationships with mothers-in-law are not a new phenomenon by any means. This phenomenon isn't novel, as tales from various cultures have recounted instances of unfavorable interactions between these family members. Dr. Terri Apter, in the research of her book, found that almost two-thirds of the daughters-in-law she interviewed felt that their MILs displayed controlling tendencies, as published by The Guardian. Brianna Alexis—who goes by @briknighttt on TikTok—has a theory on why toxicity is such a common behavioral pattern for MILs over the world. She points out things that shed light on how women are pushed into an uncomfortable existence by the social norms in place, which causes them to lash out in strange ways.

Image Source: TikTok/ Photo by @briknighttt
Image Source: TikTok | @briknighttt

Alexis made the video in response to a comment she had received asking the age-old question, "Why does it just so happen that, in *most* cases, it seems to be the mother-in-law bringing the toxicity and drama to a daughter-in-law's life?" The TikTok user took it upon herself to answer this packed question and revealed her theory. She believes that it has a lot to do with being a son's mother. "So, does having a son make you toxic, or do only toxic people have sons?" she posed a rhetorical question.

Image Source: TikTok/ Photo by @briknighttt
Image Source: TikTok | @briknighttt

She believes that being a boy-mom is the cause behind a lot of these toxic tendencies, "Having a son makes a lot of women toxic. You have to actively work to not be a boy mom, in the stereotypical sense." She points out that the first recipients of this toxicity are oftentimes the daughters of the family. In many families, mothers favor their sons more than their daughters, simply because they love the former 'differently.' She continues that the reason behind this toxicity is "family enmeshment." According to PsychCentral, "Family enmeshment" is defined as a dysfunction that exists in the family structure where the boundaries between family members are poorly defined or non-existential.

Alexis emphasizes that mothers who do not feel respected in their relationship with their husbands or are not emotionally fulfilled or satisfied tend to find these elements with their sons. They seek male affirmation from their sons. Women are suppressed in their domestic duties in such a way that they have no outlet apart from their family and therefore have to conduct such a shift from husband to son for emotional fulfillment.

She explains in her video, "Sh*tty toxic mothers-in-law that I know have sh*tty husbands. Wonderful supportive mothers-in-law that I know have great husbands." Therefore when sons shift their attention to their wives, it causes them discomfort and eventually makes them behave negatively toward their daughters-in-law. She adds in the video, "It can be really hard for that mom to let go. It's the making of a toxic mother-in-law."

Image Source: TikTok/ Photo by @alicimino0
Image Source: TikTok | @alicimino0


Image Source: TikTok/ Photo by uncensoredmamat
Image Source: TikTok | @uncensoredmamat

The comment section chimed in with their own opinions. @alleeconsidine wants to change this trend and bring something new to the table, "Can we change this, I'm a boy mom of two. Like can we be the best generation of MILs." @tobeanyoneotherthanme explained her feelings as a boy-mom, "This is fascinating to me. I only have boys but don't feel this. I am looking forward for them to grow and make their own way in the world."

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