11/03/2012 01:46 pm ET Updated Jan 03, 2013

How to Deal with a Meddling Future Mother-in-Law

Ok, you've found the man of your dreams. You've got the ring. What you didn't realize is that along with that gorgeous man and ring comes his mother...your future mother-in-law. Sounds cool, right? WRONG! Your future mother-in-law is not the one who keeps her distance and asks, "How high?" when you say, "Jump". She's the one that movies are made of.

We've all heard the horror stories. The mother-in-law whose sole mission is to break her son and his fiancée up. Aside from disagreeing with every decision the bride makes when it comes to the wedding, she's constantly offering up unwanted advice -- from how to spend their money to the type of career the bride should have. Putting the son in an awkward position, he's going to feel torn between defending his mother who gave birth to him and his future wife.

I had a bride a few years ago who decided to wage World War III against her future mother-in-law just a few months before the wedding. She felt that she meddled too much and now was the time to take a stand and fight back. She stopped speaking to her whenever they were in the same room. She would walk into the room and her mother-in-law would walk out. It became a competition for the son's attention and support and not about the wedding or the couple. Needless to say, the result was a lot of unnecessary drama and stress between not only the bride and her fiancé's mother but her fiancé as well.

Don't let his mother coerce you into playing games. Someone has to be the adult in the situation and at the end of the day, all you can do is control your own actions. Here are some necessary steps to take when it comes to dealing with your future meddling mother-in-law and to ensure that you two begin your new lives happily:

First thing's first: Make sure that you and your fiancé are on the same page. I promise, this whole process will be so much easier if you approach it as a team and not alone.

Second on the list: Set your boundaries! Now that you and your fiancé are on the same page, you'll need to consult about your desired boundaries and how to lay them down. Now is not the time to be petty. You can't really stop her from giving unwanted advice but you can ask her to call before she comes over. Also, make sure that your fiancé is the "Boundary Setter". She'll be more receptive to change if it comes from her son and not you.

The final step is: Acceptance. Listen up honey, your mother-in-law isn't going anywhere. Waging war against her will only cause heartache for your husband-to-be, which ultimately trickles down into your marriage. It will be much more fun planning the next 25 wonderful years with your husband rather than doing 25 to life with your mother-in-law.

It's about the journey, not the destination...make it a good one!

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