OK, I have only been married once, but I have somehow ended up with, in effect, 3 mothers-in-law. (Mother-in-laws? Anyone out there a grammar fetishist?)
There is my ex-wife's mother, and my girlfriend's mother, and then there is my daughter's grandmother. Got that?
They have surprisingly similar characters: they are all tough and fiercely opinionated, stubborn and direct, even though the backgrounds couldn't be more different-- one upper class English, one East German, one West German but lived mostly in Africa. They are all capable of powerful charm, but all bully their husbands and feel no compunction about insulting strangers.
They will never meet, none of them would want that either. I have locked horns on multiple occasions with them, but fortunately none of them hate me. I would love to see them interacting with each other, although due to the stubborn opinionated character traits they are sure to despise each other. The insults would soon be flying.
How come I have ended up with women whose mothers are like this? My own mother is gentle and self-effacing, her toughness is expressed in other ways.
How do you deal with the in-law problems? OK, I know not all in-laws cause big difficulties, but there is always friction of some kind. How do you define the line between accepting their experienced judgement and insisting on your own identity and ability to forge your own life?