It’s great if the in-laws themselves put up boundaries. But if they won’t; it’s up to their grown kids to do it and enforce them.— Phil McGraw
Don’t Become Monster-in-laws – Be Better in-laws
A relationship between a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law has always been a blistering and a very common topic for everyone. Whenever there is an article about mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, our mind wants to dig and to hear some sort of spicy debate. And trust me we find it spicy 9 times out of 10. Sharing an unpleasant relationship with in-laws is a bitter fact of society especially in Asian countries.
Most of the times, I think that why these both important pillars of a home become monsters after marriage??? We all know that no one can keep their home united in peace and happiness except a woman. But, somehow, the equation gets change as the bride enters her in-law’s house, so the question is why this so? Let’s try to figure out the reason behind this unhealthy relationship between these two women along with the man over whom all this has started!
Who is Important? Mother or Wife?
The mother who loves to see her son happily married gets change soon after his marriage; starts to doubt over her son’s love even. And this changed behavior of hers indicates something is cooking…So, what could be the reason? Although these two females have their own importance in the family, none can overpower them―so is it the game of ‘who is important’ or something else? Believe it or not, in this catfight, the husband or the son turns out to be the main sufferer. For him his mother and wife both are equally important; he can’t say out loud that he loves whom more than who, because he doesn’t, and this should be understood by these women who claim to love him more.
You Were also a Daughter-in-Law Once
A daughter-in-law is one who marries your son and becomes your friend.
Don’t forget you were also a daughter-in-law, how can you not see the things! You were in the same shoes long back ago, isn’t? The feelings of a newlywed bride are always the same, they can’t be changed; who can know this better than you?
Your son’s wife has entered a new life―left her parents to live with a new family, and above all you are much experienced than your daughter-in-law. Hence, you must be supportive to her rather than being hard on her. Besides being unhappy or rude or creating chaos, try something positive, give a good ambience to your daughter-in-law. Don’t fight over petty issues, this guy who is your son, is indeed yours only (be sure about this fact, have some belief in your parenting, you haven’t raised a weak man, he is your son and he will never ditch your love, have some conviction on him and on yourself). But this is also a fact that now he is married, he has a life partner, he too needs some space to build a healthy relationship with his wife.
Like you two, he has also started a new life, he has to share his life and himself to another woman. And for all these, he needs a peaceful happy environment at home. So besides being tough, it’s better to support him and his wife. Don’t think much just do it and you will never lose your son ever. You are the elder of the family you will always be respected, no one can snatch this crown from you.
History will Repeat – So be Genuine as a Daughter-in-Law
A mother gives you a life, a mother-in-law gives you her life.― Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words
No, doubt, you have left your comfort zone to be with a new family, but you must be responsible too. You are going to be a part of a new family, you too have to open your heart wider. It’s not your husband only to whom you are going to care about, you have inherited his family too with him, so do care about them and their feelings too.
Never forget one thing, history repeats itself; after 30 or 35 years, you could or would also be in the same situation as your mother-in-law is now. Fighting with the same emotions as she is currently going through. No one can love her child as the mother does, no one can deny this fact. So, think once, isn’t this tough for your Mother-in-law to share her son with you! Believe the fact it’s hard her for too. You have left a family to build a new family and she has to share her heartthrob with you in the same house. Trust me, this isn’t easier for her either! When you were not with him, it was his mother who had taken care of him and had raised him as a good man whom you selected as your life partner. Isn’t this a great gift from her to you?
So, it’s your duty to give your mother-in-law confidence that you are not going to take her son away from her. You can tell her the difference that he is your husband later but her son first. Believe me, you can do it, just be observant, calm and loving.
You are Their Biggest and Honest Support – Be Fair!
Happy is the son whose faith in his mother remains unchallenged.― Louisa May Alcott
The root cause of the disputation between these two important women in your life is ‘you’. Yes! You, so you have to be the man who can bring peace by giving an end to this tug-of-war. Since day one, you have to be sure how to balance these two important relationships; as you too are stepping into a new life dealing with two families altogether. So, things that you should follow are, never be blind in any judgment; before any verdict, listen to both sides if confused take advice from your father or in-laws. Don’t be judgmental or a finger-puppet of anyone. Neither your mother nor your wife should pull your life strings or be a guide to tell you what to do or what not?
Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side.―Zig Ziglar
So be strong because it’s you, only you and it’s your key responsibility to make a good balance between your mother and your wife. Be clear, don’t favour anyone, don’t suppress your wife, know how to handle the existing problems, make a clear line since day one, so that you can’t suffer later. If you find you can’t handle the situation, don’t overwhelm, talk to your parents clearly, ask them for a solution. In a family, it’s always better to talk instead of keeping things in your mind and hurting yourself. With a clear mind, you can make the relationship flourish like a tree.
Whatever, I have suggested above is purely for the trio – the son/husband, the mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law. Now, for a happy marriage some steps are to be taken by the family before and after the marriage, let’s see what are they?
Say No to Over-Expectations – Although It’s Hard to Say ‘No’ to in-Laws
In Asian countries, traditions are different, marriage is said to be a bond between families too. And for the sake of happy wedding celebration they start to exchange gifts, sugar-coated words, fake promises and raise the bar of expectation higher for each other. The edge of the groom side is higher in Asian countries especially in countries like India, Pakistan, and Nepal. So, the bride side always has to do endless effort to make the groom side happy. This is wrong, entirely wrong. This thought must change now. We are living in a democratic country where we are born with the right to equality, so how can we give preferences?
Your Daughter is your Responsibility
You should know this fact that you are giving your daughter to another family. It needs a big heart to do, but as it is a common practice or tradition, so easily adapted it. But it doesn’t mean that you are saying yes to dowry system, expanding your expenses beyond your reach just to satisfy your daughter’s in-laws. Don’t raise their expectation higher; set some boundaries or else trust me, no one is going to suffer except your daughter. Marriage should be based on simplicity and honesty comprising with love and acceptance. If you want to do anything for your daughter, search for a good man and loving family for her.
You must Change yourself for the Betterment of your Son
Time has changed; those were gone days now, when girls were less educated than man and were meant to be working with household chores only. Now people have started believing in girl education, parents are spending on their girl’s higher education. On the other hand, every in-law wants an educated and working bride for their son, along with their over-expectation of gifts and acknowledged as upper-hand. But don’t you think you are thinking irrationally and unreasonably? It’s a high time to end your over-expectations. You and your daughter-in-law’s family both are equal. So try to bridge the gap and build a bond as a big happy family to live happily ever after.
Pieces of Advice are easy to give and tough to follow. So, whatever I have written is a positive way to cultivate a good bond between in-laws. Now my last point is especially for the mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law, let’s have a read.
Don’t Entertain Interference from Others
The relationship between these two women can get tangled more if they allow others to interfere in their life. Be sure about one thing, the bond between you two should be purely yours, no one from either side can brainwash you.
If you are a mother of a daughter, you should know how to connect the dots. Sometimes, a mother does what her daughter asks her to do, this is not right at all. You shouldn’t allow your daughter to interfere in the matters which are meant to be in between you and your daughter-in-law. If you want peace in your family it is best to keep these women separately in your life. Both have their own importance in your life and both want your love and care. And if you are in such trap just take a nudge, wake-up and retain the balance which can help you to live in joy instead of being fueled by prejudice.
Now, when you have become a crucial part of this new family, the first thing you do is to stop taking pieces of advice from your mother even for a minor thing. It’s better to ask your mother-in-law if something is about the kitchen or home improvement, it will help you to make your relationship stronger with your mother-in-law. If you find your mother’s interference can shake your new home’s root, then it’s again a high time to create a right balance, you are living in a new family, so question is – who can decide better than you? Take the thing in your hand when it comes to in-laws and, say goodbye to unnecessary counselling from others.
So, these were some of my viewpoints on this topic to look out the situation, I am not saying that this is the perfect solution to sweeten the relationship, but at least you can try and take a step for something good. It’s not always the same every time, every case varies, in some mother-in-law is the culprit and in some, she is innocent, vice-versa with the daughter-in-law. It’s all about sensitivity and understanding, it’s on how good you are as a person. And do you really want a peaceful life and a supporting happy family, if the answer is yes, then try to do your best to live the relationship with your in-laws in tranquillity? Life is short, so live it with harmony and peace. Being good in-laws is must instead of being monster-in-laws.