This relationship is a tricky thing. What do you think?

@kalav56 (11502)
India
August 20, 2009 4:27am CST
Do you think that the relationship between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law is always a tricky delicate thing? Long back, my sister-in-law who lives abroad told me, that the world over, this relationship is a tricky thing. What efforts can be made to have an ideal relationship that has the least friction ever possible when the two have to live under the same roof? Do share your thoughts on the subject.[young and old -all are welcome to come out with your views
8 people like this
28 responses
@med889 (5958)
20 Aug 09
It is not always tricky one because I know many woman who accepts their daughter in laws as their own daughters and do not do any discrimination with them so they are very understanding for me, whereas I know women also who are just a nuissance for their daughter in law, My sister's mother in law is very bad, she does not like my sister at all because my sister has given birth to a baby girl at first. My other sister's mother in law is very caring and she loves all of us. I just hope mine will be fine too.
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
20 Aug 09
Yours will definitelynbe fine and all the best! You yourself have examples of two different kinds at home proving that there are different people and different people would behave in a different manner.THanks a lot for the participation and have anice day.
• India
20 Aug 09
Hi! Do not worry at all. Yours will be a caring one. Just try to attract the positive ones to yourself. Heehee. I mean I kept wondering, Omigod, I should not get a tricky MIL etc. And by a twist of fate, I got a quirky and eccentric woman as a MIL. She is basically ok, but has OCD. She tends to go overboard with her cleaning. I just am waiting to flee from the city. You will be fine, am sure. All the best. Happy mylotting. :)
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
20 Aug 09
Tutor what you have written is very flattering .Thank you for making me feel so young today.You have made my day!But I am a fifty three year old lady and can only become a mother-in-law. I only wish to be a good m-i-l.
@paula27661 (15899)
• Australia
20 Aug 09
I was blessed with a lovely mother in law who has unfortunately passed away last year. I learned to really appreciate her because my ex fiancé had the ‘mother from hell’ and she made my life very difficult during our time together. She didn’t like me because I was from a different culture and made it very obvious by behaving very rudely around me. She would talk about me as if I wasn’t there, give me dirty looks, usually check me out from head to toe whenever I entered the room and would not pass the phone to her son whenever I called among other things. She really hated me, put it this way, when he told her we were engaged she faked a collapse and the doctor had to be summoned, she was fine of course. I tell you she did wonders for my self esteem! She was a big part of the reason we broke up and in retrospect I can see clearly now that I dodged a big bullet!
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@kalav56 (11502)
• India
20 Aug 09
Thank GOD HE WAS Only your ex Paula and it is sad to note that the really good, kind one is no more.YOu must have really liked her a lot to write this about her and she would have been a greater Goddess in comparison to that ex terror. Thanks Paula for the participation.
2 people like this
@paula27661 (15899)
• Australia
20 Aug 09
My mother in law was a wonderful woman. I will PM you the link to a piece I wrote about her if you haven't read it already. I miss her a lot....
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@kalav56 (11502)
• India
20 Aug 09
I just read your tribute to your mil Paula and I felt choked and almost close to tears when I read about her comment ringing the bell and feeling like a queen.Is the picture of the lady hers/[the first one where two girls were sitting along, you being one? THis lady had such a benevolent face and remarkably kind eyes.
1 person likes this
• India
21 Aug 09
its a tricky thing for all those who live a tricky life. that is the truth. we see everything in our own image, or what we are. its all our projection. it is possible to live under one roof without any friction. why do these frictions happen? has anyone thought about it? if we give some time on this, then we find that it is not a tricky thing at all. there is no openness on the part of the younger generation while dealing with a person who is an elder, who finds it difficult to integrate as fast as we can. the problem lies with the younger lot. its they who can learn things fast and make necessary changes according to situations.
• India
22 Aug 09
I'm not blaming anyone. I was doing a personal study on these from many different angles. my finding is that youngsters are reluctant to make an attempt to understand the elders, especially the in-laws. the old does not have much time left out for them, but the youngster has a lots of time and can manage it well. that is not happening. And I am also a youngster, and its the observation of a youngster.
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
22 Aug 09
It is wonderful that such words come from a youngster.Honestly I am very much pleased to see what you have written because I thought these days it is the old people who have to make all adjustments unlike in ancient days. From what you say,it gives me great hopes that my young daughterinlaw would come with evry hope of coexisting peacefully.For my part I shall do my best.
@sugarlen (138)
• Philippines
27 Aug 09
When you live with your in-laws, you have to bear the truth that she will have to be pleased. If you can take this then it will be a nice place to live in.
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
1 Sep 09
@magickat (382)
21 Aug 09
It can definitely be difficult, especially when you are younger. When I got married I was only 21. I thought I got on OK with my mother in law but then found out that she was saying horrible things behind my back. When the marriage broke down and my husband and I were moving out of our flat, she gave away loads of my books, CDs and clothes to charity shops without asking me! My ex and I are are still on good terms but I'm glad I haven';t seen the mother in law since! When I was little my mum used to struggle with my gran (her mother in law) but as the years went on the relationship improved and eventually they became very close. I don't think many mothers will ever think their daughter-in-law's are good enough for their sons.
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
21 Aug 09
That is a valid point you have made. One should learn to take a person as the person is and not keep belittling them for their own expectations. I agree that sons are precious[ don't I know ] but whoever the daughter-in-law is she is the wife of the son and one has to accept her for what she is.Otherwise the son cannot be happy with the mother condemning his wife .All said and done, the son's happiness matters a lot. THanks for the response.
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
20 Aug 09
I think there is the potential for abuse in such a relationship, and history will attest to that, but on the other hand, in many instances mother and daughter inlaws have gotten along wonderfully, even better than with their own blood relatives. It wholly depends on the person, and to some extent on the culture. I only met my mother-in-law once and hubby never met my mother, so we had no difficulty with that kind of relationship, but that was by design, as neither of our mothers was the kind of person either of us enjoyed being around. Perhaps that was part of the cement that has held us together all these years ;-) How to have the least friction? A VERY BIG HOUSE! Also it would help if both had full-time jobs outside the home, one working days and the other working nights. Hah!
1 person likes this
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
20 Aug 09
What a difficult solution! Joking apart , I do think that each must have one's own activity and this must be independent[not at the same kitchen or similar work].the less you tread on each other the better it is. Thanks for the good response and what you have said about your bonding with your husband is absolutely true. ELders come in and this relationship brings complexities of a different kind.
@kawalnarang (1095)
• Trinidad And Tobago
20 Aug 09
Very rarely u find these two enjoying life peacefylly,under one roof,,and more so nowadays,,in thie life full of COMPITITION,, and everybody else dare not interfere
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@kalav56 (11502)
• India
20 Aug 09
Well I thought that in modern days it should be easier because unlike in the ancient times both women do not sit at home and interact with one another through the day adding to the existing friction.
20 Aug 09
M any have told me that no two ladies can go along in any matter .So the relationship between mother in law and daughter in law is not an exception .The best way is ignore and take things lightly whatever happens .Whatever the relationship is absence makes the heart grow fonder .So I always believe in the concept -familiarity breeds contempt .It is easy to carry on life with any one if you are willing to accept someones idea .I always like to keep the house especially the kitchen according to my tastes so I cannot accept anyones idea .Ofcourse if it is reaaly fesible I will change my notion .
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@kalav56 (11502)
• India
20 Aug 09
That is why they say that this becomes even trickier I guess .But, I do agree that it is difficult for two people to see eye to eye with each other and so the best thing would be to ignore whatever happens.Veyr wisely said and if there must not be too much of familiarity creeping in , then there must be a bit of respectful distance maintained between the two. Don't you think so?[even under the same roof this is possible if one puts one's mind to it.] What do you say?
@krajibg (11936)
• Guwahati, India
20 Aug 09
Hi Kalav, I know what it means. If the relation has once got distorted there is hardly any thing tat could bring the relation to normalcy.
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@kalav56 (11502)
• India
20 Aug 09
Hullo Rajib! THanks for theparticipation but my wquestion was not about aruined relationship[thank God ].I was only asking for opinions about how this can be maintained without friction under the same roof? I have seen people successfully coexisting but I just wanted to get all your opinions.
@andy77e (5165)
• United States
23 Aug 09
That is a tough thing. It depends greatly on the mental state of the mother. Some mothers make their parent child relationship the central part of their life. Thus when the boy grows into a man, she does not want to let go when the time comes because 'it is a part of her life'. In that situation, it's best to put as much distance between your family and his mother, as possible. I've heard of guys who specifically moved to New York from L.A. because of this specific problem. Dr Laura Schlessinger actually wrote about this problem in her book "Ten stupid things women do to mess up their lives". So what is the solution? I generally advise people to move out of their parents home. I happen to be a Christian, and the Bible says specifically that "A man shall *leave* his mother and father, and cleave to his wife". That means separation. Leaving the home. Go out into the world to make your family, together with your wife. Not with your wife and mother and father and.... If that is impossible and you are stuck living with your in-laws, then I think the best possible solution is submission to them. Just do what they say until you can leave. They are after all the elders of the family. They have to position. So instead of strife, just go with the flow until you can get your own home.
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@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
20 Aug 09
If you are both reasonable people, you will work something out, maybe even a close relationship, but if one person is unwilling to see any side of things but their own, watch out, it will never work.
@Margajoe (4720)
• Germany
21 Aug 09
So true, so tricky indeed. I used to need to take anti depression before going to my in-laws. I even had to live with them for 2 months. I was pregnant at the time, and my doctor had signed me to bed rest or I might lose my baby. My in-law commented that I was so lazy, cause when she was pregnant.... It was terrible, we had to leave before time, I could not take it anymore. I guess the best thing you can do, is listen and keep your mouth shut. Do all the cleaning and cooking then they are happy. Good luck!
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
21 Aug 09
If a daughterinlaw is only needed to do all the cleaning then the inlaws should look for a girl from a strata of society that does only physical labour.Pitching in helping is different, but to expect this sort of a thing is too terrible . I am sorry for your antidepression tablet and thta is the extnet to which they have driven you. Very sorry indeed .
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@Margajoe (4720)
• Germany
21 Aug 09
Thank-you. But I found the best solution about 14-15 years ago. I got a divorce. That helped. By the way, they don't tell you they expect you too clean, it just keeps things in peace. They are always happy. I just don't get married, then I don't have a mother in law. My BF 's mother is very nice, but the father is a difficult one. I figure if I don't marry him, I don't have all the hazel either.
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
22 Aug 09
• India
20 Aug 09
Personally I feel there’s nothing that can be done to lessen friction or to undermine one at the cost of the other. We all know that the kitchen is the kingdom of the woman of the house so an MIL would never willingly allow the DIL control of the kitchen while the DIL would always try her best to wrest control of the kitchen. Money I feel plays a vital part in family relations and I have seen in families where both the MIL and DIL are working, there is less friction since both are economically independent, have their own lifestyle and clothes and make-up, each does important work outside the home and thus feels important and has a meaningful occupation other than running the kitchen. There was a colleague at our office who were three brothers staying together with their parents in one house. I once asked him if the wives never had any problem…what he said was quite unique to me. It seems that his family followed a rule of transition…once the eldest son got married, gradually the reins of the kitchen went to his wife and the MIL went into semi-retirement. Once the middle son got married, the kitchen reins passed on to his wife while the eldest DIL took care of the aged parents and young children. And when the youngest son got married, the responsibility of the kitchen was his wife’s while the two elder DILs together looked after the other aspects like children’s tuition, aged in-laws and such. I think it was a wonderful mode as each wife got to run the kitchen and household in her own way and everybody else had to adjust and accept it. Also the elder wives got some rest they needed while the younger wives got the experience in running a household.
@dpk262006 (56484)
• Delhi, India
20 Aug 09
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
20 Aug 09
yOURS was such a good response and I am amazed by the way three brothers are stayng under the same roof with parents.AnD that too in these modern times!!!!You made such a valid point Sudipta about women being financially independent and being productive in their own right.THis is also my conviction .In such cases, it becomes a matter of easier adjustment too.After all, women can see other women's points of view when it does not hurt them .THat example you quoted is simply idealistic and wonderful.So many people can learn from this.
• India
21 Aug 09
Yes, that household is unique and I wish them many more years of togetherness. You see each one of us wants to feel important in our own way and express ourselves...its only when we dont get that importance and space that troubles start creeping in.
@Sreekala (23693)
• India
20 Aug 09
Hi dear, I think the relationship is creating problems when mother-in-law and daughter-in-law having possessiveness with son and husband respectively. If the mother can show some broadmindedness then half of the problem may be avoided. I think both should be ready to adjust and respect each other. Most probably the conflict started with those families who have a single son. The mother should be more attached to the son and all of a sudden a new girl is coming and taking freedom with the only son, she (mother) may take time to digest it. If we want to avoid the friction, then both ladies need some counseling before marriage I think that is the best way.
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
20 Aug 09
I totally agree with you Sree. It needs a lot of wisdom and prudent behaviour from the people concerned.THe older must prove themselves to be the wiser by being broad minded and learning to respect the youngsters. In our times, the adjustment was more natural and easy but with good education and proper perspectives I think this can be attained .Both must learn to adjut and also have a healthy respect for the other person. Well said Sree! Whatever counselling youmay take it would finally depend on implementation Sree. WHat do you think?
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@Sreekala (23693)
• India
20 Aug 09
yes the implementation is difficult, I think. I just prefer a solution for the problem.
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
20 Aug 09
You already gave the solution Sree. Broadmindeness is the name of the game.
@kiran8 (15388)
• Mangalore, India
20 Aug 09
Hi kala, There are definitely exceptions everywhere. I have seen some great rapport between the two. But generally speaking unless there is commitment from both sides on making the relationship a success it is very difficult to have a completely troubles free relationship. It is the very nature of the relationship that makes it such a sensitive issue...all the best
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
20 Aug 09
Very true;It is the nature of this relationship where women have all their insecurities surfacing.Women are the bane in thsi case. However, as you have pointed if we have commitment things must be alright by God's grace Kiran. THings are changing these days from what they were in ancient times or two three decades ago.THanks for the special wishes.Point understood.
@kiran8 (15388)
• Mangalore, India
20 Aug 09
As you say kala, things have changed a lot now. Our thinking and the very manner in which we handle issues have changed. But the most important thing is a mutual trust and commitment in any relationship. It has to come spontaneously, only then can it succeed, thats what I feel...
@jdyrj777 (6556)
• United States
21 Aug 09
Not always. Some are a perfect fit.
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
21 Aug 09
That is heartening.
@suesan35 (479)
• Sri Lanka
21 Aug 09
I think the mother-in-law starts having problems with the daughter-in-law because she's jealous of her. Up to the time of marriage, the son was the sole property of the mother (or so she thinks) and then another woman has come to his life and she thinks she (the mother) has now lost the no. 1 place in his life. So unknowingly she makes life difficult for the DIL by finding fault with her for her cooking, her house keeping etc. and makes her life a misery. Its best for both parties to live separate from each other as much as possible so that they see only the good side of each other when they meet.
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
21 Aug 09
I see what you mean and I myself have seen this happen also.It is all the basic insecurity of women.THey are bent on making the poor boy's life hell.
@Hatley (164485)
• Garden Grove, California
21 Aug 09
hi kalav I had the perfect kindest mom in law in the wold and what made it even better was the fact that'she lived in Walla Walla Washington while we lived in California. our visits werewonderful and I did love'her dearly as she had the same wonderful sense of humor'as my husband did.Now my son had that same sense of humor fifty years years later. Had we lived in the same town I still would have loved her as she was a dear.
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
21 Aug 09
Your response is so sweet and the good feelings you have for your mominlaw, are just felt easily.SHe was also lucky to have a good dil who can recognize goodness I should say. Sometimes, even when people are reasonable[be it either--dil or mil] the other party fails to recognize it and harp only on the defects. Thanks a lot for thta swwet response and your participation.It gives me a lot of hope.
@tutor19us (455)
• India
20 Aug 09
I agree. This relationship compared to any other relationship is very tricky. Whether you live with your MIL or not, doesn't matter. She will definitely have a say in your life. A MIL is one woman you can never please. You can die trying to be perfect, she will simply say, yeah, but I am better than you. A MIL always wants supreme authority over her son. Though she gets him married, she is unable to loosen her grip on her baby. Oh! The mothers who actually are quite pleasant with their DILs have had really good upbringing and are generally nice people. As soon as they become MILs they try to make life easier for the girls who come into their homes. Well, mine is a terror, hence, I am certainly not as lucky as your sister. :)
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
20 Aug 09
Hi . Thanks for the lovely response.And well said ! Ego becomes the bane of this relastionship here and I also think that we should accept people for what they are.Being judgemental and feeling superior would take us nowhere and people must be a lot wise in order to maintain good relationships.Sorry to note that yours is a terror.AS LONG AS YOUR HUSBAND IS GOOD YOU won't have too many problems .
@yogambal_64 (1016)
• India
20 Aug 09
I feel both a mother in law and a daughter should respect each others feelings. A mother is one who cannot be replaced at the same time the husband is one who the wife solely depends leaving back her family. The mother in turn can share her affections with her other children (son). Both should realize that the son-husband is a single person and act accordingly to avoid friction.
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
20 Aug 09
Very true.The girl goes to the boy's house leaving behind her people.She does need a lot more assurance than the older members of the family.And practicla wisdom ought to be exhibited at home.THanks for the participation.