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Stressed Out!!

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by northindian, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. northindian

    northindian New IL'ite

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    I've been reading this forum for a while, and I've seen all the women on this website get together to help each other out. I’m really hoping that I’ll be welcomed in this online family and get some thoughts from all of you on my situation.

    My husband and I have been married 2 months now, prior to this we’ve been dating for 9 years (in November). So we really know each other and our families. We finally broke the news to our parents last year because we were waiting for his older brother to get married and for both of us to be a bit more financially and educationally stable. Everything went well even though I’m North Indian (Punjabi/Sindhi) and he’s South Indian (Telugu). We did have a few miscommunications during the wedding planning time, but everything went smoothly and in the end, honestly that’s all that mattered.

    Post wedding, we decided to stay with his parents (throughout this whole time he’s been living with his parents) for a month and then move to our own place. Reason for this was because its tradition for the new daughter in law to step/live with the in laws. We had communicated this to the in-laws and they were very upset about this. My father in law had earlier decided that both his sons and daughter in laws would stay in this 3 bedroom house he had just purchased a few years back. But the older son ended up relocating back to India (which he’s still bitter about) and now the youngest was telling him that he was going to move out after a month. My mother in law on the other hand has not lived apart from my husband since birth unless it was a business visit that he had to go off to. Also, my husband does have a few medical conditions that has placed him in the hospital for weeks at times – so there is an extra attachment to him.

    Now, when the one month was close to up, we brought up the topic of us moving again. We told them that we had found an apartment which was a 8-10-minute drive away and that were moving on a specific date as it was available then. Immediately we were found in the middle of a fight – where my mother in law was crying and saying she didn’t want us to leave and that the family was being broken apart. My father in law again stated that he wanted his sons to live with him, to save money and that if we were buying a house he would’ve felt better about the move. My mother in law then sat with us the day of the move and told my husband that after the move my Telugu learning would drop, I would be able to pick up traditions as well since I’m not presented with her doing Pooja every morning anymore and that she felt as though the family is being broken into pieces.

    Now it’s been a month since we moved. We go over close to 2-3 days a week in the evening and we’re welcomed in but given the silent treatment pretty much. My mother in law no longer speaks, the last time I heard her speak to me was last week when she was frustrated that I didn’t speak Telugu yet and she couldn’t communicate with me. Last week also, she cried as we left the house and altogether is really making us feel guilty about moving. There’s no conversation that goes on when we go over. We end up (after about 5-10 minutes) watching TV for an hr and then leave making it feel like a ‘chore’ to go over 2-3 times a week, no fun at all. Last time my husband went over without me, I was told there was a huge argument at home where he was told by his parents that I haven’t learnt Telugu and that I don’t try to speak/learn it.

    I personally feel as though a lot of pressure is being put on me. I have 3 jobs (2 at a hospital as a nurse and 1 at home), my day consists of cleaning the house, cooking lunch/dinner on 3-4/7 days, working on my home job in addition to attending conference calls that add up to close to 2-3 hours a day then head out to my hospital job by 2pm. I barely have time to study for something that I want to do, let alone sit and read a telugu book. My husband recently told me that he did want me to learn it, and I’ve known this for a while (nothing new) so he’s started to help test me on words I learn and pronunciation. He’s never really forced the language on me and he completely understands that it will take me time to learn. Unfortunately, his parents don’t understand this. Since I don’t speak Telugu when I go over, they’re thinking I’m not learning. The reason I don’t speak it is because I’m not comfortable with the language yet – I’m a North Indian, not a South Indian. Part of me feels like I’m being trained to be the “perfect daughter in law” which makes me put myself down even more. My mother in law wants me to call her “atta-ma”, but I can’t, I end up calling her aunty and she told my husband during the big argument that she felt as though I never accepted her and her husband as family. When in reality, I just cannot remember to say that! I call my own mum, “mother” or “mum”, not “maa” or “amma”. On top of that, yes I partly haven’t accepted her yet, because all I’ve heard about since the marriage is how I’m not traditional enough or how I don’t know the language and haven’t put in the time to learn it.

    No idea what to do in this situation to be honest. I’ve close to given up because there’s no trust in me. I don’t see a reason why I need to speak sentences or words when I go over to their house to prove that I’m learning Telugu. I also don’t understand why they cannot just be happy that their son is trying to be independent by moving out. When are we going to learn to take care of ourselves if when we get home there is food cooked on the stove, laundry folded when we get home, etc etc.

    Any thoughts would really help me here!!
     
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  2. deepa10

    deepa10 Gold IL'ite

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    Hi northindian,

    u r married only for two months and itseems you are building unwanted tensions on your head.

    First, on the moving out part, if both you and your husband are perfectly OK with it, dont change or try to justify to them what ever reason it could be. Slowly they will get to understand and you are spending your time for them as well. So leave that part, it will take some time , but yes, they will recover from this soon.


    Second, on speaking Telugu language, its understandable that you cant sit and read Telugu language, but i can give you some idea. Learn few sentences and try to talk that in front of your MIL (I understand you are not comfortable, but atleast showing your MIL that you are in fact trying to learn Telugu that avoids unnecessary arguments) First talk few words to her like "How are you", "I am fine", "Have food", "No", "Yes" all these in Telugu. Only if you start speaking a language you will be comfortable. So try it out and see whether she is getting satisfied with that. You can do that alteast for your husband so that he gets his peace of mind after his day of work. He need not hear the ranting from his mother. :rant

    Also, for any auspicious day (as per Telugu calendar) visit her and ask her what to do, how to do and try to learn those things whenever you get time. Even when you visit their house, if she is not initiating conversation, get help of your husband and speak to her atleast few sentences a day. Only if you learn something, you can talk to her without your husband's help.

    You are doing all these things just for your loving husband. So make sure you learn atleast one word/sentence a day before you go to sleep. and try talking that sentence many a times before you visit your MIL.
    I am sure there are many ladies in this forum who had love marriage and learnt a new language after that. I am sure they will give more advice to you.

    These are small problems and if you tacle these in the early stages itself and try to impress your MIL, you can enjoy the rest of your life! :thumbsup
     
  3. ProudIndian

    ProudIndian Gold IL'ite

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    Dear nothindia

    If your in laws are good and not harrassing you please try to create sweet bond with them in this initial stage of your marriage. It will give happiness to them and eventually to your hubby. There is nothing degrading learning new language or adopting their traditions even if you are super busy. If you can't manage time at least show your MIL that you are really interested in learning only time is problem. try to impress her by talking telagu as much as you can that will make her happy. its important for her not for you. But believe me it will make your relations with your hubby happier too. Don't take stress at all. Get involved in their puja's etc if you have time.
    If they are good by nature then these kind of expecations are only in initial stage of marriage not forever. Good luck
     
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  4. northindian

    northindian New IL'ite

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    I completely agree with you, it is unwanted tension or unnecessary tension that is being added on just because I don't speak what I've learnt in front of them.

    Part of me is worried that one day I'll go over and say 2-3 good sentences, learn more and come back home. Next week again I'll go over but this time with only 1 sentence, that will initiate another disagreement with them. As far as I know a lot of 'guaratee'ing' has been given to his parents, from both the sons. One of them being that I will learn Telugu before the marriage (which I was unaware of). So that is igniting a fire in my relationship with my in laws. I love them both a lot, they're not bad people at all, especially compared to some of the stories I read on this website. But they're just seeing the fact that I haven't learnt yet, and any time we try to explain to them that this is not an overnight process, that it will take time they're not listening and taking it as an excuse.
     
  5. northindian

    northindian New IL'ite

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    They are awesome, I've known them for 9 years so I've seen them through a lot.

    I don't take it as "degrading" to learn his language. I actually am able to understand what is being said, it's the speaking part that I cannot do because I have the North Indian/American accent so when they correct me I can see a little smile on their face which makes me very conscious.

    And honestly, I love to go over to their house for poojas/Telugu holidays but I'm not the type that will do them myself. I was raised Christian/Sikh, we were not very traditional and I don't really believe in god - that's just me though. My husband as well, is same as me, doesn't believe in god/pooja but will participate at home with his mum. Hence, we'd participate indefinitely but expecting us to do a pooja ourselves I think is unreasonable especially if we do end up doing pooja, it won't be from our heart, it'll be because we're being told to do so. Just seems very wrong!
     
  6. psych

    psych Gold IL'ite

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    Whats your DH's take on this? Was your DH born and brought up here? If so you and DH are probably on the same wavelenght (meaning he doesnt want to go live with his parents either). Your in-laws have forgotten that they live in the US and in the US its not the standard norm of lving together and treating DIL as ****. they seem to be stuck in the 1950's india.

    if DH is not pressurixing you, jut ignore them.
     
  7. chandy939

    chandy939 Silver IL'ite

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    Give your relation some time.Your in-laws might feel insecure that neither of their sons are staying with them.If you feel speaking Telugu is very difficult for you then try other ways to know abt "Telugu culture".A way to man's heart is through his stomach...surprise your DH and in-laws by making some andhra dishes like pappu koora pachadi and call them over for lunch...start with such common words and slowly pick up the language eventually.Check out some blogs for such recipes else talk to your m-i-l and ask her for the recipes.whenever you are free ask her to teach you some dishes and cook together...this way you can create a bond with her.Most of my conversations with m-i-l happens when we are in kitchen.

    You've been married for just 2 months...this is your honeymoon period...don't get tensed about such small things.
     
  8. Priya16

    Priya16 IL Hall of Fame

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    To be frank,

    Looks like they have been here in US and they do know how to communicate with you in English.Then why to add all these strings in between.Some are good at learning languages and some not.
    They can learn your language and communicate with you right :)
    I know they say you are disrespecting them.

    My take on it,you don't raise your husband expectation nor them.If you try today and again they will have some set waiting for you tomorrow.So be yourself,with respect tell them it may take a while and you can't do this at this point as you are busy.Directly communicate with your MIL/FIL.Don't put your husband in between to communicate for you.
    Don't promise things which is not of your interest.Let them learn about your likes and dislikes.Slowly they will understand.
    For time being don't worry about your MIL crying.They will try all sort of things initially but eventually they will understand the reality.But maintain cordial relationship.Don't bend to fulfill there wishes which is not possible for you.
     
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  9. justanothergirl

    justanothergirl IL Hall of Fame

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    Right on the money Priya!

    @OP..building a good relationship is a two way street and they need to meet you half way.
    Don't get bogged down by all the crying and drama. Learn a language if u feel the desire to and at ur own pace. You shouldn't be pressurized this way. After all if ur DH were forced to learn sindhi/punjabi within weeks of ur marriage he wouldn't be very happy ..now would he ?
     
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  10. northindian

    northindian New IL'ite

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    Psych...
    My husband was born and raise in India, but came here in 1999 to the US with the parents. He is on the same wavelength as me - he was actually the one that pushed for us to get out of his house where as I was taking it a bit more relaxed. They are definately not treating me bad, it's just the expectations that frustrate me. It's not an overnight process and my MIL out of everyone knows this as she had to take English learning classes to be more comfortable in the US.
     

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