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Do I Owe It To Her?!

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by BeingSoulful, Sep 17, 2020.

  1. BeingSoulful

    BeingSoulful Silver IL'ite

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    #longpost
    I grew up in a middle class family with not very well educated parents. Mom was mildly narcissistic, dad has always been the absent parent (physically present) and the environment was toxic at many levels. For the most part mom took care of us. Growing up I have always been insecure of my looks, my color, education & family. Mom always would taunt that she would get us (me & sister) married and get rid of us. She made these statements out of frustration of handling everything alone. It was almost like she was a single mom. But her anger and taunts (filthy language, swearing) made a deep negative impact on me, it was an abuse. According to her, even putting food on the table was a favor she did. Sadly she was almost bipolar, one moment the most loving mom and next moment someone we just not recognize. His extreme mood flows were hard to deal with. After I finished studies and started working, things were slightly better. During this time I met someone through a friend. Over the years we became very good friends.

    Marriage has always been a complicated topic for me and sadly not a single marriage I saw made it worthy. All I saw in my surrounding was fights, filthy language, arguments. That includes my parents as well who never modeled a healthy relationship at all. So I almost never had thoughts of a happy marriage. Deep down I knew I would be married off to some rich goose no matter how he looked or what he studied. Money was important for my family. Especially my mom! Property, status and show off in the society was everything to her.

    This friend of mine had a loving family. His mother was exactly like how I imagined a mom to be. Loving , sweet & caring, so patient while we spoke. Over time I had the chance to meet her a few times in various gatherings and we made a trip together as well. She was the sweetest person. After this friend left the county I hardly had a chance to meet his family. Then suddenly one day he visits and proposes me in front of his mom. We both had a great understanding and affection as friends. This comes as a huge shocker for me. After thinking through, my answer was yes!

    My family was not in agreement, they were not happy, we received a lot of retaliation. Through all this, his mom constantly pushed me to convince my family. Long story short, we got married! Both the families present but my family made it obvious in the wedding that they were not happy. As soon as the mangalya ritual was completed, the entire clan just left. The brides room was empty just my things left. My mom made a strong statement that it’s OVER and would never want to see us nor have any ties with us.

    Suddenly my world was shattered, I never thought my mom would really do things she did. But I gathered myself and kept going. Day one in the new household, my new MIL was pissed and I knew the reason. No one from my family was with me for rituals or anything after the wedding. Hubby was around for a month after the wedding and he left. I was supposed to join him in a few months once my visa was processed. I was excited to a part of the new family, a happy family and a loving mother. Slowly it started fading wen MIL suddenly became this new person I hadn't met before. She would want control on all aspects related to me including what I wore and what I ate, how I did things, where I went, time I spent with whom, EVERYTHING. She wanted to choose everything for me as well. Initially I thought it was her affection for me but I was so wrong. She started stripping away each shade with time, only for me to discover she wasnt very different from my mom. Infact even worse.

    I was disappointed but also understood our families had a huge common aspect of an absent father and hence mothers took over. I accepted her criticism and her need for control on every little thing under the sun. My immediate reaction was submission, I gave in even wen I wanted to shout and say NO for things. As time passed she started complaining to hubby about my habits and how imperfect I was. He would in turn talk to me and we would argue over things. This is just 2months into the marriage. I left to join hubby and couldn’t be happier I was leaving.

    After 6months, MIL visited us and it all starts again. She gives me silent treatments and big faces and taunts for everything I do. This continues every time we are together either she visits or when we visit. First few days or weeks are all good and happy, and then slowly she starts acting up. And again she’s the same sweet person when we are away (not in the same house). She was emotionally never available for me in any way. I tried to bond with her and every time I took one step, she would take two steps backward. She had issues that my parents dint give things in the wedding, the wedding didn’t happen the way it was promised, and with zero connection, my family was absent all the time. She would not let go a single chance to taunt for y family's absence.


    Currently stuck in india with MIL who has a problem with everything i do and say, even when i dont say or do anything. We travelled in the wrong time before COVID hit. We have more personality issues than the actual issues. Now i realise she wanted a submissive, typical DIL who will have a serving mindset towards everyone & though i love my family and would always be willing to help around chores or anything really, i am an individual who has my own ideology & mindset of course the personality and opinions come along with it. Getting to specific issues -

    1. Her obsession about my child - I understand the grandparent's love and totally respect it BUT she doesn't even have an ounce of respect for my relationship with my child, time & again she has proved this to me. She ruined our breastfeeding relationship and the baby was bottle fed throughout, even today when the baby keeps crying for me (calling amma amma), MIL never gives the baby to me, worse case she will pacify the child by giving her a phone, I am talking about a 15month old baby. Keep pushing the baby to her dad in playtime (asking her to do things for dad in a loving way of course), i am never included nor mentioned in anything.

    2. We have major disagreements with everything related to the baby, her feeding and sleep schedules, sadly i have just given into her (MIL) need to control every aspect related to us (me, hubby & baby). She has made rude comments about my family, about my upbringing and openly admitted she has no emotional attachment towards me. She also said "You have come to my house" literally meaning i am an outsider and i should know where i belong, these were her exact words.

    3. Chores - I am always ready to help, nor would I deny doing something when I am asked to do so. I am almost denied every single time I offer to help in cooking, worse case i make something myself, she will not eat or what i cook is only served to me & others are served something else. If i am in the kitchen, she will not even enter the kitchen. So i manage other chores at home. But sometimes with a needy baby, I am unable to wake up on time or do something within a certain timeline. That factor is held against me during arguments. She has least empathy for me with regards to anything literally. Even the food on my plate is a favour she is doing, that's exactly how she makes it seem.

    We fully financially support the entire family (MIL & BIL who is working but hardly contributes anything) My relationship with MIL was strained the most during postpartum when she ruined our breastfeeding journey, she came to US to basically look after me but did she was no help, emotionally & otherwise for first time overwhelmed parents. And her constant effort to keep my child away from me right from the time the baby needed me the most, neither our love & attachment nor have an ounce of respect towards my opinions, wishes & views about anything (especially things related to the baby) and I am deeply hurt. I dont disrespect her but my conversation with her was only to the point, we can hardly have any normal conversations. I get a lot of silent treatment or rather say our interaction is almost zero and she only interacts when she has to taunt about something.

    I am hurt that our relationship turned out this way, I blame myself for ignoring the red flags in our initial conversations, also the fact that I don't have that parental love & attention that I crave. Am I wrong in feeling this way? She also makes me feel like she did a favour on me by getting us married. Her comments on how many better matches my husband had at the time but decided to marry me instead. She expects me to be grateful for standing by the opposition received from my family. I have respect for the efforts she has made & her path as a single mother but does that mean i need to oppress myself, my wishes & my family to keep satisfying her narcissistic behaviour, her constant bully each day is killing me. I am still dealing with waves of PPD but it all keeps coming back with this kind treatment at home.

    Any thoughts are appreciated, thanks!
     
  2. Angela123

    Angela123 Gold IL'ite

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    Dear OP,
    Really sad to hear all these. There is no really right answer for anything but one question I have is, where does your husband stand in these issues? You will have to work with him to resolves most of these. your MIL doesn't have the right to take away your responsibilities towards your child. Chores/other family issues you could ignore. But I wouldn't let her get away with separating the kid from you. You will need to resolve that first. Take back your power on your kid. Your thought might be influenced by PPD, but a mother's intuition is never wrong, do what you need to do to get back the bonding with the kid. Try to put the past to rest, but be strong in the steps forward.

    Cooking and chores - do not fight for this. As long as you get food to get by, let her do it. This will keep her away from the kid (hopefully) more time and you can take over that time. Since you already offered, do not offer anymore. She is complaining you about anyway, so let it be. When you are up for it, you could get back at them by making their favorite food and eat it yourself. But until then take it as your free time and spend that with the kid and the husband.
     
    BeingSoulful likes this.
  3. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    You have a husband problem first, and the MIL problem second. Why isn’t he standing up for you?
     
    Sreevidyaa, blindpup10 and nakshatra1 like this.
  4. ProudIndian

    ProudIndian Gold IL'ite

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    Is it possible to confide in some common relative like mil s sister or brother who can put some sense in mil s head like counsellor?If not counseling to both of you? Hope you can go away from mil house ASAP. Keep breathing and take good care of your physical health so u can stand up for yourself soon.
     
  5. BeingSoulful

    BeingSoulful Silver IL'ite

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    Husband does support in many ways, infact the times he stands up for me, the issue is escalated unnecessarily coz MIL is so intrigued by the fact that he’s supportive. Initial days I was ok she doing things for the kid thinking we are here only for a short duration and she is needing that time with her grandchild but now it’s like I need to even ask what I should feed the kid. It’s getting difficult. And same with chores or family meals, she cooks at her own convenience that we only do 2 meals a day, almost 10hrs apart, I have lost weight plus my acidity is all over the place.

    What’s worse is, I am not involved in cooking and I am blamed that I don’t cook or say I don’t wholeheartedly offer her help in cooking which makes no sense coz our interaction is very limited. This factor is used against me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
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  6. BeingSoulful

    BeingSoulful Silver IL'ite

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    He’s around and knows how unfair his mother is, he does speak up, more than me infact. But it never ends in a concrete solution, rather MIL is more pissed that he’s supportive and at times he expects me only to adjust and put up with her tantrums. Every time I tell him things are not acceptable he does convince me that it’s only for a short duration and I should just ignore her.
     
  7. BeingSoulful

    BeingSoulful Silver IL'ite

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    S
    Sadly there’s no one I can approach. Her siblings keep it formal & distant coz no one likes her attitude. I cannot involve my parents since they were never ok with this marriage. She knows I cannot go n approach anyone nor I have any elderly figure who would question her.
     
  8. ProudIndian

    ProudIndian Gold IL'ite

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    I would say you only become strong. You have to talk to her bluntly without screaming or crying and tell her. You can tell your husband or father in law. When can you go back to your house abroad?
    Why don’t you make khichdi or something simple for yourself? Tell your husband to bring fruits for you or you bring. Eat banana apple or whatever is available. Don’t starve. Write diary or something and tell your mother in law you are writing every days happenings. Try to make friends in neighborhood. Hope this phase ends ASAP
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
  9. Angela123

    Angela123 Gold IL'ite

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    Since your husband is supportive, ask him to help with the baby when you cook and find cooking time when it is convenient for both of you. You will have to find ways to be happy without being influenced by MIL. If she already cooked, and if you can eat that, plan for next meal, or for the week. If you need to cook for yourself, plan accordingly, smarter one pot meals, that will get you through the day. Your life is how you make it, but it is harder when you have a stubborn MIL like this. You are probably not going to win this war against MIL. She will probably come up with more ways to make it difficult for you. So find ways to work around it, avoid her when you can, confront only when absolutely needed.
     
  10. blindpup10

    blindpup10 Finest Post Winner

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    @BeingSoulful- I went through your post several times- as I first answered for your original post and re-read your comments.
    Why do you want your MIL to be emotionally available to you? She is not your mother, she is a mother to her child who is married to you. Her son's well being is all she cares.
    I am sorry you had not so good childhood. But don't expect your MIL to be what you want from your mother.
    After supporting MIL's family you are being too kind to not use this to your advantage.
    Please use this as your stepping stool.
    I am assuming you are financially independent and if you don't already have a different back account start by creating an individual bank account and get your monthly salary into your account.
    And strongly put down with your husband that you will not share your salary if he doesn't support you in this ridiculous controlling behavior.

    Why does she have your baby? Do they co-sleep?
    First, form a bond with your husband in regards to the care/ parenting style with your husband. So use it when the parenting style is not met. Like screen time for 15 months as a distraction is BAD!!
    Why is your MIL handling your baby when it cries? Why are you not taking care?


    Why are you giving in? Is it her child? NO. Her chance of raising a child is over. She cannot raise your kid as hers.
    You need to fight for your child. When the child grows up and asks you- is he/ she wasn't worthy of 2 bitter words thrown around to have a claim on your child? What will you say?

    You might have gone to her house, but she is also the one who invited you. Nobody without invitation goes anywhere (Her son proposed and you accepted it).

    SHe doesn't want your help but makes it a favor when she is serving you? Serve yourself- let her cook. When she complains please remind her that you offered to help. ONLY IF she took your help she wouldn't be complaining. you set the boundaries- tell her I will be able to do this task per day. That's all. if she cribs and cries don't listen too much.

    Do you know why your husband's words are not taken seriously and doesn't stop? Coz you haven't stood up for yourself.
    You cant let the husband fight your battles. You should stand up for yourself your husband can support you. Your MIL doesn't see you and him as a team.
    That's why anything he does don't take concrete effect.
    What does she mean wholeheartedly? hold her legs and allow you to cook?



    Just ignore her... instead of reacting. Stand up and tell her she has been absolutely awful and if anyone else were in your position, they would have put her in her place a while back.

    My 2 cents- I grew up a mother who didn't want children but had us coz of the society and family. I know the meaning of growing with no love. Father who was restricted by my mother to do anything for his children. No friends/ family. We grew up exactly how my mother "felt" deep inside "lonely, confused and miserable". As adults, I and my sister still feel lonely, confused, and miserable! My sister just got married last year has already said she will be child-free- coz of the toxicity that we grew up in.

    My mother came 3 months late to help my post-pregnancy, had similar conflicts with MIL. My husband is a mommas boy.
    I craved to be a part of the family at first. Now I don't care anymore. Coz I am creating a beautiful family for myself with my child and my husband. I don't want my parents/ or his parents involved.

    What matters is you, your husband, and your child.
    You are putting your emotions/feelings first. Stop. You are a mother now. You should be strong, tactful, curt, smart, an adult to shield your child from the unfair world.

    Get your husband in line first to behave like an adult. Be your husband, who cares, doesnt ask you to adjust to his mother.
    Your family not being in the picture is great! You can ask him "Is he adjusting to your family"?!! Why should you??
    There is a big part of what you are craving to be apart of being with the family that you missed is contributing to all these problems.
    We can not change the past, if we try to recreate the past it will only cause more issues. So try to make the best present for your child. Your child's journey is what matters now.

    Start creating "your family" don't try to recreate your childhood/ or familiarity with what you think you lost. Enjoy making childhood for your child.


    I thought air travel is back to normal. I know one family who was stuck in India- but got back to the US around June.
    First, move out of MIL's house and maybe go to therapy... its not just Indian MILS who behave like this.
    Goodluck
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
    BeingSoulful, Sreevidyaa and Rihana like this.

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