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How to convince DW to mingle with my family ?

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by JayDixit, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. JayDixit

    JayDixit Senior IL'ite

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    I'm going to relocate to my hometown in India after 10 years stay in the US. DW has already moved to India and our second child is due this Nov.

    Here are where things stand ( More details on my family situation can found in this thread http://www.indusladies.com/forums/r...8828-confessions-of-erstwhile-mommas-boy.html
    . Moderators please allow this link for better clarity )

    1. DW is not in talking terms with my mom because of all the history of events. My relationship with DW has improved only recently.I'm a changed man now and will not allow my mom or anyone else to cause trouble to my DW. At the same time I want to maintain a good relationship with them.

    2. My mom , my brother and his family has not even seen our daughter in person who will turn 3 this Nov inspite of DW/DD now being in India. Basically DW has severed all ties with everyone in my family.

    3. I was in India for 2 weeks to drop off DW and DD and to start preparing for my relocation. I've good rapport with some of cousins, aunts and uncles and they were very eager to see our DD. I somehow avoided them as I was in India for only 2 weeks quoting work reasons. DW has no issues with them as such. But because of lack of contact with my mom she has not. DW was very adamant in me not taking our DD to my mom's place and my mom coming over to her place. My mom has clearly told all our relatives that DW does not want to mingle with any of us and ensured that its all DW's fault.

    4. My mom, my brother and his family are very close to my cousins and their families. They meet often and even go on long trips with them.
    When I move back, they expect me and DW to start getting into this circle. DW is pretty outspoken and had threatened me several times that she will bring all the attrocities of my mom with all my extended family. I'm not afraid of all these but feel very awkward.I'm a very private person and feel embarassed to talk about family tiffs and arguements even with my cousins/aunts.


    1. When our second child is born, should I call my mom, bro and his family to the hospital to see the child ?? Heck, they have not even seen our first child..My mom called me hen-pecked and not having the guts to bring my DD to her place when I was in India last.When my mom did not get to see DD she hardly shows any interest in talking to me or when I talk about DD.

    2. What do I tell my cousins/aunts about my second child when he/she is born ? You know how its in India. All your relatives will come whereever you are to see a new born. Should I just call them and let them come to the baby ? DW maybe okay with my extended family coming and visiting her in the hosp. But this is so embarassing for me when my mom is not allowed , but my cousins and aunts are allowed to see the new born. I'm just thinking of the future possibilities and feel very embarassed.

    3. DD's birthday is in Nov. and I really want all my relatives from my side to come to the party. I have not even brought up all these things with DW but I will have to discuss someday or other and with DW being pregnant , it makes it even more difficult to make things work like I want to.

    If relocation itself is not enough to cause stress, I have these family issues to deal with. I want DW and DD to mingle with my side of the family as well and share good bonding with them. It seems like this is not going to happen at all

    The other choice or rather the only choice I have is that I will need to just avoid my cousins and aunts and just have a quiet birthday celebrations of DD and not announce the birth of our 2nd child as well. This is something I really don't want to do and find it very embarassing. I will be losing my face with my relatives.

    I could override DW's way , but this will only cause more rifts in our relationship which could have resulted in a divorce.

    Any suggestions on how I should convince DW in atleast be in talking terms with my mom and my extended family without making it a heated arguement ?


    Should I get someone in my family side to talk to DW and tell her that my mom is not that much of a bad person and atleast be in talking terms?

    Am I trying too hard in trying to keep everyone happy here ?
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
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  2. SriVidya75

    SriVidya75 Platinum IL'ite

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    Jay

    Having read your other thread about your confession, I have to say that...You have to talk to your wife. Yes accept and confess and apologize and acknowlege all the past wrong doings, affirm that your mom wouldnt involve in your marital life.

    However also tell her that the person who has done the wrong doings here is your mom, your own blood and you cant just severe ties with your mom/brother/realtives just like the way your wife has done, as your wife would have less attachment towards these people. ASK her what would she had done if she was in your shoes? how would she had handled all this and restored the peace?

    Let her know that having contact with your mom/brother/relatives doesnt mean that they would have their influence on you (am sure this would be the biggest worry and fear for your wife , its hard to let go of some hurt when its deep). Let her know that you would ensure there is distance maintained and everyone would be giving your wife her share of respect and distance.

    You also have to assure her that when there is a situation where you have to really voice out your opinion about your wifes behaviour, whether right/wrong, you wont do it infront of your mom/bro, rather you would takeit up with your wife in private. Also if your mom or anyone raises anything/makes comments your wife can openly tell you about it and you would take care of it(this assurance itself says alot that you are there to protect and take her side)

    Let her know that its been 3 yrs and now that you guys are going to be back in India, you would want to host a get together and invite everyone after you have the second kid and it would be like your welcome party.

    Just take it slow. Let her know your thoughts and tell her to think about it and not to just cut it off as finally you have grownup with your relatives, friends, parents and siblings around..just like her..and you cant just hide away or run away from them just because of some issues..sometimes we have to be brave and face such people inspite of we not liking them as we are all social beings...evryone has both good and bad sides to them if we dont like someone yes being away from them is a good step..but what if they are our own parents/siblinsg. We cant totally severe ties...we have to come up with an alternate plan.

    Ask her opinion on how she wants to initiate or host the party and whats her way of meeting people. Do not try to solve or come up with all suggestions/answers right away at one discussion...give your points, ask her opinion leave it there..again wait for couple of days and suggest and ask her to cooperate.Also tell her that there should be a diff. b/w her and your mom. If she also behaves like your mom by being unreasonable and adamant, whats the diff. there in personalities? you are not asking your wife to bend backwrds or succumb to your mom, you are asking her to just be present in the party and let everyone meet your kids and family.

    Good luck..hope your wife comes around..

    PS Please do not try to say your mom is not that bad person etc..etc..you cant change someones opinion about a person. everyone frames their own opinion. All you can try to do is keep people in talking terms thats all. Dont try to change or influence someones opinion. If your wife doesnt like your mom..so be it..but that doesnt give your wife any right to keep grand kids away from your mom.

    Yes keeping everyone happy is a very big task so dont target that..rather target to keep peace. Dont take sides going forward. Be firm on what you beleive in. Hear and observe more with no preconceived notion.

    When you are talking to your wife, be firm. Dont try to involve her parents/siblings. Its not the right approach.You both have to deal with your marital issues. Agreed there were rough times in the past, but we cant keep looking at the rough times and forego the future. Somewhere we have to take and give some second chances.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  3. ars

    ars Platinum IL'ite

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    Yes you are. You can't make anyone happy. Happiness should come from within. All the best to a happy married life.
     
  4. Spiderman1

    Spiderman1 Gold IL'ite

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    Edit: I havent read the prior thread fully. So will reserve this post for later.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  5. JayDixit

    JayDixit Senior IL'ite

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    Thanks SriVidya75 and ARS. DW is not of listening types and is very obstinate by nature. I'm getting a feeling that she is using my past mistakes to her advantage.

    I would like to mention about my in-laws for the sake of completeness. They are simple middle class people. FIL is a very well respected, diginified, down-to-earth, charitable person with a big heart. He has taken care of education for many kids whose parents could not afford. He has helped thousands of people and continues to help them in his best possible way. MIL is a typical religious house-wife kind of an equal match to my FIL. MIL has no desires in life but to take of her children and grand-kids. When she came twice to the US all she wanted to do was to cook , clean and take care of our DD. In the 8 months she stayed with us , she just visited temple once and sometimes to grocery stores!Despite her poor health, she continues to take care of her grand-child ( SIL's kid ) and is ready to take care of our kids as well.In their family, daughters get preferential treatment! When my in-laws were in the US ,everyone of our friends developed great respect for them and were telling DW that she is very lucky to have parents like her. They treat their sons-in-law with lot of genuine love and respect. They have even supported me on some occassions when there were differences between me and DW. Same goes with DW's sisters.


    Why am I saying all these ?

    The fact is eventhough I know that my in-laws are nice people and treat me well, I'm not able to reciprocate and have been rude to them on many occassions though my in-laws never made an issue out of it and took everything in their stride. Initially it was because of mom's influence. Mom used to tell me that my in-laws did not give her enough "respect" and used to pick on non-issues like how food was not served properly to her and what not! Typical old-school mother-in-law attitude by my mom.


    DW has strictly enforced with her parents that they should not speak to my mom. But my point is that atleast my in-laws need to act wisely and maturely and not just listen to DW.

    Now because DW does not even talk to my mom and my extended family , I'm not able to give my in-laws respect they deserve and I'm kind of taking it on them because of DW. I feel all these are silly, frivolous issues and can be solved easily with one of us taking the higher role. I'm ready for it, but I need to work on the details on how I carry myself is delicate emotional situations.

    I never get stressed at work and I've been a good conistent performer. But the family life is taking a heavy toll on me. Even though I'm a guy I'm a little bit emotional deep inside though I never show it off. Now that I'm moving to India , with relatives from both sides living in the same city it's even more difficult to achieve a balance.

    Thanks for reading my posts!
     
  6. ShilpaMa

    ShilpaMa IL Hall of Fame

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    Jay you can probably tell your wife that 3 yrs back your mom went to an extereme and now she's doing the same.

    Extreme bitterness is bad from either side and that you'll appreciate if she gives it another try and not severe all ties cos finally its a family.

    Recently there was an article in TOI where a lot of Indian families are suffering with EMPTY NEST syndrome, when their kids grow up and move out and then such parents are ending with psycologists who're suggesting them to widen their relationships and be coordial to other relatives so that they never feel a complete loss when kids move out.
    Its matter of time what goes out comes back with similar intensity.. hence if one's ready to bear it then only give it to others.
     
  7. bhuvnidhi

    bhuvnidhi IL Hall of Fame

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    I have read your previous thread and I feel that your wife has every reason to be angry.But sometimes in our culture , we do few things for the sake of formality.I think it should atleast go that way.Calling your realtives without calling your mom is not so good.

    Is this right?You are not ready to give respect to the in-laws who deserve it but expect your wife to forgive and forget everything what your mom did.

    Talk tou your wife politely and convince her.She might be scared of kids safety too.
     
  8. Spiderman1

    Spiderman1 Gold IL'ite

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    Just a quick tangent, I am emotional and I do show it, and last I checked I'm still a guy. So its ok! :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  9. ShilpaMa

    ShilpaMa IL Hall of Fame

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    Dont worry JD, you still seem to be in influence of your mum & her words to not to reciprocate DWs parents ... even tho I haven't cut off ties with inlaws but my husband still behaves in silly manner to my parents.. probably according to my inlaws he shall be allowed to behave normal only if I agree to live under their nose & polish their shoes...
    When he comes to senses he behaves nicely to them and then tells his mom and then she threashes him LR Center.. when we were about to attend my bro's wedding everyday 3 times she mentioned to her son, dont stay at her place etc etc..even tho when I stayed at their palce for 10 days ahead of the marriage.. some ladies are v v immature and with unreasonable expectations to fulfill.

    If you're expecting your DW to not to teach her parents to not to talk to yours but keep calling them and getting insulted.... then why are you yourself getting influenced in your reciprocation to your inlaws?
    I guess your DW has guaged your levels of influence and once you're strong enough to handle everything she wont renew her ties....... All the best :thumbsup....
     
  10. JayDixit

    JayDixit Senior IL'ite

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    @ShilpaMa. You're absolutely right. But change has to come from within IMHO.Everyone in the family should know life is too short for constant bickerings and arguments. Its only a matter of time when a DIL gets to become a MIL. You know DW is similar to one person here who posted that she expects MIL to call on her and check on her well being, kids etc. My mom is not of that types at all. She expects DW to call and check on her!

    @bhuvnidhi : No its not right to ill-treat my in-laws. But its my own way of expressing my frustration and a subtle message to DW to show how it hurts when your parents do not get treated well. I could not find a better way to convey this to her. I just cannot be an isolated person in DW's family get-togethers and let them ignore my side completely. I'm still old fashioned in the sense that marriage should bring two families together. If I just wanted to be with DW and kids I could stay in the US till the end. But I need family interaction, love and support from either side and not just from DW's side.

    @Spiderman : Good for you :thumbsup
     

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