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Mother in-law is unfair and controlling. HELP

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by GoodTeacher, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. GoodTeacher

    GoodTeacher New IL'ite

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    It's only been a year since we have been married, and I feel like a part of me is dealing with problems that my mom dealt with her entire married life. I was born and raised in US, but I feel like I am mix of both cultures. I take pride in my Indian heritage...

    Well I met my husband here in US. He was raised in India, but is mostly westernized. He's probably more westernized than I am. We dated.. fell in love.. married. His family adored me, and everyone approved. My family was just plain thrilled!

    Problems started soon after the engagement. My in-laws came to visit my family for the first time. At that time my MIL was asking for "things"(sarees, favors, goods, etc...) from my family behind my husband's back. Then she would call my parents and ask for more things little by litle. As soon as my husband found out, he confronted his mother, and she did not like it. Regardless, my family still gave all those "things" she asked for, but they did not give anything else.. my family said its to "keep peace". The strange thing is, I did not get much in return. My husband has a married older brother, and she was showered with gifts.. my in-laws helped pay for the wedding, etc.. I received a used saree, a few pieces of jewelry. Personally, I did not expect loads of gifts from them, since I was only excited about marrying their son. However, after she gave me inappropriate and used gifts, I felt upset. I noticed that she was being unfair.

    That's the next thing, the other daughter-in-law and my MIL are buddies. They both talk trash about one another, but they both talk everyday.. (I don't know how to explain in detail, but it's typical "serial drama" stuff. Things that I avoid...) They are similar in personalities and love to bash on my character - behind my back.

    I tried to just ignore all that assume that is all part of Indian wedding stress.. it will all be over. We won't be livig together.. just my husband and I.

    Since then, my MIL has caused more and more issues. She makes up lies to people and tell them that I don't feed her when she comes to my home.. and that I've ruined their son. She never calls me or spends time with me. Even the times she visits, she will not say "hello" or mistreats me in sneaky ways. In my face, she tries to be sweet, but later calls people and tells them lies about me. Now she is becoming comfortable with calling my husband and saying things to him about me that are not true. He tells me he never believes it and just lets her "babble".

    So here's where I need advice. This is causing quarrels between my husband and I. I am to a point that I rather avoid his family. We have tried to sit down and talk to his family about problems and solving them.. but that is useless. Instead MIL and sister-in-laws are quite melodramatic and play the blame game.

    It's now to a point that there's a lot of tension. His family leaves us out of all family events and get together planning, etc.. but expects us to show up. Even when I try to be the bigger person and stay calm.. things seem to get worse. She complains more and plays more sneaky games.

    What should I try? I want to do something proactive... or I want to avoid. Until she comes to me personally and says all these things, I don'tk now how to be proactive. HELP
     
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  2. Visu2k

    Visu2k Gold IL'ite

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    You married him and not them. I think you need not bother so far as your husband doesn't care about what ever lies his mother tells about you. I am not sure how this can cause any issue between you and your husband. So far as you are living separately and need not deal with your in laws day in and day out, I think you just need to let those times pass away calmly when they come to visit you (or vice versa). I think you are taking too much on to your nerves.

    Do you insist that your husband defend you in front of your in laws? Understand that your husband is already a lot with you when he says that he believes in you. You cannot push him to speak for you. If at all you are pissed of his parents, it is you who need to be curt and firm with them. Without using so many sentences you can stand your ground with one firm reply. Next time if she says something untoward to you, inform your husband that you don't like her saying this and that and will confront her yourself.
     
  3. asuitablegirl

    asuitablegirl Gold IL'ite

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    You and I have a similar story (grew up in US, Indian parents, born in India husband).

    My advice would be, you are here, they are there. (Your post made it seem like you and hubby are in US and mil is in India). So, don't let your mil ruin your happiness. I think in Indian families, drama like this is the norm. Someone is always unhappy with somebody. And sometimes that somebody is YOU. I know your natural instinct would be to make peace with them and be one big happy family (probably that's what you are used to and have come to expect) but if your mil is used to drama (and likes it), it's unlikely she will stop just because you play nice. From what you've said about her, gossip seems to be her #1 form of entertainment. Soooo, come to terms that your mil is what she is, and try to focus on other things.

    I know when we get married, we all look forward to happy family functions and being included. But sometimes it doesn't always work out that way. Instead, start your own traditions with hubby. At first it might seem lonely, but eventually you will have kids of your own, and slowly other relatives on his side may work to include you. Until then, celebrate the fact that hubby is on your side, and just do your best to keep your cool around mil. She would LOVE for you to explode. Don't give her that satisfaction. You are quarreling with your husband because of her? Come on girl, you are doing exactly what she wants! Don't give her that power over your relationship! If the lies get too out of hand, let your husband handle it one on one with his mom.

    Chances are, before you came around, your mil had another gossip target. So, probably everyone already knows her reputation for spreading lies. Just because she says xyz, doesn't mean anyone is really listening or taking her seriously. At least that's what I told myself when I was in your shoes. :)
     
  4. ArchanaP

    ArchanaP Silver IL'ite

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    If you can't beat them join them. If you can't join them stay away from them.

    The biggest blessing is you have is, your husband is on your side. So keep these IL's out of your life for now and enjoy your life with your husband.
     
  5. Peace777

    Peace777 Senior IL'ite

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    I can understand why you would argue with DH on this. I do too ... Guess its out of frustration coz the one big happy family dream is no more. I have been in your situation of being ignored by ILs. All i do now is just ignore them too. I want to say that it hurts less, but thats not true.
     
  6. GoodTeacher

    GoodTeacher New IL'ite

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    Thank you. You make a lot of sense. In-laws actually live close by.. and brother in law lives in our neighborhood. That's what makes this a bit complicated sometimes... But the point is, you are right. Those are the things that I've been doing because that's all I know how to do. I just find myself getting frustrated. Issues are getting to a point where she wants me to explode.. and I'm used to being in situations where communication is possible and I do not have to become to frustrated. I do not want to explode, so I am trying to find more positive ways to deal with this.. I know it will get better, and I will become used to this. I just need to be more patient with myself.

    By the way, the quote is beautiful. I have performed that song many times :)
     
  7. shruthi10

    shruthi10 New IL'ite

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    I have had my fair share of MIL problems too...

    When we moved away to live separately however, things have been more harmonious...I am in a good place with my MIL right now and hope things remain this way....

    The root cause for all MIL-DIL problems is that all the women in a man's life can never get along perfectly....imagine the poor guy being sandwiched in b/w...

    I used to give my hubby a hard time abt this but feel so bad abt it now...i have learnt to be more patient, forgiving and understanding after having 2 kids...

    So what if she is closer to the other DIL, it should not affect you in any way....why bother...they will have their showdown one day too...as i said it is difficult for women to get along well...all these things that she is saying abt u...since they are not true, just ignore...she will stop once she knows that what she says does not affect you...

    Try to have a closer bond with your DH...this is what's important...his mum will always be a part of his life and u can never change that...if they invite u for functions, well and good...just attend quietly...and if they dont invite you...so be it...have your own outing...so what? If she bad mouths you and pple come and ask u, just tell them that you are not sure the reason for her saying those things but explain yourself...sooner or later pple will know she is lying...

    Wish u all the best yeah, take care.
     
  8. omnam

    omnam Platinum IL'ite

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    I do support all suggestions here. Please have good time with your DH. It is actual time when you should gel together. Here your MIL is trying to create problems with you ppl and you are doing exactly what she wants.

    First, avoid having fights with DH. Do let him know abt gossip she is having about you. But dont expect that your DH should go and ask your mom about it. He will support when required. Just keep him away from these things.

    Regarding events and all. Attend them, dont think about what your MIL might have said to others about you, just the way you are, get friendly to others. Arrange gettogether at your place. Invite all. Your MIL and SIL will soon gel with you. And will stop gossiping about you.

    About gifts and used sarees. Thats really unreasonable. Did you asked your DH about it? What was his stand on this? And dont think about gifts they had from you. Its a signal that you should behave smart infront of them. Dont get involve in any issue with them. Just keep away and maintain good relation (for sake of your peace of mind).
     
  9. malligashivaram

    malligashivaram Gold IL'ite

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    Dear goody i just through your post, felt the same feelings i went through those days,---the first few years are like a competition of who is better mom or you---its so naturals begin a relationship--it take two to tango ----
    you were brought up in a different country--so the understanding of even the basics will be difficult to understand and adapt--the same on their side--there will be more understanding between them---even though indian they will look on to you as a foreigner---it takes time---you seem a social type girl---you will soon bring yourself understanding with your in laws after sometime----just try not to over-react to small matters--even if they do so.
    Otherwise you will always be stressful and unhappy---the situation in your family life will too be effected.
    Life in meant for happiness--and try to understand them, and forgive them--it is difficult to train old people to new things---as their ideas are so fixed------what hurts you a lot tell her directly--in a proper way, ---after a few years you will be a lovely happy family i guarantee you---this is the beginning only-----time changes people change --even you might change ----so give your self and them sometime.
     
  10. GoodTeacher

    GoodTeacher New IL'ite

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    All the advice makes good sense. I am trying to accept that I only have control over myself. I also deep inside myself know that I treat people well and make genuine attempts to share positiveness... My husband loves those qualities about me. He said that's why he married me. We talked openly yesterday, and he mentioned that he is also hurt to know that his family can behave so unfairly and be wrong.

    I think what threw me off guard is that my MIL, FIL, BIL, and SIL all got along with me nicely before my DH and I were engaged.. which is also the same time his brother got married. After the new bhabhi.. wedding plans.. etc.. things went down hill. I wasn't expectin all this.. and I surely was not expeting my MIL to be such a witch and make up so many lies. I'm mentally unprepared.

    Honestly, there is not one bit of truth to their gossip and ill feelings towards me. It's all actually quite projectile (like she makes food that I do not like to eat when I go over to their house, and then says I made this for you... later she comes to my home and eats a full meal, then tells others that I did not feed her and she almost passed out.) On a logical level, this all makes complete sense. For whatever reason, she does not like me, and now find ways to make others, especially my FIL, dislike me. ...but that's all her loss anyway. BUT in the heart, it just hurts. I feel helpless and can sense that things will get more complicated. I don't know how to handle this. I'm not wanting my husband to "take my back" nor do I want to cause more issues that we already have with his whole family. I just want to know how to set appropriate boundaries, and figure out how to take care of what I love, my husband and our marriage.
     

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