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My FIL problem....

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by bubai, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. bubai

    bubai Gold IL'ite

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    Hi All,
    I have been a silent reader here for more than one year but today I need some help/suggestions. I really think you guys are doing a great job.
    Let me first introduce myself, I am from Delhi and did my B.Tech from IIT Delhi. I met my husband at a friend’s place when he was studying in AIIMS. He is from Chennai. After few meetings, we fell in love. I am little conservative in a sense I wanted him to propose to me and not the other way round. He was an extremely caring man and he still is. I think the problem was HIS PARENTS. We are from totally different backgrounds. His dad is a crorepati and has his own factories and business. His family is extremely conservative. I belong to a very middle class family. We are pretty open-minded….
    Little background about me- My mom and dad got married when they were very young and my dad was doing his MA in Delhi University. My mom was 19 and my dad was 23. My dad was a very brilliant student. He was so close to making it through Civil Services but didn’t go for the Interview. My paternal grandparents were extremely money minded people (my dad’s family was poor). They always demanded money from my grandpa (mom’s father). I think my dad’s family was the main reason my mom and dad split. After few months of marriage, my dad turned extremely abusive towards my mom. He used to physically abuse her a lot apart from the emotional abuse. Finally he managed to get a very low paying job. My mom finished her BA exam after marriage and thought of becoming a teacher. My mom comes from a very educated family. Most of her relatives are in very good positions.
    When I was a small toddler, I grew up in my grandpa’s house as my parents were still settling down. But when I was 5 years old, my mom brought me back to live with them when my mom was done with all her training and courses. She had to go through some training to become a teacher. When I look back, I don’t see many days when I was showered with love by my dad. He was extremely abusive towards me too. He used to hit me for very small things. I have asthma and in early 80s, Refrigerator was a luxury. I remember when we bought our first refrigerator…… It was in 1985. I remember it was the month of November and it was cold. I made some ice-creams with sugar-water and wanted to taste it. My dad saw me and I was so scared. I looked at him and he was mad. I just ran away from the house. But I was still a little girl….He caught hold of me near a lamp post at the end of our street and kicked me so hard, I urinated. The reason was that he didn’t want me to get sick. That incident left a deep scar in my mind. Even today, when I am 32 years old and I am typing it, my eyes get filled with tears.

    I was always a very intelligent girl but I wasn’t a great student when I was in Elementary school but as I grew older, my mom encouraged me to do well at school. I won the state level competition in Delhi when I was in sixth standard. Leadership was something that came easily to me. I was fantastic at public speaking. I started doing well in school. I have a brother too. He is 6 years younger to me and I am very proud of him. My dad didn’t change at all in all those years. He always hated me because I was a girl and he loved my brother a lot. He had this typical mentality that beta bada admi banega and beti ki shaadi ho jayegi…….
    When I was in class 7<SUP>th</SUP> , I remember coming back from school and seeing that my dad was hitting my mom so badly in front of the house…I went totally blank…I still get gooseflesh when I think about it. I had to go and stop him from that.
    And then he went and put my six year old brother in a residential school because he wanted to torture my mom….It was the darkest phase of my mom’s life…I would get up in the night and start screaming. I don’t know why I always feel someone up there always loved my mom….You know in few months, my dad met with an accident and had to be in the hospital for 3 months. My mom cried to him, pleaded with him and requested him to send someone to bring my brother back…and finally my brother was back. I think the poor boy was too traumatized. But I took things in my stride. I decided to do well in life. I used to teach my brother in the evenings too. We both stood first in our respective classes that year. After my dad was released from the hospital, my mom decided that it was too much for her…She decided to leave him……She saw me and my little brother had started doing very well in studies and she knew SHE HAD TO give us the right environment to grow..My parents are separated, not divorced. I was 13 years old when this happened.
    Me and my brother grew up in my grandpa’s house. He gave us the most unconditional support that a grandfather can give to his grandchildren. Me and my younger brother became examples in our area. Yes, we both made it to IIT. I came to US in 2002 to do my MS and he did his MBA from IIM Ahmedabad after finishing his B.Tech from IIT.
    I come across a very strong person when people meet me. I can hold my own….But deep inside I still miss having a dad in my life…Well, not so much now.
    When I met my DH, he was a final year medical student and was the brightest guy I had ever met. I was totally impressed. He took his sweet time to propose to me because he wasn’t sure how his parents would react to that. When he introduced me to his parents, they didn’t take it well at all. My DH worships his dad…..He tried so hard to convince them, but they didn’t budge. Finally we decided to come to US. He came in 2001 and wrote his US MLEs to join residency and I came in 2002 to do my MS. We decided to get married in the US. We were in the same city and were spending a lot of time together and as a team we were unbeatable….We admire each other a lot. His parents were extremely angry. I think they were angry on their son, but they always took in out on me….I kept my cool for DH and always thought this guy has fought with the whole world for me, what’s the big deal if his parents don’t talk well….You see, this very strategy backfired on me. They took me for granted.




    My MIL told me once that I trapped her son because I was a good looking a girl and was fair…..WTH…My son was born in 2006 and is a very cute baby….he looks pretty much like me. Guess what now they are so happy because he is fair…The very name of hypocrisy!!!
    Slowly my in-laws came around and now they want to be very close to us. But I feel very detached. I had always wanted my FIL to be my father and my MIL to be my best friend. But certain things that they have said and done…I just can’t forget them.
    I was doing a great job after finishing my MS and was earning really well. When my son was born, my mother came here to help me out….But to be frank, she does not like coming to US all the time because she can’t drive here and she is a very independent person. She has to depend on me and my DH everytime when she wants to go out…I don’t force her to come her….She likes being in India (she is only 55). She visits me and my brother (he too is out of India) as and when she wants. But I do plan to sponsor her Green card when I become a citizen (I am a GC holder now). Now my in-laws strongly believe that she should be here to take care of my son….Why is that? My mom’s life was full of struggle…I want her to enjoy her life now, at this phase. My relatives admire her…she still enjoys her job and is doing her ph.d now…Why should I ask her to come and help me all the time? And how the hell this bother my in-laws?
    Here is something I don’t like…when my son was 9 months old, my in-laws came to stay with us (very unwillingly though because my FIL has business). I took 8 months off when my son was small…..My MIL was so moody and didn’t lift her finger in helping me out in the house. I wasn’t used to cooking at all before I was married…and I admit I am not a great cook…My FIL always commented on my cooking. My MIL always commented that I was headstrong and WAY TOO educated…I mean I really don’t understand these people. What baffles me is that these people praise me like anything in front of their relatives.
    I took a job when my son was 13 months old it is not a very high paying job…it is OK. I do get to work from home and lot and I do travel too. I put my son in daycare and it worked fine. I wrote my PMP and am doing well. I can’t take an extremely demanding job because my DH is a physician and he works crazy hours. He is doing really well and I am extremely proud of him and vice versa. We thrive on each other’s love.
    Couple of months back, my boss suggested me to apply for an Executive MBA in a top school in US, like Columbia/Harvard and he even offered to pay for it completely. I work for a very small firm now……and the very thought that he suggested me so made me so happy. I spoke to my DH and as usual, he said go for it…I called up my mom and she was so encouraging and offered to help me with my son. My FIL had called that evening (he calls me 4 times in day…L) When I told that little discussion with my boss, he was so upset and said don’t worry about all that, you leave your job, you don’t have to take unnecessary tensions….Who will take care of the baby if you do MBA. I mean come on, I am the mom…I don’t think anyone loves my son more than me and I will make sure he is taken care of if I decide to go for an Executive MBA 2-3 years down the line…They are so proud when my DH does well and I feel they don’t take my achievements very well.
    I use lipsticks a lot, all the time…can’t help it. When my FIL was here, he commented on that too…..He does not like my MIL to use make up and lipstick…
    I have some business suits which are upto knee length and I wear them for work. He told me once “I don’t know why some girls to show off their legs”…WTH. Why can’t he shut up? My in-laws love to see me in saree and always offer to buy loads of it. I refuse it. They still do. They buy these sarees for me which are worth 20,000 rupees-30,000 rupees and show off how generous they are to give such expensive gifts to their DIL.
    They were here for 2 months last year and my husband and I were discussing something and my FIL started blabbering something…….I mean this old man has an opinion about everything in this world. He thinks he is so perfect. I was little pissed off and I told him “Papa, DH and I have always done things for ourselves without anyone’s help….We have never depended on anyone emotionally and financially….We will find a way for everything. You don’t worry”….I think it just hit the nail. Infact they were never there when we needed them…We have struggled a lot during our initial years when we were trying to make a life here…We had no money and we had no financial support. I have a feeling that my in-laws feel very guilty about that. My MIL started the blame game that I don’t talk to my FIL with respect and started crying. I went and said to my FIL and he said that they both loved me a lot and that’s why they come to US so often…
    Sometimes I get a feeling that my FIL and MIL are nice people. They are into lot of Charity activities. My FIL helps all his relatives financially. They built their lives from scratch and they are extremely successful now. My FIL had lost his dad when he was 15 years old. He was an extremely good father when DH and my BIL were growing up…..But they are very old fashioned…My FIL dominates everywhere he goes. He loves to be a boss. They love to show off. When my MIL had come to meet us for the first time, she had brought a lot of gold for me…I just took one bracelet and gave everything back…..I think I am happy with what me and DH earn and I don’t want to take expensive gifts from them and I don’t want to be obligated to them for anything. They don’t talk ill about me to anyone and I do the same. I tried to be a daughter for them but I failed….I don’t feel very attached to them now and I have zero expectation from them. I think I was way too naïve to expect my FIL to be a father to me and my MIL to be like my own mom. I wasn’t very practical those days…I was still learning…….
    Now here is the problem….They love my son to the core…I find it little doubtful because when he was very small, they never came here to take care of him….They came when he was 9 months old and didn’t do a single thing for him. I was extremely tired those days and my in-laws never offered any help and always commented about something or the other….like my MIL was always asking how many houses my mom has. My mom still lives in my grandpa’s house. She has money in her Bank account and she might buy a flat next year. I do help my mom financially a lot. My brother does it too. My MIL and FIL aways had a comment on my cooking…..We went to India in 2008 but they(I went to their house for the first time in my life…) expected us to spend more days in their house than at my mother’s place. I hated it….I called my mom and brother to spend more time with me in my in-laws’ house. Thought they hated it, I think my brother got carried aways. He flew from Ahmedabad and spent some days with me. I was seeing him after 6.5 years. I had a good time with my mom and brother when I went to mom’s place…
    Let me make a point here….my mom and my MIL get along pretty well now. They are like best friends when they meet. My MIL admires a mom a lot. They treat each other very well when they meet. My mom thinks that these occasional comments from in-laws are OK…My mom has been through so much in her life, these are extremely small problems according to her.
    I think the problem is that both me and my FIL have very strong personalities and I am a very honest and frank person. Last time when they were here, I was feeding my son and he was showing his toddler tantrums and my FIL was trying to coax him to eat. I am slowly learning to stand up to him. I told him “Daddy, please sit on the sofa, I will take care of him….” He didn’t like it but did it anyways. Let me tell you here, I treat them very well when they come here….I take them for long drives, I make pakoras for them. I always tell them “Love you Daddy and Mummy”. But I am pretty honest in my opinions and sometimes I tend to argue. I see that my in-laws and I have a generation gap and they are extremely conservative. They are coming to terms with me and they know deep inside that I am a nice girl……My family means the world for me. But he does not like it when I take my son out for lunch or something. Actually, me and my son both love to eat out….When DH is at home, we eat dinner/lunch together….but at times when he is on call and I am working from home…I just take my son and we go out and eat. I have a nanny now at home and she takes of my son when I am working. My FIL keeps telling me to be a stay at home mom. I mean I have no problem with that but why should I do it when I am able to balance everything well? I feel happy when I work and I think a happy mother is a good mother. Also I send money to my mom every now and then. She never asks me for me. But I send it because I think I owe my life to my mom and to tell her that she is my HERO in every sense. My DH has no problem with me helping my mom financially. Infact he encourages me at times….I don’t earn a lot now like I used to do earlier…But I still transfer some money to my mom’s account once in 4-5 months even without her telling me. She does get surprised when she goes to the bank….and keeps telling me not to send her…But I can’t help it. I want her to be extremely comfortable. Having said that, I buy lots of gifts for my in-laws too. I don’t think my in-laws have ever received anything from my DH, my BIL and his wife. My BIL has a 9 month old daughter and I pamper her a lot……My in-laws admit this themselves that I am really good in giving gifts and I pick up the best things. My MIL is very fond of diamond and she loves the diamond jewelry that I present her.
    The truth is that, I have always worked, all my life…I want to be there always for my mom. I earn and help my mom financially. I don’t know how will I feel when I am at home and help her financially because I am sure my DH will have no problems with that. But to be frank, I don’t want to be in that situation……And more importantly, I love my job. I like working and I hate it when my FIL tell me to stay at home. My DH is going to join a medical center in two months. He is about to finish his specialization…We don’t have lots of money but we are doing OK. We are almost there and will be settling down soon. But even when DH earns makes very good money, I would still like to work. I like the freedom and a confidence a woman gets when she is financially independent. I am not a feminist per se… I am infact a very homely girl and love to take care of my little family. But I hate these interferences….Though I don’t have many things to complain about my DH but he hates it when I am honest in my opinion with his dad. He wants me to treat his dad with respect. I don’t get it. I think respect is a two way street, you give respect and you get it. I would like to love his dad like he loves his dad….I love my mom too but I tell her when she is wrong. Why doesn’t my DH understand this?
    I am having a really tough time with my FIL now…He calls some 4-5 times during a day and does not mind spending thousands of rupees for International calls, which is OK…only if I am free to pick up his calls and talk to him. But I have to admit, sometimes I just don’t like talking to them 4 times in a day……and there are days when I don’t pick up his phones. My phone is always ringing, always. He gets little upset when I don’t pick the phone…I mean how can I pick up the phone when I am in a conference call….Sometimes when I am free, I pick up his calls….sometimes I don’t do intentionally because he pisses me off.
    My FIL loves to talk to my son…To be frank, I want him to have a strong relationship with son too….But he is just 3 years old…He does not always want to talk to people on the phone. I always tell my son “beta, dadaji haS called, can you please talk to him”…..My FIL gets so upset with this…It seems I should say my son“Talk to dadaji”. I think the way we were brought up in India 30 years back is very different from the way kids are growing up now in the US. Lets face it, me and my FIL have clearly a generation gap….I always tell my son “ Can you please put your shoes in the closet?”, “Can you please bring your Spot book?” I think a mother should have freedom to bring up kids the way she wants…..At the end of the day, nobody loves the child more than the mother…
    My DH also has a brother who is married (he also had a love marriage but strangely my in-laws didn’t oppose too much and had the marriage in a grand ceremony). My BIL’’s wife does not care much about my in-laws. She never calls them….She was in India for her delivery last year (My BIL and his wife also live outside India) and she spent 8 months in her mother’s place, out of which she was with my in-laws only for 7 days. My MIL told me once she was hurt because of that……My in-laws don’t feel attached to their little girl at all. They have not yet gone to my BIL’s place and I don’t see them going there in the near futute…..I just feel they don’t feel very comfortable with BIL’s wife….But the strange thing is that my FIL tries so hard to impress BIL and his wifey….At this point of my life, I really don’t care what equations they have….But what bothers me is why they have these huge expectations…To some extent, I am responsible for this…I was too good to them initially. U know the funny thing, my DH does not even know my FIL’s cell phone number or my FIL’s e-mail address….I am the one who sends my FIL photos and videos of my son. I was the one who used to call them earlier. But I have too much on my plate now and I am very busy with son and I want to bring him up the way I want. If I ever need advice, I will ask them….but I can’t stand their constant interference all the time.
    Well….this is my life story…J Please tell me how do I deal with my FIL? They are in a situation when they have no hope from the other DIL (they don’t admit it but deep inside they know it….). They think 15 times before calling her. But with me, they have all the freedom in the skies…….But I don’t want these people to take me for granted. I don’t think if I go to India, I will not visit them but the main reason I want to go to India is because my mom lives there…...My FIL has to realize that a 3 year old can be moody and may not want to talk to them all the time on the phone…..They should also realize that I can’t receive their calls all the time and run after my son to coax him to talk to them….
    My DH is the best husband I could have asked for, he never asks me how I spend our money, what I do, what dress I wear…..Treats my mom well, though he doesn’t pamper my mom the way I do to his parents, which is fine because he does not pamper his parents too. When my mom comes to US, she loves to spend time with my son and she loves him so genuinely…When my in-laws come here, they are more interested in sight-seeing. Last time, we sent them for a trip to CA-ZA-NV and they were happy.
    Can you guys please suggest me how to I avoid these calls from my in-laws and their unrealistic demands that their 3 year old grandson should talk to them every time they call?
    Looking forward to hearing from you all….
    Love you guys…..
    Thanks…..
     
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  2. Mihisha

    Mihisha Senior IL'ite

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    Bubai,

    Amazing job living your life in the best of the circulstances! I wish my Mom could be that bold and independent....

    anyways... just what would happen if you dont pick up ur FIL's phone when you are busy/dont feel like talking to him? Tell him u r very busy and wud talk with them on weekend... we call ILs only on weekend.... I am surprised how u pick up calls from home everyday, work and balance being mom too.... u must be superwoman!

    Life here is so hectic, and plus we women generally need "me-time" too... I hope u r getting that breathing space... I wont survive without it...
    I guess u shud start making this habit of taking their calls way less often than u do right now ... and maybe talk/chat over webcam every weeekend for 30-40 min to satisfy thier desire of seeing n talking with grandson!
     
  3. Priya16

    Priya16 IL Hall of Fame

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    Bubai,
    Compare to your BIL and your kid, your in-laws giving more importance your son just because he is a boy. Lot of south Indian grand parents have that tendency and we can't help it.
    My MIL 2 sons have girls and one son had a boy. She will only love that boy and not the girls.
    As Mihisha advised see you can somehow set up web cam in the house and they should able to watch him just running in the house without phone pickup and see your husband would help you in this anyway.
    Once your son starts school, I am pretty sure they can't ask you to talk to him since he will at school. If you have to start day care for him, find some day care where they have web cam facility. That way grand father will be more satisfied by looking at grandson.
    Believe it or not old age is real challenge. All there life’s they are busy raising their kids and giving advises and they loose all that and they really have craving for some one to stay with them.
    Don't worry about other things much as they are pretty.It looks to me over all they are kind of ok people.Your education is not there primary thing.All they worry about there son or the grandson and you are not there blood relation.So don't think about there words much.If your FIL comments on your dress or job,just listen from one ear and leave it from other ear.Because for him his grand son and his son more important than you.
    If you miss your mother,bring her here sometime not for long time.But when you go to india you really have to spend time across the families otherwise it will cause trouble.You don't compare your action with you co-sister.Each family is different.Since they are attached to your son lot and you can't really cut down that.So if you want to spend more time with your or brother,bring you mom here or visit your brother family which is not in india.You need to be really diplomatic.It's good that your MIL is nice to your mom and lot of MIL's doesn't.I feel you are not in really great trouble.You just have to maintain things little bit diplomatically without hurting them.
    All the best,.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
  4. Drpreethis

    Drpreethis Gold IL'ite

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    B,

    This is the problem I see here.. Your FIL is smothering you and your husband with love / expectation and affection.. When given rightly in good amounts, the affection is seen as it is generally. But, since it is smothering.. it seems more like " too much " ! :)

    Let me tell you why i felt that.. he does have an attitude, I agree. But so do you, isnt ? Now, attitude can be anyways. It is botersome only when it is BAD. Here, neither are you nor your FIL wrong in your attitude. IT IS ONLY DIFFERENT. So, just ways to tackle it will help. All is good otherwise.

    I shall tell you a honest opinion here, B.. YOUR INLAWS ARE UNDOUBTEDLY TOO TOO PROUD OF YOU ! Really.. maybe the way they expressing it looks confusing. But, as an outsider and the way you and your inlaws talk / think about you, I can for sure feel the pride.

    Your FIL defintely likes your frankness.. Yes ! He does. But, he isnt able to react the right way to it. That is all.
    When you do want to drive certain things from your mind to his, talk diplomatically. Say, it in a way that he understands as well as doesnt get offended.
    I am a frank person and say things as it is.. So, I can relate to you well. I talk the same way with the same mind to my friends or my parents.. But to my husband's side of relatives, I cannot expect them to simply
    ' understand ' what I am. Why ? Because they werent with me for years and years like my friends and parents.. Simple :)
    When I have to disagree with something they say, I simply smile and say,
    Oh.. that is also a good way of doing it. But, wonder why I cant think like you. Maybe because I know what I can handle. Still, maybe if what I think doesnt work.. I should try your way ! :thumbsup

    Now, I have heard my hubby's relatves say, See, though she has her own thinking.. she doesnt mind listening to us oldies ! See, end of the day they know what you mean.

    Things you need to ignore -

    Why your inlaws have a problem about your mommy not giving up her career to baby sit your kiddo. ( It doesnt matter what they think, B ! Just leave it to " different thoughts of people " ! )

    Why you cant leave your job and be a stay at home mommy ( maybe they think you are going to be over loaded wit work and your son may miss his mommy ) - Now that is the way it was during their times, B. So, what ? Doesnt mean they were wrong or you are. So, just smile and say, Let me test my patience and strength. I will give up my job when I cant handle it. For now, i can ! Dont get upset.. there is no point in feeling bad about why are they bothered. Maybe they are for various reasons, ask them, why he keeps asking you to be a stay at home lady, and then, answer him this way. I am sure it will eventually drain out.

    Why they dont like your BIL and his wife or their daughter... Maybe as you feel their personalities dont match and they are cluless of how to go about it. They do want to have a cordial relationship and so try ways to please them etc. But, it a'int happening. So, what ? That is between them and that son. If you feel, because they dont get what they want there, they expecting th world from you and your husband.. Then, be it so ! Now, just because one expects, it is'nt always that " you " need to deliver. So,just do your best and just leave the rest. Dont wonder why you cant to do it or wether you should do it. Dont think wether they will be upset or not. They will get over it someday.

    ABout his 4 times a call-a-day ! :bonkI know it can be annoying. But, why dont you call him one weeekend and tell him, there was an issue at your workplace that you have been on phone too often. So, let him not call you evryday.. You can talk once you back from work. Slowly get it to weekends.. Take it slow. Dont get paranoid. Tell him, he would understand it better, you know because he runs a business himself. What if he found his employee was found talking on phone many times a day etc. Put it the best way you can.

    About your 3 year old son talking to them everyday.. Maybe they want to dot him and want him to dot them in return simply because, they are close to only this grandkid. See, it positively. Just say, I dont know why he isnt talking, Dad ! If I force him, he would cry and I am sure, his grandfather doesnt want to hear that ! :) Whenever your son talks something cute, see if you can record it over your phone etc and make them listen to it or send them a copy of the cd. Think different. Keep them occupied.. they will have less time to feel bad and irritate you !

    Your hubby feeling, you telling your point needs to be more respectful is for simple reasons that he knows you only since the time you met. He hasnt grown in a sad environment like you and your brother did or had a traumatised childhood. Simple. Now, that isnt his fault isnt, B ? I know, being a level headed woman you are, you understand what I write here. So, when he does accept you as a person and for whatever you are .. he probably wants you to be a little more less frank when you tell your opinion. Instead of wondering and saying " this is how I am.." it a'int difficult to just tweak our talk according to people .. It doesnt hurt. We do it most of the times, isnt ? To our Boss, our friends, our parents, our husband.. there is a difference. So, it is managebale. I am very sure, you can handle it !!!! :thumbsup

    Dont get vexed up, though your issues are giving you quite a difficult time, I am sure there are many ladies out here who would want to have a hubby like yours or a decent set of inlaws like yours ! I dont ask you to compare you with them, B.. but I defintely tell you, YOU CAN HANDLE THESE TANTRUMS ! Just a little more of diplomacy, that is all !
     
  5. SriVidya75

    SriVidya75 Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear B

    When I read your post , some of it I felt as if you were talking about my FIL, and how I wanted to treat them :).

    Anyways bottom line, girl everything is going good and everyone around you knows who you are and what you do! but here as you said there is a generation gap, and that your FIL tries to be the head of the household or have his say as an ELDER where ever he goes, thats where his unwanted advices are coming. He does it everywhere isnt it?? its not just in your house! So why dont we just ignore for that moment!

    From your post I do see that you have a very good understanding of where is his behaviour coming from and how you dont want to be misunderstood!so when your inlaws are going to spend their time with you guys which is quite less couple of months or so in a year...why dont you accept the fact that yes he is gonna behave that way and I wont expect him to change or react in a diff. way...would nt it make your life more easier???We all know we cant change them at their age..all we can do is change our own selves and lower our expectations from them (i.e expecting them not to budge into our family matters)

    Best thing I see is your husband is very supportive of you...he doesnt pick up arguments or fights with you on you backanswering your inlaws...so best thing is ignoring their comments/advices, saying yes and moving on to what we want to do! If you have anything to tell them, let your husband handle it. If not, you do things your way ...am sure your inlaws wouldnt be following up on what you did after they go back to India..

    As far as your FIL asking you to be stay at home mom or commenting on dressing etc..beleive me I heard the worst of these comments...Sometimes its tough for some of these inlaws to beleive and accept that there can be other parents andfamilies where girls are raised with tremendous capability to multitask and excel at everything they do...and still be good moms and wives. So basically its just the generation gap...ignore and dont take it to heart.

    One last thing...please do not try to fill the space your father left with your FIL. It might not work for everyone and there would always be that DIL and FIL limitations there....So dont worry that you are not able to make it upto your FIL or prove to him that you are worthy to be a good daughter for him. He knows it but just that his age cant allow that kind of acceptance

    Whatever you are doing and thinking is all great and you indeed are a successful and lovely human being...just that practise more of ignoring these unwatned advices and comments ..this would make the journey more easy and peaceful...
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010
  6. Anuradha00

    Anuradha00 Bronze IL'ite

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    Your post is very long and I think you are having multiple issues with your fil.

    You claim you wanted your fil to be like your father. Then when he takes time to call you regularly and treats you like a daughter you are complaining about it and saying he is taking you for granted. I don't think he has a problem with you answering back - if he did he won't call you 4 times a day. If 4 times a day is too much then better you just tell him that frankly.

    If you don't want to spend time with your in-laws, then just you tell them that too. But don't expect your hubby to spend any time with your mother. If you don't consider his parents don't expect him to consider your mother. Respect, compassion and empathy goes both ways.

    I feel that your in-laws are really feeling lonely, especially your fil. Second dil has made it clear she doesn't care about them so they are reaching out to you. Is it wrong? They are not abusing you or mistreating you or trying to create trouble in your marriage. Just you read the horrible stories here and see how much good your own in-laws are. Maybe your FIL is over-doing trying to get close to you by calling you so often and forcing his opinions on you. Will you have problem if your mother called you frequently and also voiced opinions on how to raise your baby? If you are uncomfortable with them trying to get close then better you set boundaries and clearly mention your expectations from them. But also have some empathy for them and try to make sure they are not feeling lonely / insecured as they get older. They raised your husband and made him the successful doctor he is today. So be nice to them. Treat your hubby's parents like he treats your mother.

    By the way, why should they visit you only to take care of your son? Just like your mother is older and wants to enjoy life they also are older and want to go out and sight-see in US. What is so wrong with that? Why people expect elderly parents and in-laws to be unpaid child care providers?
     
  7. bubai

    bubai Gold IL'ite

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    Thanks Mihisha.....I have read your posts and I do relate to your issues a lot. My in-laws were extremely cold in the beginning too...Things started changing after they came here to see my son. They dote on him.
    But I still feel they haven't accepted me completely. They never wish me on my Birthday but my FIL always expects me to wish HIM and my BIL on their birthdays...This is a rule at my in-laws place…that they always wish their sons on their Birthdays but FORGET to wish the DILs. As far as money and gifts are concerned....They want me to accept their money and gifts now. I don't feel very comfortable with that.

    As far as the webcam thing is concerned, I have no problem doing it………Actually he did tell me once to come on webcam and I waited for 3 hours and he never came online. Next time he tells me about it, I think I will ask him to tell his son. DH can do that whenever he is free.

    Thanks Priya…….My MIL actually likes girls. But my BIL’s daughter has dark complexion and my MIL was extremely sad about it. She still talks about it once in a while. She told my DH and my BIL about it so many times. I am not sure how my BIL took it…I just hope that my BIL’s wife does not know about it. It is none of my business but the very fact that they were talking nonsense about a newborn baby was so disgusting…I call my niece “Chutki” and she has the most beautiful smile in the whole world.

    And I agree with you when you say my FIL loves his son and grandson more than me……But what he does not realize is that kids always sense things. I am the whole world for my son…..Kids these days are very smart and speak the truth. I have a feeling that 2-3 years down the line, if my FIL says something hurtful to me, my son will be the first one to point it out…J

    Thanks Preethi……Your analysis is pretty good and you are right when you say that I have an attitude too. The thing is that I am basically a very loving and a caring person. I reciprocate very well to people who love me. At the same time, I can be mean to people who try to hurt me intentionally. Well, not so much now. I am learning to forgive people…Let me implement what you have suggested here…I am not going to take my FIL’s calls for next one week.…..Lets see what happens.

    As far as my son is concerned, yes…I have tried that strategy too. My FIL was insisting to talk to him once and I kept putting the phone near my son’s mouth…after sometime my baby was really irritated and started crying and screaming “go away, mommy…no trouble me”. My FIL heard it too and he was on the speaker phone…….He said “I think the baby is really upset…..if he is OK, can you please keep the phone near his mouth, at least let me hear what he is shouting…” I was speechless and fed up and I told him we would call later. I am not sure it was desperation or love or what……..FIL can be so annoying at times.

    But yes, he is slowly changing…..I saw it last time when they came here (they were here around Nov-Dec, 2009). I had terrible leg pain one night and was lying on my bed…My MIL pressed my leg for 10 mins. I had high fever and was hardly aware of what was happening around me. I have a small office room in my house where I work (if I am working from home). My MIL used to bring me tea to that room too. I think she did it 4-5 times in those 2 months. I work crazy hours.

    Somedays I work until 3:00 am, take a short nap and take an early flight to NY at 7:00 am (I travel to NY once in a week for work). My MIL helped me in cooking this time. I was potty training my son when they here……Oneday my son could not control and did no.2 on my FIL’s lap. He wasn’t upset at all. Sometimes they can be so nice and sometimes they can be so nasty……

    Well let me implement the “NO PICKING UP CALLS FOR ONE WEEK” and see what happens. I will keep you posted. The truth is that I love them. I know my MIL sees a daughter in me. She does not admit it but I know it. But I don’t want that love to die out because of this phone call suffocation and constant interference. I talk to my mom every 2-3 days and I want it to be that with in-laws too.


    Thanks Srividya…..Yes, the problem was that I tried to be a daughter to my in-laws. My DH had once told me that his mom always missed a daughter……I just wanted to be accepted by them and loved by them. They showed a lot of tantrums in the beginning……They always talked about their money, they still. I think they get really pissed off because I show absolutely no interest for their money.

    The workers in my FIL’s factories just treat him like a God. Lot of people know him in his hometown……He loves to be in the limelight. But who cares about all those things in US……My MIL keeps talking about the gold she has accumulated and her properties, I show absolutely no interest in that. I think it completely pisses them off……When my BIL got married, they started talking about his wife’s parents and how wealthy they are. I have no problem with that but when my FIL said “All parents want their children to be married to girls from rich families”, it was a clear message to put me down. Before I could say something, My DH said “I don’t think so, Daddy….I want our son to get married to a nice girl” and looked at me smilingly. My in-laws were little pissed off that their strategy didn’t work. My DH helps me in doing the dishes every night after eating dinner. My in-laws don’t like it at all, esp. my FIL. What is wrong when a husband helps his wife, esp. if the wife is working 18-19 hours a day non-stop? They think that my DH is totally under my control…L

    When we were in India in Dec 2008, one afternoon…all of us were chatting and my 2 year old son was sitting on a chair and eating mixture from a bowl…it was a glass bowl, somehow it fell down and broke and the mixture was all over the place…..Me and my DH ran and while I carefully took my son from the chair, my DH started to clean the floor……I put my son on the sofa and joined him too…My FIL looked at me and said so sarcastically “Look what you have done to our son”. I was too shocked to say anything. I felt so insulted. The thing is that deep inside they know how much I work for my family. My DH does not even know the a,b,c of cooking. He has never cooked in last 8 years, not even once. I keep the house so clean and I take excellent care of my son. But the way he said it was so rude. I don’t think I can ever forgive him for that. I don’t mind it too much when he says things to me when we are alone, just me, DH, my MIL and FIL. What was the need to talk to me like that in front of BIL and his wife?

    He tried explaining to me in the night (I was in the kitchen boiling water for my son) that he just meant to say when there were so many people in the house, there was no need for my DH to clean the floor….I don’t think he meant all that bull****…I know he meant what he said. After I came back from India, I had a big fight with my DH too…..My DH said nothing when my FIL passed that stupid comment. I think deep inside my BIL and DH felt really bad. But nobody opened his/her mouth. My BIL is a very good cook and always helps his wife in cooking, so there is no problem there……I think sometimes that I am a FOOL who tried to be close to them and got burnt.

    My FIL said that he made a blunder (about that incident) when he was here 3 months back……I felt it was a private apology for a public insult. It was funny how my MIL was trying to cover it up saying that it was said in humor….Ha ha….

    Srividya, my DH does not always stand up for me……I think he feels guilty of hurting his parents and going against their wishes to marry me. He tells me to “TOLERATE” them because they are old and lonely…..I think the best thing to do now is that I shouldn’t interact a lot with them. U know they have started respecting me more now, when I try to keep my interactions minimum…..I will tell you a funny thing. My DH calls me “Jaan” and “Sonu”. Since last 2-3 months, my in-laws have started calling me “Jaan-beti”….ha ha….I find it hilarious. They try to talk to me in hindi (DH and I speak hindi at home) and their broken hindi sounds very sweet….I love it when my MIL says “Main khana kha liya”.

    They have asked me to teach them Bengali (I am Bengali though I grew up in Delhi). And yes, they are the same people who had once told me 4 years back that West Bengal is a very poor state……Hmmmmm…..I sometimes don’t know how to react to all this….


    I also get a feeling that my in-laws esp. my FIL does get intimidated by women who are independent. He hasn’t really interacted with many working women. I have two friends here and they come to my house often. One is an American and the other is an Indian. They are both very smart and extrovert. My FIL behaves very strangely in front of them…..ha ha…If you see it, you will start laughing.


    Thanks Anuradha…….I think you missed many points in my post. I have told clearly that I have ZERO expectation from my in-laws. When I wrote about their coming to US…..Yes, they do come here to see their grandson. But why do they have to complain 24/7 that it is boring here. My MIL does not talk to me very well if I don’t take them out every single day. There are days when I eat pain killers to reduce my leg pain and still take them out. I make sure my FIL and MIL eat their medicines everyday. I give it to them every night because they often forget about that. I put moisturizer on their legs and feet very night…..I do things for them that I have never done with my mom. But when my mom comes here, she never complains about it. She took care of my son for 8 months and loved doing everything for my son. I have a nanny in the house now. When my in-laws were here, they asked the nanny not to come and my MIL never fed my son in time. My son was always hungry when I came from work. What was that? Why do things and not take responsibility for that? I had to call the nanny back after one week. Please note that they forced me to ask the nanny to go. I don’t expect them to come and take care of my son, no, I don’t. But why do they always suggest me to bring my mom?

    My DH respects my mom because my mom is extremely nice to him. I respect my in-laws too. What makes you think that I don’t? I talk to them 50 times more than I do with my own mom. They want to know every single thing going on in my life….and this is suffocating and it drives me crazy. My son is potty trained now so my FIL and MIL call me at 7:00 am everyday to ask whether there was any accident the previous day and if he did no. 1 or 2 on the carpet. Sometimes I am in the airport and he still calls me and wants to know about us……

    Please read my post once again…I have said several good things about them too. But I don’t understand why do they have to pass comments for everything? A responsible father/mother does not call the child 4-5 times in a day….He calls me when I am at work. My mom never does that. He calls me at 9:00 pm when I am putting my son to sleep and wakes him up. The thing is that sometimes he keeps calling me until I pick up the phone. Why do they expect my son to talk to them 4 times a day? My son hates the sight of phone now. HE REALLY DOES......My FIL tells me to show his photo to my son everyday. To tell you the truth, I am the one who keeps in touch with my in-laws. My DH hardly has time…..I help my FIL in his business too, esp. in making ppts, reports. He knows I am always there when they need me. But I refuse to take crap from them. If they respect me, I will respect them 10 times more than that. If they don’t respect me, I am not going to be very good.

    I guess I will always have this love-hate relationship with my in-laws……..

    Thank you all once again….....
     
  8. Priya16

    Priya16 IL Hall of Fame

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    bubai,

    I believe you are very sensitive girl. It’s just that generation and there (you FIL) brought up. Typically in India still lot of houses don't let boys do any work. It has been there in our culture.
    You mentioned your FIL's are rich so they might have raised boys according to there standard. The father inside your FIL might not able to see his son doing that work and he spilled the word but he try to apologize you later right
    When our kids grow and married sometimes what they do may make us unhappy. We are not there yet so we don't know what things make us unhappy. So don't take some things very seriously.
    Understand them as elders. But it seems to me they are ok over all. Each person makes mistakes sometimes. So don't keep them inside.
    Your relation with your in-laws will not go away one day or in two days. It will stay as long as they alive. So it better to let it go things and move on.
    Once your son gets little older, sometimes they only automatically get attached to grandparents and we don't have to teach them.
    My elder daughter she doesn’t know much about her grand mother (my husband mother) but she is stay to me that when she go to india, she goes and visit her.
    So firmly tell them you can’t take the calls when you are in office and have a fixed schedule with them to show your son.
    All the best.
     
  9. Mihisha

    Mihisha Senior IL'ite

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    [justify]
    Bubai,
    You cannot expect ur FIL to be a father figure now, No father would be shameless enough to call her daughter at her workplace and forcibly try to talk to grandson 4/5 times a day, despite knowing how much uncomfortable it is for his daughter and little grandkid.
    How did this calling 4 X/day business start in the first place and why did you not object to it earlier? I hope when your DH told you to “tolerate’ them, he dinn mean this attitude? Who does that?
    The reason for above I can think of is that maybe you are one of those persons who are very patient, giving and honest and try to stretch themselves beyond limits.. this thing is being taken advantage of by ur FIL, so be careful not to let this affect ur health (mental and physical)
    Thank God for not giving you a SIL, generally daughters go on fathers J
    I know you wont but still….NEVER leave your job and sit at home- having a job is NOT for money always, it is generally considered to be healthy and therapeutic…I am sure you know how nice it feels sometimes to come to workplace when things are bad on some days due to personal/other issues….
    As rightly said here , respect, compassion and empathy goes both ways in a relation……….I think it is not a good idea to compare how DH reacts to our Mom and how we react to our ILs… because our Moms don’t do that kind of stuff that our ILs have done with us! DH has to be good to Moms coz he gets love and affection from our Moms that we definitely don’t get from our ILs…in a vast majority, most of DH people don’t suffer interference, crude comments from their MILs…… so how can someone compare DH-Mom and Our-ILs relation?? Now suddenly, for their own selfish needs (read attachment to grandson), if they start behaving normal and affectionate with DIL, anyone should expect her to reciprocate their feelings in “a mutual compassionate” manner? I wont but In this case, you already are doing it and in this too, mutual thing is going on, they r treating you fine, u r nice to them… we need to give respect and love to get that! As simple as that! Garbage in /garbage out….Just because they are elderly, we don’t have to take crap from them and lose our peace of mind…..
    BTW what is this thing that ILs want to get attached to their grandkids and want to see them, spend time with them BUT not responsible to take care of them (read feeding them etc), how can it be OK for us when they don’t take care of our kids, force nanny to get out, don’t help us out here in kitchen and go for sightseeing?? Would our Moms do that???? I guess bubai , u have already taken them out for drives etc everyday when they were here, so u did ur job well, don’t be too hard on urself….
    just get out of this "taking multiple calls/day frm FIL" crap as soon as you can.....
    [/justify]
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010
  10. bubai

    bubai Gold IL'ite

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    Priya, thanks so much. Yes, I guess the root cause is our so called “Culture” where men are treated like Kings. But what amazes me is that some people refuse to change. I mean we learn from our surroundings, place, present generation. Don’t we? When my in-laws visit us, I cook for them, take them around, surprise them with gifts, give them hugs……..My MIL has curly hair and she loves straight hair and asks me to straighten her hair once in a while which I happily do. Now 30 years later, can I expect my DIL to do these things for me?

    Can I rate my DIL based the parameter of making Dal-Chawal. I don’t think so. Different people have different ways of showing their love. I know my DIL will be different. To be frank I don’t expect my DIL to do my SEVA but I expect her to be a nice girl. That’s it. We have to realize that every generation is different. If we fail to adjust, it is absolutely OUR problem.

    So I think my FIL and MIL failed to realize that. I can’t cook 3 times in a day. I cook only during the weekends. I cook what I think is healthy and what I know. Pans and pots don’t interest me much and they have to respect that. I would rather take my son for a long drive or to the park than spending 2 hours cooking. I don’t mind pleasing them once in a while but I can’t spend all my free time cooking. I have different priorities in life. I like to spend time with my son….if nothing I can just sit with him and build block towers.

    If they can’t appreciate how I change my whole lifestyle when they come here and try so hard to adjust with them, then it is THEIR problem. I can’t neglect my child and keep doing their SEVA. I have to balance everything…….Anything extreme is bad.

    My in-laws failed to realize that I do belong to a different school of thoughts. If I don’t do things according to them, it doesn’t make me a bad person. We can learn to “agree to disagree”….but no, I should always try to make them HAPPY. And unfortunately, sky is the limit for that HAPPINESS. I have no idea what makes them happy.

    I think my in-laws have a huge ego problem, my MIL often tells me how could her son go against her wish and marry me. When I told her once “Mummy, if you feel defeated by me, don’t feel that, why don’t you think instead of losing your son, you got one daughter. Have you ever thought what your son saw in me that he decided to against you and Daddy to marry me”? She was so quiet. For the next one week, I was her favorite. We bonded so well…but unfortunately that bond lasted for one week and we were back to square one after that.

    To be frank, I am tired. I read somewhere in this forum that when a boy introduces his girlfriend to his parents and the way parents react to it makes a huge impact on the relationship….I think that is so true. My MIL had reacted so badly. She used to scream on the phone everytime I called for my DH (my DH didn’t have a cell phone that time…).

    I love the word “Amma” that most tamilians/south Indians use for girls/women. I simply love it. I did tell my MIL about it. Guess what my MIL uses that word for everyone except me. Yes, everyone, her nieces, friends’ daughters, other DIL but MEEEEEEE.

    It is like “Because you like it, you are not going to get it”. FINE. What’s the big deal? We don’t get everything is life, do we? Life is not a bed of roses always. I have few things and I don’t have few things. It is totally OK with me.

    I am at a stage now where I don’t care. I tried so hard….and now I have more important things to do. Raising a child is not a cakewalk. It needs lot of energy, determination and loads of patience. I am going to invest my entire energy in that and I totally refuse to participate in this silly power game.


    Mihisha, thanks so much. Yes, I will not leave my job. I like working. It gives me satisfaction. I have spent 25 years of life studying and when I was a student, I had dreams, I still have. I am a conscientious person and I believe in making my decisions. When I was growing up, I always took my own decisions and my mom and grandpa have tremendous confidence in me and I have never let them down. My DH knows this.

    I feel happy when I work. I would like to think that women are not mere cooks or maids. They are INDIVIDUALS and have a mind of their own. I took 8 months off when my son was 5 months old and I did it because he was too young and he needed me. We bonded so well. I enjoyed my time but when he was 13 months old, he started exploring things, he needed to be engaged in activities and I put him in daycare. We both became comfortable with that set up.

    My FIL keeps saying “We will take the baby to India, we will take him to India….”. I just feel so angry with that…..One fine day I asked him “what makes you think that you can take him to India…He is not going anywhere. He is my son and he will stay with me”. He felt bad it seems…….He was sulking for 2 weeks and then the same routine of phone calls. I just don’t get it. Why did he have to put his hands in fire and cry afterwards?

    I really don’t know Mihisha, how this phone call process started…..He used to call us once a day two years back, then it became twice a day and then it increased. I think the frequency increased as my son started talking. They just want to hear his voice it seems.

    I haven’t received his phone calls in last two days…..There were 21 missed calls yesterday and today there 8 missed calls…….I really hope this frequency slows down……because of my FIL my son refuses to talk to anyone on the phone, he does not talk to my mom, my brother, our friends and even his dad. Sometimes when DH comes home at 9:00 pm, he calls DS around 6:00-7:00pm to talk to him…….My son hates the sight of phone now.

    My FIL must be feeling sad now but I know he asked for this…….Going forward I will just talk to him once in a week, if he talks, it is OK, if not I can’t help it much.

    I must thank you all for your feedback and support.
     

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