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Odd Situation Need Help

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by Needhelp01, Jul 19, 2023.

  1. Needhelp01

    Needhelp01 Senior IL'ite

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    So my inlaws visited last year, I dont have great relations with my inlaws so I decided to keep them out of my kitchen and do all the work myself. I use to get up at 5, do everything and then go to work and ask my husband to heat their food during lunch (he is working from home), when I came back I would make tea nd dinner and then wrap up and sometimes it would be like 12 by the time I would sleep. There was shanti because this way there was no interference. (I also got the feeling that my MIL did not want to be in the kitchen and cook, because she did not volunteer to cook anything. I had bought some non veg stuff and told MIL husband likes to eat that from your hand and she did not even offer to make it. She does not even like cooking so much). Now this time my parents are here and my mom loves to cook and husband likes my mom's cooking also. So she has full access to the kitchen and she is cooking things my husband like and he is also enjoying the food. But husband is constantly fighting with me that I should give same level of access to his mother when she comes because I have given the same to my mom. My mom is not criticizing or making my life hell like MIL does and did in the intial days of my life. MIL did not even give me access to her kitchen in the initial days of our marriage (to this my husband says, my mom did not give him access to her kitchen to my husband, which is stupid because guys dont need access to kitchens). Whatever I say he is twisting it and using it against me. He is also saying if I dont agree to give MIL access then he will go and ask my mother to not use the kitchen anymore. He is one who is eating all the stuff she is making out of love damad. I am quite sure I will lose my mind and we will have a full blown fight in front of my parents this time which I am trying to avoid. (He has been fighting with me over this for past 1 week)
     
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  2. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Give the discussion some break. Tell him you are thinking about it. After a few days, get back to him with something like, "You are kind of right. From next time, both the mothers will have full access to the kitchen." < Pause > then say, to avoid the inevitable kitchen issues, you will stay out of the kitchen and grocery shopping, cleaning etc. He will have some objections to the idea. Again say, "you may be right.. let's start off with visiting mother having sole access to kitchen. If she is unable to manage, let's revisit the arrangement."
     
  3. gamma50g

    gamma50g Finest Post Winner

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    I agree with @Rihana . Tell your hubby that you are okay granting access to both mothers but its their 100% responsibility to do the incedentals like pantry inventory management and cleaning.

    If your mil indeed doesnt like cooking and prefers eating, she may be not proficient in managing the kitchen well. Once your husband starts getting requests for groceries on odd days/hours and needs to step in to do the dishes and clean the kitchen, never again (hopefully) will he utter a word about it.
     
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  4. MadhuRK

    MadhuRK Silver IL'ite

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    Hi @Needhelp01

    My sympathies to you. A flavor of this happens at my home too. Here is what I have observed and I want you to know that this is not something unique but a consistent pattern that happens across many homes. There is something about a wife's parents treating both parties well thats triggering to the husband folk.

    Perfectly reasonable adults and matured professional men suddenly transform into 7-year old mama's-boy fighting for justice from a distance and want to pick silly Tu Tu Main Main fights like they do in a playground. You did not do this to my momma but you are doing this with your momma. Thats not fair. Thats not equal, lets draw the line in the middle and split everything fair and share on both sides or I'm going to flail my arms, stomp my feet and cry wolf.

    1. They observe an overall increase in the happiness and harmony and lowering of stress-levels in the household when the wife's parents visit. The "stranger boy" gets treated royally like their boy and naturally their own girl gets pampered as well. Either they are completely oblivious or choose to conveniently ignore or forget the way the madam-in-law treats the dil vs son. This makes them feel resentful and grumpy in a childish way and rue the loss of this degree of harmony when "their own" momma visited. This is a fact we have to deal with.

    2. The other feeling they have is guilt. They feel guilty about enjoying their MIL's food and good treatment. Its too good to be true but the guilt gnaws at the soul, what to do. My husband has more similarities to my parents than to his own parents in-terms of food habits and other things. But he would deliberately throw tantrums and differentiate himself in silly ways when my parents would treat the two of us as their two children who need support and pamper both of us. The guilt some of these mommas-boys carry is real.

    3. There is also search and recall happening somewhere in the background. Perhaps your MIL like mine would have detailed one-on-one meetings with the husband about her "feelings" either while they were visiting or in the present times via whatsapp. This back-side keying is a real thing. Sometimes we women have too much decency and self-esteem to peek or even interfere in these private moments let alone haggle or ask for details but some MILs on the other hand have been trained on years of mega-serial episodes to nail these conversations.

    4. The other problem is territory. Mommy comes and lives like a stranger/guest depending on which way you see it in my own house and I'm the man of the house. But MIL comes and quickly takes over the kitchen, cooking dishes, washing vessels, laundry is done, grandchildren are entertained and this is my bloody house dammit. My wife becomes an unrecognizably silent and (exhausted ?), cold and distant person (not even available to me ?) when mommy comes but now she is laughing, eating and being merry (perhaps again not being available to me ?), why were all these social graces not extended to my parents and why should I be nice and cooperative to her perfectly decent parents ? I can also be a monster. I need to be a monster. This is their way of compensating for that feeling, establishing "fair" and "equal" boundaries so that they can assert their territory.

    No amount of showing the day-night disparity in treatment made any difference to my otherwise logical husband. For sometime he was just not able to accept that his mom could do this at all. Then I stopped comparing, contrasting and complaining but he saw the treatment first hand multiple times. I could see it on his face and it particularly hurt a lot when this disparity showed in the treatment of his kids vs SIL's kids. But whats a momma's boy supposed to do ?

    IMHO, any husband who asks for fair and square between two sets of parents is living in la-la land. Sorry I have a diagnosis but no solution. You have to find ways to cope with this intelligently knowing what's perhaps going on and also kind of patiently wait for him to grow up.
     
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  5. hrastro

    hrastro Platinum IL'ite

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    Why are you spoiling your present - you are free from kitchen chores, spend time with your DH and enjoy !!
    Just say "OK, you are right" whenever he starts discussing this - then say "I love you" (or your love language)
    Keep repeating it, make him laugh and change the topic...

    Deal with it when your MIL actually comes over. And at that time, if she doesnt want to do any cooking, let MIL tell her son that she doesnt want to do it!
    Or make a list of his favourite items, get the ingredients and give her a chance to make it. If she still doesnt make them, state to your DH that you have tried your best!
    You continue trying (Or at least show your DH that you are trying every time)

    Why are you responding to his fight ?

    They will not understand the explanations and arguments and logic at all here - so dont waste your energy explaining - and allow "time" to teach them the reality
     
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  6. Needhelp01

    Needhelp01 Senior IL'ite

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    I think I will do this to maintain peace. I know she is not interested in doing anything in the kitchen, she will start complaining and moaning and then blame me that I am not doing anything to help her. (she did this right after marriage also, while she gave me no access to her kitchen) Thank you Rihana !
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2023
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  7. Needhelp01

    Needhelp01 Senior IL'ite

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    My MIL only likes to keep a clean kitchen, she does NOT like to cook in it. I can count the number of spices in her cabinet in 1 hand. Maybe letting her do the cooking will actually be better for me in the long run. Plus we do grocery runs only once a week, sometimes once in 2 weeks so grocery management has to be quite precise. Thank you gamma50g
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2023
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  8. Needhelp01

    Needhelp01 Senior IL'ite

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    How c
    How can I like this post 1000+ times!!! This is an absolute carbon copy of what is going on in my house right now. 100% word to word is absolutely true OMG ! I felt like I was reading an account of my day in your words. For about a month there was no issues and there was peace and harmony and now I guess his guilt tripping has started. (I also asked him to talk more to his mom during this time when my paremts are visiting so she does not become insecure. He is the one who gets very busy with work and sometimes will ignore them and I know they will blame my parents for it. That he is unable to talk to them because my parents are here) My mom is really good at cooking and I am still learning new dishes from her (she was approached by the local TV channel to do a cookery show with them) and he really enjoys her cooking as well but creating issues about this when she is here. (When they were preparing to come here, he would say over the phone how he is looking forward to her cooking). But now that she is here he is creating ashanti. He has told me multiple times while his mom is not so proficient in cooking and mostly does traditional cooking thats why growing up they were in the habit of eating out a lot. But now he is daily creating issues asking me to give her kitchen access and I would have no issues with it but I know there will be kalesh and MIL will make my life hell. How the hell do they not see the difference in how his parents treat the me and how my parents treat him. Its crazy how our society has gotten used to these double standards. Just cant win. But reading about your experience really helped me, you have no idea how much it helped me !! Thank you for this really !
     
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  9. Needhelp01

    Needhelp01 Senior IL'ite

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    Absolutely agree with you, I am going to do this now. My issue is when he starts saying I should treat them same, I start seething with anger because its pretty damn difficult to love someone who is actively trying to criticize you, be evil towards you and wreak havoc on your marriage. Its like trying to hug a rabid raccoon, you just dont do that but handle from a distance. I need to learn to be more diplomatic in nature and atleast have some peace while my parents are here. Thank you hastro!
     
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  10. MadhuRK

    MadhuRK Silver IL'ite

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    +1K to what @hrastro said : Use this precious time to bond with your husband so that he has less of those queasy feelings. This leisure and pampering from your mom won't last forever.

    Don't try to win useless arguments and battles. Good luck and have fun.
     
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