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Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by Mihika, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. Mihika

    Mihika New IL'ite

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    I have been reading this website for a long time and I am impressed by the advice given by our fellow Ilites. I have registered especially today in order to post my query and get some guidance.

    I am lucky to have the most wonderful husband and we are blessed with a beautiful 3 year old daughter. My problem is that I am incapable of dealing with my inlaws. Let me explain.

    I am married for 6 years & my hubby is the only child of his parents. Initially we were living with them (in India) but since past 3 years we have moved abroad. My inlaws also moved with us on a long term visa. They stay with us for a 8-9 months of the year & go back for 2 –3 months. Initial few years of my marriage was quiet peaceful and harmonious but as the time goes by I am finding it very difficult to adjust with them. My Fil’s nature is very antisocial. He is very impatient and gets great pleasure form taunting others and passing sarcastic comments. My MIL was very nice to me during the initial years of marriage but she has changed a lot now. She is like a boss in the house and spends all her time looking for things to criticize me. She will use very harsh words like ‘ is this what your mom has taught u ‘ etc for something very very minor. I have a full time maid & I work full time but both of them will keep scolding the maid too. Because of this I also avoid talking with them too much as they will find fault in whatever I say or do & will again torture me with their comments. They think that I am purposely trying to hurt them or take their son/ grandchild away from them. I am trying to do as much as I can to make them comfortable. I have given them an ATM card, asked my maid to follow all their instructions & cook what they like, we take them out almost every weekend for outings, I also arranged to take them abroad to other places in the region. I think that the reason why they are behaving this way is some insecurity. Previously we used to live in their house while now they are staying with us so maybe they feel some loss of power.

    Previously hubby & me would have frequent fights as I would never complain to him when ever ils would fight with me while they would fill his mind against me. Now I have started telling all the facts to him so he understands me & does not fight. I never blame them or criticize them to my husband. He knows that I do care about them but I am disturbed by their attitude. My hubby knows his dad’s nature & he has tried many times to tell them not to get so excited about small incidents and try to trust me. But they scold him and call him ‘joru ka gulam’ when he tries to support me.

    Now we have planned a trip back to India and this time both hubby & me have not asked my ils to come back with us to Singapore. We are fed up with the daily fights & I feel that if we stay away from each other there will not be any issues. I would like it best if we can adjust & live with each other but it is seeming increasingly difficult.

    The problem is that my Ils are extremely attached to my kid and also to their son & I feel very guilty separating them. What should I do? There is no peace in the house when they are here. Both of us have tried many times to explain to them to relax and enjoy their life but it is no use. When they are in a crabby mood I ignore them & when they talk to me nicely I too spend a lot of time chatting with them. But dh is caught between his parents & his wife as he does not like it when I ignore them or when his parents scold me. That is why he feels that it is better to live separately. But we do have our duty towards our parents too. If parents want to stay with us isn’t it wrong to keep them away? Anyway whenever they r in India they will call almost 5 to 6 times in a day to speak with dh and my daughter, they miss them so much.

    Please tell me what to do? Should I invite them back this time or live peacefully with my small family?
     
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  2. radhee

    radhee Bronze IL'ite

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    Your in-laws do not realize how good a DIL you are...I am amazed by the fact that inspite of daily fights and severe attitude issues, you still want to keep your in-laws with you...

    But in your situation, I feel it is better to stay separate from in-laws and lead a peaceful life. There will also be less fights, thereby it is peace of mind for all in the family. It is good for your aged in-laws too becos arguing everyday causes health probelms and severe stress for anyone, more so for older people. Moreover, these kind of everyday arguments will affect your child's mentality and personality also. She might start imitating such characteristics sooner or later. You too might develop some kind of depression if this continues.

    True we have repsonsibilities towards them, but it does not mean we have to take them wherever we go. Keep them comfortable in India. Give them a good caretaker and give them royal treatment in their old age. Talk to them often on phone. Send surprise gifts to them every now and then. This will keep them happy. They will get used to the fact of not being with their son and grandchild soon. There are many old couples leading peaceful lives that way in India.

    Do not feel guilty of separting them or do not worry that they will talk bad about you. Even if you keep doing good, they are ultimately going to talk bad about you only.

    Normally, it will be difficult to convince husbands to come away from their parents. But in your case, keeping the problems in mind, your husband is proposing the idea of not inviting them, so go ahead and accept it.
     
  3. diana

    diana Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear Mihika,

    Its good that you think about them well. Parents when they grow old tend to behave the same way as you mentioned. Learn to accept it.

    What I would suggest is let them stay for some months in India, without you'll. That way they will feel that they have been left out beacuse of their attitude and may try to improve themselves. Later you can again call them. And if they do change its good for you and your fly. What say!

    One thing, do not let them know that you are leaving them there for sometime, let them feel that you have left them there because of their bad attitude. This way they will try to change themselves.

    And dont worry everything will be fine soon.

    Take care

    Diana
     
  4. Mihika

    Mihika New IL'ite

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    thanks for the replies

    Dear Friends
    Thanks a lot for understanding me & sending me your views. I really want to keep the peace in the house and respect elders but maybe due to old age their attitude is becoming worse day by day. I think that staying away from heir own house and from their routine tasks is also making them feel insecure and bored that they are interfering too much where it is absolutely unnecessary.
    I am working so my inlaws have a perfect reason to say why they need to stay with us. My maid is capable of looking after my kid but they are not giving her the opportunity to look after her or train her. In fact they always keep scolding her for small things and try to reduce our confidence in her. My work place is very close to my house and so I feel confident that I will be able to manage home and child with the help of my maid.
    My inlaws are well off and have a nice big house in India. The only problem is that because of their attitude they find it difficult to keep any maids and so many times my MIL has to do all the housework herself. They are not planning to stay in India for long and are telling everybody that they will be back in a few months.. one advantage of them being here is that my child is with people that I can trust… the disadvantage is that they never listen to anything that I request them like.. not giving her too much instant noodles and sweets and always scolding me in front of her and catering to all her tantrums.
    Anyway my MIL is basically a nice person but she is unnecessarily being influenced by FIL and she starts seeing bad in everything that I say or do. I have to be very careful not to keep upsetting them and if I want to maintain the peace in the house eg.. I like to give my maid her own stack of snacks and biscuits etc so that she will eat well but they don’t like this so I have to sneak it to her. I rarely invite any of my friends or relatives over because I know that my FIL will surely insult them. I love having people over so whenever they are not in town I will invite guests. I will make all my phone calls in the privacy of my bedroom or I have to listen to all the comments from FIL. I am grateful that my hubby is very loving and understanding and not like some of the husbands that I read about in the forums. It is because of my love for him that I am trying to adjust and live with his parents.
    I have realised that inviting them or asking them not to come is not an option. They will easily come when they want to & there is nothing that I can do to stop them. It is against my upbringing to fight with elders so I will just enjoy my freedom when they r not around and adjust when they are here.
    Thanks to IL for giving me an opportunity to vent out my feelings and I hope that I can get soem other tips from other Ilites too.
     
  5. Varloo

    Varloo Gold IL'ite

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    Hi,
    I am seeing many elders like your in laws. People who are well todo and does not have anything to fret about in life, tend to become like this, I guess. They do not have any real worries in life, they have good children who take care of them and respect them, they have money of their own- such people create some sort of problem in the family.
    My friend's mil is having income of her own, enjoys good health even in her early 80's and almost all her children are well in life. Fil is no more. This lady is now staying with my friend. Fr. has to finish all cooking etc. by 7 and send children and hubby out. She also does all the household chores by herself, no maid. Mil always complains that she is not let to do any work at home.
    Just imagine, many people say that they are made to work even in old age and this lady is the opposite. She gets up late and by the time all the people are gone out for their work etc. How can she help?
    It is a best thing that they stay in India as long as they want. You can hint or your hubby can, that they better stay in India so that they can enjoy. There is nothing wrong in that., Instead of fighting all the time, this is a good idea.
     
  6. Mihika

    Mihika New IL'ite

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    Dear Friend
    Thanks for the reply. I am upset today as my dear child is not well. She is having loose motions and in spite of my requesting to my inlaws they are feeding her milk. The doctor has striclty warned me not to give milk to children when they are having loose motions. When ever my kid falls ill it is a very bad time for me as my Ils will take care of her the way they think is right but if her condition gets worse they will just blame me for it. They are always trying to prove that I am a bad mother and dont care for my child. That hurts me more than anything else.
     
  7. manjur

    manjur Senior IL'ite

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    hi mihika,
    i am also married to an only son . but my husband is not as supportive as yours.he says what ever they say is correct.my inlaws also give unhealthy food even cooked rice alone without any curry to my daughter if she asks but i totally disagree but they won't listen
    i learnt a lot from the way you show patience because i get upset real quickly and as i don't have a job whole day i have to deal with them when we are with them.

    after marriage i find very difficult but slowly i am getting used to it as their is no other options
    bye
    manju
     
  8. Mihika

    Mihika New IL'ite

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    Dear Manju
    Sorry to hear about your IL problem. From your post I got the idea that you are not staying with your ILs most of the time. I had read somewhere that the more the longitude that seperates you and the grandparents the more latitude you can give them. So if they are with you guys for a short time then choose your battles wisely. About your husband, in the initial years of our marraige I did not really expect any support from him but now he is more understanding (touch wood).
    Dont ever critisize your inlaws in front of him. It will surely turn him away from you. In fact, at times my FIl will irritate hubby so much that he will argue with him. I myself tell hubby he is a senior person so dont fight just keep quiet. When my FIL will purposely insult me & critisize me hubby will also quietly make a gesture to remind me to keep my cool and not back answer. At this age we cannot change them or their habits so we have to live with it. But one thing is certain I am at least a 100 times more respectful towards my ILs that my parents. Still my Ils keep saying that I do not respect them and only care for my parents. Maybe it is because their constant taunts and critisisms have slowly eroded my affection and love towards them and nowadays my relationship towards them is more formal only because i want to protect myself from futher verbal abuse.tsk
     
  9. geeta79

    geeta79 Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear Mihika,

    Its really nice to see a person like u who care about her in-laws in spite of the fact that they taunt u, criticise u, dont care about u, dont listen to ur requests......... Keep it up. As everyone has said, that as people get older, since they dont have much things to do around, they tend to become like that....... And especially if they are living abroad, away from their home town, it gets even worse, becoz they are literally confined in the apartments........ They cant go out on their own, dont have friends or relatives abroad who would visit them often or talk to them, so i guess the frustration comes out on the family members......... But I must appreciate ur patience for tolerating so much and respecting them inspite of all the conflicts......... Also ur very lucky that u have a very supportive and caring husband........

    As for ur problem, i think my advice would be to let them stay in India itself. I can understand that as u said, u feel guilty keeping them away from their son and grandchild, but sometimes relationships are better maintained by being apart. As one of the IL'its suggested, u can discuss with ur husband and he can give a hint to them to stay in India only, and whenever they feel child-sick, u all can visit them in India couple of times in a year. This way i guess ur relationship with them will not become more formal....... I guess staying in India will make them less irritable and impatient. They will be living in their own house without any insecurities (as u said they might be insecure staying with ur family abroad), they will have friends, relatives, neighbours who can talk to them and keep them company, and there will be less of their interference in ur life........ Also as u said that they scold u and ur husband in front of ur child is not good for the child's development, pampering the child, not listening to ur requests especially wen the child is sick......... all these gestures are also not good in the long term. Of course i also understand that they love their grandchild and want to pamper her......but there has to be a limit..........

    As i said earlier, the only way is to keep ur in-laws in India where they will stay in peace and happiness and u'll also be peacefull and tension free with ur family abroad. As suggested by others u can always call them frequently, visit them in India as often as u can, send them gifts, plan vacations for them, etc. and keep them happy in all the ways u can........ May be this will change their attitude towards u and they may become more caring and supportive.........

    Hope this will help........

    Take care,
    Geeta.
     
  10. Mihika

    Mihika New IL'ite

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    Dear Geeta
    Thanks for your advice!! I am not the angel that you have made me out to be in your message. I just lost my cool today & i am feeling very very sorry about it. As usual today morning my FIL was trying to bug me & I tried hard not to respond. I was getting a bit tensed about a presentation that I have to do at work as well. Finally I just lost it & I just directly asked him PLEASE DONT INTERFERE. !!! he keeps boasting that he always used to get the best toys for his son who used to keep braeking it... I just remimded him of that.
    (He was actually scolding me as I had got some play dough for my daughter. She had got a nice set for her birthday which she spoilt when I was at work as nobody supervised her play. So when I got some dough for her this time I warned her that she should play with it only when I am around. but she removed it in the morning & was admiring it when the hullabaloo started.)
    Then my MIl started screaming at me & hubby asked me to calm down & then there was toooo much ruckus. My poor kid got scared... then i explained to her that grandpa is angry because u spolit the play dough last time so he did not want me to get u more. u can tell grnadpa that u will take care of this new one. She told him & hearing her innocent voice he too calmed down but they were bugged with me for involving her.
    whewwww sorry for boring u guys with all the details just needed to get it out of my system.... please pray for me that i get the infinite amount of patient and diplomace skills needed to deal with these people... They really love my kid soooo much.... I am worried about the future :confused2:
     

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