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Should One Change For Others?

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by rupz, Jan 2, 2024.

  1. rupz

    rupz Silver IL'ite

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    Hi all,

    I am back with a vent. been quite for few years and sometimes i just cant take it.

    It all began with the discussion of my DH going to a trip to meet and stay with his friend. That person is single in his mid 40's living in a fully furnished flat with a maid coming and him cooking.

    My H went there for a week sometime around September and returned back. Again he wished to go as his frnd was calling him. And I felt it was easier for him to WFH in a different location or so.

    On asking his dear mother's permission she said No. H then asked me if he should go or no. I told him if I say No is he not going to go? ... He went. All that one week I was preparing for making some decoration changes to the hall. As I am into art I was learning new things that would be suitable for walls and a bit bigger pieces than usual 30 inch or so canvas size paintings.

    I like working at night as it gives me peace and no disturbances like someone ringing the doorbell of MIL asking 'Yenna panarai' ,'indhuke time and money waste panarai' very hour etc.

    Also after sitting late to work like around 12.30 I let the paints and things to dry and sleep. MILs complaint is I don't clean up and tidy the room before sleeping. And why I don't do the same during the day. Before also I have told her that during the day there is distraction. I can't concentrate on the idea i want. Plus you keep interfering and then you want me to go to market or something to do.

    So back to the present. The day before H came home I cleaned every surface I worked on. Removed the old painting and discarded a few and stuff. My work table is a bit messy as few paint pallets i had stored with colors as I can use it adding water for similar shade. Also I work with resin and make candles and cement items so i have lots of items and different chemicals that cannot be stored together.

    Christmas had a few sale going on so i did purchase few items and was working on them. MIL insisting that I am messy and should discard the boxes as soon as it is opened. Once again I reminded her that previously also I discarded the boxes and when I got a bulk order i had to purchase boxes for dispatch. It's would have been useful to store them. So i folded the boxes and have stored them in the far corner of the hall where it won't be visible.

    H the day he came till 3pm he shared the location etc. i think I stepped out to buy snacks for him that he had particularly mentioned he will eat once he was home. Don't know what happened after 4 he stopped picking my calls nor messaged me. Also stopped sharing location. Knowing that he was driving towards Mumbai there was bound to be Christmas traffic.

    MIL kept asking him call him and ask call him and ask etc. I told her he is not picking my calls. He will come home latest by 7.30pm.

    First jab comes now...you won't understand why i care coz you are unable to become a mother that what a mother's worry is.

    After a while I am trying not to call him again and ask him coz MiL keeps on opening the door the moment the lift door opens.

    Second jab comes now....what wife you are not worried that ur husband is not home. You are not worried that he ate food or not etc.etc..

    I told her he had food. The distance is 800kms so it will take 11.5 hours with break. And this route even with me we have travelled together.

    Exactly at 7.00pm H comes home. First thing he says is the house smells. You have ruined the walls. By this time I had only put up one wall art and removed the previous art work and the nails as well.

    Third jab comes... how are you sitting in front on tv. Go feed him food he must be tired. By this time H was taking a bath. For him snacks with hot tea was already on the table. Dinner heated and ready if he wanted directly to eat dinner.

    He noticed his work table where I had gotten him chocolates for Christmas. Like a Secret Santa gift. He says why did you spend on this. I told you I don't want anything.

    It's just chocolate nothing more. Especially the ones he likes white chocolate.

    He noticed my table which had paints and tools on it. Plus lined with few medicines.

    The day before he left i wasn't well and had been to the doc. And was recommended blood tests for viral fever and malaria. And telling this to my H he says I am defective piece.

    Okay I have heard that a lot it did little to affect me. Still he went.

    Day two my MIL is like why do you allow him to go? Kai la pichadu vechuko.

    For me my parents were not like controlling each other. They had together time and own space as well. Here she wants him to control me when she needs me to do something specific or she will tell me do certain things that will keep him home. (like not going out)

    Present day, as usual I woke up. I was a bit upset that my H who was a week away didn't even ask how was I etc. he says make coffee for mom.

    Mom doesn't like if I make her morning coffee. She needs it strong and more sugar more milk. I make it but she doesn't like it.

    An hour later he comes to me sand says I felt happy living somewhere else and didn't want to come home. Cause his room is messy.

    And MIL said something in return and he told her to mind her own business. She turns to me and starts screaming at me.

    Like I am just useless and not doing anything useful and not maintaining the house properly etc. I am useless and not caring at all. All I do is spend time on my mobile or on PC or tv.

    Currently at home there are 3 people only. Me, H and MIL.

    H is doing WFH. MIL widow who had left me to take over her chores that she normally after FIL died. After FIL died i did the usual things she did puja, and putting kolam and buying garlands for Puja etc

    I tried to do like she does but it is not the same. Oncourse no one can do something like other person does. Also she doesn't like it when I touch her belongings like her cupboard etc to clean etc.

    So after two weeks of FIL's death she resumed doing things she did claimed she was bored sitting and sleeping all day.

    Back to current scenario, it's more than a year now and I cook for them, do the 90% shopping and things around the house. Now when H says room is messy it's only my work table. I don't enter the room when he's working so cleaning during work day not possible. And I dont clean half heartedly. If I do I will remove stuff check and discard and clean. For that I require space.

    Now when H tells me coming home was a mistake, first thought that comes to my mind is what's his issue. His table that is important for him is cleaned without a scratch on it. MiL screams saying coz of me all issues she has to listen. She gets into my space and cleans it. In the past she did and I never found my tools again and I had to buy a new one. She says after I came here post wedding i have changed the house for worse. First their house was nice and neat and clean . Now it's bad and messy and only moodevi will come.

    Next she says that I don't need to do art work to impress anyone here. Their house was nice before so i should stop doing what I like. Then H says its my money your spending . Tera Aukat nai hai kuch karne ka. He says this and he cooly goes and resumes his work in front of the PC.

    Then I asked her what should I do around the house if not things I like to do.? First answer is cook and clean the house.

    OK. So i asked her don't I?

    She says it's not upto the mark. It's not like her style of cooking so she doesn't like it.

    So I told her...i have PCOD, high chances of sugar and already doc has told to lessen rice, coconut and milk and sugar. Initially I used to cook separately for me and for MIL and H separately. In that case whatever would be left over I am blamed for wasting food.

    Then I changed the menu to chapati 2 times a week, her type of full South Indian with loads of coconut and her choice 4 times and mixed rice or something different one day. She complained today that what I make is not nice. Not up to her standard.

    Her reason is I'm glued to the mobile the whole day. She says I am distracted by it.

    First and foremost she doesn't understand that I watch my tv series on Mobile. I like reading and listening to audio books.

    The TV channels I watch are not in the cable. Coz according H one tv with cable is enough for MOM. We can watch Netflix or Prime. Before he left for his trip he told me to cancel Netflix as 199 was waste on content that is not good enough. Ok I disconnected.

    So MIL says she doesn't understand my constant viewing and spending time on internet full day.

    I read books when not cooking or in the afternoon and night. I have no friends in the building as per MIL the people living in the building are of high class and money minded. They will ruin me. So i don't know people there. There are 32 buildings in my complex. this year for Navratri i participated in the building exhibition, sold few candles and people who approached didnt know who i was now which building i was in. But lot of people know my H.

    I used to go to the gym she stopped that claiming i am wasting money for simple exercises and nutritional powders. Ok so i stopped that. She also said my WhatsApp groups have increased and she doesn't know who do I talk to.
    I have only two friends of mine close by whom I meet twice in 2-3 months for shopping or lunch sometime that to within 3-4 kms only.

    At 7.30pm she will seal and lock the doors so no one goes out. Plus we are not allowed to carry house keys. My H still doesn't carry house keys. I do cause I used to having them from my side of the upbringing.

    Anyways back to the point...when she said I don't cook and feed them properly i said then hire a cook. It will be easier for you and me.

    Again she says why are you here. I told her if you have many problems with me. Including me doing my art work let me know i am willing to leave from here. If you and your son thinks that after me coming here your house has changed and your son is angry then let me be free.

    Her voice got louder and she said how can you say this. I am heartless coz I have no parents to teach me stuff etc.

    I told her my parents were better than you are. They didn't restrict me from doing what I like. I even told my MIL that she and my sister think alike that I should not be allowed to do what I like and get what I want.

    She got spooked and said I am teaching you good things behave properly or i will be lonely for life. Again she said that I should be thank full that I am living here without a kid. She claims that I am happy go lucky that living the life I want with no problem or hassle of raising a child.

    Mainly to avoid this kind for arguments about the house smelling of paint and varnish i had asked H to look for a room or small gala where I can work. I did get orders beginning from 15-20 pieces to 70 then 200. I rejected few the big number orders as I don't have space to work on bigger numbers. Bigger orders also means more of my time in there doing it and less in other house chores.

    For those also MIL said you can't do it. When first word from her mouth is " you can't do it " I really feel like I why can't she be positive.
    Her positivity is for her son and daughter only. All her emotions for me saying she's teaching me good manners coz I have no parents and for my health it seems fake to me.

    If she worries for my health she won't utter those words.

    Exactly two months ago my side of relatives had come home for lunch. Something happened similar or my cooking style etc. my aunt asked me why are you doing long process of cooking keep in cooker and finish it off you can utilize your time somewhere else.

    She heard this and came inside the kitchen. She said what work she has? Yougidai illai Koyandai pettu tartaku ...let her do this properly. Listening to this my aunty was quite. I told her I do cook according to what you like. She said stop back answering me which was heard to the other rooms as well.

    So i should keep quiet and listen. It's not that I can't have a kid. It will take time. She's already announced to all relatives that I can't have a kid and her son is suffering for it.

    After all this happens my aunt calls me and tells me they are going to native place and will be back in January only. And her advice was I should adjust and live.

    Till now she hasn't asked how's the treatment going on who's the doctor etc nothing. When she called it was on top of my tongue to ask her is that all i am to you. ? Just a person whom you are telling information and twice or thrice a year come to see me. Since wedding i have been to their place to stay only for 3-4 days in 12 years.

    Sometimes I feel they gave me here in marriage and these people accepted me knowing there is no one behind me to support if I complained or said something. Or even to support moneywise as well.

    As per my MIL i should stop doing my art work coz that kind of business doesn't suit South India veedu. Specially her family. Her son.

    Secondly i should cook and keep the house clean and tidy always as I can't have a child and don't know difficulties other women face for a child, before and after.

    ....even in all this i kept thinking if I stopped doing art work and sell whatever I have will she be satisfied.?

    Cooking, cleaning, taking care of big to small chores of the house make her happy or me happy?

    How much can you clean the house?

    Also I can't go to work because it will reduce husbands future prospects its her answer to any job interviews calls come.. and who will see to his needs when he is WFH. ?

    If my coming to their house is an issue, then I am not important for them. Do I take it this sense?

    What she fails to understand that how much mentally it hurts me every time she speaks of not having a child. I am undergoing treatment for the same. I go alone as she or H won't accompany me as his time is being wasted waiting in line and she wont come as she doesn't like hospital or spirit smell.

    I eat a lot sometimes due to cravings and sometimes I don't. I get angry but don't show. I can't call or talk to anyone about it. If I say I am depressed she says it's a new way of mine not to do work.

    For her depression is just an excuse. So many times I want to tell her that I do get negative thoughts because of her which is why I spend time watching series or read books just to keep my mind off them.

    But who will make her understand.
    If I want to change what do I change. If I stop doing what interests me most what will happen?

    Can I please others for their happiness?

    All thoughts swirl in my head not knowing how to detangle this knot or just like so many other keep mum and do what they ask me to.

    And yet another year is here but the same things will keep on happening.
    Thyagarajan likes this.

  2. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello: Though I clicked like but it doesn't mean i loved part or whole of your message. Yes I emphathise with your situation. Such a huge labour in long narration of your woes might hv given you a kind of solace and even you may feel load off your chest.

    But with the kind of bickerings you expressed here and propensity you hv , u r not alone or isolated or insulated in this world.

    Minor or major it is better to vent. But then that is not end of the problem. Soon You must confront and meet the lion at its den.

    Regards. Happy New Year.
    rupz likes this.
  3. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    Though I clicked like it
    doesn't mean i loved part or whole of your message. Yes I emphathise with your situation. Such a huge labour in long narration of your woes might hv given you a kind of solace and even you may feel load off is your chest.
    But with this kind of bickerings and propensity u r not alone or isolated or strange. Minor or major it is better to vent. But then that is not end of the problem. You must confront and meet the lion in its den.
    rupz likes this.
  4. sweetsmiley

    sweetsmiley Platinum IL'ite

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    Sorry to see your situation.. its tough only..
    may be ur MIL also thinks the same.. why should i change for DIL in terms of food and other house hold things.
    and main issue is loneliness and she expects some company in the name of Baby.
    Try to talk to others in the building and dont pay attention to her..
    You need some company and support in local..
    drdiva and Thyagarajan like this.
  5. swiss

    swiss Gold IL'ite

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    You sound so adjusting. I would have run away long time ago. I am a person who cannot tolerate someone micromanaging me like this.

    But coming to you, hope you find answer to your problems. You cannot keep living like this at the mercy of others. When you look back you need something to be happy about. Try making small changes and start following your passion. I can also understand your struggles with lack of space as me and husband are working from home and it feels like one area of the house is not accessible to me whole day. I have to tiptoe around my own house sometimes. Is it possible to shift to a bigger house? I wish someone knocks some sense into your mother in law and she lets you be happy in your house.

    Also people being stuck indoors for long time can cause frustration. Try to go out for a job small or big. That may help you. if your MIL says anything about any of your choices or actions, don’t talk back anything but do only what you want.
    Good luck.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2024
    rupz, gamma50g and Thyagarajan like this.
  6. Dishaa

    Dishaa Gold IL'ite

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    I feel our loneliness is quite similar. Even I don't have parents and siblings (all left for heavenly abode) and from Mumbai.

    My MIL, SIL anf FIL also has problems with my work, dressing, cooking, cleaning, hair tying, speaking, makeup, talking (inshort my existence), but I work for a multinational company.

    Some of my Indus Ladies group friends have suggested to ignore the in laws things and move ahead which is very true but bit difficult to implement.

    I had a major health issue during 2023 and was in ventilation due to stress and depression.

    2023 was an eye opener for husband, now we have taken initiative just to ignore inlaws and do what we like.

    My entire hospital thing was never disclosed to in-laws, we independently handled every thing. Took help from friends and office colleagues. After a few months husband informed SIL about my hospitalization.

    Being the only son even husband can't ignore his responsibility towards his parents which even I understand and cooperate.

    We don't stay with them, nor take any help or assistance from them.
    rupz and Thyagarajan like this.
  7. lavani

    lavani Platinum IL'ite

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    not sure when you got married . but here is the thing. make your DH understand. you are not his girl friend. you both have seen each other and married . you both will be together for a long time real long time.

    that means you both need to be happy with each other, you mil has to treat you with respect and he also needs to improve his relationship with you.
    rupz and Thyagarajan like this.
  8. Sweety2016

    Sweety2016 Gold IL'ite

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    @rupz , it was heart breaking to read your post....

    I am sorry to say this, your MIL is a mean human being with no empathy and care towards you. If she really cares for you, she would have let you live in that house in peace by shutting up her mouth when you do stuffs you like or not mentioning about your TTC journey. How dare your MIL says, 'kozantha pethuka yogidhai illa'...my blood is boiling seeing this. A woman putting down another woman in the worst possible way.... Don't expect anybody to support you. Stand up and give it back then and there when anybody crosses the line...

    Coming to your H, a typical careless Indian H who wants a wife primarily to cook, clean and do seva for his mom. Life would have been much better for you had this guy been atleast 10 % sensitive towards you.

    From your post it is evident you are a nice individual and your parents have done a great job in bringing you up. Period!
    You dont have to change anything in you for these people. Be who you are and embrace yourself. This is the time you need yourself the most..

    Some suggestions:
    1) Can you get a TV for yourself in your room with your money. You don't have to ask anybody's permission for this.
    2) Make a schedule for day to day chores. Don't spend more than 2 hours/day in the kitchen. Optimize it as per your convenience. Cook and eat healthy...Moderate amounts of coconut in the curries are actually good for heath. Sugar, salt, oil and Maida are harmful so try to reduce them as much as possible...For cleaning and vessel washing, you need to appoint a maid. you have to tell H to help you with this. If he says no, say him or his mom to do help you out with vessel washing and cleaning part.
    3) Try to do some pranayama in the morning to relieve yourself from all the stress getting accumulated because of these ppl.
    4) Try to get a job. I mean who is your MIL to stop you from going to a job. If you have a career break, then enroll yourself to some courses in udemy or coursera and definitely finish it. Then update your resume and start applying for jobs. Don't worry about the salary initially. Grab any opportunity that come your way. Your parents will be proud, wherever they are, seeing their little girl stand up for herself. Most of your issues will settle once you start going to a job. You can rent out a small place with YOUR MONEY to do your art work, you can even give art classes for interested candidates, you can buy your own netflix subscription plan, TV in your room, hire a maid and cook etc.

    Why do you even think of having a baby with such obnoxious people around you? Given the fact that your H WFH, cant he accompany you to the hospital for an hour or two? What you are trying to bring to this world is a responsibility of both of you not yours alone. Getting pregnant and giving birth to a baby is not at all a easy task. A mother is also born with a baby and is so tender and vulnerable during this period. You need loving, caring people around you to attend to you and the baby's needs. So, please have a honest conversation with H before taking such a life changing decision.

    Nex ttime if MIL says that you would up lonely in life...Say it 1000 times better to live alone rather than living with people like you... Tagging some of the wisest ladies of IL for their suggestions @Rihana, @DDream, @SGBV, @yellowmango, @hrastro, @nuss..
    rupz, MalStrom and Thyagarajan like this.
  9. pocahontas

    pocahontas Gold IL'ite

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    What you write here is the worst of my fears!!
    Are you sure you want to bring a child into all this?

    I think you should take a hard look at what you want from life. If you want to keep your husband and mother in law happy, can you do all they ask? Will they still be happy?

    What makes you happy? Can you do that? Can you afford to do that? I don't just mean financially. What is the price of your happiness.

    I am not sure if you have your own money. Do you feel insecure because you don't have money? Are some of these remarks bothering because you are financially dependent? And no other familial support system.

    I personally think you should first work on self-sufficiency. Emotional and financial. It will be difficult since you are living with people who feel otherwise.
    rupz likes this.
  10. DDream

    DDream Finest Post Winner

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    Yes. You can learn from experience, change your response and use your brain than heart to deal with difficult people around. Life keeps on changing and evolving.

    From your post, I can guess that you are trying to please every one. Just detach a bit and read your post. You get answers.

    As you have tried already so many things, you can share your concerns to your MIL, and husband. First practice the points . When situation arise, tell your MIL your points , it should be framed as if you are expressing helpness situation. Tell her that, you love her , respect her, wish a good life , but you cant be her. You like to do things in your way. At the same time you are following her advices as much you can, even after trying, you are not getting any encouragement but only negativity, so you dont feel like doing anything and dont want to bring a child in this stressful environment. Dont talk much, only to the point.

    To your H, talk only when MIL is not around. Ask him you are confused and like know his suggestion. Dont blame MIL( as she is his mom). Tell him you love them both and likes to have a good life with them. But even after so much effort , you are getting negative responses. So you are disappointed and dont know what to do.
    Dont reveal every thing in our mind or explain much, don't blame others, focus on problems. Too much explanation spoil it. This way you will know whats in his mind. Will he blame you or focus on problems

    Your MIL is trying to control you. She likes to train you and make another version of her.

    What you need is to show her a boundary. You are an adult, Dont allow her to interfere in your personal space. You can also place you in her shoes and try to undestand her view.

    Always respect others, learn to say NO in a diplomatic way. You can tell her not to interefere in your personal stuff, or dont say anything, or give a blank look or ignore, say ok and keep doing what you like to do.whatever works for you.

    In her view, you are dependent on them and its their house and you are there to do service and preserve their style and inheritance. She dont consider you as an independent person, instead their property.
    So, slowly come out of it. Try not to give the reaction she wants from you. Thats how you gain power. Dont take it into heart and remind you these as tatrumns of an old women. You need space, close your rooms door and reduce interactions. Talk only when you can in a positive way. You can always say, this is how I like it or prefer it.

    If you think, your MILs intention is to be heard, just listen, dont respond much. Be empathetic if needed. Many old ladies like that.

    You like your art work, it doesn't mean others like it or accept it. So, changing house in your way may not work well Also, not every one can tolerate the smell of paint . So, find a practical solution while pursuing your interest.

    Your H cant handle it well, he dont know how to deal with the issues/ conflicts created by her or you,so trying to escape. Try to think from his side.

    Next time, if your MIL scream, leave the scene, go away to another place, completely ignore it. If she say you are not good, tell yeah, if you feel like that way, you can. If she blames you for not taking care of H, let her do it. Dont do any thing if she scream at you or shout at you even of she request you 1000 times. That way only you can stop her controlling behavior. Right now is she doing that.. You keep on going after her explaining yourself.
    So set boundary, respond only if needed, ignore wherever necessary while doing your duty, the way you prefer. There are many help vidoes in YouTube on how to tackle it.

    Next, she is trying to gas light you by blaming, dont fall into that trap. When you succeed in not giving the response she want, you gain power. You can tell ' mom, you are the best, so feel dree to do it yourself' or ignore it.

    At the same time, always listen, think from her side, if there is a good point, accept it, learn good thing if any, appreciate good things . You dont have to degrade to her level. Then whats the difference.

    Accept the situation because you will be staying with her for ever, I guess. Think how to make the situation better for you. Also, make your bonding with H strong.

    I understand you are adjusting so much and trying to get good certificate. But, if its affecting your peace of mind, You have to find ways to solve it. Try to maintain peace. Dont complain about anything to H as soon as he gets home, give him time. Talk only when he is relaxed.

    Most important, try to be emotionally and financially independent. Is there anyway, to get out of that house every day? try that. Lack of space create so much conflicts. Anyway to involve your MIL in other activities? She needs something to divert her attention away from you.
    Make sure she takes some multi vitamines as bad health can affect mental state. You too. Rightnow she dont have anything else. Its very suffocating for you. Learn to love your self and live your life.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2024

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