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Walking the fine line of righteousness with ILs

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by CarpeDiem, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. CarpeDiem

    CarpeDiem Senior IL'ite

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    My ILs are generally nice and they're living with us presently. As such I have no problems with them and we are very loving and cordial with each other. However there have been a couple of instances in the past where I was misunderstood and and there have been times where I felt they were unreasonable. So now, even though I am very nice to them and all, I can't be totally free and I am very careful in choosing my words when I am around them. I used to be very open in my communication before, but now I try and think twice before saying anything in fear of crossing the fine line. I have also slowly begun to realize that in spite of being married, the only person with whom I still can be myself, is my mom. There just are so many mind games involved with your husband and your in-laws! It's funny how with each step in life, the bond with my mom only increases. I don't know if any of you feel the same way?
     
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  2. paru

    paru New IL'ite

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    Re: Walking the fine line

    Hi CarpeDiem,

    Its not you alone, hope many have same issues. Even I was like that during my early days of joint family. There are lot of misunderstandings. After that I used to be very careful with my words. I will never comment on anything unnecessarily even if my MIL is wrong. MIL can never be mom . In my mom's place i will be the queen, i will scold her if she is wrong and interfere in all things. But the same thing cannot happen with MIL. Yes as you said , lot of mind games involved dealing with inlaws.

    Paru.
     
  3. sashie

    sashie New IL'ite

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    Re: Walking the fine line

    hi Carpe, I totally agree with you 100%!! It;s true, I used also talk freely with my il's and also sil(husb sis), now i realize that they sometimes take things and twist them to make me look bad! my mil and fil have always done this, but i was shocked to learn that my sil was also the same, i guess it's always easy to pick at the dil! Now i keep my words to a minimum, and normally i am a talkative person, but when they are here, i really don;t talk much at all. And thru all this i have become very close to my own mom, i was always close, but now i share more of a bond.this must all be a part of life! Bow
     
  4. vaidehi

    vaidehi Silver IL'ite

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    Re: Walking the fine line

    Hi Carpediem,

    yeah its same all over, dil's always have to go into nutshell or should be bold enough to take whatever it comes.

    In my case too, When i came to US we were staying with my Bil and Cosis for one month, but thats when i found out that people are not what they appear to be from outside. My cosis who used to be so friendly with over phone in india was so nasty and treated me a like a dog when i was at her place. Thats when i found out that she was the one who was playing dirty games with me and my mil and was hvg fun seeing relationship turning between me and my mil. she used to tell me so many wrong things to me.

    In my case when my cosis got to know that she has been caught redhanded , now she doesn't want to have any relationship with me,my husband and our son. she has smartly taken my mil also in confidence. I am left out alone and being made scape goat for Absolute no fault of mine.

    True, after facing so many sitautions in life we get more closer to our parents,But in my case i am more attacthed to my father than my mom, though we cannot discuss everything but still he is there always to help me out and guide me .


    cheers
    vaidehi
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2008
  5. Sujimallige

    Sujimallige Bronze IL'ite

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    Re: Walking the fine line

    I also agree 100%.I treated my mil as my own mother and my sil as a friend.But the way things turned was unimaginable to me.I cant just believe people can twist and turn things the way they want.For me the wounds are still v fresh.It may take a long time to heal or may not.
    I agree with heavy heart that a mil can never be a mother (atleast not mine).Even i am getting v close to my mom now and realize her worth much more now.
     
  6. kavya007

    kavya007 Gold IL'ite

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    Hi Carpdiem,

    I agree with you 100%. I also feel closer with my mom as the years go. You cannot be yourself with your husband and in-laws. I wonder when this equation will change in life. I am so tired of hearing all the in-laws woes in Indusladies. I really think marriages in India are screwed up completely.

    Thanks,
    Lakshmi.
     
  7. SoaringSpirit

    SoaringSpirit Silver IL'ite

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    Hi friends,
    I agree with you all. In majority of the cases mom is mom and mil will be mil. I am not sure about the exact reasons as to why this happens or how to correct it with a success rate of 100%. I have thought about it many times but there seems no magic formula to make this relationship more desirable. I guess it is just trial and error.

    I do think though that the generation gap contributes quite a bit to the undesirability index in this relationship. And for some reason the generation gap seems wider between this generation of dils and their mils. I could be wrong. But it seems so to me.

    Our mils were dils when the womens revolution had just begun and was in its nascent stages. Most of the mils did not reap the benefits that latter came with modernization of the family structure. For ex, they lived in joint families shouldering responsibility for husband’s parent’s and sometimes his unmarried siblings too. The mils did not have much freedom as dils like we have today, most of them even if they worked outside the home did not have financial independence, they had very little (if any) decision-making role. And most importantly, a son was looked upon as the savior to all these challenges they faced. Once a son was born, the mils saw a ray of hope thinking that their challenging days are now numbered. Thinking that when he grows up he will not just rescue her from the current situation but also make-up for the lost time.

    I think their personal loss of the privileges we enjoy as dils today, coupled with their expectations from the son is what builds the mammoth expectation ladder from their son and hence the dil. Of course, being women we must not discount that a certain amount of competitiveness (call it jealousy) is also peppered along with the above two factors J.

    I am in no way putting up a defense for unreasonable mils. This is just my own analysis to come to peace with the skewed equation between mils and dils!

    On the other hand, we, the dils of this generation are a different lot. We have been brought up with a view to be financially independent, be confident, we have had a say in some decision-making at our parents’ house, most of us grew up in a nuclear family where there was not much interference from relatives. So, for us these things are a given and we expect them after we get married.

    Given the above, it seems like both mil and dil are vying for the same things. One (mil) trying to get what she missed out in her life so far and the other (dil) expecting what she has always had in her life so far. And as is the case, if two people are vying for the same resources or status then they are going to be at loggerheads many times.

    The only way I think it can work in today's generation is the the two ladies balance the equation out between themselves. If they somehow realize that they can both win if they strike a balance between themselves only then peaceful co-existence is possible.

    None of the above analysis changes the equation though. This long reply is just some food for a debate on this topic! J

    SS


     
  8. soccermom

    soccermom New IL'ite

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    SS - hv given lots of food for thought, but i'd like to say tht try as u might to rationalise it, there's no logical psychological explanation for it. Its just plain sociologically dysfunctional acceptable behaviour fostered by (the great) INDIAN CULTURE tht makes it part of a MILs mental makeup that its OK for them to misbehave & ill-treat their DILs whereas they apply different rules to their daughters & this is what hurts the DILs - a consistent crib with all DILs.

    Thats why this problem is universal to all Indian MILs-DILs - its a social canker like sati or dowry death or untouchability - it been steeped into their collective psyche that its acceptable social behaviour - its just plain horrible the way these people think its ok to grab and feed on the innocence & helplessness/goodness/decency of their DILs and ruin the best early years of their married yrs by their mean, nasty greedy behaviuor - ofcourse all DILs are not blameless, the most nasty needy MILs will train their own daughters to escape all responsibilities as daughters-in-law. Its only their DIL who should be model DILs, the daughters in turn are horrible DILS who give all of us a bad name. So its a social evil that needs to be uprooted across all social strata.
    What say gals - adding more food for thought here.

    Hopeforgood - dont lie down n take this treatment. just let your husband know tht u need to do wht needs to be done - everyone enjoys the benefits of a double income - including ur ILs but then they need to support the DILs - not wait for her to come back exhausted & cook for them - these ppl r ridiculous. I luv the saying I think by ria2006 ( I think) - who said - men & dogs both need to be trained - so housebreak ur boy soon my dear or u'll be mopping up after him forever.
     
  9. CarpeDiem

    CarpeDiem Senior IL'ite

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    hopeforgood - you are right. There are good in-laws out there too. My MIL packs my lunches, cooks dinner, helps around the house and does a tremendous job in taking care of my daughter, since I work full-time. Compared to other in-laws out there I should thank my stars for being lucky in this aspect.

    We generally share a good equation, but there are times in the past where as I mentioned in my starting post, I have been misunderstood. Even though the issues have been sorted out, I generally am more careful around my in-laws in terms of how and what I talk. I also sometimes feel that I am judged by my actions and words and feel the constant need to be a perfect DIL. I know that my in-laws really try and treat me and their daughter equally but I know that my SIL can get away by saying things on her mind and her opinions more freely than I can.

    And as I stated previously in my starting post, I have realized slowly that the only person with whom I can truly be myself is my mom. Even around my husband I am a different person. In fact, it is so sad that I feel more free and open when I am communicating with my friends or cousins as compared to my own hubby. Experience has taught me to choose my words carefully around him, which is not the case when I am talking to others :)

    SS - I like your rationale behind why MILs and DILs think the way they do. Some of it is also just the society make-up and how there is a need for MILs to merge along with the thought process of the current generation. Also, the one thing that will never change is the insecurity they have with DILs in terms of their son. It may decrease over time but it never fully goes away.

    I guess my advice to anyone getting married or someone who is newly married would be to 1)Not go overboard in pleasing in-laws to make a good impression. This may result in very high expectations from you all the time, and sometimes we cannot keep up this "super-nice" behavior for life! Any extreme is bad. 2) Don't expect them to fill in the shoes of your parents 3)Do your duty and think that any interaction with them is a character-building experience for you :)
     
  10. SoaringSpirit

    SoaringSpirit Silver IL'ite

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    Soccermom, thanks for heeding to my call for “food for thought”! Nice to see your views. I agree with you that there can really be no logical explanation that can justify the unreasonable behavior from mils. Feeling of jealousy with the dil is a trait common in mils across the world. It just so happens that our culture is more close-knit as a family. So unfortunately the dil’s in our culture have very little wiggle room.

    I am also in total agreement with you about the fact that many mils (should I say a large majority of them) have double standards when it comes to their own daughter and their dil. Sorry, no intention of offending any mils here. We all know and understand that it takes all kinds to make this world. It is indeed sad that most of the dil’s energy in the early years of marriage is spent fighting this out and creating a place for herself in her husband’s mind.

    As dils I think we all agree that the only effective way we can carve our own place is to be ourselves from the beginning. CarpeDiem, I totally agree with you that we must in no way go overboard in portraying such an image of ourselves that we cannot sustain for lifelong. I think this is the first step that most of the dil’s go wrong with. Patience and tolerance is a virtue but too much of it is a fault. And most of us in the initial years of our marriage happen to be on the side to err than be ourselves. That’s the first place where we set the wrong precedence.

    Being soft, patient, tolerant, giving are great attributes. But we don’t exactly know what proportions of each to exhibit. It is only after years of experience that we learn what was too much and where we need to improve. Sadly, a lot of time is lost in figuring this out. I am totally of the opinion that there is no better alternative to standing up for oneself and strongly putting your foot down in the face of unreasonable behavior. That’s us as dils.

    Now, many years down the road when we become mils are we ready to let go of the attachment towards our sons? I know that most of us will not be financially dependent on the sons, we will be nice to our dils, and we will try not to interfere in their matters. But I think one important part that we must also do is to have a life of our own.

    Many times personal disappointments and dependence in any form is one of the big causes in people expecting the moon from others. Our generation is fortunate to have the opportunity to exercise self-reliance from now itself. For this reason also dil’s should not deprive themselves of the basic things they deserve. Self-respect, self-esteem, freedom to voice your opinion, these are basic things that one must not compromise on. If we are unhappy today we are more likely to carry forward these negative feelings further down the years. Pent up negative feelings are bound to explode one day. And when they do, they take a bad form and have much severe consequences than they would have had, had they been handled at the right time.

    Anyway. I don’t want to digress too much from the original intent of CarpeDiem’s post. J.

    All said and done, Mom is mom. And I know most of us (may be all) will nod our head in unison. Unfortunately, that holds true for the men too. No matter what, their mom will always be the best for them! L

    SS
     

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