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Where do MIL's come from?

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by radhikaaus, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. radhikaaus

    radhikaaus New IL'ite

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    I think it's funny to read so many stories about in laws...the more i read, it seems like MIL's are born on another planet and then appear on this earth suddenly. But the truth is that THEY are US. A lot of us have problems with how close our DHs are with their family and how they keep calling them and telling them everything. Now that we are DILs we sit here and complain and then we have our own sons and they grow up and marry someone and suddenly we are on the other side.

    All these mother-in-laws were just like us once before and all those become the dreaded MILs are people like us only. I am pretty sure a lot of those who complain so much today will be the cause of others complaining in the next generation....if this is not the case, then it must be really true that MILs just materialise suddenly out of thin air from another planet. The truth is that there is something more deeper here...why every generation we go through this drama? We don't like being treated in a particular way and yet when our kids grow up, we want to know waht's going on in their lives, be in charge (so as not to be outdone and thrown out by this new young wife of son) etc etc...There is a more fundamental problem here in our indian society which seemingly magically transforms sweet all-bearing daughter in laws who suffer, into domineering, possessive MILs when it comes to their own son.

    Hope i didnt offend anyone because the more i see indian families, this is what i see is happening. So good luck to all those who will one day be mother in laws although you may be in your 20s now :)
     
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  2. SriVidya75

    SriVidya75 Platinum IL'ite

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    woaaah!! Why these sweeping generalizations????? I guess lot of women who have problems are not worried about their husbands closeness with his parents...(basically thats what even the inlaws and husband think) but the underlying worry of the wife is why cant teh husband give her equal importance and treat her as a family member rather than as a third party???

    If your husband calls his parents and talks in secretive tone, or he shares all his financial details with his parents more than you how does that feel??? If you ask me, I wont have problems if he shares financial details with his parents, but letting me know that information makes me closer to him, makes me feel I am trusted by him, that I am treated as a partner rather than just someone who cooks, cleans and raises kids..

    Not all turn out to be like what you explained. My mom is an example. She had the most horrible inlaws who made her life hell. But my dad stood up by my mom and had cut off his ties with his parents as he saw that my mom was not given respect and was treated as a maid in the house. Now my SILs have the most happiest times of their lives. Even my SILs parents dont do as much as what my mom does for her DILs.

    So again what are these sweeping generalizations about:bonk:bonk

    Again pls...stop making generalizations . Just like bad MILs exist, there are good ones too...You can read lots of posts on such good MILs too..I wont blame MILs for all the bad that happens...the husbands i.e MILs sons are also equally responsible for the way the DIL is being treated. Might be the responsibility lies with the son, to clarify to both of them that both the women are equally important in his life and no entertain any complaints from both sides. Those men who did it, have a happy life, those men who didnt naturally turn out to be the worst inlaws for their DIL.

    Sweetheart...When you say you dont want to offend anyone and post all sweeping generalizations about DILs who post their problems about their inlaws, it does sound a bit funny...because, if there are simple issues every girl can suck it up and move on...but there are some DILs who are being beaten to death by their husbands due to his parents influence but still such DILs keep their mouth shut and want to carry on their married life, so do you have any words for them???

    Pls pls..dont judge anyone who voice out their problems. whatever they are expressing might be just a tip of iceberg and we never know how much pain the other person is in.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2010
  3. swaram

    swaram Senior IL'ite

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    IMO, most of the MIL's who cause problems are the ones who have never experienced those issues from her IL's family when she was the DIL.

    I am basing my opinion on 2 examples. My MIL always lived far away from her MIL/BIL's/SIL's. She lived in north india while her MIL and several BIL's and SIL's lived in south. Apparently every year during summer vacation they will visit in total 1 month and spend time between various houses. It is always easy when you visit each house for 3-4 days a year. In terms of her IL's visiting her - her MIL has visited her for 1 month in the 30+ years they have lived in north india and one BIL visited them for 1 night and one SIL visited them for 1 week. So my IL's family has always been a nuclear family. On top of it there was no phone etc, so there was no opportunity to talk frequently etc. their only communication was through letter and then when they meet for the 4 days every summer. She never experienced any IL's abuse and that is why she doesn't realize the amount of damage she has caused in my married life.

    My second example is my grandmother - she lived in a joint family with her IL's and had experienced a lot of problems from my grandfather, MIL, SIL's. Apparently she kept telling herself that she should treat her DIL's properly and looks like she followed through with her thoughts. I have seen her treat her DIL' well. All her DIL's have told her and some have even told me - your grand mother is the best MIL - she takes care of us so well, even better than our own mother. They also have mentioned that if my grandmother has issues she will talk to them directly.

    These 2 eg. are the basis for my opinion.

    swaram
     
  4. riya123

    riya123 Gold IL'ite

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    Hello Radhika,

    It is not funny.. These are real stories of how women are being treated unfairly.. Many a times ilites have been honestly pointing out even if the poster's behavior is unreasonable to her in-laws..

    If u read the posts carefully, problems arise when in-laws mentality does not match the DIL's mentality.. If MIL and DIL were on the same frequency there wouldn't be friction at all.. They have different values all together..

    As mentioned by srividya, problems are with "why can't DH give me the respect and importance i deserve?.. Am i so insignificant to them".. Pl note that DIL has left back her parents, siblings when she married, only to get treated like a piece of furniture by her in-laws?

    NOT TRUE.. My MIL though being the eldest never looked after her in-laws. my FIL just dances to her tunes.. But all of a sudden family values, rules for DIL got framed when i married my husband.. U can see my initial thread to get a sample of how they treat me ..
    Just because i got unfair treatment, why should i treat future gens unfairly..

    I dont agree with this.. When u dont want anybody to intefere in ur life, how do u urself justify poking into others affairs?..

    sweet all bearing DILs will be sweet all bearing MILs too.. That is their nature..
    Agreed with ur point of "fundamental problem in Indian society" .. ILs interfere because they are allowed to do so by their children.. When a 'Man' gets married , he has to have the courage to tell his parents to not to interfere and manipulate but to respect him and his wife.. But in reality 'Husband' still behaves like a baby to his mommy.. But the girl is expected to be matured enough to
    1. leave her parents, siblings after marriage,
    2. to handle unreasonably interfering/hurting in-laws
    3. to handle a husband who is still a baby to his mommy/daddy
    4. to be prepared to be treated like a vegetable..
    5. Still be loving and caring to her husband
    Can u explain me why is 'Husband' not expected to be matured enough to leave back his parents/siblings (like the girl does) and behave like a grown up man giving his wife enough security, love and care?..

    Hope u now got the " fundamental problem in Indian society"
     
  5. anukv

    anukv Bronze IL'ite

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    it all depends on us on how we manage the relation ships....
    but there are times despite us being good to others does not return good....
    as indians we have to be prepared for anything after marriage..
    thats what i learnt after my marriage...
    keeping quiet is the best solution ...personal experience
     
  6. Anuradha00

    Anuradha00 Bronze IL'ite

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    Hi,

    The fundamental problem is 'insecurity'. Unlike America or Europe where the social / government system is set up to take care of the seniors and the elderly, India still lags far behind. In our country, the elders are taken care of by their children. The extent of their social and financial support (if they do not get pension etc) is determined by the extent to which their adult children are prepared to support them. Many Indian parents also spend mindlessly on their children during the children's young age without thinking about their own retirement or old age and planning for the time when they will be living on reduced or no income of their own and the medical problems that might crop up in old age. So, their situation is really bad when they get 60+. In most cases, given our patriarchal society, majority of support is expected from married, adult sons. This many wives do not like or appreciate. The inlaws fear that the sons listening to the wives will abandon them and leave them on their own. This fear makes parents-in-law especially mother-in-law want to retain 'control' over the sons so that she is not thrown out or disregarded in her old age when she is most vulnerable and needy.

    Sons should understand this and make sure that the parents are made to feel wanted, loved and respected even after their marriages. Just like their wives will be emotionally available to her parents after marriage too, husbands should also make sure to be emotionally available to his parents too. Wives should realize this and not have complaints if husbands continue to be close to parents. Sons should let parents know that the presence of a wife will make no difference to the sons where care for elderly parents is concerned. Once the parents feel secure the in-law problems we read about will not appear. Wives should also understand that just like they want to take care of their parents husband also have a duty and right to take care of his parents. Mothers should understand that just like she wanted to be first in her own husband's life her son's wife will also want to be first in her son's life. Both women should practice give-and-take or both will be miserable and unhappy. Of course it is son's duty to make sure that wife is respected by his mother and that the mother also respects wife.

    I have a son. So I will be mother-in-law to a daughter-in-law one day. I am raising my son with right values and priorities. I am also making sure that my husband and I will not be dependent on his financially when we are old. We are planning to settle in US so we will get Social security and medicare. So all we will expect from son is emotional support and availability during our times of sickness etc. We will be non interfering inlaws and will understand that wife and kids will come first for him when he gets married but we will definitely expect him to take care of us when we need him too. Hopefully daughter-in-law will be broadminded and fair and have no problem with that. If she does then son has to tell her what is what.

    I don't understand this argument that daughters-in-law has left her family etc. This might be true in olden days but it is not true these days. Many families live far away, even in other countries, so question of leaving parents and siblings etc apply to both men and women and not just to women. More so because women keep in constant touch with their families through phone / email etc while men maybe calling their parents and siblings say only once in two weeks or so. Women also know their rights these days and don't take nonsense from inlaws. Women in nuclear families often act as heads of their own households. When they go on vacation to native place also, they spend majority of time with their own parents and not their in-laws! So I am not understanding the argument that women have left their families while men have not etc. Also how can daughter-in-law be ill treated by dominating inlaws etc if they stay far away from husband's family and rarely see them and only speak to them once in a week or so?
     
  7. SriVidya75

    SriVidya75 Platinum IL'ite

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    Anuradha

    Just want to add my opinion too..its not just people who dont get pension or do not have financial support, its basically the nature of the person that determines this behaviour towards their DIL.

    I know inlaws who are very well settled, do not depend on their sons for financial support, ...that becomes another reason to taunt and point out the DIL..they expect that the DIL and her parents should fall on these inlaws feet as the inlaws are not dependant on the DIL for anything..however finally my opinion is...its not all just aobut money its the basic beleif system...some inlaws have this tremendous pride of being the boys parents, want to be respected by everyone from the DILs side....doesnt matter even if that person is related to the DIL directly or not:) like the DILs friends/neighbours:biglaugh

    Just because they gave birth to a son, and that son married a girl so that girl should always fall on the feet of the inlaws and never ever talk about her own self respect. The main clash comes in when the DIL talks about self-respect..thats the dreadful word for such inlaws and the sons of such inlaws.

    Such inlaws put a great show on how great their daughter is good at studies or job etc, but the same greatness when exhibited by DIL makes them feel very jealous and overbearing to an extent where they would start taunting the DIL that she is too self centered or selfish and not a good home maker or not a good DIL or not a good wife...so its about that hypocrite behaviour...say something..but behave/act something else.

    Koool seems like you are my husbands twin sister !! because he too always had this question how can the husbands parents involve in the DILs life when they are far away!

    I will tell you how can they....if the DIL tries to keep calm and not talk much...they ask is there any problem why is she not talking?? (now that triggers a fight b/w husband and wife as husband thinks the wife is illtreating his parents..), if the girl talks freely and shares stuff , the inlaws say she is too bossy or overactive or ask a doubt on who is teaching her all this stuff her parents??? (now that makes the husband insecure and starts fighting with her , about her/her parents...now really whether her parents are involvedor not who knows..!!), if the girls parents dont call the girls inlaws..again inlaws create a scene (sitting in a diff. country) they call up their son and say ohhh see how much respect we give to our daughters inlaws..and see how you are not respected at all by your wifes' parents!1

    My best friends example..she had enoughtime b/w her engagement and marriage. She tried her best to build a relationship iwth her inlaws as she would be leaving to US immediately after her wedding. She was the most talkative girl I ever knew, makes friends quickly. Guess what she got after all that relationship building....her inlaws told her husband that she was just trying to butter up her inlaws because if she didnt they would have cancelled the marriage!! what a crappy thought those inlaws have!! so its those corrupt minds...no matter what you say / do..nothing is good for them...nothing is enough for them..basically its their insecurity....fear of unknown...they cant pin point whey they do what they do....its just that they want to be right (inspite of they knowing the fact that they are wrong), just that they want to boss around in the name of being elders/parents of the son.

    I can give you thousands of such examples. Most of all..more than the parents i blame the meek husbands who just nod their heads to everything their parents say because if the husband can just ask them to keep their mouth shut or ask them to stopinterfering or passing comments on everything the girl / her parents do..most of the issues can be solved..so can the husbands do that??? NO!!!

    Bottom line...How do you know the signs that your inlaws(MIL/FIL/SIL/BIL) are interferring in your married life???When the husband starts getting their names in every discussion/argument/fight you both have and the name calling and accusations happen on the wife! Wife is being treated as the reason for every thing that happens in the household of those above people...(pls ignore the good things that happen..as the DIL of the house is never ever given any credit for any good things that happen in the household)

    Miraculously...such husbands dont share a bit with their parents about their life before marriage, but as soon as they are married, they have to share every damn thing that happens in their life and pay attention to every tantrum their parents throw at them! no wonder they have turbulent marriages...
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
  8. Anuradha00

    Anuradha00 Bronze IL'ite

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    Hi Srividya,

    There may be some bad eggs who will find fault with daughter-in-law whatever the case. I am not discussing such people. I am talking about people who are otherwise ok by nature and personality.

    One biggest problem is financial and emotional insecurity on mothers-in-law part. Most middle class Indian families do depend on their adult sons for support. This is the first issue that makes in-laws insecure. Second issue is even if there is no financial dependence then there will still emotional dependence on sons (as also daughters). They are usually afraid that son's wife might limit son's calls or visits to his parents (mothers especially) or become more distant or become more preoccupied with his wife. When the son after marriage does start giving due importance to wife, mother starts getting worried. As you yourself say in your post why husbands should suddenly start sharing everything with their parents, many wives do have problems with hubbies calling their families frequently and sharing details of family life with the parents. This is actually double standard on wife's part because most women (me included) do call our parents more frequently and tell them everything that happens in the house! I think you will agree that some women treat their own parents differently from their in-laws. This may or may not be deserved but this is fact. When husband's mother realizes that wife's parents are getting all info on son's family life and are more involved in son's life they think their daughter-in-law's parents are dominating so clashes happen between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law.

    Not sure if this is a compliment or castigation because I don't know your relationship with your husband's sister. Hopefully it is good, if it is not good, then I do not know why I am being compared to a bad sister-in-law!


    I think I told clearly in previous post that it is up to the husband to ensure that his mother respects his wife and his wife respects the mother. Just like the wife acts as a bridge between her own parents and her husband so also the husband has to act as a bridge between his parents and wife. If this does not happen then simple misunderstandings will build into full blown fights and many relationships will be destroyed. I also think you are generalizing a lot that no husband tells his parents to not interfere in his marriage etc. Many husbands do play a good bridge role so the few husbands who allow their parents to mistreat their wives should be not taken as example of how husbands generally throw their wives under their parents' bus!
     
  9. SriVidya75

    SriVidya75 Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear

    I am not generalizing..I have explained about the problematic inlaws and how their interference starts/effects the marriage...Yes just like every coin has 2 sides...there are inlaws who are good and also the other set who are bad...same goes with spouses too..

    I understood & appreciate your points of view...
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
  10. riya123

    riya123 Gold IL'ite

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    Hi Anuradha,

    The statement that women do leave their parents after marriage is for the sake of her husband and that very husband - his family treats her as being unimportant to them..How correct is this kind of treatment?.. For the Men leaving their parents would be mostly for their career reasons and not for the sake of his wife or her family..

    well, Women do know their rights but many a times are made to take non-sense from in-laws when the husband is insensitive towards his wife.. U can see many threads here which say husband's heart melts if his mom is hurt but just doesn't care if the wife is being hurt by his parents..

    It is upto them whom they want to visit and for how long they want to visit them..

    Again, the wife leaves her parents for the husband after marriage.. Husband leaves his parents for career purposes not for his wife.. But for a healthy marriage both husband and wife should devote their efforts equally.. Husband cannot be insensitive towards his wife only to make his parents feel secure..

    This part srividya has explained it better.. Also u can see some threads of how in-laws tried to take control of the son's and daughter in laws' financial savings though they stayed far away from each other.. Or demand an apology from DIL for giving them american breakfast during their visit to their son's place..
     

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