An email: “I find it very hard to forgive my husband for all that happened at the time of my delivery.”

Sharing an email. What would be the traditional advice for Troubled? Do you agree with that advice? Why or why not?
Dear IHM,

If possible, do put this letter up on your blog so I can know the opinions of your readers.
I’ve been married for three years and I have a one-year-old daughter. My husband and I had a semi-arranged marriage, meaning our parents introduced us but we dated for a while – about six months before getting married. In that time, we really got to know each other and I had no qualms about making the decision. After marriage, too, I was very happy with him as he’s understanding, supportive, and gets me. I adore my FIL but my MIL is a bit of a dicey customer. She works for a women’s rights NGO but is quite patriarchal herself even though these characteristics come out only when my husband and FIL are out of earshot. I was aware of her nature somewhat before marriage but didn’t give too much thought to it – my father paid for the wedding and since he’s financially way better off than my in-laws are and he was very particular about the sort of things he wanted done, I did not object. However, I didn’t like my MIL demanding that he pick a very expensive decor, give gifts to her relatives etc. It’s true that my dad offered to pay for the wedding, but it was with the understanding that he’d do it the way he wanted to. My view was that if she wanted some things done, she should have paid for it. She’s all the time concerned about what all her relatives will say and is constantly trying to impress them. I didn’t make this into an issue because we live in different cities and I wouldn’t have to put up with her for long stretches. Besides, my father wasn’t feeling financially pressurized because of this, so I let it go.
After marriage, my husband and I decided to wait for a year before having kids. The subtle and not-so-subtle questions started then, with my MIL even hinting that I could be infertile even though my husband told her that we weren’t trying. I didn’t make this into an issue either though I was pretty pissed. I began noticing that she’d all the time try to put down my mother as an ignorant person who doesn’t know to cook or follow traditions etc. This was very strange to me because both families have known each other for a while and were supposed to be atheists. I knew only after marriage that my MIL prays, goes to temples etc and likes to follow some traditions – I have no issues with this but then she started acting like my mum and I were people with no ‘culture’ etc etc. It was all very irritating, especially because my mum is an intelligent lady who manages her life pretty well and my MIL is so influenced by her numerous relatives that she hardly thinks for herself.
Things came to a head when I became pregnant and my mum and she ended up in my house at the time of delivery. My MIL was quite angry that I chose to stay with my husband (not in my in-laws place, we live in our own house) and did not go to my parents’ place as is the custom. My husband and I had explained to her our reasons for this. She was angry with my parents that they ‘let’ me do this and thought they were not going to pay for my delivery as is the custom. Actually, my father had already transferred money to my account saying it was his present for his grandchild – I did not object to this as he’d said I could invest it in the child’s name and he was doing this out of his own will. He’s made such gifts to my brother as well earlier. Later, I came to know from my mum that in one of the instances that my in-laws had met my parents, my MIL was very rude and my father slipped in the information that he’d actually transferred this money to cover costs for my delivery and then she became cordial again. I was furious when I learnt about this – with my father as well as my MIL – and I returned the money to him as I didn’t want a price on my self respect. I spoke to my husband about this and he in turn questioned his parents. They gave him the impression that all this was a misunderstanding etc etc and that everything was fine. But my MIL was furious with my mum and me for daring to tell the truth to her son.
The delivery itself was very complicated because of these reasons. My MIL was being really nasty to my mum and I was witness to these unpleasant face-offs. She’d be all sugary when my husband would come home from work. I didn’t want to tell him all this and cause further trouble, so I kept quiet. But my days in the hospital were a nightmare. My MIL insisted that I wasn’t producing milk, even though I was producing colostrum, and created a big drama about how her grandchild was being starved etc. She used to literally yell at my mum in front of me (but not my husband), saying she doesn’t know anything about pregnancy/delivery etc and she was the only one who knew everything and so on – though my mum had two normal deliveries and brought up her kids herself. My MIL had two C-secs and her kids were brought up by her mother for the first five years or so. I put up with all this because I thought my husband would stand by me but I realized that he too was getting influenced by her opinions and acting like my mum was an ignoramus. Apparently (and I came to know this later), she’d been telling him that my mum was rude to her, treated her badly etc while it was the other way round.
My husband has a soft corner for his mother because she’s a heart patient and has suffered major health problems previously. Also, she still babies him a lot. But I never expected that he’d be irrational when it came to dealing with her. My MIL caught a cold when the baby was really small and I didn’t want her to handle the baby and infect it… but she made it seem as if this was my way of ill-treating her whatever. To my shock, my husband sided with her and said I was being ‘inhuman’. We had major fights in this period because of issues like this and after suffering through a long labour and a C-sec, I went to bed almost every night in tears. My MIL wanted to do religious things with the baby when I’d made it clear that I was not cool with this. I really couldn’t put up with a lot of her childcare suggestions which were all based on superstition and nonsense. I could have tolerated it if she’d been nice otherwise but I couldn’t take it in combination with all the ruckus she created. Finally, my husband and I decided that we wouldn’t side with either set of parents and that we’d remain a single unit that’s cordial with both sets.
After the parents left, my husband and I talked to each other sensibly and rationally about all these issues. He has come around and understood that his mother was at fault for many of these episodes. The soft corner remains but he does not behave in an irrational way just because she says something. He has been very supportive in raising our child and he has also taken steps to keep his mum’s influence minimal. However, I find it very hard to forgive him for all that happened at the time of my delivery. He saw me go through so much pain and yet, it was his mother he was concerned about when all hell broke loose. I don’t think I can ever forgive him for it, especially because I put up with all her jibes and comments earlier thinking I shouldn’t bother him with such trivialities when he didn’t show me the same concern. I feel like my relationship with him has changed and I’m not able to regard him with the same respect that I used to have. There is no problem or something between us now, but I just feel a little cold inside. Like something has died out. I’d like to know what your readers feel about this situation and what they think I should do about it.
– Troubled
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69 thoughts on “An email: “I find it very hard to forgive my husband for all that happened at the time of my delivery.”

  1. Been there.. once respect is lost it’s very hard to gain it back…. but the positive out of this is that your husband has realised that his mother was wrong.. what needs to be seen is how he reacts in future…



  2. The fact that your husband sat with you after the storm passed and both of you sorted out everything is a great example of a mature relationship.
    There are times when we do not see logic when things go out of hand. It is a cascading effect where people keep hurting each other more. Thankfully, you guys did not succumb to it.
    I think you should look forward. The real culprit here is not your husband. He realizes that there have been mistakes and is careful that they don’t happen again. There are very few people who can be that rational.
    And I think you have learnt your lessons too. The fact that you kept ignoring your mum-in-law’s behavior towards you and your family also led to this situation. If your husband was aware of how she was treating everyone behind his back, maybe he would have acted in a more reasonable way during the crisis.


    • “I think you should look forward”. I agree.
      But I think she has tried to do it and failed.They talked- it has helped him move on, but she’s still stuck and feeling resentful.
      The wise thing for her would be to tell him that she’s still pissed. The smart thing for him would be to make it up to her in some way specifically to mitigate the unfairness that she feels- a holiday/surprise- even if he feels he acted the way he did because he was in the dark.
      Call it ‘mana-oing’ or ‘give and take’.
      But the best cure for one-sided resentment is extra generosity on the other’s part. 🙂 It only becomes a problem if the roles of ‘rutna’ and ‘manana’ become fixed.


  3. Hi Monami,

    I can understand what you went through, but to err is human nature and to forgive is divine. Let go off your past dear as your husband realized and corrected his mistake. Being cold is not gonna do good for either of you. On a long run you are gonna have strained relationship if you cant let go off your past. Just go on a trip with your husband for few days. Try looking at the best side of him, cherish the best moments you have spent togather. Talk about things that interests both of you. Give him hints to pamper you and love u soon your coldness will fade away……



    • I agree. I think your husband deserves respect for changing his thinking and that the agreement you’ve come to will make for a harmonious marriage and great parenting. In my own experience, it takes a lot for a man to overcome emotional bonds with and pressure from his mother and firmly support his wife. You need sympathy too for what you had to go through at a very difficult time, emotionally and physically, and it’s no wonder that you still feel bitter about it. But I feel in the long run you will be much better off for letting it go. In the end, we are all human and deserve forgiveness for our mistakes, especially if we genuinely atone for them.


  4. Unforgiveness is a heavy burden for you to bear. I would say to forgive him as best you can for your own sake, not for his. Forgive, but don’t forget. Forgiveness may be divine, but forgetting is just plain stupid.


    • Forgiveness may be divine, but forgetting is just plain stupid.

      Not true at all.

      Sometimes, some things must be forgotten, in order to move forward. Sometimes, people find it very hard to forgive certain things. In such cases, those things need to be forgotten in everyday dealings, if anything beyond co-existence is to be achieved.

      This does not mean that the incident should be purged from memory completely. Rather, it should be purged from daily responses to another person.

      Separating an otherwise excellent, improved person from their past honest mistakes, even when such mistakes are so damaging that they cannot be forgiven, is an act that can be vital to success in a relationship.


      • I agree with Praveen. I think ability to forget is a boon from gods. My husband is the kind who forgets(I am really nasty when I am angry), and I am the kind who remembers every little thing from day 1 of our marriage. While this ability(to remember everything) helps me during the fights, by the end of the day he can sleep but I cannot! 🙂


        • hahhaa…so true…i am also somewhat like this…later on i realized that it is me who is loosing out on my health and peace of mind


  5. Your husband is not god. He has no way of knowing what your side of the story was if you never told him. You simply decided to keep quiet and put up with stuff and yet expected your husband to stand by you on an issue he was not aware of. And then you get cold on him when he displayed his ignorance of the issue. Methinks you are being unreasonable. This was partly your own fault, though the bulk of the fault lies at your mother in law’s door. Maybe this will teach you to be more open with your spouse and not put up with things because you feel some alien will come and tell your husband exactly how things stand.


  6. Troubled,

    Let me start by saying that I do not feel you should be very troubled at this point.

    Now by this, I do not mean to imply that your issue is trivial. Far from it. Mutual respect is by far one of the hardest things to build and sustain in a long-term relationship, be it marriage or a business partnership. It is also one of the easiest things to break. It takes only a single act of insensitivity to deal it a blow so severe that you may not be able to go back to the way things were, for decades hence.

    In your case, the insensitivity came at a particularly unfortunate time. Your marriage was still young, and the stress of pregnancy (and childbirth) was taking a toll. You were already annoyed by the blatant disrespect that your MIL demonstrated towards your own parents, and to some extent, you.
    At a time when you really needed and expected your husband to fight your corner a bit, he sided with someone who you felt was being irrational, domineering and generally nasty to you.

    In light of this, it is not surprising at all that you feel the way you do. I would go so far as to say that it is a fairly normal response, considering your (quite fair) expectations from the marriage and the protagonists involved.

    However, the endeavor should perhaps be to move towards responses that are a little less normal and a little more healthy. Your husband, whatever his faults in the past, has after all displayed this sort of atypically healthy response. You are not obligated to reciprocate, but in the interests of deriving greater happiness and support from a relationship that seems destined for success, you should perhaps try.

    It does not help to clam up. You say that you do not have a problem. I respectfully disagree. What you do not have is conflict. Although that in itself is a good thing, I think it is imperative that you communicate your feelings to your husband in a manner that is non-judgmental, forward-looking, and positive. This is not really an issue of formal forgiveness, but rather an issue of resolving nagging doubts and distrust. If you are to reach your full potential as a couple, these doubts must be eliminated as far as possible.

    As I’m sure you know, relationships do require a bit of work from both parties. This sounds like a marriage that could benefit from such work. Take steps to restore trust. Do more things together. Spend quality time together. Take the time to have long, meaningful talks about where you are heading, and where you are.

    You both seem exceptional individuals, and I am confident that you will find it in you to forget, if not forgive, and reach great heights as a tight-knit team.

    Here’s wishing you the very best.



  7. Insensitivity meted out to you when you are pregnant/post-partum are the hardest to forget. I can understand your coldness.. after all you’re going through so much and all he has to do is stand by you.. however, I think coldness will not help you whatsoever.. you are again keeping quiet when you are indeed feeling very angry.. have an honest talk with your husband, and in the future don’t expect him to understand your POV. Deal whatsoever or whomsoever you want to deal with first hand and not second hand(through him).. you stand up to your MIL, don’t expect him to do that work for you..


    • I completely agree. I think a lot of the OP’s feelings stem from the fact that she’s ‘missed out’ on the happiness and joy that she thinks should have been prevailing in her house at the time of her baby’s birth.
      IMHO the unfortunate timing of the conflict seems to bother her more than the conflict itself.

      The first thing to do is acknowledge that all though it was an unpleasant time,this scenario is not so uncommon that you have to feel bad that you missed out on something.
      The second thing is to talk to your husband again, and explain that you still have resentment – and work out a way to ‘compensate’ you – a trip away as someone suggested , is a good idea.
      The third thing to do would be to carefully choose who will be around for the next birth (if you’re planning another baby)- and make it clear to your families that you have a veto on this, as the first time around was spoilt for you.

      I think your husband sounds like a reasonable man, but as before, is still not ‘updated’ enough with the facts to act the way you want him to. If you continue to keep him in the dark about the resentment you still feel , he will not be able to make it up to you. Give him a chance to do so by telling him.

      P.S I think you still nurture a lot of leftover resentment from your wedding too. You have to talk it out or let it go- keeping it bottled up isn’t healthy for you.


  8. Please don’t take my comments otherwise and try to understand and I really don’t want to offend you….first of all if you had already made it clear that you are not traditional, come what may you and your parents would have stuck to it….why should your parents bear for all you MIL’s wishes in the name of traditions….once you bow in you dig your grave yourself…after the marriage too an adult child male or female has no right to depend on parents for anything, like delivery etc….nowhere in constitution it is written that delivery expenses has to be borne out by girl’s parents….I wonder how could you or your mother bear the insults meted out by MIL when it was first instance…it was only because, somewhere in the heart of the heart, your mother herself is of the view that she is traditionally inferior to MIL….instead of blaming anybody we should have a strong will not to bow in for wrong doings and have put a brave face….even if your parents are well off they have right to spend according to their wishes, whenever they want, wherever they want…you yourself have to be strong for it, others will not give your rights in charity….if your husband is rational, he is ought to understand….respect is earned, not demanded or given artificially…


  9. Hi Troubled,

    I get it, more so because i m going thru a similar situation if not as serious as yours(no kid in picture) my boyfriend-now-husband’s mother(and her entourage) created a big public scene at my place ,real nasty towards me and my mom .My husband did not “do” anything abt it. off course he didn’t take his moms side …he expressed his displeasure towards his family..with silence nd in actions(like every other person expresses in a dysfunctional family, i just don’t get why these people don’t “talk” among themselves !!) Any ways from then on..he did stand by me and agreed with me completely when i said “not to expect me to look after/entertain their parents in future” . He is and will be the person i love the most .But his inactions do take a toll on how i “respond” to him. Its Good But never Great. I did try to work things out…he complies . still the issue remains, the problem here is he never initiates to communicate he never initiates to make amends…nd hence what ever i do, its never enough. Because that mutual respect is broken from his side, its his job to make amends, just agreeing to being on my side is just not enough. he needs to do a lot more to “undo” the hurt and “regain” the self respect.So, I am telling you what i tell myself, Be Patient. Help him to communicate better and be patient as long as you can bare to be in the name of love !! 🙂 and happy motherhood…!


  10. It’s amazing what a baby can heal. Focus on the kid and rediscover each other through experiences you have with your child together. (It’s hard enough making marriage work, it’s harder making parenthood work with a good relationship with the spouse .. so it will be a lot of hard work but it’s a different route to rediscovering each other and moving on.)


    • A baby’s job is not to heal it’s parents’ marriage and relationship. It’s a terribly unfair burden to put on a young child.

      Parents are the adults and need to sort out their issues to be emotionally available for their child. No parent can focus in a healthy way on their child when their own relationships with the other parent are messed up.


    • The first line itself sounds all wrong to me because I have seen cousins in similar situation.3 babies did nothing to ‘heal anything. Sorry, but thats the truth.


      • Starsinmeyes: But parents have a great oppty to create new memories and experiences around a kid together. Healing takes time and time gives the gift of opportunities to create new memories. Hence babies can help.

        Aarti, Just like Your 3 cousins, I know couples including myself whose relationship with their spouses got stronger because the parents worked together to create that. Agreed its much harder in this situation but every Indian woman out there has a story of this nature somewhere to share, be it with In laws who messed up weddings or relatives that ruin relationships. everyone i meet seems to have these tucked down history somewhere. And I also know of many that have confronted, discussed , changed and lead wonderful lives together years after their heart burns.

        Again, time throws new opportunities and like I said new memories help slowly move past ugly old ones. In this case that comes in the form of a new baby!

        There’s tons of advice in this forum on how to think of what the husband did and reconcile or not with it. This response is about considering options that may not be visible while in the midst of the storm, an option that’s worked for many with hard work!


        • “Babies don’t have jobs and no one expects them to fix relationships! That’s not what’s been said.” The first part o the response to Starsinmeye that got deleted accidentally.


  11. Dust away the past and move on ; The fact that your spouse has realized his mother’s follies is a good enough reason to cast away the cold feeling. Also since you never told him about all the niggling issues till the fracas at the time of delivery only means that he was in the dark and would have been influenced. I am surprised that you actually went through all the taunts without confiding in him. It would have changed the course of things.But the bright part is he has changed and is supportive, understanding and has put an end to being influenced. Look ahead girlie ; spread love and see how it doubles back 🙂


  12. While some people may say ‘oh well, at least he isn’t too bad for an Indian mommy’s boy,’ I’ll take a completely different stance. How do you know that he won’t do the same thing in another conflict? Regardless of what he says, you can’t be too sure until such a situation presents itself and he can prove that he’s changed (or trying to change). Until then, you’ll be a bit alert and wary, it’s only natural.

    You should definitely talk to him and let him know that he’s lost respect, and he’s going to have to earn it back. The only thing that can help is time, effort, and perhaps couples therapy (which I would recommend). Some accusations (such as calling someone ‘inhuman’) cannot be taken back easily. You guys should also decide what you’re going to do if/when you have another child. My suggestion is–tell the MIL that she isn’t welcome to give her advice. Do not sugar coat it.

    While conceiving a child requires an egg and a sperm, producing a child requires nine months of nurturing a foreign body, ruining your own body in the process, and taking a large physical and psychological toll that’s immeasurable. I’m surprised you didn’t tell his mother to ‘shove off lady! I’m the one pushing out a massive soccer ball out of a tiny space, and you’re ruining my calm zone.’


    • How do you know that he won’t do the same thing in another conflict?

      The OP has hinted at it here:

      The soft corner remains but he does not behave in an irrational way just because she says something. He has been very supportive in raising our child and he has also taken steps to keep his mum’s influence minimal.

      To me, this seems to imply that his response has not been a mere shrug and an apology. Rather, he has been more proactive in trying to ensure his wife’s independence, proactive enough to satisfy the OP.

      You should definitely talk to him and let him know that he’s lost respect, and he’s going to have to earn it back.

      With all due respect, I don’t see this as a particularly helpful attitude. He doesn’t have to do anything at all, and neither does the OP. Any actions that either of them take will stem purely from the desire to strengthen an otherwise good relationship.

      In such a scenario, it is imperative to focus on the problems themselves, and not succumb to the temptation of laying accusations or ultimatums.

      I find your following sentence (about ‘time, effort and couples therapy’) much better.


      • While I agree with most of your comment, I’m not quite sure I agree with this:

        Any actions that either of them take will stem purely from the desire to strengthen an otherwise good relationship.

        It can’t be a good relationship if she is still struggling with the effects of his previous behaviour, if she can’t forgive him, or forget what he did (or didn’t do). It can go back to being a mutually respectful relationship once they talk about her feelings and what they can both do to solve the problem. But, I don’t see it as a good relationship right now if she feels the way she does.


        • It can’t be a good relationship if she is still struggling with the effects of his previous behaviour, if she can’t forgive him, or forget what he did (or didn’t do).

          Hence the ‘otherwise’ in the part of my comment you quoted. 🙂

          Perhaps the comment was a bit poorly phrased; the general idea was that apart from this hitch, things seem quite good, which should be a motivating factor to get rid of this particular hitch as far as possible.


      • Well, she did write ‘ I feel like my relationship with him has changed and I’m not able to regard him with the same respect that I used to have.’ And I do think he needs to earn back her respect in order for them to have a healthier relationship. This isn’t about accusing him–more like letting him know where he stands. It’s better to do it than let the resentment fester.

        I also think that the husband’s behavior in this scenario was a major breach of trust (not a minor hitch).


        • This isn’t about accusing him–more like letting him know where he stands

          It comes down to more or less the same thing. You may frame it in terms of letting him know where he stands, but you are essentially accusing him of destroying trust (whether this accusation is justified is not the point), and asking him to make amends for the same.

          It’s better to do it than let the resentment fester.

          I do not deny this. My point being, of course, that it is probably even better to not do it and find a more helpful way to express your feelings.

          I also think that the husband’s behavior in this scenario was a major breach of trust (not a minor hitch).

          I did not claim it was a minor hitch. I am not sure where you got that from.


  13. One of the most basic things in marriage is honest communication. If one partner always swallows his or her anger, how is the other one supposed to know what is going on? Some people can sense a problem merely by being in the same room with you, others need clear facts, told in a reasonable manner.

    I have made the experience that especially among us women there is the misconception “If he truly loved me, he would see how I suffer without me having to tell him”. Wrong. Totally unrealistic. Many men have no idea what is going on if nobody tells them, not because they are stupid or insensitive to our problems but because they have a different way to deal with such situations. (No offence meant to any gender here, I know this is a slight generalization. 😉 I just saw it happen more often with women suffering in silence and expecting hubby to magically read their thoughts than the other way round.)

    Meaning, if things bother you, don’t swallow it all until you erupt in frustration and surprise everyone with the sudden vehemence of your feelings. Tell him straight away, without accusing him. Share your point of view with him. He is no telepath. He can’t read your mind and if he doesn’t know there is an issue, he can’t help you to solve it. Most important, don’t stick to the past. It’s over and can’t be changed anymore. Focus on the future instead.


  14. Child birth in Indian families is also seen like a family activity and sometimes the paternal grandparents step over their limits because of the virtue of being A MAN”S PARENTS.

    But just like they need to know and acknowledge you and your spouse as a unit,so do you.SO do not let issues with other people affect your perception of each other.All of us make mistakes,if he has accepted his,made amends you must also look forward and if you ever have another baby make sure every one’s roles and participation is decided and conveyed before hand.

    cheers !!


  15. There has already been plenty of good advice in this forum in response to your situation. However, I’m not so sure about some suggestions asking you to get over it or telling you not to feel troubled or angry. It’s not a switch that you can turn on or off. If you are feeling angry and disappointed with your husband then that’s the way you feel. It’s no more in your control than it’s in anyone else’s control.

    You are understandably wounded that your husband did not trust you and did not stand by you in your hour of need. As other people have suggested, a more open non-confrontational communication with your husband regarding the way you feel is one of the ways in which you can try to move forward. If your husband also responds openly in the same manner, then that will definitely help the healing process a lot.

    Another thing you can try is the ‘tout comprendre c’est tout pardonner’ stuff (Understanding is the key to forgiveness). Try to put yourself in his shoes. What if it had been the other way around? What if it had been your mother insulting your MIL (in your absence)? What if you had absolutely no evidence of it except the conflicting accounts given by your husband and your mother? What if your mother had been a heart patient? Would you have trusted your husband or your mother? How would you have reacted? Would you have reacted differently than him? If yes, try to find out from him why he did not react that way. Try to find out why he did not trust your statements the way you might have trusted him. If you are able to understand his motivations, then you might be able to go a little further in forgiving him and healing your wound.

    However it’s usually a rocky road to forgiveness. If talking to him also does not help, try to bring in a third party…either a psychiatrist (to help deal with your own feelings) or a marriage counselor (to help deal with the underlying issues that has caused this rift). We all have just one life and it’s a short life. It’s a pity if we end up living this life under the shadow of past grudges or past wrongs. Hope you find an appropriate resolution to your feelings soon.


  16. 1 The folks who stand by you through childbirth are ones you will love for the rest of your life. And similarly the other way. Possibly because this is the most intense experience you are likely to have.
    2. Very few people can pull off having both sets of parents together. The main requirement is maturity on the part of all four of the old folks and no power struggles. So unless you are sure of this, you are setting yourself up for disaster.
    3. Pardon my saying this but it seems like you want to have your cake and eat it too. I tend to be biased towards folks who finance their own lives – wedding, childbirth and all other jazz once they are grown adults capable of earning, and not pile on to their old folks irrespective of financial positions. Just my prejudice, but hey you asked for readers’ opinions 😉


    • I absolutely agree on point no. 1,the lady who was a household help and who stood by me after my delivery and looked after my baby and me the first few months has a special place in both my daughter’s life and my life.


  17. I think you need to communicate your feelings and state of mind to your husband. It’s understandable that you are feeling let down by him. It seems that he now understands this too. Feeling cold inside is not the kind of life you deserve. There is still a long road ahead of you in this marriage. So if you want to make it work, for your own happiness, then talk to him. Get some couple’s counselling. It’s very difficult to have an objective discussion when it involves conflict with a close person like one’s own mother. It will help to have a professional person guide you through this. Also, the entire lead-up to the main event seems to be missing communication between you two and perhaps a professional will help you guys open the communication lines too.

    I would definitely recommend against letting the coldness fester. While the husband may not even notice it, you will definitely have a miserable time putting up a normal face and feeling like that inside.


    • Also, if you expect your husband to stand by you then you need to stand by yourself a bit more too. Be assertive. Don’t accept seemingly small insults towards yourself and your family if you don’t want to receive bigger ones! Ideally you should probably have put a stop to this when your MIL asked your dad to spend on things she wanted for the wedding, but it’s never too late really. Remember, people learn how to treat you based on how you let them treat you.


  18. This is harassment. You are right to be angry with your husband and every self respected and dignified woman would have done the same. Having said that, I feel you should sit and talk with your husband and tell him what you don’t like. It’s high time both him and your MIL respect your views and right to privacy.


  19. Dear Troubled,

    Why do you think you feel resentful? I know that when people don’t fully validate what I felt, when they don’t acknowledge my pain, and they put too much emphasis on ‘moving on’, then I continue to feel resentful.
    When someone’s ‘sorry’ is more to get away from their negative feelings (guilt) rather than a true sorry (I wish I hadn’t done that – I see now how what I did hurt your feelings), I feel resentful.
    I need closure before I can move on. I need that someone who hurt me to acknowledge what I felt in that moment.

    Whole hearted validation is the most powerful tool in healing hurt feelings. Perhaps the discussion you and your husband had dwelt too much on ‘looking ahead’ and ‘problem solving’ as opposed to simply acknowledging. Your husband sounds like a good person. But we all find it hard to deal with someone’s pain – we all say things like “It’s okay” (it’s NOT okay!). “Don’t cry.” (Why not?!). “Let’s make things better.” (That’s not the point!)” Instead we should be saying, “Let it all out. I’ll be here for you. I promise.”

    Tell your husband how you feel. Tell him what you went through before and how it hurt. Don’t blame him (avoid ‘because you did this’). Use a lot of I-statements. (I felt isolated. I felt undermined in my mothering capabilities. I felt stressed trying to settle disputes between our parents. I felt cheated out of my happy time with my baby.) Notice how none of them point the finger at him, and bring the focus back to you. So rather than being defensive, he will truly understand what it was like for you. So that when he does say sorry, he will really mean ‘I wish that didn’t happen – I’m sorry you had to go through that.’.

    If you have a genuine talk and he truly understands and validates how you feel, you feel a weight lifting from your chest. Both you and your husband will be free of the past and this experience will make you closer.



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  21. I might be a bit young, with underdeveloped understanding of marital issues. But I have to admit, that they should put this post in sensitization program for husbands, if any.

    I have not read all the comments above either, because doing so would influence my review. So what I say is this:

    Most of the Indian boys are mumma’s boys, I read that in a psychology textbook somewhere. But given the right partner, they mature and become more open. Adorable how your husband at least listened.

    That said, I think the ‘respect’ bit can only come gradually. It is not really lost ( or maybe that is what I want to believe- not sure ) in your case, it has become clouded. That is all. Thorough conversations in a set-up that does not blame but shares your point of view is what might help. Like saying how YOU want to really make things work and ask HIM what is the way out. Rest assured, we do not throw away our lives just because it is banged up a little 🙂

    Take well care of yourself.


  22. Well, as it is with most women, we expect our husband to understand the situation and react “the way we want”. To say the things “we want to hear”. But that never happens. I too expect the same from my husband. But the truth is, men are wired so differently and what has hurt us women and what we feel are so different to how they see a situation. I too have tried the silent treatment and being upset. But then when we finally talk about it, he has just one question to ask me “instead of feeling hurt, crying and wasting a day w/o talking to me,you could’ve told me how you feel and what has upset you. What have we both gained by this silent treatment except wasted 1 or 2 good days in between”. It’s true.

    Unless we tell them and come out in the open, they wouldn’t have even realized it. There have been many situations when I have been upset and hurt and had to lay it all bare to my husband. (Believe me when I say that my husband is very loving, would stand up for me always, understand my POV and is also practical). But he sometimes just doesn’t get why I have to be so upset about an issue. Only when I explain, he understands ok, my view on the issue is slightly different.

    So, it would be best to tell him what is on your mind, tell him how upset and how hurt you were and that it has not been easy letting go of that hurt. From what you have written about your husband, I am sure he would understand.

    Of course this or any advice will not help when the husband is so in-sensitive and does not care about the wife’s feelings. There are such people who feel they are right always, who will never understand the wife’s feelings and instead blame her for everything. I do have friends who have such husbands.

    So, be glad that your husband has understood what you have gone through. Do have a heart-to-heart talk with him. Get it off your chest and move on.


    • My husband is a very weak character and anyone who is shameless or cunning can manipulate and abuse him. He has a large family that kept manipulating him for money and me for seva for three decades. He still continues to be abused by them for money as well as obeying their orders, but my children and I have cut all of them off from our lives and do not open our doors for any of them. Earlier hubby used to take their side against me because they were larger in number and stronger than me as well as too evil to handle. But now when hubby sees that we too can be brazen, shameless and strong, he tries to keep them away….he does not want any embarrassment….which he is sure will arise if confronted with 2 warring parties.

      I must mention my hubby left no stone unturned to humiliate and hurt me at every stage of my life in all ways he possibly could (knowingly and unknowingly)…thanks to his big ego and weakness…,but now he doies not dare to do that.

      One rule in life is “never take nonsense from anyone” and second rule is “don’t fear the consequences ot rule number 1”. It is this fear manipulators bank on. Third rule is “don’t wait as long as I did, (to save my sanity) to fight for your rights…nip it in the bud. You owe this much to your own self.


  23. And to add another point-Stop taking all those barbs and tell them (your MIL) that you will not take any more of this manipulation and interference. The more you say “its ok”, and keep quiet, the more you are going to get hurt and upset.


  24. Do we really consider man’s position at that time? You agree it or not, mothers have great control over their sons (or, at least, they demand it). If a man opposes his mother in favor of his wife, Immediately he become a vilian in the eyes of entire family and relatives. He has to show his love towards his mom, even when she is mean to others. After all she is his mom. That’s how things work in the soceity.

    We are not living in the utopian world where wives are treated like queens to prove that men rised as a kings by their parents. IMO, What ever he did is not unreasonable at all. He tried his best to keep the family unite without losing his mom and not losing his wife too. May be it sounds harsh for someone here and stupid for some other. But, that’s what happens generally when a man encouters situation where he must chose only one, his mom or his wife.

    He definitely take the side of his mom (who is so demanding and call the shots in those situations) and try to cool down the situation. After that he may admit to his wife that whatever he was done is wrong and may even seek her forgiveness. He is just trying to not to lose anyone one of the two women, who he love so much and feel very important in his life.

    Wife may forgive him or get back at him later. Even she get back at him and get even, he don’t have any other option than take it silently. In general, If a man’s wife and his mother fights, man get hurt. If you don’t believe me, just try it once and look at those poor man.


    • Life, (and marriage) is not a zero sum game where one person has to lose for the other person to win. A man must do what is just and fair. Men and women with boundary issues allow their parents to invade their marriages, usually with negative consequences.

      Mothers are also fallible and all too human. As adults, we must recognise our parents’ flaws and not expect our spouses to tolerate unfair behaviour just because they married us.


      • I never told anyone to lose, instead asked to understand the situation of the man. Instead of accusing him of taking sides, why don’t women themselves solve the issue by talking with each other? If someone is not accepting others view why don’t they chose to exist with differences? If man must interfere he will value both. He try to solve the issue by not hurting both of them, that finally hurt them both, ironically. Here always men are accused by everyone. People expect him to sort out the things between two mature people, that’s the pity state of man and he do it with his own knowledge the same people blame him for taking sides.


        • Masculist – And if the wife sorts it out the way she deems fit (like avoiding her), the man would understand that she is an adult family member and not remind her to be respectful in the way only Indian daughters in law are expected to be respectful?


        • So much self-importance in all this ‘oh, poor man, all the women want him’.

          Do you really believe that all the MIL-DIL issues are simply because women can’t get along? Why don’t we see as many FIL-SIL issues? Is there something special about men that they just always get along? Actually, men and women are just people (not so different from each other) and no one likes undue interference or disrespect. Our culture teaches the woman’s parents to stay away and the men’s parents to rightfully be involved (even impose) in every aspect of the couple’s life. A couple (both partners) has the responsibility of finding the right balance of involvement for both sets of parents.

          My father has never asked my husband how much money he makes and my husband’s mum has never asked me when we will have babies. We are very clear about making our own decisions as a couple and about where those boundaries are. The couple here clearly had boundary issues and his mum behaved in a disrespectful manner because she was allowed to. They both have a part in this issue escalating and it’s not all ‘woe is me’ for him! The fact that this climaxed at a particularly vulnerable time for her (childbirth!) makes it reasonable to expect him to show some extra sensitivity. Before you call me sexist, I would have said the same had the husband been going through a vulnerable time and needed extra support. That’s how a partnership works.

          To say that this is somehow a problem between the MIL and DIL and the man is just an innocent victim is a very shallow K-serial type analysis of the issue.


        • Since the man is son to one woman, and husband to the other, he better intervene and resolve the issue to the satisfaction of both women. If he is unable to do that, he should keep them away from one another.


      • I wonder why women do not have a life of their own and have meaning only within their son and DIL’s family! These kinds of expectations and interference is because mothers do not have a life of their own or other interests. Life is so beautiful and one can do so many interesting things….why waste time poking nose in the life of another family unit, even if the boy is your son? I’m sure the son will respect his mother more when she does not interfere in his affairs.


    • A marriage is between husband and wife. Why does the husband put his mother in a position where she expects to have an equal say in marriage or baby decisions? Once the husband allows this situation to happen, then conflict is inevitable. No point in calling him a ‘poor man’ for a situation he has created himself.


    • I suggest the man stays 5 days a week with his mother and 2 days with his wife. But mother should not try to visit DIL. I’m sure the DIL will be more than happy to share her husband with her MIL. Haha!


  25. The problem is the MIL and her attitude and the DIl letting her do as she pleased to keep peace. how on eartht he husband would know the thruth if only his mom told him stuff? he’s not a mind reader.
    girls should put their foot down at the first instance of injustice and then see how the husband reacts. not tolerate nonsense for years and then complain about insensivity.
    Yes he was insensitive during pregnancy but so was the MIL? as a woman shouldnt she be more aware of what a woman goes thru during that time?
    MIl needs to be set straight, husband just needs lessons on being a husband and the DIl needs to speak her mind and not let it fester like a sore .


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  27. i think there are very few homes without such dramatic tales when a new member in the house is expected,sadly people dont concentrate on the joy of a new member its just their own petty problems they can make up for!


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  30. Given the MIL’s slimy ways, it is important that MIL-DIL never stay under one roof. Son can go to meet his parents whenever he wants. This way the DIL can live in peace and never have to go through the same situation again.


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