“I put my blood and raised my sons. Now the daughters in law are enjoying the fruit.. “

Sharing an email.
 
Doesn’t the frequency of these emails indicate how common this abuse is? How does one deal with this (and other such) interference from someone who is a part of the family without allowing bitterness and resentment to become a part of her thinking?
 
 
How likely is that eventually the victim might become equally manipulative after wasting days, months and years surviving the obvious but socially permitted intrusion into their personal space, in the name of well meant (though clearly unwelcome and unasked for and hence not really better) elderly advice, instruction and superior-guidance?
 
 
If boundaries are to be made more visible – and some ‘distance’ maintained, where does one begin without being ‘disrespectful’ or ungrateful or without cutting all ties with those who are being abusive/intrusive?
 
Why has this become such a part of our culture? Is it really because women are made to see their homes as their world and discouraged from having any interests of their own? 
 
Here’s an email I received this morning. 
 
My Mother in law finds faults with everything I cook
 
Dear IHM Readers,
 
I know what I am gonna write now is a very minor issue, or at least that’s, how I took it till now and ignored.. But I lost my patience now… let me tell you my story…
 
I got married 8 months ago and started family in The US. Ours is a love marriage and we were classmates in a boarding school.
My borther in law (my husbands elder brother) and his wife also live in the same city where we live. They recently bought a house here, so my husband and him wanted to have their parents here for the house warming ceremony. But, his father refused to come saying that he gets bored and he has to look after his mom who is very old. But my mother in law was ready to come. So these guys applied for her visa and booked her tickets. I was happy that she was coming coz we all know how lonely it gets living in a foreign country… But, my happiness did not last long. Ever since her tickets got booked she started saying, “there you go your mother in law is coming, be prepared to get dominated”…. at first I thought she was kidding, but for every 3 days whenever we call her she repeated the same sentence… i got pissed but ignored since im not a person who worries that much.. Finally the day came and she arrived, first thing in the airport, again same sentence… She repeated the same sentence every hour for 3 days. Always she says Im your “mother in law” as if its a great qualification. Then again she hates whatever I cook.. I had never cooked before wedding but Im doing fairly well since we started home.. I have been browsing for recipes and cooking… In fact my husband loves my cooking. But my mother in law finds faults in everything including rice and idli!! I dont understand how can someone cook rice differently?? Also, she cooks very unhealthy food, she puts so much oil and masalas in her food, yet, the other day she said the curry which i made was very spicy and asked my husband not to eat, it seems such spicy food causes the disease ‘piles’. I am a food technologist. I did my masters in Australia in Food Science and Technology and she says I cook unhealthy…
My rotis are not that circular but they are round enough, she comments about it. I just started cooking yaar!! how can she expect that round rotis from me?
Not just food, she always says, I put my blood and raised my sons now the daughter in laws are enjoying the fruit.. She always says, we are enjoying the American life while she was rotting in India. But, for me the feeling is reverse, India is luxury, here it is so difficult doing chores all by ourselves. Yet she thinks we are enjoying and she is suffering. She scolds my husband whenever he praises me for anything. she says husband or in laws should never appreciate the girl!! what logic is that? Why is it like this in our country, like girl’s parents should respect the guy but guy’s parents should constantly taunt the girl? who gave that right to them?? She asked me whether I know before how the life in US is and is that why I married her son? For God’s sake my husband was a student when we fell in love and decided to get married, next I already went on my own to a foreign country and lived and left my job got married and followed her son to The states. She doesn’t bother about that.. she just sees me like a normal bahu and she is the serial types saas. She never offers to help while I am cooking or doing something… one day I was folding the washed clothes in which her sarees are also there.. She did not offer help and off course I did not even expect but there were her inners in those clothes which were so damn ugly, I guess she bought them even before I was born, I was folding them in front of her she just observed but did not take them from me and folded those herself.
 
 It’s been only 2 weeks since she came and already she made life hell for me and my co sister. Can’t imagine how girls are doing in joint families. I’m just being quiet trying not to argue coz I seriously don’t want to upset my husband. He is so sweet, whenever his mother behaves like that he tells me sorry at night. So, I just dont want to upset him more by arguing with his mother. She will be here for 2 more months.. Im praying God to save me!😦
 
Anonymous.
 
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65 thoughts on ““I put my blood and raised my sons. Now the daughters in law are enjoying the fruit.. “

  1. If I were you, I’d have a serious talk with your husband about this. I know it’s his mother and I know it’s too much to expect him to reign her in, but if he doesn’t, I would see no choice but to just ignore what she says and not listen to her. It’ll piss her off and maybe cause her to complain to her son. But that’ll show you whose side he’s really on at the end of the day.

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    • Four months after my husband and I got married and moved to the US, my FIL (a widower) came to visit. I am a Bengali and as such am supposed to wear a loha (iron bangle) and sindoor but I had stopped doing so right after the marriage ceremony. He asked me why I wasn’t and I blurted out the first thing that came to my head “Your son doesn’t like me to” (my husband doesn’t care one way or the other). That evening when my husband came home, my FIL asked him if he didn’t like me wearing them. My husband was taken aback but he caught on to what must have transpired between his father and me and said “yes, I don’t.” After that every time I did anything my FIL didn’t approve of, I said “your son wants me to” or “your son doesn’t want me to”. After some time the questions stopped.

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      • And I wonder why this is too much to ask of people. It’s basic decency no? On a related note, where have you been? Haven’t heard from you for quite a while and no blog posts for a long time either!

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  2. “He is so sweet, whenever his mother behaves like that he tells me sorry at night.”
    This one sentence says it all – how low our expectations are from Indian husbands, that a man who sees it happening and doesn’t tell his mother to behave like one decent human being should to another, is applauded for his *sweetness*.

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    • horrific and disgusting attitude of such spineless Indian men, how can they live with themselves.There is nothing sweet about him here, telling sorry at night is bullshit and doesn’t make up for all the trauma and abuse that MIL dishes out. Everyone has different personality, but if it was me I would raise a stinking hell if anyone constantly criticized me like this. Tell her if she doesn’t like your cooking she can make her own food. Don’t like mis-shaped rotis, fine throw it in garbage and do whatever you want. I am not going to waste my time perfecting round roti making skills for your sake. Respect is a two way street regardless of who is older, if she doesn’t respect you she doesn’t get anything in return, tit for tat is my philosphy. And yes I absolutely demand respect even from a MIL otherwise she can go to hell for all I care.

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    • Yes, most Indian women are grateful if their husband does not rape them, beat them, provides for the family and is faithful sexually.
      We women don’t expect our husbands to treat us as the human beings that we are, support us respect us and at least have a token regard for our well-being.

      Men, on the other hand, have sky high expectations from their wives which their wives scramble to fulfill.

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      • I agree. Its like – the wife should be equal/above him (extremely smart) to him in terms of all business/external dealings and at home, should be a home maker. Such hypocrites these Indian men are (there are some good ones and I don’t disagree) and that’s why India is in such a bad state. When a country doesn’t treat its women right, it shows !

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    • Same here even i fell for this trap…Why cant they (including my husband) take a stand for us…And when we take a stand for ourselves then they feel we understand their parents..I am so frustrated with all these…I believe that if we want others to respect us and give space..We should first respect ourselves and take a stand for ourselves..

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      • There is a slight mistake…Same here even i fell for this trap…Why cant they (including my husband) take a stand for us…And when we take a stand for ourselves then they feel we dont understand their parents..I am so frustrated with all these…I believe that if we want others to respect us and give space..We should first respect ourselves and take a stand for ourselves..

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  3. “I put my blood and raised my sons. Now the daughters in law are enjoying the fruit…” That pretty much sums it up. It’s not parenting; it’s investment that is supposed to yield bumper returns. If it yields anything less than a “dutiful” and “obedient” son and a subservient daughter-in-law, it’s a dead investment.

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  4. well…here is what I would do…talk to teh hubby and let him know that htere is only so much of this behaviour that oyu can take n ignore. It’s your house too and u are entitled to relax and get a lill peace of mind in ur own space. So one of these days, you just might snap if this does not stop.

    tell the MIL if she would like her son “back” to her..she is most welcome to take him. How long is she expecting him to play puppet? if she cannot respect her son’s wife n his choice, someone whom he is very happy with, then take him back. Given as it is, your hubby is not able to get his voice across to her. If she has put her blood into her sons, what does she expect out of these son’s? to be her puppets the whole life? what will happen once she dies? who will be the puppet master then?

    if you cannot expect to be yourself in your own home, then where will u be?

    But then these are my views. For someone who has been thru this shit, Ignoring the MIL never work.If she doesn’t accept your or respect your relations now, she never will.

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    • I think a lot of MILs will be ready to take their sons “back” in case the DIL “doesnt comply” rather than let their son be happy in their marriage. I was in an abusive marriage where my in-laws threatened (and most times acted on what they threatened) to not speak ever to the son if he did not belittle me n things of the kind. And mine was an arranged marriage, so with love marriages I will not be surprised if MILs do actually go and try to harm the marriage. It is very difficult for sons to understand/accept this fact because of their conditioning but many times they will have to lose their happiness if they turn a blind eye.

      The Many Faces of a Mother: Are Moms Gods on Earth……
      http://balckwhitegrey.blogspot.in/2013/07/the-many-faces-of-mother-are-moms-gods.html

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      • Isn’t it better to be out of such a marriage where your husband can’t be expected to stand by you. Better to be out now, than when the kids are around.

        If the husband doesn’t see this attitude of his mother as a prob, then the wife really has no standing in his family.

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        • THIS!! ^

          Just imagine. If the mother takes that son “back”, the LW is getting out of what will most surely have become a nightmarish marriage!

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        • Exactly. Except we women are trained to compromise n adjust with our self respect. Takes a lot to stand up for ourselves, but then if we don’t then who will?

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        • I am in one and that too with kids – verbally and emotionally abusive. My husband lives for his “parents” rather than for us. Anyways, we are planning to stay away from him until the kids finishes schooling in India. Life’s decisions are hard sometimes, but it took 14 years for me to decide.

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  5. Oh dear, if my MIL ever scolded my husband for praising me, I think I’d create an unholy scene. Well Anonymous, there is only one way to deal with all of this–tell her off. Tell her off every time she belittles you. Throw away her old undies and buy her new ones, but let it be known that she is expected to fold them herself–just hand them over to her. And the next time she says something about you enjoying the ‘fruits’ of her blood, sweat and blah blah, start talking about how YOUR parents put in so much of the same to raise YOU etc etc.

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    • The better answer to the fruit of labor comment would be…”and your son is enjoying the fruits of my parents labour”!! That will put MIL in her place!!

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  6. Sorry to hear what you are going through. I cant help but wonder why you are the only person cooking?Shouldnt your husband also help you given that you are equal partners? You are well qualified and in no ways inferior to your partner. So why should you be the only person doing chores? Besides your folks have also educated you and have brought you up. So how does it make you more privileged that she has brought up her son facings hardships ? Just because her son has the extra chromosome doesn’t make you his slave.

    Good to know that your husband acknowledges that his mom is wrong. But it is v important that he makes his vocal to his mother that you are equal partners. Yoy also have an international degree, so it is nor like you woyld have never visited a foreign land without marrying her son.Abusing you mentally for no fault of yours is plain bullying. Please bring it across to her politely yet firmly that she can’t treat you like a doormat. And she has not done you any favors by getting her son married to you. It looks like she enjoys putting you down. Let her know you won’t have Any of the nonsense. Too bad if she does not like ur cooking. She can cook for herself or eat what you cook with all due respect to the person who has spent the time and effort to cook the meal.

    When we are victims of abuse, we often avoid confrontation. We tend to think why create a scene when the abuser is around only temporarily. But it’s better to clear things so that you can have peace in the longer run.

    Hope and pray you get your issues solved. All the best:)

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  7. She ran away from being dil to her mil to being mil to her dil!! How wonderful and simple.
    Her husband became son to his mother; now she is trying to convert your husband back to her son. What a perfect example of inter generational dysfunction

    Next time call your grand mom in law and start talking to her about your mil. Tell your mil that your grand mil is fine with you and she can talk to her

    If that doesn’t work or you don’t want to play the game, just ignore your mil. Without your attention, she really will have nothing left to enjoy in us

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  8. first of all, please be happy that u are in the US and ur MIL doesnt stay with u permanently… u think staying in india is a luxury… and i am telling u that u are completely wrong… u are going mad with one single MIL… if u live in india, u should not only please MIL but also all her friends and relatives who have the same sick mentality.. the nearer u stay, the more they interfere with ur life… and dont complain about ur MIL to ur husband… it never help.. he will only get more defensive about his mom and support her more than ever.. keep silent.. and make him release her faults by ur deeds.. of course he would never admit his mom’s fault… but if u scold ur MIL in front of ur husband and he keeps quiet, u know that u have won half the battle..

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  9. THIS is what is SCARY in an Indian marriage…if the MIL has put in her “Sweat and blood” to raise a SON, are the daughters brought up like orphans on the street?

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  10. – This is abuse by your mil. First, be aware & then DO NOT put up with it.
    -Tell your husband that his mom’s behaviour is unacceptable – be firm that you she can’t stay if she is not respectful.
    -She can do what she pleases but she is not entitled to abuse anyone. Tell her, she cannot stay at your place if she cannot treat you with respect. Be polite and firm.
    – Next time, she says, she is MIL, ask her so what? There are better, more powerful, more awesome people out there. Is she USA’s president?
    – If she makes unreasonable requests, do not do it. let her take it or leave it.
    – DIL is ejoying her sweat & blood? Her son also is enjoying sweat & blood. IF she is bothered by her blood, offer to take her to a blood donation centre & buy her some blood back! women grow up by themselves, yeah right. Maybe she can let her son get pregnant next time.

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  11. Instead of having your husband apologize to you at night, why not ask him to stand up for you in daylight? If he does that, then your mother-in-law will definitely get off your back.

    Or, even better yet, why don’t you just tell your MIL, “Look, this is the food that I cook in my house. If you find it objectionable, please cook your own food to your own desires.” You shouldn’t have to do work for someone else, only for it to go unappreciated. Also, stop folding your MIL’s clothes. Just tell her, “In this house, we fold our own clothes. If you want them folded, you will do it yourself.” If there is anything at all that she finds unreasonably objectionable, just tell her, politely but firmly, that this is the way you do things, and that if she is not satisfied, she is perfectly welcome to do things her way, separately.

    You don’t have to be rude, or start a shouting match, or any of those things. Just be polite and firm in your position, and tell her that unwarranted criticism is not welcome in your house.

    And for God’s sake, please get your husband to man up. If he were really that “sweet” he would understand the injustice that is being done to you and will not stand for it. Tell him that you understand how difficult it can be to stand up for to one’s parents. Believe me, I know that. It’s very difficult to go against the word of someone who has done a lot for you in life. But, the fact remains, that you have to choose what is right, even over familial ties. He seems to understand that what his mother is doing is wrong. Tell him to take it one step further, and inform her that he won’t take such words being spoken to the woman he supposedly loves.

    Again, you don’t have to be rude, or disrespectful. You just have to be firm in your words and your voice. If she doesn’t understand beyond that, tell her that she is perfectly free to leave if she so desires, and that you do not want to force her to live in an environment she clearly finds so objectionable. After all, she is old, she deserves to live life in a place where she has full control over the proceedings. And your home is not that place.

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  12. Anonymous,
    If you are in the first stage of developing a relationship with your mother-in-law, it is the best time to set boundaries and convey your position. It is a convenient attitude now that she will go back after two months, so you just have to ignore her for a short time. Eventually, she’ll get old, move in with you, or they might stay with you longer or she might come out to help you with your children etc, at which point re-drawing the lines will be difficult. There are two ways I have dealt with this type of situation: One, the abrasive, aggressive way where you don’t let comments slide and prepare to retort/counter-attack any position that you don’t feel is justified. This is a bruising experience and can lead to much heartache all around. I don’t like doing it and I get heartburn after I am mean, but sometimes it is the only way to convey that you aren’t afraid and can be powerful. The other is behavioural – in which you and your husband participate. On your level, you can discuss the menu each morning and ask what your MIL would like to cook. Do it sweetly, and each time you get rebuffed, go back and ask again each morning. Ask your husband to assist in little tasks, in the front of your MIL – like folding clothes, cleaning the cooking range, or the veggie tray in the fridge or chopping veggies. Also request that any time he observes her taunting you, he needs to firmly put a stop to it. I agree with other readers that saying sorry at night is not enough. It’s an admission that in developing a relationship with his mother, you are alone and he can’t/won’t help. When you get a dialogue and he is not around, make a joke of it. Like for how you are enjoying the fruits of her labour, ask her what fruit? Raw mango or pineapple? And smile when you say this. Good luck.

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  13. Huh, so these MILs extend their dominance even when they stay at their sons place. Tell her that now that she is on a vacation at your house, she should enjoy her stay instead of bothering about cooking n other such trivial issues, considering that she is living like its a hotel and you are her room service. Your MIL is clearly jealous of you, there is no other reason statements like ‘I put my blood and you are enjoying it’ would be spoken. Unfortunately for us, we are taught to be blind towards the wrongs of people who are older and give them a godly status because of which they easily get away with even the rudest of behavior. I think its time we begin to respect behavior rather than age or position.
    Good luck to you.

    Regards,
    Danita.
    The Many Faces of a Mother: Are Moms Gods on Earth……
    http://balckwhitegrey.blogspot.in/2013/07/the-many-faces-of-mother-are-moms-gods.html

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  14. I recently read an essay by Sudhir Kakar on the pyschology of the Indian family. He theorises that in the traditional Indian, or at least maintstream Hindu family, intimacy between the newly weds is not encouraged because that would threaten the power structure of the family, which is both an economic and a social unit. Moreover, it is customary for the MIL and SILs to create trouble between the spouse to preserve the status quo. The new entrant to the family is meant to be demoralised so that she poses no threat. Her moment comes when she has a child, and her biggest bonding in the new family is with that child (bonding with the husband only happens later). This may explain the fixation of Indian mothers on their children as opposed to their husbands – the system doesn’t encourage a strong bond with the husband and the husband don’t do much to counter that as they are pressured to. The husband and wife develop intimacy only in the middle years of their marriage, it’s probably not the tempestuous romantic sort of intimacy, but it is strong and by now the wife has been sufficiently enmeshed in thef amily to prove no threat.

    When I read that, a lot of behaviours of my own in-laws became clear. To a greater or lesser extent, most Indian families enact this pattern. It will take a few generations to get it out of our systems, and we are the transitional generation so there’s going to be more drama because there will obviously be pushback from the older generation.

    We’re going to hear these stories again and again. We need to go into marriage fully aware that this is the template and be prepared to take it on or to roll over and comply. If we decide to take it on, it’s going to get nasty because we’re fighting a centuries old system. If you read Gayle Rubin’s essay, it goes back back to the very origins of marriage in tribal culture.

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    • A lot of what my m-i-l does makes sense now – will go and read this essay. She bonded primarily with her son, has no relationship with my f-i-l to speak of, now son is an adult who wants a life of his own which is difficult to accept, etc. etc. – what a familiar story. You are right, we are just beginning to break through the wall, and thus are facing a lot of resistance.

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    • If this is the template then what exactly is the purpose of marriage? It appears that the only reason traditional families desire marriage is for begetting progeny and having somebody to take care of aged parents.

      Then the relationship between the husband and the wife is reduced to impersonal, uninvolved copulation for the purpose of reproduction.

      It goes against every human instinct; that strong universal desire for love and belonging.

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      • The purpose of marriage is a good question. Traditionally the purpose of marriage was reproduction and social security as you described.

        The human desire for love and fulfillment need not be satisfied through a contract like marriage. I guess the question of the purpose of marriage separate from raising children is still in the process of being answered. The New Mexico Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage provides a good definition of the purpose as it stands. Less to do with love more to do with managing obligations: http://www.shakesville.com/2013/12/woot.html

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  15. Dear anonymous, I’ve been through similar stuff, only much worse, for about a year-and-a-half after my wedding. I did exactly what you are doing right now and that turned out to be a mistake. My willingness to ignore stuff was perceived as submission to their “higher” status. My husband too appeared to be sensitive at times, but he thought that since I was ignoring it, I was made of sterner stuff than let such crap affect us. In fact, he trusted me to stand up for myself since I had done it so frequently when I was a working professional. True this was a communication gap but things went on taking a turn for the worse and to this day, we have not been able to totally reverse the effects of such a bitter start to our marriage. Which is why, I urge you to be more proactive. Tell your MIL off. Not rudely, not harshly. Just pre-empt her “I am your mother-in-law”. Tell her that you fully appreciate her being so, her contribution to her son’s life and then enumerate all those things your folks have done for you. If she appears uninterested, tell her that you find it equally so when she starts rattling off. But more than anything else, this is about you and your hubby. You should first clarify if he is willing to rein her in; if not, you will be left no choice other than to ‘do something’. Make him understand that while a ‘sorry’ is appreciated, it’s not useful. It only serves to set a trend wherein his mom feels her lousy behaviour is being condoned and this will establish a blueprint for the future.

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  16. According to me what is an essential part of this mail and otherwise is that mostly in such situations we look for temporary solutions and what about changing mindsets? any of us who want to try for that long term thing for our daughters and grand- daughters will have to ruffle some feathers sometimes of our beloved spouses too.

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  17. All I have to say to the LW is, aren’t you GLAD you live in the US now? Otherwise you’d have to put up with this shit all your life in India. I’d trade a million servants to get away from having to live as a bahu in India, lol. I can go back home when I am older and nobody will try to “dominate” me.🙂

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    • (The above comment is a little tongue-in-cheek, and I mean no offence to people who live in India, voluntarily or otherwise. But I am always conscious of the fact living in India as a daughter-in-law usually means you have to be willing to fight for EVERYTHING with EVERYONE and be branded as a bitch… or else be prepared to “compromise” and give up freedom.

      So I guess, a joke with a kernal of truth to the core of it…)

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  18. Both you and your husband need to stand up to her politely and tell her that she cannot abuse you, I’d say it’s more important for you to do it than your husband. she’s not abusing him, so he doesn’t need to speak up. Sure it’s his mom, but he cant control every bit of BS that comes out of her mouth can he. and you’re not a child to need daddy’s protection.
    Stand up for your rights in your house and do it firmly and politely and do it immedietly

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  19. I had the same situation 7 yrs before – infact same setup – love marriage from college in india, he studied and worked here, I worked here, his elder bro’s family in same city… only difference both fil and mil were here together. The bitterness from the ruckus they created still last in our relationship, sometimes looking back we don’t even know what made us stay together after all that  . First thing I want to tell u, this sorry inside the room doesn’t work. After a point you lose ur patience and it comes on ur face ‘what do I do with this sorry, keep it urself, do something!!’. In my case since both were here, both of them wont even tell u directly sometimes, talking in front of u abt u acting u are not there is so disgusting!! They said their sons were poor guys who go out in the cold here (it was winter here) and earn, but we were enjoying the ‘fruit’. Me going out to work was my arrogance, not wanting to be a nice traditional dil. Only they were entitled to come here because it was their son’s house. When I was expecting, my fil told my parents, u didn’t even tell me that you were going US when it was my house that u were going there. My mom was here, I went for work, they came from bil’s place, talked/tortured my mom, I packed her back to india in a month in the name of my bro not being well there. All this while, I definitely got this ‘sorry’ from my dear husband. Do u think a sorry helps? Beyond a point u want ur man to stand up for u. When I cried, screamed, he did ask them one time, and then hell broke loose. They said he is not a good son. As usual stuff, marriage changed him, I tell him to talk like this..blah blahblah. This is where the drama starts.My H said I love my parents, I cant be without talking to them, they not loving me and my going to be born child, lets apologise to them. The last month of my pregnancy when I needed him most, both of us didn’t even feel like talking to each other. The only saving grace was my work. Had I been at home, I would have ended in a mental hospital. The whole story is not worth writing!! Even 3 yrs later when I talked to them normally, my mil said ‘the astrologer told me people who behave like that to you will change and come and fall in your feet’!!! I don’t know where they get these previleges from!!
    Not scaring you with my story..but this is what happens when u don’t set ur no nonsense limit!!

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  20. Dear LW,
    I can relate to some of what you’re saying – I guess every d-i-l in the Indian culture can.
    When I was newly married, I was naive enough to think that if I worked hard at our relationship, I could be friends with my m-i-l. I imagined us trading funny stories about my husband (then and now), sharing recipes, and when I had kids, I wanted to share their little accomplishments and setbacks with her. None of this happened. She is, simply put, a negative person, very much believes in the traditional system that The Bride describes above in reference to Sudhir Khakar’s essay (which I haven’t read but gosh the family structure he describes sounds terribly familiar).

    So, no matter how nice I was, she simply could not accept me. Because I could not become subservient, because I said let’s be friends but equals. This was not good enough. Most people who know me – friends, relatives – will say I’m nice. But subservient, I’m not. So, when I realized it won’t work, I started being polite but drawing clear boundaries. I always made my own decisions – not just the big ones with career, when or whether to have kids – but also the everyday little decisions – when to cook/shower, what to cook, how to spend my day – like any adult ought to. If she disapproved, so be it.

    Has this changed her? Not in the way I had hoped. She is neither warmer nor more connected BUT now she understands boundaries very well. She never tells me what to do or gets involved in our everyday lives. Of course during visits, she still obsesses on what her son is eating. She never praises me for anything or shows any interest in my work or my interests. But her behavior is certainly nor obnoxious or out of line. It is simply disappointing to me – I cannot fully comprehend how someone can be so entrenched in their conditioning that they are forever trapped in their own misery.

    Advice for you – please stand up for yourself, start drawing boundaries. And your husband needs to be an adult – he can’t say sorry to you in the night like a little child.

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  21. Quote:
    “I put my blood and raised my sons. Now the daughters in law are enjoying the fruit.. “
    Unquote:
    That one sentence says it all.
    Your mil is incurable.

    Hang on there.
    It’s just two months!
    Others suffer for years if not an entire lifetime.

    For now, confide in your husband.
    He can must solve this problem.

    Regards
    GV

    Like

    • homosexuality is not the reason. unprotected sex ie sex without condom, needle sharing, through transfusion are.
      the reason? because its sheer violation of human rights and blatant discrimination.
      And if you dont care why dya mind if people are supporting it or not.

      Like

    • I wasn’t aware that the LW or her husband is a homosexual … why such an off-topic comment just to show off your homophobia?

      But since you ask: no, homosexuality does not spread AIDS. It is true that statistically that in many countries gay people are at higher risk. These countries are mainly homophobic countries where ignorance levels are high and education to gays about safe sex is not given. The point being if homosexuality were accepted and everyone educated on safe sexual practices, these statistics would no longer exist.

      Sex and blood transfusions spread AIDS. Should we stop them?

      Like

    • If you’re going to make an uninformed, stereotypical statement like, “Homosexuality spreads AIDS.” you’ve already highlighted your ignorance and bigotry spectacularly to the world. Your follow up statement of, “I just don’t care.” to downplay your bigotry isn’t really working either, and doesn’t negate or reverse the ignorance as well as you might think.

      As for, “Why people are jumping to support homosexuality.”, well, if you had any inclination in you to actually be open-minded on the subject (which you’ve already proven that you aren’t), then you wouldn’t expect us to educate you on that matter. If you really wanted to learn why homosexuality is supported, then you would take it upon yourself to use the overwhelming number of resources provided by the world and educate yourself. But you won’t, because a) you’re not going to change your mind and, b) you don’t value our opinions anyway, you just want to state yours to the world. But knowing that your opinion is bigoted, you’re trying to reduce the backlash under the excuse of “trying to learn”.

      But anyway, I’ll bite–I support homosexuality because I don’t feel like people should be criminalized and persecuted for trying to live their lives (be it privately or publicly) according to how they have been born. I feel like the relationships people have with each other, and how they live their life (so long as it’s not harming me), is none of my business. To quote the former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (who decriminalized homosexuality in Canada), “The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation.” Which is the same line of thinking that I feel the Indian government should adopt. The government, courts and law enforcement should have zero position and power to persecute two (or more) people who have fully consented to being in a relationship, whatever that relationship may be, simply because those in positions of power feel it goes against their own values.

      Like

  22. LW,

    You wrote:

    …next I already went on my own to a foreign country and lived and left my job got married and followed her son to The states. She doesn’t bother about that.. she just sees me like a normal bahu and she is the serial types saas. … one day I was folding the washed clothes in which her sarees are also there.. She did not offer help and off course I did not even expect but there were her inners in those clothes which were so damn ugly, I guess she bought them even before I was born, I was folding them in front of her she just observed but did not take them from me and folded those herself.

    A few questions:
    1. What is a “normal bahu” by your definition? Someone who has achieved less or differently in life than you?
    2. Why the added information about the inners – “so damn ugly… bought even before I was born…”

    Don’t bother to answer. But, the above two show that perhaps you are not so different than your mother-in-law as you portray or want to believe you are.

    Like

    • Yes, I wanted to ask too what a ‘normal bahu’ is. Isn’t ANY bahu worthy of respect,irrespective of whether she earns or has gone abroad on her own? Let me tell you, LW, I am what you call a ‘normal bahu’ but still expect to be treated well as my right.
      And the description of the inners was uncalled for.Does the LW mean to say that if they were nice and lacy she wouldn’t mind folding it?

      Like

  23. ““I put my blood and raised my sons. Now the daughters in law are enjoying the fruit.. “

    I have only one answer to such mothers: Keep that which you have grown to yourself and spare the world some troubles.

    Like

  24. I am shocked to hear the LW’s plight. Unless the husband steps in and puts a stop to this nonsense, the poor lady’s troubles aren’t going to end.

    Like

  25. Wow, such a common problem…
    First I feel like your MIL has put an unhealthy attachment onto her children and probably all her hopes and dreams to them, probably because she was so busy thinking of everyone else in the house before herself and her own needs as an individual, as a woman.
    So now that her kid is married, and living abroad – she doesn’t know what to do with herself. She needs to develop some hobbies that she likes to do for herself that has nothing to do with family. She is fixating on you – she is finding faults in you – really, because she doesn’t know what to do with herself.
    Also I feel as if there is a power struggle in her mind, since he has chosen you – she may be feeling a separation anxiety from her son.
    The bad news – is that you can do nothing about this. It seems more of a struggle within herself. Be gentle with her, try to include her, but also set boundaries as well.

    Like

  26. Pingback: ‘Unbelievable? Believe it. This isn’t your usual Ekta Kapoor serial.’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  27. Pingback: “You can listen to your parents and be unhappy or you can go against them and feel guilty – those are your choices?” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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