An email: ‘My subconscious mind keeps reminding me of the initial nastiness, and fears that he is capable of that kind of behaviour.’

Sharing an email.

Dear readers and IHM,

I am sure EVERYONE will be able to relate to my story. (at least some part of it). I will keep it as short as possible . I got married like any other girl with lot of dreams in her eyes : NOT of materialistic wealth in her married life, but dreams if being treated lovingly by her husband (mine was a love marriage, why wouldn’t I expect the same love that made us choose each other to continue and keep building exponentially in our married life ).

May be I was naive .

Got married.

Mother in law came in the picture .

She single handedly DESTROYED our relation .

I do not feel the need to go into much details about what all drama happened, cause my question and the advice I seek is not about how to handle that drama.

So mother in law/ monster in law had a two step process.

One: she was brainwashing/ putting words in my husband s mouth : and he would constantly fight with me in the first three months of our marriage.

It’s worth mentioning that the first three months we were apart ( hubby and me) cause of visa issues. So I was in sasuraal without hubby.

Second trick that my monster in law used was : she would never tell my hubby about anything good I do, but she would twist and manipulate the tiniest thing that can be used against me into a huge melodrama .

My hubby used to call his parents twice daily and talk about every minor and major thing going on.

Like I said may be I was v naive and thought he knew everything that is going on in his house. ( he knew the twisted manipulated version and not the truth)

It was after one and a half years of marriage that we had a huge fight and everything came out in the open ( this was at a time when just him n me were living together in uk away from the monster in law):- he was totally BLANK. He had no clue about the events that transpired at his parents’ house.

And only then I got to know the BIGGEST game monster in law had played all this time.

After that our relation improved tremendously.

He never asked me to call his mother, ask her how she is; never asked me to visit her when we travel to India, basically never expected anything from me in regard to his mother cause he saw through the EVIL game she played.

So things are realllly goooood.

But it took one and a half years for the truth to come out.

Which led to two damages :- before he knew the truth we used to fight a lot cause he knew a twisted version of events ( LIES ABSOLUTE LIES) : which would make him feel d need to call me and yell at me and fight with me and say super nasty things . He would also call my mom and my Masi ( mom’s sister ): and say super nasty things about me every other day and complain about me.

All this was mainly happening when I was in sasuraal without him, in other words the first three months of marriage.

Now my question dear readers is :- how to move on. Move on from the bitterness that remains somewhere in my subconscious for the NASTY things he said about me specially in the initial three months.

I know as of today he supports me immensely and would never let his mother treat me in a nasty way.

But I feel that the initial three months have caused a irreversible damage to our relation and now things can never be as lovey dovey as they were to begin with. I struggle with that daily . There is kind of a tug of war going on. A part of my brain says he is super nice now and has been ever since he saw through the games that were being played. So I also try to be extra loving towards him In action : but my subconscious mind keeps reminding me of the initial nastiness: n fears that he is capable of that kind of behaviour. What if he turns into the emotionally abusive husband that he was in the first three months of marriage again? What if his family/ monster in law manage to brain wash him again …. You know the kind of partly rational partly irrational fears remain. So does the anger and the negativity from those memories and the resentment .

I have a second question: which is again related to my first question : and on similar lines:- I have a lot of bitterness and anger towards my monster in law too. LOADS. I do not want a relation with her. I do not want to see her ever again in my life. I want to be at peace with the past. I do not want to keep feeling hurt over the things she did. She said innumerous nasty things to me too. And it’s not just bout saying nasty things, it’s also about her super nasty actions.

Our marriage came soooooo close to divorce because of the games she was playing . Me and my widow mother went through emotional hell cause of the broken dreams and heartache associated with loving  someone and them breaking your heart over and over again. I want to move on . By move on I do not mean forgive her and try to have a loving relation with her. By moving on I mean just letting go of the traumatic memories of the past and not let that interfere with me living a life of peace / inner peace !

But I do not know how to move on !

Kindly advise if you readers feel you have been in similar situations and from experience you have learnt ways to move on !

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Because we can still be honest WITHOUT saying, “Gosh woman what is wrong with you?”

So, what makes forgiving, forgetting and moving on difficult sometimes?

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

Response from the 25 yr old Software Engineer, ‘I cannot tell you how much better I feel after seeing my concerns/outrage echoed in everyone’s reactions.’

52 thoughts on “An email: ‘My subconscious mind keeps reminding me of the initial nastiness, and fears that he is capable of that kind of behaviour.’

  1. I understood three things:
    1. That your mother in law created differences between you and your husband. Things went nasty.
    2. You clarified things with your husband and he now understands and supports you all the time. Which includes you not being forced to talk to your mother in law or have any connection with her.
    3. Things are good now, except you fear that they may go back to 1.

    Do you have reasons to believe that your husband may become nasty again? Do you see any such signs?

    Understand that he was *led* to believe you were bad because he trusted someone else’s judgment of you rather than evaluate how he knew you from the time of your relationship. He was not controlling person by nature. AND that he changed once he got a clear picture. He knows what manipulation can happen and he won’t fall for it.

    If you don’t feel like it, most certainly don’t talk to your mother in law ever again. It is upto you. But now, build on your relationship with your husband. You both need to understand that trust among yourselves will be the only saving factor of your relationship, like is the case with any relationship. Without jumping with worst conclusions, you should both agree to confirm the facts with each other and not trust anyone else.

    The most important part is forgetting the past. Let it go. Holding on to those memories will only impact your relationship with your husband. You don’t have to deal with her.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The way I see it, the worst is already behind you. Today, your husband sees things clearly and supports you. I’d recommend focusing on the future instead of fixating on the past; work towards building a strong and healthy relationship with the husband.

    Know that these ‘what if’ thoughts will come and go – that’s just your defense mechanism. These thoughts and memories will trigger alerts in your mind, should you suffer emotional abuse again. So be thankful for these experiences and memories. You no longer have to be a naive young bride.

    Also understand that these memories and thoughts have the potential to color your perception of everything your husband says or does. These thoughts should not be driving you; if that happens, you can say goodbye right now to the possibility of ever having a happy life (and I’m not even saying ‘happily married’ life). Connect the dots only when there are dots to connect.

    I know that this ‘letting go’ will take a lot of practice and hard work, but I also think if you’re determined to have a happy life, you’ll find a way.

    Good luck!

    P.S. Notice that I said nothing about your MIL – that’s because she’s that irrelevant to your happiness.

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  3. Dear LW,

    Sorry to hear about what you had to go through. Glad things are better between you and your husband now.

    The most popular advice you might get is to forgive and forget. Though they mean well ,it is easier said than done. If you try to bury your feelings, convincing yourself everything is OK now, it’s just a temporary solution.Sooner or later even a small event might trigger and bring back the bitter memories.It was bad enough that you had to go through it the first time, it’s worse to relive them.

    So the possible solutions might be:

    1.Strongly consider visiting a therapist. May be individually at first and then with your husband. A good therapist won’t trivialize your pain and won’t jeer at you for remembering the past, instead of enjoying the present. Instead he/she will help you through your problem and help you get closure .

    2. Give yourself time to think your options and your next steps, if God forbid such a thing happens in the future. Your MIL might try to move in with you. Your husband might agree if he thinks he needs to care for his aging parents . And the cycle might begin again. Brace yourself for this. Be financially independent and have back up plans.

    3.Keep your well meaning friends close. You do need a support system when you are at your low.

    It seems though from your letter that your husband has really changed. So I genuinely hope and pray you never have to go through any abuse/inequality again.

    God bless:)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The most important part of letting go is admitting that there was a problem…. by all parties involved. How did your husband react to the knowledge that his family played him to mess with his relationship with you? Did he get angry, confront them? Or did he give the I side with you now so need to confront my mother?

    This is unfortunately THE most important part. And from what I understand LW’s main concern. It’s all nice and sweet after 1.5 years while away from MIL, but what happens if they return or MIL moves in with them in her ‘old age’. Will he trust his wife completely? Or will she have to prove her innocence each time there is a private interaction between MIL and LW when her husband is out, say shopping?

    How he will deal with it then, that can only be told by his reaction to the current crisis, did he call and confront his mother, let her know that he has seen through her trick and now will never believe her over you? Or did he say now I trust you, no need to involve mother. Involving her is very important, if you don’t, then she hasn’t learnt that she has been found out and has lost her hold. And nether have you learnt if he can take your part this and next time. Yes your happiness doesn’t depend on MIL, but your unhappiness can if he lets her. You happiness and this relationship depends on both of you letting go, you of anger and he of MIL.

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    • Sorry for the non-sunny view of this situation. Have learnt from experience the hard way about men pushing mommy issues under the carpet😦

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    • I do not talk to my monster in law and dont visit her, etc. In other words dont want anything to do with her. So I do not know exactly what conversation hubby had with monster in law but one thing is for sure:- that he is on my side regarding this whole drama .my monster in laws BIGGEST demand was that I should not forgo sasuraal ki responsibility ; come hail or snow. Meaning the household chores. She wanted me in sasuraal soooooooooo badly not cause she loves me sooo much and her day feels incomplete without me:- but only as a maid in sasuraal. So whenever we travel to India ( we visit india a LOT):- for monster in law the biggest attraction of me coming to india was getting a free maid who she can also bully, harass, torment:- n I have stopped going to sasuraal even for a micro second: to which monster in law had bigggg problems with.
      But hubby has made it clear to his family that he is the one who is keeping me away from them cause I am not their maid.

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  5. I empathise with your situation. It is very normal to have these feelings, so don’t beat yourself up for having them. Your husband did mess up the relationship and he has to deal with the fallout. I would suggest two things. Tell your husband honestly how you feel about him. Have a discussion on where that monster in him came from and see if he can convince you that it won’t arise again. And second, but more important, go in for counselling. Your marriage has been torn apart and you won’t just get back into lovey-dovey mode without some professional help. Give yourself a deadline (in say, 2 years?) to see if you begin to feel different. If you do, well and good. If you don’t, I really would advise you to separate. I know most people might disagree, but if deep inside you can’t trust this person and counselling does not help, this relationship is already dead.

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    • I so have to agree with Fem here.
      Dear LW, my intention is not to scare you but I also do not want to paint a rosy picture and say that “since now all is well, all will be well forever”
      When it comes to mom’s, Indian men and especially men who can easily be manipulated can never cut the umbilical cord. I would have said things will be etc had it been an arranged marriage as then I can totally understand the husband supporting his mother and bashing the wife etc (though I absolutely don’t support that behavior but can understand the logic) as he does not know the wife but in your case, you both knew each other well as you mentioned that this was a love marriage. So if after knowing you he actually believed his mother and went to extent of calling your mom and maasi, it’s totally unacceptable.
      And I am not sure about his family background, but if he is the only son or the elder son then 99% the mother would and will move in during old age or will expect you people to move back to India as she is no longer able to manage on her own.
      So please do not make the mistake that I made. I also thought that I will have nothing to do with my mother in law but within a few years of our wedding, she landed at my door step and all of a sudden all the anger my husband had for her vanished and today she stays with us..
      Indian husbands have the unique capability to forget and forgive only their mothers as only their mothers become old and cannot live alone and have worked really hard to bring them etc (all excuses that my husband told me when I questioned him)..So please look at the future, now that you are no longer that naive bride you once were, please consider all options and seek professional help if you are unable to deal with issues.
      In the end like Fem said, if the trust cannot be repaired then the relationship cannot and should not continue.

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  6. Moving on means not forgiving someone who has hurled abuses at you, but it just means you try and focus on making your future better. It just means that you give those thoughts very less space in your life while most of the space goes to your better future.

    I am glad that your bad times are over, and I would recommend you think more about your future and understand that your husband was in a bad situation at that given time.

    I wouldn’t recommend you to share these thoughts that you have written above with your husband… knowing that he is trying to get better. Mistakes happen and we all make mistakes🙂 I have made tons, am sure all of us have…

    The next time if it happens that your MIL creates a fuss, deal it the way it should be dealt. No use being naive, to someone who can go to that extent.

    I will be happy to hear someday in future that you have focused on your life and made it a grand success🙂

    God bless🙂

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  7. Dear soul sisters ,
    I am reading your comments and truly appreciate the time you take out to help fellow sisters. I appreciate every comment and just reading your replies is already giving me LOT of peace …… 1) cause you understand what I am talking about.
    2) do not think I am being silly in being worried.
    3) the options you are suggesting give me hope that things can/ will get better ( just talking about myself here and my inner peace)
    Thank you soul sisters. God bless you all. I will continue reading the comments all day long . Love

    Liked by 2 people

    • No one in their right mind would suggest that you are unnecessarily worrying or being silly. It is very natural to have fears and apprehensions when things go wrong in a relationship as important as this one.

      Please work on your relationship to make it devoid of any outside influences and as Smriti said, please also have a backup plan. This does not mean you mistrust your husband, it only means being self sufficient!🙂

      All the strength to you. Hugs, Take care.

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    • What you are looking for is closure. I suspect that you are unable to move on because 1.you did not receive an apology from your husband for his words back then (being blank versus being truly sorry) and
      2. You expected a confrontation or at least a bigger show of loyalty

      Liked by 1 person

      • …sorry posted before I was done..
        These are only my speculations based on what you wrote in your letter.. My advice-
        -figure out what will make you feel better/soothe your feelings
        -communicate these ‘demands’ to your husband and let him know how you are still hurt by that period. see what he says…

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  8. Earlier when I wrote soul sisters I meant soul sisters and brothers both. Sorry for the typo .
    I feel the need to give an example to clarify what went on in sasuraal and how monster created diatance between me and hubby.
    When hubby was in uk and I was in sasuraal without him with his parents: monster in law would keep moaning ” tere yahan se gold Nahin aaya” over and over and over and over again. That would piss me off cause me and my family are STRICTLY against dowry and would NEVER entertain the notion of giving into any kind of dowry related demands ( no matter how big or small the amount). So my feelings towards my monster in law started getting negative as the days progressed. So in the following days if she developed a headache I would not feel deep concern and would not behave like a melodramatic saas Bahu serial Bahu : not behave like ” heyyyyy Bhagwan Maaji ko Kya ho Gaya …. Hey Bhagwan unka sir dukh raha hai!!!!!!!!”
    To which monster in law would MANIPULATE the entire scenario in front of hubby and complain ” kaise sanskaar hain , chai tak Nahin poochti”.

    But the TWISTED EVILNESS in all this was the sin being under the impression that monster in law considers dowry a BIGGGG social evil.

    I only realised the extent of her manipulation and lies MUCH LATER in life. Hubby had NO CLUE how she would keep moaning for materialistic things and gold specially ( dowry). He was kept under the impression that his mother is pro woman and all her life his mother believes in propagating woman s rights.
    I realised MUCH LATER: that monster in law is ONLY PRO HERSELF . Not pro woman .

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  9. You’ve been hurt & betrayed so naturally you’re a bit fearful & apprehensive in your situation.
    It will take time to build back a level of trust & security, but your husband seems truly dedicated to you.
    I went through a similar situation with my husband’s sister who made my husband & I’s life miserable for the first 2 years. We finally ended up cutting off all contact with SIL & her family.
    What helped me move on was this-
    “Let go or be dragged.”
    This is an old Buddhist saying & mantra.
    Betrayal, anger, fear… letting go is a process – often a painful and difficult process – but it’s ultimately going to show you the path out of this terrible place.
    Repeating the mantra can help when you’re feeling gripped by these feelings.

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  10. Right .. I am not going to read what everyone has suggested and say what my experience says and it is not something that you shud do..

    If I am in your shoes and I know that my partner when he got to know the truth changed and did what he would do if he was not constantly being brain washed , YES it is his fault also to have listened to his mom all the time , BUT who would not I am sure you listen to your mom all the time. and everyone else also does.. it is just easy to say to the other person , oh he listened to his mom etc etc etc WE all do it ..

    so I think you should try to forget the initial 3 months and look forward to .. as you have yourself said you are living a happy life now away from the inlaws.

    Your husband obviously has a lot to make up for talking like that with your relatives, that is why my parents taught me one good thing not to let others interfere and not speak without a second thought.

    regarding dowry WELL here is another thing hardly any one who does not want or talk dowry, maybe not ask for gold or a car but when a boys side askd the girls side that have a good palace, have good food for boy’s side etc etc THAT TOO is DOWRY of some kind.. so everyone does it , people who say otherwise are hypocrites i tell you..

    I genuinly hope and pray things are good with you and your hubby as that is what matters the MOST,rest is all secondary. ALSO a piece of advice i will give neverthless and dont shoot me , you on your part should not try to manipulate your hubby towards his mother… he knows now what was wrong BUT you cant expect him to break up with them as They are his parents.

    I would not break with my parents if i was in his place right or wrong … yes I will stop listening to them and believe more in my wife and in my small family more ..

    and you have said he is changing so HE is trying to make up ..

    Take care of yourself and be happy..

    God bless you both

    PS:- I am in uk, anything you need or want any help or even talk to anyone .. I ma here all ears, my email everyone knows .. so you can email .. All the best Take care..

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    • She did not say that she wants her hubby to break up with his parents. No good woman would ever want that.
      No matter what problems I went through with my in-laws, I would not want my hubby to break up with his parents. I myself would not want any contact with his parents but I would surely not stop my husband for performing a son’s duty.

      And again nowhere has LW indicated even through slightest hints that she want her husband to part ways with his parents. She only expressed her fears that her husband might get influenced again in future and get emotionally abusive. That’s it

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      • Do not agree to “No good woman would ever want that (break up with parents)” and “not stop husband from performing son’s duty”.

        What exactly is a son’s duty? And why would it be not-good to expect a husband (or wife for that matter) to curtail or end relations with their birth family if that family is bent on destroying the relationship they are going to depend on for the rest of their lives?

        I wouldn’t think twice before cutting my relationship with any of my family members if they ever tried to create differences between me and my husband. Because what kind of family are they if they cannot respect the most important relation of my life?

        Of course, it all depends on where to draw the line which is different from individual to individual. But cannot digest the judgment that “good women” should not expect men to distance themselves from parents come what may.

        Liked by 1 person

        • We can agree to disagree on this one. In such situation, all I would want to move out of his house and stay separately . I would not even talk to ILs or visit them, but wont stop my husband. When you live separately with your husband, half of the problems are already solved. Because then its your house and your rules. I ll make sure to setup a system in which we both will have freedom to visit our parents as per our wishes and not to bring their stories or complains in our house. But I wont stop my husband from visiting his parents and send money to them in their old age when parents become dependent. He is my husband but he is their son too. I would not force him to cut ties with his family. I
          I think we can agree to disagree on that one.

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  11. Agree with all the earlier comments.
    Nothing new to add.The past is over. It was bad. So simply forget it.
    The present is good. Enjoy it.
    Don’t agonise over what the future wil be.
    Don’t anticipate problems. Don’t imagine problems.
    Deal with them if they arise.

    As regards your second question, develop a new hobby or interest and devote yourself to it.
    That will help you put your Mother in law and old unpleasant experiences and memories behind you.
    Time is a great healer. Trust it.
    All the best.
    Regards
    GV

    Liked by 2 people

  12. OMG, you totally resonate my feelings. I completely empthize with you. My husband was abroad and I stayed in India for 1.5 months without him before I got the visa. Even that 1.5 months I stayed mostly at my parent’s place because of my office location which was near to my house. I would only visited them on weekends but even those weekends were nasty as they would make me sit and bitch about my parents right in front of me, all the whining and complaints about what my parents didnt do on wedding. Being a new bride, I couldnt say much of things which left me with suppresed frustrations and would fight with my husband a lot…my husband obviously supported his parents and never stood for me.
    Its been more than 2 years now but I have same bitterness for my in laws. I have to talk to them every weekend but I hate talking to them. I am still not at peace with all the frustrations and humiliations that I went through. Its hard but cant help. The whole set up of living with in-laws seems wrong. Indian culture sucks sometimes.

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    • I TOTALLLLLY understand what you are talking about.
      initially even I had to participate in the whole call them over the weekend thing. Infact my hubby wanted that if I m calling them once a week: den I should try n call them twice a week. If I m calling them twice a week: den I should try n call them four times a week. N so on. Basically he wanted I should call them as often as possible and the whole aap kaise ho, aap theek ho crap. But he could see my heart and soul is not into it.
      which led to more distance between him n me cause he felt I do not want to bond with his family. N I kept getting more n more resentful towards him cause I very naively thought he was aware of everything that went on in his house.
      So I kept silently gettibg bitter and bitter towards him as to why I keeps pushing me to interact with his mother.
      then finally one day I exploded asand said: I dont want to talk with her.
      den started the whole story.
      as I spoke as to why I do not want to call her: I realised he was totally unaware of d events that transpired in his parents house.

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      • Good thing is when you told your husband everything, he listened patiently and tried to understand and now he knows that his mother was playing games with him. In my case , its not like that…He starts getting defensive and fully support his parents on whatever his parents said to me, that hurt me more. He did not acknowledge one bit that his mom would lie to him. She returned 4 envelopes to me which had 251 or 151 bucks that were gifted to my husband by some relatives, and said ” apni mummy ko jake dikhana ye “. When I told my husband this and my husband asked his mom, she lied and said she returned all envelopes to me to give me Indian currency as i was flying abroad. can you beleive it ? And my husband clearly said that his mother wont lie and its me who is lieing about it. That day onwards, I got to know she is manipulative and a big timr liar. It made me resented my husband alot.And since it was love marriage, I just couldn;t beleive he is the same guy i fell in love with and always highly regarded him as one of the best guy in the world. Its like your trust is broken and your dreams are shattered.

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        • I totalllllly hear you and understand what you are talking about. Goshhhhhhh……. Well things were not at all easy in my case. Hubby did not politely patiently listen to what I had to say overnight. There were LOADS of dramas on the same lines as you described in your comment. I meAn to say SAME PATTERN. Me telling him something nasty his mother did. Him exploding at me instead…..” Tu abhi se meri maa pe ilzaam laga rahi hai ” yada yada yada ………
          SAME PATTERN that you described. My mother is a goddess and something must be wrong with the Bahu that she cannot see what a goddess my mother is : that attitude. When I simply could not take it anymore. I EXPLODED. Like I have never been this angry EVER in my life. I spoke to a counsellor. He said that HAD to happen some day or other. It’s called the PRESSURE COOKER SYNDROME. Cause I was simmering with resentment and hurt and grief and grudges since a while and my feelings were not being validated and acknowledged ( d steam that builds in a pressure cooker was not being released ): so d cooker explodes. I was soooooooooooooo furious with my husband. I told him I want a divorce and I meant it . It was not an empty threat. Then we were apart for six months. Then we though we should not give up on our marriage so easily and hear each other out calmly patiently maturely as two adults. Then he listened to what I had to say and then all the truth came out and then he was blank as to how his mother could possibly do such horrible things. Since then he never forced me to contact her !

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        • Dear FS,
          I feel you and me have very similar experiences. If you do not mind me asking which country are you residing in . Is it uk by any chance. Ha ha . Thought I might have found a v good friend somehow if you are in uk. Ahhhh well it’s the age of technology . With Whatsapp , FaceTime , Skype , and all sorts of innovations : I guess it does not matter whichever country you are in .
          Also I understand what you are saying about defending his mother no matter how badly the evidences point towards her being guilty / wrong .
          It’s for several reasons :
          1) like Indian homemaker said Indian men are trained since birth that their loyalty remains towards their parents : and siding / supporting their wife makes them joru ka ghulam .
          2) the second and third reason for that behaviour that I am about to give you is based on my understanding of human behaviour ( psychiatry):- it’s because it’s a defender mechanism : living in denial is easier than accepting the truth: so for instance when I FIRST told my husband that my monster in law would go on n on asking for gold from: instead of him accepting the harsh reality that his mother is greedy: it’s easier for him to try and seek some other explanation for the same behaviour that’s less harsh: so he told me woh riwaz ki koi rasam hogi, monster in law must hav only mentioned gold cause in the symbolic sense/ there must be some auspicious symbolic meaning attached with gold and I misunderstood.
          3) when husbands defend their parents : again this I am saying based on my understanding of psychiatry: apart from
          Point no one : which is what they are taught since early on: this third reason is : cause scientifically it’s their DNA that fingers are being pointed at when wife tells a true story that puts his parents in a bad light. So scientifically speaking : the INSTINCT is to defend their own DNA ( flesh and blood).
          I am NOT saying that is ok.
          In fact that is not okay : n hence my need to reach out to you guys .
          Cause that way for no fault of ours ( us wives) have the unresolved hurt and anger and grief and grudges against husbands too ( not just monster in laws).
          Cause we committed out life to him. And him not being willing to acknowledge the truth is a betrayal of the trust me put in him

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      • Dear LW

        I live in Canada…..and yes we have similar stories…I have few friends here who share my story, they all have gone through similar experiences. I honestly feel guy and girl when get married shouldbe left alone in a different house…and ILs should not impose themselves…husband wife should live with ILs only when ILs are very old and unable to lead an independent life on their own. So according to my analysis, ILs can take very good care of themselves until they turn 75-78…its only after then that they need someone to depend on for their daily chores. And until they turn 75-78, husband and wife have already spent 15 years of togetherness and have formed strong bond with each other and wife becomes more experienced on how to handle bitter ILs and their tantrums….husband also grows and get mature in handling his own parents.

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      • yes and I had stopped talking for couple of months…my husband talked me into start talking again and give each other’s family another chance. So this is the last chance.

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  13. You know one of the reasons why lot of us expats who do want to come back to India chose not to do so is because of these monster in laws. My advise to the letter writer is no different than what all of you have already said, I only want to state that she should improve her relationship with her husband and make it so strong that nobody in this world could shake it, not even a monster in law. I think she is doing the right thing by breaking off all ties with the MIL. I would do the exact same thing if this had happened to me. Life is short, you don’t need all this shit in your life.

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    • How to make relationship with husband strong ? Pander to him,spend all the time with him, …..I mean if one has unsettled, not understood feelings,mistrust of the other how does one get past that ?
      I think the LW can just watch,wait,measure while she gets on with day to day life and hope with time unsettling feelings fade away !

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      • Yes, I know many middle-class women who do precisely this.

        The belief is that if they provide the husband with ceaseless, unconditional love, he will eventually move to the wife’s side.

        It’s fighting manipulation with manipulation. The husband is infantilised by both the wife and the mother-in-law.

        That’s why I believe that many Indian men can truly become adults in the psychological sense.

        They are conditioned to believe that all this coddling and cosseting is one of the perks of being a man.

        Like

    • Yeahhh…..lot of my friends here do not want want to go back to India just because of their monster in laws…..
      I miss India and think of going back permanently sometime in near future but when I think about my ILs , I feel scared of all the stress and chose not to.😦

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  14. First, realize that by keeping all these thoughts inside you are poisoning yourself mentally.
    Next, true and total acceptance of how you feel. No judgements here. From your letter, it appears you may have this already. But I can’t stress how important it is not to have judgements about how you feel. For e.g., it’s OK not to want a relationship with MIL, or to feel annoyed when your mind is flooded by the abuses that your husband rained on you. But the important point is to realize when your mind does this to your body. As the thoughts swirl in your mind, does your heart rate go up? Do you get agitated? Can you think of nothing else? In my case I allot myself nasty-thought time – remember no judgements – I let my mind wander, but I set a timer. Once the time is up, it’s over for that day. Consciously catch yourself from thinking about it in an unregulated manner.
    I tried counselling/ therapy – did not work for me. I tried something called EFT – emotional freedom technique, which allows me to identify my negative thoughts and come to terms with them – not forget them, mind you, but to accept them. I know I keep saying acceptance over and over again, but I want to stress how important it is to truly accept how nasty you can feel about someone else’s nastiness and not keep justifying it. Feel bitter, say you feel it, and then consciously work on draining it out of your system. Think leech and old greek humours – you’ll have to bleed it out.

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  15. Hi OP. I think you have excellent suggestions here, particularly about considering therapy. I think outside perspective will help resolve matters you’re holding within (so they don’t fester and burst at a bad time). However in all this focus on the MIL, I think you might have overlooked a couple of areas in your relationship that need work:

    1) Communication: It’s striking that your hubby spoke to his parents all the time in those 3 months yet you two only managed to clear up misunderstandings one and a half year later! That’s a looong time to go without communicating clearly. This sort of communication gap might be why you’re still not quite confident in him.

    2) Ground rules: Certain things like him calling up your mother or aunt to complain about you really stand out. His mum can’t just ‘make’ him do this, some responsibility is his own. Maybe you need ground rules for handling disagreements or conflict, e.g. talk amongst yourselves and not involve anyone else (even your parents).

    Any weaknesses within relationships can be exploited to create gaps so work on these while you’re in happier times now. Has he accepted that he was out of line by not trusting you or at least consulting you on the allegations? Have you accepted any such issues on your part? Maybe then moving on will be easier. I think blaming just the MIL and thinking she ‘made’ you both act like this is easy but there’s more going on here. I wish you all the best.

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  16. my 2 paise…
    1. Your husband should no better he was not a child, A normal logical adult asks both sides of the problem before blaming anyone. Normal being the key word.🙂 and he supposedly knew you and moved with you before marriage.. is he incredibly naive, incredibly stupid or incredibly mommy ‘s boy !!!!
    2. Talk to him and make it clear he understands the trauma he put you through because of his illogical behavior. Make sure he understand. this is not some forget and forgive thing especially if it still affects you, he needs to know the effect of his actions.
    3. tell him you WILL not tolerate this nonsense again. make it CLEAR. once you have done that let it go. move on but always be cautious, independent.
    I believe every human should be able to support themselves both financially and emotionally. be happy by yourself and only then can you be happy with someone else.

    As for MIL, dump her, shes his problem not yours. cut all contact and walk away and if you get a chance tell her exactly why you did it and what the impact of her meddling was in your marriage. she should know. and then cut her off. done.

    yes it’s a tad vengeful, but it also clears the air.

    Like

    • What if when you cut off the ties with MIL and tell her exactly why, she refuses to accept it and still forces the relationship on you through husband? (because husband will never break ties)
      What if the husband, even after accepting everything, asks (or forces through emotional blackmail) you to continue the relationship promising “they will not repeat it”. Please note “will not repeat” part is coming from husband on his parent’s behalf, not from the PIL’s themselves. PILs believe what they did was correct and that is how it is done (it is their right)

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  17. Before you forgive your hubby, forgive yourself for allowing your ILs to harass and abuse you and your mother. Acknowledge that you deserved better. Once you forgive yourself, work towards forgiving your husband. He has redeemed himself by accepting that his mother is not what he thought she was. He was as blindsided as you were by her behavior.

    Since you already understand this, what you are looking for is closure. A session or two with a counsellor would help, where he actually apologizes to you and articulates why he was wrong. That may help give you closure. Also, remember, the cards are in your hands now.

    Your MIL gave you the great gift of not being obliged to cater to he in the future if you don’t want to. Those are simply the consequences of her behavior. She chose that behavior, so don’t feel guilty not having her in your life now or in the future. You don’t feel guilty staying away from an aggressive dog. If anyone tries to bully you into interacting with you in the future, stay firm and remember no one can force you do do something you don’t want to. Not even your husband. Reminding yourself that you are now in charge of your life may help you gain that confidence that you will not be bullied by her again.

    You teach other how to treat you and I think by refusing to visit with or interact with your MIL, you have sent your hubby a clear message. Tell him your concerns and how he has damaged your marriage with his actions. Ask him how he can restore that trust. Give him the opportunity to give you the closure you are looking for.

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  18. The thing I find troublesome here is how easily your husband could be manipulated. If someone came and told me my husband did this horrible, nasty thing to them, my first reaction would be anger at this person fand disbelief. I would not believe this person because I know my husband and love him. What if this unpleasant news came from someone I trusted, like my own mother? I would be mightily surprised but I would simply not take her word for it. I would talk to my husband FIRST. I would give him the benefit of doubt MUCH MORE than I would give my mother (even though I love her very much) because my primary relationship is with my husband.

    Therefore you are right to be worried. is this man capable of forming his own judgments based on the truth, real evidence, and his own set of internal values? Does he have an unshakable trust in you? Or is he easily swayed by the opinions of others? If it’s the former, then your marriage can withstand other storms that may hit you in the future. If it is the latter, both of you will continue to feel unsafe, because who can predict who will be easily able to sway him one way or the other?

    Now, let’s assume for one reason or the other (circumstances, what have you), he was genuinely mislead. How was his mistake discussed between the two of you? Did he admit he was wrong and made a serious lapse in judgment? Did he regret it? Did he say, “I can’t believe I did that! I don’t know why I let myself believe something without ascertaining the facts. And I let you down. I didn’t trust you. I wish I never did that.”
    Because often times, when people don’t genuinely understand their mistake, and there is a quick kiss and make up party to move on, it doesn’t really help you move on.
    In order to genuinely move on from the past, we must first be free of the past. To be free of the past, we must acknowledge it and understand what really happened.
    Otherwise what exactly are you forgiving? Something vague that was never fully understood and is too unpleasant to keep bringing up? Then of course, it’s not just gonna go away. It will always be there, unsaid but felt (you let me down) if it’s not acknowledged, understood, and accepted.

    If you can, try to have a genuine discussion with your husband about it. Ask him what happened from his side and why he believed those nasty lies. Do not blame him. Let him take responsibility for it on his own. Tell him how it affected you (again without blaming him). Use your I-messages (I felt let down. I felt alone. I felt unloved. Avoid “YOU did this/that.”)
    If you are unable to do this together, then do it with a counselor’s help.

    If your husband can truly understand what he did, why it’s wrong, then he will never repeat his mistake. You will feel better because your pain has been validated. Both of your are truly free to move on because you’ve faced the truth together. The honesty and the ability to overcome this obstacle together will make you marriage stronger.

    Like

    • Indian mothers of boys (the dysfunctional ones) spousify their sons when it suits them, parentify them when it suits them, and pull out the “Sob, sob, you are so mean to me after I gave birth to you and raised you … I’m the mother…..” card when they want to control them. This is their full-time job.

      I imagine it’s very difficult to deal with this. As my hubby confessed, most of the seemingly idiotic things he does to appease his mother are to forestall any tantrums ‘cos he knows she is used to getting her way. Doing stuff to get mommy to shut up for the moment is programmed into them. She installed the buttons, so she knows which ones to push and how. It’s very hard for these mommy’s boys to get out of that cycle. I would give him some credit.

      And much as we say “it not these women’s fault, it is the patriarchy”, I know a lot of women who are not like this, so yes, it is squarely their fault. It’s just that whole families are traumatized by their behavior and everyone thinks it’s normal until they start dealing with families that are not dysfunctional. My husband didn’t see it until he started dealing with my relatives and realized things could be different.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The mothers-in-law I know who have a healthy relationship with the daughter-in-law are those that have a measure of emotional maturity.

        They have worked through their emotional scars and wounds and have healed themselves.

        Ultimately, I think that the “dominating mother-in-law” norm in Indian Culture enables abusive behaviour in SOME women who haven’t worked through their own emotional traumas and achieved self-healing.

        It requires a measure of self-awareness to realise that it’s not fair to allow one’s own negativity to adversely impact others’ well-being.

        It’s about taking personal responsibility for our own emotional health, and those of others.

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        • This is what I have been thinking. I for an instance, think about my actions and my words and my own behaviour lot of times and try not to repeat them if they caused some level of hurt to innocents who never meant any harm to me. And I quickly apologize and will stay nice to them for as long as possible due to my high guilt conscious. And I see myself a lot better person when I ll turn 50 and would be marrying my son. What I find to hard to imagine is that did these monstrous ILs ever looked at their own behaviour and negativity like I do? and if they didnt, why didn’t they? They lived all their life without keeping check on their own attitude. I find it so difficult to digest.
          Hope I become the best MIL that a DIL can ever have.

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  19. Dearest soul sisters and brothers, I have not been posting much replies for past few hours : thats cause I hav been reading and re reading and re reading all suggestions. A BIGGGGG thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone for taking out the time .
    And indian homemaker: there is a special place reserved for you in heaven . You have helped and continue to help sooooooooo many strangers like me . Goshhhhhhh……..I have never seen you but you must hav a BEAUUUUUTIFULLLLLLLLLL soul.
    I found VERY VALID points made by everyone.
    The suggestions were v helpful and I will act on them.
    love .
    god bless

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  20. Pingback: “He became more distant and sometime would verbally abuse me, call me names and then slapping and wrist twisting started happening.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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