can transform the traditional adversaries into friends and well-wishers.
All you need is tact, straightforwardness and a pinch of healthy selfishness.
Ideally, your mother-in-law should be the person with whom you can laugh
about how your husband loves to sleep long hours. Dealing with in-laws
is tricky business most of the times, but if you learn to get past fake
family togetherness, formality and innuendo, you could actually have your
in-laws on your side. Here's how:
Say No To Stereotypes
Leave that script behind at your parent's house. In-laws demons, me victim.
You go in with presumed apprehension and they becomes defensive from day
one. True, the mother-in-law is a person who can churn a million emotions
in us (actually why, have you ever wondered?) yet, remember, even mothers-in-law
come in all types and characters. To pattern a relationship on conditioning
is to axe it from the beginning. First, make an effort to observe and
understand her and then learn to deal with it. Don't let hostility be
your coping tactic.
Your In-Laws Are Scared Too!
Even while a son's wedding is one of the happiest moments in any parents'
life, this is also the time when they realise, with a certain sense of
gloom, that their son is now someone else's. There is another woman in
his life, who is obviously going to be the centre of his attention. Naturally,
your in-laws have mixed emotions about you. You have usurped their place
in their son's life, in some way. For your in-laws, your husband's marriage
is also a milestone in their life in terms of their aging. Psychologists
state that the unspoken emotions around the marriage of a child can make
elder parents very vulnerable and hence on the defensive, even without
provocation. This is perhaps the reason why many mothers-in-law don't
allow their daughters-in-law inside the kitchen for a very long time.
Because they don't want to lose control. And the kitchen, we all agree,
is a control room in every house. Speak to your parents-in-law about their
fears, tell them that you are a part of their family and not there to
take their son away. Trust takes time but it won't come automatically,
you have to bridge the distance yourself.
Don't Attempt To Change Yourself
By trying to be perfect or someone that you aren't is a pressure on your
in-laws' family too. They aren't perfect themselves. Your mother-in-law
will, in all probability, appreciate that you are no superwoman. That
way, she can drop her guard too and be herself. The best way for people
closer to each other.
A lot of in-law troubles stem from one-upmanship. Right from your husband,
the bone of contention, to the sofa covers, it sometimes results in "this
is mine and not yours". You may be made to feel like a trespasser in the
house initially, but give it some months and endear yourself to the family
before deciding to change the colours of the curtains or redoing the drawing
room. If you try and show that you're the boss right from the day after
the wedding, your mother-in-law will surely resent it. Resist the temptation
to treat your mom-in-law like a rival.
You May Not Be Their Dream Girl
A lot of acrimony arises because your husband's parents had another image
in mind for their son's wife and you don't fit in at all. Often the case
these days. It is also quite possible that your in-laws find you ambitious
and less "homely" than they dreamt you to be. Sit with them and tell them
how important your career is and that they hurt you if they preach you
about the joys of homemaking and mediocrity and the dangers of long hours.
Share the details of your work with them and make them a part of your
life in every way instead of being secretive.
Laugh About It
shopping with your in-laws and eat out with them every once in a while.
home a funny movie and watch it together. Laughter is a great binder.
good old-fashioned gossip about eccentric relatives, the great aunt
who drinks tea only in a steel glass, the nephew who is accident prone…
through old photo albums together.
gossip about your mom-in-law with your new neighbours. Word inevitably
gets around and then the resentments will begin.
Dr Rebecca Liswood who founded the marriage counselling service in New
York puts it, "Sudden love rarely binds the two most important women in
a man's life. But you can slowly evolve into good friends and well-wishers."
At least give it a chance.