Sunday, July 13, 2014

5 ways to turn your monster-in-law into a loving mother-in-law

The horror stories which we have heard about mother in laws all around us, seems to have clouded our vision about them. We hate to admit it; but these perceptions that we have built in our minds always seem to hover somewhere in the vicinity of all newly married women. And when a woman enters into a new family she somehow has already made an impression about the mother-in-law and which clouds her own sense of fair judgment. There are very few women who have actually entered into a relationship without forming assumptions about their husbands’ mothers and the few who have done so; are the only ones to have maintained a cordial and successful mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationship.

Another sad fact is that some mother-in-laws seem to have also heard the same stories and which probably makes them feel that they have an image to live up to. And hence there comes an initial barrier from her side as well. This doesn't help in appeasing the fears which have already taken house in the mind of a new daughter-in-law. However, even though it might seem to be an insurmountable problem at first, there are several ways to break the ice and start on a good footing with your mother-in-law and have a healthy and happy relationship with her; without compromising your own happiness.

Keep an open mind: The first step to having a good relationship with your mother-in-law is to let go of any pre-assumptions that you have built about her. A woman has several facades to her and she might behave in ten different ways with ten different people. So to make assumptions about her on the basis of hearsay is not going to help the relationship at all. It takes time to build and nurture a bond into a healthy relationship and the best way to start is; to keep an open mind about her and get to know her on an impartial footing. This will also help you to notice the positives about her which is otherwise, mostly ignored.

Give her a chance: Everyone is entitled to make mistakes and it is natural for a mother to feel possessive about her child and resent anybody who alienates him from her. If a mother feels insecure and scared about losing her child she wants to keep him close and this brings a rift between the wife and the mother. But if a daughter-in-law actually understands the feelings of the mother, she will be able to make her feel a part of their lives without losing her own importance in the equation. There is no question of fighting over a man because he is not a bone and the only way to keep everyone happy, is by learning to share. The moment a mother-in-law is convinced that the wife is not going to take her son away, she will be secure enough to treat her more like a daughter than a daughter-in-law.

Treat her with respect: It is difficult to show respect to someone whom we feel don’t deserve it, but we don’t put that distinction when it comes to our own parents so why should that distinction come when in laws are involved? If you expect to be treated like a daughter then you will need to show the same treatment towards her as well. A mother-in-law is after all the mother of your husband; so she deserves some respect on that front; if nowhere else. And the best part is that you can kill a person with kindness and if your mother-in-law harbors any bitterness towards you, it will automatically fade with your cordial treatment.

Video Source : You tube

Behave like a daughter: We expect motherly treatment from our mother-in-laws but when it comes to returning the favor, we shy away. We should remember that our mothers used to berate us when we made mistakes and when the same treatment is meted out by a mother-in-law; we say that we have been ill-treated. One can at least give a try to the approach of being a daughter. You mother-in-law is also a woman and there are so many things that you can actually share with her without losing your own privacy. There are numerous ways to bond, it might be by sharing a cup of coffee and talking about her childhood, or it could be crying together while watching an old flick, any kind of sharing helps to bring you both closer and strengthen the bond between both.

Give her some leeway: Although sometimes a mother-in-law can be pesky about the privacy of her son and daughter-in-law, it sometime helps to let her have her say. She might appear to be dictating your lives but instead of protesting it might be a better idea to pretend to go along with her ideas and then let her son do the job of turning down her ideas. It is again the feeling of insecurity which leads to this kind of interference and indulging her whims once in a while helps to keep her happy. It is a kind of assurance that she gets about her importance in your lives and helps her to accept your privacy easily as well.   

The above ideas might seem to be compromising at first; but actually they are the stepping stones to forming a happy family without hurting anyone’s feelings in the process. If we come out of our shells for a little while and try seeing the world from the eyes of a mother-in-law, it will help us in adapting these tips more easily.

**Although this article touches on the aspect of being a good daughter-in-law,  it does not condone any kind of abuse or harassment meted out by in laws, in any way whatsoever. It is a criminal offense to harass a daughter-in-law by either physically or psychologically; and such kind of treatment should not be encouraged at all. Any sign of abuse should be immediately brought to the notice of the authorities and a woman should not in any way condone such acts.**

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