Living with a mother-in-law? If you are blessed with an evolved one then you can skip this blog, but wait you can guide your friend who is struggling with a nasty one.
So why is it difficult to live with a mother-in-law? Why do women get jitters down the spine with the thought of staying with their mother-in-law? Is it because of some preconceived notion or based on personal experiences one goes through in life?
Whatever it is, it surely is an unpleasant experience for many daughters-in-law around the world, so let’s see how we can help ourselves.
Living with a mother-in-law? Eight ways it gets difficult for you
It’s a match, says Tinder when you swipe left or right, sorry I am too old for the App but I hear fascinating stories about how it works. And it made me wonder, how just like tinder matches profiles of people you want a date with if there would have been a medium to match the ideologies of mothers-in-law and a daughter in law? Whoof!!
Ironically speaking, a mother in law and a daughter in law are two women trying to accept themselves throughout their life, possessing jealousy, hatred, and a lot of mixed emotions for each other. Daughters-in-law are accustomed to a figure called ‘MOM’ and they try to find those traits, that love, that care and compassion in her mother in law and 99% of us fail terribly.
Mothers in law, on the other hand, are most of the time confused, if they accept their daughter in law as their daughter they fear of losing control, if they give them too much liberty they feel insecure and if they demean them the whole house goes haywire.
It is disheartening to see that even in 2020 we talk about relationship struggles between a mother-in-law and a daughter in law, can we get over it for heaven’s sake? So many lives will be sorted out. But since we have a long and long way to reach that point of perspective and discover our euphoria, let’s get back to the real world where we end up with the meanest types of mothers-in-law and understand a few reasons that make it difficult living with a mother-in-law.
1.) Living with a mother-in-law who could be jealous?
Jealousy is a self-consuming thing. Hence, people who are envious can’t hide their jealousy for very long. It just erupts out in mean bubbling ways. I call this –hateful bubbling. If you are one of those daughters-in-law who struggles with the question of, ” is your mother in law jealous of you ” then certain stand-out behavioral traits will surely help you understand more.
Respect does not mean that we overlook the flaws of our elders. On the contrary, we should help them become better human beings. Unless we know their flaws, how can we possibly resolve issues and let go of negativity? Enabling a jealous mother in law will ruin your family. So do not enable her. Instead, find out ways to counter that kind of jealousy.
2.) Living with a mother-in-law who could be disrespectful?
Love and the feelings of respect are mutually exclusive; they co-exist for any relationship to flourish and to bloom. Love and respect play a major role like water is to plant, respect is that foundation to any relationship. How can you survive toxicity in relationships with your in-laws, isn’t it? When you respect someone for how they are you add value to their existence. Now just imagine its reverse; you cannot be respectful to someone just because you don’t like them or you cannot adjust with them.
3.) Living with a mother-in-law who could cause you anxiety?
It is quite natural to feel feared, worried and tensed in the presence of a person who puts you in an awkward position and also leaves no chance to humiliate you, even in family gatherings. How will you save your sanity while staying along with someone like this?
It could be a little less stressful when you don’t stay together and just have to meet her in intervals. You at least get a little breathing space, which is very essential for your mental health. Does your mother in law give you anxiety? Do you feel neglected and left out? Does it make you uncomfortable?
4.) Living with a mother-in-law who could you stress?
As we are new to the environment we seek time and help to adjust, to understand, and in the meantime, we are under pressure to perform good, look good, behave properly. We accumulate a lot of tension due to this pressure. The pressure we were born to live with, yes it happens especially in the Indian families where we are programmed to live with in-laws, that when a daughter is born she is prepared and trained in a certain manner which instills pressure in her mind that it’s her prime responsibility to make everyone happy.
5.) Living with a mother-in-law who could be a narcissist?
Narcissism is a type of personality disorder. In this disorder, the person feels superior to himself or herself. A narcissist is possessed with inflated self-importance and patronization. They crave appreciation, admiration, and importance for their physical and mental attributes.
Usually, we think a mother in law is being unfair to a daughter in law when we find such qualities in her but when you know the signs and when you see her interacting with others in the same fashion, then you need to understand that this is a side of her personality. Maybe other family members along with you are finding it hard to adjust to her overpowering nature.
6.) Living with a mother-in-law who could be arrogant?
In my marriage, like many others, I have seen a lot of good and bad moments. Sometimes I felt treated unequally; sometimes it was all good. I shifted my focus to the ‘good’. It would have only taken away my mental peace.
An arrogant person thinks of himself as superior to others. Just imagine yourself staying with such arrogant in-laws, even if a single member of your in-law’s family is as arrogant as this who finds immense satisfaction in underestimating others, your life becomes miserable.
7.) Living with a mother-in-law who could be ignorant?
It is really difficult when you have to live with people who do not value your presence or continuously ignore you. On top of that, you’re anyway struggling with all the wedding adjustments and meeting new challenges each day.
Being ignored is worse than being yelled at by somebody. Well, you are not alone. There are a lot of women like you who feel ignored by in-laws post marriage. However, what you need to realize is that somebody else’s behavior isn’t your fault. Somebody else’s insecurity is not your problem. Somebody else’s ego is not your issue.
8.) Living with a mother-in-law who could create problems for you
Marriage is not only about choosing the right life partner but also about getting to stay with the right in-laws. It is applicable for both men and women; no one knows what kind of in-laws they are going to land up with.
Just because you get your son married to someone and that someone is somehow an important part of your family you find it hard to accept her as your own. The most disturbing factor of a marriage is the mindset of the mother in law. Her right mindset could set things right from the beginning and teach a lot of things to the daughter in law.
Types of mother-in-law you could end up with
Did you know, there exist at least nine types of mothers-in-law? It is important to know and deeply understand each one of them. It will surely make your life easier. In the current blog, each of these categories will be covered in full detail.
For any household, the relationship between a daughter in law and a mother in law is important. This is obviously in addition to the husband and wife relationship. Some individuals hit the jackpot while others don’t. The good news is that you too can stay aware of your mother in law. This will help you understand her and hence you can bridge all gaps in the relationship.
From evolved to nosy, from needy to greedy, from fearful to perfectionist and even controlling. Choosing your own mother-in-law is not in your hands because choosing any other relationship isn’t in your hand. What surely is in your hand is to forge a good relationship.
If you end up with your kind’ of mother in law, make sure you stay nice at all times. If not, make sure you stay assertive at all times. One way or the other, clear the path towards your ‘self’ and the emotional health of your family.
So is living with a mother-in-law a good idea or a bad one?
Living with in-laws who don’t respect you is surely a bad idea. There are many reasons that support this stance. The most obvious one being inequality. A man and a woman should start their new life as equals and not as ones leaving their home to live permanently with people who don’t want to change themselves a bit. But on the other hand, we are family and we have to see each other, be together and make things work from time to time, so why not help each another forge paths and amend ways to make it work together.
We can list out thousands of negative traits of a mother-in-law or a daughter-in-law but who talk about moving ahead, growing to evolve, and behave maturity. I held my mother-in-law’s hands once and told her that let’s forget everything and let’s be just friends and not this in-law thing. For a change, she was ok with it too. Trust me it did help to shed a lot of weight from the heart and mind. I felt lighter and maybe she felt liberated too.
I know it depends upon person to person and their level of acceptance, not everyone is willing to shed their tons of ego which they have accumulated over years of hard work. So we can stop pampering their egos and continue to be the kindest version we are. Having said that, in the end, you keep doing your bit. A happy household goes a long way in one’s happiness. So strive for it.
Priyanka Nair is the author of 26 Days 26 Ways for a Happier you and Ardhaviram. An NLP practitioner and Founder of Sanity Daily, helping you prioritize your mental health. Let’s build a happy community.