Why are daughters in law misunderstood? Why they can’t be seen the way they are and accepted the way they appear to be.
For any girl, one of the biggest fear of getting married is to get misunderstood and judged. But people are not meant to be understood they are meant to be accepted with all the limitations and flaws to work together for a better tomorrow.
We all have certain personality traits, in-born characteristics, and habits, but we usually are misunderstood on the basis of our very basic nature. In this blog, let us discuss why are daughters in laws misunderstood and what can we do about it.
Why are daughters in law misunderstood?
Why is this daughter in law and mother in law thing prevailing since ages in the very same manner? Why mothers in law compete with their daughter in law? Why do sisters in law become biased towards her and why is she treated as an outsider in her own family? So when you ask why are daughters in law misunderstood, try to get answers to the above-mentioned questions first.
In our society, we are expected to follow certain norms, norms which are set by an old patriarchal system, which are unchanged and not upgraded since the medieval age. Daughters in law are not conditioned to ruin her own house and belittle her in laws, well expectations are there but honestly speaking, it is the in laws part which is majorly at fault. By default, here I mean the onus of not accepting their daughter in law in the exact shape and size, the baggage of expectation, the attempt to control her life and above all treating her like an outsider.
What else does a nasty mother in law expect? A young girl gets married and enters your house with eyes full of dreams and from day one you start criticizing her for her cooking skills, her behavior, her dressing, taunt her not bringing dowry, comparing her with others. You know what you do by this, you lose your chance to get respected, you lose all the respect in front of her right when you tarnish her dreams and show her reality of life. You are happy when she stays quiet and follows all your orders but the day she speaks fo herself and takes a stand you label her as the bad one.
Seven Reasons Why Daughters In Law are Misunderstood
In my marriage it never mattered how much I tried to make things even with my in laws, all they could see was the day I took my stand and said it loud and clear that they never accepted me. Then started the very popular blame-game and all the labeling. Staying away from them is now my conscious choice because the wabi-sabi technique of embracing all the flaws doesn’t work everywhere, certainly not with the relationship. They could never see me beyond my caste and language barrier. Barriers are all mind-made if you want to make it work, you make it work by every means. But I was never considered as a family. I am not writing this to defame them but this is what ruined my mental peace for a while and all I am doing is, sharing my experience so that you do not fall under the same pit and find yourself arguing with yourself mentally and doubting your own abilities. When you know that you tried, just let it go. Why are daughters in law misunderstood? Below are a few reasons:
|1.) Communication gap
Do you know why daughters in laws are misunderstood? Because of the communication gap. The biggest flaw is the communication gap in any relationship, be it with your spouse or your any family member. My mother in law always made a mountain of a molehill and my sister in law was always too quick to judge, I had no chance to explain my part ever. A very common scenario of any Indian family, isn’t it? When there is no proper conversation there is hardly any solution because you are too quick to pass the judgment and then it became a habit, I was labeled as someone who doesn’t fit the bill.
|2.) Pre-conceived notion
Apart from the communication gap there comes another demon that kills the beauty of knowing any person. “Pre-conceived notions”, wherein a person thinks of another person in a certain manner on the basis of their caste, family, religion, place they belong to and educational qualification too. Honestly speaking I have seen Ph.D. holders behaving like irrational fools and 12th pass behaving more sensibly in certain circumstances. I am sure you must have seen this by yourself that education and age don’t make you eligible to judge someone. You are as much the fault radar as anyone else. So dropping those pre-conceived notions and keeping yourself open to know a person would surely help you change your perspective.
|3.) Fear of losing control
If your mother in law comes across as a control freak in almost everything, she is surely jealous of you. This worrisome trait needs to be monitored. She feels that you will take control of everything and she will lose power. Even if you try to help her and do things to be of some help, she takes it in a different way, thinking that you are trying to rule the house. But why are daughters in law misunderstood? Because they fear losing control. Some insecure mothers in law don’t even hand over the kitchen to their daughter in law because they feel they will be made to sit and daughter in law will take charge of everything, strange, isn’t it?
|4.) Son snitching fear/insecurity
Going behind your back and speaking ill of you is the biggest sign of your mother in law’s insecurity. She feels that you will snatch her son and make him all yours, such a wonderful thought? Why do mothers in law forget that they have come through the same path and she must have faced similar situations with her mother in law, so does it mean that she enjoyed being bullied because if she is doing it with someone else, she never understood the pain or the healing never happened. Which is one is true I don’t know but an evolved approach can make a relationship healthy, that’s all I know.
|5.) Comparison from others
Constant comparison is reflective of an innate inferiority complex. Right from cooking, to dressing to any small thing she will try to show you that she was and is the best at doing things. And she will also compare you from other daughters in law on the basis of looks, educational qualification, how much work they do and even how much dowry they bought. Looks and beauty being a constant meter of judgment.
|6.) Lack of trust
Why daughters in laws are misunderstood? Because a mother in law fails to trust her daughter in law, she is always insecure and doubtful about her intentions, no matter what she does in her capacity to bring some joy and peace in the house she is mostly misunderstood. An arrogant mother in law will see you suspiciously, he will never like it if you talk to your parents, she will not be happy to see your relatives and friends visiting you.
|7.) You are seen as an outsider
It is very disappointing and at the same time, it is ironic that you get your son married to a girl of your choice, you want a life partner for your son and just when you get one, you start complaining. You see that girl as a second woman in your son’s life, you treat her like an outsider, you belittle her, insult her, humiliate her just because she tries to fit in the family. Instead of giving her a warm welcome and make her feel at home, what you do makes her feel scared and tensed. You enjoy seeing her like this.
Dear in laws, it is high time you drop the baggage of heavy expectations and stop pretending like we are living in the medieval age, we need to evolve in our thought process to maintain a peaceful environment in our house. If you have a preconceived notion about daughters in laws and that’s why you misunderstand your daughter in laws, so please be informed you are developing a parallel pre-conceived notion for them too. For all the newly married who feel scared of in laws, can we break this structure? Can we replace it with love and care and try to understand her, give her someplace in your heart and accept her as your own? Don’t you think she will treat you the same way, and if she doesn’t then you are absolutely free to take your call.
Be willing to re-build your relationship with her. If your relationship has dissipated altogether, you may want to think about attempting to re-build it. But how can you successfully rebuild a relationship? Let her know that you’d like to move forward and give her time to think about whether she wants to do the same. Till then, stay safe, stay sane, and stay happy.
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.