It's All About Loving your In-Law

Jan 22, 2011

After carefully observing a few instances I have come across about family troubles caused following the arrival of the daughter-in-law into the husband’s house, I have observed many sensitive and finer points about the entire process of building a healthy relationship.

This article, I feel, may eventually help many a saas-bahu to put a strong edifice and build a healthy relationship between them enabling the entire family lead a happy and contented life. The friendship between these two, who are often depicted as bitter enemies in our myriad serials and movies, is sure to ensure peace and happiness in the family.

I would like to mention some of the points I have noted, taking cue from some of the real life incidents, which, I feel, may prove beneficial to others.

While you get married you are sure to have a prejudice on whether your Mother-in-law (MIL) will be like those typical MILS shown in the TV soaps. Do not be prejudiced. Be a good friend to your mother-in-law and it can be the key to share a great relationship with her. Sharing the ups and downs of your life with your mother-in-law would be a great start to begin with, to create an everlasting and mutually beneficial bonding.

Seek your mother-in-law's advice when you face any hurdles and at the same time you should listen to her miseries also. Be a part of her happiness and sorrows and finally you should believe that a mother-in-law can be the best friend of her daughter-in-law. Give respect and you will get respect. To be a good daughter-in-law, mutual respect is the prerequisite and it can greatly boost the relationship. Respect is all about trusting your mother-in-law, valuing her decisions and not doubting her instincts.

Clashes are bound to be there in all relationships but the challenge lies in overcoming them. Try to look at every doubt, issue or disagreement as a challenge and work on how you can work to surmount them. Agreeing to her whims and fancies every time may not be the right thing to do and or would be certainly tougher for you. Nevertheless, you should respect her opinion and say what you feel about it. Be true to yourself and this will surely help you build a very positive relationship with your MIL.

Always take the initiative to call and chat with your mother-in-law with news and updates, even if you think the matter is trivial. Ask for advice and willingly listen to her suggestions. That does not and should not mean you must do everything according to her wish and become subversive to her.

Ask your mother-in-law for recipes of your husband’s favorite meals, snacks or eatables - she’ll love it and so will your husband. Show affection to her just as you have been doing to your mother. Make your mother-in-law feel that her presence in your life is vital and you cherish her sanguine advice and suggestions. Compliment her when she prepares tasty food for you or whenever she dresses up nicely. Help her with the daily chores. Go out shopping with her. Let your mother-in-law know that you care for her and have genuine concern for her. Also avoid complaining on every argument you had with your MIL with your family and friends. Try to sort it out within the boundaries of the four walls of the house and do not take the fight to the streets.

I want to convey this message to everybody that but for the MIL your husband would not have been there. MIL is a woman who is 30 to 40 years older to you and you should understand that she cannot have the same wavelength as you do. Remember, your husband was a son to his mother first. You should not try to belittle that special mother-son bond just because you are married to her son. The harder you try to divide the mother-son relationship, the greater will be the impact you would be causing within the family. It will also undermine all your efforts to get along with your in-laws and may ultimately result in your husband and his family disliking you.

At this juncture, I would like to quote a familiar saying: "Treat a person like you want him to be and he will become that one day". Be honest to yourself and your MIL will accept you for what you are and she will treat you on par with her own daughter.

It must be remembered that all daughter-in-laws will have to become MILS. All the best to the daughter in laws reading this!

Pearl D'Silva  - Archives:

By Pearl D'Silva
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Comment on this article

  • nagesh, mangluru

    Sat, Aug 03 2013

    Treat In-laws as In-laws and not OUT LAWS ....Rest will fall in place...

  • Laveena Pinto, Mangalore / Dubai

    Wed, Aug 10 2011

    Hey Pearly, Your article is very nice / interesting. Quite applicable ingredient to life. However, from my point of view, I would say how much ever good you do to your MIL there is no scope of being a daughter neither her being in shoes of your mother. Basic thing I understand is insecurity of son being away from her may be the cause. More of all I would say son's also turn to be mamma’s boys in front of their mothers. Quite difficult for them to handle between wife and their mum's. Ultimately wife cum DIL is the person who has to adjust / compromise. I request all the MIL's to understand their DIL's and accept them as their daughters. MIL’s have already lived majority of their life and also to understand that the living way has changed. This would make life easier.

    Best Wishes,
    Laveena Pinto

  • Ronald D. Machado, Udyavara, Sharjah

    Mon, Jan 31 2011

    Thank you Mr. Mathew.
    In this episode there is a lesson for son,DIL,MIL. That is the reason I was interested. Any way the damage is done

  • A.S.Mathew, U.S.A.

    Fri, Jan 28 2011

    Mr. Ronald D. Machado:

    I don't know the details now. From Memphis, when they moved
    to Denvor, the divorce took place.
    It was a nasty fight for the custody of the children. After that they went in two different
    direction, and I lost track of the mother in-law.

  • Shanti, Mangalore

    Fri, Jan 28 2011

    Best way to solve your In-Law problem is to live separately soon after marriage. Keep distance in every relationship i.e. brother, sister etc.etc but with respect. This will help in building a healthy family atmosphere.

  • Roy, Mumbai

    Thu, Jan 27 2011

    Yes good article about MIL'S and DIL's but . if you see , now days MILs are not involving much or husband , In marriage life most of the case DILs Mothers and others are more involment . they are trying more secure more protect and result is breakoff relationship every corner . All married couple Best thing you can do keep very good relationship BOTH INLAWS BUT keep distance, you do everything for them. But husband ,wife children first and go head all the best married couples. (in church level they have to call both side inlaws and keep smll seminar and educate both side)

  • Ronald D. Machado, Udyavara, Sharjah

    Thu, Jan 27 2011

    Mr. Mathew

    After going through all the comments I wanted some more Information on your comments.If you don't mind.

    Divorce, Son became Drunkad Can you please find out an let us know What is the status of MIL after the sad status of the son and DIL.

  • gracy, mangalore

    Wed, Jan 26 2011

    very good article always write something like this & please let me know are you daughter of Heralod D,Silwa from karkala Attur.Rgds.

  • A.S.Mathew, U.S.A.

    Mon, Jan 24 2011

    My friend's daughter (Kerala blood), while attending Univeristy met a boy from Punjab. They
    were happily married with two children. His father was dead, and the mother in-law
    came from India to stay with the family.

    This domineering mother in-law invented a new Indian tradition for the DL. The DL has to bring the ML one  cup of coffee, then wash ML's feet, then say namastee with folded hands every morning. The DL told her husband that she can make coffee and say namastee, but she will not wash the feet for getting any blessing.

    The husband got adamant and told his wife to obey his mother, later physical fight was started. That
    marriage was ended in divorce, the husband became a drunkard.

    How to handle such cases of  insanity? Every state and religion of India has their own traditions
    by the thousands, and they were all started by some weird minded people with good or bad intentions. And these traditions are blindly followed from one generation to the next. The educated generation will not blindly follow the old traditions, and when the elders try to impose their blind traditions upon their
    children and grand children, it will break families.

    When our son got married and left the place, I told them that the best gift they can give us, that they must love each other, pray together and laugh together, and forgive/forget every offense before going to bed. We may visit (short)them once in a year.

  • Reena Mendonca, Mangalore

    Mon, Jan 24 2011

    A very nice article, Pearl. I am sure your MIL must have been very impressed after reading it.. Good Job Mrs. Sequeira!!!

  • A.S.Mathew, U.S.A.

    Mon, Jan 24 2011

    The old joint-family system based
    on the economic conditions of
    those days are bygone era, but now
    we are faced with a new era of
    independent lifestyle.

    We must love our children, and if
    we love them, put the first
    priority to make them happy.

    If the parents have their own
    home and income, why do they want
    to shift their abode to the son's

    While eating in an Indian family,
    the father in-law was eating
    without complaint, but the mother
    in-law found fault with her
    D/Ls cooking like
    this dish is too hot (spicy) that
    dish is salty etc. The DL is an excellant cook, I enjoyed every dish she made.

    Another family expereince. The
    American born daughter to the
    Kerala parents, grew up in a non-
    denominational Church. She never
    had been to one particular
    Episcopal Church from Kerala.
    The boy was open minded and enjoyed
    attending any Church. His parents
    came, and the mother in-law's first
    agenda was to force them to join
    her denomination. The daughter in-
    law went to the Kerala Church for
    the first time, she didn't understand the language and totally
    tired by standing up in the long
    service with plenty of smoke inside the Church. The daughter in
    law went out side.

    They all came home and started a
    new fight service: mother in-law, along with the
    rest of the group including the
    son, verbally tortured the
    pregnant daughter in-law. Their
    marriage started shaking from that
    day onwards. Let us talk about
    these issue

  • Shilpa Rao, Bangalore/Mangalore

    Mon, Jan 24 2011

    Hey peearly good article... Very true piece of advice for all the DIL and MILs... keep writing dear

  • Nishitha , Mangalore/Mumbai

    Mon, Jan 24 2011

    very well written on the most senstive relationship...

  • Mellisa Dsouza, Moodbidri/Mangalore

    Sun, Jan 23 2011

    Nice article pearl....
    Interferance in laws is the main cause for Break ups in a newly married life.Ifs the couples have mutual understanding than its its well.Nothing can come between them.

  • Joel Alex D'Souza, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Sun, Jan 23 2011

    Hey Pearl,brilliant article.I recommend every new DIL and MIL should read it.All the points are so very true.Thank you-Joe

  • Ronald D. Machado, Udyavara, Sharjah

    Sun, Jan 23 2011

    Congratulations! Ms.Pearl! Good Job.

    So the "Manthra" "Is Love your in-law family as your own family" (Vice-Versa)
    Try to be a "DAUGHTER" and not DIL
    Try to be a "MOTHER" and not MIL.

  • V P D'Costa, Mangalore

    Sun, Jan 23 2011

    MIL should stop interfering in their childrens married life specially about the parenting style. There should be mutual understanding between both MIl and DIL to make a good relationship.

  • Antony Herbert Crasta, Mangalore/Sydney,Australia

    Sun, Jan 23 2011

    We are passing through a time when most of the couples live independently sooner they get married, and thus the influence of mother-in-law is becoming lesser and lesser in the modern era. My best advice to the new couples is to get away from the family home no sooner they get married so that alround healthier relationship could be maintained easily.

  • rajesh, Mangalore / Mumbai

    Sun, Jan 23 2011

    Lovely piece of advice. Well thought by Pearl. I suggest, we should bring this article to the notice of Church authorities to consider the same in 'Marriage Preparation Course' syllabus. The would-be couple will be aware and in due course shall learn how to handle and manage the situation. I am sure life will sail smoothly. Bahu should also understand that, due to old age, fear of insecurity will prevail due to which She (MIL) is bound to make mistakes, obviously, unintentionally. So any scene / comments passed on Bahu should be ignored and forgotten. In most cases Bahu's are well educated but less experienced in life. It is better to study the vast experience of life from MIL and at the same time ignore her stupidity. In this case, Bahu's will be considered as Role Model to the Society. Else, vicious circle... Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi will continue will continue.

  • , Tina D'souza, Kirem, Bahrain

    Sun, Jan 23 2011

    Nice Article, well written. It is also very true that there are hundreds of break up of happily married couples due the interference of in-laws. In my opinion the best thing anyone can do is to let one's children be their own and not to try to meddle with their family life, which in turn would have saved many marriages

  • Nirmala Joice D,Mello, Valencia/Bahrain

    Sun, Jan 23 2011

    Hey pearly!!!! very nice article go!!!! keep it up!!!! Hope all is well with you and your SAAS!!!!! good article!!!!! congrats!!!!!

  • Merwyn dsouza, Mangalore

    Sun, Jan 23 2011

    Nice Article...and keep writing

  • Baptist D' Souza, Mangalore/USA

    Sat, Jan 22 2011

    Every parent/in Law who want to visit their children in USA should read and take advice from AS Mathew's comment. I know lot of happy couples having family problems in USA including me due to the the arival of parents/in laws from India. parents/in laws if you love your children, If you care about your children please do not come to USA. You are a burden for your children and American tax payers.

  • cleevan lozil, pernal, Dubai

    Sat, Jan 22 2011

    Well written pearl. I like your article.. It has some meaningful words .. keep on writting the creative articles.. all the very best..

  • Jerry Rasquinha, Mangalore

    Sat, Jan 22 2011

    Beautiful article with a heavy dose of positive attitude. Very well written. Congratulations.

  • Anthony Vas, Mangalore/KSA

    Sat, Jan 22 2011

    Wonderful article Pearl.Good point brought up ateast seeing todays serials going on everyone will have a bad impression on their MILs.My suggestion is think all these dramas in serials are fantasy and accept reality.

  • Joyson, Mangalore

    Sat, Jan 22 2011

    What you are saying is very true. It is very unfortunate that these days many DILs are expecting that they should get repect from their MILs even without knowing how to respect their MILs in the first place. such dominating DILs are like hell for the poor husbands.

  • A.S.Mathew, U.S.A.

    Sat, Jan 22 2011

    Good article.

    Ann Landers, the news paper
    columnist said, 80% of the letters
    from newly married wives were about
    mother in-law problem. The father
    in-laws were out of the drama.

    There are hundreds of break up
    of happily married couples due to
    the arrival of in-laws.

    This is a real story. Happy family, husband is a doctor, wife
    is an engineer and two children.

    The in-laws came from Kerala to stay with the
    son, and the mother in-law started
    her role like a tribal leader.
    She won't do a thing at home, but
    expected the daughter in-law to
    prepare a 7 course meal on time.
    The wife once complained to her
    husband in front of her mother in-law why can't she prepare something to eat. He got provoked and physically abused his wife.
    She called 911, he got
    arrested and was in jail for a day.
    He came home, filed for divorce,
    and the family was broken.

    Whom to blame? The best solution
    to this problem is to let our
    children be their own, don't try
    to meddle with their family life.
    We are living in a different time,
    and we must act accordingly to
    save the marriage of our children
    through any sacrifice possible.

    Many marriages are broken, started with silly
    issues like food preparation,
    spending habits, denominational
    spirit, dress code etc etc. If the
    in-laws won't pour oil in the fire,
    most of the problems will disappear
    by itself in due time.

  • shalini salian, mangalore

    Sat, Jan 22 2011

    MIL and DIL relationship is one of the most sensitive. both have to remember that first impression is the last impression. both have to take each other in confidence and avoid doing any silly thing which could hurt their relation in the long run. dont allow any situation to take a serious turn. just try to diffuse the situation in its early stage and you could very well be living in the midst of peaceful atmosphere.

  • Anil Dsouza, Halealve/Cardiff

    Sat, Jan 22 2011

    Hey Pearl, Nice one. and moreover coming at the right time from u and also for u :)

  • Anwesha, Dublin/Mangalore

    Sat, Jan 22 2011

    Very nice article and so true to life.

  • christine, Mangalore

    Fri, Jan 21 2011

    very good article I hope it will bring happiness to many of mil&dils life,God bless keep it up

  • Ranjith, Dammam, KSA

    Fri, Jan 21 2011

    Beautiful article.

  • Percy Noronha, Mangalore / Muscat

    Fri, Jan 21 2011

    Beautiful article to educate both MIL as well as DIL. DIL's should always remember that their MIL's are in the place of their own mothers and if this is considered, life will move smoothly. What is more important is give respect and take respect. If all MIL'S and DIL's read this article, we will have a better society to live in.

  • Syed Mohiddin Saheb, Sastan / Muscat

    Fri, Jan 21 2011

    Nice Article. Let us hope that all our SAAS & BAHU understand each other, compromise in certain area/issue, make everybody's life happy. Education and Awareness is must to all of US including SAAS & BAHU to make SAAS & BAHU happy, so that other family members live happy.

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