Indian women will resonate with this more likely.
If we look at her as a mother-in-love instead of a mother-in-law (MIL) we might see her point of view and be able to love her as our own mother. Those who know me can say it is easy for me to be positive on this relationship since I have a great loving mother (in-law). But...sadly, I have seen and continue to see many people (specifically in India) struggling in this relationship.
Some women keep trying, some lose hope, some fake their love towards each other, some come to a kind of a silent agreement with each other, some break all ties, some hate each other to the moon and back! Let's not focus on the problem here I guess. This list can become as long as one can imagine.
SAD BUT TRUE FOR SOME
Knowingly or unknowingly this has destroyed many homes and has cost the family members a peaceful and more importantly a loving environment. The kids suffer a lot in this. They are not sure how to react and what will be a good way to handle a particular situation. They cannot believe how can a mother or a grandmother not be a good person since both are loving towards them. They do not understand why they do not get along with each other. They are constantly in a dilemma until one day when they finally chose one side and decide the other person is really not so good.
I feel this hampers the next generation in their own relationships and the cycle somehow continues. Basic problems I have noticed, heard, overheard, and even discussed with so many women are as below. Please feel free to comment and add to this list.
WHO IS THE BETTER COOK?
This is a million-dollar question as far as my experience goes (20 years of married life). I have seen and discussed with several women in my personal and professional life. Some would feel I am sitting here and judging others. Yes, you may be right. That's okay. Let's come to the main question's answer. The answer could be a counter-question to both the women parties in question - "Why don't you both go, try and participate in Master Chef instead?" This will solve two major issues. Your hunger for the limelight will be taken care of and "YOU" will be away from "HER" for few days. This will really "cause" happiness in the other people's lives who are so-called "living" with you both!
WHO IS THE BETTER PARENT, OBVIOUSLY YOU!
Well, you are not a better parent because you are a grandmother. Let the mother be a mother and you be a grandmother, instead. You brought up your kid in the 80s. Times have changed. Love your grandkids like you do and respect the mother for making her decisions like what time a child should sleep or eat. Agree to disagree and make life easier for all. Sincere advice to both of you. Do not ruin your children's innocence by backbiting about your other daughter/mother from Mars! Yeah, you are alien to each other!! What did you expect...duh?!
[And] You are a better parent because the other lady is a grandparent. Everything from her will be grand. She will go out of the way to bake a cake her grandson has demanded in the middle of the night. She will obviously be extra nice to her grandkids. Just imagine what will happen if she isn't. That will also hurt you. You decide... The ball is in your court now. What? I Cannot hear you? Say it again. Ohh, you want to have your cake and eat it too!!!! Just hear yourself, lady. You will die laughing thinking about how stupid you are!
"SHE" IS INSECURE AND JEALOUS
Not you, obviously "she" is insecure and jealous. But why do you have to compete? - is my question to both of you. I have met women who are jealous when their own mother shows affection to their husbands? So now when we know these are traits we inherited traits from EVE, of course, we really shouldn't be complaining. We should just try to adjust to an enemy and hope we will start liking each other eventually. Ha Ha Ha. It is not that easy and you know it.
When a MIL "deliberately" forgets to give privacy to her son and daughter-in-law (DIL) is when she is inviting a thought in her DIL's mind..."She doesn't want me to get cozy with my husband."
When a son sits with his mother the wife is worried as to what are they talking about. Is she complaining about me? Are they discussing the cake I baked today when my mom visited us? I want to ask here -- So what? You baked a horrible cake and it deserves some "feedback". Your mother also hated that cake for god's sake!! She threw it in the bin in front of you today. Take a deep breath! Count to 10!
PLAYS EMOTIONAL GAMES, is PRETENTIOUS!
You must be wondering how she can suddenly have a severe headache when you are about to leave for a party or having a pleasant conversation with the "man" you both love. Is she a chameleon...you sometimes ask yourself. I know...I understand too but the man doesn't...Never, ever!!
WHAT COULD BE THE SOLUTION
I feel...and please feel free to add your inputs too!
- If there is an absence of basic respect (I can elaborate it later) for a human being to another then you can think of moving out of the situation, if you can. Please do not encourage any kind of abuse and report it as soon as possible. Take action and support from family and friends. This is for extreme cases where there is no scope of change.
- If you cannot move out then you should make sure that you are financially stable. Having financial freedom makes you a little less insecure. If you are earning then it is very good. Else, ask your children to put money in your account so that you do not have to ask around when you want to spend on your grandchildren or on just about anything you wish to.
- Stick to being right and do not stoop to the level of the other person. Be polite and avoid a harsh exchange of words. [Because] this disturbs you the most. Negativity is like a virus. It believes in spreading.
- Practice gratitude. Try to see (try a little harder) one positive aspect of your MIL / DIL, maintain a diary. Put down one good thing you feel about "her" every day for 30 days
- Have you praised "her" cooking ever? Have you tried making something special for her? Do you buy her gifts once in a while? Do you go out for dinners, lunches together?
- How do you feel when her relatives visit? Analyze your behavior next time they visit. Do you feel happy that they have visited? Do you cheerfully welcome them? Are you a good host to them? Do you give them time alone to have a personal conversation? Do you respect their privacy? Are you frowning or smiling? What is the ratio, generally? Have I made you realize something? Something which you can work upon, perhaps?
l know a woman who never was respected by her own family. Her son ill-treated her. Her daughter thought she is not so intelligent. Her husband just used her as a doormat. When she met her son's wife she couldn't believe someone could treat her so well. She bought her gifts, gave her financial freedom, respected her. But the mother who was ill-treated for long could not trust her new daughter-in-law. She thought she is just faking it. Now they are living in a passive-aggressive environment.
Does this tell you something? We all are human beings. The most complex living thing on earth because we are the most "intelligent" species on earth. That is the reason we fail to see simple things and question every gesture or behavior. We apply "our intelligent" brain to everything. We become over smart, extra cautious. Little do we apply some intelligence to our hearts and see everything in a much simpler way.
Write to me, comment below, teach me something I am not aware of. I would be happy to learn from you and feel free to correct me as I am open to feedback. It will help me understand you more.
Much Love to YOU and HER ~ from Sneha