Adjusting to the in-laws, as a woman

Let’s just face it, when a woman gets married, she’s going to have to change her whole life to adjust to her new family. You are so mistaken if you think you are just marrying the man you love and will have this ideal life where you’ll go on cruises and never chip your nail polish slaving in the kitchen unless, of course, you are so inclined.

The real package of this consists of basically getting married to the bloke’s family too. I’m not kidding you at all. In the days gone by, most Asian families lived as joint families. It was considered a great big insult if one of the sons decided to move out the parents home with his wife and the wife was always looked upon as some sort of ogre intent on ruining the family ties. Bollywood did a great job at showing this to us as well.

It is always so easy to blame the woman for everything isn’t it? How come no one slows down to think of the changes she has to make to adjust to the new family? I get messages from Asian women who have a really hard time adjusting to their in laws because they are being mistreated and being told they’re useless.

Let’s look at what this woman has to go through – she gets married to come into a new family. She leaves her parents home to come and live with her husband’s parents instead. She leaves behind her siblings to adjust to the ones she will find in her new home. Suddenly she has a whole hoard of relatives and she is trying hard to adjust to all of them. She even changes her name so that her new family can accept her yet she is still considered an outsider.

I remember once my ex mother in law telling her sisters in law to keep hush and not say anything in front of me as I was ‘not one of them yet’ and this was almost four years after being married to her son. She laughed it off and said it was a joke but I wasn’t amused at all. What did it take for me to be eventually accepted? I think when I gave birth to my daughter after seven years of marriage is when I actually felt like she accepted me. I could be wrong but that’s exactly how I felt.

I don’t entirely blame the mother n law in this instance. Even her space is being invaded by a new person in the home. Also, here is this woman, who has spent her whole life doting on her son and suddenly sees her son loving another women more than her, she just can’t take it and she goes ballistic. So I’m assuming by the time women are ready to get their sons married off, they’re menopausal and then those hormones make them fly off the handle and give the daughter in law a hard time.

I’m laughing as I write this because I know I’m probably going to have to face the wrath of a mother in law, including my Mum who is pretty attached to my brother as well, but be kind to women who marry your sons. It’s not easy to adjust to everyone and don’t allow your past with your mother in law to seep into what could be a wonderful relationship with your daughter in law.

That is all…

 

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41 thoughts on “Adjusting to the in-laws, as a woman”

  1. Well interpreted. But its a fact every women goes thru it but their journeys are diffnt. I guess thats why women are gr8.

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  2. No matter how hard a daughter in law tries she can never be a daughter for a mother in law…sad that even in these days and times we have to put up with this crap but then i guess there comes a time when a thick skin is developed and daughter in laws become immuned to the crap!

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    1. Yes I really agree with you! I also find that the mother in laws who don’t have a daughter of their own are more prone to mistreatment of their daughter in laws. Having a daughter makes you think twice, as you may also wonder about your own daughters life. Just my opinion!

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  3. But we women can change as we too will become mother in laws so treat your daughter in law how you would like to be treated. I wish everyone would treat each other the way you would want to be treated and the world would be a nicer place !!!

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  4. Actually not all mother in laws are the same. I am going to be one soon and yes if you get married you are marrying the family as well to a certain degree and you have to make adjustments but that is part of life and marriage. I feel that women who have daughters are more hard work because they feel that no other girl can match up to their daughter and thus they put down their daughter in laws. I have two sons and yes i am attached to them but I also know my place, we have already bought house next door for my son and his wife because being a woman I also understand that they want their own space as well which is fine. This way you have best of both worlds. I am hoping I will be able to be a good mother to my new daughter and respect her wishes and dreams as well as same time. Everything in life takes time you have to give and take in any relationship so please don’t think all mother in laws are bad they’re not I know some great ones and you wouldn’t be able to tell they are not their own daughters. Daughters also need to treat their other in laws like their mums and then this will work. Looking forward to having a daughter.

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  5. The new bride isn’t the only one that needs to adjust. The rest of the man’s family has to adjust to having a new person come in to their home with different ideas, traditions, morals and feelings. Having different personalities in one home is always a challenge, but everyone has to work together to be successful. I moved to the UK from Canada and I have the most amazing in laws. They welcomed me with open arms and treat me like I am their daughter. Yes we do argue, but what families don’t? Every daughter fights and bickers with her own mother, so why would we expect everything to be perfect with our mothers in law? I’m not saying all in laws are perfect, and some are definitely worse than others. There has to be a level of understanding and respect from both sides.

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  6. hey there i too face the thing.. its this entire charade of “Awwww u r our daughter and u r the family now” and just as u r about to accept this fun fact….whhooop comes the slash…U R Made To Know That U R Indeed A Daughter- In – Law…

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  7. The fact is a daughter-in-law will always be a daughter-in-law, a mother-in-law a mother-in-law, a mother a mother and a daughter a daughter.
    We will adapt and adjust to new surroundings cause that is what humans to.
    We women are strong and resilient and we will get through this, as we have done in the past, doing so in the present and will continue to do so in many years to come.
    Mother-in-laws need to remember that they were once daughter-in-laws.

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  8. I totally disagree with such a labling for in – laws.. I am a mum in law and I never expect anything from my daughter in laws. In fact it’s the other way around. My daughter in laws has caused grief in our life but I carried on being caring and giving even more attention to find out what had I said or wronged. This is just one example. It is beyond my understanding how one female can hurt another female within the family.

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    1. How do you know that isn’t exactly what your daughter-in-law says about u? She may very well feel she has tried and tried and you are the one who has caused grief. I know my in-laws see no fault or responsibility in ANYTHING they do and they are quite certifiable.

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  9. This is the reason why I moved out to live with my wifey before we got married as I knew the type of things she will be facing. I’m very much a free-spirit kind of guy and have and always will defend my wifey infront of my family.

    Yes there are some in-laws which expect so much from a daughter-in-law but it’s up to you if you want to go through it. My wifey knew my family for years before we got married which, I think, is the reason why the relationship she has is stable.

    I’m not disagreeing with your post, you’re writing about your experience and I hope you don’t have to go through such a time again but “labelling” marriage in such a way is kinda wrong.

    Jus Sayin

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  10. How come mother-in-laws are always bad? They have to adjust as well. Once I heard a lady say that this generation (early 50’s onwards) who are mother-in-laws are like a sandwich. Upto now they were daughter- in-laws and they had to fit in which they did, now they r mum-in-laws & have to fit in again, because let’s admit this generation (MUST STRESS NOT ALL OF THE GIRLS) r so busy with their career that they can’t know how to run a home. You ladies out there I bet the story would b completely different if it would b your mum & your brother’s wife. DON’T FORGET YOU CANT CLAP WITH ONE HAND. A MOTHER- in – laws view

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    1. There are sine amazing women who know how to run a home and a business. There are also some amazing men who do both as well. Marriage takes 2! And not all mother-in-laws are bad, but the ones who are – Holy Geez!!!!!!

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  11. Yes it is true this happens, But not all Mother in Laws are the same.My mum is very simple I’m her only son and we had it tough with our sis in law and bro in law twice.When i do get Married my mum does and will know the score reg my wife,I have told her also my mum has told me in plain punjabi I just want u and you’re wife to be happy all is yours the house money land etc, I just hope who she is were she is she come come soon I’m getting old and lonely X

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  12. It is clearly a man’s job to look after his wife! if one cannot be stable enough to look after their lady there is no point in getting married. Even so there is a huge mix up between say Islam and culture. Only when one is educated enough to know their responsibilities it turns out that a man is a provider and protector of a woman. It almost a laugh that a girl has to move in with a family and ‘adjust’ to a family. This isn’t a compromise or a feat of adjustment it is a lifetime of honest dedicated and sincere commitment in all aspects of life. Any sensible man would be able to strive the right balance between his own family and his wife. If we are the modern generation we should provide solution to these dramatised overly complicated and self created problems of marriage out of ignorance and stupidity and set a good example by breaking these stereotypes. A woman deserves to be treated like a queen as a wife ‘ she not only looks after a man but also their children and ultimately everything a man strives for in life! Lastly it is not rocket science to look after a woman , even in span of month for example if you look medically, it is clear that they go through variations in mood and need attention and comfort then its not hard to believe she wouldn’t she need much more attention time and comfort when she leaves a place where she has spent all her life! only a blind and inconsiderate human will turn a blind eye to ignore needs of his lady. No woman needs to adjust or put up with anything if she is truly in relationship with a man who has a sincere heart. On review of literature I found out that in Islam there is no such thing as man having superiority over a woman! Neither is such thing as a woman being seen as weak. Its her right to be loved and looked after. So is the responsibility of a man to ensure this. Finally only a fool of man will run against his mother to please his wife and run against his wife to please his mother !!!

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  13. My mil and are on a vendetta. I ignore her to keep the piece. I’m afraid that if I talk to her I might get physical towards her because she has crossed the line one too many times. Where do I even begin:

    1) when my husband and I were just dating a month in, she requested that I change college so I can be closer to her son so he doesn’t have to travel to come visit me to put her mind at ease. Of course I said no.

    2) when we got married and lived with them, while I was gone, she went thing through all my stuff, washed all my clothes, and told me she helped herself to some of my new unused bra.

    3) I came home one day to all of my wedding gifts opened and put to use.

    4) she took my traditional out fit from the suit case my parents gave to me as a wedding gift to go camping without asking.

    5) she despises me because her son no longer direct deposit his money into her account. She even went as far as have church members to tell us to deposit all of our funds to her and keep only $500. While I went to school and had to pay for everything on my own.

    6) she wanted me to co-sign on a house for her which she never asked if I was ok with it. She doesn’t work nor does she know how the house was paid. I declined.

    7) when I ggraduate from college and my parents wanted to celebrate it. She was upset and said that I’m her property so they have no right in doing that and that they have crossed the line.

    8) she went to my mom and bitched all the above and told her that of I wanted them to celebrate my graduation…I needed to apologize, get on my knees, and beg them…of course I didn’t…Wtheck

    9) she manipulates my husband and plays the pity card.

    Well there is more but the list will be endless…what do you guys think yall would do in my situation…I’m keeping my cool by keeping my distance. We live on our own now. I refuse to bring my kids around that wicked witch.

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  14. Me and my husband were college sweethearts we decided to get married after uni. Upon meeting my mother in law she seemed like the nicest person my whole family liked her but true colours came out when me and my husband moved in the family home. Before getting married she insisted we stay with her and buy a place so we decided to invest our savings not knowing that we would be suffering. After marriage i took care of the whole house lookafter all 8 family members needs ironing cooking cleaning etc i was also doing a phd and working full time. My MIL became verbally abusive blaming me for what my husband would say to her. She physically abused me when i was pregnant and pushed my out of the house. I realised why her daughter had run away from home 10 years ago. She is a terrible person. Everytime when my husband and i would try to spend alone time she would scream and curse saying am conspiring against her . I couldn’t visit my family because when id come home she was ready to give me grief. I moved out of there and live with my husband and son and our marriage is beautiful again. I hope no one ever has to suffer like this but the truth is some mother in laws are horrible.

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  15. Wonderful words kamal ,it reminded me how lucky I am to have good in laws and outstanding husband.I give credit to my parents who imbibed in me to give equal respect and honour to my mom in law and father in law.to be humble with them.And in the end I would say love can win anyone ,if not then it’s not your cup of tea

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  16. As a loving son and husband I feel this article. A good mother in law will have a focus on seeing her son happy and a good wife will have their focus on seeing the husband happy. The man wants to see both happy and no man being split from either would really be truly happy.
    Everyone in this relationship has a common goal and that is to be happy and keep their loved ones happy.
    This will only happen with mutual respect and good management from the son/husband.
    Really feel for the mothers and the wives.
    The mothers were once the wife and the wife will hopeful become a mother in law.
    We all have something to learn.

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  17. As a loving son and husband I feel this article. A good mother in law will have a focus on seeing her son happy and a good wife will have their focus on seeing the husband happy. The man wants to see both happy and no man being split from either would really be truly happy.
    Everyone in this relationship has a common goal and that is to be happy and keep their loved ones happy.
    This will only happen with mutual respect and good management from the son/husband.
    Really feel for the mothers and the wives.
    The mothers were once the wife and the wife will hopeful become a mother in law.
    We all have something to learn.
    Oh and to those ladies saying a daughter in law will never be a daughter, well you are so wrong, my mum didn’t give birth to a girl, but I’m confident she has found one in my wife. It’s not been all ram bed of roses and both have put hard work into it. But the 2 personalities need to be very carefully chosen if not very carefully managed during the tender stages until the relationship can flow itself.

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  18. Ideally that’s what you would think about most women before they become mothers in law, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Mothers in law hold certain powers and when they have that power, they can become crazy and abusive. They feel entitled to certain treatment and they treat their daughter in law beneath them.
    I also disagree that a marriage is between two families. I believe it is between two people. I give then space. However much they want to be involved in their extended family functions, it’s entirely up to them. And however far or close they want to live with their extended family, it’s up to them. Give them space. Let them decide what they want to do with their lives and marriage. Respect them as individuals to pursue their own happiness. No need to control them when they are adults. Let them go. My life is with my husband. He’s my partner and ideally the only one who is supposed to be with me to the ends. As for my children, they will only be in my life for a couple of years. After that, they will find their own partner in life to share everything with them. I must learn to let them go and let them be.

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    1. Well said. lyria.. the mother in law.. they abuse today are themselves are the probable mother in law of future.. .. !!! The best solution for these whining is they should allow their sons to be live-in son-in-law in future.. !!!

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  19. You have narrated my life story in this article… I have shared this article of yours with my wife. And trust me she has understood the things in a better way …. Thanks to you… God Bless You!!!!

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  20. Umm. The problem with posts like these is that they classify Indian women as a special species, as if gracefully agreeing to go live with in laws and not share household chores with your husband is something that defines the Indian woman. Nothing’s going to change until you start with the premise that women and men are equals, and, by that argument, having a career and a paycheck is just as critical to the woman’s existence as the man’s. First and foremost, get a job and a real career. Pick a guy who supports your independence. Pay rent instead of camping with in-laws. And most importantly, try to change your family’s perspective on these things. You are worried about chipping your nail polish? When you slog for actual career-family balance, you’ll probably not have enough time to think of nail polish.

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  21. Simple solution. Before getting involved make sure the guy knows your intentions. If you both plan to live alone make sure one of you has a property already.

    Going viral and posting publicly your issues is both disrespectful to your man and his family.

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