Of Mother-in-Law and Daughter-in-Law

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There are these two people who are constantly in the state of combat with each other. This can be of several types: it may be too ho-hum or too painful and distressing – the most viral form of it being the cold war, where the duo won’t talk to each other. And yet another form, where they do exchange a few words in a spiteful manner, hence taunting and teasing each other. This happens in the majority of homes, if not all. Mother-in-law and daughter-in-law – a relation that involves two women. Both possess the same man with a propensity to jostle each other to have the most of him. Before I come up with more, there’s a fair probability that people may think of me as one of those top daily soap fans. But the fact remains that this is what happens behind the venetian blinds, while in some cases just in front. 

We often get to hear about the bad situations that take place between women and their mothers-in-law. Somewhere it’s the mother-in-law who is looked upon as the evil and somewhere the daughter-in-law.

The highest rank among humans has been given to a woman, for she is a mother – mother of nations and tribes, mother of the mankind. Wonder why and how this woman-to-woman relation turns out to be so unpleasant and difficult!

The least a mother-in-law can do for her daughter- in-law is not being harsh to her. She needs to remember that the other woman has left her home for good. 

Some of the moms-in-law won’t stop being crude to their daughters in law and go to the extent of encouraging their sons to treat them badly. Fact! Then there are those who would love their sons to death, yet despise their daughters-in-law. Is this because they are jealous of their daughters-in-law for eating into what they think is their sole possession? Some of the senior ladies would readily say a big ‘no’ to that, but the fact is that many of them see the younger women as a rival and a sense of competition arises the moment the bride steps into her hubby’s house.

Now for the younger women: your mom-in-law is feeling neglected because you took over the position of the most important 

person in her child’s life. Yes, talking about your mothers-in-law. Would you react any differently if you were at her place? 

Respect for others is a fine quality to possess and sure it doesn’t hurt to respect your mother-in-law. And come what may, you’ll have to honour her not only because she’s an elder but also because she is the reason why your husband came in this world. You as a daughter-in-law must realize that you will eventually become a mother, and in case it is a son, then, most likely, you too will have a daughter-in-law and you would definitely want her to respect you. Also, there are these kinds of women too who would deal with their mothers-in-law as their worst enemy, from day one. Based on this, they exert all efforts to make their husbands hate their mothers and their family by inventing events that never took place or exaggerating some minor ones that did. 

Some daughters-in-law are really sweet – of course not all. They support your every decision and are simply glad that you’re a part of their life and leave you to get on with it. While others are vinegary. They constantly talk bad about you and undermine your choices. You can, however, re-read the above sentences replacing daughters-in-law with mothers-in-law,  since it comes true for both of them. Now, this can be a terrible source of frustration for your husband or son for he will always be sandwiched between the two women. If you truly love your husband or son try and do everything in your power to get along with each other. He would so much love a situation where his mother will be closer to his wife than him. It will make him more than happy knowing that these two important women of his life do things together, talk and have fun, even if it means satirise or poke fun at him in tandem. Both these women have to understand that they’ll have to respect each other, no matter what. Expressing enmity and lack of respect for their mothers-in-law is something what the daughter-in-laws will have to stop. And similarly being harsh or jealous of the daughters-in-law is what the mothers-in-law will have to get rid of.

For all that, we also know there are a few of these women too who know no boundaries when it comes down to loving their daughters-in-law or mothers-in-law. And understand that their alliance is the key to a happy family.

While reading this, almost all the women may have pre-estimated themselves falling in the non-evil zone. This is where the problem lies; nobody is ready to accept their fault. Nobody thinks she’s wrong. Nothing is going to change unless both these women work on their fragile relation. The ill will and hard feelings they have for each other will have to go. It may not be that easy but surely worth giving a try, more than just a try. All it takes is the provision of accepting faults, easy attitude and a little appreciation to sweeten the bitterness of this relation. And it’s never too late to mend any relationship, especially the one as crucial as this one. 

Waiting for the day when men would get sick of their mothers and wives being happily together which, though, is unlikely to happen ever. Waiting for the day when it would be just the mother and the daughter. No hyphen, no in-law stuff!

Bazillah Mairaaj is a B.Tech, IInd year, student, IUST. 

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