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Equality & Respect is important in a daughter in law and Mother in Law relationship

13 Apr 2016

Marriage is a life event that comes with a lot of excitement, expectations and adjustments. In our society the responsibility to make adjustments is solely on the woman – completely one sided as I would like to put it. One of the most challenging adjustments or relationships is that of a mother in law and a daughter in law.
Quite often there is a lack of mutual respect and understanding for one’s way of life, set of beliefs and even professional goals for the daughter in law.
In today’s world where the society has so called evolved, a study conducted by ePsyclinic shows that 96% of women suffer from depression due to the constant disrespect that they get from their mother in law. Rules for the son and the daughter in law are starkly different. 
Daughter in laws are reprimanded for how they are not ideal – i.e like the mother in law.  A daughter in laws emotions are very rarely acknowledged. Our survey also showed that women feel bashed at their in laws homes and seldom feel that it is their own home. Also in many instances the husband also tells his wife to be how his mother is. How do you think this effect the psychological condition of a woman?
Sheetal (25) and Amit (28) have been married for the past 3 years. Sheetal looks back at these 3 years as turbulent. She feels she cannot remember a single happy day after she got married. From day one she was told how she was incompetent at household chores. She was told on many instances that a woman who cannot take care of the house is ‘good for nothing’. Sheetal was an independent and ambitious professional. She now started to doubt 
her own capabilities. Her husband would often compare her to his mother and her mother in law would interfere in even the way she poured water. Sheetal would be hurt and would cry but every one thought that she is just causing trouble in the house. Nobody seemed to understand her plight. She slowly started to feel anxious when her in laws would be around and would fear doing anything as she would be ticked off. She felt constantly demeaned. 
Sheetal found herself sad and lacked interest or enthusiasm that she previously had. She was slowly slipping into depression.Sheetal’s story is one the many of us can relate to- the lack of respect in our in laws house. Many women start to struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression and stress. This is also one of the major reasons of marital discords. 
Here is what you can do:
1. Define Clear Rules of Engagement: It is important that you set rules about how much interference you are willing to take. Chalk out a list of things that you feel that you do not want any kind of suggestions or interference and a list where you feel that suggestions would be beneficial. Having a balanced approach would be helpful. Communicate this to you mother in law in a diplomatic manner.
2. Focusing on your own Happiness: Often we keep the onus of our happiness with someone else. The only person who can make you happy is – you yourself. Look within for happiness and not at relationships.
3. Keeping yourself busy: It is important that you have a schedule for yourself. Prioritise activities that are important for you and you enjoy. While in a family you might be expected to do certain tasks, see why you feel that they are important and take it like your own decision to do that particular activity.
4. Not letting this affect your marriage: About 85% of marital discords in India are due to differences with in laws. We tend to mix our relationship with our in laws with our husband. Avoid discussions about parents in your personal couple time. 
5. Discussing you problem with a confidante: If you have a close friend discuss how you feel with them or even a sibling. This will give you a space to vent out how you feel. 
6. Protecting yourself from emotional hurt: It is difficult to control the words and behaviour of those around us. What we can surely do is to protect ourselves from feeling hurt and emotionally drained out. Build an imaginary shield around yourself and whenever a critical comment comes your way imagine that it has bounced back after hitting the shield around you.
7. Never Take Abuse: When as a society, we are speaking against abuse of children by parents, why should you as a daughter in law take abuse from in-laws post marriage? Your respect is non-negotiable. So stand up for yourself
8. Avoid Comparisons: Never almost never start comparisons between youself and your mother in law. This brings in the feeling of competition. This will just leave you more stressed and hurt.
9. Taking Professional help: Feeling constantly under scrutiny or excessive perceived interference can be very unnerving. Speaking to a professional Psychologist or a Counselor will help you direct your emotions in a much more goal directed manner.
If you are feeling depressed and unhappy due to issues with your motherin-law and husband, we at have helped many women feel better and happier in their relationships.
Just Click the Pink chat button and type "MIL issues" to instantly connect with a psychologist for a counseling session or to know more about Fees and process 

Tags: #mother-in-law #daughter in law #equality