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The Mother-in-Law Matter

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The Mother-in-Law MatterProblems with one’s mother-in-law do not have to start after marriage, as many young girls and boys find out when they are seeing someone. A recent instance that came to my personal attention proved this. The boy was extremely apprehensive about telling his parents that he was interested in someone – that too a girl completely out of the family and community ken. However, the girl was equally insistent that his parents had to be told, and had to get used to the fact. Was he serious about her or not? The girl wanted to know. So the boy went ahead and told his parents, and three days later, his middle-aged mother had a stroke and was in Intensive Care. The girl was left twiddling her thumbs and feeling guilty while her boyfriend was doing day and night duty at the hospital.

If this is what the news of an impending daughter-in-law can do to somebody, what will the exact relationship be like with the said daughter-in-law, after the actual wedding?

“The whole mother-in-law matter is about control and the fear of losing it,” says Sathya, matter-of-factly. She is 38, and has weathered a mother-in-law, as well as her clone, in the form of her husband’s aunt, with a great fondness for her nephew. “The small things in the house and kitchen acquire a great deal of importance – how is she getting the clothes washed, is she giving the servants too much liberty, is there too much spice in the food, or too little. Its such a pain! I could never have got relief from it if I had not stepped out of the house after three years of marriage, and from then on decided to let my mil have her way till she is hale and hearty. About my children, I’m a little possessive – I still like to lay down the rules for them, and have my private time with them. But about the rest of the things – how the house is run – let her do what she likes!”

Sathya’s philosophical approach has worked for her. She is also not too bothered about her mother-in-law making special dishes for her son and other such gestures. “OK, so she will make him special treats. But I ignore it, and have my own revenge. I sneak early into the kitchen some days and rustle up some really nice food for my kids. When she hears them exclaiming over it, she is a little jealous. I can tell!”

For every woman who is able to take her mother-in-law’s possessiveness in her stride, like Sathya does, there are two hundred other suffering ones who are just mad about not having access to their kitchens, husbands, children, in short everything, the way they would like to have. On the other hand, there are also those struggling young working women, for whom their mother-in-law’s presence is a big boon.

“I could not dream of working, with my one and a half year old daughter to look after, if my mother-in-law was not living with us,” says Jeeveni. “My daughter is also attached to her grandmother, and my mother-in-law loves her very much. It is such a relief to be able to work without worry for the child.” What about fights with m-i-l? Do they happen? “Some disagreements, small ego problems are inevitable”, she says. “A mother-in-law can never be like one’s own mother. But we have these disagreements only once in seven or eight months. Not often, so it is OK to go on.”

Resolving one’s personal hostility and feelings of rebellion towards a mother-in-law is actually a smart strategy for survival in the present, it appears. “What’s the point of making your husband’s life miserable with complaints?” asks Sathya. “What will you do if he goes on taking her side? Its better not to risk one’s prestige in this way.” As for Jeeveni, she has another reason. “Some adjustment is required everywhere – in office, or even with your friends. Adjusting to your mother-in-law actually brings more benefits.”

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Responses to The Mother-in-Law Matter

  1. 1 seema

    I just loved the article.I am one of the suffering ones and my marriage has suffered bcpz of that.It took me time to understand these things and my life has been miserable.Anyways I wish this article reaches all married girls so that they can improve their lives.Please send more such articles on relationships.

  2. 2 seema

    in today;s time children should know the value of having parents like a motherin law, i think both have to adjust, if today 100 percent we adjust to servants then why not with motherinlaws, such articles should be more and more given,
    love seemapunwani

  3. 3 pinky

    All mother-in-laws are just the same old fashioned ladies with too much ego and controlling behaviour. No matter what you do and even the best you do, makes her want to say that something is not right - because she wants it her way all the time and she thinks that her way is the best !
    Unfortunately most mil’s don’t know that they are not supposed to poke their nose into family matters and disturb some one else’s personal life. They tell you what to do and how to do it, even though its not the best advice.
    I feel keeping the mother-in-law far and out of your life’s business is the best approach to have a peaceful, healthy and friendly atmosphere.

  4. 4 furzaam ahmed

    well in my piont of view mother-in-law is blessing and on the other hand she’s curse for the women. sometime mother-in-law behave like a real mother and sometime she became witch it depends on the circumstance. On the whole women is the worst enemy of the women. but these are the bitter reality should be accepted at any cost.10% of the world mother-in-law are really caring to his son wife and rest of the 90% are against his son wife why? because the possiveness of the mother toward his son very high which cause create tension in the house and in other word do not want to settle his son wife with other family member.she could took revenge to her because she was always remember her past if her mother-in-law attitude brutal to her she took same step to her son wife this is pehtic approach adopt by the mother-in -law. in the end i request to all mother-in-law for God sake treat like wife son as a friend forgot every thing and strat a new life with ur son wife just think for a moment if ur daugther will face all these problems because of ur sin who will be responsible u god revenge himself from you. So please treat your son wife as your daugther. I have astrong beleive in God will protect ur daugther every second of the life. Please think and review ur self. thank you

  5. 5 v.b.sastry

    Excellently expressed piece of advice. Many women cannot act on the advice unfortunately as their ego-based naturual feelings overtake them and are in control. It should be quite evident to them rationally that mothers having brought up their sons proudly are egoistic about their sons and do not want to like their sons being controlled by their wives. On the other hand, mothers too become over-egoistic and do not realise that their sons being responsive to their wives is natural and even necessary. The over-egoisic mothers cannot tolerate any variation from the way they have been accustomed to living their lives and conducting the family affairs. If there is rational thinking on the part of either mother-in-law or daughter-in-law or, preferably both of them, there would be peace, harmony and effectiveness in the functioning of the family.

  6. 6 rahul1930

    Is’nt it a strange thing that sathya claims to be “possessive” about her kids. Just imagine, her mother-in-law raised a kid and on one fine day he marries a woman, won’t she feel “possessive” about her son who seem to concentrate more towards his newly wedded wife than mother. Actually, sathya should make her mother-in-law comfortable and denounce the feeling of hatred towards her mother-in-law because she is sailing in same boat and one fine day her son too will do the same thing.

    I pray God to bring peace and happiness to the suffering mother-in-laws who are tortured on daily basis by the “corporate bahus.”

  7. 7 jigar


  8. 8 tanuja

    i m very much suffering in i spent a unhappy life.always she behave us as is very dificult to satisfay her.
    so i like this article.but how she know about this article.

  9. 9 xyz

    :arrow_wp: Assume your MIL as an elderly friend.
    :arrow_wp: Try to be good and co-operative
    :arrow_wp: Postive approach towards a persons will Build a better atmosphere and understanding . [ FYI - No one is bad at all time ].
    :arrow_wp: Self-thinking is the best option in making decision, rather then taking advice from somebody.
    :arrow_wp: Learn to take things easy.

  10. 10 Alex

    Its has a few good points that i noticed
    1)Its about fear of losing control
    2)You could have a good relation with M-i-l if worked upon.
    3)M-i-l will never be as loving as your mom
    4)You have to give importance to their ego and psycological needs and BINGO.


  11. 11 mallesh


  12. 12 Razvin Irani


    This is a very beautifully written article and i agree/disagree to it,i agree 100% to the view that Rahul1930 has said, that is true what goes around comes around.

    As far as adjustments are concern i think they should be from both sides, i dont understand when it comes to their own daughters they(mil) are always chatting over the phone about how are the daughters in laws are, but when it comes to their own daughter-in-law things are still they same as the daughters in laws.

    Well, personally i m happy with my future in laws as i have a magnificient capacity of being patience and hope will never loose it.

    As far as my in laws are concern i m from a very different community getting into a very different one and it is an arranged marraige and my problem is my religion. i dont understand when u(mil) know that she (dil) is different from us y not accept it and not expect her to change but adopt ur in laws) culture and she (dil) should happily willing to do so.

    Wish you all the best to all dil and mil……..please lets make this work!!!!

  13. 13 bushra


  14. 14 indu

    I entirely disagree with the view point of the author. In the context of the Indian social set up, where a girl after marriage comes to live in her husband’s house where his parents reside,it is the primary responsibility of the mother in law to make the daughter in law comfortable and welcome in her new home and treat her with the friendliness and warmth. The picture more often than not is a mother inlaw who is critical of almost everything the new entrant does little acknowledging that she deserves some space and recognition as an individual in her own right. I think that a mother inlaw should prepare herself for her role as a mature individual without the fear pshychosis that her son’s affection is about to be snatched away by the DIL. A man while being an affectionate husband does not become ipso fact a less affectionate and caring son to his mother. As for the “battle” over the control of the day to day affairs of the household can there not be amicable sharing of responsibilities each stepping in to give a helping hand when the other needs it? In my opinion its the MIL who needs to be advised to create an atmosphere of warmth and kindness rather than advise the DIL that she should adjust to every unreasonable stand of her MIL ! Needless tp point out that the DIL also needs to show the courtesy, affection and respect due to her elders !

  15. 15 mukesh

    :idea_wp: Is’nt it a strange thing that sathya claims to be “possessive” about her kids. Just imagine, her mother-in-law raised a kid and on one fine day he marries a woman, won’t she feel “possessive” about her son who seem to concentrate more towards his newly wedded wife than mother. Actually, sathya should make her mother-in-law comfortable and denounce the feeling of hatred towards her mother-in-law because she is sailing in same boat and one fine day her son too will do the same thing.

    I pray God to bring peace and happiness to the suffering mother-in-laws who are tortured on daily basis by the “corporate bahus

  16. 16 radha

    I also agree with the fact that all women are enemies of each other jealousy is always there but every time a daughter in law or mother in law does not have to adjust a husband has to play an important role in bringing them together he should not be partial most of the time it happens not most I should say always/frequently in my case my hubby always favours his mother even if she is wrong everything is go for her for being mother we stay seperately but she comes to our place quite frequently .I do agree we should respect elders but if elders misbehaves then what is the wayout?kindly suggest

  17. 17 Razvin Irani


  18. 18 Pratima

    It is very strange to read the emails condemning MILs in general. I had a wonderful MIL who treated me like a daughter. I have seen Cruel DILs treating their MILs like dirt. Any relationship needs give and take. If the same words or advice are said/given by the mother of the girl it is accepted with no problem but if it is uttered by MIL, hell breaks loose. It is a pattern.. If their mother has problem with their son’s wife, they feel sorry for their mother and their mother can do no harm… So I feel the problem lies in the preconceived notion that MIL has to be handled with caution !!!! I am not saying all will be good. It is like any other relationship - onyldifference is we do not want to make it work that is all

  19. 19 sabu cv

    Iam a new comer in this chapter, but iam intrest in this matter

  20. 20 monika

    i want mother in law she is very help full all thing

  21. 21 Ravi Krishnamoorthy

    Now in this present context wherein everyone is leading a life with uncertainty, most of the family has one daughter and one son or two daughters or two sons maximum. As far as two daughters or two sons are concerned the real role of mother/mother in law is not affecting the son /daughter in laws; whereas in a family there is one daughter or one daughter and one son, the role of mother/mother-in-law (narrating in the capacity of son in law) has become cruel and it seems most of their son/daughter in laws are separated by their very good advise to their only daughter/son even when their daughter/son is having kids. By this kind of act result in most of their daughters and sons has to lead a life of knife otherwise also, the end result spoiling their life and caught into circumstances in the form of loop without finding its way out as also their children. This result in tremendous loss of people, time, energy, life, money and what not? Still change is in mouth or in the form of paper.

  22. 22 Ganesh upadhyay

    I read all the message I like it very much. this is the truth of our society everybody should help such type cases. Basically youth . Love is great everybody should try to spread love every where.

  23. 23 Vivek

    Well friends,

    My marriage broke up because of my mother in law, yes i mean it.

    she intervened a lot in our family, always had clsoe watch in her daughters life i mean my wifes life.
    Initially she seemed to be goood, but belive me she was first woman to tellme wife to get seprated from family along with me and stay in diff house leave my mom, from first week after marriage she was insiting this.
    I personally think that no parents should interfre in their childrens life after marriage till their childern really need their guidance.

    My wife toook divorce from me just cause of my mother in law.
    Well lot more can be discussed.


  24. 24 chin

    The article gives us an impression that only girls are getting suffered and getting adjusted with their MIL’s. That is NOT true, even boys are suffering because of their MIL’s.

  25. 25 Anu

    Hi,though I don’t have experience in this regard,I feel,the article contains truth.Adjustment to Ones best level is important,for not only,m-i-l relationship,it is must wherever we go.

  26. 26 Srithi

    hi guys..

    Very interesting article …As Mukesh said(the above comment)…Mothers are definitely possessive about the children. Be it son or a daughter. Most of the mother-in-law acts wild because of the possessiveness. Think of this .. She has given birth to him,fed him from birth up to 24 to28 years,was a part of everything he do,thought him lessons(that is how (YOUR HUSBAND) her son is in a good position etc etc.. Her dedication to her son’s well begin cannot be described in words. As we know they are 2 generation before us. They like to be as they want.. let them be .. As far as you and your husband are concerned enjoy the things as the way you want. Think of this.. they are old.. they have spent most of the time in wear n tear of work and family.. They could have been in critical positions too.. first,try to understand what she like and what she not. Don’t even tell her what she doesn’t like .. If u like , go ahead with out letting a word.. inform your husband about it . I believe Husbands has a main role in building good relationship between MIL and wife..He should not act as a lawyer when there is some misunderstanding between the two..If he finds any mistake from his mother or vice versa , i would suggest not to burst out instantly..rather he can console both of them and try to explain the mistake personally.
    Nothing is going to be wrong if u say”YES” for what ever she says .. Ego is the main problem … just let out your ego go..After all they are 60 year old kids(experienced kids) he he. hey,if you really want to cook for your husband and children ,my suggestion is let your mil know that you are going to cook tomorrow morning a special dish for them(includes MIL,FIL).Don’t embarrass her by getting up early or that sort(my views) …use soft words like “Amma,I am going to make a special dish tomorrow for you all,can u help me out ?” the most important thing is don’t IGNORE THEM. The peace with in the family can be grabbed by little of adjustment and a lot of understanding …

  27. 27 Srithi


  28. 28 Ram

    I totally agree with Rahul1930, most MILs in todays day and age are suffering becoz of the today’s liberated women who think oh-i-am-so-corporate type DILs, little they know that they will end up in the same boat 20 years after. It’s a natural cycle of life, like a spoked wheel, it will come back at you eventually. D-I-L’s should think “do unto her(her MIL) as you’d like her (her DIL..20yrs later) to do unto you”
    After all today’s modern DIL fails to think that how would she like if her own mother was treated the same way by her DIL but unfortunately today’s DIL neither has the capacity nor compassion to think in this manner.
    And even worse is that sons’ are forgetting the value of their own mother who nurtured them for the last 25 years to day old new wife. Although I agree I have a one sided approach and there still are good DILs and bad MILs, but then, after women’s lib; most of the DILs can manage the worst of the MILs. The only person who is getting crushed either ways is the son and the husband. Eventually the good always wins and the bad always loses whoever it is. DILs should take a step back and think for a moment “Would I do this to my mother what I am doing to my better half’s?”

  29. 29 divya


  30. 30 Tanisha

    I agree that sometimes MIL plays politics at home to portray different picture to their son. My personal experience I got married very early, I treated my MIL more than my mother, was v friendly, cud speak to her anything. Just my plight that my husband was not interested in me and perhaps in getting married at first place and hence my marriage cudnt last even after having patience of 18 yrs of marriage. Sounds stupid right! but guys its a fact, but the point is that how I cud last for 18 yrs w/o husband’s luv n support, it was my MIL who gave me that support to survive thru all those hard yrs. Even now when I have divorced him, finally, I am very friendly with my MIL, now I am working in Dubai, whenever I go back home, she always insists that I stay with her, I know at times she was against me in many ways, but I genuenly loved her more than my mom, she knows that and in return she still cares for me.

  31. 31 Paul and Lakshmi Mula

    The article is good. But dont know how many will really uunderstand the fact and mould themselves and a new beginning for being a role model to other families. If one family realises and recitifes the mistake then i think the purpose of this aricle is solved.

    In the rnd my comment is, a man is not a creature or a valued possession to be possessed by mother, aunt or wife or somebody (any women). Its just a matter of undeerstanding eacvh other and lead the in harmony.

  32. 32 Ram Bhawan Pal

    I am gree with you marriage.
    Ram Bhawan Pal

  33. 33 K.ARAVIND


  34. 34 JADOUGAR

    Its really nice to hear about all these things.
    I thins other relation of IN LAWS should also be discussed.

  35. 35 prabin karn

    u r think is good think

  36. 36 KISHORE

    Its a very good lesson

  37. 37 Sangeet

    A nice article to read.

    From my life experience, if you want a peaceful life after marriage, create a level of understanding amongst all in the new family. This is mostly achieved with the help of your husband (if he happens to be more understanding) or the MIL’s help (If she shows maturity, which rarely is the case.) If this rapport is created, life becomes much easier. Otherwise you end up confused between who is creating tensions and ways of escapism.

    Most of the DIL-MIL relationship sours due to husband’s inactive role in sustaining a coordial relationship or MIL’s being over-dramatic.

    But I hope this trend is changing going forward, with the new culture of choosing their same frequency partners and MIL’s too.

  38. 38 Rehena

    I wonder why these Mother In laws show their superior status to a new young lady?
    and create a lot of tension between the newly married ones.

    Every mother in law(who creates problems) should remeber this in their life.
    They will get old one day, when they will expect their son to take care of them. Indirectly the responsibility falls on the Daughter in law.
    So treat them with respect, if you expect the same at your old age and give them their “DUE” space.
    Otherwise you know how your life is going to be…..

  39. 39 Vidhi

    Mr. Mukesh
    The only I cud say to u is that u r the biggest idiot. U have no idea how a MIL cud ruin a DIL completely to the extent she is left with nothing in her life except for the physical and mental ailments. If u r incapable of understanding the women’s problems just dont poke ur bloody nose in the women’s section.
    May god bless ur wife with the strength to bear u and ur mother.

  40. 40 Anu

    I totally agree with Indu’s comments. It is MIL who have to take the responsibility of making things easier for DIL and it their responsibility for the happiness of the family. Ofcourse, DIL should respect elders and should consult the elders for important decisions.

    And for “possessiveness”, do u think the word “possessiveness” is reserved only for guys parents. Are they girls parents are not possessive, are they not sacrificing for the well being of their daughter by behaving nicely. y not then guys parents do the same way. Its nothing to do with possessiveness, its just egoism which is the root cause for all these problems.

    For all the forum readers, do u know my MIL doesn’t like me going out with my husband, she does not like even if my husband picks me from my office or if we both go to my mother’s place. DO all the readers expect that I need to adjust to all these nasty things.

    And for the one who said that MIL’s are boom. you know we are just 4 in home and I help my mil in always before going to office and after coming from office and my marriage life didn’t even completes 1 year. Now my MIL she expects me to cook alone before going to office. She often complains this to my husband and FIL. I was totally frustrated of all these and it just ruins my life.

  41. 41 Anu

    I totally go with Indu. It is the responsibility of MIL to make things easier for DIL. It is her responsibility for the happiness of the family. She should not act silly comparing herself with the DIL. MIL should act mature keeping her age and experience in mind. Of course the DIL should respect the elders and should consult their in-laws before taking any important decision.

    And regarding possessiveness. Do u thing the word “possessiveness” reserved only for guys parents. Are the girls parents didn’t bought up their kid as like the guys parents, are they not possessive on their girl. Are they not sacrificing for the well being of their daughter. Then why not the guys parents, its nothing to do with possessiveness, it only egoism.

    And readers, you know my MIL doesn’t like me going out with my husband, She even doesn’t like if he picks me from office or if we go to my mother’s place. Again please don’t say it is possessiveness. If people say it is possessiveness, they why they need to do marriage for their son.

    This is for the people who say MIL’s are boom for working girls. I am just married 10 months ago. I help my MIL in always before going to office and after I come back home. But she has started complaining that I need to cook alone and I need to go to office. She complains this often to my husband. She is just ruining my life nothing other than that.

  42. 42 noor

    i like good familyi i am also everytime smile
    i want happyness

  43. 43 rahul1930

    Hi everyone,

    Anu’s statements are self-contradictory! You mentioned that mother-in-law should act maturely based on their “AGE” and “EXPERIENCE”. Lets check this out.

    Just imagine two women, one of the age 25 and other of 55. Who should work more and who has more strenght to work? Obviously a young woman has more stamina to work. So if MIL expects her DIL to work …whats wrong?

    Working folks would understand this next point. If you are a fresher, you will respect, talk politely and talk humbly with the seniors. Why…because if you don’t you will be kicked out (you don’t have any experience and just academic record don’t help). So point is, if you can behave politely in an office atmosphere why not in house where you are “FRESHER”. If your mother-in-law wants to instruct you in some matter why the hell do DIL take it in a negative way…why not to take it as a training.

    But I do agree with few point which Anu mentioned. If her husband wants to pick her from the office her MIL should’nt mind that. Let me tell you something exactly of the similar nature. I am a senior citizen and my son works in one of the leading MNC. My DIL started a part time job. Now at the age of 70, I use to drop her every single day at the office and my son use to pick her in the evening. And you know what title did I get for helping her…….”naukar”. Damn it…..I retired as an IAS officer.

    Honest women like seema,radha, Srithi, Tanisha are the only ray of hope for breaking indian families. I really appreciate these women who have maintained their traditional and broad outlook towards their In-laws.

  44. 44 Anu

    Mr. Rahul1930. It is no where self contradictory. I didn’t say that I will simply sit letting my MIL works. I stated My MIL expects me to do all the work myslef alone. you can very well check in my post where I have also said, that I work before going to office and after coming from office. My MIL doesn’t understood the toughest part in managing both my official works and household works. my MIL just thinks I happily go to work, simply sits and come back. I am requesting just to support me. Will she do the same for her daughter

  45. 45 Razvin Irani

    Yes i do like reading it…… i have the liberty to say whatever i want to…..i think Rahul1930 and Anu must calm down…………because there si nothing to get personal and emotonal about annything in here……..

    u are the master of ur own mind and all DIL treat their MIL as their own and vice versa……it will work……..i m not married yet but living with my future in-laws already and i dont see any problems so far…….where dont u have arguments,differences,disagreement? ofcourse u do with ur own mum,dad,sisters and brothers but what do u do ignore them… the same…… stressing urself its only going to harm u…………….

    i dont know if someone thinks i m right or wrong and i m not bothered all i m saying is do as ur mum says and i bet a gud mum will always teach her daughter to be good and dont forget, it is ur mothers expereince that she wants u to be good to ur MIL.

    If it is so hard to live ur life with something u cant change then do as gandhiji said……if somebody is bad to you that doesnt mean u do the same……have patience and trust me it will work

    Some more tips………..where i know one must not let people walk all over oneself but i also know not to follow their footsteps……

    Above is a must read for all DIL and please i agree that even men are facing the similar problems……….infact all men, may it be his Mother towards his Wife or His MIL towards him……

    Happy reading

  46. 46 rahul1930

    hello Anu,

    I agree with your point. Thats the paradox, many MILs have different set of rules. The MILs should have same attitude towards their DIL and real daughters. I won’t support MIL who has one view for her daughter and another for DIL….absolutely no way….

    Let me share my own experience. My parents were very conservative and so is my wife. My life became living hell when my sisters started to interfere. I noticed that my sisters behaved in different way with their in-laws…keeping their home environment very good and pleasing but somehow my home was made a fighting ground for an entertainment. They brain washed my parents against me and my wife. She suffered alot because of that. She wanted to live in joint family but we were asked to leave. Anyways, after 30 years when my son got married, his wife (DIL) made our lives living hell. So i guess our generation suffered the most due to modernisation.

  47. 47 sudip ojha

    I don’t think all mother-in-laws are same,it may be some of have more possessive nature,so they want to control all things,but as our all fingers of the plam is not equal,so the nature of the all mother-in-laws are not same.relation is very important,therefore we should remove this hurdle.

  48. 48 haresh satani


  49. 49 Srithi

    Hello Rahul Uncle.. I feel sad about you . I guess she doesn’t know how precious you are.

    hey anu,Y can’t you explain about your nature of job to ur MIL. I know she won’t understand initially.. but u can try to explain about ur job to MIL often so that she will come to know sometime ??(do it such a way she can understand.)
    I use this technique.. this won’t be offensive ,but a chance to describe about your workload and how tough the job is . it takes time but u will have a fruitful result .
    And please don’t compare mom to MIL.. They are totally different.
    It is really possible to have misunderstanding initially.. No elders agrees that they are wrong be it ur mom or ur mil.. anyways…all d best :)

  50. 50 Srithi

    Razvin Irani…One point i like was “do as ur mum says and i bet a gud mum will always teach her daughter to be good:.. thaz really true ..My mom is my guide :) … MOM never misguide her child …

  51. 51

    Very interesting chain of responses to the article enriching the article itself. It shows the criticality of the relationship between DIL and MIL. The problems vanish into thin air when DILs of both DIL and MIL MILte hi. Responses came in 4 types: proDIL (by ladies), ProMIL (mostly by gents), neutral/balanced (by both sexes) and going personal with name calling too (by ladies). One more type of responses i donot want to add to the above categories is laconic - just nodding and saying good (what is good not known). Interestingly, a couple of responses are about troubles from MILs of boys. I heard this complaint from some of freinds in real life whose marriages were troubled.

    Some of the responses are analytical trying to appeal on logic and reason. Most of them especially from ladies are emotional and stemming from personal experiences. The trouble is we try to pack our experiencs as we interpret and sell to our daughters who will have a negative attitude towards MIL even before the wedding itself. Similarly, I found boys who shows a negative or cold attitude to his inlaws.

    According to me, the trouble is stemming from 1) adopting double standards 2)expectations and frustration from non-fulfilment manifesting in terms of mutual animosity 3) not showing give and take approach and 4) not having respect towards fellow human being and his/her wisdom. These things are undercurrent in the above responses.

    1) adopting double standards : many wanted and demanded that MIL (husband or somebody from that side) to be to be understanding to the fresher. How many of DILs show the same understanding? If they are silent becos they are new to the house that is not understanding. Will they react the same way to the same statment from their mother and MIL? Why nobody who demanded understanding from DIL mentioned that its a joint responsibility of both MIL and DIL? How many of the present DILs are sure of becoming an ideal MIL of their dreams towards their own DILs in furture? I know many of you will say ‘we will never behave like my MIL when we get DILs’. It’s a big hipocracy. Do you know why? DILs of earlier generation and presentday MILs also thought that way when they were DILs. Had a woman been as sensible and loving as God created her, this DIL-MIL problem wouldnot have been there by now. But women cannot be loving to everone alike as she is to her husband, children and parents and siblings as their love always has been marred by selfishness element. Otehrwise, no DIL can feel bad if MIL is possessive about her son. She would feel it is natural.
    One common tendency I observed in our society is that a woman (or man but our context is woman here) expects her daughter-in-law to be nice, not to break (by way of seperate family) the family, do all the work, take all family responsibilities, (except control), should not visit parents frequently,and so on. When she thinks of her daughter she laments on her plight if she has to do all these at her inlaws house. Same is the case with DILs and their expectations. I know a girl who wished to wed a fellow with out parents (how cruel a thinking!). She has a brother and cab she expect his prospective bride too should wish like that? If that is so whoever wants to get married should kill his parents as a solution to MIL-DIL problem. How many of us are DILs somewhere and sisters in our parental house and narrated to our husbands the troubles faced by our parents from our sisters-in-law ?

    2)expectations and frustration from non-fulfilment manifesting in terms of mutual animosity : DIL expects MIL and all inlaws to be understanding. Nothing wrong. But people behave as they were groomed and shaped through thier upbringing and education in real sense. So what they may do or talk would, in all likelihood, upset the new comer. But can we have any law imposing the ideal behaviour on others with who we have to deal with? Can we choose our colleagues and bosses and their behaviour? Can we change our own behaviour, for that matter? (we will protest why should we). Then what is the point in expecting all ideal and expected behaviour from an individual (please note the word individual and understand what it means)? So when the inlaws behave in a way and that will anyway may not be understood by you as you donot know their true nature and the culture of the house by then, you ( i am using ‘you’ for the sake of force in the argument and not to point out at anybody) feel upset and your journey starts with first feeling of animosity. Then some inlaws may tease the fresher and that may not be taken in the right stride (this my wife faced in the first week of our marriage and i had to waste lot of emotional energy in explaining to her that it is not illmotivated). By the way how many us claim that we did not do any ragging in our colleges becos we believed in welcoming freshers with love and affection is our basic duty? Similarly, inlaws too will have expectations from new DILs. Why don’t we talk and take care of those also?
    Often the egotistic feeling of self-righteousness gives rise the above two types of problematic behaviours.

    3) not showing give and take approach
    This is in part covered in earlier points partially. When we hit somebody/ something we get it back with due interest. Show love and understanding, more probability is that you will get it back. Show vengence and misunderstanding, take it from me, you will get it back in double measure and on continuing basis. In order to take one should give too.

    4) not having respect towards fellow human being and his/her wisdom. Most of the people who responded took positions against MIL as the most wretched, determined-to-trouble-DIL sort of a lady. We cannot forget that she also is a human being like you and me and she has every right to have her own set of aspirations, beliefs, idiosyncracies, apprehensions and fears as we all are entitled to. Just becos she became MIL today doenot mean she should transform herself into a saintly person having no desires, no demands, no voice, etc. In fact, from the respones it appears people are expecting mangoes from apple tree and blaming the apple tree for not doing it instead of appreciating the apples as they are. Yes she should now try to accommodate a new person and learn to share the house and love. But same gesture is expecetd from either party. In today’s world we are finding attrocities against MILs as coomon as attrocities against DILs.

    To sum, the DIL-MIL problem is an age old malady and every DIL abhores it vehemently and works overtime to perpetuate it over next generation rather than eliminating it. But I strongly feel if we follow a humanistic approach this problem can yield very good relations.

  52. 52 Sunil

    There is always generation gap, and this kind fighting between MIL and DIL will continue forever. Everybody may have different experience based on their relations with each other. I feel this article is much helpful to both MIL and DIL if taken positively.

  53. 53 priya iyer

    The relationship between a dil-mil is much hyped about. a truly sensitive topic. a hot topic for daily soaps and masaledar hindi movies.

    typically, an indian daughter is brought up with the mindset that a mother-in-law cannot be a mother. the girl grows up with a negative impression about the mother-in-law in mind, even before she gets married.

    similar is the case with mothers-in-law. some mothers-in-laws believe that their daughter-in-law has to be wrong, no matter how logical what she says is.

    there are two sides to every coin. i have seen both daughters-in-law treating their mothers-in-law in a very bad manner and mothers-in-law making life hell for their daughters-in-law.

    to-be daughters-in-law should understand that a mother-in-law is not an alien. she can be your support, your pillar of strength and a lap to cry in.

    similarly, mothers-in-law should learn to view daughters-in-law as a friend and not as a rival.

    if daughters-in-law try to see their mother in their mother-in-law and mothers-in-law try to place their daughters-in-law in their daughter’s place, a truly beautiful relationship between the two can be worked out.

    both are from different backgrounds, so some misunderstandings are bound to be there. but nothing that a little friendly chat can cure.

    the poor husband becomes the scapegoat in mil-dil tussles. ‘a sandwich’ would be the best way to describe him. his frustration grows as he cannot let down any of the two ladies in his life. well he can play an important role too in bringing his wife and his mother together and building a meaningful relationship between them.

  54. 54 reshma shinde

    Everbody saying about MIls say something about Dil also some Dil are also not good is there anyone to share

  55. 55 reshma shinde

    A marriage is an arrangement between husabnd & wife in which one person is always right and and the other one is Husband!!

    God realised that he can not be everywhere,so he created Mother.Evil too realised that he cannot be present everywhere,so he created mother-in-law!!

  56. 56 mababu


  57. 57 krushna

    see u orthodox and narrow minded nuts
    do u realise wht u say
    my mom is a beautiful lady and and my mom in law is better thn her
    for wht i did nt get to do as a daughter i got to do it with this lady
    she is such a wonderful lady
    a mom a frend
    a grand mom
    as well as a consultant
    wht do u mean
    isnt ur site fr the entire public in india
    or is it only fr females who cannot achive any thng in life and always relay or depend on others

    sanchita wadia
    kindly get back
    with a suitable answer

  58. 58 someone

    for the working women whose MILs dont support them…. you’re doing as much work as your husbands at office… they’re younger than your MILs by atleast 20 years… ask HIM to help you instead… why should he be watching TV while you come back from office and work?

  59. 59 Mr. Daniel

    problems exist in all families in every stages of married life. To resolve this

    a) daughter in law is so adopted to mother than her mother in law
    b) daughter in law should think her mother in law in place of mother and treat her with respect. Will they do it???
    c) daughter in law should realise that they shouldnt have got their lovely husbands without mother in law.
    d) daughter in law should avoid possessiveness over her husband- and realise that her husband also belongs to his parents.
    e) most of girls nowadays want husband without family. They want to live separately. Why they cant take care of his parents - what will they loose by serving them
    f) daughter in law should realise they also will become mother in law in future.
    g) all problems will resolve the minute when a daughter in law consider her mother in law as her own mother in every ways.

  60. 60 Shreehari.S.Nadig

    if you wish to ur mother in law understand u,then why can’t u people try to understand ur mother in law, when you try to understand her then she will be interested to understand u, some people always wish they should never fall infront of any one,that is never possible in life, u have to do that then only life can become softer for you,

  61. 61 Mary Ameri

    I don’t agree with this article, it seems very bias to me. I believe a newly wed husband and wife should be given the chance to create a life for their children without the interference of a mother-in-law who needs to satisfy her hunger for control. Mother-in-Laws need to learn to be respectful to their children, the ones their children marry, and the family structure they choose to build.

    I think mother-in-laws have had their chance to fall in love with a man, and raise and care for a family. They should be supportive to daughter-in-laws and son-in-laws and avoid inflicting suffering and discomfort to their lives.

    I am presently in a situation where my to be mother-in-law has began namecalling even after I let her have control of my kitchen. She is very unhappy when she sees her son share all household duties with me such as doing laundry, cleaning dishes, and running errands for the house. We see ourselves as a team, and she is not willing to see teamwork as a positive attribute. She demonstrates her unhappiness by observing every detail of our teamwork, and making indirect, offensive comments such as, her son is very unlucky compared to his brother who’s wife does all household work for him.

    I find mother-in-laws who fight for control with their daughter-in-laws and/or son-in-laws, selfish. Otherwise, if the newly wed truly desires to have the involvement of their in-laws, then, I’m all for it. I don’t, however, believe in-laws have the right to nose in and intrude as he or she pleases.

  62. 62 Preeti

    I read the articles and it reflected a lot of truth.

    I have seen my sisters suffering due to their MILs, so much that i was scared to marry myself. A very prominent pattern I see is that where there is one son, the life of bahu is more difficult. Specially, if the MIL is of the type that she wants her control over every aspect of the life of son, bahu and the house. in such cases, mostly the MIL has already tuned her son to believe she is God. the MIL hardly gives space to her son and bahu, who share nothing in life apart from a bed. This really stiffles the DIL and she is always frustrated. So the little time she gets with her husband in bed goes in frequent fights, the necessary bond between them never forms. As what I see, this is what every MIL wants, out of insecurity, she makes sure her son gets glued to her and doesn’t develop any relationship with his wife.

    I think this is a serious crime a MIL does. Ironically, if the same thing happens with her daughter, she has an entirely different attitude towards solving their problems.
    I have seen some MILs publicly humiliating and insulting their bahus, being jealous if their bahus earn as well as take good care of the house(which is never acknowledged), and the MIL exercises interference over every aspect of the bahu’s life.

    Infact, it is the responsibility of every son to strike a balance. He has lived with his mom all his life, given her enough love and time. But when he gets married, specially, in the first few years, he must concentrate on developing a good relationship with his wife (ofcourse being there for mother whenever she wants), because the kind of relationship a couple has affects the entire next generation. If they have a good relationship, there will be atmosphere of happiness. If they have a bad relationship, and the wife is always frustrated, the kids growth will be affected, both biologically and emotionally. It is nothing but carelessness if a couple doesn’t give time to their relationship because that defines the entire next generation of theirs.

    Truth no. 1 is everyone wants a control over her life, both the MILs and DILs. Everyone has ego of her own and wants to have an identity of her own.

    Thankfully, my in-laws are very understanding. My MIL underwent hell of a time due to her MIL and so is her daughter having a hard time(she might get divorced any day).
    So, my MIL is very careful that my husband and me are confortable. We are in Mumbai and they are in Kolkatta. We go to their house once a year and they come to ours once a year. We spend quality time and don’t interfere in each others’ lives. They say they would come to stay with us only when they are bed-ridden and really need them. Till then maintaining a distance is healty for every one of us. They leave us alone in times of any troubles and encourage us to solve by ourselves so that our relationship is strengthened. I just pray all the in-laws start thinking like this in the world.

  63. 63 scharada bail

    Dear Preeti,
    Thanks for your well-thought out response. It is heartening that there is an attempt by both parties to keep the relationship healthy in your home.

    All the best!

  64. 64 arpita

    mam this one topic was arguably one of the most debatable ones ,,,,,,,,next time just leave the topic the readers wll ensure the rest is done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  65. 65 aparna

    what would any one suggest for an mil who is responsible for dil’s mother’s untimely death due to sufferings of her daughter by mil.nothing can bring back the dead soulain’t it?

  66. 66 akarsha

    what would any one suggest to be done to a mil who is responsible for the untimely death of an extremely angelic soul ?

  67. 67 Whatever

    Ii fully agree with Preeti’s view written at the beginning.

    I feel the readers comments are over whelming and very thoought provoking.

  68. 68 shattered

    it is totally agreed that all types of people exist in this world…bad/good DILs and MILs….but sometimes thre are some peple u can’t understand…here is my story…me and my husband got married 1yr was an arranged marriage,with long courtship..1 and half years(although,when everything waS FIXED it was supposed to be in another 2-3 months).both of us had a very healthy time together..sharing dreams..expectations etc…My mil was very loving then-though she was interfering then too…we lived in seperate cities that were about an hour and a half drive..and got to meet only once in awhile..and in that too sometimes she used to make him change the was ok with me as long as we did not have something specific to once it was my best friend’s wedding and she invited him.she wanted us to come together as after that she had to go abroad..and we didn’t know when we could meet again..but at the last moment she made him cancel.i was hurt,but reconciled .i still loved her,respected her,went over and cooked when she was sick..made arrangements for her stay at my cousins,friends house on her trip abroad.But one thing bothred me was that she was very overly protective 4 him..used to accompany everywhere he went..never let him travel alone,although he is an intelligent 27 yr old…to the extent of making him lose his confidence in doing anything he extent of using anxiolytic medicatio sometime.he talked to me about his anxiety but never felt his mother has anything to do with it..infact he saw it as her love ..ok..anyways,we talked …i tried to counsel him and now he is perfect can do anything on his own…
    after marriage,i found her dictating things.she never said anything directly but never let us go anywhere alone…kept us involved in something or the other..whenever we planned something together and told her that..she used to give a halfhearted consent,but as i did not want to do anything to displease her i used to tell my husband to put it talking to my parents on cellphone troubled her…when i wanted to go to my parents house..i used to get a very limited time (that too if lucky) like maybe just one night in a month…all this when she knew that we had to leave in 2-3 months for abroad for his higher studies.though i came down with him..she always kept saying that all her relatives and friends were sugesting her to not let me go right away,but she was letting me go..
    now when she came to visit me stayed for 3 months…with my husbands busy schedule..we hardly get time with each other but now it is impossible.coz of limited accomodation she shares our room.we tried to take out time by going for a short walk after dinner..but she is upset wih that too…doesn’t say it but..THEn,she keeps talking to her other son or other relatives back home all day so that i can’t study…tried going to library,but then she told her son she felt sick sitting alone at home…took her with me to libray one day ..she told me to go home or she will walk back alone otherwise coz she didn’t feel good out there…with my exams coming getting tense..and maybe sometimes this tension shows up,but i never am disrespectful to her…i have told her that in tension i might behave like that sometimes…but then she stops talking,eating,responding to me…when i try to talk to my parents( in front of her )she behaves erratically so that i feel uncomfortableand stop. when i talk about this to my husband he said we shd clear it..we all sat down but she started accusing me of making her feel alien and that im not trying to become a part of the family.on top of that she would modify many conversations and state those to him.he told me he was confused whom to trust,coz he wanted to satnd for the truth.for shopping she will take my husband and go and tell me to stay back so that i study and that if i don’t do well i’ll accuse her….she has changed place of every little thing in the house.keeps critisizing everything i do…tells everyone abut a beautiful house her son has made and is managing alone…(as if im invisible).whenever i used to be in the kitchen..she used to talk to him in whispers..and asa i reach she used to be bothered me.

    i have talked to my husband about all this..he tried talking to her one day when she started scolding him for being inconsiderate to his mother and being ‘afraid ‘of his wife…he doesn’t sya much to her coz he feels that her children are her only support as she is not on very good terms with her husband…about the whispers she said that she could have anything private to talk to her son about and i had nothing to do with it.even he doesn’t believe me sometime..he is uset..says he loves both of us and don’t know wat to do
    in short..she doesn’t want to loosen even a l’l bit.
    All this in 3 short months…….we have to go back after studies are over,don’t kow wat will happen then
    PLEASE SOMEONE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    sorry for a longgggggggg story

  69. 69 Neosumanth

    Preeti your comments are ground realitites.I am a recently divorced guy (ex-wife’s name is preeti )and had a hell lot of problems with my Ex Mother-in-law.She was interfearing in decisions we had taken together, a silent killer always trying to press on her daughter what is right for her and made me feel like shit when i was going through the worst phase of my life in my career and finances . MIL,s should not be too possesive and leave the couples to decide what is good for them and not press their points of view on couples, atleast not when couples are going through rough weather in the first 2-3 years of marriage when the couples themselves are still do not understand each other and are both balacing work and personal life.I feel it is equally important to know your prospective MIL’s background and personality before marriage.Singles out there pls analyse your Prospective MIL’s background before commiting on a marriage.

  70. 70 noname

    well, i am stuck in a different situation and need some suggestions.

    my MIL has 2 sons and 2 DILs.we all stay together. Iam the younger of the DILs, my relation with my MIL goes good. my SIL and MIL have arguements all the while. Iam the consoler for both and have to listen to both of them while they crib about the other. What do you think would be the best solution. Well, having separate houses is not what i want to do.

  71. 71 BUSHRA

    Firstly I’d like to say that I feel people are generalising lot as far as this topic is concerned. No two individuals are alike and similarly while there are wonderful mother in laws, there are an equal number of horrible ones and the same applies to daughter in laws as well, i’m sure.
    I had an inter faith marriage and if I am honest to myself in the 5 years of my marriage I have tolerated every nonsense of both my in laws. My mother in law is much worse than my father in law. After marriage on seing her nature I accepted that she is possesive about her son and tried to cooperate in every way, but realised that all the effort was only from my end. She just did not want my husband to be close to me at all. This lady continues to behave badly and throws some new tantrum every two months. She has gone to the extent of cursing and giving bad words to me and my parents time and and again, inspite of the fact that I never open my mouth in front of my in laws. My husband is also very upset by his parents behaviour but says he cannot do anything bcos its his duty to take care of his parents. I now have a daughter who is 3 and I dont want my inlaws to influence her upbringing.
    As far as my mother in law is concerned, my husband tells me she was a complete WITCH even with her inlaws and made my father in law separate from his parents. She also used to fight with every single relative from my husbands side. Inspite of having such an evil nature my father in law is completely a joru ka gulam and does whatever his wife wants. Both my husband and my sister in law support me bcos they know their mothers nature, but if I tell my husband with complete patience that please I want to live separately and I dont mind you supporting ur parents financially or in any other way but please dont put me through this hell everyday, he just refuses to listen. Now he has started getting angry at me if I ever complain about their behaviour. I am at my wits end on what to do. I cannot even consider divorce as my child will get affected.
    What will all the people above who are supporting mother in laws advice me in my situation.

  72. 72 Amita

    I’ve tried to read the whole discussion but couldn’t because there are so many comments,but i went through the whole comments with a bird’s eye view.

    I just want to say that it depends upon the nature of MIL and DIL,what kind of person they are.But one thing is for sure if MIL has got basic good nature mostly their remains peace in the family.MIl is a mother basically,her heart should be filled with love for a girl who has left her own mother,father,sister,brother her home her freedom which she was enjoying in her mother’s home.She is like a special and important guest in the family who is going to take MIL place in the future.Because MIL id elder as well as lady of the house it should be her moral duty to welcome the DIL,who is also a loving daughter of someone,in the house make her comfortable and feel at home in her new home,So that she may not feel that she has lost her everything.First effort should be made by the MIL.And then DIL should reciprocate by give proper respect to the authority of MIL.It is a big responsibility of MIL to help her DIL adjust in to a new family.DIL will feel that she has not lost her mother and then evrything will be fine.But if MIL is not doing the idel behaviour then its the responsibility of a good DIL to ignore small issues created by MIL and try to make peace in the home as far as possible.But if stills things are not working then its better to live separately with love, for each other than to live in a same home with hatred.

  73. 73 Shraddha

    There were so many comments tht could not go through each one of them in details. I agree with someone who wrote above that its a DIL who has come to a new family leaving behind her parents, brothers, sisters, friends and it the MIL’s responsipility to give a warm welcome to the DIL in the new family and include her in everyday affair. Its a human nature that it gives away everything to a person who shows love and compassion. So why will not a DIL love MIL if she understands and shows compassion towards her. After she is also a human being. Didn’t we love our parents beacuse they loved us, dont we love our husband because they love us.
    If a MIL treats a DIL then she will also get the same respect in return. She is a Mother and a mother’s place will and should always be higher than a wife for a son. But after a son’s marraige if a mother takes the higher position rather than taking the same position as the wife, then there will be no tussle.
    All readers who have commented that their relations with their MIL has been extremely good is just because MILs treated the DILs as their own family in the first place and then they got the same in return.
    It should be a WIN-WIN situation not a WIN- LOOSE. Every person has a role to play!

  74. 74 mandavi

    this is for Mr.Rahul 1930
    as u didnt agree to th fact that satya shud be possesive towards her kids n she shud understand th feeling of her MIL.u r right only to a certain extent.everybdy has some dreams n aspiration n wnt to lead there lives th way they want.everybdy has ther own idea of doin body is perfect but constant pokin at every step is not a welcome thng.
    DIL’s r not bad or non understandin its insensitivity on part of MIL’s which causes the rift.jst try n put urself in a newly married womans shoes.who leaves her parents house n comes to a new house among new people only because of her husband.he is the only man she knows in th house n can look up to for anythng she needs or wants.he is th support she has.
    thn whn attempts r been made to snatch ths support thn any body would react.
    the whole problem arises bcoz of th fact that MIL’s r overposessive n wnt there way in every small thngs.
    i n my husband live separately bt still my MIL keeps callin my husband n interferes in our personal life.she instigates my husband to do things at my bak.
    now in this case what wud u say.
    she has to pick out some fault in whtever i do.hw long can u satnd ths constant pesterin.MIL’s shud understand tht after marriage there son has a new life.they should loosen there noose of control.n not b jealous of th fact tht her son is listening to his wife.
    A SINCERE ADVICE TO ALL MIL”S u hav led your lif th way u wanted on ur own terms so now plz step aside n let your son n DIL lead a peaceful life.n not make marriage a harrowing experience

  75. 75 mandavi

    i agree with indu n anu fully

  76. 76 mona


    I am married for the past one and half years.
    Initially everything went fine. We all ( my family consists of four members me and my husband, mother-in-law and a brother-in-law, my father-in-law past away few years back) used to go out, watch movies, have dinners etc. But later my in laws made it a habit specially my mother-in-law. She started expecting, me and my husband could not go out together. It was so frustrating. My husband could not utter a single word. At home also she used to make a point sitting with her son.

    My husband has flexible working hours, he goes to office around 1 in the afternoon and used to come 11 in the night or sometimes late and i used to leave office at 7.30 in the morning and be back by 8 in the evening. We used to get saturday and sundays for rest in that too she did not allow us to take some sleep in the afternoon. She used to say ‘I WANT THAT U BOTH SHOULD SIT IN FRONT OF ME IN THE DRAWING ROOM’. It was getting frustating and life was hell. Everyday i would tell my husband that ‘KABHI TO HUM AKELE HO’.

    Our’s is a arranged marriage. And my parents told me that she is a widow and the problems that i would face. I tried to groom myself. How i will tackle everyone in the family. After marriage i used to make a point to sit with her, spend some time, listen to her but what i realised that i should spend more time with her than with my husband. Then i started to maintain distance.

  77. 77 ikechi igochi nwofor

    My mother has ruined my life. She made me sent my wife away. Feeling guilty

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