When you got married, your wife introduces you to another person in the family. This is a person you have been with all your life, but didn\’t know this part of her personality until the day you got married. She\’s your wife\’s mother-in-law. Yes, she\’s is the same lady who gave birth to you, but, your marriage happened to influence some changes in her. For the first time, you see a different person in your mother. Do you know this lady your wife introduced you to? She now has a daughter-in-law.
What makes your mother a mother-in-law?
Mother-in-law is a taboo word amongst both men and women. It is more so with women than with a man. A mother-in-law is labelled as a tormentor. Have you ever wondered what makes your mother a mother-in-law? If your answer is; my marriage, it\’s a no brainer. Well, here is how it happens. These statements come from my work with thousands of people.
When your mother finds you a girl and gets you married, she\’s following the tradition. However, she is not willing to let go of you. This is because, she is the one who created your personality. When your wife steps into your life, your mother unconsciously fears that the man she has groomed will change his attitude and walk his wife\’s path. She believes this because she tried the same with her husband to win him over. Thus, a mother-in-law is born in her.
How does a mother raise her son?
When a mother gives birth to a son, she infuses in him all those qualities she wished, her husband had. She does it intuitively and successfully. In short – she creates her son. For a mother, her son is now the new man in her life. She will worship him and give him her everything to see him happy. How could she then part with him! Her heart cries when her son walks away on her and goes away with his wife. She believes that he no longer loves her. Yet, she looks for opportunities to win his love and attention. It is a life long struggle and compromises for a mother – first with her mother-in-law, her husband, her son and then her daughter-in-law. Do you know this lady who raised you?
How does a mother perceive the daughter-in-law?
A mother not only perceives her daughter-in-law as a new member of the family. She expects the daughter-in-law to follow the guidelines of the house. This means that the daughter-in-law must communicate with her mother-in-law to understand the guidelines and follow likewise. This may make the daughter-in-law feel that her mother-in-law is territorial. This is actually true. Mother\’s love to get appreciation for their cooking. The kitchen is her only identity. That, she cannot and will not give away to any other lady. Do you know this lady your wife introduced you to?
How must a daughter-in-law cope with her mother-in-law?
Every mother-in-law expects her daughter-in-law to follow her instructions. The daughter-in-law is expected to cope with her mother-in-law. Actually, there is nothing wrong with coping with your mother-in-law! Why cope? The reason is simple. Your mother-in-law has more life experience than you. What is meant by coping?
A lady came to me a few years ago. She said that when she comes into the kitchen early morning, her mother-in-law beings giving her instructions which she believed, triggered severe headaches. She wanted a solution.
I asked her if she watched movies! She said she went to the movies every weekend. So, I asked her to play in her mind, the latest songs that she liked while her mother-in-law was instructing her. She did exactly as I asked her to. To her amazement, she did not have a headache after that day.
Sometimes, all you have to do is change the way you use your mind and the solutions can be quite amazing.
It is important for you to learn from your mother-in-law the ways of the family and the world around you. When you wish to learn, you must maintain a low ego and high discipleship. This does not mean that you need to compromise! It actually means that you are now a student. You cannot learn unless you wish to!
The newly weds have a problem. They don\’t want to learn. Freedom is what they want. They want to do what they think is right. For them, staying at home itself feels like being tied down.
How must the son behave between his mother and wife?
When the son gets married, he is usually in a fix which he does not realise. He assumes his role to be the peace maker which he can never be. The subtle balance and the smoke from the friction between the mother and wife can be quite understandably unnerving for the son. While the father will make himself mentally absent from this scene, which he knows from experience is the only sensible thing to do, it is the son who feels like pitching in and resolving the issue.
Honestly, I\’d suggest to the son to step away. Do not step in-between. Have you handled hot utensils in the kitchen? Women more often have the tolerance to shift hot vessels bare handed which men can barely manage even with adequate protection. Likewise, even with emotions, women tolerate more sparks than men can.
When your wife confides in you about your mother, do not give up on your mother. You will have to tell your wife in your own words, which experience will teach you, to restrain herself and to not misunderstand her. At the same time, you also need to be supportive of your wife and help her maintain peace and be calm. Do you know this lady your wife introduced you to?
A husband\’s role is a very complex one. On one hand he has to support his mother while on the other hand, he needs to be compassionate with his wife and help her cope. His absence can be devastating and his presence equally challenging. This paradoxical role can make a man a saint, a philosopher or a hero. It all depends on how he carries his mother and wife along.
— Mahesh Krishnamurthy
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