My mother-in-law did not like me since day one of marriage.
I had always heard instances about daughters-in-law and mothers-in-law not getting along. I experienced a similar situation after my marriage. I had been having issues with my mother-in-law.
The relationship between me and my mother-in-law was complicated. From day one of my marriage, I felt as if she did not like me. There were times when she was nice to me, usually after I had done something she approved of. But sometimes, she treated me like I did not matter at all. She acted like she cared but I guess it was all show. Sometimes, she would completely ignore what I had to say in a family discussion, and it would make me feel embarrassed. She would never admit being wrong, and she would never apologize for anything. I used to try my best to keep her happy but her indirect snide remarks and her condescending tone would put me off. Then, even I had stopped putting in efforts to make things better with her.
She would never say anything negative to my face but always to my husband behind my back. Having a good relationship with my husband, he would tell me all that my mother-in-law had to say. I would get upset about the fact that she wouldn’t speak to me about it directly. Our strained relationship started making me highly uncomfortable. My husband, being the only child, was strongly attached to my mother-in-law. I would console myself by telling myself that perhaps, it would be difficult for her to see him share a stronger bond with someone else.
I had spoken to my husband a few times about it. But he would ask me to sort it out on my own because he would then get caught between the respect for his mother and love for his wife. It had gone so far that my husband started staying till late at work so that he could avoid speaking about this topic with me, so that he could avoid listening to me rant about my mother-in-law. One day, he straightaway told me that he could no longer put up with the tension between me and my mother-in-law. I wondered why he couldn’t say anything to his mother.
We had been living with our in-laws and I had been insistent on living separately since I feared that the differences between me and my mother-in-law might some day, turn into a huge fight. But my husband did not want to move as he wanted to stay close to his family. I was fed up of the daily drama, and the only solution I could think of was to pursue therapy. I thought it would help me get my head straight and deal with my problem at hand.
With counselling, I got to know myself better. I got to know where I was going wrong, which I had completely ignored. The therapist made me play the role of my mother-in-law, that is when I understood her perspective. I realized that it was difficult for her to change at this age, and communicating with her could give me an idea of what was bothering her. The therapist made me understand that my husband was equally important to both of us, and that I should not take her complains and comments personally.
It has just been 2 months since I started therapy and I feel good about it. I’ve started making amends to my behavior and I hope it helps me gel with my mother-in-law better. She can be difficult but I’ll manage to work it out with her.