My mother-in-law is so dominating
I am a 17-year-old newly married girl. I belong to a rich but very conservative family. As per our family’s norms, girls get married at an early age. Most of my cousins got married when they were in their teens. In our family, girls are allowed to study till matric or, at the most, intermediate. There is only one cousin of ours who is a graduate and she is still unmarried, as there is no suitable boy for him within our ‘khandaan’ and there is no concept of marrying outside the family. Now, I will come to my little problem. I am quite happy with my hubby. He is 22 years old, and helps my father-in-law in his business. We live in a joint family, so my mother-in-law manages the house and servants. She is quite controlling and everyone is kind of afraid of her. I have two other sisters-in-law who are as terrified of their mother-in-law as I am. Guru, we all are young and want to have some fun in our life, but due to our mother-in-law’s strictness we cannot even show our emotions. She wants us to behave like adults and expects us to be serious all the time. Wherever we go, we go as a family. I have been married for three months now but hardly I have got a chance to go with my hubby alone. I haven’t even been to our honeymoon. He is otherwise very loving and caring, but he is under the thumb of his mother. I don’t think that I am ever going to be free from my mother-in-law’s clutches. I am going crazy. Sometimes I just want to run away from this jail like surroundings. What should I do?
Dear Young Bride,
Take a deep breath and look at your situation from a different angle. I can understand your dilemma. It is the story of every second household in our society where you find one vicious character like your mother-in-law. It is also sad to know that despite living in the 21st centuries there are families who don’t encourage girls’ education and marry off their daughters at an early age. Your family is one of them and I guess it will take another generation to change the mind-set. Anyway, you don’t need to feel disheartened. You are newly married and it will take you some time to adjust to your new surroundings. It’s good that your hubby respects his mother, but he should try to keep balance between his wife and mom. He seems like a typical mama’s boy. He should muster some courage to take a stand for you when you are right. It’s sad that you are being made to behave like adults at this young age. Just because you are married doesn’t mean you cannot have fun. Since your mother-in-law is an insecure control freak, she is not willing to give her daughters-in-law the kind of freedom and joy they deserve. But, don’t worry; it won’t last forever. Slowly and gradually, as she gets weak and older, she will relinquish her dominance. Well, considering your conservative family, I won’t suggest that you leave your house or run away. Look at the positive side – your hubby is young, caring and loving and you have all the material comforts in life. Be patient, and enjoy watching movies on Netflix with your hubby in evenings instead of grumbling about your circumstances. Good luck!
Army is not my cup of tea
I am a regular reader of your column. I am a 16-year-old boy. I am a bright student. My parents have decided that I will go to cadet college in order to join army. On the contrary, I do not want to join army at any cost. I expressed my feelings to my father, but he did not pay any heed. Actually, I want to join a fine art school. I am very much inclined towards painting. Tell me what to do.
Dear Sad Boy,
One should do what one is good at. If you are not comfortable with the idea of joining the army then no one should force you to do that. Try to persuade your parents in a humble manner by telling them that you are not interested in joining army. It is not your cup of tea. If you are inclined towards paintings and want to go to an art school, go ahead. But, for that, you need to be persistent and have to put your foot down. Hopefully, your parents will come round. Good luck!
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