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By you desk
Tue, 09, 19

I don’t know what to do when she invents things to turn my husband against me.....

Dear Professor,

I am a 30-year-old housewife. I have been married for 5 years, and I have two children. My problem is my husband’s temperament. He is a good person but has no control over his temper. As long as things go his way he is fine with everything and everyone. So I try not to do or say anything to make him angry. Unfortunately, my mother-in-law provokes him and makes him mad at me. She is insecure because my husband is her only son, and she probably feels that creating trouble between us will keep him on her side.

I am sick and tired of apologising for mistakes I don’t make. My mother-in-law gets some sort of kick out of making my husband scold me. I try not to give her any chance to and every two weeks or so she comes up with some grievance or the other. Whenever my sisters-in-law visit us, I welcome them warmly, and make special dishes for them. Even then my mother-in-law accuses me of not welcoming them properly. In front of my husband she speaks to me very sweetly, but in his absence she is rude and sarcastic. I complained to my husband about this attitude and he did not believe me and told me to stop lying! He believes everything she tells him, but does not trust me at all, which hurts me a lot.

I don’t know what to do when she invents things to turn my husband against me. For example, the other day, she told my husband I gave her burnt food, which was not true. My husband told me to be careful when cooking. He does not want me to say a word about his mother, and when I try to tell him my side, my mother-in-law starts crying and complains that I am accusing her of lying. Then my husband gets angry and makes me apologise to her. This is just one thing that she does; she lives to make my life hell at every opportunity. I cry myself to sleep very often and feel really depressed most of the time. My relationship with my husband is becoming strained, and I am worried about how my children will feel when they are older. I don’t want to live with her anymore. However, my husband is her only son and obviously she cannot live with her daughters. So here I am, with my dilemma. Any solution?

Traumatised Housewife

Dear Traumatised Housewife,

As you yourself stated, your mother-in-law seems to be insecure about her position in her son’s life, which is why she tries to cast herself as a wronged person. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the only problem she has with you; when she lies about food and accuses you of not welcoming your sisters-in-law, it shows the mean streak in her. Since your husband is totally under your mother-in-law’s influence, you must tread very carefully. Change your tactics; instead of crying and feeling depressed, think about ways you can change the situation. If your mother-in-law talks to you sweetly in front of your husband, you also should do the same. Instead of complaining to your husband about his mother, stay pleasant, and try to spend quality time with your husband. If his mother complains, just tell him you are doing your best and you are sure that you will win her heart. Show positivity and your husband would realise you are not the one who is at fault. He probably would not say anything to his mother but would stop getting angry with you.

You have your children to think of, and for their sake try not to get into argument with your mother-in-law as this would only spoil the environment of your house. As for not wanting to live with your mother-in-law, who does? But, the question is where will she go? Your sisters-in-law should also invite their mother to spend stay with them, and this would be a pleasant change for both of you and your mother-in-law. There is no such thing as only sons being responsible for the mothers. What about those who don’t have sons, don’t they live with their daughters? It’s the duty of both sons and daughters to look after their parents.

Since you don’t seem to be in the position to persuade your husband to split, ask him to take you out once a week so you can chill and become fresh. It will be good for your children too. See if you can drop your mother-in-law at the house of one of your sisters-in-law so she doesn’t have to stay alone. It can all be done if you first create an environment where your husband will realise you are not the one who is causing strife. Be diplomatic and cool and you will win him over. Good luck!

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