“I am not happy about this. The only reason I agreed to this is because my Son said he wants to marry you. I love my son to bits and pieces and I can’t say no to anything he asks for”- This was my Mother-in-law’s opening statement the first time I met her. I had tears in my eyes but trying to make an impression I still managed to smile. I understood the love she had for her son and hate towards me in that very moment. This happened when my then boyfriend now husband arranged a dinner date with his parents at a restaurant so they can meet me. He had to return to US and I extended my stay for another week since I was sick and hospitalized. I still insisted on meeting them and I wanted them to accept me. This is the feeling of every girl that is getting married “to be accepted by her in-laws”. That night as we left I hugged my to-be Mother-in- law and promised her I would take very good care of her son.
Being an only child I always dreamed of going into a good family with Sister/Brother-in- law’s who would treat me like their sibling and in-laws who would treat me as their daughter. We belonged to different castes “big deal for Indian weddings”. My Father-in- law who is the strict parent for my Husband accepted me without a single complaint and has always been very proud of me. My Mother-in- law was scared what the society would say about their family and how they would be a topic of discussion for everyone. There were multiple instances during the wedding where I felt I did not belong and I would not be accepted at all.
I and my husband hardly fought before the wedding but during the wedding I was always complaining about my Mother-in- law not treating me right. She was definitely not a bad person or a typical “Indian Saas”. She would not let me do any household work but she would say some things or sometimes not talk to me which would hurt me. My husband was under a lot of pressure not knowing who to support his mom or me.
We left to US week after the wedding. Even though I was not comfortable in the beginning to call her I would still call her now and then to make sure they were doing OK. Couple of months after all the wedding stress went away and when I had some time to think I eventually understood that she was possessive about her SON like most of the mothers. Mothers love their sons so much that they think the wives would steal their sons away from them. They say “Way to a Man’s heart is through his stomach”, I say “Way to a Man’s heart is through his mother”. The joy your husband gets when you get along with his mother is immeasurable. Mother-Son share a very special bond: Mother always thinks of her son hoping he is doing well and eating well and the son silently hopes his Mother is happy. We the Daughter-in- law’s should try to build the bond stronger but not break it and distant the Son from his Mother. I understood this little secret a little late but not too late. Then on I made sure to call her as much as I could, trying to tell her what was going on in our lives, asking her opinions, assuring her I was taking good care of her Son, listening to her and treating her equivalent to my Mom. What goes around comes around – I could see her opening up to me, the love I gave her was coming back to me. I havebeen married for 10 months and today my in-laws proudly tell everyone that I am the best Daughter-in-law who takes care of their son like a Mother and that he/they are very lucky to have me. Now I know the feeling of being accepted and I couldn’t have asked for a better Husband or in-laws. All I want to say is as much as it is a change for you it is a change for your Mother-in- law too. My two cents, be patient and let things fall in place before you start hating HER or anything about the relation. After all we(Mother-in- law’s and Daughter-in- law’s) both want what is best for our Son/Husband :-).