ChillAmma, Garage

Chillamma speaks #5 -Relationship Issues with In-Laws

1) My husband & I always fight & I’m bitter towards this whole relationship I blame his mother for all this. How do I fix our relationship in terms of fighting less &be the couple we use to be before I lived with him & his family..

By Mar 31,2013  0

1) My husband & I always fight & I’m bitter towards this whole relationship I blame his mother for all this. How do I fix our relationship in terms of fighting less &be the couple we use to be before I lived with him & his family. I hate his mom.

Hello there,

You definitely sound distressed. It seems that things have not shaped out the way you had expected. I am assuming that the relationship you shared with your  husband before you lived with his family, was smooth and better compared to the current situation. Also, there is a lot of dislike and anger towards his mother. You have not clearly mentioned the nature of your problems, hence it is difficult to analyze the the actual situation. However, you have blamed her for all the problems between you and your husband.

I would begin by asking you to reflect over some of these ‘not-so-comfortable’ questions.

How strong is your relationship with your husband ? How good is your understanding and trust ? Can it withstand a third party interference? Why do you feel that your mother-in-law is the cause of trouble in your relationship ? Is she mistreating you in any way or trying to create misunderstanding or distance between you and your husband ? Do you feel that she does not like you for any particular reason ?

Or may be all this is a combination of your defense mechanisms at play. As you mention that you resent living with your in-laws however may be you are still not fully aware of the strength of this resentment, (which is more than you can manage to agree). Because of your resentment, you could be projecting these negative emotions on to your mother-in-law. By believing that she is the reason behind the bitterness in your relationship with your husband, you have rationalized your desire for not living with his family. Instead of looking at the fact which is ‘I don’t like living with his family because I like my own space or I don’t like them (or whatever your reason is)’ your approach to the situation is more like ‘She is creating trouble for me, so I don’t want to live here’.

However, this is just a hypothesis. As I mentioned earlier, the real nature of the issue remains unknown, so it could be that your mother-in-law is actually causing the problem and you may be right in all your asumptions.

Generally speaking, when people of different personalities and temperaments live under one roof, one can expect there to be a few adjustment and misunderstanding issues which can escalate into arguments and fights; as is the case with many families where there is lack of proper communication between the younger members and the elders or the lack of incentive in family members to adjust to changing circumstances. So then it becomes a matter of adjustment and flexibilby.

Fights and arguments with a loved one, in this case your husband, can be very painful and leave you feeling frustrated and drained of energy. You may feel singled out, with no one on your side to support you. It may seem that your feelings are being neglected and your husband has changed from being a caring person into an unconcerned man. This can leave you feeling hurt and depressed. Therefore the bitterness that you mentioned. Firstly, work towards creating a stronger bond with your husband. Strong and long lasting relationship, such as that between a husband and wife, cannot be created overnight. It requires patience and commitment along with the determination to face all challenges that one may come across in life.

You are aware that the tension between you and your mother-in-law is negatively affecting your marriage. For any relationship to work, be it between you and your husband or between you and your mother-in-law, few essential factors must be considered. Try to communicate your frustration and concern to your husband in a non-confrontational manner, which should allow him to listen and understand you without getting defensive. It is important that you keep the channels of communication open and keep trying to express yourself in ways which enables him to see things in your perspective. The same applies to you. If you can step into his shoes and try to see things from his point of view then it will help you to understand him better and also in turn enable you to express your own self better. Usually, people say things in anger that they don’t mean or simply to hurt the other person. While in an argument try to listen attentively without getting too emotional or judgmental. Before responding, pause and take a minute to think, breathe and analyze the situation objectively. Screaming or shouting will not serve any purpose, expect for venting out your frustration. The focus should not be on winning the argument or proving your point. The aim should be to understand your patner and for that it is essential that you both pay attention to what is being said. Understand each other’s needs and desires. Another very important part of relationships is to admit if a mistake is made and to apologize for it. It is an essential aspect of every healthy and sound relationship. If one is able to let go of one’s ego/pride and accept one’s fault then it gets easier for the other person to forgive whole heartedly and to remove the bitterness from the relationship.

When one gets married there are additional responsibilities that one needs to take care of. His mother may be one the responsibilities that he has to fulfill and as his wife he may be expecting you to support him with that. Therefore, conflicts with your mother-in-law could be extremely stressful for your husband and that would prove unhealthy for your relationship as well. It may be worthwhile to try and speak about the said issues with your mother-in-law as well. Communication is the key to solving any problem, therefore, try to work out ways which make the situation favorable for all three of you. Look for feasible alternatives which can allow him to to take care of his duties as well as allow you the peace of mind. By acknowledging, understanding, adjusting and accommodating each other’s needs you can gradually create a harmonious environment at home.

The key things for you to implement are-

  • Good relations with your husband by caring for his needs, respecting and understanding his commitments and vice-versa.

  • Allowing him to understand your concerns and frustration by keeping the communication non- defensive, very clear and open.

  • Addressing the problem and offering practical solutions that can work for both you and your mother-in-law, such as dividing your responsibilities or having seperate jobs/roles/work hours..or something similar.

  • A positive attitude towards your marriage.

  • A never say die spirit.

Remember, no relationship is easy or perfect. Each one comes with its own set of issues and challenges. All relationships need time, care and nurturing. Try to reignite the passion in your relationship and work towards the happy marriage that you want. Our relationships are the outward reflection of our inner self ; the more positive a person is, the happier his relationships turn out to be. We wish you the best. 

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