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January 23, 2019

Adjusting to the In-laws as a woman

Let’s just face it, when a woman gets married, she’s going to have to change her whole life to adjust to her new family. You are so mistaken if you think you are just marrying the man you love and will have this ideal life where you’ll go on cruises and never chip your nail polish slaving in the kitchen unless, of course, you are so inclined.

Marriage also includes the bloke’s family too. In the days gone by, most Asian families lived as joint families. It was considered a great insult if one of the sons decided to move out the parents home with his wife. The wife was always looked upon as some sort of ogre intent on ruining the family ties. Bollywood did a great job at showing this to us as well.

It is always so easy to blame the woman for everything isn’t it? How come no one slows down to think of the changes she has to make to adjust to the new family? I get messages from Asian women who have a really hard time adjusting to their in laws because they are being mistreated and being told they’re useless.

Let’s look at what this woman has to go through – she gets married to come into a new family. She leaves her parents home to come and live with her husband’s parents instead. She leaves behind her siblings to adjust to the ones she will find in her new home. Suddenly she has a whole hoard of relatives and she is trying hard to adjust to all of them. She even changes her name so that her new family can fit yet she is still considered an outsider.

I remember once my ex-mother-in-law telling her sisters in law to keep hush and not say anything in front of me as I was ‘not one of them yet’ and this was almost four years after being married to her son. She laughed it off and said it was a joke but I wasn’t amused at all. What did it take for me to be eventually accepted? I think when I gave birth to my daughter after seven years of marriage is when I actually felt like she accepted me. I could be wrong but that’s exactly how I felt.

I don’t entirely blame the mother n law in this instance. Even her space is being invaded by a new person in the home. Also, here is this woman, who has spent her whole life doting on her son and suddenly sees her son loving another women more than her, she just can’t take it and she goes ballistic. So I’m assuming by the time women are ready to get their sons married off, they’re menopausal and then those hormones make them fly off the handle and give the daughter in law a hard time.

I’m laughing as I write this because I know I’m probably going to have to face the wrath of a mother in law, including my Mum who is pretty attached to my brother as well, but be kind to women who marry your sons. It’s not easy to adjust to everyone and don’t allow your past with your mother in law to seep into what could be a wonderful relationship with your daughter-in-law.

That is all…

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