Every marriage comes with adjustment because of the union of two different families. Neither does it mean the end of one's freedom nor putting up with torture. The key is to find a balance. Learn some ways to tide over some uncomfortable situations.
It's so much easier to cry about the way things are, to grumble and to complain, than it is to build up the courage to change our circumstances. We'd rather leave it up to God, and when we 'realise' that God is not hearing our cries, we start losing faith. A man sat in a boat and expected God to row him ashore. God didn't, the boat capsized and when the man reached heaven he asked God why He didn't save him. "I cried for help God. Why didn't you come to my aid?" "But I did!" said God. "I gave you the oars!"
Everyone has their share of problems, and dealing with difficult in-laws is one problem faced by most Indian women.
Shradha's mother-in-law constantly taunted her, and though she complained to her husband, he preferred to stay out of it. He was supportive, but didn't want to intervene. It was only when Shradha had a nervous breakdown did he realise the severity of the situation, and he moved out of his parents' home with his wife and children.
While living separately can change a lot of things, due to financial restrictions it is not always possible to move out of the parents home, at least, not at the drop of a hat. But they could always aim towards buying a house of their own. For every couple undergoing in-law problems, their first goal should be to find independent accommodation, so they can live in peace and bring up their children in a loving atmosphere.
Get A Job
If moving out is not possible for the time being, you, as a woman should change your mindset and try and become more proactive. Get a job. Speak to your friends, neighbours, anyone you know, to find out if anyone knows of any vacancies. Go for interviews and don't take it as a personal insult if you are not selected for the job. J.K. Rowling was rejected by more than 20 publishers before she finally got someone to publish Harry Potter. And now, she's a millionaire 20 times over!
If you are not career oriented and don't forsee yourself in a high-profile career, opt for an easygoing job that will get you out of the house by 9, and in by around 5:30. It will be a change of atmosphere for you. You will make new friends, interact with new people, and no matter how light your job, it will definitely contribute to your personality development. Getting out of the house, rushing to your office, mingling with colleages or customers, making your contribution to the workforce and the economy, getting your salary check at the end of the month, looking forward to weekends and hating Monday mornings, are all parts of the life of an office-goer, and have their own charm.
A job routines you. You're out of the house at a particular time, and you're back at a certain time. As a result, you bathe on time, breakfast on time, lunch on time etc. If you feel that you will not have enough time to do all the things you want to do when you're in a job, you'll be surprised at how you still manage to fit in everything!. True, you'll have to miss those kitty party mid-week lunches, but it's a small sacrifice for something that's so much more fulfilling in the long run. Before you know it, you'll be taking time out for other activities by waking up earlier in the mornings or spending less time in front of the television.
Don't take up a job at the other end of the town if you can avoid it, especially if you are a working mother and have no permanent help. Waking up early every morning to cook lunch for your family and then rushing out to catch the local train, returning home and cooking dinner - is not what I would call an ideal existence. Such an existence is a reality for many, due to the force of circumstance, but I have always believed that the human will is a far more powerful force, and can overcome the force of circumstance with perseverance. Don't be afraid of change.
Keep Your Distance
Continue to respect your mother in law - she is, after all, your husbands mother - but don't be submissive. Be cordial and polite, but keep your distance - physically and emotionally. Don't try and win her over, or it will only cause more hurt when you are faced with ingratitude.
Don't volunteer needlessly. If you are asked for help, and if you are free or can fit it into your schedule, help out by all means, but if you don't have the time, say so firmly and politely, and offer to extend help the next time.
Cultivate A Hobby
Join a performing arts class like dancing or singing. It will help you release some of that pent-up frustration and stress.
Find Your Inner Strength
Don't let yourself get upset by the constant nagging, snide remarks and ingratitude of vicious in-laws. Though this is easier said than done, you will have to work at it, and this is only possible once you have your own life, so go for it!
You may also be interested in:
- The Indiaparenting Team