Friday, January 23, 2009

The defense speaks.

In defence of the misunderstood in laws...

Everyone calls me evil. I am the notorious “Saas”. Aka the Mother in law. No one has a good word to say about me so I think I’ll do it myself! Via, the very kind author of this very thought provoking blog of course...

No one understands how difficult it is, to give up my another woman. It doesn’t matter whether she is a woman I myself have helped search for and shortlist...or whether she is someone my son found himself and fell in love with. Frankly I don’t know which is harder. Nothing changes the fact that my son will now be with another woman. That someone else will do the small tasks I always did for my family. Someone else will cook his meals, wash his clothes, keep his home, put him to sleep, send him to office, make him tea and etc. When he is sad or angry or upset of happy...she is the one he will run to first...she is the one he will share all his innermost thoughts with, all thoughts he didn’t want to share with me...although I tried to be his friend.

Can you imagine what it feels like to see someone slowly but surely taking over the reins of the household you have nurtured for decades? No. I’ll tell you how it feels. It feels like someone is snatching my life’s work from me. And then she starts taking care of my husband I’m incapable of doing it myself! Ok I didn’t mean that, she takes care of me too...I must admit. But sometimes it feels, like I’m not required anymore. By anyone. It used to feel nice to be needed.

Then there is the question of defending my own flesh and blood daughter. How can I say she is wrong? She is a part of me, heart of my heart and if I go against her in front of someone else it feels like betrayal. Disloyalty, you know? When we are alone I do try to explain to her but she doesn’t always...understand. Nor is it always possible to talk to her about a topic as sensitive as this. It is hard for her too...her brother used to be her best friend. They used to share every little thing...from stationery to thoughts to bedspreads. Now he doesn’t seem to have time for heart to heart talks with her. He is busy with work and family responsibilities. I know things will be different when she is married and has a family of her own...

But until then, how can she understand what it means to have someone else become your ‘better half?’

What it means to have fights and make up and then behave as if nothing was wrong in the first place?

There are some aspects of being part of a couple that are not logical enough to explain. They have to be experienced personally. She’s possessive about her brother and if anyone or anything makes him unhappy she dislikes it immediately. She doesn’t stop to think of her sister in law.

She feels that her sister in law should be made to feel that something has been wrongly done by ensure her brother doesn’t get hurt again. I believe she will understand not to interfere in their relationship when she is in one of her own.

When we in laws are overly critical about the new additions to our is because we feel she is an outsider. Someone who has just dropped in between us. We feel uncomfortable. Especially if the new bahu is someone our son has chosen himself...i.e. a love marriage. Suddenly without asking or caring what we think fit for him, best for him, we are asked to accept and even welcome this wily stranger into our midst. It makes us very uncomfortable to have her among us. She tries to make her presence felt, does things for us, makes us feel even guiltier for not welcoming her with wide open arms. She is so very eager to please it gets on our nerves. In everything...we see her becomes irritating. Eventually, all everyone ever sees is her. Once my own daughter is wed and gone, no one seems to remember she was there...its all about the bahu then. How good she is, how pretty, what an amazing chef, how hospitable and gracious. Its nauseating.

We also get to hear of things she has been saying about us. Mean things. To our own relatives...complaining about us...saying we don’t treat her right. How do you think we feel when we get to hear these things? It’s disloyalty and betrayal. It’s damn near impossible to be right, to not explain, to be the face of what seems wrong.

Even as we know what is right and wrong.

It’s easy to be idealistic. To dream of happy families. It’s harder to be achieve this. A lot of genuine love and forgiveness is required. Not all daughter in laws display that. There are those who try their hardest to plot and scheme and break apart families. Decrease love. Create fights between brothers and sisters. Create misunderstandings regarding family property. Turn a son against a his own mother and father. His own brother. Create divisions even as we live together under the same roof. Do you have any idea how hard it watch one’s family break down, deteriorate right before one’s very eyes? All the while, all you can do is stand helplessly.

What are we to do then?

2 lost souls found themselves in my mirror....:

Ruchika said...

As an avid reader, I will b very honest. This post seems like an attempt to not ruffle any feathers. Very dismal in its pov but that is because while a dil or sil pov is your own pov this is a third person pov.

The situations you talk about are a little too dramatic.

Don't apologise for a strong stand. Its a known fact since time immemorial that women are the worst to their own kind. Specially a dil-mil relation. Its too fraught.

All in all, very average.

coffeeismypoison said...

well Ruch, it is an attempt not to ruffle feathers. Then again it was you who gave me the idea in your comment to the preceeding post. It seemed I spoke to two MILs and read up a bit and spoke to a shrink before writing this...I'm not an MIL n il never be a conventional one anyway...this is the best i can do in the ccircumstances...
it is dramatic...but this stuff really happens.seen in before my very eyes.