ABC Wednesday-M for Mother-in-law

If she is not my mother-in-law, just a neighbor, I believe we will be easier to get along well. She is not a bad person anyway, just a bit selfish, and very old traditional Chinese. I am not a bad person either, but for sure I am not that type of “Good daughter-in-law” as she wanted.

Staying together with Mother-in-law is really a very very tough life. I have gone through that tough time. We stayed together with Mother-in-law and a few of other sisters-in-law. My husband was in a poor situation as he needed to take care of so many people’s feeling, and there is no way to make every one happy, especially in a big family, as I came from totally different education and life style background. Come to the points of talking about every day’s life, our very personal habits, our life style, our religion etc, actually there are no right or wrong, just like between black and white area, there are a part of grey. Every one who stays under the same roof must learn to give in to each other and respect to each other, but not just the outsider, me, as a daughter-in-law must follow their rules. Anyway nowadays is unlike traditional society, as a wife, while juggling my career, work, housework, husband, I don’t think I have extra strength to deal with the complicated relationship. Ya, so I have gone through the tough time for the first two years in our marriage, and the shadow of those unhappy things did effect our marriage, more or less. But thanks God, our marriage survive till now. Of course, we are not staying together any more.

It is very difficult to say I don’t want to stay with Mother-in-law. I feel totally heartless but if I agree to live altogether, I don't think we can be truly happy. It is really a very very hard decision, to both my husband and me. But for me, I feel that is the most important decision you must make once you step into marriage life. I have seen so many unhappy marriage are caused by in-law’s problems, just recently last year, the Chinese lady killed the brother-in-law, I always think why they must stay together, why three family must stay together in such a big house since they don’t get along well with each other, if they could stay on their own, the lady wouldn’t get mad to kill the brother-in-law, then, the old lady won’t lost the son, the few young kids won’t lost the father and mother, the man won’t lost the wife, the wife won’t lost the husband. Things will be different if they could make an early decision to stay on each other own, lead a more western style life.

Marriage is not the matter just between two persons. It connects two unfamiliar clans together. After getting married, you will have a deep understanding of it. Especially being a Chinese, or you are going to married to a Chinese, especially Chinese Singaporean. You must know that the relationship between mother and daughter in law is the hardest thing to deal with. The war between them frequently happens. Usually, the man is the victim of the war between his mother and his wife. Just think about it: Is it easy to let two women (worst a few women, with all sisters-in-law) who do not have blood relationship live together peacefully through their lives?

But there is some exception, my mother is a good example. She stays with my brother and the wife, they are happily living together for 8 years already. Some of my mother’s rules are as below:

  • Daughter-in-law has her own habits in daily life, if you think is a bad habit, don’t say out, don’t be so nagging. You can’t change a person over the night. Just close one eye.
  • Don’t step into the quarrel between husband and wife, don’t be bored.
  • Your son is no long the little boy who asked your help of everything. Don’t except or request the wife to replace your position to do for him for those things you used to do. Don’t act too clever to teach your daughter-in-law how to take care of husband. If she really wants to learn something from you she will ask.
  • Don’t always compare your own old times with her, don’t say such words: “I used to take care of six children without a maid…” etc. No one likes to listen to same story days by days.
  • Don’t bother the way your daughter-in-law spending money, that is her own money or her husband money, as long as she never borrow money from you.
  • Give the husband and wife more private space.

My mum has a lot of good ideas to be a happy mother-in-law, a smart mother-in-law, so she is very welcomed in her son’s house. Actually not all the mothers-in-law are so difficult to deal with and not all the daughters-in-law are so heartless to want to kick off the older parents. It is a lesson both mother-in-law and daughter-in-law must learn in our life time. Too bad we always can’t find a good lecturer.

Come to the end of the post, I want to ask you:

What is your understanding of mother- and daughter in law relationship? Do you have problems in dealing with it? Any effective ways to build a peaceful and friendly mother-and daughter in law relationship?

I was told that the relationship with mother in law in western country is much easier than in Chinese culture. Is that true?

I wish to hear your opinions. Do remember to visit ABC Wednesday, this is a lovely Meme, check out all other posts here.

10 Responses to "ABC Wednesday-M for Mother-in-law"

sema (visit their site)

I am from india and there are similar issues over here too!
I feel that it is a relationship between 2 individuals and both have to work at making it a success.
Your mother's Views are perfect tips for a m-i-land d-i-l relationships.

(I do not have a personal experience as my m-i-l died before our wedding.)

best wishes to you

photowannabe (visit their site)

I am very fortunate to have had a wonderful mother in law. She is gone now . We never lived together but were at each others homes often. We gave eachother privicy and it worked out well.
I feel my daughter in law is like my own daughter and I love her completely. We have a great relationship and do many things together. We do live separate lives with our own homes and I don't give unsolicited advice or try to take over. It makes everyone happier.
I think your Mother has some very wise rules for getting along.

RuneE (visit their site)

All I can say is thank you for the visit - and Good Luck! :-)

Mara (visit their site)

Not having a husband and therefore no mother-in-law, I can't really understand what you're going through, but I would so not want to live with the in-laws! I wouldn't even want to live with my own parents and they wouldn't want to live with me...

Lay Hoon aka mescrap (visit their site)

I am Chinese too, but not from Singapore but Malaysia. My husband is malaysian too.
After married, parents-in-law lived with us, as my husband is their only son. One of sis-in-law stay few house from ours.
But I shall say, luckily I have a job. And my m-i-l is a good lady, she just like your mom. She give us privacy and she help to manage the housework when I working. She take care our both children. My s-i-l is good too, as she also have her m-i-l , so she totally understand about the situation.

Rose (visit their site)

My mother-in-law has been gone for some time, but I know I never could have lived under the same roof with her--I can sympathize with you completely. However, I did learn from her in a way how to be a better mother-in-law myself; my daughters-in-law are my friends as well.
Your mother sounds like a very wise woman!

Jama (visit their site)

I used to stay with my mother in law in the early years of my marriage, there were some issues between us. Until we live apart did the relationship get better.

Q (visit their site)

Oh my goodness you married the entire family!
I could not have lived with my Mother-in-law. Wuld not have worked....

Roger Owen Green (visit their site)

I love my mother-in-law, but I wouldn't want to live with her. Good luck with that.

Grace and Bradley (visit their site)

The smartest judge can not make a correct judgement of a family affair. We can chose our friends, even husband/wife, but we cannot choose the relatives. Do you have a son? Pray that you can be a happy mother-in-law to his wife.