| September 26th, 2006

* question: "my mother in law interferes : can you help?"

[Note from Admin – In this counseling category we will post the questions from our readers and the advice from our family counselor Ms Khursheed Irfan Ahmed. In order to maintain privacy we will not disclose the question sender’s identity. If you like to send a question, feel free to comment on the relevant post ]


I am staying in joint family. I got married 3 years back. My Mother in Law always interrupt me whatever I do. She doesn’t allow me to do anything and keep on saying that I don’t do any thing. This is troublesome for me. My husband wants to stay with family. What should I do?

Advice from Ms Khursheed Irfan Ahmed, Family Counselor:

Three years of marriage should give you a say in your family matters. How about consult your husband and then sit together with mother in law to outline your role in house responsibilities and your need for non interference in how you manage this role?

Expressing oneself tactfully is one way of gaining peace in coexistence. Expressing ones care and love for each other will go along way in solving a relationship issue.


7 Responses to “* question: "my mother in law interferes : can you help?"”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I have been married for ten years, and don’t live with my in-laws. But I find them interfering with what goes in my household all the time. I have talked to my husband about this for some time, his response is ‘you know my family, they are just like that.’, he doesn’t bring this up with his family. Even my family member tells me to ‘accept’, cause that’s the way – ‘a good daughter-in-law’ behaves, no matter how unjustified the interference can be.

    I don’t think sitting with my in-laws will change anything. Cause they are always right. How do I make sense to people who doesn’t understand ‘a daughter in law’ is also someone else’s daughter.


  2. sonia says:

    In an ideal world that would work! Or one in which people value individuals. given the context of these traditional joint family settings it’s pretty hard to sort out these situations – despite it happening regularly – often the problem is if the girl in question draws attention to the problem – it can be considered ‘disrespectful’ etc. the key seems to be what the husband is like and how much support he can offer, whether he is willing to or not. Also there seems to be general idea floating about that it is ‘acceptable’ and ‘normal’ for mother in laws to effectively undermine their daughter-in-laws. this is a general attitude we need to work hard to eliminate. the problem is that when it is so ingrained into attitudes – for example a lot of women pass on the treatment they received at the hands of their mother in laws.

  3. RK says:

    I liked Ms Ahmed’s advice. However, it’s quite unrealistic to be effective in our culture. You have 2 options:

    Option A: Purse your lips and accept this is your fate until one of you die. (Yikes! I’m going for option B).

    Option B: Speak your mind and continue with your work as you planned despite her interruptions. This will make you a bad/disobedient wife in the family but if you are a person like me who doesn’t care much about what other people think or say about her, then this option will make you happy in the long run.

    It’s a power struggle, you see. You married her son but she wants to make sure you know that she is a higher priority to her son than you are. Therefore, she must undermine you constantly to “put you in your place” beneath her.

    Joint families are great, as long as you are respected. But if you don’t feel respected and if you are strong enough to stand up to her, then you should go for it. I don’t think you’ll get much support from your husband (touche) so look out for that.

    I wish you luck.

  4. Zahra says:

    I think you should just keep on doing your work or whatever she interupts you from doing…just keep doing “your” work and say nothing to her. When your husband is around tell him if he could please have her not interfere with your rights and duties as his wife. There is no way a husband can get mad at his wife for saying that, if he does say “what should I do”
    ? or say “I will not take any blame for anything not finished or done correctly anymore because I am not being allowed to function properly”.

  5. Phantom says:

    Its a very delicate situation when confrontation arises between a women and her Mother-in-law.However when such situation does occur the women has to think very rationally and I think the advise given by Family Counsellor,Ms khursheed Irfan Ahmed should be followed;open discussions between the trio solves many misunderstandings and complications that arises from following of customs etc.
    However both Wife and Husband should understand that Parents of each other must be respected but then between wife and husband too love and respect must be there- then most problems are automatically solved.
    RK’s idea;”It’s a power struggle, you see.” is not good- you dont enter another house where u will most likely spend the rest of yr life in such spirits- and “keep on doing whatever you are doing”-style means added confrontation– relationships r not built on these ideas and its the women’s duty to built relationship within the IN-Laws house- then only she attains self respect and LOve.
    Zahra’s idea to speak to husband to tell him to tell the mother- isnt wise either- again the trio discussion is suggested. Just think Zahra -how would u feel if yr Husnabd complained abt yr Mother to you- always think rationally before u decide on course of action-and may I suggest one more point-if you get too angry lock yrself in one room and take a bag/pillow and give it some blows to cool yrself- no harm that way.

  6. Sheeba says:

    I think you should live your life peacefully. You deserve it! There is no way why you should compromise on being troubled. You are entitled to living a beautiful life which you can yourself shape it up! So use your judgement. Dont let anyone tamper it. Not even your mother in law! She has no right to do that! You are the master of your life and you should shape it however you want and live life peacefully. If things are coming in your way because of your mother in law, then you should make clear things to your husband that she is coming in the way. Keep your husband updated in a pleasant way so that he understands the situation and relates with you well. He should respect you for any reason. Keep that in mind! And be justful and truthful in anything you do and you will definitely succeed!!!

  7. Phantom says:

    Refyr#6 you have just quoted the key to good relationship and life-(in addition to what I have mentioned in #5) yr statement is very correct:”I think you should live your life peacefully. You deserve it!”-Life is too short and shouldn’t be wasted in comparing “own house” living to that of “In-Laws” house living. Be HAPPY n Positive- most mother-in-laws are over cautious due to fact that in the society there r gossip mongers that creates a very disturbing environment- dont overlook this factor too.
    Mother-in-Laws are also useful as they have experiences in running the family environment particularly in respect of new born children, preparing food and others–intelligent girls would take advantage of these qualities to better themselves.
    Always remember five fingers r not the same n even two people living together(refrring to Husband n Wife) also can get into lot of differences –but at the ned of the day all is settled –so should also be the case -between M-in-Law n D-in-Law.
    Rarely there are cases that go very extreme and that if u analyse has started from the marriage arrangements days- carry over of grudges- in such cases both husband n wife have to really support each other not take any lopsided decisions. HAPPY FAMILY LIFE -DONT WORRY B HAPPY
    Learn to do good things so people remember you as a good n jolly person.

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Adhunika blog is launched with a mission to share knowledge among women from every walk of life. Sometime it would be in the form of sharing experience to find a feasible solution of a problem; sometime it would be in the form of professional consultation, which Adhunika group will arrange for its bloggers. Nevertheless, the intent of this blog always remains the same - to help and empower women through a common web-based platform....read more



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