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Hubby’s Mom and Son’s Wifey!

We as the formers of the society have always stressed on the need of healthy relationships, better educational systems, proper functioning governments, securities in life and so on. We see various newspapers, magazines and talk shows stressing on current issues, government nuisance, and demand for democracy. However if we probe deeper into our daily lives, we come across problems which are hardly addressed or talked about, mainly because either they appear as a matter of a mere laugh to us at that moment or we have accepted them to be a part of our lives. ‘The Mother-in-law-Daughter-in-law war’ has been into existence ever since. With exceptions of course, the matter is almost common in all societies and families. Earlier it was thought that the conflict is more evident in the East owing to the Joint family system but studies on the matter have uncovered its prominent existence in the west too. “I spent my entire life teaching him good. In helping him shape himself, in making him a man and his wife claims all his time and attention creating a fuss if he spends few minutes with me or gets me a gift” says Aunt Chris who is my residence don. “ Just because she has brought him up, she doesn’t own him. I spend my entire day taking care of him and his children, taking care of the food, cleanliness, family and his love and company is all I look forward to at the end of the day,” frustratingly replies Sara, Aunt Chris’s daughter-in-law!
The fact remains that such conflicts are not just stereotypes, rather much learnt in families all over the world irrespective of their financial and geographical position. A range of family-life professionals have tried to shed light on this widespread universal concern but no strategy seems to be working well. The gap between the two looks like never ending and the arguments proposed by either ‘authorities’ concerned, are adequately bona fide. In an inflated situation, the decision for a man to choose becomes critically difficult. He could either side with those who spent their entire life, money, time and effort to make him capable of what he is today or with the one who left everything and came to him to make his family and whom he has sworn to give love and protection. This is where, in my opinion, a man faces one of the utmost challenges of his life. Last thing he ever wants to look forward to!
If only, we as individuals could understand and accommodate the sensitivity of relationships and their worth in our lives, we could make things much better for ourselves. The tip applies to all factions of life but in our prime concern, only if the two individuals realise that there is a special place and position that either of them enjoy, life probably become easier for them than everyday ‘tit for tats!’ A mother-in-law should look back into her own life and see what exactly she loved or loathed the most about her own mother-in-law and make every possible effort at this stage to avoid the same despair. The daughter-in-law in turn should put herself in the same boots as her Mom-in-law and see what would she feel if she had to deal with her son’s wife. The slight exertion to deem into past and future helps a great deal. If we understand how little things are important to others and learn to fulfill them accordingly, life becomes a pleasing experience. Especially relationships work on mutual understanding and love and respect for others and their values.
Another very important aspect of this relationship that is usually overlooked is the amount of role a husband has to play in keeping his family surface smooth. If he can convey the importance of his parents to his wife and likewise make parents understand the significance of his wife and make the atmosphere of his home comfortable and loving, he has achieved a sensible goal in life. Unfortunately, the way men of our society are brought up, they don’t tend to realise that the implication of a healthy family is wholly attributable to their contribution. For them, an earning man is an ideal and complete form of role for them to inculcate themselves into.
I was once amazed at how a young man I knew was so complete in true sense of the word. With an idyllic career that he had, he got married to a girl he adored. People, who as usual love to gossip, predicted various strange and disastrous outcomes of the wedding. They thought, there would be a major misunderstanding between his parents and the wife as they were from two poles apart. The wedding worked fine for years and I couldn’t help myself asking this man about his stratagem for this triumph. He summed it up in a few lines. “I told my wife on the day we got married; ‘I shall sell myself for you. All I ask in return is your love, commitment and lastly but most importantly, my parents’ happiness. Don’t ever tell me to make a choice between you and them for you ‘both’ is all I have and I cant afford to lose an inch of it.’ My wife never gave me a chance to complain! I told my parents, ‘I am your son and I shall never let you down. You have given me so much in life that I cant thank you enough for it. One last thing I ask is to help me make a family. I take you as a model and an ideal. Don’t let me down!’ ” To me it appeared as a happy ending of a movie but on a deeper thought, I realised… It was possible!     


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