// In-Laws!
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JustOne
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« on: Jun 04, 2011 09:43 AM »


So I debated posting this as an anonymous thread. But what's the point.

For those of you who are married, I want to know if you have a code for dealing with your inlaws (the most typical of problems, i know). How much do you share with your spouse about how much his/her family bothers you? How do you tactfully deal with your spouse about issues pertaining to his/her parents? And how do you deal with them (the-inlaws)? Vice versa, do your parents' get on your spouse's last nerve? How do you manage THEIR relationship?

Personally, I don't tell my husband anything. To date, I've kept it all inside, and tend to share only bits and pieces with one friend of mine ... the rest I keep to myself. I'm beginning to think it's a bad strategy, and that he should know about certain choice details that have come to pass. I wish I could say I have an amazing relationship with them. I don't. The best thing about it is that it's cordial, and that I live far away from them (which I know won't be forever).

Really looking for some guidance. Thanks.
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« Reply #1 on: Jun 04, 2011 02:23 PM »

salam


I always craved a family who would love me. When married I used to treat the outlaws as I treated my own family, but with more love & respect. & it was never ever enough, I couldhave moved heaven & earth & they still would háv found ways to be discontent.

Looking back it was quite hilarious, they would attempt to be really nasty about me to others but they couldn't help say nice things because I really am loving & did treat them as well as I wished they would treat me & my girls.


With regards your husbands family, I would always ensure he knows the score, your husband should be told by you if they step ut of line or do or say anything that is hurtful & he should deal with them. Theyre never going to take yu as seriously as they will their own son & certainly not with good grace.

Sooo my advice, wait till youve calmed down & are both relaxed, then matter of factly tell him what has happened, tell him if you are hurt or upset but calmly in a non accusatory manner. He will understand & is prolly expecting it! As he will know what his own family is like.


Keeping it in is never going to work. You & your husband are a unit, he should deflect the worst of his own family.

Also never ever moan about your own family to him! But ensure he gets your support if he ever has issues with your family.



Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #2 on: Jun 04, 2011 02:47 PM »

Asalaamu Alaikum bro

It is hard to be specific (since by definition every situation is different) but generally if the relationship with the in laws is starting to affect the relationship between the spouses then some sort of action may need to be taken especially if one party feels they are being unjustly dealt with.

The problem that sometimes arises is that families take sides instead of being impartial and judging according to the facts. If one feels there is unlikely to be a 'fair hearing' there may be no point in actually raising the issue.

A lot will depend on the respective husband/wife and their capability of handling such a situation

In an ideal world, one would hope if there is some kind of injustice being perpetrated, it can be recognised as such and dealt with appropriately.

In the real world, however, it may be you will have to pick and choose your battles according to what is clearly acceptable and not.




Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]
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« Reply #3 on: Jun 04, 2011 05:26 PM »

Wsalam,

Yikes! Tricky topic. Maybe some veterans can give us some good tips on how to have good relations with in-laws! I remember before my siblings got married thinking my bro/sis-in-laws would be just like having another real brother and sister! But it's very different, it's almost a different type of relationship. You have to be more circumspect and respectful and probably in the same way things you tolerate from your mom/dad or mom/dad tolerate of you, won't be the same with your father-in-law mother-in-law!

I honestly think a lot of it has to do with the husband, like if the mother-in-law is always criticizing or thinks ur not good enough for her son, are a bad mother etc etc, the husband needs to step up and tell her to stop doing that. The husband can't step back and think like the daughter and mother-in-law will figure it out on their own!

Also at some point parents/parents-inlaws kind of have to accept that their kids are living their own lives now. They'll always be advisors and "friends" and grandparents but they can't run their lives forever. I guess this is a very American mentality as opposed to the Desi mentality of parents  living thru their children and parents always know best no matter what!

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« Reply #4 on: Jun 04, 2011 07:28 PM »

Tricky issue for sure as sr jannah pointed out. I am not married yet but I've seen this in-law conflict in my house. A major reason for my parents' divorce was in-laws poking their nose into everything.
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« Reply #5 on: Jun 05, 2011 08:12 PM »

Like sister Fozia I had nasty inlaws, I did everything for them wanted them to be happy and wanted to be the good daughter in law

well they think of you a slave so they never appreciate it or are ever satisfied unless you give your wholeself and then you loose respect so it wasn't a win win situation

I'm assuming yours arent THAT bad. If they aren't appreciate that they aren't. Remember they grew up in a different way, have had different experiences so that is what made them, Them. Basically. Try to understand that. Respect them, Give them because they are your husbands family. Treat them as your own. But don't loose yourself bc then you will just end up loosing your self respect. Try to ignore what you don't like and just keep yourself happy. If they are willing to talk discuss with them what bothers you not your hubby
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« Reply #6 on: Jun 05, 2011 08:14 PM »

One reason I think you should not discuss with your husband is because your having a problem with them not him so its best to deal directly. Having a family is a lot of pressure by itself and this is a nother pressure  on his shoulders along with daily life. A pressure he didn't make happen, they did 
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« Reply #7 on: Jun 06, 2011 08:32 AM »

I guess I'm just wondering how many of you have come up with a system of talking about these things with your spouse.  My husband is very nice to my parents, as they are to him... but then they only meet a handful of mealtimes a year, and maybe speak on the phone half a dozen times. I meet my inlaws more often than even my husband, so there are bound to be more disagreements.  I don't think that I could ever confront them about anything directly - because I see no point to it (since I don't live with them), and since I don't want to open that can of worms.

It is tricky, because these are relations which are laced in expectation and yet don't have that natural tie to hold up together. So you need to employ all shades of tact, grace, compassion and empathy. I think that's the challenge.
jannah
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« Reply #8 on: Jun 06, 2011 10:48 PM »

Thought these two articles might be helpful to someone. I think articles from non-Muslim/desi sources wouldn't be as helpful to us cuz our culture is so different!

=============
Building In-Laws Relationships



Priya* thought her mother-in-law had all her speed dial buttons programmed to the work, cell, and home numbers for Priya and her husband, because the calls came every day, all the time. It drove Priya crazy and she was starting to think her mother-in-law was crazy. Unfortunately, what seemed very abnormal to her seemed perfectly normal to him. She grew up in the opposite side of the spectrum, besides the occasional visits and holidays, there was no need for calls so frequently to be ‘checked up’ on. When she hit her limit, she made a passive aggressive comment to her mother-in-law which caused a rift between the two of them.

Though Priya was justified in thinking there should be boundaries, the first thing you have to accept about getting along with the in-laws is that they are not “crazy” and they have a perspective. In Priya’s situation, she should have remembered that the son’s transition, from single to married, can be hard for some mothers and should be handled with sensitivity.

DivorceMag reports that in-laws contribute to 86% of separation/divorces. But your relationship does not have to lead down that path. Any in-law relationship can not only be salvaged but can also bloom. There are certain suggestions I make to every new daughter-in-law about getting along with the in-laws.

Identifying the problem is a good first step. According to relationship psychotherapist Paula Hall, the common ‘areas of conflict’ with the in-laws are annoying habits, criticism, keeping in touch, privacy and family occasions. If your issues run so deep, try writing about it to yourself. Vent with pen and paper, and don’t leave it at that. Include how you’ve acted around them and if there are things you could have done differently that may have influenced a better turnout.

Communication is key. The secret that most people can’t see during an upsetting time is that if your in-laws are indeed at fault, your spouse most likely agrees and knows. He/She just won’t admit it, that’s all. It is not necessarily wrong to vent. No one wants to hear bad things being said about their parents, but you don’t want to be fake or dishonest. What you express is what will be perceived, so if you show that you’re not really upset, when it builds up and comes back at a different time your spouse will be utterly confused and not be open to what they believe you are exaggerating on.

Be diplomatic. Have an initial vent session alone. Next, in a diplomatic way address to your spouse what happened that upset you. After you have shared your issues, let your spouse handle it in their own way. They love you and want you to be happy. They will understand that you want to make things better, which will push them to take care of the situation. Be it alone, with his/her parents, or with you.

Take time to grasp their personality. If you are new with your in-laws it can be hard to grasp on to what their personalities and regular behavior is like. As time passes it can help you assess if what was said or done is something you can accept knowing they meant no harm, or if it is more serious. A spouse can be more forgiving and accepting of certain parent traits since they obviously have been around it longer. It is important to realize this and express the same for them to see it from your perspective.

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes - If you don’t try to make it work with your spouse’s family, you give up the right to complain when your spouse doesn’t try with yours. Quoting one of my favorite authors, Dale Carnegie, “When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bustling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.”

Understand cultural differences. With different cultures and backgrounds in relationships it is important to understand that there will be differences. Not just the regular ones, but additional ones. With me being from India, my non-Indian husband educates himself whenever he gets the opportunity to learn more about my culture and customs. He and his family do their best to know what must be done and not done to be respectful and avoid offending my family accidentally. The same goes for me and my family for my American husband and in-laws.

There isn’t a class taught in school about how to deal with an in-law, so both you are your in-laws are on the same boat. It’s the first thing you share and don’t even realize. There could be unforeseen waves in this journey, but remember that even the biggest waves become small and disappear eventually. So relax, let your guard down and enjoy the ride. Look forward to upcoming family reunions. Dreading them will bring you down, and in turn, bring your spouse down, and you definitely don’t want to be the source of all that unnecessary misery.

=================

Dealing with the in-laws




“I find dealing with my in-laws (my husband’s parents and sisters) very difficult, because they have to know about everything that’s happening in our lives. They have never really liked me or my family and have gone out of their way to cause trouble between my husband and myself. Trouble is, I feel that my husband never stands up for me…what should I do? If anyone has faced such things please do let me know what I can do… I’m desperate!!”

This piece is the motivatation behind the creation of this page because the solutions offered did not sound peaceful. They were coming from a place of anger and bitterness. Here we believe bitterness begets bitterness. To claim happiness and joy one has to sow seeds of peace.

FACTS

    This is a clear case of boundary invasion. Your conjugal kin do not have a concept of boundaries and privacy of a married couple. For them participating in your life is may be in their understanding a gesture of love.
    It is your spouse’s duty to set boundaries with them but he is afraid of offending them. If he tries to set the boundaries his family is likely to accuse him excluding them from his life and disloyalty.
    If your in-laws reject you or dislike you they are likely to be disrespectful towards your family too.
    Their dislike has got nothing to do with you; no matter who he was with they would find some fault in that person.
    If they are waging verbal and emotional attacks at you ideally it is his responsibility to protect you from the attacks of his family because he has a history with them, he knows their whims, fancies and triggers.  But the fact is he does not know how to stand for you because if he does he’ll not only be accused of disloyalty but a great drama will follow. He is afraid of facing this drama. For him his best option is to let you struggle with it. And also it is easier to blame you than stand up and confront his parents and siblings.
    It is easy for him to stay out of it by saying “it is between you women.” There are two kinds of dramas:

          a)      Dramas that happen in his presence, his mother and sisters may complain about you to him. Like you said something  nasty to them in his absence.

b)      Dramas that happen in his absence, his mother and sister will make snide remarks about you in his absence and act lovingly towards you in his presence or they’ll do nothing all day and when he is around they’ll act as if they have been working all day.
 WHAT YOU CAN DO

 

    Focus your energy on improving your relationship with your spouse. Tell him you want to know what makes his family unhappy with you. Assert you do not want him to do the talking. You would like to speak to them directly in his presence. Never do this in his absence because it creates many opportunities for back biting and manipulations.  

 

    Never have all his family members for such a conversation at the same place and same time. Deal with each member one at a time. If you have them as a collective they’ll fortify against you and your spouse inspite of his best intentions will not be able to help you, rather will turn against you.            

 

     He’ll be reluctant to arrange such a meeting because he is equally afraid of his family and ensuing drama. Be prepared such a meeting can turn into drama and shouting match because you are asking the dominant party to change the terms of the game and give up some of their territorial control.

 

    Go with a nonjudgmental attitude and open mindedness. Begin with asking if you have offended them in any way. Basically, you’re asking what their problem is, in a gentle way. When you talk to them ask for three reasons they are not comfortable with you. Two reasons will be excuses and the third will be closer to the truth.

 

     Open mindedness mentioned in the previous point means do not expect them to change. People do not change unless they want to change. Do not expect one talk session will make them like you. Keep your expectations realistic. If they did not like you in the beginning they’ll not like you now. Aim this session towards small changes like you’ll call them once a week or you will not pick up the phone after 9pm.

 

    Be polite, but don’t try to win your in-laws by pleasing them or buying them gifts. Do not get sucked into that traditional wisdom “you can win over people by love and service (seva).”

      People do not change because you want them to change. They change because they decide to change. Once you start trying to please their demands will becom unending and abusive. You’ll finish one task according to their fancies they’ll be ready with another. It will never be enough. Set limits for yourself. Such as, you will cook but will not stay up to serve each member when they come home. You will go to your room at Xpm. etc.

     Don’t ask your partner to choose between you and his family this will make him more resentful towards you. Rather tell him you deserve respect and you do not want to be somewhere you are not respected. It is your right to protect yourself from emotional attacks. Tell him “When you do not support me/ listen to me I feel as if I do not matter. It hurts my feelings/It makes me angry.” Focus on your feelings. Tell your partner as he respects his parents and family so you do. It hurts your feelings when his family insults your parents/family.

 

    Are you happy in this relationship? Decide can you live with this kind of resentment for rest of your life? If you are seriously upset or bothered by your-in-laws’ interference and accusations, and if it’s causing conflict in your relationship with your spouse, then you need to decide what you can do about it. Seek professional help.

Suggest your partner to seek couple’s counseling. If he does not want to come with you it is a choice he’ll make. You should go on your own. Before you can regain control over your life you have to heal yourself.

    Remember that you can’t change anyone but yourself. You have already changed you go around you life hurt and wounded, angry and resentful. Ask your self is this how you want to live rest of your life? If no, then don’t ask or expect your spouse and his parents to think differently.

Once you have expressed your feelings about how you are being treated/mistreated and after you have asked what you did to cause his family to treat you this way, you need to let it go. Let them be who they are.
If they are not ready to accept you for who you are for your own peace accept them for who they are even if they are bitter sad people.
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« Reply #9 on: Jun 07, 2011 06:01 PM »

Asalaamu Alaikum bro


Some really good advice in those articles above but I thought this line was a tad harsh:


Quote
“When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bustling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.”



We *are* creatures of logic and intellect but unfortunately, on occasion, we wilfully choose not to display it!!

Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]
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« Reply #10 on: Jun 08, 2011 06:46 AM »

@br khalid : i have read dale carnigie and this particular sentence had profound effect on me. And ever since i started applying its logic in my everyday life, believe me dealing with people has become lot easier. theoritically we are creatures of logic but practically we are almost always overpowered by emotions, prejudice etc. and this stands for men and women both, only that women are slightly more prone to it
 
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« Reply #11 on: Sep 13, 2011 08:47 AM »

Yes, they test my nerves, I cannot lie. I love them all dearly but, honestly they are not very religious people at all, except for the ones that are evangelical christians. We are very comfortable and get along fine but it concerns me that when I put on hijab, they'll feel for their son. When I raise my daughter as a muslim, they might find my efforts overbearing and unnecessary.

at the end of the day, what is difficult for us, increases our faith and strength.

THis mother teresa quote says how I feel pretty well:
  People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.

            If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.

            If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.  Succeed anyway.

           If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.

            What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.

            If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.

            The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.

         Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.

         In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.

And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands,
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« Reply #12 on: Sep 13, 2011 03:25 PM »

I am really lucky when it comes to in-laws because because they are not in this country.
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