Decoding Mother in Law!

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Decoding Mother in Law!


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Every lady fears from one aspect of marriage for sure. That is the mother in law or husband’s mother!

Many a time, marriage is fixed only after checking on the attitude of mother in law. This is a very controversial topic.

Let’s dive into the main topic, without wasting any more time.


After marriage, you and your husband expect life as shown in the photo below.
mother in lawBut do you actually enjoy life as shown in the photo above? We believe there’s a good chance that the answer is a big NO!

The Reality

Whether you choose love marriage or arranged marriage, the problems remain similar in most situations.

A special mention should be made here for problems related to the mother-in-law  (Mother-in-law is addressed hereon as MIL, father-in-law, and daughter-in-law as DIL as FIL respectively).

Before jumping to the most relevant point, let’s ponder over a few unanswered questions:

1. Why do most MILs and DILs don’t have a cordial relationship?

2. Why is every MIL hesitant to welcome a new member into her family in the form of her son’s wife?

She has watched her son grow for the 25+ years past (assuming that the minimum marriageable age for boys is twenty-five years) and has been very well aware that one day he would get married and his wife would be an integral member of her family!

3. Why do MILs find it difficult to accept the fact that a new member, in the form of her son’s wife, too has great relevance in the family now?

4. Why are MILs so insecure about losing control over their sons, something which they have anyway enjoyed for almost twenty-five years before he got married?

Could it perhaps be because she herself had seen her own MIL losing control over her son, that is her husband (FIL)?

5. Why does the whole family start testing the new bride as if she is participating in some ‘agnee pareeksha’ (the test of fire)?

6. In the bottom of her heart, the MIL has no intention to create problems for her son. But then, how come she fails to understand that her son may never enjoy peace of mind if his mother picks fights with his wife?

7. Why, in some households, is the newly-wedded wife not considered any more than a newly-appointed maid who is supposed to look after all the chores around the house, such as mopping, cleaning, washing utensils, clothes, etc., from the first day itself? Don’t they have a heart big enough to ensure that a maid is hired and all the work is offloaded to her?

An Attempt to Decode the Mother in Law

To have better control over problems such as mentioned above, a newly wedded wife or would-be-bride needs to understand the history and the resultant psychological framework of her husband’s mother (her MIL).

To understand the future problems with a MIL, you will have to cruise back to her life before her marriage. The case study mentioned in this article will be applicable to most MILs in this country and culture. Let’s jump right into this topic.

Mother in Law’s History

Even in 2019, females are the most oppressed lot of the human race, especially in India. It is thus safe to assume that twenty-five years before, even your MIL would have faced the same problems, but in a more severe form.

Before marriage, she would surely have received millions of instructions from her parents on the following issues:

1. No boyfriends or any kind of association with the opposite sex. During those times, ‘girls only’ schools and colleges were the most preferred options!

2. No moving around alone (after the evening hours) or night-outs, even to their friends’ places.

3. If your MIL ever wanted to wear revealing clothes (a dream of every girl), then all hell would have broken loose.

She would have been told by her parents a million times that if she wished to try any of such ‘prohibited stunts’, she could do them ‘only’ after marriage and with her husband’s permission. 

Before marriage, it was all a big ‘no no’!

4. No expensive education because the cash, gold, and other items were supposed to be accumulated for her dowry.

5. Forget about love marriage, ONLY AND ONLY ARRANGED MARRIAGE was the way for her! (Even if she might have been emotionally or physically involved with her secret boyfriend.)

… and so on.

In short, your MIL would have been told by her parents to manage and accommodate in order to survive the suffocating life till her ‘wedding night’ and enjoy her dreams only after marriage (Note this as Point No. 1).

The Golden Age: Marriageable age in those times ranged from 18 years to a maximum of 22 years, and if the girl happened to cross the golden age of 23 or 24, she would be considered to have brought a bad name to her family.

Dream Marriage: Since a love marriage was out of the question in those times, the only option left for her was an arranged marriage. (To understand the background of her arranged marriage, you must read four other articles, links of which are mentioned below.)

Confused Marriages: In those days, no one was bothered about husband-wife compatibility. (Physical compatibility was out of the question!)

In an arranged marriage, the girl and the boy were strangers to each other before the wedding ceremony, but on its completion, they were supposed to behave as old lovers who had known each other emotionally for a very long time and had been fucking each other a million times too! (This issue has also been elaborately covered in other articles, the links of which are mentioned below).

Please note that no one from either of the families had bothered to know what THE  BRIDE wanted.

She had been married off to a stranger in the name of ‘arranged marriage’ after which she had no option but to silently accept this as her destiny.

Post Marital Transformation: After being married off to an arranged spouse  (followed by a confused wedding night), she shifted to her in-law’s house and changed her surname to that of the in-laws.

First Test: She would have had to pass the litmus test of every member of her in-laws.

Whether she touched the feet of every elder of the house, whether she knew how to cook and do other household chores, whether she talked loudly or in a soft tone must all have been the parameters of their judgement of her.

The litmus test was equivalent to passing through fire, and surviving it without an emotional scratch was a distant dream.

Since her parents didn’t invest in her education, so there was no question of her joining some sort of a job so as to have her own identity and life.

Kitchen All Day: Early in the morning, she would have had to start her day with the cooking of breakfast for every member of the house.

In those days, a joint family meant 10 to 15 members together. This was followed by lunch and then a great dinner for the lot.

Therefore, her life would have started from the kitchen and ended in the kitchen itself.

Also during those times, her husband (your FIL) would have always been under good control of his own mother (her MIL) even after years of their marriage.

So, in the back of your MIL’s mind, the idea cemented that she would never be able to control her own husband but one day she might enjoy complete control over her own son (your husband).

Father-in-law (FIL). At night, her arranged husband (your present Father-in-law [FIL]), would have also tried various ways and means to extract some physical love from her.

This is a classic example of where you think you need a comma because you take a pause while speaking, but grammatically the comma is incorrect.

A quick method to understand this is checking whether both parts of the sentence before and after the comma can stand as independent clauses or not. If they can’t, remove the comma.mother in law

Marital RapeMany a time, she would have had her periods when she wouldn’t have wanted to have sex. 

But your FIL might have managed to rape your MIL who must have had to take everything like the ‘Silence of the Lambs’.

On the flip-side, your MIL might have expected sex from your FIL sometimes when he wasn’t so inclined, only to receive the excuse of ‘stressful day at work’ from him, as if he had returned from a war!

Family’s Secret: With every couple or unmarried person allotted a room in a joint household, no lady (including you MIL) is supposed to make noises.

Kids – A Family’s Extension: Then comes the second issue of producing kids. If a lady doesn’t manage to conceive within a year or two of the marriage, all hell would break loose.

The same issue is also relevant in the present days.

A Point to Ponder: Before or during the marriage, no one was bothered to find out whether your MIL actually wanted to marry your FIL.

Now everyone expected a kid without any botheration regarding whether your MIL and FIL even loved each other, or even whether your MIL wanted to have kids within a year or two of the marriage.

Million Dollars Question: Even after she had conceived, the next million-dollar question would have been, “Whether girl or boy?”

If it was a girl, the whole process of ‘sex for the next kid, conception, nine months of pregnancy, and delivery’ would start again. This cycle would have kept repeating until she actually produced a boy.

Even now if you look around, you will find many families with four or five daughters followed by one boy, or only girls and no boy. Why the boy? Only her (your MIL’s) MIL knew!

More Stress: Even the repeated phase of pregnancy would have been full of stress where, for nine months, the would-be mother keeps thinking whether she will soon be able to free herself of the duty of producing kids (or rather a baby boy) or will it continue even after successfully producing a healthy child (all girls).

Now, if the family fails to have a baby boy, this article loses all relevance.

But if the family has one or more boys, then this decoding of a MIL becomes somewhat relevant.

It is to be understood here that after having a confused marriage and motherhood, if she (your MIL) is not satisfied with her husband as a partner, then the son (your husband) becomes a sort of escape route for her.

Till his birth, nothing had been under her control. But now, she has a baby boy who will remain under her control till her last breath, maybe the same way her husband (FIL) was under the control of her own MIL (Point No. 2).

Sacrifices: When your husband was growing up, both his parents (your FIL and MIL) would have made lots of sacrifices for accumulating cash and resources for his school fees, uniforms accessories, sports expenses, books and stationaries, etc., to the best of their capability.

College: For higher education, which happened to cost a bomb even in those days, the parents might have had to let go of their life’s savings to ensure that their boy (your husband) got admitted to the best college or university.

The better the college/university, the better chances he had of landing an excellent job.

The Cycle Repeats: Once the boy gets placed in a good job, the game of seeking a marriage alliance starts all over again.

Now, this decoding is relevant for both love and arranged marriages.

Marriage: As soon as the son (your husband) is married to you, the biggest game of the century starts.

The same litmus test will be carried out in your case too.

Whether you touch the feet of every elder of the house, whether you know how to cook and do other household chores, whether you talk loudly or in a soft tone would become the parameters of their judgement of you.

Your Litmus Test: Just as it had been for your MIL, even your litmus test will be equivalent to passing through fire, and surviving it without a scratch will be a distant dream.

In your case, your MIL is the one in charge or the supervisor of this Litmus test, judging you on the same terms by which she had somehow managed to pass after her own marriage.

What Happens?

Implementing Old Lessons: She will try to control your husband the same way in which her husband must have been controlled by his mother.

You are not expected to ask any questions because your MIL never dared to ask her MIL any questions all those years ago.

Unconsciously, she may never let you have a good partnership with your husband, as she herself is under the control of her newly developed fear of losing her son. Why?

Actual Reasons

Fear of a Lost Battle: After marriage, your husband wants sex, which he gets from you.

Also, you can do all those things for your husband which your MIL had been doing to date, but with more energy and capacity.

So, what motivation will your husband have to return to his mother who is aged, doesn’t have her old physical capacity to run around as she did when she was younger?

Old Husband: Her own husband has reached the age of retirement and might soon lose the financial capability to run the whole house independently.

Whereas, your husband is in the prime for his age, is more capable to earn money and is getting increasingly attached to another woman (you) emotionally and physically.

Lost Wealth: Since your husband’s parents have invested all of their life’s savings in ensuring the best education (the most expensive school, college/ university) for him, the life ahead for them is full of uncertainty.

Sick: She and her husband could be suffering from a number of age-related diseases due to multiple decades of stress and an unhealthy lifestyle that they might have been living together.

Disease means more money required for doctors’ consultation and medicines.

Anticipated Loneliness: Your MIL might have observed in her locality sons shifting out to separate houses to form nuclear families after marriage.

Now that she is getting old and sick herself, she needs someone to take care of her.

The surrounding incidents happening in her neighborhood overpower her wits to remain calm and composed.

Due to these reasons, your MIL fails to give any benefit of the doubt to you and her son that the same thing will not happen to them.

Final Result: So, the problems between you and your MIL start from day one. 

In order to demonstrate the reality, the photo shown below will speak louder than words.

Your husband will never even realise the main reason why his mother is after his wife’s back?

Courtesy – Youtube

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