Stating this account has nothing to do with being ‘bitchy’ or negative about the wonderful relationship I share with my in-laws. I’m one of those lucky few who has doting parents-in-law and I completely acknowledge it. I have been pretty devoid of explicit display of human emotions since childhood and always believed that I did not support the idea. But it was only after my marriage to an overtly emotional family who doted on daughters-in-law that I realised it was my unaddressed need to be pampered all along.
After a successful decade of my marriage, I still feel the disrupting points between me and my husband arise due to an overdose of pampering my mother-in-law showers on my husband. The chemistry that a couple share is very special and unique in its own way. Both adjust and settle according to the needs of the other person, and this change can be opposite to what one might be living with for years before getting married. But the comfort of going back to the same habit or taste will never lose its charm. And this is where my mother-in-law is stepping in wrong.
My husband loves the way I cook or the flavours I choose to prepare his favourite vegetable, which is way different from what his mother has been feeding him with since childhood and I love the fact. It is like winning a fort! After all, wives have to deal with the constant battle of favouritism with their husband’s mother. But all that goes down the drain when my mother-in-law cooks his favourite lentil or dessert (which apparently I have not been able to excel at) the next day and reminds him how much he loved relishing it always.
Another incident in the kitchen this morning made me realise that no matter how much you shower love on your daughter-in-law, a mother will always (knowingly or unknowingly) prioritize the needs of her son. I generally pack my husband’s tiffin for office according to his fitness needs and divide the food between his and my lunchboxes. Today, I got up a little late and saw that my mother-in-law had packed his lunch already. Whoa, I was happy that my morning work was reduced and felt great about it. But later I realised that she had packed everything just for him, including the food I had planned to take. Does it make any sense to carry vegetarian and non-vegetarian main course together for a half-an-hour lunch in office? But yes, she must have thought that her son must not be devoid of options during lunch, without paying much attention to what will I be taking along. I felt offended and I’m sure it is natural. I did not take anything for lunch and preferred ordering a soup from outside. What was funny that my husband called up at lunchtime and said “Why have you packed so much food for me today? I will not be able to finish it. If you haven’t had lunch yet, will drop some at your office for you.” I felt like shouting ‘your mother wants you to stuff it in your mouth.’
This is a small incident that addresses a bigger issue and the reason behind why couples today want to live alone, separate from their parents. There is a very thin line between being overly loving and intruding a relationship. If all mothers understand that they need to let go off their children to build their own nest as per their understanding and choice, marriages will be much easier to deal with.