Issues and Challenges

Dealing with Difficult In-Laws

Creation of a relationship is easy, but maintaining a healthy relationship for lifetime is difficult. We are associated with some relations since birth and some of the relations are legally made in the light of religious and social principles, marriage being one of them. Once we enter the marriage contract, it depends on us if we are having quality family time or we fall prey to toxicity that we may find in our environment. Some other relations in our life are friends, in-laws and coworkers. Just as when we join school with books, we get friends, with a husband in marriage we get in-laws, and with a job we get coworkers; everything (in this case, every one) comes in package deals, whether or not we want it. Well, here we will talk about the package that comes with the husband when one gets married, i.e., in-laws, and I would like to say here that there are no laws to handle the in-laws, but, don’t be so quick to judge me as there is a flexible formula to tackle in-laws, or more precisely difficult in-laws if you are one of the unlucky ones.
In the beginning, two individuals enter the relation of marriage to try to create a life, family, a home for themselves. When a boy gets married, he brings a new individual into his home as a part of the family and not just a mere guest. Very often, what happens is that this same girl, who was praised and appreciated before she got married by her future in-laws, is now judged, corrected on little things and asked to mould and conform herself to the home environment of her now in-laws. She is expected to know it all and to give each and every individual time and do all the home tasks in an efficient manner without taking a breath or time to understand it all. She is made to feel that the sole responsibility of making the environment at home congenial is her responsibility. All of this brings a lot of stress for the girl who is trying to meet all the expectations of all the people around her.
But sometimes it gets too much and she feels herself crumbling, jeopardizing everything that she had been working for since she got married. Expectations and emotional stress are the two factors that are sadly responsible for the augmented rate of divorce in our society. Here, I won’t be giving exact solutions for a married woman or a couple, as I believe that in every case, each personality is different and so are the people you are dealing with. But focusing on your relationship with your partner and strengthening is the first step as no woman can do it on her own. A few things matter in this delicate relationship and one should always keep them in mind while dealing with the in-laws. These are maturity, partnership, patience, trust, and giving back. This might not fix your problems but at least you can have a clear conscience that you gave it your all.
With the passage of time, we as individuals get mature and stable in our relationships. Maturity is foreseeing and striving for a bright future without being fearful of any circumstances, ignoring whatever remarks or cold gestures are shown to you by your in-laws instead of reacting impulsively. A woman is like a flower and her aroma spreads everywhere even when the stem is full of thorns so women are meant to spread kindness and with the inherent quality of giving back to the nature, they can survive anything. One should make themselves mature enough to confront any kind of situation with a calm and composed attitude.

We expect more from the ones who have held our hand as we enter their home with love. Very often we hear things like, “shuru shuru mein aese hee pta nahi lagta phir teen mahiney baad pta lageyga.” The reason behind getting dejected and stressed out after a period of a few months or even years is that once the rose-colored glasses come off and the couple find out more about each other, both partners start pointing out flaws in one another and correcting each 
other in the way they handle situations, particularly with the in-laws. Instead of adopting an understanding attitude towards the partner’s view point many a times feelings are brushed aside, anger creeps in and the relationship gets strained. Once we fathom the notion that the partnership is for life, then both individuals would try to become one unit and face all adversities together in a fearless manner.
The foremost factor in this relationship is not to get impulsive or give a knee-jerk reaction but to stay calm and exercise patience in all situations. You have just entered the family, figure out your presence acceptance and then ponder upon the psychology of each individual. Your feelings are valid but do not let them rule your actions. Stay prepared for any untoward situation but do not be tolerant towards any kind of abuse or torture. Also, always keep an open mind and listen without ever judging, patiently waiting for the right moment to express your feelings in a calm manner. 
Build trust. Indeed the relationship that is built on certitude and confidence always flourishes. If there is no trust, then there is no mutual respect among two individuals. So work hard for the creation of a trustful bond. If there is trust, then each partner would be certain that the other would do what is best for them both and this would help through a potentially explosive situation. This is also important because at the end of the day, the husband is the link between his family and his wife and, therefore, responsible to keep the peace; his wife should be able to depend on him to put out the fires that could harm them. The wife should understand his position and trust that Allah has given him the responsibility to sort things out for her for a reason. 
Give Back
We can live our best lives if we try to make opportunities for others to grow. Giving back to the family, friends and surroundings makes our living environment healthy. In the spousal relationship, if you understand your responsibilities as well as your rights then you can make your couple a power couple; give as well as take.
In daily life, appreciate more, try to give appreciation, give back time and with small cooperative gestures one can win hearts. But it goes both ways. If the couple understand each other than with positivity you can also give back to each other’s family a pleasant and peaceful time.
To conclude, I want to suggest that one should prepare and compose oneself before the beginning of  married life. It is a new phase of life so understanding what you may be getting into and preparing for it is essential. Try to make your spouse cognizant of his duty of keeping balance as well as being involved mentally and physically for the propagation of a secure relationship. Keep your husband as your priority and once that is done, he will also make peace for you as that is his responsibility. This in no way means that you need not make any effort with the rest of the family, on the contrary it simply means that your efforts start with your husband. Aside from this have faith in God that He will put mercy in other people’s hearts for you if you ask Him. HH

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