A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

The periodic rant

Posted by Pepper on September 28, 2011

It’s been a stressful few days. The in laws arrived. For those of you who wanted to know, I chose to wear the ‘thali‘ while they are here. I don’t think I have the energy to deal with any conflicts. Or maybe that is my excuse for not having the courage to speak.

This time, since their stay with us is going to be kind of long, I wanted to take that extra step to reach out to them. I wanted us to truly bond. In the real sense. I was prepared to do all I could to make it work.

Before they arrived, I spent quite a few hours cooking. I stocked up the fridge with a good amount of food. Mint kept getting mad at me, all the while telling me to not do so much. But I wanted to do it for them. I wanted them to have an elaborate meal the first time they ate in our house.

We also spent a lot of days cleaning up the house and setting things up so that they find everything in good order.

Things haven’t been easy for me since the time they came.  I find my mother in law very difficult to deal with. I have a lot to say, but I am not sure how much I should divulge.  Those of you who I talk to would already know all that has been going on. For the rest, let me just say it in a few words. My mil cannot see her son doing any chore around the house. If he is seen doing anything, I have to answer a lot of questions. No, don’t tell me Mint should speak up at that time. He speaks a little too much whenever he witnesses his mom cornering me. The problem is that I am subjected to all the questioning when he isn’t around. And I still haven’t figured out how to speak for myself.  Also, she expects me to be like the other ‘domesticated’ married women she sees around her. And since I am not like them, I have to answer a lot of questions again. Questions for every thing I do and more so for everything I don’t do. I know she doesn’t have any ill intentions. I know she doesn’t do it to make things difficult for me. She only does it because she is supremely concerned about her son and his well being. And she believes I am the one responsible for his overall being. And that I don’t shoulder that responsibility well.

I wish I could assert myself and ask her to get off my back. But I can’t. Instead, I run to Mint and cry. I’ve already had two sobbing sessions so far because I felt I was buckling under all the pressure that has been piling up on me. Mint has been extremely mad at me and has already issued me a grave warning. Either I speak up myself, or he will speak up for me. Either ways, he doesn’t want me to go through this kind of stress and anxiety. I can’t imagine speaking up, but I definitely can’t imagine him speaking up. I know that will be a lot worse. I hope with time I learn to be polite, yet firm and assertive.

I’ve been having long days at work. After work I rush back home only to take on more work. Yes, the mil does a lot, but I expect myself to help out in everything. And I know she expects it too. I don’t know at what point I will snap.

The one good thing I realise every time is that I have the most awesome husband ever. He is so fair, so supportive, so bold, he makes up for everything.

Phew. It’s been a tiring few days, but thankfully, a break is in store. Mint and I are going to be heading to New York soon.

See you on the other side!

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98 Responses to “The periodic rant”

  1. Bikram said

    Hmmm well I read the first two paragraphs and am goingcto say on that you are making an effort and its a good thing. Wearing the stuff and doing all the running around is nothing to be angry about they are parents and we should do out of respect what makes them happy…

    Now the rest I dont know what to say , mint is being great as you say. So all I will say is a few more weeks or months I know very difficult but as you say if you speak up it will bring more problems and it will be difficult to live together in that atmosphere.

    I really dony know what to say just take a deep breadth and give a second thought before you lose it 🙂 . All the best take care and smileeeee

  2. tinu said

    was waiting for the update from ur side…sad to know things are not going well….i so very truly understand ur situation….it takes lot of courage to speak up…I remember when i got married and cudnt really cope up well i used to cry a lot…I too hav a very supportive husband and that helped a lot…well nothing like that now…its 6 years now n i stopped crying after initial 7 months or so… yday my hubby didnt come home for lunch n the mil wanted me to call him up..I told her straight that i am not his secretary and if he is hungry he will come…

    wish u lots of luck….most probably this will be the first and last time they come for long stay… take care n fave fun at newyork

  3. Deeps said

    “The one good thing I realise every time is that I have the most awesome husband ever. He is so fair, so supportive, so bold, he makes up for everything.” And thats a very important aspect in a relationship, pepper. I’m glad you have your husband beside to give you the much needed calm and support. Take care and I’m sure things will be fine.

  4. nisha said

    Aah.. it sure must be hard..very hard. So either learn to speak or learn to ignore. Otherwise you’ll stress yourself and have negative feelings for your MIL forever.
    I would try to ignore unless the MIL is being very rude. You know, fighting over such things never help. Moreover they are not with you for a long time. And if she is helping you with the household work, she couldn’t be totally bad!
    Think about your blessings, take everything with a pinch of salt and cook up stories in your head while she’s talking.. hope it helps! :))

    • Pepper said

      I never said she’s bad. 🙂 She’s just too overbearing and has certain notions that are unacceptable to me. For example, me being the only one who should take care of all the work at home, even if both of us are spending equal hours at work outside.

  5. i love the silver lining – the awesomest husband ever!!!

    Hugs baby…i can imagine being tired and stressed and not getting a ‘time out’…I wish i had words of advice…but i dont, i wouldn’t know how to deal with it in an appropriate way myself. however maybe running to Mint aint the best thing to do, it kind of forces him to choose sides which is tough i guess!

    They are here for a bit. Take a deep breath!!!

    p.s. i told u to come to Mumbai instead but u dont listen 😛

    • Pepper said

      But… but.. if not Mint, who am I supposed to turn to? I can’t deal with it all alone. Besides, he would be really mad at me if I didn’t run to him at such times really. And what is wrong in choosing sides? Aren’t we all choosing sides every single time we have an opinion? You’re making it sound like he has to choose between his wife and his mom. That’s not how it is. He only has to choose between right and wrong. And he never finds that tough 🙂 The thing is, he has lived with his mom and knows how difficult she can be. He doesn’t want her to bother me and is very clear about that. I really appreciate and need that support from him. Or I would go nuts.

      I know I should have just run to to Mumbai. Maybe when they plan their next trip. Just make sure you don’t break your toe when I am there this time though.. 😛

  6. Sig said

    Woman. You need to do it. For your own sanity – this is YOUR home and you should not be made to feel any less than Mint.

    I agree with Mint – you either do it or he should do it. This is not ‘peace’ Pepper, can’t you see that?? It’s very frustrating see you turn into this docile, mute being and do this to yourself. You know I am saying this all out of love and concern for you and perhaps I am out of line, but I wish wish WISH you could just stand up to them.

    What’s the worst that can happen? They get mad at you? So what – if you have Mint’s support and know that what you are doing right then they will get over it. I don’t want you to turn into another tragic Indian bahu…seriously, we have enough K serials as it is 😛

    Have fun in NY – relax, take your mind off it but PLEASE think about what I’m saying…

    • Pepper said

      It’s definitely not peace. I am enduring this toxic build up in my system and I know I shouldn’t be doing this to myself. And hey, you’re allowed to go out of line and yell at me. What else are blog pals for?
      So yeah, I know her getting mad at me is the worst that can happen. But she might not only be mad, knowing her, she will be hurt and upset. And the atmosphere here will be tense. She will feel sorry for herself. She will not want to come back again and the whole thing will strain our relationship further. I don’t feel like dealing with all that. But suffering this way is not the solution either. So yeah, I hope I speak.

  7. stuti said

    and therefore bless your stars 4 the husband you have. as for mil and things that come handy with her, just think you have a couple of more days before you enjoy your ‘break’….

    “when yoy are the anvil, bear
    when you are the hammer, strike! ” 🙂

    all the best!

  8. neha said

    The best part is that you have got an awsome husband 🙂 atleast he is ready to speak to his parents on your behalf. This phase too shall pass. Enjoy ur new york trip!

  9. Jack Point said

    I think the first few days will be the hardest, after that some adjustment should take place.

    Look on the positive, be glad that you are away at work – I think getting away from the house should be a relief.

    Better not have Mint confront MIL after some event, he needs to gently and discreetly try and steer the situation away. Otherwise you may run the risk of being accused of turning Mint against his mother.

    On a weekend could Mint take them out or something to give you a few hours respite?

    Good, luck, keep some chocolate handy at home.

    • Pepper said

      Getting away from the house is a big, big relief!
      Actually I think she already believes I am responsible for turning Mint against her, even though he hasn’t spoken.
      I don’t know if Mint can take them out without me. They’d not understand why I want to be left behind. But even being out with them is okay. When we’re not at home and Mint is around, things aren’t so bad.
      Thanks, I will.

  10. Jack Point said

    “Yes, the mil does a lot, but I expect myself to help out in everything. And I know she expects it too. ”

    Learn a bit of the art of fudging. Look busy without actually doing a lot?

    • Pepper said

      But how?

      • Jack Point said

        I imagine it would be some thing like this:

        If its cooking, you need to be in the kitchen with her, but do the easier stuff and take your time over it.

        She’s probably super efficient so while you do a little she sorts out the rest.

        The other strategy may be to try and get her to show you how to cook some dish ? Then she ends up doing more of the work because she’s demonstrating the process? Would that work?

        For other housework, would it be possible to hire a maid or a cleaning service or use a professional laundry service?

        It may be expensive, but if it saves your sanity it will be worth it, at least for as long as they are visiting.

        Whatever you do don’t blow up, as you realise it will have long term negative effects on your relationship with them and it could affect your relationship with Mint too.

        Try listening to some soothing music to help calm your nerves, new age or classical. Just try this and see if you like them, good luck.

        • Pepper said

          Actually, doing the work is not really the problem. Its her attitude that pisses me off. I have to learn to live with it though. Cos I know she isn’t going to change. However, my relationship with them is definitely not going to affect my relationship with Mint. Like I always say, its not like he has a fab relationship with them himself.

          Hiring a maid? Hah! What a joke. Its not about affordability alone, its the whole concept that is unimaginable to my mil. Why do we need a maid when 2 women are around? That will be her attitude. Already she thinks we spend too much, and if I get a maid, she will blame me for blowing away her son’s money 😐

          Thanks for those links! 🙂

          • Jack Point said

            Ye Gods, sounds like a no-win situation 😦

            Problem arises if if MIL is able to corner you without Mint around, so then only option left is be around only when Mint is around. Therefore leave for work at the same time and return only when he does or preferably after he does.

            Claim you have this new project to finish and coordinate your movements with him. If you finish early hang around with a few friends, relax at a coffee shop or pub and head home once he’s on his way.

            • Pepper said

              I have started doing that, but I feel like such a cheat. Anyway, fortunately things at home seem to be getting better. I am relieved and glad 🙂

      • shital said

        I totally understand the expectation part that we set for ourselves. My FIL is visiting us and even though he doesnt tell me to do anything I feel bad if I am sitting and watching TV before say preparing dinner or doing the dishes.
        However over time I have started telling myself that it is ok and that there is no reason to feel guilty . I even go out for walks by myself just so that I can have some alone time. Hopefully you are able to wing it too. Hugs

        • Pepper said

          Exactly my point. Most of the times, all the chaos we go through is self created. I need to tell myself that it is okay and there is no need to feel guilty too. Hugs!

  11. Smitha said

    Hugs, Pepper! Here’s sending you good wishes and vibes! Hopefully you will get a good break from all this!

  12. NityaNitya said

    Pepper,

    Speak up. I have faced very similar issues. IL’s over for a long time, the house being really small, me choosing to wear the thali at the time, cooking, cleaning, going the extra mile. And yes, Karthik’s mother didnt like the fact that he would do his fair share at home. But I had decided that come what may, I am not goig to let K speak. It makes matters worse. I need to form my bond with them and so if I have to speak up (and I am the kind of a person who will bed over backwards a 100 times before confronting)
    Start by telling her how much Minty helps around the house. And how much it helps. Start by praising her efforts in raising a man who knows how to help in a household. Even if itsnt true. Sometimes they need to feel loved by the person they fear/dislike – the woman their son had married. They push boundaries to see how far they can go, sometimes almost daring their son to speak up. SO that they can feel wronged and martyr like. Dont allow that to happen. Somehow, somewhere you also have a relationship with them and that needs to be cemented.
    Your speaking up doesnt necc mean you fight with her. Speak during the quieter moments.

    Its tough. It really is.Butit will get better, promise.

    * hugs*

    Nitya

    • Pepper said

      I bend over backwards a 100 times before confronting too. But its probably not the best thing to do. I do realise they push boundaries to see how far they can go.
      Thanks so much for telling me it will get better! Hugs to you too!

  13. Kavs said

    hi Pepper! I dont know what to say – why is a wife supposed to be solely responsible for her husband’s well being? To their mothers, sons are adult enough to marry, but not enough to look after themselves?
    Even if she’s a mil, she cant be cornering you! You should smile and tell her “Mint and I have this way of doing this.” After all it’s your house, a place where you want to come home to after a long day at work. I’m sorry but there is no other option than to speak up – need not be as big a deal. “drawing from self experience – thankfully wasnt the MIL but other nosey relatives”
    Enjoy your NY trip – you will feel like you’re back in Mumbai! 🙂

    • Pepper said

      I don’t know why the wife is supposed to be solely responsible for the husband. It baffles me. I know I need to speak. I will.
      And yeah, NY is just like Mumbai only. I thought so even the last time I visited 🙂

  14. Sands said

    Hugs! Here’s wishing anf hoping for you to get to the assertive part soon 🙂

  15. Sigh! This looks a little bit like my story. I did not want to confront and I did not want G to confront. Like you said, it would make matters WORSE and whatever little understanding my MIL and I had would’ve gone down the drain.

    I can’t give you any advice on how to handle the situation because I haven’t tried anything myself! I will just wait to see the other comments here.

    I’m glad Mint is understanding and is willing to help. That is really sweet 🙂 Have a good time in NY 🙂

  16. SK said

    Awww Pepper, first time is always hard, since they dont know ou inside out yet. Then it gets easier. Just be yourself. I think in some cases Mint has to speak up. You can tell her freely, times have changed and ‘domestication’ of women (are we animals?) is not the norm in this side of the world. And of both of you are working it is only fair both of you share household chores. Just be plain and blunt. Doesnt matter what she thinks. Because you cannot hide something like this for long.Best to be out in the open.
    Stressful times indeed, good luck!

  17. hugs peppy!! Hang in there… and yes, please please do speak for yourself…I know, easier said than done..but sooner or later you will have to, and the sooner the better.. what say?! 🙂
    I can totally relate to the cornering while the hubby is not around .. but I did learn to speak up and voice my opinions, especially when hubby is not around. You gotta stand up for yourself..even if it is in case of supposedly petty things like wearing an extra necklace or wearing something gold… And you know…most of the times its these small things which add up and eventually the bubble bursts.. (for me atleast) .. I guess in case of culturally apart relationships, all it needs is time…to adjust (from both sides) and to accept (from both sides) the things that cannot be adjusted to and if not this…then to ignore. Atleast that is what I like to believe 😉

  18. Meenu said

    Hang on there Pepper, am sure you will learn to deal things better as time goes by. I can totally understand what you are going through, have been there as well. I have had massive sobbing sessions as well. I would say you are lucky that you have your internship program and you can get away from everything for a few hours .
    I, on the contrary, always use hubby as my mouthpiece since it doesn’t hurt them as much if their own son says it rather than me saying some things and ultimately creating problems. They know that hubby is very outspoken and don’t mind if he speaks his mind out in certain issues whereas i am sure things won’t be the same if i did the same act. I know i need to change that and start speaking up for myself but then i thought it will be better if it is a slow transition. I am still trying to stand up for myself and trying to learn the art of being polite but firm. I know it sounds silly in this age and time but then that is how i am sigh!!!!!
    As you said there are some things which are not spoken about in the open but then they do expect it to happen.
    For eg i don’t really wear much bangles or any jewellery for that matter. When they were here, i also chose to wear the thali since i as newly married and didn’t want to hurt them or cause any misunderstandings in the first impression. When i was thinking they are going to be happy that i wear a thali and behave like the girl they wanted to see , my MIL was not happy to say the least, coz i was not wearing bangles and insisted that i wear bangles n all!!!!!!! I think that was the first instance where i stood up and spoke for myself. Although they outwardly say that they do not expect anything much from me and that they do not wish to interfere much, i can see that they DO expect a big deal out of me. Phew!!!!!! Sorry for the rant, i am sure things will start getting better the day we start speaking up albeit in a polite manner.
    Enoy your trip!!!!!

    • Pepper said

      Oh wow. One thing I’ve noticed is that the more we do, the more the in laws expect. Nothing ever seems enough. You’re right, things will be better only if we speak. I hope I learn.
      Will enjoy my trip. Thanks.

  19. Monday this week, I was thinking of you Pepper..the in-laws arrival time.

    I hoped it wouldn’t be so hard for you sweets. I hoped they turn out surprisingly understanding.

    But, all is not lost – you have time. Please, please, please don’t let yourself be treated a doormat. Mint is right – speak up. There are ways to convey POVs without being harsh too, right? Try that.

    Take care dear girl. And, wish you guys a real happy trip to NY… have fun! 🙂

  20. Bhavani said

    Hugggs my dear Pepper…you are really doing your best…and people should realise that….so dont take things to heart…enjoy your break….and come back your cheery self with Pepper-Mint stories..ok???

    Bhavani

  21. yaadayaada said

    I hear you girl!! Hang in there! It does get better. You will become very good in handling these things! Hang in there! If you need more personal accounts of how I dealt with similar issues, email me!!

  22. Mahes said

    Hugs Pepper! I hope she slows down soon. I know how stressfull it is, mine is leaving next weekend. I can’t wait. Have a wonderful trip.

  23. Gayatri said

    Big hug 🙂 I’m going to email you because what I want to say will look incredibly inappropriate on a public forum 🙂 … Have fun in New York!

  24. Preethi said

    Hugs Pepper. I wouldnt have put in so much effort to please my m-i-l, I really appreciate what you are doing. I can completely understand your situation as I have seen a very close friend of mine face the same with her in-laws. She didnt even have her husband support as he was afraid of taking sided. I am so gald that you have Mint’s support.

    I would not advise Mint to talk to your m-i- on this as she might take it completely wrong thinking that you have complained on her. Instead, just let her know that there is a limit on how much you can bend yourself and just let her accept that you both(m-i-l and you) come with different backgrounds.

    Try to spend your weekend time with them outside the house(mall shopping or a small picnic) as she will not have so many opportunities to find fault with your work. I notice that no 2 women handle their home/kitchen the same way and some find it very hard to accept other’s way. I am not sure if this would really help you, but I am telling you all this from my friend’s experience and I really know how hard it can be for the person who has to face this on a daily basis.

    Cheer up, Pepper and hope things work out for you and there is laughter and more happiness at Pepper-Mint’s abode.

  25. anna's mom said

    first time commenter. been following your blog for a while and you seemed so distressed that i just had to comment. my 2 cents is that you should speak up now. if you don’t the pressure will keep building and one fine day you’ll snap. at that time they won’t think that she didn’t speak up for so long and did everything we asked. they will only think about your talking back to them. so in effect all your effort will be wasted. all the time you spent being extra nice will not count. so it’s better to get it over with now. sure they’ll feel bad but they’ll get over it and you’ll save yourself a lot of heartache.

  26. Ashwathy said

    Ok lissen up sistah !!

    I appreciate the fact that you are taking an effort. You stocked up the fridge, cooked for them and all that. Very good. Mint has no reason to get mad at you for that. Fine?

    Now the part where Mint is getting mad at you for running to him for the sobbing sessions. I totally agree with him.Either he speaks up for you (which is also effective since having a spouse standing up for you makes a lot of difference). And no it doesn’t have to turn into a shouting war, Mint just has to be firm, which he is. And anyway he knows his parents well so he knows what to say and when to say.
    Or better yet, you learn to stand up for yourself. Sooner or later you will have to do it. The sooner, the better, since then your MIL will realise you have a spine and a tongue and can speak for yourself.

    I really don’t understand this concept of cornering you when Mint is not there. The whole aspect sounds weird. I mean what is she trying to gain? Is that what her relationship with her own MIL was like??
    I’m sure she means well for her son, and since you are very different from her, she is just asking around and getting an idea of what’s actually happening. Fair enough. Which is why you need to set your boundaries very clearly. Very politely yet firmly.

    Definitely time to buck up, woman. DEFINITELY! Period.

  27. RS said

    Hey Pepper, like someone said in a comment above – ignore! if you cant speak up. But ignoring doesnt always work – so I think its better to start being assertive, start from the smallest and try to say it when Mint is around so they know he supports your thoughts.

    All the best! And the silver lining is always there… touch wood! Have a wonderful trip…

  28. Dhiv said

    Hey Pepper,

    From reading your blogs, I feel that you (like me) have the need to please people and avoid confrontation. You are scared of the confrontation itself even if you know the other person is wrong in what they are saying or doing.

    But in this case , if you don’t speak up, the anger and frustration will build up in and will turn on to you itself. That is such a toxic situation to be. I have been in the same kind place and it pains to see some one else in the same way. Please don’t do that to yourself. You do not need to fight with them but you can say your POV and just move away. Either that or just ignore them. Its not easy to ignore them but it takes practice.

    You are lucky to have a hubby who supports you. It may be difficult for you to take Mint’s help every time but if you need it, DO IT !!!. That’s what they are there from. It always helps when the son says things. For some unexplained reason its easier for them to accept anything from the son.

    You also say ‘ I know she doesn’t do it to make things difficult for me’. Most ILs know that they are making things difficult for the DILs because they want to do it. Its just happens. They find it difficult to accept that there is some one else in their place. (Sorry but I dont mean to say your IL are bad or anything. Its just that I have read a paper on it). That was the excuse even I told myself that they dont say the stuff to hurt me but after some time I realized that it does happen that way. Maybe to prove that they have power over the DIL or …

    Sorry for the really long comment but your post reminded me of my problems last year and how bad it was. I dont want that to happen to any one else. Hang in there. Everything will be fine soon. You seem like a very nice person and nice things will happen to you.

    As the saying goes… “This too shall pass..” But DO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!! Cos if YOU dont , no one else will.

    • Pepper said

      You’re right. I am scared of confrontation and feel the need to please people, even if I am right.
      Your comment has made me wonder now. I wonder if my mom in law realises how difficult she is making it for me, and if she is doing all that consciously. Either ways, I have to learn to deal with it, without letting it affect me so much.

      Thanks! And I am glad you were able to figure out a way to deal with all the crap you underwent last year.

  29. Shalini said

    Hey Pepper –

    I can very well understand how you must be feeling…It’s phase that will phase out soon and they will be going back and you can have your blessed life at home back.
    Just spare a minute and think of those hundreds and thousands of DIL’s back in India who are living with inlaws, cooking, caring, working…day in and day out…and still getting blamed, questioned and prone to in-law troubles and comments on every single thing they do…Your life in the US and my life in Singapore is much better than that..Our lives are so much more peaceful with living away from them and their ideologies on a day to day basis…Just bite your teeth and let the days fly !
    Let Mint – know…cry it out ! That’s what I do..But plz tell him that you are only venting your feelings out to him just to feel better and not for him to confront his parents regarding the same.
    My Hugs – Hoping days fly faster for you…

    • Pepper said

      I feel full of dread when I think of those dils living with their in laws, day in and day out. I feel their pain. I wish we had a way out of this. Nobdoy should have to go through this crap 😦
      Anyway, thanks for the hugs Shalini. Hugs to you too!

  30. TPL said

    Oh hugs girl!
    It’s great that Mint is so supportive. He comes across as a fair and outspoken individual which can be a great help at times like these.
    My idea (!) would be to build a relationship with the MIL one on one without involving the men of the house. On a weekend, if there is a store around, take her with u saying let’s check out a sale or something. The men can stay at home under some pretext. At the store, show her around, offer to buy her something like a pearl chain or ring. She will refuse at first but insist that it looks good on her. Now who doesn’t like compliments right 🙂
    At home try to make it sound like u and her are on a team. If you are all going out, ask her which of these 2 tops looks better, ask her to show the sarees shes got and help her pick one for the temple visit, compliment on how quickly and neatly she ties a saree- basically build a relationship with her directly in small ways without involving Mint. I think slowly she will let her guard down too and be more free. At the dinner table bring up a general topic that all 4 of you can talk about – like Lok pal or California weather or even rajni vs kamal 🙂 you get the drift nah..
    And if I may give my 2 more cents – I’d say make this post private after some time, you never know how online stuff can trickle back into the real world – just being cautious 🙂
    Good luck pepper!

    • Pepper said

      Thanks a lot TPL. What you say makes so much of sense! I am sure things will progress if I work on building my own relationship with her. Its just that, the moment we are alone, she starts talking about things that stress me out. For example, I did take her grocery shopping with me the other day. It was just us. And she was constantly breathing down my back, asking me how I should behave, how I should serve Mint, how I should care for the house. She doesn’t give me a chance to steer the conversation to more general topics. As a result, I have been so put off, I have started distancing myself from her. I don’t chat with her much and I keep away. It makes me sad 😦 I will try giving our relationship another chance.
      And yes, you’re right. I was planning to make this post private right from the beginning. But then I wouldn’t get such wonderful advice from all you folks. So I thought I would make it private after sometime. 🙂 Thanks once again!

  31. binpin said

    Lets go out and have a drink!

  32. Anjali said

    Wow…I dunno how I missed this post….
    Tough situation indeed, so many women go through this crap in India. For whatever reason, it is always the woman who is expected to ‘care’ for the man, like he is a baby, fussing over him, making sure that he eats well, etc ….

    A lot of my friends have exactly the kind of problems you’ve described, most of them have just have chosen to live separately, luckily living abroad is a good way out in the sense that one can enjoy a life independent of parents without raising too many eyebrows, however looong in-law visits are a major problem with this setup.
    There’s no real magic fix to this problem, as your’s MIL’s mindset is deep rooted, so it’s very difficult to counter it, you are lucky to atleats have a supportive husband, who can see right from wrong, otherwise I’ve seen one too many men who can see no wrong in their mother…
    I wish I could give you a ‘Ram-baan’ solution…however I cannot, I know that not everyone can be confrontational, and speak up fpr themselves everytime, so to expect you to do that, is not realistic.
    Venting to your hubby isn’t a bad thing atleast that gives you a place to let out your emotions safely. Try to sit down with MIL, along with your hubby and maybe even FIL, and talk calmly and tell them about the differences of opinions there are between you, there’s no real shot of this working, but if their stay is gonna be a long one, then if you do something now, a future outburst could probably be prevented, because any outburst from you, could even result in extreme reaction from your in-laws straining your relations with them permanently, better such stuff coming from the son, rather than the DIL…I feel…
    All the best in dealing with this issue…I don’t envy you…

    • Pepper said

      Yes, living away has a lot of advantages, but the flip side is the endless in law visits, every year. Sigh. Thanks for the wishes. I should really sit down and have a chat before I burst.

  33. RK said

    Hugs Pepper!!
    Can exactly relate to the situation!
    What works for me is that whatever Mil asks me when hubby is not around, I make sure to bring the topic once again when everyone is around (including hubby) just by starting witha smile “hey u know what was mom worried about today morning……………”by this Mil will know the topic reaches her dear son and will think twice before cornering u alone!
    Good luck!

  34. Tanishka said

    The last few lines said it all peppy…. To deal with all sort of situations you have Mint by your side, which makes up for everything else…. I’m sure with time you would learn how to put your point across politely…. Take care sweetie and have a great trip…. 🙂

  35. soina said

    i’ve found that we manage to manufacture all this tension because we refuse to move out of stereotypes. she is the mil , u r the dil, blah blah…

    have you ever tried connecting with her as a human being? she’s grown up and been through all these phases as well. i’m sure she has pretty interesting stories, hopes, dreams, fears….

    • Pepper said

      Sigh. You’re right. But I can’t do much because she refuses to connect with me as anyone else other than her DIL. Those expectations she has from my are always tainting her vision. A lot of times I think she forgets how old I am, the kind of life I’ve lived, the kind of upbringing I’ve had.

      And regarding her. She wont let me in to that corner, where she stores her stories, hopes, dreams and fears. She is too closed a person.

  36. pixie said

    Big hugs babes!
    I don’t have any advice, but I do know that balancing it out can be tough…
    dont build it up and dont let all this anxiety eat you up!
    if you are coming to NY, do let me know, if you can – maybe we can meet?!
    I will be here till the 15th! 😀

  37. Deepa said

    Girl give it back!! you know, 12 years ago, my MIL went on and on about how i didn’t know anything before getting married, I only learnt to cook after I got married blah blah, my husband listened to it and then, he said “Ma, even my sis doesn’t know anything, what are you going to do about that? there is a saying that you need to look at the dead donkey in your plate before you start looking for dead flies in somebody else’s plate”, my MIL did not speak to us for a week. I am willing to be an eternal slave to my hubby for just this :)). To this day, my inlaws do not have the guts to say anything to me, coz they know that their son will give it back to them ;). This is the best way believe me, try it once and see.

    Deepa

    • Pepper said

      I wish my in laws had a daughter. I wonder if they would understand me better. If I let Mint be my spokesperson, they will only feel more sorry for themselves and blame me for turnign their son against them. But yes, at least they will keep their mouth shut.
      I am glad your hubby said what he did and that peace was attained.

      • Nitya said

        And you hit the nail on the head. I have often wondered if things would be different if my ILs had a daughter.

        Sigh.

        • Pepper said

          Ayyo, sorry, first of all something went wrong and half of your comment got eaten up by WP.
          About our lunch, sowwy again! Had to be at Mint’s cousin’s place at that time. But we shall meet again. Come to the Bay Area soon!

  38. Childwoman said

    This is so stressful, and inspite of you going out of your way and being nice, there was no reason for you to be treated like that.

    And whats with the cornering? But like you said, you are extremely lucky to have Mint as your husband…

    have a good time at NYC! you deserve a good time! 🙂

  39. Scorpria said

    tightest ever hugs girl. i sooooo know what you are going through. i dealt it in a completely different way tht i’m not really very proud of…but it was the best i could do without letting conflicts occur.

    hugggggggggss!

  40. PVS said

    Hi Pepper, you sound so stressed. Bought back memories of myself as a newly wed. Dont worry much. Things will sort out soon. Your MIL is just trying to gauge your limit. Try to work around things that you dont like to do. Maybe you can push those stuffs to your MIL. I used to live in a joint family when I married. I hate folding clothes. So whenever I had to do this task, I used to push it to the MIL saying, you can sit and do this. Not much of a stress and I’ll take care of the dish washing or something like that. You can also feign ignorance. Tell her you dont know how to do something. Or tell her that she is the master of the task and you love to see her do it. If she is asking you to do something for Mint, make up an incident where you did something similar and Mint was very angry. If you know of something that she would bring up, you bring it up first and make it sound that you wanted to do it very much but couldnt do because of Mint.

    Wish you a happy weekend.

    • Pepper said

      Like I said earlier, I am not so bothered by the extra work load. I can take care of that. The problem is her general attitude. When she expects me to serve her son in hand even though we’re both tired, I get all riled up. Her beliefs, thoughts and ideas just don’t agree with mine. 😦

  41. AT said

    All I want to say is take care of yourself… HUGS

    PS: not sure if you are already on east coast, but do bring some jackets as it gets chilly here these days…

  42. Deboshree said

    This is an old post so I presume things would have sorted themselves out by now. Take care Pepper. Since this is not something that you can do much about, all that can be done is keeping patience. And you have such a supportive husband. Count your blessings. 🙂

  43. meera said

    I know ow things would have sorted out and you are fine with all those situations. Take care dear

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