Daughter-in-law: "Why am I being treated like this every day? Why does she have a problem with whatever I do?"
Mother-in-law: "I am just making sure that my son is happy. What is wrong if I point out some things in you to make your relationship better? I am like your second mother. Why can't you see me like that?"
You can argue for years on this but you will never reach a consensus if we don't understand the dynamics of this complicated relationship. Sometimes you are at the receiving end and sometimes in spite of you facing all that, you still end up treating your kids the way you have been treated. You don't learn after all. So why does this happen? Is it the jealousy, possessiveness and insecurity which has been hidden under that facade of the so called concern we have for our kids? Yes, that's the harsh truth. Be it, son or daughter, you will never be a good mother if you cannot be a good mother-in-law.
In order to give importance to others in your life, you need to feel important first. The question is did you ever get the chance to express yourself? Were your dreams always treated as an achievable reality or an unavailing fantasy? Did you have a healthy compromise in selecting what you want in your life, be it your husband, career or the way you wanted to treat your life or your kids? If your answer is no to these questions, the only way you end up is being insecure to let go of what you have as you kept all your eggs in one basket named your kids, because you know the thing that can undo all these is the unconditional love which only your kids are capable of giving.
You cannot listen to others point of view because you have never been listened to. You feel you are right, because your right or wrong has been blurred by your own walls of defense against further neglect from others. You have the fear of being empty again. But you need to realize that what you hold on to might get more painful than what you let go at times if you are in denial of what you are doing. Your kids cannot fulfill your life which you couldn’t fill yourself. They can make you happy, but you shouldn’t make them your only source of happiness. In the end you will end up facing your worst fears of losing them because you never and didn’t want to release them from your chains of overburdened responsibilities which are always hidden under the pretext of care and love.
For others, we need to understand, that behind a monster is a person who might be hurt, who might be afraid, who might be vulnerable and they are ruthless, selfish for a reason. You need not change for them, but you need to understand that you cannot be responsible for their happiness and you shouldn't drain yourself to soothe them because it was never about you but always about them. It's a bottomless pit. It's not like your spouses don't acknowledge these things. They do, they just deal it by convincing themselves - "I know, but she's my mom after all".
You shouldn't let them be a part of your argument with your spouses every now and then. At the same time, you shouldn't expect your husband to reject them for you. That doesn't mean they are respecting you either. We only made them choose an option which is less anxious but never a happier one. You should learn to respect each other’s spaces and their view of relationships as well. Make sure you are not letting a third person affect what you have in between you. Beware if you are giving another person the remote to your life, you will end up doing exactly what you have been tired dealing with all your life.
“To be happy we shouldn’t lose 'what we have' to what we want, and how we want them to be”.