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Mary is not online. Last active: 11/20/2004 9:05:21 PM Mary
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Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 23 Oct 2004 08:57 PM
I am an American married to an indian man. My husbands parents have (after the initial shock) given us their blessing. I have spoken to my father in law but my Mother in law is a tough one! I have yet to speak to her. I have sent letters, sent gifts, specifically asked about her but nothing works. Does any one have any advice on how to get through to her?
Thanks!
mel is not online. Last active: 10/2/2013 7:44:01 AM mel
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 26 Oct 2004 03:21 PM
Hi Mary,

From my own personal experience I am not sure that you can ever "get-through" to anyone unless they give you an opening. One way to approach it may be to wait and let time provide you with an opening (and in the meantime have your husband try to smooth the dividing edges out a bit). Best of Luck!
Mary is not online. Last active: 11/20/2004 9:05:21 PM Mary
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 26 Oct 2004 09:34 PM
Thanks Mel
jakessoccer22 is not online. Last active: 11/15/2004 10:25:45 AM jakessoccer22
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 15 Nov 2004 10:15 AM
I am having a tremendous time with my in-laws. I am married to an Indian and his parents absolutely despise me. They love our children, at their own convenience, but they do not like me. I have a very close relationship with Jesus and I know that as long as my heart is righteous there will be a time when they come around. It's simply up to them. You can only do what you know is true and faithful to yourself. I've fought this battle for seven years and have not yet 'won'. However, I do believe there is a lot that they lose on!

Patience is the key. Pray that they open their hearts to you as a daughter. God is good. God is omnipotent. Leave it in His hands and you will be rewarded. I have faith that there will be a day that we are all united as a family. When doesn't matter to me, any more, just knowing that I always do the right things and that God is on my side is enough.
priya is not online. Last active: 5/17/2008 6:22:37 AM priya
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 21 Feb 2005 01:48 PM
Hi,

Basically all MIL's should should treat their DIL's as their own daughters. I am from an Indian fmaily and thaz how I am treated. I never call my MIL as aunty/whatever int heir language. I call her as "amma" ie. Mother.

Yes some old customed ppl' take time to westernized culture. It's all in mind and heart. Other than sending gifts I think (if u like) you should also get to know more about her through her cooking or her other interests.

Once you have children things will definitely change. Women are always scared of another woman when it comes to their sons.

Show some interest in Indian music and religious ceremonies for the family.
Evergreesony is not online. Last active: 10/18/2006 4:27:31 PM Evergreesony
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 25 Feb 2005 03:04 PM
hey Mary.
it's not rellated with indian or american.

sometimes MIL are too good to DIL but DIl are not good to them. and vice versa.

this is the relation where you both belongs to diffrent family here we have to keep patience as

as jakesoccer said.

my MIL is too good she loves too mcuh and also cares .

she never treated me as like DIL always treats me as like her daughter.

but here in case .

Your MiL is old she is from past and she will take some time to convence about your relationship with her son.

so don't loss patience keep trying to convence her.

Also try to make always good points about her so one day she will feel very happy for you.

Always tell your kids she si very good.

Whatevre is the her behaviour you keep try to be good with her she will change her thaught.


she is accepting your kids one day she will accpet but don't worry.

good luck
Eg
dewshine is not online. Last active: 9/19/2005 1:00:19 AM dewshine
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 19 Sep 2005 12:53 AM
I understand what you're going through myself. When Prajna's parents found out about me they outright forbid him to marry me. Since then they don't talk about me at all (well we're not married yet, so there is time) but next year we will be visiting India together and then I expect the poop will hit the fan. I asked him if he planned on telling them I was coming too and he said of course he would and acted upset that I would think he wouldn't tell them and just spring me on them...however when I talk about making overtures to his parents he gets edgy and says his mom will faint (like if I send a picture of us in with a present or something). I want them to get used to the idea that Im not a passing fancy but Prajna says it's enough that he told them and to remind them of it will just upset them.

Either way, I don't think that his mother will every accept me. Someone asked me how I plan to "win her over" when I go to visit and I said I don't. If she won't accept me because of my race then there is nothing I can do to change this, all I can do is try not to give her further reasons to dislike me. That's my plan...not a very good one but it's all I have for now.

Stephenie
mel is not online. Last active: 10/2/2013 7:44:01 AM mel
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 20 Sep 2005 09:11 AM
Hi Stephenie,

Welcome to the forums site! Thank you for sharing with us.

I certainly understand where you are coming from. IE. If his mom would faint seeing a photo of you two together, how is she going to handle you accompanying him to India and spending the rest of your lives together? I think you have a genuine reason to be concerned about this aspect and I would definitely talk to Prajna about this feeling. In a good relationship, discussions of these sorts are possible and will do alot to relieve your concerns.

I think (and think is the operative word here) that Prajna probably does not want to push you down his parent's throat. Perhaps his thought process on this is simply that forcing the issue too hard will cause nothing but aversion by his parents and he might be correct in this.

I am not trying to put blame anywhere, so if Prajna reads this or you tell him about it please assure him that what I am about to say next is not meant to criticize him. The bottom line: The biggest concern I have is that Prajna feels since he told them he is serious about you that is enough. I disagree with this for one reason only: His parents may be assuming that since they forbid him to marry you and he has not said anything else about you that he has obeyed them. When they find out that you are coming to India, they may see it as a betrayal and be resentful of your influence in their son's life. I think it is better to keep the cards on the table where all can see what the end result will be. This does not mean that he has to constantly put you in their face or anything but he does need to have a heart-to-heart with them about you a LONG time BEFORE you go to India because this will [hopefully] allow some of the anger and resentment to die down.

Just my thought on the situation so don't think it is WHAT you have to do. It is just something to talk to him about if the situation allows it. As for your own feelings about "winning" her over. I agree. All you can do is be yourself and try not to give them any reason to dislike you. I would like to say one thing though: it is not race that prevents her from wanting you as her daughter-in-law. It is cultural. She probably has nothing against Americans in general. It is just that she has envisioned a different wife for her son, naturally she is going to want someone from her own cultural so they can identify with each other. I am not sayng it can not happen, I am just saying that right now she is probably really disappointed and it has nothing to do with your specifically. So don't take it too personally :-)

~mel
mel is not online. Last active: 10/2/2013 7:44:01 AM mel
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 20 Sep 2005 09:17 AM
Forgot one more thing:

Probably a photo of you two together is not the best gift right now. While things are changing, many Indian families still frown upon "dating" and this will only serve to cause her concern. Furthermore, public shows of affection are frowned upon by many people still in India. For example, a photo of you two touching in anyway probably would make her faint. I only say this because even when I am in public in India with my husband of many years and the father of my children, we do not really "touch". In the USA it is perfectly acceptable to hold hands as you walk along or take photos in an embrace or with an arm around each other, etc. but as I said, even with my husband we do not hold hands in public in India. This is not becuase we are ashamed but because it causes such a commotion that we just do not do it. We sit next to each other and often I ride touching him on a scooter or something but we do not go around holding hands or hugging etc. Once during our first trip to India I was feeling very shy and was holding his hand as we walked along a street and it caused one poor man to run off the road!!!

~mel
stella01 is not online. Last active: 3/1/2006 5:10:04 PM stella01
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 07 Feb 2006 05:58 PM
Hi Mary,
I have been married 16 years with an Indian guy. His family never accepted me and tried in all possible ways to make me feel guilty and worthless. My mother in law treats me in a dreadful way. I have tried many approaches, but none worked. Initially I went out of my way in trying to please her: spending hours in the kitchen to learn to cook indian food and appreciating the indian culture in any of its forms. But nothing would ever change her opinion of me. I am not Indian and that is something she cannot deal with. At the end, I have decided that I had it with all her attitudes. She only wants a reletionship where I have to be constantly considered like a maid. So I decided not to interact with her any longer. I cut all contacts: now it has been like this for almost three years. And I am finally serene. My suggestion to you is: THERE IS NO WAY TO GET THROUGH HER, just leave her in her own world!! If she does not try even a bit to bridge the difference, do not make my same mistakes. Be polite, but keep her at a DISTANCE!!!!!!
mel is not online. Last active: 10/2/2013 7:44:01 AM mel
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 13 Feb 2006 09:33 AM
Hello Stella01 and welcome to the forums site!

I am very sorry for the troubles you have had these past years with your MIL but I am glad that you were able to share with us here. Your story is very important because it shows that things do not always work out with time and you have found a way to cope with that. I know there are alot of people who read here but do not post and I am sure that some of them are going through the same troubles. I hope your story will help them also.

Regards,
~mel~
dollmommy is not online. Last active: 10/30/2007 8:18:24 AM dollmommy
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 13 Feb 2006 11:12 AM
Also, sometimes the problem is just with the MIL as a person. Sometimes it has nothing to do with cross cultural issues as much as some women don't like "giving up" their sons. It is really a blessing to have a solid relationship with MIL. makes life very easy.

Good luck for the future.
april is not online. Last active: 7/31/2008 1:06:13 PM april
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 13 Feb 2006 11:41 PM
I have been dating a South Indian man. We have known each other about ten months and have been "dating" for about six months. He is of Brahman caste and is the only son. His family knows about me, but does not know we are dating. I don't think he is ready to tell them yet, and for now, I'm okay with that. After all, we have not been dating that long. He says when the time comes, he will tell them the truth. I have asked how his family will react. He seems to think there will be no problem. I think he is being naive. I've heard too many stories of Indian families not accepting their sons marrying American women. Satya is from a very conservative, traditional Brahman Hindu family.

I will wait until he feels the time is right and will not push this matter with him. I hope and pray for the best outcome, although I am skeptical, at best.

April
mel is not online. Last active: 10/2/2013 7:44:01 AM mel
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 14 Feb 2006 07:01 PM
Hi April,

Truth of the matter is, I think you have a pretty good grasp on the situation. Satya reminds me alot of someone I once knew. My friend was taken completely by surprise when his family did not approve his choice because he was sure that his family would respect his decision even if they did not like it. It caused a lot of heartache for him because he never expected his family would feel the way they did. My friend's fiancee never saw it coming and to say it "blind-sided" her is an understatment. Since neither one of them were prepared for it, the stress caused by the family's pressure ended up pulling them apart. Several years later they both looked back on the situation and felt they could have handled it differently and possibly would have ended up married in the end since both still cared for each other years after their split. By the time they figured this out, they had both moved on.

This is not to say that Satya's family will do the same but if they do, I am glad that it will not completely take you by surprise. Perhaps in knowing what could happen, it will give you both the ability to deal with it more effectively.

I wish you the best of luck with Satya.

~mel~
april is not online. Last active: 7/31/2008 1:06:13 PM april
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 14 Feb 2006 10:34 PM
I learned the hard way. An Indian man I was dating some time back was having his parents visit for two months. Rather than tell them about me, he broke off the relationship. He did keep in touch off and on during the two months his parents were visiting and, after they returned to India, wanted to get back together. I couldn't accept how he treated me. I have never spoken to him since.

I had a friend with a similar experience to what you described, Mel.

Satya's family does know about me. They know he spends a great deal of time at my apt. He did a lot of shopping for me while he was in India, much of it with his mother's help. Some of the gifts he bought me were expensive. Not gifts you would buy for someone who is a casual acquaintenance. I can't help but think they have their suspicions but are choosing not to question him. I trust when the time will comes, he will tell them the truth.

My biggest fear is not that our relationship will end. If it is meant to be, it will be regardless of what his family thinks. However, Satya looks at his parents as gods. He has said this to me many times. He can't imagine ever doing anything that would disappoint them. I worry about how hurt he will be when he finds out they are just as human as everyone else. I have tried to talk to him about this. I think it is important that he and I discuss it first so we can decide how we will handle things. He seems to think it will all be okay. I will try to be as supportive as I can be when reality hits home. I really do not want to see him hurt, but I don't see how it will be avoided.

April
DESIre is not online. Last active: 6/4/2007 10:11:55 PM DESIre
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 15 Feb 2006 10:02 AM
Hi April,

I know exactly how you feel and unfortunatly my story isn't a "success story". I dated an Indian man for nearly 5 years. He was the only son and the youngest and the only one of his siblings unmarried. I learned a lot about his culture and background to hopefully bridge the gaps for his family. There wasn't anything obvious that would make them say no to me....I had never been married(actually he was the first man I ever dated), no kids, I was educated, younger then him, etc all the superficial things that sometimes the family make a big deal about.

Anyways he told me he wanted to be together, to get married, have kids, the whole ball of yarn. Over time his family knew I was a "friend" and they were okay with that. After about 2+ years I told him if he really felt the way he did I thought he should tell his family about me. He went back to India and things unravelled.....his mother was so upset, his sisters all tried to convince him otherwise but he said no he wanted to be with me. His family never would meet me and asked very little about me although I think he was very careful as he didn't want to hurt me, nor did he want to hurt them. Well I left it to him to work with his family and come to some compromise....needless to say it never happened. I think he felt that they would "come around" that if they saw that he wouldn't be with anyone else that they would agree to it. I knew differently though...I knew they would do anything in their power to ensure we didn't stay togeather. In the end I told him he either needed to marry me and let the chips fall into place or we needed to seperate and go our own ways. The latter is what happened. I was very hurt that he wasn't man enough to stand up for me, but I also know that he had promised his dying father that he would "take care" of the family. I guess in the end I felt that he had lied to himself that things would turn out, and in return he was never honest to me, cause if you believe your own lie how can you tell the truth to someone else?

Well its 6 months later....I have talked to him briefly and he says his family is still miserable cause he won't marry. He is sticking to wanting to marry me, although our relationship is over and I honestly could never go back even if things got sorted cause of how hurt and distorted the love I gave feels. I wish there was a silver lining to this story but there isn't :(

I do hope things work out better for you April, but unfortunatly Satya sounds a little too much like the man whom I once loved.

All the best,

Desire
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 15 Feb 2006 11:11 PM
Desire,

I'm really sorry for what happened to you. Part of me believes this is how it will end with Satya. Part of me believes it won't. Matters of the heart are never easy.

April
DESIre is not online. Last active: 6/4/2007 10:11:55 PM DESIre
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 16 Feb 2006 09:01 AM
Hey April,

Don't be sorry, I didn't post it to make it a sob story....I believe everything happens for a reason and although it hurt, I did leave the relationship knowing myself in a more complete way and left with many good things added to my life. I guess my only regret is I stayed in it so long thinking it would be different then everything I heard, but at the same time knowing that it really wouldn't change.

I do wish you the very best though.....could use a success story every once and awhile :)

Desire
mel is not online. Last active: 10/2/2013 7:44:01 AM mel
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 21 Feb 2006 09:11 AM
Well said ladies :-)
april is not online. Last active: 7/31/2008 1:06:13 PM april
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 21 Feb 2006 10:39 AM
So far so good. We are making plans to relocate from Houston to Kansas City towards the end of the year. Now that my daughter is pregnant and expecting, I don't want to be a long distance grandma and since Kansas City is originally my home, it makes sense for us to move there rather than have the entire family move here. I'd go now but Satya won't finish his master's program until December so we will wait until then.

I have talked to Satya again about this and was very honest and forthright with him about my concerns and how I think his family will be. He finally admitted that he knew it was not going to be easy to deal with and that he would need my help with it...when he tells his family that is. He is adament about maintaining our relationship inspite of how his family reacts. At least now that he is being honest with himself about it, we can begin to formulate a plan as to how to deal with it. As I said, I guess time will tell. He's going to have to tell them before we move to Kansas City.

I'm really glad I have this forum to discuss this issue. Most of my friends just say dump him now before you get hurt. I may get hurt in the end, but then it may work out too. I'm willing to take the risk. I'm just glad I can voice my concerns here without any judgment being passed and to women that understand what those concerns are.

April
mel is not online. Last active: 10/2/2013 7:44:01 AM mel
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 21 Feb 2006 11:02 AM
Hi April,

First let me address the fact that you have been told by your friends to "dump" him before you get hurt. No one knows what is right for you but you. You have to listen to your heart.

Secondly, the fact that Satya has opened up and admitted that things are not going to be easy is really a good sign. Its a start and as we all know we have to have a beginning somewhere!

~mel~
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 23 Feb 2006 01:00 AM
Thanks Mel. I have no intention of "dumping" Satya. He is worth the risk as far as I'm concerned. Perhaps the risk is higher with everything considered, but then doesn't that mean the rewards will be greater?! It's all in how you look at it and what you're willing to aim for.

April
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 24 Feb 2006 02:08 PM
April, not only I wish to offer you my prayers for your future happiness but wanted to add my insight from the perspective of someone who has been happily married for almost 25 years. Although your situation adds the issues involving a cross cultural marriage, you will still face the same problems facing all young couples getting married nowadays. Learning to live together, finances, children, extended families---all these factors cause stresses that break down marriages. In the US, the divorce rate is high and divorces are sometimes taken just as casually as the decision to marry. I think you and Satya have two advantages in your favor:

Satya's culture does not approve of divorce in the sense that this culture does. Yes it does happen in India but not (I don't believe) with the frequency of this country. He is not entering the relationship with you with the idea that he can always divorce if it doesn't work out. You can bet your bottom dollar that should he propose to you, he is in it for the long haul. I think this is a huge plus for you both.

Second, the issues you will face (apparently together as a couple because he seems very devoted to you) will help you overcome the other issues married couples have to deal with. You will already have coping tools in your toolkit, and these will be ones that you developed together and can count on to work.

As far as your friends, well, they will voice their opinions out of concern or love for you but you will have to decide upon what your heart, and Satya's, dictate to you.

Good luck to you.

Hope you don't I am being nosey.

Dee
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 27 Feb 2006 10:25 PM
Hi Dee. You're not being too nosey and thank you for your input.

There has been a big, big change in our relationship and I'm not quite sure how to deal with it.

Satya has just started his courses to complete his masters and will be finished in December. Our plans were to move to Kansas City after he finished so I could be with my daughter, who is expecting her first baby in September.

Satya told me, because his GPA dropped last semester, he needs to focus on his education. He wants to devote all of his time and attention to his education. This means we will not be spending time with each other like we have. He also insists that I move to Kansas City the end of June, when my lease is up, to be with my daughter before she has her baby, and not wait for him to finish his masters. He will then join me after he graduates.

This is really very hard for me to deal with. I told him it felt like he was breaking up with me. He insists that is not what he is doing. He needs time to focus on finishing his masters. As for me moving to Kansas City without him, he says my daughter must have priority over him. He said she may resent him later if she felt like he was coming between us. I have talked to my daughter and she knows why I want to wait for him and she has no problem with it. She has many other family members there to support her, including her MIL, with whom she has a great relationship. But Satya keeps telling me, it's not the same. She needs HER mother (me).

He has given me his word that he has no intention of ending our relationship. I can't help but feel like that's what it is.

In the Western dating world, when one person says, "I need time," it usually is a non-confrontational way of ending a relationship. I told him this. He keeps telling me everything is fine, perfect, he just needs this time to focus on the masters program.

I'm trying to understand this without letting my mind (and emotions) run away with it.

April
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Re: Building a relationship with an Indian Mother-in-Law
Posted: 28 Feb 2006 09:28 AM
Wow. This is a big development. Is Satya the type of person who wants to achieve the best grades all the time. This can cause a lot of fuss if his GPA went down. Is this his final semester of school? He may not want to do poorly in school and give his parents a reason to dislike you (She made him lose his focus on his education).

I certainly understand that you want to be with your daughter when the baby comes. And I think Satya has a lot of wisdom in his statement that he does not want to be resented by your daughter if you placed him over her. This sounds like someone who wants to have the best chance he can with his step child, doesn't it?

The best tale of the tape would be once you and he are spearated. If he is still attentive to you, long distance, sharing his school news, everyday life and inquiring of yours and making plans for a joint future, then it seems that his intentions were true.

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