Query: Hi, my wife and my mother are two completely different people and do not get along well. My wife and I live separately from my parents, and we have a happy married life. The only problem is my wife is very adamant that she will never visit my parents place. Because of her, even our kids have got influenced and do not like to go there. My mother and wife have no big issues between them and I personally feel she is reacting way too much. She does not think how our relatives would react or how it makes me feel disturbed. She needs to understand that her bond with my mother is fragile and she should keep her ego aside. How should I discuss this thing with her? - By Anonymous
Response by Ms. Rachana Awatramani: The relationship between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law in very fragile. The reason is obvious. They both care for the same person and the same family but there is a difference in their perception and personalities that can sometimes create issues.
I comprehend that you live separately with your wife and children and you are very happy. Your wife is very adamant that she will not visit your parents’ house, which is also influencing your children to not visit their grandparents. It can be upsetting as you feel your wife does not understand that her behaviour is disturbing you. I understand that you are also concerned about what other relatives would think and you are also not clear on how to communicate to your wife about her ego issues.
As your mentioned that your wife and mother are completely different people and have different personalities which makes it difficult for them to adjust with each other. Firstly, you can try and understand the reason why is your wife behaving this way and avoiding visiting your parents. You can help her to vent out, and address her concerns. Secondly, express your feelings of hurt and also share how her behaviour disturbs you. Lastly, you can discuss the impact of this situation on the children and how building relationship with grandparents is an important aspect for children.
If possible, try and have a joint meeting after speaking separately with your wife and your mother. You will also need to spend time with your mother and understand her concerns. You can also invite your parents’ home, if that works for you and your wife. Consider family therapy option, if required.
- Ms. Rachana Awatramani is a counselling psychologist in Mumbai
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