Do you think dealing with your mother-in-law is comparatively overwhelming compared to your own mother?
Well, they say when you marry a man, you also marry his family. But the truth is, you are not only married to the family, but you also have a mother-in-law to put up with. Let me be clear, this blog does not change your mind and suddenly start loving your in-laws altogether. But I think by the end of this you would somewhere agree with me.
So, a few days ago, we got together as women and we were engaged in different conversations ranging from juicy gossip to family discussions in which some were centered on living as couples especially now that we moved from India to live in the United States. Somehow while the conversation was on, we delved into the issues of finances as couples.
When I was asked, I said we just have common accounts and I made them understand that we don’t have anything separate. They were surprised and one of them asked; so, you’ve never had an argument about it? I said No!
Since I have been in love with the same guy for eighteen years but married to him for six and a half years, there has been no fight in terms of our finance. They found it surprising because they were used to arguing and fighting over the small things about finances.I was thinking of this and I remembered around 15 years ago, then his mom was my boss and she thought we were just friends and she didn’t know we were dating.
I remember her saying money shouldn’t come in between relationships. This became something that subconsciously sank into me and has always worked for me. When we started out in our relationship, I was getting more than my husband. A few years later, when she knew that we were in a relationship, she again said I don want you to overpower my son.
Although I felt bad when I heard it back then, it has worked for me because in between the ups and downs, I have changed jobs, taken small breaks, and eventually started a business, but my husband had a stable job and that kept us going and we have never fought about money and I think that was the best advice my mother in law gave me. Oscar Wildes said, and I quote.
“With age comes wisdom, but sometimes age comes alone”. This brings me to the second thing I learned from her which is her emphasis on how age does not define wisdom. Find this surprising because, in most Indian homes, the mother-in-law usually dictates all proceedings in the home.
Although I was blended in some necessary family values which I eventually became an integral part of, I lived in a joint family where we had other elders in the house, whenever there is a situation, she will always remind me that age doesn’t define wisdom because whatever an elder says should always be scrutinized properly. If it is useful for you, implement it, and if it is not, discard it because, at the end of the day, the choice is solely yours.
Coming to the third thing I learned, is the bible says in the book of Proverbs 20:3 “It is to a man’s honor to cease from strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel”. As a very vocal person, who has a sound background with teaching and training, doing the right things from wrong was natural to me.
You know that moment when you sight something wrong and you just want to swiftly correct it immediately and when it is not in place, you want to voice out your opinion as much as you can? That was me even though I am not that person anymore. I became a work in progress by maintaining peace in place of arguments and embracing silence.
But this was something I had to learn from my mother-in-law. So as individuals, whenever we are looking for solutions outside, we should always remember there is somewhere inside of us that needs to be worked on. I am just writing all these to peek into our thoughts so as to have introspection into our lives, so we can strike a balance and live a happy and purposeful life.
I am a big advocate of inspiration and wisdom comes from our daily lives and the people we meet on an everyday basis. You don’t need higher education orders to give you wisdom or an opportunity to learn something beautiful. Just look around and you would find amazing lessons just in your backyard. Please share your thoughts. Thanks for reading.