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How to mend the attitude of my daughter-in-law ?

Date: 27 Nov 2015    Group: Family & Life    Category: Marriage   

My daughter-in-law is very adamant in her behaviour with us. In the first instance, she does not like to wear Mangala suthra, Kali mettulu, and bangles. With great difficulty, she wore the same. She is very moody. If her mood is not good, she sticks to her bed room without even taking any food and does satyagraha. Some times she does not hear to the words of her mother-in-law. She always makes phone calls to her mother and speaks for hours together. At times she becomes emotional while talking to her parents. She becomes angry with us if we bring her behavior to the notice of her father and elder brother. She moves in the house and even the pooja room with chappals. She does not care about hearing from her elder brother, father. She wants to live separately with her husband, who is our only son. We are really fed up with her attitude. She, even does not give importance to the family values and norms. What to do? Awaiting response from experts.

Having a problem with daughter in law's behaviour? Wondering how to change her attitude? Then, on this page, experts will respond to your problem.

Author: Partha Kansabanik    28 Nov 2015      Member Level: Diamond     Points : 2  (Rs 2)    Voting Score: 0

This is a oft-repeated problem of Indian society, In my opinion, this is the cause of difference in value system between the two families. If this is an arranged marriage, the responsibility lies squarely with both the families because the elders should have taken note of the difference of value system. If this is a love marriage, blame would go to your son and the daughter-in-law equally for failing to understand the difference.

Having said these, in my opinion, there is an immediate necessity to call the members of the bride's family for a meeting. In the meeting, you should clearly explain your position and your objection to your daughter-in-law's behaviour. At the same time, you should listen patiently to their views also. Your son and daughter-in-law must be asked clearly about their intention-whether they want to stay with you or to move to a separate establishment. After hearing the elders and the couples, a suitable decision should be taken.

Author: P    28 Nov 2015      Member Level: Silver     Points : 1  (Rs 1)    Voting Score: 0

Talk to your son first. He will be in a better position to handle the situation. But even he don't bother about his wife's behavior, take a strong stand.

With due respect to your feeling for your family, in case your son does not cooperate, ask them to move out. After all dignity is something.

In case, you depend on your son for your livelihood, then may be it would be wise to make some adjustment at your end, after talking to your daughter-in-law and son.

Author: Kailash Kumar    28 Nov 2015      Member Level: Platinum     Points : 2  (Rs 2)    Voting Score: 0

The decision has to be taken by your son. It is up to him to decide as to whether continue to live with the author or move away with his wife to live in a separate house. I don't think it will be possible for the daughter in law totally change her attitude. The discussion of this pure family matter on a public forum like ISC is indicative of the attitude of the author also. The author will have to decide as to whether she want the life of her son to be peaceful or not. She may have to change her own attitude also in the interest of peace in her son's life.

Author: NAVCHETAN KUMAR    28 Nov 2015      Member Level: Gold     Points : 2  (Rs 2)    Voting Score: 0

The only person who can solve this problem is your son. Your son can make her understand about everything like what are all wrong things, what are all right things and how to behave properly with mother and father-in-laws and with other family members. As have you said that while talking with her parents she becomes so emotional and becomes anger while talking with you all. In this situation your son must tell her and make her realize that if he also started talking roughly with her parent then how will you(your daughter-in-law ) feel. In her each and every bad activities, your son must scold her and warn her to not repeat next time otherwise he will take a strict action.
So you just talk with your son and tell him everything about her.

Author: Sheo Shankar Jha    28 Nov 2015      Member Level: Gold     Points : 3  (Rs 3)    Voting Score: 0

The problem you are facing can be sorted out with your practical approach. First of all, your entire family should show patience and would engage in a conversation asking the reason for her talk with her mother for an extended period and also her manner to enter the Puja - room with Chappals should be highlighted. You may clearly ask her what she wants. May be your affection and closeness would change her harsh behaviour. In case, you fail to see any noticeable change even after applying such posture, ask your son to make her understand the ways which will be benificial for the entire families.
The last resort would be to dictate the final term and you couples should move out from the environment. But before doing so, you must tell your son that her behaviour would not be conducive in the long run and ultimate solution lies in mending her ways.
Your son may appreciate your stand in the years to come.

Author: Saji Ganesh    28 Nov 2015      Member Level: Diamond     Points : 12  (Rs 12)    Voting Score: 0

In the absence of details like her educational qualification, the financial and social background of her family, for how many years they have been married, whether they have any children, whether your daughter-in-law is otherwise healthy, whether the couple has a cordial relation except for your presence in the house etc, I am giving an opinion in the case solely on the basis of available details provided by you. And with that in mind, I would like to take a different view of the issue that is troubling you.

If the indications given by you are analyzed in a proper perspective, I must say, frankly, that I have reasons to believe that your daughter-in-law is in urgent need of some medical attention. Her behavioral pattern does point towards possibility of some psychological problem that need to be addressed immediately. Before doing so, I have the following observations to make which need to be taken into account-

1)Discuss the matter with her parents and siblings and try to find out about her behavior at home prior to marriage.
2)Though I am not suggesting so, I doubt whether this marriage has been forced upon her. It is quite possible that she might have had an affair which broke or must have been forcefully set aside.
3)Another reason for the kind of behavior being exhibited by her will have to be looked into in the context of the atmosphere prevailing in her family; interpersonal relations in her family, especially between her parents will have to be checked. The point about her talking to her mother over the phone for long duration and the fact that she is reluctant to listen to her father or brothers is something to be considered seriously in this connection.
4)Try to get in touch with some of her friends who may be able to give you some insight into her general character and attitude. Some people tend to carry different attitudes in different groups and circumstances.
5) A change in your attitude towards her by becoming a bit more lenient instead of forcing upon her may bring in some changes. Understand her problems and try to sort them out through some family meetings or one to one talks. Try leaving her as she is and note whether there are any changes in her behavior. Individual preferences need to be respected at least to some possible extent.
6) Advice your son to be more considerate towards her. May be she is entertaining a feeling of loneliness and is feeling insecure. He must spend more time with her and must try to make her speak out her mind. She must feel assured that living with you all under the same roof will not create a dent in the husband-wife relations and that her liking would be given some priority.
7) Above all the mentioned points, I personally would prefer to entertain a doubt about the role of the mother of your daughter-in-law in the whole issue.

That being the background and the probabilities that one gather from your description, I strongly advice medical intervention in this case. There is every possibility that she might not agree to meeting a specialist but it is for her husband and her parents/brothers to convince her and take her to a doctor or psychologist. It would be better if you and your wife avoid getting involved in the process directly.

Author: Seema Shah    28 Nov 2015      Member Level: Gold     Points : 7  (Rs 7)    Voting Score: 0

At the onset I have a difference of opinion.
Who has the authority to 'mend' someone's attitude?
Just being a senior in the family, and that too not through a blood relation does not give a person any authority to mend someone. Gone are the days where parents and inlaws can dominate the daughter or son completely and leave no freedom of thought, voice, behaviour.
The issue here is the difference in habits, difference in the way of thinking, difference in outlook to family, culture and relationships, difference in lifestyle.
Just because we are brought up differently, it does not mean that everyone else has to live our way and completely change their lifestyle. If we cannot adjust, we need to make a change. If we cannot change, then it is better to part ways in an amicable way.
So the best solution is to: sit down face to face, have a frank heart to heart discussion with son and daughter in law and come out with an amicable solution. No point in involving her parents. Since after marriage, I am sure her relationship with her parents will be different, a little less close. Deal it among the four of you. Also do not emotionally blackmail your son: we have given birth to you, and you have to look after us. What will we do without you? etc...
My answer may be blunt/ curt, but this is what I strongly feel.

Author: Mahesh    28 Nov 2015      Member Level: Gold     Points : 2  (Rs 2)    Voting Score: 0

I think there seems to be communication gap in your relationship. So I suggest bring your son and daughter in law on dining table. And explain things to son and ask daughter in law to discuss the same. Don't put on demanding tone or something. As that would surely make things harder for yourself and her. Both if tried to argue then things will lead to more of problem than solution. I personally think that attitude issue could be you being conservative and she expecting her life to be more liberal. That's how the things are going to settle. If she doesn't want you in laws around then in such case ask the son to relocate. If things don't change even after that then I guess this is going to cost even your son, and he needs to move on to someone else.

Author: Suri Babu Komakula    29 Nov 2015      Member Level: Bronze     Points : 0    Voting Score: 0

Thanks a lot for your valuable suggestions. As directed by the experts, I am doing the same thing, discussing the problems with my son and daughter-in-law. I have also made to have a discussions with her parents, and brothers to solve this problems. I am waiting for positive response from all of them.

Author: Bapuni Singh    10 Dec 2015      Member Level: Bronze     Points : 1  (Rs 1)    Voting Score: 0

I would like to apologize first , this is all your fault , other wise no son would let her wife to hurt his parent ... Talk to your son , let him know that you cant live separately , and make her ( your daughter in law ) understand that what is she doing is not wrong but hurting a little . May she is missing her parents here , love her as your child , it would take some time but one day she relise ...

Author: Juana    16 Mar 2016      Member Level: Diamond     Points : 20  (Rs 20)    Voting Score: 0

It was the title that pulled me to your post. I wondered what an in-law would want to mend in his daughter-in-law (DIL). My response may seem harsh, but please understand what I am trying to convey, if you want a cordial relationship with your son and daughter-in-law (DIL).

The first thing that struck me on reading your post is that you have set 'high' expectations of your DIL. You want to mend her attitude. Let me begin by saying that the approach to the problem (if I may call it so) is wrong. Instead of wanting the DIL to mend her ways, how about you changing your attitude, so she becomes more accepting of you. It will be a more peaceful and happier existence. Treat her with love, welcome her views, be a friend to her instead of in-laws wanting to control her.

Your DIL is an individual and you cannot dictate terms to her, no matter how strong your belief in customs and traditions might be. You mention that she is adamant in her behaviour to you and give her not wearing the mangala sutra, kali mettulu and bangles as examples of her insolence. Her not wanting to wear these symbols of marriage is her choice – respect it. What matters more – her wearing these items or harmony at home?

If the latter is what you want, then give her the space she needs. You cannot force your views on an individual and then blame them of being adamant if they do not follow them. If she is pressurized to wear these items she will probably hate you for forcing her to do something against her wishes, leading to more discord at home.

She is very moody is your next complaint. She might think of you as being overbearing because of all the restrictions and demands that you make. She is young and you are old, she might not share anything in common with you and might be bored at home. She just might be an introvert, being comfortable with herself. She may be rebelling against you because you forced her to wear the mangalsutra etc. Try and understand how she feels, instead of hurling accusations. There must be a reason for her moodiness and I do not think it is a mental affliction, or else your son would have noticed it too.

She doesn't listen to her mother-in-law – She is an adult and you need to treat her as one. She is entitled to make her own choices and do as she pleases. Please understand she does not have to listen to anyone. Value her individuality instead of forcing your ideologies on her. And please stop expecting her to listen to either of you. If she does listen to you then that is good, but don't assume that she will or she should.

On the phone with the mother – She is speaking to her mother, what can be wrong in that? This is the 21st century and girls cannot be expected to cut off all ties with their parents, post marriage.

Gets emotional speaking to parents – Who wouldn't, considering the way she is being hounded and reported to her father and brother. She is not having an extra marital affair or doing anything drastic that you need to tattle about her. Please act with a little more maturity. I do not think any adult would like it if they are complained about to their parents etc.

I can understand your annoyance to chappals inside the pooja room, but chappals inside the house should not be a reason to complain. It is her house too now, so please allow her some freedom, unless you feel it is your home alone and your rules apply. This way she will never feel part of your family.

Your family values and norms will not become hers unless she feels welcome and wanted as one of you. Accept her for what she is before imposing your values on her. She is after all her own person who must want to live her life on her terms and conditions.

You say she wants to live separately with her husband – your only son. From what I see this will most likely happen, if you do not change your outlook and approach. Your son will probably move away with her because his priorities would have changed. My suggestion to you is to relax and not get agitated over things. The issues that you have raised are trivial.

You haven't mentioned your son not being happy with her. As long as she loves him and keeps him happy you should not get worked up. I understand your need to want things done in a certain way, because that is what you are used to. What can go wrong if things don't happen your way – Nothing!

Times have changed; girls today are educated and more modern in their views. They do not take to in-laws controlling them lying down – they will rebel and fight back, because now they know their rights. None of the complaints you have against your DIL are serious – so don't react and spoil your health and peace of mind over such minor issues.

Moreover, you are on a sticky wicket and stand more to lose. You do not want to put your son in a position where he has to choose between you and her. Chill, as they say and let peace and love prevail.

Accept her, encourage her, make her feel welcome, include her in activities, let her take the initiative to arrange family functions - so what if she does things differently. That is what families are about - growth and togetherness. You may have to make that first move. Shed the cloak of the in-laws and become more a friend or parent to her.

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