It’s really natural for someone to panic on moving in with their in-laws or having to adjust with them and developing good terms with them especially when all the TV serials are showing so much negativity about the whole concept. So I did research and some interviews of the married women who have succeeded in the department of getting the “Achi Bahu” label and have straightened some tips for us:
01. Work with your spouse:
Don’t ever put your husband in a situation where he or she has to choose between you and a relative. If you do so, you’re putting your spouse in a nearly impossible position. Instead, try to understand the bond your husband has with his family. If possible, try to support that relationship. Don’t ever share your marital problems with your in-laws. Also, build a united front with your husband. Yes, every couple does go through ups and downs but keep those downs to yourself because the bond you have with your husband has a huge effect on how your in-laws will treat you and how they will get along with you. Negotiate with your spouse the role you want your in-laws to have in your life and come to a mutual understanding.
02. Set and enforce boundaries:
It may be their house, but that doesn’t give your in-laws the right to go through your things when you’re not there. Always remember to knock on closed doors and ask for permission before entering the room. Respect each other’s privacy. Setting boundaries in desi houses is so so important but it is the trickiest part because they are usually very stubborn. You could, however, ask your husband to politely do so.
I remember when I moved in, no-body used to knock at the door and they would just barge in and it would make me really uncomfortable. I just couldn’t say it to them at their faces so I started knocking their room’s doors before entering even on open doors so that they would get the message loud and clear, and it worked – Alhamdulillah.
03. Love them like you love your family:
This is the most important step to nirvana. If you wire your brain to accept the fact that they’re your FAMILY then you’d love them unconditionally and ignore any actions of theirs that might otherwise offend you. Love them, cherish them and want good for them and it will all come back to you. If you start with this thing in your mind, they will catch it and will have nothing but love for you in return. However, if that doesn’t work and they just must keep their grudge against you try to ignore them like you would some elderly daadi of your house who is old and nobody minds on what she says.
04. Start with a positive mindset:
Always assume for the best and that your in-laws are there to support you and you are going to have a great relationship for the rest of your life. When you start with a positive frame of mind, you will have a greater capacity to overlook shortcomings. However, things can really go downhill if your in-laws don’t live up to your opinions about them. On the flip side, if you move in with your husband with the assumption that your in-laws are out to get you, you may end up blowing things out of proportion.
05. Communicate directly:
Whenever possible, avoid communicating through a third party. Don’t ask your spouse to talk to his sister about something she did that hurt your feelings. Talk to your sister-in-law directly. If something bothers you, address it as soon as possible. Sometimes it’s a genuine problem; other times, it might be a misunderstanding. However, during this communication do keep control over your tone otherwise you might just end up making things worse. Assess the situation that you are in, the communication skills of the party in front of you, and then apply this. If you know the other party is just looking for a reason to get back at you, abort the mission.
06. Avoid getting into fights:
If you make it a point to not be in any fight or argument for the first year, then congratulations, you will have successfully created an atmosphere of peace and harmony around you and then no one will dare do anything to harm it. Learn to ignore and just keep your calm.
07. Get with the program:
Put away the stereotypes and adjust your thinking to the reality of the situation. Don’t expect what people can’t deliver. I understand that you might have higher expectations and have seen better environments of houses but this is what you have and you need to get used to the idea. Your biggest challenge will be how soon you get used to the new environment and adapt yourself into it. Yes, there may be things you’d like to change about the dynamic but go slow and steady. If you march in and start making changes right away that will surely drive a wedge between you and the old inhabitants of the place.
08. Stay out of family arguments:
In a joint family, it is very easy to get sucked into arguments between your in-laws or between your husband and your in-laws. When you see a heated argument that doesn’t involve you, it is better to stay away from it. Taking sides will unnecessarily create an imbalance in your relationship with your husband and your in-laws. However, if you are driven into it remind yourself that it’s a trap and try to walk out without offending anyone. Make any excuse and walk away.
09. Learn to cool off:
Many times, the best thing to do is nothing. Time heals many wounds. Just wait for the right time and if nothing works leave it on Allah. While we’re at it, play nice. Even if someone makes you angry to the core and you just want to stab them in the stomach with a knife, just imagine yourself doing so and smile because your smile will make them angrier. Make them wonder why you’re smiling.
10. Be mature:
Understand that your parents have to love you; it’s in the contract. But your in-laws don’t. Accept the fact that your in-laws aren’t your parents and won’t follow the same rules. Try to think “different” — not “better” or “worse.” To make this work, give in on small points and negotiate the key issues. Learn to see the situation from your in-law’s point of view. And even if you don’t agree, act like a mature person. No susral is going to treat their daughter-in-law and their daughter with the same rules. It’s better if you get along with the idea and lower your expectations. Because in the long term those expectations are only going to hurt you.
11. Don’t involve the children:
Children should never be used as pawns in a cold war between you and the in-laws. Protect them from being manipulated or emotionally damaged by being in the middle of a war zone. Grandparents need to understand that even though their role is vital in a child’s life, however, their involvement is a privilege, not a right. They must earn that privilege by putting the children’s interests above their own. Parents should make every effort to keep the relationship between a grandparent and grandchild healthy and loving.
12. Be kind and respectful:
Even if you have to grit your teeth, try to say something nice. And if you really can’t say anything nice, shut up and smile. Respect can go a long way towards making this transitional time go smoothly for everyone involved. Let each other know when someone’s not going to be home for dinner, or if you’re going to have friends over and would like some privacy. Don’t play the TV too loud late at night and try to keep your conversations at a lower volume while other people are sleeping. Just be considerate of the fact that you live with other people and you should all do just fine.
13. Establish routines:
The division of tasks and distribution of duties makes it easier for the whole family. Everyone knows their task and can do it according to their time table. This also helps avoid a lot of unnecessary squirrels between the ladies of the house of having to do all the housework. And one can get the rightful credit of doing something rather than the mother-in-law or the jethani claiming all the credit.
14. Be grateful:
Whatever the case, you’re always doing better than most, if you have the eye to see it. If you start to be grateful for whatever little or big they do for you, for raising your husband to be a good man and for respecting your parents enough then you will be blind to all their little flaws.
P.S. Keep Your sense of humor alive to avoid any awkward situation. Please feel free to add anything in the comments if I missed out on anything. Like, Share and Comment.