I had sent this post to IHM but she has been on a sabbatical so I am sending this to you on how women also harass there in-laws.
I come from a middle class family; my father was an alcoholic and always in debt. My mother single-handedly raised me and my brother. I started working when I was very young to support our family and we all made a lot of sacrifices. My father’s sisters always bullied my mother (even though my father is a gentle soul, he never had the courage to stand against his sisters).
Anyways we grew up and did well in our respective careers and become a very close-knit strong family. My brother got a job in defense and did well for himself and we started planning his wedding. We found a girl on a famous matrimonial website and we liked her as she came from a similar background and we felt would adjust really well with us.
The only thing we asked her family was :
1) My parents would stay with my brother and her after marriage (my father is bedridden now) and my brother stays away a lot because of his job so we felt that his wife and my mom would have an emotional support. Her family claimed to be happy with this and said that she would adjust as she herself came from a joint family.
2) We expected the girl to have a career and not just sit at home. I am financially independent and ambitious and my mother has also been working all these years. So we wanted his wife also to have a career. We did not expect the girl to give any money to us but just be independent so she has everything she needs. Again her family claimed that she was very career oriented.
We did not ask for any dowry in fact we gave her everything that even I couldn’t have for my wedding. Her family did a lot of things without our knowledge and cancelled a few preparations made by my husband and me. Anyways we over looked all that and did not create a fuss.
Everything went smoothly and my parents moved in with my brother. The abuse started from the very next day itself. She was mean to my mother, was rude, immature and was very selfish. The things she did and said to my parents I can’t even mention here. Once when my mother actually complained about her behavior to her mother, she replied that the girl was angry as they had spent a lot of money on her wedding. MIND YOU we had not seen a single penny of it and they had not given us anything. She even took the clothes that her mother had given us back because she was upset as my mom gave me some of those clothes.
We showered her with gifts and encouraged her to have a career. She started a job but would leave it every few months for some or the other reason. She stole from us and we have proof that she did and slowly started poisoning my brother against us. She even cut her wrists once and ran away from home. My mother is so scared of her that she just suffers and lives like a maid with them rather than say anything.
I know my mother has her faults but when I compare her to all the other Mother in-laws I know and even to my own MIL, she is million times better. She is like a friend to us and has always helped my brother and his wife financially even though she hardly earns anything.
My sister-in-law actually tells us that if my brother ever DARES to leave her she will get half of his salary. She is always comparing herself to others and wants everything. She pretends to be from a rich family and looks down upon us even though she has had more luxury staying with us. She doesn’t help my mom with chores and treats her like a maid.
We don’t know what to do and how to deal with this situation. My brother also now sides with her and in fact he and I hardly speak now. It has been almost a month since I spoke to him, when there was a time we used to speak to each other 10 times in a day. She hates my husband because he once told her off as she did not want to work (my brother has a housing loan and has a meager salary and she is very demanding).
She actually looks down upon me because I have a career and feels pity for me as I have to work. In her words only women whose husbands don’t do well have to work and now my brother also believes that and has told me so.
My mother and I cry every time we speak to each other and just do not say or do anything with her. We listen to her talks and see her mean behavior and curse the day we got my brother married. I hate her from the bottom of my heart but cannot do anything to change the situation.
Tbg adds: Have you considered leaving them alone? Maybe that would help. Just leave them and let them be. Time usually take some time to let people understand what they have when they don’t have it anymore.
Apart from this, I have no idea what’s the best way to face this situation head on. Maybe lying low for a while might help.