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Are you trying to improve your relationship with your daughter-in-law? Do you want to create a better understanding and reduce tension? If these are a few of the questions that frequently enter your mind, then read on for some answers.

Mothers Are Always Mothers

I’d like to attempt to answer the question about why there is tension within the relationship. Mothers are always mothers, even when they become grandmothers. When our son marries, we often feel relegated to the back seat, second place and total background of his life. The sad truth is that this is the way life unfolds and it is a natural, necessary process. We cannot change this and must accept it.

The good part is our son will always have a place in his heart for us and he will always love us. If we accept his love, no matter how it filters our way, then we are not going to be as bothered with the changes.  

Change is a Huge Issue

At a time when our children are getting married, we are going through menopause. We are experiencing the empty nest syndrome, and the reality of retirement. We deal with illnesses we have acquired along our life’s path. The frosting on the cake may be our feelings of loss.

Transformation is difficult. However, life is not over and when we get through the thickets we see relief and a new existence unfolds. Like the butterfly, we must peel off the cocoon to make life alterations. We fear this because even new changes are difficult to cope with. We are comfortable within our current existence and don’t want to move forward, although we realize changes happen throughout our lives and are at the core of our existence.

I remember being at one son’s apartment helping him hang up curtains one week and within a short time, I was told to call before coming over. It is a part of life’s alterations even if I or others don’t like it.

Start the Relationship with Your Daughter-in-Law Early

Trouble begins at the start of a son’s relationship if a mother does not recognize the potential girlfriend as a possible future wife and daughter-in-law. Even if you have gotten off on a bad start to the relationship, it is still possible to rekindle it and evolve the bond into a happy relationship.

As difficult as letting go can be, a problematic relationship with your daughter-in-law is painful and full of stress and anxiety. I choose peace.

Respect the Boundaries

Mothers-in-law have a new playing field. They need to refrain from disregarding boundaries, respect rules – even if they don’t agree with them and think they are ridiculous. Your son loves this person. She is now his family. Stepping back a bit and recognizing the importance of his union and the onward cycle of life is crucial.

Mothers give their children strong roots of stability and growth. No one should cut those roots nor break them down. Daughters-in-law give their husbands wings to fly to new places and experience new beginnings and life itself. We do not clip the wings. How fortunate is the man-in-the-middle who is able to keep and nurture both wings and roots.

I have been studying this relationship for over 20 years and have found some things to be true. My surveys and investigations span two generations. I began my books as a daughter-in-law and finished them as a mother-in-law. It allowed me to discover both points of view, not only through my mind but through my heart.

Finding Faith Within“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't being said. The art of reading between the lines is a life long quest of the wise.” Shannon L. Alder
“Be careful not to mistake insecurity and inadequacy for humility! Humility has nothing to do with the insecure and inadequate! Just like arrogance has nothing to do with greatness!”    C. Joy Bell C.
“Often those that criticize others reveal what he himself lacks.” Shannon L. Alder
“There will always be someone willing to hurt you, put you down, gossip about you, belittle your accomplishments and judge your soul. It is a fact that we all must face. However, if you realize that God is a best friend that stands beside you when others cast stones you will never be afraid, never feel worthless and never feel alone.” Shannon L. Alder

Have you ever noticed how easily someone can knock you off of your game plan and cause you to doubt yourself? All they need to do is plant those little seeds of doubt or give the quick retort that leaves you questioning what they meant for days. We all fall prey to these people who come in the form of friends, family co-workers and unfriendly ties.

Adding to this problem is when we jump in feet first to help someone who really needs it only to be shot down with a look, or words of anger. It is without any doubt hurtful and we can only wonder why they refused  our help which I repeat, they needed. I for one begin questioning why they must dislike or even hate me. They can accept the lift from someone else but not me. It renders me quiet  with so many questions about doubt. Of course I always blame myself and my inadequacies.

I realize that sometimes we want to do our own thing and simply be left alone. On the other hand why is it certain people are disliked for the good they try to do. I feel like there is a conspiracy to get the "Helpers" to stop helping those in need. No wonder we pass by the helpless on the streets. We are trained to be impervious to their plight. Have we become such a competitive society that we are nervous about allowing someone else to take the reins for us and give us a  break?

I can't figure it out. I suppose some people believe it belittles them to exhibit any inferiority. They must be in control or only let the ones they trust help out. Of course that means they don't trust us. Is it our attitude or are we disliked more for our virtues than for our faults? Seriously though one is less willing to offer assistance to another due to the rebuke. Now we might have a person believing we are not mindful because we did nothing to help out. We doubt our ability to  be f assistance.

Many  spend volunteer time working at churches, or town activities without any thanks. they do it because they enjoy helping people. However as I reflect further I am saddened that so many volunteers  complained about finding so much indifference that they did not even receive a hello. those working freely for the common good toss their indifference aside and willingly support those who need help. They are not looking for thanks or honors but it would be terrible if they get burnt out and walk away. It is awesome that many people are not gaining material worth but act out of kindness for humanity and that is enough. We understand that indifference rules our actions towards each other but every time  we act with mindfulness we turn the tides towards concern for others.

I suppose we worry about getting involved and having others judge us or peg us onto certain lists. As hard as we attempt to remain neutral there are those moments that erupt and cause us to defy our neutrality and stand for something. As Benjamin Franklin declared "You have enemies? That's good it means you stood up for something." We have gotten too complacent and comfortable in our ways. Life becomes a selfish existence as we are solely interested in our own comforts and pleasures. The needs of others are so far down on our list that most days  we don't consider anyone else.

Mindful is not a word commonly used in our daily speech, yet if it became everyone's way of living would send us all on a higher path. More love would be spread and less pain would surround us. Indifference would be the new ignored word. How awesome that would be.

I know we don't foster indifference but neither do we pack it up and send it away. A beautiful world of love and happiness can become a reality if we allow compassion into our minds and hearts. Once we begin thinking about others we begin feeling good about ourselves. It is a feeling that you can't really describe. That is why so many of those people who help others continue to do it even though they receive no thanks or any kind of reinforcement. The light is felt within and the sense of supporting humanity gets stronger.

If we could do one small act for another every single day we would understand the importance of that  action and be inclined to do more. If I need help I don't want the person who exhibits indifference daily. I want the mindful person who will notice my need and hear my cry and then come to my assistance. We can't say we are too busy, have too much work, need a break, need to do something for ourselves, or want a vacation from work. We can very easily respond with a yes I am here for you.

“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize."    Robert Hughes

“I am convinced that the jealous, the angry, the bitter and the egotistical are the first to race to the top of mountains. A confident person enjoys the journey, the people they meet along the way and sees life not as a competition. They reach the summit last because they know God isn’t at the top waiting for them. He is down below helping his followers to understand that the view is glorious where ever you stand.”
Shannon L. Alder

“A man’s spirit is free, but his pride binds him with chains of suffocation in a prison of his own insecurities”     Jeremy Aldana

cropped-Family.jpg“At some point we all look up and realize we are lost in a maze.”

“Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?” John Keats

“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.”     Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I was talking with a few friends the other day and the discussion got heated when no one could agree on who had the worst birth order placement. It seems like a silly thing to argue about but try saying it to a group of friends and watch he discussion fly. I have thought about it quite a bit and I don't like any of the negatives that go along  with any of the positions. When I was done recalling everyone's complaints I realized we were just talking about life.

Like people tell you when you are young, "You have to put up with it because things happen in life that you must deal with it." Nobody likes to listen to that speech. It does resonate back to us  when life throws difficult pitches our way. It is not easy to say if you are the oldest or youngest this is the way it is. One must think about the sexes, background of the mothers and fathers and number of kids in a family as well as the economics of it all. I believe nobody gets away scott free and once you accept that you can stop comparing. Have you ever heard people comparing who had the more aches, pains or health issues to deal with? I know some peoples' complaints are worse than others but  there are emotional problems, mental health problems and spiritual issues tied into it all.

Some people are distraught their whole life worrying about what they ""Must" do for somebody. Does that make them less caring because they are not doing something out of love but duty? How about those who feel obligated or who want something in return? The list is long and complicated and so is the birth order. I don't really care so much about the order of birth because it seems like everyone takes the "crap" in life. It is unavoidable. It is more important to figure out how they will deal with the crap. In a way it is our attitude regardless of how much pain and hurt we must endure. Having taught school I know the child in the classroom who cries a lot gets a lot of attention. Does this mean they have suffered more? Is  there another child who has been suffering but we overlooked them?

That is one reason why  the situation gets complicated when we are trying to figure out or compare anxieties fear or problems. We come from different places and homes and had a variety of personalities to cope with along the way. I am thinking we might believe others have no care because they appear to not notice our suffering or they don't appear to have any. Does anyone recall saying, "I don't know what they are complaining about because when I...? We measure our pain against others all the time. It doesn't alleviate it but it increases the friction we have with friends and family.

Perhaps we should begin understanding where the pain  originates and why it won't let us go. There is absolutely deep suffering that will stay inside of us forever but it does not help anyone  to believe they are the martyrs of the world even if they have the suffering of such a person. Viewing ourselves as a victim implies we are helpless and have given up. Nobody has the power to make us feel that way and we should not see ourselves as the sacrifice. When we do deem our pain is beyond the measurement of anyone else's we lock ourselves in a cage and throw away the key.

On any given day there is much to cope with. Everyone has those moments in time that stay within the brain forever. The fearful moments scare us and make us want to run away no matter what the age. The crises we got through makes us proud of ourselves but sometimes less sympathetic because we may be of the opinion that no one else has suffered like us especially if they haven't complained. I am not down on the complainers. Sometimes I think it is therapeutic to get things off of your mind. When people hold things in they tend to resent others who can't imagine their suffering.

I don't know about how other people believe  but in the end  I think we alienate a lot of people when we expect but don't allow someone in. It appears to work against us and we end up jealous of their "Better Life" or we carry the pain inside and let it hurt us over again and resent people  who can't see it even when we don't let them observe it. I have turned my suffering inside and felt worse when no one appeared to understand. My belief was how can they not get it. Now I try to share more or at least not find fault with those who simply don't know when I don't share.

Life is not easy and that is an understatement. Life is more difficult if we compare our section of the world with other peoples'. We are putting up fences and keeping people out. It is better to take the fences down and let people in. I have found out that so many others have their own stories. It is kind to share in a positive way without the competition of having a winner. If we think we are worse off we send out no understanding or empathy to others. Instead we expect or feel entitled to be down in the dumps. Personally there are likely many days we might feel sad or even hopeless. We are asked to be stronger at that point than we were when we endured a heartache situation. It is at those moments we need to find the courage to get over the deep emotional feelings creeping in and overpowering us. We are almost forcing ourselves to relive the horrible time all over again.

If we can come to terms with the fact that we all suffer then maybe we can stop comparing and judging and learn to support each other any day we are in need. It takes away all of the conditional aspects of love and allows unconditional love to reign. Unconditional love says I love you no matter how you behave towards me and I forgive you for everything. It says I may not like what you do nor understand how you feel but I trust the reality of your situation and want only love and peace in your heart and mine. I know unconditional love is about as close as any of us can get to being more Godlike. Life is burdensome enough without worrying about the amount of good or bad in anyone's life. Trust that we all suffer at times but we all have so much to be grateful for if we would check it out. What I like and you like may differ. What I consider pain or frustration may also differ. May we all live in peace and as a song says, "Love the one's you are with."

“The battle you are going through is not fueled by the words or actions of others; it is fueled by the mind that gives it importance.” Shannon L. Alder

“Fortunately, God made all varieties of people with a wide variety of interests and abilities. He has called people of every race and color who have been hurt by life in every manner imaginable. Even the scars of past abuse and injury can be the means of bringing healing to another. What wonderful opportunities to make disciples!”    Charles  R. Swindoll

“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but - I hope - into a better shape.”   Charles Dickens

“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.”     Orson F. Whitney

resentment"Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother." Kahlil Gibran

"Faith is to see what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. People hate the truth for the sake of whatever it is they love more than the truth. They love the truth when it shines warmly on them, and hate it when it rebukes them." Saint Augustine

"Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe." Voltaire

"The truth is like a lion, you don't have to defend it, it will defend itself." Anonymous

I used to actually have the belief that I did not doubt anyone. I pride myself at leaving my bag in a church bench when I go up to the alter at the front of the church. Wow I am a trusting person. Simple acts like that made me have faith in myself for being a trusting person. Now I have my doubts. I looked up doubt in the dictionary and found such definitions as hesitation. I am crushed already because I am a very cautious person unless there is an emergency. Reservations and misgivings appear to be almost natural for most of us. After all we all sense that there are a lot of people "OUT THERE" who will hurt us if they have the chance.

Many times we meet new people at work or through friends and we are uncertain about whether or not they are worth our knowing  or trusting. Unless they prove otherwise we keep a bit of a distance. The more I thought about it the more I realized that we do keep space between those we know well and those we have just met. We might pretend we trust others but deep down there are lines we draw if we are honest with ourselves. How about disbelief and suspicion? So many times the new person may be the one who is accused of taking something or doing something. Many times the one who was in err is the least one suspected. We all act surprised but persist in our reservations and misgivings of the stranger.

I know when our son or daughter comes home with the new boyfriend or girlfriend we question them in such a way as to draw out truth or anything hidden. That may not always work but it makes us feel better. We disapprove of anything that seems suspicious and we are skeptics if the truth was told. I remember parents who felt the television to see if it was warm which meant the kids were watching it. Other parents counted the cookies or checked on the amount of chips still in the bag before they went out for an evening. Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Our skepticism is real yet we believe we are trusting individuals.

When it dawned on me that I was really a skeptic it bothered me. There are those that might differ and say it keeps people safe but does it really? If people want to deceive us for real, I believe they would be quite proficient at it and generally hurt or harm us. I suppose it is what we don't see coming that gets us. We perhaps spend so much time making sure of the honesty in others that we miss the ones who are distrustful and deceitful. It likely is the one who first gains our trust and then uses that trust to abuse us.  We don't see it coming.

Where I am going with this is that spending so much time preparing to keep our doubts under wraps is sometimes a waste of time. I know we should not venture out at night alone in a crime ridden area but fearing all people places and things leads us down a suspicious road. I know of some people who are afraid to hug a child because of the multitude of abuse that is on the news. All they want is to send their love yet others have made it impossible to be relaxed in such a situation.

Kids must distrust strangers no doubt but how sad that is. Are we not demonstrating trust within our own lives? Are we all so questionable that we have a belief that others are also questionable? I still melt it down to competition and winning. We keep some secrets hidden so that we can win and that is a distrustful person. I am not always sure what it is we win but so many people don't share their thoughts or ideas because of the competition they feel towards others. I don't see this as honest.

In a way we are secretive and not up front about things as  much as we think. If we hear of a good sale or a college that is giving out scholarships we may not let too many others know about it so that our own chances increase. If we had trust in God and the ways of how it should go perhaps we would be more honest, and take our chances about the way something will turn out. I have always found that things work out the way they were meant to and we can't really control it no matter how hard we try.

I remember one time when my husband lost a job and it appeared so bleak. He had worked so hard not to be the one cut. In the end he got a better job and was so much happier. We look back and are grateful he got cut. Being late for appointments, losing jobs, being chosen last or not being picked for a committee we had hope for are all common happenings in our daily lives. If we had more trust in the value of the occurrences whether wanted or not wanted, we might find our life is smoother and calmer than we ever believed. If we don't doubt we can be content with the results.

All our upsets cause us turmoil questions and doubts. Having faith and belief is a profound way of trusting that all is well and will turn out better than we sense at the moment. We can't control anything like we believe. Hiding or doubting won't make us winners or losers. Maybe our kid wasn't meant to go to a certain school or college. When we connect the dots we can see how this caused that and that made something happen. It only happens if we follow and trust in the outcomes.

Our son may refuse to go to college, and upset us and make us quarrel about it. One day he becomes the fireman he wanted to be and saves many lives. If he hadn't done that he would not have brought life and hope to so many people. I think adults must begin having faith and trust if we want to inspire it within our kids. I include myself because I was surprised to find how little I trusted when I thought I was endowed with so much faith.  Instead of competing, or knocking each other down, or attempting to best others with our knowledge money or power, perhaps it is time to pick each other up, offer the prize to someone who works hard without any praise or honors. Notice people who support the minds or bodies of others who are in dire need of help. Use  your power to aid others in any way you can.

Within our own environments there are so many occasions for us to help another. Sometimes it can be something as little as shutting our mouths and allowing another to voice an opinion. I am guilty of stepping in with unsolicited advice and usually am put in my place for overstepping my authority or knowledge. Of course if we have faith in one's honesty we would not judge byt simply accept the opinion quietly and of course do what we know to be correct.

The best support is that big smile that says I see you and notice you and you are worth acknowledging. So many of us are unseen, unnoticed and barely ever acknowledged. It makes a person afraid to speak. Now that is  not wise. I think that is why we hide, compete and distrust so much. We never have faith in us or our ability or worth. If we did we would not distrust so much. The honesty could develop and we would find more certainty rather than suspicion and doubt.  I I still want to keep my faith in humanity and in a deity who is driving the car while I sit in front of the wheel.

"Starting something new or making a big change requires effort persistence and motivation. Doubt fear and worry will only slow you down. Focus on doing your best now and celebrate every step of the way." Doe Zantamata

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

"I am thankful to all those who said no. It is because of them I did it myself." Albert Einstein

"Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will." Anonymous

Animals11“Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” Rumi
“The true measure of success is how many times you can bounce back from failure.” Stephen Richards

“The battle you are going through is not fueled by the words or actions of others; it is fueled by the mind that gives it importance.” Shannon L. Alder

Power struggles are painful and stressful. I wonder how we get ourselves into a power struggle and why. I hate to say this but again I sometimes think our egos get us in the middle. We don't have to have big egos either in order to have it throw up its' head in arrogance. Perhaps our egos just hate to always lose and on any given day we are apt to appear more prideful than we actually  are or believe.

I venture to say the power struggle seems to be caused by our inability to respect ourselves. That may seem an absurd answer but  really if a person valued themselves they would not have to prove they are great by winning everyday battles that are nonsensical. Have you ever recalled an argument and wondered why you or they kept such a stupid disagreement going?

Most of us don't like fights but we manage to get into disagreements of all kinds because  we like to win or justify our own opinions on everything. Sometimes others always seem to have the best answers or appear to be most educated. They are the people we hate to always have to back off from. Just once in while we would like to win the discussion no matter how ridiculous it is. I can laugh at some of the issues I know of that went back and forth for over an hour or more. I am almost ashamed that I spent so much time in a silly argument. They weren't giving prizes for the winner and no one was privy to the happening except me and the other person. Now it appears to be so childish that it happened.

When we listen to our child complain about a disagreement with another child we console them and question why it hurt them so much or why they had to continue the fight. We can't see ourselves doing the same things yet we do. If our child argues because they are having a bad day and just don't want to be considered inferior in strength or intelligence then perhaps we are doing the same thing on an adult level.

There are those who irritate us on a good day yet on a bad day they might be intolerable. You will always have those people who know everything and must have the last word and prove their intelligence with proof and sometimes degrees. They attempt to make it impossible for the other person to have an argument that holds water. That is when both may dig in their heels and be determined to win at all costs.

Why is it so important? I am the same way and I think it has something to do with confidence or insecurity. Those of us with little confidence get tired of always being the "child" in the disagreements. Sometimes we would just like to be considered the adult. We never give ourselves the credit we deserve for playing the adult role so often by simply allowing others to profess their self-aggrandizement. I have a lot of respect for those that don't advertise but rather exhibit their achievement by what they do for others.

Within a marriage you have one spouse who may sense they are the smarter one and can buy what they want when they want. There is the other partner who believes they must always run things by their spouse because they don't trust their own opinions. Maybe it should be mutual in the asking and decision making. It seems that many of us don't value ourselves. It is so important to stop placing everything that makes us the person we are available for evaluation. What are we measuring? Are we stronger, smarter, book learned, or life learned? Do we have more compassion, mindfulness, empathy hope or faith? Can we see things through, suffer the long run without giving up? Do we give in quicker, forgive faster or compromise or are we apt to fight for our own desires stand by what we want and hold others accountable no matter how sorry they are? So many more questions that don't always have answers can be added.

If we wanted to understand any one of us we would take a lifetime to find out. I suppose that is why so many people wake up one morning after a few years of marriage and wonder who they married. We are complicated and unique to state it bluntly. Discussing who or what we are is unfathomable especially when you throw in a miserable day or period in our lives along with stress and burdens and work.

Sometimes we have our fill and are determined to keep our own counsel and stand by what we believe to be the truth even if we stand alone and are laughed at. Of course those are likely the days we laugh later at ourselves. We have breaking points, sadness and anger thresholds   and emotional limits. We are also kind enough to give in to the mighty the strong and the intelligent. How is it we recognize the importance of letting some things go while these considered exceptional people walk all over others without any thought. I must question  a person's emotional intelligence when a person has no regard for the life in front of them except to constantly best them.

Exceptional people treat everyone with respect regardless of their backgrounds, education or position in life. They see all people as relevant and important and don't make distinctions. When we don't see  a color but a man, and we don't see a gender but a person,and we don't see a degree but an intelligent thinking person, and we don't see a bank account but a kind individual with a heart for sharing whatever he does have whether it be money, talent or time then we are truly exceptional.

Then we don't have to win an argument, or fight because of our pride or ego and we can be comfortable sharing the limelight with others and we can banish winners and losers and stop the assessments and judgements. We may all have more peaceful days of happy contentment safe in the arms of all people. Our world would be brighter. There would be no need to fight or win arguments because there would be none. All people would be empowered to live without fear or any kind of measurement. Our respect of self and sense of self-esteem would remain intact. Just remember that you are important and definitely more than you can imagine.

“Judgment is a negative frequency.” Stephen Richards

“Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.” Ramana Maharani

“Write it on your heart you are the most beautiful soul of the Universe. Realize it, honor it and celebrate the life.” Amit Ray

 

 

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