I don't get along with my father-in-law

Dear Diana,
I'm 29 and got married last year. My father-in-law and I don't get along. The ambience in our place is mostly tense and hardly comforting. I try not to hurt him with my words or actions as he's old and grumpy. My mother-in-law recently passed away and he believes that I am unlucky for the family. My husband understands my situation but being an obedient son, he never defends me. He simply asks me to turn a deaf ear to all the senile taunts. But at the end of the day, I am mentally harassed for no fault of mine. 
- Allison

Illustration/ Satish Acharya

Dear Allison,
I can truly understand what you are going through. But you cannot be blamed for your mother-in-law's death, you need to tell your hubby to explain this to his father. You did not kill her, she died due to ill-health. Your husband is being diplomatic and not taking sides but he can at least speak up when he knows you are not in the wrong. There is a limit to the taunts you can take from your father-in-law which again your hubby needs to explain to him. Turning a blind eye to the taunts is fine for a while considering he is old, but your husband needs to explain to his father that by doing this he is straining relations with you. If things get really bad, explain to your hubby the need to live separately. But if he is deeply attached to his father he won't. So you need to be even more patient.

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