My mother and my wife can't stand each other

Sep 28, 2012, 06:39 IST | Dear Diana

Dear Diana, My mother calls the shots in the house and dominates my wife. When my mom calls and talks to my sister about every single detail in the house, my wife eavesdrops on the conversation.

My ma apparently always includes some negative comments about my wife. I have tried to console her a lot of times but now my wife wants to live separately and if I don’t find a new house, she threatens to either go back to her parents’ place with our four-year-old son. She is even threatening suicide. My problem is that I have to take care of my mother as I don’t have a father. How do I explain to my wife?
— Prathamesh

Illustration/ Satish Acharya

Dear Prathamesh,
Many mothers feel threatened by the son’s wife because they fear that now their power is disappearing. The situation in your home is nothing new. In several households, the mother-in-law passes all the info of the house to the daughters. As your wife considers her as an enemy, she feels she needs to turn to her daughters. Your wife seems to be making the most of the situation by threatening that she will commit suicide if you don’t look for another house. It’s not easy running two homes. You need to find a solution to maintain peace at home. Your wife needs to ignore the phone conversations between your mother and sisters. First of all why is she eavesdropping? You need to explain that your mother won’t change, so let her be and not to react to every word she says.  

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