web analytics
April 19, 2015 / 30 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communties – 8/25/06

By:

Chronicles-logo

We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories by e-mail to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 338 Third Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215.

To all women, men or children who feel that they are at the end of their ropes, please consider joining a support group, or forming one.

Anyone wishing to make a contribution to help agunot, please send your tax deductible contribution to The Jewish Press Foundation.

Checks must be clearly specified to help agunot. Please make sure to include that information if that is the purpose of your contribution, because this is just one of the many worthwhile causes helped by this foundation.

********

Dear Readers,

Last week’s column featured a letter from a young woman, barely married for three years, who has been plagued by the less-than-adoring shenanigans of her mother-in-law. From the time she first met with her future in-laws, her mother-in-law’s unkind comments and churlish demeanor have deeply pained and troubled this daughter-in-law. On a favorable note, the author has been fortunate to have supportive role models in her own parents and a doting husband with whom she seems to enjoy a stable marital relationship. The young husband and wife are now expectant parents, and she is nervous about their future, as she cannot tolerate going to her in-laws and being exposed to her mother-in-law’s “sour attitude and shoddy treatment” She adds, “Most of all, I can’t stand how she affects my feelings about my marriage.” − and signs herself, “I had hoped to be a dutiful daughter-in-law”

Dear Dutiful,

To start with, your primary obligation is to be dutiful to your spouse. And considering the notably positive aspect of your life, which you glossed over in the first paragraph of your letter − “I have been blessed with a great husband who displays fine midos, is extremely caring and respects me tremendously…” − this should prove to be a most gratifying undertaking. There is not much better a young wife can wish for than to have a caring and understanding mate. Your mother-in-law may have come along in the package deal, but face reality: you don’t live with her − and you can (and should under the circumstances) maintain a respectful distance.

The incidents you’ve described (the published letter was an abridged version of your original that contained much more detail) leads one to suspect that your mother-in-law has gone through some rough patches in her life. This is not said to justify her cantankerousness in any way, but you would do well to accept the fact that you will not change her. The best thing you can do for yourself is to tune her out. By not allowing your mother-in-law’s barbs and snubs to get to you, you will in effect be disarming her. For when she senses that she no longer succeeds in getting under your skin, she may well give up trying to hurt you.

“Why would she want to hurt me?” you wonder. The reasons could be many and complicated but have really nothing to do with you personally. She may be resentful of your youth, of the attention her son is lavishing on you and of having lost him to you. While she should be enjoying the benefits of having gained a daughter, her insecurities seem to stand in the way of letting her reap a most rewarding phase in life.

It is important for you to realize that your mother-in-law’s exasperating behavior is not a reflection of any wrongdoing on your part. According to your own words, other members in her family have also been subjected to her nastiness. One way to ease your anxiety is by making your visits to your in-laws infrequent and your stays brief. It is incumbent upon your husband to visit his parents, yet you mustn’t always accompany him. Of course this does not refer to overnight stays (without you).

By all means, be in touch − call your mother-in-law to wish her a good Shabbos, a good Yom Tov, etc. But steer clear of long-winded conversations, and always be gracious. Difficult as it may be, try your utmost not to react to provocation; better in such instance to simply end the discussion on a civil note: the doorbell rang; the tub is overflowing; you just remembered a last-minute errand. Perpetuating an unpleasant exchange may give rise to your blood pressure, to flippancy and to strained future dialogue − not to mention a handy excuse on her part to further assault you.

Most disturbing and puzzling of your sentiments is your closing remark, “I can’t stand how she affects my feelings about my marriage.” How are your “feelings” about your marriage being affected? Are you less attracted to your husband because you don’t care much for his mother? This would be an unfair tit-for-tat. Is your relationship with your mother-in-law causing arguments to arise between you and your husband? She can wield only as much power over you as you grant her − and you can strip her of that power by letting her comments and attitude go right over your head.

As an alternative to wasting precious time brooding about your relationship with your mother-in-law, consider taking up activities that will occupy your senses in productive and fulfilling ways. Concentrate your energies on the wondrous coming event and on all that Hashem has blessed you with. Be grateful for your terrific parents, for your wonderful husband and when things get you down, take Tehillim in hand and beseech G-d to give you the strength of heart and mind to have a positive outlook.

With apologies, and applause, to all the truly wonderful mothers-in-law who strive and succeed in forging close and loving relationships with their daughters-in-law, if it is of any consolation, mother-in-law woes are hardly uncommon. Even the Gemara makes reference to a tradition of friction in mother-in-law relations and affirms that a mother-in-law is generally loathe to see all that she has entrusted to her son being bestowed upon his wife. The daughter-in-law thus mirrors the feelings of her mother-in-law − for we are taught, “one’s heart reflects the other’s heart”

Resolve to begin a new chapter in your life − by donning an imaginary rain slicker and picturing in your mind’s eye the venomous drops of your mother-in-law’s put-downs sliding right off your coat’s repellant surface. The future is only as bleak as you project it to be.

Smile, and the whole world − maybe even your mother-in-law − will smile with you.

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communties – 8/25/06”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
The flag of Iraqi Kurdistan.
US Consulate Targeted by ISIS in Iraqi Kurdistan
Latest Sections Stories
Lewis-041715-Jewish-Soldiers

During the Second World War, a million and a half Jewish soldiers fought in the Allied armies, the Partisan units in Eastern Europe, and the anti-fascist underground movements in Western Europe and North Africa. These Jewish fighters won over 200,000 medals and citations. The Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II in Latrun, […]

Jerusalem Heights Penthouse

The 2-day real estate event will take place in Brooklyn on April 26 and 27.

Schonfeld-logo1

She wasn’t paying attention to what the child did when the mother was not in the room. Rather, her main focus was on what the child did when the mother returned.

The Mets at least have hope for the future with some good young pitchers.

French thinkers of the Enlightenment were generally not pro-Semitic, to say the least.

My Jewish star was battered, indeed it was a wreck
But I picked it up anyway and put it around my neck
To know that hatred mangled it was surely very painful
But just the same to me it is still very beautiful.

A compulsion is a repetitive action. But what underlies the compulsion is an obsession or fear.

When any student in the building is in danger of failing, the equivalent of tornado warning sirens should wail around the school.

It goes without saying that when it comes to your kids, safety is always your number one priority.

After the last of Austria’s Jews were murdered, Albert confiscated whatever Jewish property remained.

How can you expect people who go through such gehenom to even know how to give warmth and love?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communties/2006/08/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: