How Should the Relationship between Mother-In-Law and Daughter-In-Law be?

By Prapoorna M

Last Updated: November 27, 2021

“Such a nasty person she is!! These mother-in-laws are all so cruel, like mine!! What if the daughter-in-law buys a nice jewelry of her choice? How could she humiliate her for spending her money on what she wants? By the way, that daughter-in-law has got a really nice taste just like me” says Savita to herself while watching that Saas-Bahu serial.

“Oh my god!! This dish has already burnt!! Now, what will my son eat? What a daughter-in-law I got, who never has any respect for the husband and the housework which are her primary duties.” Exclaims the (mother-in-law) MIL loudly who has just come out after having a bath. The MIL doesn’t want her DIL to be so lazy in preparing something for her son. The DIL (daughter-in-law) runs off to the kitchen feeling sorry for herself for getting taunted and silently cursing her MIL’s strong nose for catching that odor,
before the food could get really burnt.

Our television serials have given a hard definition for the MIL – DIL relationship since years, right? But why should be this enmity sustained and why so hard feelings for each other? Actually, though the times have started to change, this thought of mismatch between these two still remains in many families. However, comparing themselves with the MIL and DIL in those serials has also proven to be showing a greater impact on them. Along with having empathy, they are also filling their hearts with the hatred that they have for the antagonist and bearing the same for their MILs and DILs in real life too.

Indian husband, wife and mother-in-law at a ritual
Indian husband, wife and mother-in-law at a ritual

How did this all begin?

The MIL DIL conflict has begun since forever. The drama of MIL and DIL has started long back centuries ago, even when the idea of the television set was not born. But during those days, it was believed that daughter-in-laws should be kept under control in order to be made submissive to the cultural theories which otherwise could result in changing their customs as per the changing times.

On the other hand, mothers of these doted sons used to believe that DILs should have devotion and respect towards her husband which is only then it is possible that their sons can enjoy their full freedom without any worries. Hence all these MILs used to train them for that, and used to taunt them in the process.

This state of mind clearly resembles how men, only for being born as men, are used to receive highest priority in the house and also in the society. All the women used to feel very inferior to men and especially the parents of a boy used to feel proud and the parents of a girl used to feel inferior due to these differences existed back then.

And, that is why daughters were treated as a negative asset while sons as a positive asset. People believed these differences as customs and traditions for centuries. This misunderstanding has led to insensitivity towards women’s issues in the society. This has continued till the previous decade. Very recently, the changes are taking place.


Every mother-in-law is once a daughter-in-law. She can understand how many adjustments, sacrifices and problems are faced by a daughter-in-law after getting married. And, she can alone help her new daughter-in-law with the issues there and guide her through the adjustment of the cultural and behavioral differences that she would face from her own house to her in-laws house. This new daughter-in-law should get acquainted with the new persons, customs, habits, house, issues, and different mentalities of the members of this new house, for which the mother-in-law should be always ready to offer help.

As the times are changing, MILs also started to understand the differences between the generations and are getting ready to offer help to the new bride. Even they started to understand how important it is to support the DILs and how the home should always be made together. Every MIL should have that thought in heart, that her DIL should never face such troubles that she had faced. But to have that, she should be able to love her whole-heartedly like she loves her own son.

In the same way, every DIL should understand that she has the same responsibilities towards her MIL as there would be towards her own mother and should communicate well with her. Though the corrections made by her MIL might bother, she should be ready to accept and love her as her own mother. It is mostly seen that MILs continue their bickering though they allow their DILs to do as they like. Please try to sit and have a nice talk with her to communicate your ideas and thoughts effectively without any kind of sarcasm or authority in tone. When both of them understand each other and communicate well, every house will be a home, a sweet home in fact.

How to Create Such a Home?

A happy Indian family
A happy Indian family

Whenever there are differences occurring between MIL and DIL, the husband gets into trouble, balancing them both. It is him who has to strike a balance without hurting either his mother or his wife. Every wife should understand that mother’s love towards her son is never-ending. Mother’s love contains everything including sacrifice, and self-doubt. That’s why she checks multiple times if her son is being fed correctly, being rested adequately and peacefully, and if he is being happy or not, all the time. She feels it is her duty, even if he gets married, has a family and children or even if he grows old.

Every wife should understand that love and let her be so. Intruding into MIL’s love is always a mess. Instead she should build an image of herself in the house, making everyone understand that she loves them all with all her heart. Especially when a DIL is able to make good relationship with her MIL, then the husband eventually loves his wife more, as she is being the backbone of love that is keeping the family united. Every wife should be patient enough to make a home for herself and also for her family.

In case, there exists some severe problems or misunderstandings, that are ruining the peace in the house and turning the relationships sour, it is highly recommended that you people need to consult a psychologist, who would guide you towards building a better home. You can have online or offline counseling therapies that would help you understand how better you can think to make the relationships work for you. Book an appointment, today.

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