Why Does My MIL Treat My Co-Sister So Much Better Than Me?!

If in-laws treat their daughters in law differently, it can certainly lead to a very traumatic and sticky situation in the family.

If in-laws treat their daughters in law differently, it can certainly lead to a very traumatic and sticky situation in the family.

“Can you get me some water?” asked my MIL from her place in the bedroom at 11a.m. on a leisurely Sunday.

She is extremely tired and all her aches and pains seep up whenever she is at my place! She just wants to rest and scroll on her phone, or talk to some friends or relatives.

Then I got a call from my co-sister a few days later. After the initial greetings, our conversation took the natural turn towards in-laws!

How our MIL, during her stay at their place for two months, had taken over the entire house, that is, cooking, cleaning, taking care of her 2-year old son whenever she was at work, and even allowed her to go on a 3-day break to Goa with friends!

Treated differently even as newly weds…

I couldn’t remember the rest of the conversation as my mind went into flashback to a few years ago. My in-laws had visited us in Johannesburg and we (me and my hubby) needed some time (2-3 hours) break away from work and our 2 year old daughter, but my MIL had refused to babysit her, saying she won’t stay without us for those few hours, while my daughter used to and still does adore her grandmother and liked to spend time with her!

The pictures of my brother-in-law’s sangeet and wedding came into my mind when my co-sister and her friends were wearing gowns with long slits and extremely low waist lehengas and my MIL was very happily dancing and enjoying the occasion while I was asked to not to wear a knee length skirt even at home during the initial days of my wedding! “Humare marne ke baad pehen lena! (Wear it after we’re dead!)” was the shocking comment I had got when I was showing MIL my clothes.

As a newly wed couple, we (my husband and I) couldn’t get any privacy as we were staying with my in-laws and had to take them along with us whenever we went anywhere (even to the movies, lest MIL makes an issue of it afterwards!). As opposed to this, my brother-in-law and his wife had ample time with each other. My in-laws consciously try to give them space and not to intrude in their privacy not only during the initial months of their wedding, but even after five years of their wedding!

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… and now too!

Fast forward to the recent times. Here I am, mom of two kids and visiting my in-laws’ place. My kids are eagerly waiting for my MIL to finish her long conversation with their Kaku( my co-sister) and later video call to see her grandson!

We (my husband and I) make it a point to visit his parents once in a month, considering we stay only an hour away from my in-laws’ place. We all look forward to this trip and the 2-3 days’ stay. But whenever there is a call from my co-sister, then we are all pushed away and the only person that my MIL can see is her ‘choti waali bahu’ and her grandson!

This can get a bit annoying considering they talk daily…One of the many similarities between my MIL and co-sister is that they both like to have long conversations, be it on phone or in person, while I am an introvert, having less to speak and more to hear!

It is not the bonding between them that troubles me, but the blatant partiality shown by my MIL. She doesn’t realise that this partiality has now extended among the kids also, and this will inevitably effect their affection for her, no matter how hard I try to keep their grandmother’s good nature in front of them!

I am sure, many women face these kind of situations daily; I am lucky enough to be having to face this once in a month or so. How can one be ‘saintly’ enough to not be bothered by these situations…

I don’t have the answer to this, unfortunately. Do you?

Image source: a still from the series Naamkaran

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