What makes a good Catholic daughter in law? HELP


#1

I hope i’m posting this in the right place…

I would really like to know what role should a daughter in law be to her mother in law, biblically?

my mother in law was a hindu converted to christianity, and i know for a fact she doesnt like that im Catholic, she insists that i re-baptize which i obviously refused to do. since then, she treats me like a personal slave, she has me dying her gray hairs, i have to style her hair before mine every morning before church, she makes me baby sit her sisters kids without askin if im busy, she gets up at 4am every morn and expects me to do the same, when im sick she gives me even more work to do and lots more. i feel like if i refuse ill be disrespectful or not doing my duty or something like that…

i could really use some help.


#2

I would really like to know what role should a daughter in law be to her mother in law, biblically?
my mother in law was a hindu converted to christianity (She attends an evangalistic healing minstry) , and i know for a fact she doesnt like that im Catholic, she insists that i re-baptize which i obviously refused to do. since then, she treats me like a personal slave, she has me dying her gray hairs, i have to style her hair before mine every morning before church, she makes me baby sit her sisters kids without askin if im busy, she gets up at 4am every morn and expects me to do the same, when im sick she gives me even more work to do, when guests come over she treats me like a waitress. i feel like if i refuse ill be disrespectful or not doing my duty or something like that…
i could really use some help.


#3

So where is you husband during all this?? Does he know how you feel? He should tell him mom that you are not her personal slave. Being a DIL does not mean being a doormat! Grow a backbone now, or can you imagine how she will steamroll you when kids come along??


#4

Catholic90… I am betting since her MIL was Hindu she is not in the US… we have totally different roles than say India…

Allana… where are you located? Do you live with In-laws? If you do, I would try to find a way to gracefully move out… like have dh get a job that is farther away so you two can be more autonomous.


#5

It does sound as if your difficulties are more cultural than religious.

Do you live with your MIL?


#6

i live in Trinidad, my husband talks to her about it but she keeps telling him, ‘God says children must obey their parents’ and she starts giving me orders as soon as he leaves for work.

My husband and i have been married for 1year now, i’m a university student in my final year and im home for the holidays. So this is the first time im spending so much time with his parents, im goin to start looking for a summer job right away.


#7

Well usually im away at university but im on holidays now so im at my husbands home, with his parents. My MIL always quotes out of context from the bible to justify why she bosses around everyone.
I usually dont fight back unless she is attacking my religion, we had heated discussions about praying to Mary and Masses etc.


#8

Allana, how is she making you do anything? Do you live under her roof for free and feel an obligation for her to walk all over you and treat you as a second class citizen? Your husband obviously allows this treatment of his wife? What does he say about this? I would not do any of those things you have mentioned unless I was asked in a kindly manner and only if I wanted/was able to. There is no excuse for this kind of behavior from her or anyone. If you are stuck in a financial situation that has you living under her roof, get out a.s.a.p. Your duty as a Daughter-In-Law is the same as hers should be to you: Treat with respect & kindness!


#9

Culturally, in your part of the world, is it customary for daughters (and daughters in law) living with parents to take a position of subserviance to the matriarch?


#10

Your husband needs to read the Catechism on the 4th commandment. It says this, “Obedience toward parents ceases with the emancipation of the children; not so respect, which is always owed to them” and “when they become adults, children have the right and duty to choose their profession and state of life.”

Your MIL is trying to use the Commandments to abuse you, but she is misusing that commandment.

You and your husband need to discuss this and he needs to stand up to his mother.

And, as far as her demands-- just tell her “no”. She cannot “make” you do anything you don’t want to do.

Honestly, you and your husband need to move out and separate yourselves from her behavior.


#11

I have never heard of this being common in the Caribbean.

I suggest you first do what 1ke suggested. Is your husband Catholic? If he is or not, I strongly urge you to the Scripture that says, “For this reason shall a man leave his mother, and be joined to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh.”

That said, nobody can make you do anything. What if you refused to do it? Are they going to beat you and abuse you? Then you need to get out of this house.


#12

I am not the OP, but I knew someone in a similar situation once, and I spoke to a Hindu Dr. friend of mine about it out of curiosity. His reply was that in that culture, the Mother-in-law pretty much rules the roost. This particular person’s MIL insisted the DIL change her first name to something the MIL liked, which was causing a lot of problems. The OP’s situation sounds pretty much like a cultural problem.


#13

This is, indeed, a cultural thing. Not a Trinidadian thing, but, rather a Hindu thing.

I, too, live in Trinidad. In my early days here I had some problems with my MIL - mainly because of a difference of culture (I’m Irish). She tried her best to instruct me how to rear my children and to treat my husband. I smiled, listened, and then did whatever I thought I should! I was not too popular!! We had an “armed truce” for a lot of years!!

It appears that the OP and her husband are living with with his parents. This, in my opinion, is not good. If a couple must live with one set of parents, it should be with the wife’s parents, since she and her mother should be well used to living together. Two women in the same kitchen, if one is an in-law can be a recipe for disaster.

The OP’s husband needs to support her in this. His mother should not be ruling his wife. They need to find some where else to live. Just imagine what it will be like when a baby arrives!

Allana, you are not required to be a door mat for anyone. Do not allow your MIL to intimidate you. Politely, but firmly, let her know that you are not going to allow yourself to be pushed around.


#14

No in this part of the world it isnt customary for DIL to be so, its like luciana said above, i feel kind of obligated by living under her roof, and as a student i have no income of my own to help with groceries or bills or anything of the sort.


#15

Thanks alot to everyone for all the advice each was well appreciated, some of the things i never told my husband to not cause any confusion. This same thing happened to my parents my mom’s MIL did the same and caused their divorce, i just didnt want history to repeat itself.

My husband had suggested we live in the downstairs section of the house. But when she heard the news started telling me what type of doors to use, what colour curtains,…

I do think its best we move out.


#16

To answer your immediate question it sounds like you are being a wonderful Daughter in law and then some. Now about dealing with overbearing parrents. from personal experience I can say moving out helps, moving to another state works better. But you need to set the bounds in your home with the support of your husband. After she get used to that you may find she is more accomodating. A caution is to use distance as a method of getting over a problem not a method of avoiding it. .


#17

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.