Four Ways To Have a Healthy Relationship with your Mother-in-Law

Bollywood films and South Asian soap operas like to portray mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationships as being dangerous and toxic with the both of them constantly plotting and scheming against one another. And one of the ladies always ends up looking like a villain.

But Nabeela Patail says there can be another way. The New York doctor duo husband and wife have been married for three years. Even though her mother-in-law lives in California, Nabeela says she looks forward to her mother-in-laws visits.

Nabeela says she has heard some crazy real-life stories about saas-bahu (mother-in-law-daughter-in-law) relationships, so she works hard to make sure that theirs is a happy and healthy one. She shares her valuable tips with us to make sure you don’t end up with a drama-filled relationship.


Four Ways To Have a Healthy Relationship with your Mother-in-Law | Zardozi Magazine
Nabeela (right) and her mother-in-law

Be Grateful

Everyday I am grateful for Hassan. He is my life partner who loves and support me in ways that sometimes leave me in awe. This is a direct reflection of how he was raised and I have his mom to thank for that. Without her, my husband wouldn’t be the man he is, so everytime there is an opportunity to give back the happiness she has given to me, I do.

Throw Away Tradition

Do not subscribe to the traditional saas-bahu relationship. In our South Asian society there is a notion that these two are always butting heads. But why? She is another woman too with her own fears and experiences. Love her, listen to her, appreciate her, buy her a matching outfit from India and tell her you want to wear it with her.

Just Like Mom

If you would let your own mom get away with it, let her get away with it too. I chop vegetables wrong and wash dishes slowly, so if she wants to take over, let her. Change into a fancier sari if she wants you to. If you take everything personally then you are the one who will suffer.

Make her Feel Special

Don’t ever let her feel like she is replaced. If Hassan needs me to hold his jacket, I immediately hand it to her. If he takes a picture with me, the next three I am taking of them. If he asks me to mix his food, I push the plate towards her. When she is around, it’s ok to play second fiddle.

You can read more about Nabeela and Hassan’s adventures about life, health and travel on their blog.

What are your thoughts about your mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship? We would love to hear it!

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