Lost in Thoughts…

January 6, 2009

Art of Persuasion & Managing Expectation

Filed under: Relationship — Confused Desi @ 1:40 pm

My Aunt, my mom tells me, was complaining about her daughter-in-law of 20 days, whom I should add was hand-picked by my aunt against my cousin’s wishes. This is very common in my community – Mother and daughter-in-law not getting along. Mother-in-law dominating and defining the couple’s relationship; Daughter-in-law or “Bahu” controlling everyone and driving away the husband; People getting divorced because of “Family” disputes.

I have somewhat dreaded it my entire life, me finding a Indian husband whose mum would never like me and we would always fight/manipulate/argue/ have issues. So, I believe, it could be the reason why I stayed away from Indian guys.

A Chinese friend of mine just told me that her fiance’s mum is acting very weird since her bf proposed and is being difficult about the wedding. She says she is being horrible and unreasonable about the whole thing. I was so shocked, this sounds so familiar. Sounds like an Indian mother of a “PERFECT” son. I thought maybe its a one off case. Then, this Indonesian friend of mine (who is happily married now), tells me that he had loads of heated discussion with his mum when he proposed to his gf and it took a long time to convince her although he shielded his current wife from all this. My sister tells me that her American neighbour complains about her daughter-in-law all the time. AND Recently, I have come to know that my prospective-future-Chines-mother-in-law has issues with me.

I am truly speechless, this is horrendous! It doesn’t matter what culture/religion it is, the melodrama seems to be everywhere.

But WHY?? Why is it so difficult for mother and daughter-in-law (majority) to get along. And Why nobody is doing anything about it? This has been going on for ages why haven’t someone come up with a solution, a fix?????

I think I before I find a fix, I am going to look for the root cause. I have done a detailed study ( mainly by gossipping with friends/family )

Daughter’s Father vs Son’s Mother [personal observation]:

When I first told about my Chinese bf to my very conservation Indian father, he reacted very differently than I expected. He was calm to begin with and he was objective in his thinking. Like any manager would tackle an issue, he listed down, in points, the reasons why he would not be OK with this reln. His first concern was about the guy’s family not accepting me and the cultural differences would be too much to handle in the long run. He was also upset that Indian community would not accept them. What I liked was that he at-least listened. Of course, I believe it was also because I cried, my sister was supportive, and my mum spoke with him.

My bf, of a year and half, has told about me to his mum since the beginning. We even met in April of 2008. (before he met my parents i think). Recently, on our china trip to visit his mum, he told his mum that gf’s parents would like us to marry by this year. To which his mum said No. I think she was too shocked (maybe) on hearing that and over the next 1o days she came up with many reasons on why this would not work: 1. its too soon 2. we should live in together first 3. I (as in me) am older/fat/brown/short which sounds petty but her traditional thinking makes it unsatisfactory (or something like that) 4. He is being pressured into it 5. ‘We’ (could be me) didn’t consult her 6. She feels she is loosing him.

I think, from my personal experience, I could say that my dad’s reaction was organized and his mum’s was emotional. It is difficult to see your only son, whom you love dearly, being taken away.

But why? This is a know fact that when your kids get married, they start their own life. You need to let go at some stage or later. You have seen it happen with yourself then why is it so difficult?

Possible Reasons:

I truly would like to blame the mother and be over with it, and most likely I still do blame them, but I don’t think that the whole fault lies there.  




Son is too Young

My bf is very young and it is possible that his mother thinks that he is being impulsive. It is also possible that his mother can’t let go so easily because she was not prepared.

It’s hardly likely, my friend is 30 something and his mum still had issues, same goes with 2 others.


BF is not really serious

There is a possibility that the reason the mother has issues is because the bf don’t really want this. If he did, he would have pushed for it. Explained and made her understand that she is woman in my life and I can’t function without her.

It is also possible is that he never bothered or tried to explain because it’s not a big thing for him.

Or it could be just that he wants this and not sure how to approach

I am not sure about this one.

BF is too arrogant

He was too arrogant and insensitive to think that his mother would understand and would not have an issue. She would do as he says because he is his own man.


Women are emotional

Women are so emotional and paranoid that they never take anything at face value. They are always looking for that hidden meaning, the subtext for to every statement.

However, they are very intuitive and aware of the feelings of another maybe that makes them more susceptible to pain and hurt.


Mothers are is too controlling

It is possible that they are so used to having a control over their son’s life that they don’t know how to let go and hand over that control to someone else. Or even let go of that control.


Only Son

He is the only son/child and how will they survive without them.

I think this is total bullshit; this has nothing to do with the behavior. I know so many of my friends (few) and their mum are completely ok even though they are the only son/child.

Don’t think so

Girl Power:

Even though all those factors are compelling and most likely some of them are the reasons why this shit is going on but I think there is another reason. Most guys just don’t know:

  • Art of persuasion
  • Hiding unnecessary noise / Filtering your thoughts
  • Managing expectations
  • What a woman wants

Firstly, I think guys just don’t get it. Saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Wording stuff the way they think, which happens to be too literal. Sometimes, it is not necessary to tell the whole truth. Sometimes, it is required that you word things to accommodate the one you are talking to. Sometimes, it is just about having a plan. Sometimes, it is about listening between the lines. Sometimes, it is about having a stand and doing what you really want. Sometimes, it is about being honest about your feelings from the beginning. Sometimes, it is not even about anyone it is just about pride.

I know I am ranting here but what I am trying to say is that the guys who don’t face this issue are those who don’t make assumptions and realise the difficulties involved and make a plan to address those difficulties. those are the guys who are realistic and don’t live in a dreamland.

It is true that I shouldn’t sit here and rant and complain but rather work _with_  my bf to work on these issues. It is also true that it hurts that my bf only started having that conversation with his mum when I pushed him into it. Or so it seems. I think a part of me knows that this would not work out until we work together but it is difficult. All this time when I was working to bring my parents around, all he did was …. I don’t know.


 If your boyfriend says that he thinks his mum is going to be fine with you, dont believe him until its proven otherwise.

Disclaimer: I might change my mind tomorrow about a lot of stuff I wrote today!



  1. OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG. Why does that Indonesian friend sound familiar?

    Comment by RD — January 7, 2009 @ 2:14 pm | Reply

  2. You’re wrong when you said that most guys don’t know what women want. NOBODY knows what women want. Not even women.

    Comment by Anonymous — January 7, 2009 @ 2:27 pm | Reply

  3. RD, I am not sure why is that 😛

    To anonymous, I dont think nobody know what women want, its more like nobody knows when they will change their mind 😛

    But on a serious note what I was trying to say is that a lot of women dont tell their issues upfront, they imply. A lot of guys just dont bother looking beyond the words…

    Comment by Confused Desi — January 8, 2009 @ 5:34 am | Reply

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