Monday, 26 November 2007

Mothers & Daughters

I'm not talking about mothers & daughters actually but rather about mothers in law & daughters in law!
There are enough comic references about the relationship between the two to fill volumes & enough drama for 30 Ramadan series but neither comedy nor drama is what I'm writing about, it is a simple fact that a lot over look, they both share the same, deeply routed, love to the same man...

The fact that escapes a lot of people is that this is not a love which can be subject to jealousy, the differences, the reasoning and the motives are so profoundly different between the two that you can never compete, not to mention compare, for that love.

A friend of mine once told me, "How can I not adore, to say the least, the woman that shaped the person I love to the man that he is today?" That was a food for thoughts, how many of us today think of the person that we're with as the product of some seriously hard work by his parents; at least a big portion of him/her to say the least? Temporary blindness of where this person came from is unbelievable common among people stepping into a new relationship! It is more obvious with the women because they are more obsessed (forgive me ladies for the use of the word but I’m including myself here) with claiming credit for their sons’ and husbands’ achievements in life and that is where the Mother in Law and the Daughter in Law come face to face, seeking the position of the great woman behind the great man!

My friend talked about that as well, she simple stated an obvious which we can miss so easily "she has his past, I have his future, she made him the man he is today and I will shape the man he will be tomorrow, we complete each other's work as we complete each other's happiness"

I'm not that confidant, I hope that I can add to the happiness of a beloved one and his family. It is a bit of a challenge, trying to complete a puzzle that you only play a small role in but still, it is so rewarding being received with open arms and open hearts by people who are not tied to you in any way other than the shared love to one man. Because of that I think that my mother in law is a great person! She somehow misses my obvious flaws and my strange moods and always greats me with the brightest of hellos and sweetest of compliments. I haven’t spent a lot of time with her, but I know that we sometimes share a look of happiness, love and pride of the one we love; now that he’s away, I take comfort in talking to her as she does talking to me.

I wonder if all mothers in law are like that, and if so why the comedy and drama? Maybe I’m lucky, or maybe it’s not as interesting without the theatrical additions! What do you think?


abufares said...

I just wonder why this eternal conflict is much more subdued between the father-in-law and the son-in-law. Even in our patriarchal culture, men seem to get along much more smoothly. I wonder at times what my real feelings toward my future son-in-law would be. I wouldn't think along the line that I shaped my daughter than the (sob) took her away from me although I have more reasons to do so.
Men might be more competitive and aggressive in all aspects of social life but not this one.
Then you also have to remember that the father-in-law / daughter-in-law relationship is, in general, a much more successful, smooth and serene relationship than the mother-in-law / son-in-law association.
For some reason (IN GENERAL) women are more aggressive and less reasonable in this social exchange.
How about it SiL and dear readers???

وسيم said...

It's tricky to be honest. Not that I'm in a position to impart any wisdom on this matter.

Reminds me of the joke where a guy kept trying to find a bride his Mum would like. Finally he found one who was like his Mum in every aspect. When he brought her to meet his parents it was his Dad who didn't like her.

The Syrian Brit said...

Very interesting..
To start with, and to follow on from where Abu Fares has taken the discussion, I start by saying that my late mother-in-law (God bless her soul) saw in me another son, and I in her a second Mum.. I loved her dearly, and I am still grieving her loss..
My wife gets along very well with both my parents.. In fact, I have little doubt that if I did anything to hurt my wife, they will both descend on me like the proverbial 'tonne of bricks'!!.. However, my Dad does have a particular soft spot for my wife, a bit more, perhaps, than my Mum... and that is reciprocated, in similar levels..
As for future sons-in-law, I am sure I will love them and treat them like my own son, so long as they treat my daughters decently..
I guess, the bottom line is, your love for your in-laws is an extension of your love to the 'link' with them...

Syrian in London said...

Abu Fares,
It's more subdued between the father in law and the son in law because at the very beginning the father has told his future son in law that he will be cast out of existence if he hurts a hair on his daughter's head and as long as the daughter is happy, her father is content...
I think the father i.l. and son i.l.'s relationship is that of mutual respect and understanding and is by far less emotionally involving as that between the mother in law and the daughter in law.
I might be mistaken; I’m just describing personal observation in this!

None of us are in such position, not at least we're the parents in question and we've seen this from both sides...
Choosing someone like his mom, brrrrr scary!

Syrian in London said...

God rest her soul, I hope that me and my better half have the same kind of relationship with each other’s parents. It's not an easy task to build such a relationship and I think that a lot of things that are said and done in the early days of any such relationship have a profound effect on how this relationship will turn out to be.
Immaturity by one party or both and the lack of sensitivity to the parents feeling (which is usually masked at that stage) will just spread a negative shadow over the future. On the contrary, being extra attentive at this stage, both by parents and the 2 people involved would serve to build a strong platform for the future.

The Syrian Brit said...

My dear SiL,
I agree entirely... Well said...