If you are reading this article, you are with a woman who is all ears to fellow ladies in the married club, always weepy and languishing in their relationship with their in-laws. Mother-in-law is their favorite topic and they can gibber about her for hours. Nevertheless these women forget to acknowledge the pivotal role of the father-in-law who may not be the main lead but definitely is the best supporting actor in a mother-in-law-daughter-in -law drama. On my part here, I am trying to present to you this wise old man who is ignored in many a conversations.
1. He is the back bone. The status of women in India is not hidden from any one of us. Yes, yes things are changing but at a very slow speed. Men are still dominating and women in most of the families depend on them for decisions made in life. These are the men who do not listen to any complaints against their mother. Then how come, in their presence, mothers-in-law so successfully criticize the daughter-in-law all the time? My answer, dear friends, is very simple. All that mother-in-law is able to do and get away with is because she always has her husband's support.While we don’t hear much about the father-in-law stirring up trouble, he often is supporting his wife by keeping silent. He may not confront you openly but he makes sure that his wife says it all. The wise old man is the spine of his wife and united they can break any one's morale leave alone the new coy lady in the house.
Tip : So while you think you are dealing with only your mother-in-law, you are actually dealing with both. They are a team. So instead of trying to fight them, work on your relationship with your husband and build up your own team.
2. He is Chanakya in disguise. Most of the Father-in-law are Chanakya in disguise, teaching you the principles of economics, delivering monologues on the importance of savings just because you just bought something for yourself. However he does not hesitate to buy the attention of your kids with things and gifts you may consider useless. Irrespective of the fact you are a homemaker or a working woman, a spendthrift or a cautious consumer, he thinks it is his heavenly duty to criticize how much you earn, spend and save. He will constantly advise what utility company to use, what brand of paint is best, how to invest your money,etc.
Tip : Add filter to your ears. Assimilate what you think is relevant and useful, ignore the rest.
3. He is the self-acclaimed critic. By the virtue of the number of years behind his back and the wrinkles on his face, every father-in-law grows into a self-acclaimed critic who thinks he has all the right to criticize everything from how you cook , work , pack lunch, pay your bills to how you raise your kids. They have a repertoire of the duties of a woman as a wife and daughter-in-law. This avatar becomes predominant if he is a widower. You will always be told how your husband was raised by his mother. You will be reminded every now and then that your husband is a baby and your father-in-law will take special care to inspect the food you serve to your husband and will not hesitate to point out your mistakes. He will happily review your kitchen and give feedback at least ten times a day so that you may never miss your mother-in-law.
Tip : Take a deep breath. Exhale. Slowly.
4. He is an adept diplomat. Your father-in-law has all the skills to astound you with his dexterity. He can say the same things in two entirely different ways. What he says to you in husband's presence and absence are so poles apart that you may be forced to think if your head has been cooking stories. How can you forget that this is the grand man so revered by the community? He has years of professional experience and knows exactly how to deal in different situations. Not everyone is obliged to practice what they preach, right?
Tip: If you have ever thought of hidden cameras in the lounge, drop the idea! You hubby is too attached to see the reality!
5. Old is gold. Your father-in-law will always have an edge as he is old. Aged 58 or 85, even if in the best of health, he has the emotional meter of your husband ticking on his side. So in the middle of any conversation he does not like or he wants to avoid, he will come up with statements like, "I have toiled all my life to hear this at the end of my life?" , "Why should you listen to me as I am an old man already?"...In case you had sent your husband as an advocate of your wishes and aspirations, you have lost it again. Most probably your husband is back, joined by his mother and sisters who will coax you to feel guilty of hurting an old man's feelings. Don't be surprised if you find yourself apologizing to your husband for demanding that favor.
Tip: Eat a lot of fish and green vegetables. They are good for your heart.
DISCLAIMER : The article is not intended to hurt anyone and is entirely based on majority experiences. Exceptions do exist :)