Free Press Journal

Dr Anjali Chhabria explains how to deal with nagging grandma


Ridiculed in public

I recently got married and my husband lives in a joint family. Everyone is fine in this family. However, his grandmother is really nagging and I cannot deal with it. She has issues with what I wear and how I speak. She keeps on correcting me in public and I really feel humiliated. I cannot say anything to her too as she is old. I want to win her over but everything I do seems pointless as nothing is good enough for her. I want her to stop ridiculing me in front of everybody and accept me the way I am. I feel she over reacts on small issues. Should I tell her that I do not like this?

Ans: Share this with your husband first, take his opinion, a third person’s point of view mainly helps. Yes you have had some bitter moments with his grandmother, but he has spend his life untill now and he may have an idea of what you are experiencing. Avoid the blame game and simply express how you feel about the whole situation, mention that you aren’t complaining about his grandmother, as he may not approve of that, just as a wife you are asking his help to clear the air and help you make relationships better.

Take his word on how he deals with his grandmother’s critical evaluation if he has ever experienced the same or probably she just have very high expectations from her grand-daughter-in-law, well in that case you can ask your husband as to how you can bring to her notice that she is too cynical about how and that you would prefer if she corrected you in private instead of in public.

Be honest but respectful at the same time and keep an open mind about his suggestions. If you do not get his support, think of some you are close to next in the family, could be your mother-in-law, or sister-in-law, as possibly they have experienced same situation being the daughter-in-law of the family. Getting someone to guide you will not only create a sense of emotional security on your end, but also you will get a wider perspective to the whole circumstance.

Also Read: Personal problem-with Dr.Anjali Chhabria

Parents’ constant bickering

I live with my parents and I am still a student. Recently, we have been facing a financial crisis and so I constantly hear my parents bicker. They do not talk normally, but usually taunt each other. I cannot sleep at night as they fight till late night and scream on top of their voices. This has affected my performance in my studies too and my grades have been falling ever since. I cannot concentrate on my education anymore and I was a bright student. What do I do?

ans: There are two facts of this situation that is bothering you, one is that you obviously is emotionally affected by the fights in the house due to your parents’ bitter relationships, and other is that your grades are dropping as a result of these fights. Try to tackle these two concerns separately though they are inter connected, this way you are breaking down the problem and dealing with one thing at a time. When it comes to your grades, let begin with that first as this is something that’s in your hands and you can bring in the change yourself.

Try to stay away from home while you study, may be in a library or your friend’s house or your classes, this way you can try to learn to cut off from the home environment that is bringing you down emotionally for a while and have your full focus on your studies. Try to bring your study skills up and temporarily forget about the problems at home.

If you drown yourself in your work it will help you to get good results as well as get relief from the emotional turmoil. With your parents you can share how their behaviour if effecting you and that you would like to help them build bridges by being patient as they get some help that’s needed, like speaking to a marriage counsellor or a financial advisor the help them recover the financial crisis or even a close family member or friends whom they can confine into and get help as well.

Waiting for a grandchild

My son got married 5 years ago and I am eagerly waiting for a grandchild. Whenever I go out, I see little kids and I keep on imagining how life would be with a little grandchild in the house. All my friends also taunt me as they are grandparents (even though their children got married after mine). I have told my son that I want a grandchild, but he keeps on saying that he and his wife are not ready. I am ageing now and all I want is a grandchild. I believe that it is my son’s responsibility to give me that in return. I have been having negative thoughts about my daughter-in-law not being able to conceive. What do I do? 

Ans: In this world of technology difficulties in conceiving can be looked after, but your daughter-in-law may not be honest with you fearing the judgement you may make of her from this situation. You can approach her humbly, giving her the confidence that she won’t be judge and that you will extend a helping hand if there is a problem instead of mocking her, she may feel comfortable talking to you about the truth.

Also Read: Agony Aunt -Dr Anjali Chhabria answers personal queries

Whatever the truth is you will have to respect their decision as a couple. They need to spend rest of their lives together and for that talking this decision mutually is very crucial. You can definitely encourage them by assuring them about the positives of having a baby, and you can help sort out any fears they have in mind regarding having a baby due to which they are postponing the decision of conceiving. Suggest them if they need to seek any professional help to clear their mind. However, you can only extend a hand but you will have to accept any decision they make as it will not be practical that you force on your decision about a baby on to someone and the child bares the emotional brunt.