Dear Massi, Me and my husband live with his parents. It's difficult enough really. I can't even watch TV without them making comments that I'm a 'kaam chor.'
Nothing I do is ever good enough.
My mother-in-law always complains to my husband that I never sit with her or talk to her or that I don't take her out with me.
She even complains about me talking to my friends on the phone in English and thinks I should be talking in Punjabi.
I know she's paranoid that I'm talking about her to my friends.
She even said she felt left out when I went to my friends coffee morning and said I purposely exclude her.
Twice now when me and husband went out for dinner, she called him on the phone and said she was ill, so we had to rush home.
On both occasions we found her sitting on the sofa watching her dramas and there was nothing wrong with her.
This is quite a pathetic tactic, but I don't know what to do.
My husband would never think his mum is faking it or lying. I get that, it's his mum after all.
But what can I do to stop this from happening over and over again?
Massi says, It is difficult to find that right balance when living with ones in-laws.
Whilst you want to feel at home, they will have certain expectations that they wish to see met.
Although you find your mother-in-law's words and actions antagonistic, try and exercise some diplomacy with her.
Your mother-in-law's behaviour indicates that she is feeling left out, as you described.
Why not take her out for coffee or dinner with you and your husband of your own accord.
You need only do this occasionally, but this gesture will leave your mother-in-law feeling less insecure and more valued.