Improving My Relationship with My Mother-in-Law
(Minghui.org) I resolved my contentious relationship with my mother-in-law when I started practicing Falun Dafa and living by the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. After seeing the changes in me, she also began to read the Dafa books.
My mother-in-law has two sons and a daughter, and my husband is her eldest child. After we married, my husband often physically abused me and scolded me for no apparent reason.
My salary was double his, but he controlled every aspect of my life. I felt that he was responsible for 99% of my misfortune, so I resented him. I also blamed my mother-in-law as being partly responsible for my suffering, because she knew that my husband bullied me but she didn't reprimand him.
I complained to her once that her son made me stand naked during a winter night and didn’t let me sleep. She took her son to another room and laughed out loud with him about it. I was shocked that she behaved this way. That was when I started to resent her.
It wasn't until after I started to practice Falun Dafa in 1996 that I realized my suffering was caused by the karmic relationships between me, my husband, and my mother-in-law.
Although I understood the cause of my misfortune, it was difficult to let my resentment go. My husband and I might have divorced if I hadn't started to practice Dafa; my mother-in-law knew this.
The Battle Between Righteousness and Evil
I always tried to be kind to my mother-in-law after I started to cultivate. She often told others how good I was, but I still resented her deep down in my heart. Although it did not show on the surface, my resentment would ignite when my heart was stirred.
When my mother-in-law's mother died in 2010, she insisted that her mother’s photo be placed in the room where she had lived. The other family members who lived with her believed that it would bring bad luck to those still living in the house.
My mother-in-law was about to make a big fuss about the photo, which had the potential to damage her relationships with her only sibling, her brother, and sister-in-law.
My sister-in-law was very worried and didn't know what to do. I knew how to handle it but was reluctant to get involved. I thought to myself about my mother-in-law, “Go ahead and make trouble if you want to. It has nothing to do with me!”
But my knowing side warned me: “When can you let go of your resentment? You must be good to your mother-in-law, unconditionally.” One part of me struggled against the other. It was a really fierce battle between righteousness and evil. But my righteous thoughts prevailed in the end.
I knew that I needed to start to treating my mother-in-law according to Dafa's principles, so I corrected my bad thoughts about her and devised a plan to help her.
I asked my sister-in-law to talk with my mother-in-law's favorite family member about convincing her to give up the idea of displaying the photo. That was how the crisis was successfully resolved. My mother-in-law took the photo home, and the storm was over.
My sister-in-law was very happy with me for helping to resolve this, which gave me the opportunity to speak to her about Falun Dafa. She agreed to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Afterward, I realized that my resentment for my mother-in-law had not completely gone away.
My father-in-law passed away in the same year as my mother-in-law's mother. My mother-in-law was elderly and needed help, so I invited her to stay with us for a while. I kept reminding myself that I had to be kind to her. This helped me to slowly get rid of my resentment.
I took care with her diet, kept in mind what she liked to eat, and cooked for her. She asked me to cook her meal at the same time as my husband's, so they could eat together when he got home from work. I did what she asked and treated her with kindness and compassion.
Seeing my positive changes, she said to my daughter, “I don't know what the relationship between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law is like in other families, but your mother and I are just like mother and daughter.”
Learning to Be Compassionate
My mother-in-law later returned to her hometown because she wanted to live on her own, which she did until 2017. By that time she was nearly 80 and was less able to look after herself.
My brother-in-law took her to live with him and his wife for a year, and the relationship between my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law grew tense. They quarreled all the time and ended up not speaking. My brother-in-law begged my husband, “You have to persuade Mother to live with you.”
Our daughter went to school in another city, so we had enough room for my mother-in-law. My husband told me that he wanted his mother to live with us for the rest of her life. I agreed.
After my mother-in-law came to stay with us, I discovered that she had a very serious problem: She picked up trash and brought it home. The things she picked up included leaves, cigarette boxes, cigarette butts, yogurt pots, used napkins, wrapping paper, bags, and discarded boxes.
This stuff filled her room, leaving almost nowhere to walk. No matter how hard we tried to discourage her, she just didn't stop, and sometimes she lied, saying that she didn't bring trash in. Sometimes, my husband and I secretly threw some of it away, but when she found out, she would make a big deal out of it. She once even threatened to move into a nursing home.
I didn't say anything, but I was furious inside. I knew that I shouldn't get angry. My mother-in-law was a retired teacher and had no shortage of anything. I asked myself, “Why does she do this?” She later told me that she just loved everything.
As my attitude toward my mother-in-law's behavior changed, she picked up things less often. I tried my best to be considerate of her, took good care of her, and always cooked her favorite food.
I removed my attachment to resentment and reminded myself to be compassionate whenever I felt wronged and troubled about doing things for her. I told myself that it was important to honor the elderly and that I should always do that.
My mother-in-law is getting better and better, and she often smiles and hums songs. When she meets with other elderly ladies, she proudly announces, “I have two daughters. My eldest daughter-in-law is like my daughter.”
“Falun Dafa Is So Good!”
My mother-in-law used to be sarcastic about me practicing Falun Dafa, but she has changed her attitude after living with us for about 18 months. She has witnessed the huge contrast between me and her other daughters-in-law. She also noticed that I am not only kind to her but also to her hot-tempered son. I take good care of them. She said sincerely, “Falun Dafa is so good!”
She started to read the Dafa books six months ago. She has read Zhuan Falun, Falun Gong, Essentials for Further Advancement, and Zhuan Falun Fajie - The Law of Zhuan Falun Explained.
She hasn't yet said that she wants to learn the exercises, but she has said she would try to follow Dafa's principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.
Falun Dafa has removed my deep-seated resentment and replaced it with compassion. And, just as miraculously, it helped to save my mother-in-law.