Once upon a time there was a woman who lived with her husband and children. Her husband was a nice man and she was a good woman.

The only problem was: his mother was horrible.

She was otherwise a decent lady but to her daughter-in-law she was… a witch.

She would insult her daughter-in-law, humiliate her, taunt her, comment on her looks, her hair, her upbringing, her cooking, the way she was bringing up the children…

It appeared to the daughter-in-law that her mother-in-law’s sole aim in life was to turn her son against his wife.

His mother would plant seeds into his mind about how his wife had seemingly disrespected her, or other members of the family.

Most of the arguments that the couple had were because of the insecurities of his mother.

Unsurprisingly, she hated her mother-in-law. Resented her, despised her, abhorred her.

She could not understand why any mother would wish to cause her son to become unhappy by ruining his marriage. How could such a mother claim to love her own son, let alone his wife?

With time, her unhappiness turned to psychological torture. Eventually, the torture became unbearable.

So she decided to kill her mother-in-law.

She went to a wise man and explained her problem to him. She asked him for some poison that she could put in her mother-in-law’s food.

The wise man gave her the poison but told her that it would take 30 days to take effect.

“During these 30 days, you have to be extra nice to your mother-in-law, so that when she dies, no-one will suspect that you were responsible,” the wise man told her.

The woman rushed home and that evening she poured the whole vial of poison into her mother-in-law’s food. That night, for the first time in years, the daughter-in-law slept soundly, happy that soon the problem would be no more.

The next day she began to be extra nice to her mother-in-law. Whenever she would visit, she would talk to her, ask about her day, buy her gifts…

This continued for the first week and second week. By the third week her mother-in-law began to respond and be nice to her in return. By the fourth week she actually began to… not hate her mother-in-law.

“I don’t love her but I don’t hate her either,” the girl thought. “I can live with this.”

Then she remembered that there was only a few days left before the poison would kill her mother-in-law. She had now changed her mind.

She now didn’t want her mother-in-law to die. Her husband and her children would be devastated if her mother-in-law died.

In a panic she rushed back to the wise man.

“Please, please, give me an anti-dote to the poison!” she cried. “I don’t want to kill my mother-in-law, things are OK between us now. Please, I beg you, I don’t want her to die!”

The wise man listened to her.

“In the vial I gave you there was not a drop of poison, it was only water,” he began.

“I knew that once you began to make an effort to be extra nice to your mother-in-law she would have no choice but to respond in a similar way.”

“Whenever any relationship breaks down, before we blame the other person we have to ask ourselves if there is anything that we are doing to contribute to the breakdown and what we can change about ourselves to make the relationship better.”

“Every relationship requires a regular investment. What we put into it is what we get out of it.”

Do you have a story to share about a relationship between a daughter-in-law and mother-in-law? If so, why don’ you share it? (Don’t share your own story because your mother-in-law might be reading this!)

My story and why I blog here.

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