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A third person in the marriage! Caused by mirrors in the bedroom, water on the right side of the main door, paintings of women in the home; wife sleeping on the wrong side of the bed, left instead of right and an overly strong matriarchal corner in the home… all these and more can cause the problem of THE OTHER WOMAN to become serious; except that the other woman need not always be an outside love interest. Most times these same afflictions that can cause infidelity bring an even more formidable foe into the picture, bringing as much if not more stress and strains into a marriage.
We are talking about the problem of the mother-in-law!
This seems to be a problem that is almost exclusive to wives whose husbands’ love, sense of duty and attachment to their mothers can drive a wedge between them. It is something we come across frequently in our feng shui work especially for young married clients. Indeed, almost always when we go to a house where the husband’s mother is also staying with the couple, it is not surprising to detect hidden tensions in the household.
Decades of studies, academic as well as social, interviewing hundreds of families have revealed that nearly two-thirds of women complain they’ve suffered long-term stress arising from friction with their husband’s mother. In turn, an equal number of mothers-in-law complained bitterly about their exclusion from their son’s lives and from their grandchildren.
Most of the time, mother-in-law conflicts do not flare out in the open but scratch beneath the surface and both sides - the young wife as well as the older woman - are more than happy to air their grievances. It usually does not take much for long list of complaints to come pouring forth.
And no matter how devoted the husbands may claim to be, or how much they declare their love for the wife, if they should be so foolish as to take the side of the mother just once, it can be a catalyst for problems to start in the marriage.
Wives tend to see mothers-in-law as their rivals. Mothers tend to more patient with their sons; laughing loudest at his jokes, sympathizing with his problems and listening adoringly to the dullest details of his day. Mothers will always be more patient than wives - always know more about his favourite foods, his weakness for certain types of music, movies and just about everything else. After all, mothers have a head start over wives. They are even privy to their son’s tastes in women!
In the face of this sort of mother-son intimacy, it is easy for the wife to get insanely jealous. Modern day wives will never admit to this. How can the mother-in-law be a rival? Recent studies show however that for millions of women, the wedding ring is barely done before wives start to feel in deadly competition with their husband’s mother. And these days, when mothers-in-law are capable, resourceful, independent achieving women as well, it is not difficult to see how this can quite easily ignite into something that can cause great unhappiness.
Can feng shui help to make life less difficult in families with these sorts of problems?
The mother and daughter-in-law competition is an age-old phenomenon that transcends race or culture, and in the old days, this situation caused all sorts of tragedies within families. Both sides always assumed the worst of each other’s motivations and most comments and opinions of either were almost always seen in a negative light. There is rarely little love lost between the two most important women in a man’s life.
The Feng Shui SOLUTION
Those having this unhappy problem should start by first transforming their attitudes. Feng shui can help but unless there is also a reversal of expectations, it is less likely that feng shui can change much.
If your mother-in-law is staying with you remember that she is probably feeling less comfortable than you realize. Because underlying her external bravado is the thought that she is probably not very welcome, so do make an effort to really make her feel welcome.
FIRST: Light up the SW corner of your living room with a bright light and put a lovely picture of the two of you - wife and mother-in-law - smiling happily in the SW corner. Make the picture quite big so both of you can see it and be reminded of how close you are or can be! This little Taoist tip works wonders.
NEXT: Place two crystal balls on a table also in the SW corner. This creates excellent Earth energy that will cause both of you to bond really well.
The presence of grandchildren is itself the most powerful cure. The energy of children is pure and very yang and this helps dissolve conflict and disharmony. It also helps to paint a wall red if there continues to be tensions. Fire element energy is always effective for burning up feelings of hostility and tension.
If you are staying with your in-laws and your mother-in-law rules the roost, the situation is more difficult. Here it will be you feeling that neither you nor your husband is the power in the house and it is likely that the mother-in-law here will exert a great deal of authority.
As the wife feeling stifled by the situation, the best solution is to wear a powerful amulet that will help to reduce any feelings of hostility. The rooster with amethyst and fan amulet here is excellent. Carry it with you always and you will find that any hostility between you and your mother-in-law will dissolve. You can also place two crystal balls on the table where you can both see it. This is powerful in helping to ameliorate any tension or left over anger.
The following article is taken from the "Feng Shui World (September/October 2009)". To subscribe, please click here.