An email from a Mother in law.

Sharing an email. 

Hi,

I am V. I need your honest opinion on the following about my family:
A month ago my only son got married (arranged one) to a working girl. Till today he is transferring his salary to his father’s (my hubby) bank account excluding his monthly expenses. Whenever any need arises for money he use to communicate to his father nicely and there was no misunderstanding between them. All his shopping bills, credit card bill are paid by his father only. For better future my hubby has invested considerable amount in various investment schemes on our son’s name and its entire yearly premium being paid by his father. My son trusts his parents. We are very happy family and consider my son’s wife as our own daughter and we have told on her arrival at our home. We believe that she also considers us as her parents. Two days back my DIL received her first salary (INR 30K) after the marriage. She informed my son that we should open joint bank account so I can transfer the salary. She also set a condition that 15% of the amount of her salary will be invested in Recurring Deposit on her own parents name and 50% of the amount will be utilized by self also no amount will be given to IL unless they plan to purchase another separate house for them. Actually we own big 2BHK flat in prime location of the Mumbai city with all amenities and that too very near to her office. Also they are getting full privacy and already been given separate bedroom with attached toilet, TV, AC etc. etc. Now main thing is that my hubby is retiring after few months. He was getting huge salary and we were enjoying our life plentifully. There is no question of pension as he is working in private firm. My son is against the decision of his wife as mentioned above. We also feel hurt and disappointed on her decision. We will be facing big financial crisis post my hubby’s retirement. Kindly let me know how we can resolve the issue amicably without hurting our DIL and only son.

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206 thoughts on “An email from a Mother in law.

  1. I wasn’t ok with the way the son was giving away his pay check to his father and am definitely not ok with the DIL saying no money for in-laws while her parents get a recurring deposit. May be put half of each spouse’s pay check in a joint account. The rest half each individual uses to his or her interest. The joint account goes to support house hold costs. In this case, house hold is 4 people. My 2 cents.

    • Ah 18 likes and 18 dislikes

      A net savvy MIL with good English in 2013 has son as a retirement investment plan and thinks DIL owes her (grooms mother) her salary coz’ she is married to her son who is giving her a roof and name in the society.

      Did anyone say social change is taking place? Oh yes, look MIL is net savvy.

      You could have not done worse for your only child by keeping him financially ignorant and raising him with this constant baggage that he is your only hope.
      http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/desi-parenting-raising-devoted-sons/
      Did you expect other net savvy young women to jump of joy reading that you think DIL’s parents too cannot have her as an investment plan but only you because you are the mother of a son?
      I am sure 151 comments have stripped your letter thread bare and would have given wonderful advise. Thanks to each comment writer who took so much time to figure it out for an utter stranger.
      You ladies rock.
      Peace,
      Desi Girl

      • Hey DG ! yeah I presume that the particularly overwhelming response to this mail is also indicative of how all of us have had a brush with similar situations at some point or the other.Claiming our financial and reproductive rights is still a huge gray area for lot of us here.

        • Thanks DG your post is really a story of what I have witnessed happening a lot but luckily not to me.Oh yes I have had my share of FEEDBACK most of it unasked for but thankfully over the years my parents have become all the more confident that having just a daughter is not a HANDICAP as most of the extended family would want them to believe.
          Now I am also mom to a single daughter and am sure as good or as bad as any other mom ,the gender of my child is not an index of my or her happiness.

    • Hi Anonymous. Why Anonymous? Why shd she not save money for her parents? Is there anything special that a son’s parents do that a daughter’s don’t? MIL says…’He was getting huge salary and we were enjoying our life plentifully.’ So MIL wants to continue enjoying life plentifully. Why shd the DIL’s parents also not do the same? Why does not the son share his salary with his in laws if his wife shd share her salary with his parents? Sick MIL who wants to enjoy life plentifully perpetually sponging not only on her son but DIL too! Sicko! I am sure she expects the DIL’s parents to somehow live life miserably and occaisonally keep gifting her and them too goodies.

    • If we are talking of a joint account for household costs, the joint account should be used to support the boy’s parents AND the girl’s parents, 6 people : these 4 + DIL’s parents.

  2. This is mind blowing what a situation, interesting to read other comments
    One should make provisons for retirement well in advance so we do not have to rely on their childrens income

    please solve peacefully

  3. What I don’t understand is, why can’t she share her salary with her parents like ur son shares with u guys? Are u being fair at all??

  4. What I don’t understand is, why can’t she share her salary with her parents like ur son shares with u guys? Are u being fair at all?? And also she and her parents am sure have Los always been a happy family. I do not know when will Indian people stop having a chauvinistic and patriarchal outlook!

    • “The Boy’s side”=Freeloaders in the Indian context. They pay zilch for the wedding ceremonies, accept lavish gifts from the bride’s parents and then lay claim to the DIL’s earnings. PARASITES

  5. The most amicable way to solve this issue would have been to plan your retirement without counting on the income of your son and DIL. How your DIL wants to spend her earned money is completely her prerogative.

    That also means that you own the 2BHK and letting your son and his wife live there is your prerogative too. So is paying for the premiums. So how about you charge a rent for them to stay which you can in turn use to suppliment your retirement income. You can also talk to your son about the premiums you have been paying and ask for some reimbursement.

    And it is never too late. Please start getting your finances in order and aim for a more financially independent future. And also please respect your DIL as an individual with different goals and aspirations from yours. She is not doing anything wrong by setting guidelines on how she will spend her money.

  6. at the risk of being labelled” the erode the traditional family values club member” I say the DIL has every right to decide how and where she wants to spend her money the way their son has a right to decide about his money,however I feel if the in-laws are undergoing a financial crisis for real and if she is in a condition to contribute or help it is her moral duty to HELP the way she would have helped other family members or a sibling or her parents,but there should not be any claims on her money by any one else but her.
    Why did this MIL presume that they would manage the DILs salary and money ?
    she is their son’s spouse not a slave they bought.

    • you did not work for the pay check you son and DIL did so you have no right to control. your son will never be able to control his life because his parents did everthing for him. should have saved your money for retirement

  7. Firstly I would like to make it clear that what I am going to say here is totally objective and with no intention of hurting the feelings of the lady who has posted this mail. I would further like to make it clear that I belong to her generation and so she should see this as the opinion of a peer and not of an upstart daughter-in-law.

    I understand that their son is their only child and so the attachment factor will be quite high. Having said that, she should also be able to understand that now that he is married, he has a life of his own which involves his wife. His relationship with his wife need not be mutually exclusive of his relationship with his own parents. But she is now his primary family just as he is hers. The parents on both sides are now extended family, however difficult it may be to palate this fact. Indian society is in a state of flux and changes are hard to accept, but in the interests of all parties concerned, we have to do so.

    Let the son and dil handle their own finances. It is alright to give them suggestions and to guide them if they come to the parents/pil for advice. Don’t expect them to hand over their salary as in the past. Why should they? Let them grow up, make their mistakes and learn. Too much of dependence on the parents will only make them incapable of making considered judgments in the future. If you expect your son to hand over his salary to you, it is only fair that your dil hands over her salary to her parents. After all her parents have invested as much care and effort in bringing her up as you have in your son. If anything the worries that the parents of a daughter face today are a lot more than that of a son.

    Now coming to the point about staying under separate roofs. There is nothing wrong with that. If anything it would be a good thing. Let there be a healthy distance. After all distance makes the heart grow fonder. You are living in the same city and so it is not as if you cannot meet them or have no access to them. They are there for you just as you are for them. If you insist on having your way, it might end up straining the relationships between your son and dil and your dil may end up resenting you tremendously, which is not going to do a lot for your relationship either. What is important is to give them time and space to build their own relationship, assure them that you are always there for them and allow your own relationship with the new dil to blossom.

    Right now you are not that old and are still capable of looking after yourselves. However a day might come when you might require to be looked after. It is important that you have a very good relationship with your dil, because she is the one who will be looking after you at home when you need to be looked after. Let her know that her parents have the same rights on her as you have over your son. Let her understand that both she and your son now are part of both families. Treat her parents with the same courtesy and respect that you would expect her parents to treat you and convey to your son that he too should be as caring and respectful of his pil as you would want your dil to be towards you.

    You will find that everything will work out very well in the long term and problems will be kept to the minimum. I do hope that you will soon be able to find your peace. Wishing you all the best.

    • when one male adult marry with another female adult ,they should be treated as grown up adults and not as kids …thus accept happily .. she is now his primary family just as he is hers. The parents on both sides are now extended family..

      • I have no solutions to offer to this MIL’s problems . But I do want to note the following observations-
        1.Where has the large monthly salary of the FIL gone? Surely you cannot go from ‘living plentifully’ to ‘financial crisis’ in a month or two -unless you had investments that blew up overnight- so what happened there?

        2. There is no question of hurting of ‘DIL and only son’ as you have mentioned that your son is against his wife too. That means, its three against one.

        3. I don’t see why the DIL has to share her money with the in laws when the son is already transferring nearly all his salary to his parents? Maybe the FIL could deduct all general household expenses before investing the remainder? The DIL’s salary could be shared with her husband only (she has said she wants it to be in a joint account) if that’s what she wants.

        The way I see it , this is a matter primarily between the son and the DIL. Somebody has to cough up daily living expenses- and since they will be the two earning members , it’s up to them to decide how they will do it.

        The MIL and FIL should not feel offended if the couple do not want to hand over every last penny they make- I know that’s what the son has been doing, but they CANNOT expect the DIL to do it too.

    • I agree with everything in this comment, except for the following -
      1. “However a day might come when you might require to be looked after. It is important that you have a very good relationship with your dil, because she is the one who will be looking after you at home when you need to be looked after.”

      I think we need to change this blind Indian assumption about DILs only being caregivers of the future and in-laws being helplessly dependent on others in their old age. How about saying “It is important that you have a very good relationship with your SON AND dil. This will make it possible for them to always care for your well being.”

      • AP, I would love to say that and I do hope and pray that the day will come when the man of the house would also be equally responsible for hands-on care-taking of the elderly people at home. I totally agree with you that it is very important to have a very good relationship with son, daughter, son-in-law and dil. All are responsible in different ways to take care of the elderly. However as things stand today, in a majority of homes it is still the woman who has to either take care of the elderly in the home herself or supervise the domestic staff who care for them. It was in this context that my statement was made.

        As for old people being helpless and dependent, I would go one step further and say it is high time we start planning for our old age and try to ensure that we do not have to depend on anyone. There are more and more retirement homes springing up these days where we can well afford to go and live in a perfectly pleasant atmosphere if only we plan and save up for it right from now. Of course, in the event that we are physically or mentally disabled and dependent, we should keep good relations with the younger generation while being willing to consider that they find us a good home where we are looked after in the best possible manner.

        • Well said swatiaiyer. I agree that planning for one’s old age should start early in life to avoid dependency on others. That’s not to say that life will not throw a curve ball with health issues, but one can at least try one’s very best to maintain a fit and strong lifestyle – physically and mentally.

          I also hope that the concept of retirement homes gain more and more acceptance in India – as a viable option to living separately from one’s sons/dils – if one so desires. In the US, they have entire self equipped senior living communities that include medical services- seniors are encouraged to remain active mentally and physically, participate in outdoor activities, socialize with others, and in general enjoy the advantages of retirement (more time on hand, lesser or no financial worries etc). That does not mean they are cut off from family. They may not see them everyday, but they visit each other every now and then and maintain a healthy relationship.

          There is no perfect solution, but foresight and careful planning, and being in touch with the times will help one to enjoy the hard earned retirement years in peace.

    • Very well said and I agree with you. The patriarchal syndrome actually needs to be addressed in an amicable manner. Distance definitely makes the hearts comes closer. Let the son and DIL stay separately. The MIL in this case is feeling financially insecure and to address this issue, she can give the extra room on rent to add to her income and now the son can start paying his premiums on his own. If she expects the DIL to ease off a part of her in-laws’ burden, so can the DIL expect her husband (MIL’s son) to ease off a part of the burden of her parents. How can she expect the loyalties of her DIL to change from one family to the other?

      • Many Indian MILs believe that the moment a mangalsutra is tied around a woman’s neck, her brain is reformatted and all emotional ties to her parents are deleted, and replaced with abundant, unconditional love for the new ILS.

        Simple, aint it?

    • why in laws/parents always want to overrule their (son and dil) life …?…emitional blackmailing is the easiest way to rule….keeping aside the emotions treat them as separate grown up unit ….live close by ,not under one roof ,take and give help whenever asked and needed ,enjoy your oldage with some good activities ,encourage them to fight with their own problems ….be always with them in their good and bad times ,expect minimum and see you will
      get maximum .

  8. The FIL, having worked in a private firm, I am sure will have some investments for their retirement. Also, the house (i presume) is in their (MIL,FIL) name. It is not clear to me how a financial crisis will happen. Do they have no investments for their retirement?
    I think it makes sense for the son and DIL to decide where they want to live and how they want to spend their money. If they mutually feel that giving the salary to the father is something they are not comfortable with, then they should look for an alternative.
    And assuming the parents have no investment towards their retirement, then the son should give a certain percentage of his salary towards his parents’ wellbeing.
    I think once you start earning, it makes sense to make all the financial decisions yourself. Sure, consult your parents (as they might have more knowledge regarding investments) and take their advice, but giving the entire salary to the parents, to the extent that you need to ask them for money for paying bills etc. seems very limiting to me. Sure, it might have worked for the son in this case till now, but now that he is married, the financial decisions of their salary must be taken by the son and his wife jointly.

    • Commenting again at leisure:
      I feel just “telling” your DIL that you are our daughter is not sufficient, and I feel not required as well. One does not have to make a DIL a daughter to treat her with love and respect (which ironically is not even happening here).
      I can never consider my in laws as my parents. Why? because they are not my parents. We get along with each other amazingly well, we love each other, care for each other, and I will not think twice in helping them out in their times of need, as I will do for my parents. BUT, I dont think I can look at them the way I look at my parents. I will love them, but not the same way I love my parents. I will be close to them, but then again, not the same way I am close to my parents. And I dont expect them to consider me as their daughter. I am their DIL, they are my in laws and we get along well. We do not have to call each other daughter or parents to be good to each other. There are different relationships we build in life. Typecasting one in other, just to show that you are loving that person more in that typecasted relationship is hypocritical.

      And also, another thing, just having a separate room with attached toilet etc might not translate to “privacy” for some people. Privacy would also mean managing hard earned money themselves, investing in their retirement plans and for their future. Privacy would also mean not being answerable (as an adult) to anyone on what percentages are being put aside for what purpose.

  9. How old is your son? Isn’t he old enough to manage his own finances?! Why does he have to ask his daddy for meeting his expenses as if he were a sixth standard boy wanting money to buy a samosa? Even sixth standard boys have piggy banks and manage their own money! Also, though you may think of your DIL as your own daughter etc, please don’t forget that she has a set of parents of her own. And if she feels a part of the money she earns should go to them, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you and your husband assumed that your son would always live with you and this financial arrangement would continue forever and therefore made such financial investments, did you make all this clear to your DIL before she married your son? Was she told that she would have to transfer her salary to your husband’s account and then ask ‘nicely’ when she wanted money to spend? You have made investments in your son’s name, not your DIL’s name. If tomorrow she and your son were to have a fall-out, shouldn’t she have the financial independence to make a choice? Why should she give up her salary because of financial plans that were made without consulting here? A couple opening a joint account and using it for joint expenses while continuing to have their own personal accounts makes perfect sense. There’s no point in acting sanctimonious and making statements like family is more important than money etc (if it were, you wouldn’t think your DIL isn’t within her rights to give money to her own parents). We all need money to live.

    Also, I wish Indian in-laws would stop acting like they are doing their DIL a great favour by ‘treating her well’ (which means they don’t beat her up etc), ‘treating her like a daughter’ and so on. Treating another person with respect and valuing their independence is called civility. Not generosity. And I don’t think your DIL owes you anything for receiving it.

    • Well said “so, though you may think of your DIL as your own daughter etc, please don’t forget that she has a set of parents of her own.”

    • “Treating another person with respect and valuing their independence is called civility. Not generosity. And I don’t think your DIL owes you anything for receiving it”- well said!!!

    • Good points!

      If this is an arranged marriage, then the would be daughter in law should have been told at the outset how things work in this family and suitable ‘arrangements’ about her salary should have been made as well.

      It is sad how parents in India treat their children as their property and do not late them make their own decisions in the matters of mind or heart!

      • @ Gunjan

        I don’t agree with your view that Indian parents are being considered their kids as their personal property.
        If you have arrived at this conclusion because the son hands over the money to his parents, then he might be doing it out of free will.
        There’s no reason to assume that he is expected to or has been coerced into handing it over.

        Yes, I do agree with open communication before marriage but then there are people here who will still have issues.

        I can offer one such instance wherein one person here has commented that – the MIL thinks there’s ample private space for all the family members but she is so wrong because there isn’t enough space for the DIL in the house.

        Oh really! So, she & you think that this wasn’t known to the DIL before marriage; she didn’t know about the residence where she was supposed live after her wedding?

        The DIL still took a decision to go in for this wedding so then why blame the guy or his family for the lack of private space.
        How unfair!

        And, if the DIL was coerced into this wedding by her own parents, then either she or her parents should be held accountable and not the MIL who wrote the email.

        • Raghav,
          One email is not responsible for my conclusion about how Indian parents treat their children. This is a mere expression of ridicule that I have felt over the years seeing other people, though I have never been treated like that.

          If you still do not believe me, read IHM’s earlier post about the unhappy teenager. It is not a single case, as I know many people who behave exactly like that with their kids.

          It is possible that this does not happen in your world, but here I see people crushing their own kids’ self esteem by scolding them for little things in front of others.

          In this particular case also, the reason why the MIL is unhappy is because she was smugly thinking about the additional money that the DIL would bring home, but could never imagine that the DIL might have her own plans. She took it for granted that since the DIL is like a daughter, everything that belongs to DIL is hers automatically.

  10. This is why one should make clear financial arrangements – separate of emotions.

    You can still do so – after explaining that since your husband is retiring you will need to make alternate arrangements.

    Keep your investments in your own name.
    Let son use his own money.
    Let DIL use her own money.
    Ask them to kindly find own house.

    Your life’s hard work – you enjoy the fruits.
    Let them build their own nest.

  11. Let me understand this: It seems this DIL is putting these conditions on her own salary i.e. 65% of her 30K per month, according to her, should be devoted to herself and her own parents. From this calculation it appears, the rest i.e. 35% is for household expenses. I don’t see anything wrong in this.
    In fact, any girl in her place would feel awkward if she found that her husband hands over all his money and cards to his parents for including the responsibility for paying shopping bills. While it may not (should not? – I don’t know) be possible for her to change this arrangement, it’s completely right on her part to not hand over all her money to her in-laws.
    As for the hurt and disappointment, I can’t see why this MIL should be hurt at the DIL not wanting to give them her salary. There may be cause for hurt if their only son wants to move away, and that is best resolved by talking within the family.

  12. Main thing here is to not panic. One month after wedding is hardly enough to understand the finances of a home, and the chances are high that she does not understand the implications of what she wants.

    She should keep her entire salary in her own account and do with it as she wishes for now, the son should continue as he was. In the sense of maintaining status quo till a solution is found. She is less likely to feel threatened by this if her salary is not being given to anyone.

    Then there is a need to talk the whole thing out calmly so that no one’s interests are being harmed.

    Few things come to mind.

    1. By saying no money to in-laws, does she intend that the young couple take over home expenses and investments – at least investments related with son? There is a possibility that this can be a welcome relief for the in-laws and should not be dismissed as an opportunity before necessary. It may even be better if it is like this if the father is retiring soon. It will leave their savings to take care of personal needs while home is run by the young couple.

    2. If she intends for home costs to be shared by all four, how about a joint account between the four of them for running home expenses?

    3. what she intends can also be done on trust, transferring the money to her account to run for a month as trial, and if she thinks she wants the responsibility in addition to the job, it could be a relief for the parents and an account could be set up as per whatever combination works best for all concerned after trial and error.

    4. If nothing else works, the young couple can always take their investments and move out – which too is not necessarily a bad idea. Parents left without funds can easily move into smaller home or cheaper area and have abundant funds left for old age. This will be a disadvantage to the young couple in terms of assets to inherit in future, but will still be better than bitterness and is their choice to make. Fact is that parents will need money to live on. Home of four will need money to run. This need not be too difficult with three earning members now and two eventually.

    Main thing to realize is that the entry of one person into the dynamics will mean a reshuffle of hierarchies – regardless of the person.

    Second important thing to realize is that the newcomer will always be defensive against a perceived established status quo. Reassuring that person even at the cost of temporarily unfair concessions will go a long way toward creating a good space for free negotiation without fear of her interests being harmed.

    It may also be useful to use a neutral mediator to help them take the conversation through.

    Most important thing to realize is that this is an important decision and must not be made in a hurried manner in one sitting, ultimatums and such. Do not assume the worst of the situation and respond to that and make it real.

  13. Dear V,

    Its nice to know that you and your husband are caring and considerate parents and in laws. It is also commendable that you wish to sort out the problem amicably.

    Now, to the point… I see no problem in the DIL investing in her parents’ name. After all, her parents are equally entitled to support from their child, just the way your son supports you. I also see no harm in keeping 50% of her salary for her needs/security. No doubt that you seem to be considerate in laws, however daily news of so many cases of ill-treatment of wives/DILs stemming from dependence on husbands/in-laws is enough to worry any woman, who is not unjustified for wanting to secure some money for herself. Besides, its only been a month, and an arranged marriage – which is very little time to gain trust and confidence in a new family.

    As always, my own opinion is this – Parents should let their adult children manage their own lives and finances. I don’t feel comfortable with the idea of an adult/working son transferring his money to his father’s bank account and having to ask his father very time he needs money. Likewise, I also don’t feel comfortable with parents spending all their resources on children and not saving up for their own old age. Please do invest your husband’s lumpsum retirement benefits wisely (PF, gratuity etc) so you can get a comfortable monthly interest to spend on your needs.

    It may help to understand why your DIL wants to move out. Is there anything that bothers her about living with you? A discussion might clear things up – as long as both sides are willing to make adjustments and are comfortable with these adjustments. If not, let your children rent/buy a house and live on their own – don’t restrict them, let them know that you are OK with it, but you might need their financial support in times of crisis. From your mail, it appears that you son cares for you, and should be willing to support you financially. Living in a separate home doesn’t mean that they won’t love you. After all your DIL is living away from her parents too. In fact, living in separate homes takes away much of the needless friction that is bound to arise if too many people try to adjust on the same turf.

    I would advise you not to feel hurt if your DIL wants to live separately – many women want their own independent homes to run and manage – and there is nothing hurtful about that. As I understand from your mail, you haven’t said she is unwilling to contribute and help you out if she has a separate home. 15% to her parents and 50% for herself still leaves a good 35% of her salary with which she could be willing to help you both out. You have also not said that she is stopping your son from helping you out financially.

    Remember, its only been a month since their marriage, and its an arranged marriage. You all need to win her confidence and trust – she is a new member of your family. Her having freedom and space is more likely to get her on to your side and support you. Especially if you advise your son to take her wishes into account too. They have their whole married life, and your priority should be ensure they remain happy and compatible. Sometimes you have to let go in order to win someone over. Give it a try. Good luck! :)

  14. I am also hurt by the this MiL’s thought process .total control on another person , another adult, lack of her own money management and trying to jump on others money, shamelessness, treating men and women unequally and their meagre wishes to their parents and inability to leave selfishness

    • Sarika, my opinion is that this MIL wants to know a just and fair way of resolving a problem. She wants to be nice, but is sadly entrenched in patriarchal thinking. I don’t think she is selfish. If she were, she would have emotionally blackmailed her son and DIL using ‘family values’ and not come to this blog. She wants to have a good relation with them and wants them to be happy. But at the same time, she is concerned about her own survival. What if they took big loans for their son’s education (say for MBA) that they repaid, even though they couldn’t really afford it? The son needs to make sure he pays the parents back, in case his salary was never used for living expenses. In short, if the parents have spent on the son in the past assuming to have his salary for the rest of their lives, a fair transaction needs to be made before the arrangement changes.

  15. I think the whole idea of saving everything in the son’s name is a hopeless idea… He can always be the nominee but all investments always must be made in the name of parents themselves. You provide for your son’s present and incase you are not there he gets the priveleges as a nominee.

    Secondly, whether the dil wants to give any income in the house or not is her choice… whether she makes a recurring for her parents her lookout, however its your house that they live in. I guess its best you all get together and talk it out.

    I come from a joint family and I know it can be heated at times, however with a cool head all facts need to be stated and a resolution must be seeked so that the matter is resolved amicably.

    I am sure there exists a way and maybe you need to find a way to put it across with the family.

    Be patient, be fair and I hope you will resolve it.

    • As a parent you should never get into a situation where you have to rely on your son/daughter for your retired life.

      As practical as it sounds, the more money you have in your bank account and possibly a massive legacy the children can inherit after your death… the better care will your children take of you.

      • This instantly reminded of Gibran saying something to the effect that our children are from us but we don’t own them.
        Also I believe this whole notion of “parents know best” and sons being budhape ka sahara (IHM has written about this elsewhere and daughters only being financially supportive to their married families and not their parents has a lot to do with our bad gender ratio and how we view girls.

      • I totally agree with you…after graduation, for higher studies, let the children take study loans and repay themselves instead getting bankrupt and becoming dependent on sons afterwards or expecting share from dil….

  16. “All his shopping bills, credit card bill are paid by his father only. For better future my hubby has invested considerable amount in various investment schemes on our son’s name and its entire yearly premium being paid by his father. My son trusts his parents.”

    I am rather curious as I’ve seen this in many Indian families now- Does the son even know how to pay his bills, invest his money, and balance his own accounts?
    I know my husband’s oldest brother falls in the same category & hasn’t a clue how to manage his own money. When my FIL died my husband (the youngest son who has his own business) had to take over managing the oldest son’s & my MIL’s finances.

  17. Pingback: Do you invest in your child’s name ?? | My attempt to write

  18. Umm…So you don’t want your DIL to invest any money in her parent’s name BUT you are OK with your son putting all his money in his father’s bank account..??

    What about the finances of the new couple (your son and his wife) ??

    Lady, give a thought how your DIL would be feeling after knowing that your son is putting his salary in your husband’s account..Is your son a minor, by any chance ??

  19. I feel it’s pure hypocrisy wherein people believe a married son (some even felt that a non-married one too) shouldn’t spend money on one’s parents but his wife/ married daughter is free to do so.
    Moreover, she is encouraged to give her parents cash.

    One should play fair.

    What if I say that the DIL should give a monthly rent to her husband/his parents unless she has already made a financial countribution of 25% of the total value of the house she is currently residing in.

    • But the DIL HAS set aside money from her salary for the joint account. What do you imagine the joint account is for if not to spend on the household? 15% for her parents, 50% for herself and the rest for the joint account. Sounds very reasonable to me! Further, there’s no mention here of the DIL saying her husband shouldn’t spend on his parents etc. But there’s a huge difference between her husband spending on his parents and giving them his entire salary and asking ‘nicely’ when he has expenses!

      • @gounderbrownie

        The DIL isn’t doing a big favour by contributing to the monthly expenses since the household expenses do include hers too.

        I am not in favour of In-laws asking for the DIL’s salary because it takes away one’s respect & dignity. A DIL might even give it away but she will constantly curse and think wrongly about them (maybe not on one’s face); not a good thing at all.

        I have objections with statements like after marriage, the first right on the son’s money is his wife’s – agreed but then it holds true the other way too.
        The first right to on the wife’s money is her husband’s and not her parents.

        What kind of parents would like to have a share in their married daughter’s income when that share rightfully belongs to her or her husband first (following the same logic as applied by many here)

        And, yes the DIL should seriously consider paying the monthly rent to the husband or his parents.

        • “The first right to on the wife’s money is her husband’s and not her parents”.

          Yes indeed that is just how it has been down the centuries. The wife and everything she owns has belonged to her husband and his parents before it even belonged to her. She has so often been stripped of even what was her “stridhan”. It is only now because she wants to give money to her parents just as he does to his i.e. wants to treat her parents on a par with his parents that there is such a brouhaha about it. If he does not give his parents any money, then yes, it would be fair to say she does not give her’s any. But here he gives his parents all his money and asks for a small part for his expenses while she gives her’s only 15% of her income.

        • Or they could move into the girl’s parents house- the girl wouldn’t need to pay rent to her parents (by your logic) and her parents would be against taking any from her husband.

        • I said the DIL contributing 35% to household expenses is reasonable. I didn’t say it’s a favour. Obviously, she recognizes the fact that she has to contribute to the household too!

        • You are misrepresenting the situation by saying “a married son (some even felt that a non-married one too) shouldn’t spend money on one’s parents but his wife/ married daughter is free to do so.”. She is spending 15% of her salary on her parents and he is giving 100% of his salary to his. People are supporting her right to give 15% to her parents and saying that he should manage his own money. No one is saying that she should give all her salary to her parents and he should give NONE to his, as you seem to have suggested.

          It’s her money. Above and beyond her share of household expenses (which she is contributing, 35% of her salary), anyone who needs it should be asking for it from her. Just like she would have to, if she was dependant on her husband/ FIL. Expecting her to give them all her salary and then to ask them for money for her expenses. That’s just bizzare.

          If you want to call this ‘rent’ then she should also not be asked to cook or clean for everyone, entertain guests, contribute in any other way. That is the relationship of a tenant and a landlord, the rent is ALL that the tenant owes. In that case, if she wants to move out, why does the MIL object? It doesn’t sound like the situation here gives her all the freedom and non-obligation of being a tenant. You can’t make her out to be a tenant but still ask her to treat the in-laws as family. That’s not a fair arrangement.

          You said, “What kind of parents would like to have a share in their married daughter’s income when that share rightfully belongs to her or her husband first (following the same logic as applied by many here)”
          How is that the same logic in any way? She is not saying that she would stop contributing the 35% to the household (which includes the in-laws). Only that the rest is her to decide what to do with. The son is deciding what to do with ALL his money (giving it to his parents is his decision), so why can’t she decide what to do with 65% of hers? She is being a lot more fair than he is.

        • true! so in this way the boy shuold also take 100% finances in his and wives hands, instead of his parents, then both of them decide how much to spend on huosehold expenses, both set of parents and investments etc. in this way it will be fair enough…….and IL dont do a favor by keeping DIL in their houe, was it not for the tradition, no girl would want to leave all the freedom she enjoys at her own house to live with people who can never give her as much love and respect as she got from her own parents. so DILs doing a favor by living with them and not the other way around

        • Surely, the first and only right on any person’s hard earned money is their own? I get to decide what to do with my money, irrespective of gender? And the entire spectrum of decisions, from the woman spending all her money on clothes/jewellery/makeup, to women contributing everything to to household expenses, is fine, as long as there is no coercion involved.

      • This is the way men’s income should be divided too. 15% to the parents. 50% to the man himself and 35% to the joint account.

      • @purplesheep

        Yes, may be she has already done that. After all, it has been a long time now so even if she did pay in installments all this time.

        Moreover, I only said that when people felt the DIL should give the money to her parents but son has no right to do that for his parents.

        • You are making assumptions based on nothing and ignoring facts. The fact is DIL is giving 35% of her salary and the assumption is MIL may have already payed away her share of rent when she has not even mentioned a job. she has only mentioned her husband’s job.

          Both have right to give a part of their salary to their respective parents but not all. I didnt find a single comment proposing that son should not give ‘any’ money to his parents.

    • The first right to a woman’s money is her own. Not her husband’s. She has an identity. She’s a living working earning individual herself, not a money making machine.

      • Just like the first right to a man’s money is his own – not his parents from whom he needs to ask money for his own expenses.

        • @ ddeepa

          I would like to add that:

          It’s also the man’s right to decide if he wants to had over the entire money to his parents and then ask for a portion of it for his monthly expenses.

          Who are we to intervene?

          And, if you think that the first right to a woman’s money is her own the please do complete your comment because otherwise it will sound unfair.
          I will gladly help out.

          Just like the first right to a man’s money is his own – not his parents from whom he needs to ask money for his own expenses ****(which is a mater of his discretion; who are we to object if he feels happy that way) NOR HIS WIFE’s

          I felt the compulsive urge to add ‘nor his wife’s’ to make it sound fair because someone had commented here that the first right to a man’s money is his wife’s.

          Suprisingly, neither you nor others here felt the need to correct that statement in the comment.

  20. A grown man letting someone else handle all his money/investments etc sounds ridiculous (and yet I believe a friend’s husband might have been doing something like this) – but if he is disinclined to do so, after marriage the wife (as opposed to the parents) should get the first say in what to do with their money.

  21. This letter struck me as absolutely strange – and for many reasons.
    Firstly, your son gives you his salary – I understand that and appreciate that – but having to ask for his own money when he needs it for anything else is really strange. Is he a child that he is not trusted to take care of his own finances?
    Secondly, I’ve always known love to be about giving and not expecting anything in return. All parents spend a lot on their children, but I am aware of those who would never want to take a single penny from their child – that’s because they don’t see their relationship as a give and take thing. Don’t get me wrong – I completely agree and advocate that children should support their parents fully (in all ways, including financially), even if the parents do not ask for it. But here it seems to be something different. You are expecting your son to fill your financial void in the coming years. I think that is not a great thought – shows you are willing to put that financial burden on your son who I assume has not been working for an extremely long time. What is worse however, is that you expect your DIL to contribute to your financial needs. You might think of her as your daughter (or so you say), but she has her own parents to look after. The truth is you will never be as important to her as her parents are (they gave her birth and raised her!).
    What is strange about the plans she is making? After all, she is your son’s spouse, but she has her own identity, her own earnings. Just because your son does not have that financial independence doesn’t mean she shouldn’t have it. It’s been only a month but you’ve already started worrying about her money not coming into your lives. Makes me wonder whether you really see her as a daughter-in-law or another great addition to the family piggy bank.
    It’s strange you and your husband haven’t saved up for the future. What if you had a daughter instead of a son – I wonder if it would have been the same case (considering that in India we treat girls as ‘pariah’)

  22. Well I don’t know if it is the effect of Muslim or Punjabi culture or its just the people that I roam around with, but here in Pakistan using your DIL’s salary is a bit of a taboo. Not that people will not try to extort it, but they will certainly not confess to it so openly and with impunity. I know many women who demand a maintenance from the in-laws despite working themselves.

  23. I think this whole thing about you are like our daughter and vice-versa is BS. You can not just entangle other individual into an arrangement that you have cooked up yourself, not even your son. I would be very un-happy if my father goes out and makes big investments for me and then ask me to pay for them. May be I just want to buy a fancy car and blow away my money. It is rather pathetic that the son, though married, is such a child that he still depends on his father for paying his bills and for his finances.

    • It is more like, “You are like our daughter, but also don’t forget that you are also a doormat and a slave who has to always shut her mouth. I think this MIL is one hell of a cunning woman. Trying to put on a very nice sati savitri image by calling the DIL “like her daughter”, but wants to slyly control her finances. More power to the DIL for refusing to toe the line.

  24. What is interesting while reading all the sane comments is that they all had 1 thumbs down. Is the MIL reading them and disliking them?

    It is important to understand that you should not be dependent on your son’s nor your DIL’s income. In case the willingly choose to financially support you it is their personal choice and graciousness. Every couple have their finances to look after. Soon they will be starting with their own family and will need to take care of that. Moreover, the DIL has EVERY RIGHT to keep her money in her name and give some to her parents. Haven’t we all read about cases wherein ILs take up all the money and beat the DILs (not saying that you are such ILs).

    I believe you should charge you the couple half the rent and ask them to contribute to other expenses in food, electricity, water, maintenance. I hope your husband invested in a retirement fund too.

    • Expecting them to cough up half the rent would be reasonable if they want to live with you in the same house as a matter of choice. If you on the other hand insist they live with you in the same house and then insist they shell out for rent and bills it would be unfair. They might choose to live in an accommodation which might be cheaper for them or even if it is not cheaper, they might want to live elsewhere and do up their house according to their own tastes and lead their lives their own way. Let us take a simple matter. Elderly parents may want to have a more regular routine, a quiet life, regular habits and timings whereas a young couple may want to stay out late hours or invite friends over for a party which might be a disturbance for the older couple. Why tread on each other’s toes? Why not each live according to their own needs at their stage of life? Where is it said that love for each other implies living at close quarters and breathing down each other’s necks, controlling each other, their entire life and finances etc.?

      If you really love someone let them go. If they come back to you they are yours. If they don’t they never were. Love does not fetter. Love liberates.

  25. I do want to say something here. An old parent, who is incapable of financially supporting themselves is surely a responsibility of the children. They must let them move in with them and take care of them. You can not pretend that they could be living out on the road and you will not care just because it is not your legal responsibility (in China it is actually your legal responsibility). However, this does not entitles the parents to control the children’s finances. The parents should be more like exalted guests. And it applies “equally” to both sets of parents, wife’s and husband’s. Just saying.

  26. Charging rent and sharing household expenses from a joint account should put things in perspective for all. This should be done in reasonable manner. Children should be taught financial management and independence when they start earning.regardless of their gender . Our daughters both started earning when they were 21 years old after finishing their P.G. studies on scholarship and bank loans. Even thothough they did not get married for quite a few years they managed their own money themselves giving us a share for household expens
    es, saving for their future, paying their taxes etc.

    • //”Children should be taught financial management and independence when they start earning.regardless of their gender.”//

      Absolutely!
      Handing over salary to parents and taking what one needs is the limit. Unbelievable actually. If a parent is a true caring ‘parent’ they would ask the son/daughter to learn managing his own finances, not do everything for them. There is a time we wean children away from bottles and liquid food on to solids. So why should the weaning not be there in other matters as well?!

  27. Dear lady

    You are not okay with joint account and DIL contributing 35 percent of her salary. You seem to have problem with her contributing 15 percent of her salary to her parents. You are not okay with son managing his own finances. You are not okay with them moving to a different house. Is there anything you are okay with regarding your DIL? So what exactly do you want? That they hand over their entire salary to you which you invest in your son’s name(not DIL’s) and they continue to live with you. Your sense of entitlement amazes me. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. What right do you have to impose your financial arrangement on an independent adult. I do admire your DIL for standing up for her right in the beginning.

    Recently I came across a book by Napoleon Hill and opened a page at random. I was surprised to find so much wisdom on that one paragraph. He said that its very difficult to keep children from leaving village life to city life. Parents can do little about it. But there is something they can. That is making their home and life there more attractive. Have no restrictions. That is what makes children want to run away from home. If children want to listen to music let them play it. So dear lady in case you want your DIL and son to continue living with you you must not force them to. Let them explore other options. What you can do is give them freedom. At the same time make life at home more attractive. You may think they have privacy with that bedroom and attached bathroom, maybe they (atleast DIL)don’t think that ways.

    And please for heaven’s sake stop imposing relationships.( She would treat us like parents). You want her money and her respect and love too.

  28. You DIL is the least of your problems. Your real problem if you realize is your son who i guess even at his age wouldn’t know the first thing about finances.

    Sorry if this sounds rude but – the day your husband is dead – your son will have no clue where his money was parked, he wouldn’t even know which Mutual Funds or FD’s he has if at all he has any, will be running from bank to bank, to notaries for affidavits before he is able to lay hands on that money.

    What kind of guy gives his entire salary to his father in this 21st century.

    • @Mir

      And, to expect a son running after his father’s money on his death (I must say that not only did it sound rude but plain insensitive to the feelings of the woman who posted the question) is a tradition that still need to be carried into the 21st century.

      Isn’t the wife (MIL) there who needs that money?

      What makes you think that the son should have all that right in today’s 21st century?

      Moreover, Is it because his wife (DIL) will get to share all the ‘goodies’ and ‘treats’ then?

      I also would like to request some people out here to offer their advice without using any colourful adjectives for lady who’s seeking advice.

      The lady here has asked a serious question and confided in IMH; let’s understand her pain. anxiety and fears about her future and not scare her away.

      Her comment didn’t sound rude in anyway; so what is there in it that makes her deserve all that backlash?

      It isn’t a sin to be son’s mother, a married sons mother or a MIL
      and in case you think that she has opinions which are different from yours, then all one can do is to comment with civility.

      That’s basic courtesy (not generosity) that she deserves or any distressed person should deserve and get without even asking on this blog and elsewhere.

      • My dear friend – you misunderstand.

        Its not at all about the son taking his fathers money and the mother then begging for it. The point is – he’s giving all his money to his father. If the fathers is investing or saving it – obviously the investment are in his(father’s) name. Upon his death that money has to go to somebody. Whoever -whether the son or the mother wants it – its a time consuming and sometimes very difficult procedure – which is not desirable.
        Its also possible that he or his mother may not know about a sizable investment made by their father. What happens to that money then? I am not saying the father did it secretly. But if you do it on your own – you always know what you’ve done – its easier to keep track.

        They way things seems in this mail – the son doesn’t seem to know anything about managing finances.

      • I think Mir was speaking of the son’s own money when he said “your son will have no clue where his money was parked”, not of the father’s money.

        • @ carvarka

          that’s fine but I still feel that’s quite inappropriate to talk to lady about her impending husband’s death even if it is projected to happen sometime in distant future.
          I also found the tone quite harsh.

          Many women would shudder to think of such a dreadful possibility.

          My sincere apologies to that lady (the guy’s mother) for bringing that topic up here again.

        • Actually this is the kind of thinking that prevents many Indians from writing their wills. Being unprepared for widowhood leaves women (widows) without any financial support, frequently even the house they live in, is in a child’s (son’s) name. We are aware that widows are frequently abandoned in Vrindavan or on railway stations, hospitals and temples, it is done easily because Indian parents do not invest in their own names and hardly ever in the mother’s name.

          It would help a wife live comfortably in case of her husband’s demise, if the couple have discussed how the investments have been made for their (or either of them) old ages. It’s okay to talk about a spouse’s death and will and investments etc.

        • IHM, though I accidentally down-voted your comment, I must say that the context in which ‘it’ was spoken of in the comment was wrong. I have used ‘it’ here for I don’t think she (the guy’s mother) would be expecting that sort of a discussion.
          I feel that the possibility in the comment was mentioned with a feeling of agitation & it was deliberately intended to cause pain to the reader.
          I don’t know if I am the only one who’s feeling this way about it but I just didn’t feel it was right.

          And, such a possibility can be and is seen as a dreaded one not in spousal relationship but in others too.
          It’s just that I mentioned the spousal one here because comment pointed out to it.

          I hope lady is generous enough to forgive me which she seems to be, taking the polite tone of her email/comment into consideration. :)

        • “Many women would shudder to think of such a dreadful possibility.”

          I agree with IHM. I think anyone speaking to the LW about this issue at this point is her well wisher.

          I know a family where the man passed away unexpectedly, leaving most of their savings in his bank account (which was only in his name). However, he never wrote a will and his wife knew nothing of the financials. It turned out they also didn’t have a marriage certificate for some reason. The wife and son have not been able to access the money and are in great distress. While it may be unpleasant to consider, preparing for such eventualities is essential.

        • ‘It is done easily because Indian parents do not invest in their own names and hardly ever in the mother’s name.’

          @ IHM

          Yes, partly because Indian parents give up their life savings gladly for their kids only to be disappointed later in life by their own kids.

          I wouldn’t like to relate the condition of destitute women (most of them belong to the downtrodden section of our society, economically I mean) compelled to seek shelter in places other than own houses.with that of lady here because she seems to be well-educated woman hailing from a decent family.

          Call me old-fashioned wrong or just plain wrong, if parents are living their lives in a very sad state of affairs (economically), then their adult kids are responsible for it to an extent. (provided that the parents are spending/have spent the money prudently and by that I mean they don’t/didn’t spend it on vices like alcohol abuse/gambling)

          It is then the Asian virtue of filial piety comes to our rescue and it is during such rare & desperate times like these, we can look up to the Confucian treatise on filial piety.or something like that.
          After all, there is nothing wrong to look for inspiration in desperate times it if it helps and saves someone and that someone is one’s parents.

        • Nobody should have to depend on the goodness of heart of anybody (including their own children). Let every elderly woman have her own finances and acumen to manage those finances. Instead of worrying so much about DIL’s income, all women would benefit if they had their own (which should definitely be half of whatever has been made in their marriage) to worry about, plan, invest, enjoy and use to ensure they have elder care etc when they need it.

      • Maybe the DIL is much smarter than the MIL in this case. What is the problem with mentioning to women that our spouses might die? We need to be realistic and independent, not helpless and naive. The DIL is actually managing and earning her own money, she will never be left financially floundering, dependent and terrified if her husband dies…I never get why my in-laws vilify me for earning money…they don’t have to worry about my and my kids’ and therefore my husband’s financial security, because i earn.

  29. I also think that this crises has cropped up because of lot of assumptions from your side. If your son was so dependent on your husband for financial management wasn’t it your duty to slowly teach him to handle his own finances. You should have cleared up the mess before his marriage . The problem came because you unceremoniously assumed your DIL would fall in line with your financial mess.

  30. @ swatiaiyer

    Kindly don’t misinterpret my statements. I have already said in my comment that in-laws shouldn’t demand money from their d-i-l and many don’t because it strips them of their honour and dignity.

    You seem to have ignored this sentence (was it by design or just an accident on your part; I wouldn’t make a comment on it)

    Please don’t skim a passage and pass judgments based on such information.

    Do read the complete comment first.

    I have objections with statements like after marriage, the first right on the son’s money is his wife’s – agreed but then it holds true the other way too.
    The first right to on the wife’s money is her husband’s and not her parents.

    I made that comment because people here strongly feel for the right that the DIL to part with her money & give it her parents but a son doesn’t.
    And, how does it matter ; if she offers a 15% of her income to her parents; it could be less too but the first right to that small income is her husband’s too.
    (as extension of the logic applied by people here)
    Let that be a joint decision wherein the husband is involved too.

    And, if the husband would have been making even a partial contribution (of 15%) to his parents, objections surely would have been raised and the same reason would have been cited. (the first unquestionable right of a wife over the man’s income)

    It’s just that such objections are being dismissed off,simply because it’s a wife/married daughter doing it.

    And, how can you ignore the monthly income that has been waived off; what a big relief for the DIL.
    Well, that’s certainly not civility but generosity on the part of the guy’s parents.

    A truly appreciable gesture but let’s overlook it.

    And, yes she should have an eye on only her parent’s property and not her husband’s parents’ property (in the will)

    • “if the husband would have been making even a partial contribution (of 15%) to his parents, objections surely would have been raised and the same reason would have been cited”

      Well Raghav, the fact is that no such objections have been made. The fact is also that NO ONE has said that he should give nothing to his parents, the question here is that he gives 100% to this parents to manage.

      ” if she offers a 15% of her income to her parents;… Let that be a joint decision wherein the husband is involved too.”
      So him offering 100% of his income to his parents should also be a joint decision with his wife, right? Why aren’t you recommending that too? Do you not see your own blatant biases or do you intentionally believe that these biases are justified?

    • @ Raghav,

      surely I agree that the pils should not demand any money as they will be demeaning themselves should the dil give them the money unwillingly and crib about it later. It has not been ignored. I did not bring it up since I did not disagree with it in the first place.

      As for what you say: “I have objections with statements like after marriage, the first right on the son’s money is his wife’s – agreed but then it holds true the other way too.
      The first right to on the wife’s money is her husband’s and not her parents.”

      I do not quite see why there should be any objection to people having an opinion that after marriage, the man’s money belongs to him and his wife and OF COURSE VICE VERSA”. No one has questioned that. You have just implied that. But that is not so in this particular case. Here forget the first right on the money being the wife’s, it is not even that of the person who is earning the money. The first right seems to be that of the parents. The person who has earned the money has to “ask” for money for his own expenses. So we are nowhere near the situation where we can discuss whether the first right on the wife’s money is her husband’s or not. In fact in this case the mil’s grouse is that the dil is giving money to her parents although they themselves are taking the entire salary from their own son. I am sure all of us who are supporting the dil’s right to support her parents financially would definitely say that both husband and wife should have the same rights. People here are objecting to the fact that the parents take the entire amount, dole out some amount to the son, decide where his money should be invested and then have a grouse that dil does not hand over her income too.

      ” how can you ignore the monthly income that has been waived off; what a big relief for the DIL.
      Well, that’s certainly not civility but generosity on the part of the guy’s parents.”

      I am sorry to be a bit slow on the uptake, but I have not understood what waiver of monthly income you are referring to.

      “And, yes she should have an eye on only her parent’s property and not her husband’s parents’ property (in the will)”

      Nor am I sure how you jumped to the conclusion that she is eyeing her pil’s property in the will. Even her own mil has not mentioned anything of the sort. Though I do agree with you, she should not.

  31. Lady,
    If such a big financial crisis awaits regardless of owning a home in prime locality and living comfortably with your husband’s income I am sorry to tell you that you have absolutely no financial knowledge. I think its all in your mind that there is no money. If money is all you want why don’t you sell your home (which am sure will fetch a good sum) and move to Nashik or pune and live a simpler life? Leave your young son and DIL out of this. They are only just starting their lives together and you are already imposing your fears on them. What a burden it must be for them. Work all day and come home to this.

  32. I am hardly an expert. But here’s what I would be thinking if this was my son. If he’s old enough to work and old enough to be married then he’s also old enough to learn to manage his own finances. As a responsible mother, I would want to see my son become independent. And no, is his father is paying his credit card bills and such even today (even though it is with the son’s money which is transferred to the husband’s), I am sorry to say, but the son is not yet independent. As a working man, he should be able to do his own research and investments. Time to let him go and enjoy a good life with his wife. Doesn’t mean I am suggesting anyone to move out. But when my son is all grown up and married, I don’t think I would mind enjoying some time with just my husband either. As for the DIL’s finances, if my son doesn’t pay anything towards my wife’s parents, how can I expect her to pay anything towards us? Sure, retirement planning didn’t go right, but then if the DIL is putting 15% towards an RD in her parents’ names and 50% towards self – 35% is still going towards household expenses isn’t it? Then where is there a problem? And is there even an expectation that she shouldn’t be paying 15% towards her parents? If so, that’s plain wrong. A daughter remains a daughter just as a son remains a son even after marriage. Relationships don’t change just because they are married. Just my 2 cents.

  33. Dear Lady V,

    Your DIL is a person in her own right, with her own sense of responsibilities and priorities, with decades of shared history with people other than your family.

    Your son gives 100% to his parents, she only wants to put aside 15% for her parents.

    It was an arranged marriage, right? And given her salary, I assume that it was what is called a match between social equals. So the fact that she has comfortable private space to share with your son in your house is not a favour done to her. It is what is her due. She left her home to share her life with your son, on the understanding that certain basic minimum requirements of a comfortable life will be due to her. That doesn’t negate her earlier life and it doesn’t place her under any obligation larger than the 35% she seems to be willing to put aside for household expenses.

    So if you want to solve this amicably, the first point to start will be recognition and the acceptance of the fact that she doesn’t owe more of her salary to you. Second will be to talk to your son and advise him that he needs to settle it with her – they are the couple now and they need to figure out how they will lead their lives. What their point of compromise to each other’s obligations will be. Once they reach a point of understanding, things as small as finances can be sorted out. If needed, a calculation of what your son owes his dad for the investments can be done, with a payment schedule that eases your financial crunch.

    You say you treat her like your own daughter but what comes across in your mail is that you consider her your daughter only as long as she falls into your system completely. Otherwise, she is an outsider who has hurt and disappointed you. That is not how it works. When a new person enters a family with their own history, the adjustments have to be a two way street.

  34. i think your setup by your husband was wrong . Your husband should have only bothered about investing hs income and make plans for retirement. Let the son do his own.Now that your son is married it becomes even more important for him to manage the finances and learn about this boring job of managing money !
    Why not share household expenses and let individuals take care of their own bills !Let your DIL manage her own money. You can only ask your son for money not DIL. Its only in India where people expect DIL to support in laws too and that is because ‘dowrymindset’ is so large and so stubborn. Now we don’t ask for dowries because we have a ‘earning DIL’ ! I
    You may not have a ‘dowry mindset’ but believe me eventually you’ll be blamed by DIL if you take her money or ask for it !
    So ,sit down and trim away all these tangled webs and you and your husband manage your finances let them manage theirs. The perfect solution would be living separately if that would be possible ! Money spoils the best of relationships !

  35. While I can understand financial worries and concerns, some statements in this email just make me gape in disbelief. It arises so many questions that I simply can’t make head or tail of it.

    First of all, if the FIL had such a good job, why are there finanical issues? From what the lady writes, he seems to have experience in investments and funds, so why did he not do this with his own money? And if he did, where has all the money gone? Has anyone ever checked what exactly he did with it?

    Second, where does the assumption come from that parents are entitled to their children’s entire salary? Supporting your parents in times of need is perfectly fine, but having to hand over every single rupee you make and having to ask for your own money? How is a young adult supposed to manage his or her own finances this way? Sorry if this sounds cruel, but I cannot help feeling that he is being milked.

    Thirdly, apart from the dependence this forces on the son, what about him making provisions for his own future? Do the parents want him to walk into the same trap of not putting aside money for himself and then also having to rely on his children and in-laws? I don’t get how any parent would want their child to experience this dependence and helplessness.

    And fourthly, I don’t see what’s wrong with the DIL’s suggestion with a joint account while she at the same time keeps something for herself and provides for her own parents. They are her blood family, after all, they will ALWAYS have the first claim to her love and support. Any pretense on the in-laws’ side that they are the DIL’s only true family now, especially when it comes to claiming her money, will only end in real resentment.

    The only solution I see here is the parents making a financial plan to get out of the dependence trap and to treat their son and DIL as grown-ups. They have a right to their own choices and only by mutual respect a serious rift can be avoided.

    • “First of all, if the FIL had such a good job, why are there finanical issues? From what the lady writes, he seems to have experience in investments and funds, so why did he not do this with his own money? And if he did, where has all the money gone? Has anyone ever checked what exactly he did with it?”

      Very true. If he genuinely has nothing to his name then it is even more concerning that the son also gives all his money to his dad for investment! He seems to be happily following to the same future of dependancy.

  36. There are so many things wrong with this email and it infuriates me because I find us in the same position.

    My in-laws haven’t bothered to save a dime for their retirement , which is about a year away because the son will provide. We have already been sending money to them which they manage to spend and always show us a bank balance of 0 Rs. They know they can always guilt their son into sending more money if the need be . That the lifestyle needs to be scaled down in case of no retirement planning is not an option to me.

    There isn’t a problem in sending the money there , but the problem comes because it demanded and expected that all the expenses will be covered, irrespective of our situation and plans here. This has basically thrown all our planning to the air.

    This is a similar situation you are talking about here. For having worked in private firm , there should be some investments made. if some of the investments were made using your retirement funds in your son’s name , you need get those transferred to your name.

    Your son is old enough and has to learn to manage his account , money and make his own decisions about where and how to invest. When a person becomes old enough to earn , they also become responsible enough to figure out what to do with their money. People need to own up to their responsibilities.

    When a person gets married, they become a unit. Make no mistake , I am not saying they should exclude you from their lives. but that they are an independent unit who make their decisions. Please respect their boundaries .

  37. Suggestion: Give one of the big 2BHK for rent. You can use that amount to run your monthly household expenses. Let DIL & Son set up a home of their own. Near by (Can visit whenever time permits and less guilt on both sides) but separate. Ask them to contribute a fixed amount (let they decide the sum) towards your upkeep. Save and invest that money for your future needs.

    • haha…Come to think of it what is her concern. They own a big 2BHK .They are getting all of their son’s salary, they are getting 35 percent of their DIL’s which will cover up for share of household expenses. So what is the problem? Is the problem DIL or the fact her husband is retiring with no retirement plan. Why blame the DIL for it?

  38. Dear Madam V,

    I was really amazed to read your letter. How can you be so proud of the fact that your son hand’s over all his salary to his father and asks him for his daily expenses???? It is a shame that being an adult he does not know to manage his own finances and has to
    ask for expenses like a school kid.

    You would have been really proud if you had written “my son manages all his expenses by himself and also provides us a part of his salary” Do you see the difference???

    As an only son, you and your husband should have brought him up to be independent and to stand on his own feet instead of relying on you for everything. It also shows as parents how you want to control your son’s life by paying all his bill and managing his
    finances.

    1. Why did you have to get him married in the first place. All you had to do was wait till he got a promotion and got a 20-30% hike
    in salary. You specifically got him married to a working girl, and now you expect her to hand over her salary to you????

    2. Did you and your husband do the same to your inlaws??? Did you husband hand over all his earnings to his father and ask him for his expenses?

    3. Please understand that when your son gets married, his priority is his wife and kids. Of course his parents and his Inlaws fall in the immediate next category.

    4. If you think you son is adult enough to get married, please give your son and your DIL the space and respect to manage their own finances and life.

    5. They should decide how they want to spend their money and ofcourse they should also take care of his and her parents. How to do it,is their decision.

    6. How would you feel if your DIL decided that since her husband is the only son, all the property and everything else would go to him and so I have the right to ask for a share right away.

    7. Just because your son hands over all his money to you, does not mean that your DIL does the same. At least your DIL is better, she
    has plans on how much she wants to give her parents, how much for household expenses and how much she needs to save. I would say you should be proud of getting such an intelligent DIL.

    8. Your are not doing your DIL a favour by “treating her like a daughter”, “have told her she is like our daughter”. That is what any normal
    person SHOULD do. Please understand it is her money, her sweat and blood. She has the right to decide how she spends it.

    9. Please ensure that your son manages his own finances from now on. You and your husband can always give them advice if they ask for it.
    If your husband was earning very well, you have a big house and enough investments, what is the worry that there would be a financial crisis?
    Even if there would be one, you should at least start planning for the future from now on, with your own savings. If you think that DIL should give you
    all her money because there might be financial troubles in future—that is called GREED.

    10. Last but not the least, its time to cut down on any unwanted expenses from your side and let the newly married couple spend their money, because
    the 1st year of married life will involve a lot of expenses. They would want to go out,go to movies,go for a holiday etc.etc. These expenses will continue.
    Please respect them as individuals and do not expect ONLY money from them.

    11. If you had a daughter and her MIL had written such a letter, what would you have thought of that Son and his parents???? Would you have given your daughter in marriage to this boy who hands over all his money to his parents and does not have any money for himself and his
    wife and kids????

  39. Ok, you seem well-intentoned so let’s first of all agree that your son and his wife are equals, both have parents who have spent the same time, money and effort bringing them up. Now:

    1) Start making some investments for yourself right now. Pay some money into a retirement package. I honestly find it hard to believe that anyone would leave themselves with no source of income other than their kids! What if (hypothetically) your son and DIL died in an accident much before you?

    2) It is really financially silly for your son to simply be handing over his earnings. What if your husband lost your son’s money in investments? How will your son manage his money after the two of you are gone? How will he learn to budget if she doesn’t even see what is in his account? He should absolutely manage his own money. He can still take care of you, but you are hugely disadvantaging him at all by keeping him ignorant of finances.

    3) She is contributing 35% of her salary to the in-laws household and 15% to her own parents. That seems fair to me. Rather your son is contributing all his salary to his parents and nothing to his in-laws. I don’t see you protesting this. The only fair (and not ‘she’s a woman’) justification of this can be that he doesn’t live with them so owes them nothing. Applying this logic, she also only owes you her share in your household expenses and nothing else. Right?

    If you expect her to look after your financial future beyond household expenses (to continue “enjoying our life plentifully” as you say), then your son must equally look after her parents’ financial future to ensure they enjoy their life plentifully too. If he is not offering her that, then you can’t demand it from her either and she must look after her parents (and herself) as she sees fit.

    4) If she wants to move out, I don’t think you should take offence. While you and your husband are able to physically look after yourselves, it can only help your son and DIL grow if they have their own space. As an independent adult, I wouldn’t even want to live with my own parents until they need it physically/ emotionally. Independence is a personal choice. It’s not about you.

  40. @ carvarka

    I didn’t know you how I could reply to your comment because I didn’t find the reply button so I would do it here.

    Yes, if she pays the rent, certainly she is also not expected to entertain the guests and clean nor she she should expect her MIL & FIL to entertain hers (because the house guests does include her too) and expect any sort of pampering from the MIL’s side.

    If you feel all of a sudden that things are might get more uncomfortable for the DIL (because she is being asked to be more responsible by paying the rent), you decided to switch on to the landlord and tenant relationship, you can go ahead.
    She is not bound now, she can leave if she really intends to do that and find her new abode (without any feelings of animosity on either side) but then to expect that the son (or her husband) to move out along with here is a very loose assumption that many including you seem to be making here.

    Don’t get me wrong; I am not even hinting at a divorce here.

    The husband might not be interested in moving out/ leaving his parents. You assume that each & every son/guy is keen on moving out after marriage. He needs to be educated/enlightened/given a nudge or may be something more forceful.and it’s only the parental expectations/control/blackmail (in order of the degree of harshness you intend to use) that keep him from doing so.

    (No, it’s not. It’s Love that he has for his parents)

    • Raghav, I actually think it will be less responsibility for her to just be a tenant. She is already contributing 35% of her salary, which would more or less cover the rent of half a room. Currently, there seems to be a lot more than that being expected from her. I’m glad we agree that if this amount is to be treated as ‘rent’ then that is all she owes, as a rightful tenant would. I hope more in-laws consider your proposal. Many DILs would be pleased with this arrangement, I’m sure.

      Also, I am making no assumption that the husband will move out or divorce her. I am simply completing the other half of your argument of charging rent from DILs, since tenant’s obligations are very different from a family member’s obligations, even more so a DIL’s.

    • Wow, your comment is so wrong on every level.
      “The husband might not be interested in moving out/ leaving his parents. You assume that each & every son/guy is keen on moving out after marriage. He needs to be educated/enlightened/given a nudge or may be something more forceful.and it’s only the parental expectations/control/blackmail (in order of the degree of harshness you intend to use) that keep him from doing so.
      (No, it’s not. It’s Love that he has for his parents)”
      What about his wife? Who is assuming that every son/guy is keen on moving out after marriage? You’re the one assuming that all girls move out (or that it is their duty to move out of their families after marriage). It’s the love he has for his parents? SO SHE doesn’t have any love for her parents? Also, if she’s forced to leave her family because of stupid societal rules, why is it such a big issue for him to move out? Aren’t two people in a marriage playing the same cards? Don’t start talking about how men need to support their families and women don’t because they’re bound to their marital homes – it’s all hogwash. It’s because people still have ideas like you do that we have these primeval thoughts lingering around.
      Just look at your comments once again and think about how balanced your judgement is – oh wait – I’ve read all your comments and they’re completely lopsided.

      • @ Eydp

        Oh really you think all my comments are lop-sided; for once take a look at yours.

        It’s not primeval thoughts that I am talking about but I am talking about love and affection. You don’t want to understand it; it’s fine.

        Ask the wife, her parents surely must have asked her to move out once she reached the marriageable age so firstly blame them and not me if you are too keen on blaming someone.

        Secondly, she made her parents happy and they certainly must have taken a great sigh of relief after their daughter’s marriage.
        By moving out, she fulfilled the lifelong expectations that her parents had for her with regard to her marriage and in turn made them glad and satisfied.

        Now, take a case of guy moving out of his parent’s house after marriage; in doing he breaks the expectations and dreams of his parents because it seen as a sign of disrespect and insensitivity by many parents as well as the sons (& so in many cases it does involve a whole lot of friction and puts an immense strain on one’s relationships).

        Mind you, don’t even hold the guy’s parents responsible if they expect their son to do so and even sons if they keen on staying with their families after the wedding because you will then have to hold the woman’s parents to be responsible too for expecting her to move out of the house once she is married (and in case she doesn’t for some reason, she would be disappointing them)

        Hope you got the difference now.

        And, I actually said that the in-laws shouldn’t take money from the DIL; you missed out on that.

        I never said that the DIL doesn’t have any right to support her family but I just gave my answer to all those who were playing by a double standard here wherein they said that the first right to the husband’s income is her wife’s but the first right on a wife’s income is her own,

        And, why don’t you talk about the numerous gifts that the guy’s wife receives from her in-laws (since now she is considered to be a part of the family) throughout her life in strong contrast to the guy’s married sister (their very own daughter) who might receive gifts/benefits of lesser value and number.

        Oh! You haven’t come across such families but I have; several of them.

        And, this discrimination even extends to the parental property rights wherein the husband and his wife get it (by the virtue of being the son & the DIL) while their own daughter/ the husband’s sister is often left out of it.

        Wow! So, many Indian parents surely love their DIL , I must say, but not their daughter.

        So, please don’t preach about love & relationships.

        • Her parents would have asked her to move out at marriageable age? She made them satisfied by moving out and owes them nothing more but conveniently the guy must give his parents all his money and his wife’s money/ labour to make them happy.

          This comment is so full of ridiculous misogyny that I refuse to take it seriously.You are a troll. No one can be so ridiculous to think that in this day and age, all parents who educate their girls and make them independent just want them to ‘move out and marry’ and nothing else. That none of the girls’ parents need looking after at all and somehow it’s just the boy’s parents that are so hopeless at saving and planning that they are dependant in old age. And that the boy’s parents’ expectations are just unbreakable. That is utter nonsense and anyone with a brain knows it.

          Just so you know, both I and my husband moved out at 18 to go to college. We both studied and earn well. We told our parents we want to marry now, they weren’t dying to get rid of me. Now that we are married, we still live away on our own, everyone is happy, and our parents/ in-laws don’t even know how much we earn exactly, forget about depend on us for money. When they need it, we’re here, but they’re not greedy and hugely interested in our money.

          Oh, we even lived together before we married so that blows you whole ‘parents want the girl out at marriageable age, that’s all they want’. In fact we spend as much money on my parents as his. So you see, all your assumptions and generalisations are wrong. We have an equal relationship. Probably something alien to you. Need more? He even does half the housework and when I visit my in-laws, they cook for me. HAWWWWW!

        • Her parents would have asked her to move out at marriageable age? On what basis are you claiming that she made them satisfied by moving out and owes them nothing more… but conveniently the guy must give his parents all his money and his wife’s money/ labour to make them happy?

          You repeatedly insist on misrepresenting the situation. No one said that the man should give no money to his parents, rather the DIL here is also happily giving them 35% of her pay. Instead, they seem to want (following the son’s example) all her money and seem ‘hurt’ that she is saving for herself and her parents. Many have pointed this out and you keep ignoring it!

          Just to burst your bubble of generalisation, not all women’s parents are so keen to get rid of them either. You know nothing of this woman’s family. Both I and my husband moved out at 18 to go to college. We told our parents we want to marry now, they weren’t dying to get rid of me. We don’t live with either of them. Our parents/ in-laws don’t even know how much we earn exactly, forget about wanting all our salaries. Oh, and my husband even does half the housework and when I visit my in-laws, they cook for me. HAWWWWW!

          There are definitely many women’s parents who treat them like ‘paraya dhan’, as you say, but this girl is responsible enough to be saving up for her parents. We can support that and help break the ‘paraya dhan’ misogyny. Instead, you are trying to use the existing misogyny to justify advocating further misogyny.

        • @ Raghav

          Oh really I do think your comments are lopsided. Love and affection? Wow, you seem to know a lot about that. Do you have a daughter? Are you a daughter (we know you’re not). Then how in the world did you make the assumption that “her parents surely must have asked her to move out once she reached the marriageable age “. I happen to be a daughter and by Indian standards (past marriageable age). My parents have never once echoed a thought like that.

          Of course there are parents who expect (I wouldn’t put that on the level of want) that their daughters should leave home. No parent is ever happy at that thought of telling their daughter to leave home, unless they really hate her. So first, while you’re preaching about love and relationships, learn that difference between societal expectations and personal feelings. This statement of yours “she made her parents happy and they certainly must have taken a great sigh of relief after their daughter’s marriage” is another pathetic one. If she made them happy, how is it a huge sigh of relief for her to go?

          You know why I called that primeval? Because your thoughts are the same and you don’t have the power to look beyond your closed mind. You have these pre-conceived notions about women and their families so you see nothing wrong in that system of a girl going away from her family, but you see everything wrong with a boy being told to do the same.

          He breaks the expectations and dreams of his family members hey? Well then I do blame his family. Like it has been discussed to death on this post, no parent should bank on their children completely. That is the wrong thing to do. In India we have this terrible assumption that men should be the providers of the family and therefore parents (like the one who wrote this mail), have completely shifted their financial expectations on the son. What if something happens to the son? Then where will the finances come from? So if we’re talking about how a son can break his family’s expectations by moving out, then the system is completely flawed. And what’s wrong is that you’re talking about the system like it’s ideal and completely fair and nothing is to be questioned about it.

          I’ve read your comments about the DIL and the in-laws. You’re going on about the double standards when the issue about the wife having the rights to her husband’s money is not even the topic of discussion here. All the sensible people here understand that both spouses are together and share financial responsibilities. I haven’t come across comments where someone has said that a wife has the first rights to a husband’s income but she has the first rights to her own (I might have missed it, but I’m sure it must have been just one comment). I think both spouses have the first rights to their own incomes because they earn them individually and not collectively.

          I’ll talk about the ‘numerous gifts the DIL gets’. I’ve never even heard of the numerous gifts. I’m sure you might have heard about the fat dowry that the DIL gets from her house for her in laws though. No number of gifts can ever match that dowry. Still I don’t know why you even brought this issue up. What point are you trying to make with this?

          I’d like to hear a case where the DIL got the same property rights as the son. Of course I believe that a daughter of the house (not the DIL) needs to get a share in her family’s property. If it’s not that way, it’s discrimination. However, I do not agree that DILs are treated any better. They are usually considered to be servants who are supposed to give up their own family ties and completely become a member of the husband’s family. Again I’m not sure what point you’re making with this.

          Oh, and you preaching about love and relationships makes you sound soooooo sanctimonious. Seriously, starting opening up your mind a bit. I’m also starting to wonder, like Carvaka, if you’re a troll.

  41. You know … your language speaks volumes here.

    my only son got married (arranged one) to a working girl”, “My son trusts his parents. We are very happy family and consider my son’s wife as our own daughter”, “She informed …”, “She also set a condition …”, “My son is against the decision of his wife as mentioned above. We also feel hurt and disappointed on her decision.”

    You speak on your son in proprietary terms and of your DIL in a distanced fashion. If you were truly accepting of her a daughter, your actions would back up your words. If you had a daughter you wouldn’t be questioning what she wants to do with the money she earns, surely? Perhaps you would worry about her making some impractical decisions and would try to guide her towards more feasible ones, by talking it out with her, in a calm and reasoned manner, but not try to get her to do what you want. That is manipulative and controlling behaviour. You describe your DIL as a ‘working’ girl. Would you value her less if she were not working and didn’t bring a second income to the household? Or is that you find her to be less traditional because she has a career/job?

    Other commenters have said that this is actually a non-issue. The decision of what anyone does with the money they earn is a personal one, and at best, something they ought to discuss with their partner/spouse. Even if we were to go so far as to think you and your husband had a say in how your DIL and her husband spend their money*, the language of someone who is ccpeting and supportive of the DIL and their son would be something like “OUR son said/did …”, or “OUR DIL has stated, expressed her opinion that …”. Not “my son’s wife”. She does have a relationship to you directly too, distancing her isn’t really going to help. Also, your language regarding her wishes is rather accusatory.

    On the point of privacy, it isn’t something that you get to decide how much privacy is enough for a person. Privacy is something that a person/couple is entitled to and they get to choose how much of it they want and set boundaries. You may not agree with their ideas but the point of adult relationships is to be able to disagree amicably.

    If you do not wish to hurt your son and DIL, giving them, especially her, some space and being accepting of even the bigger decisions that you don’t agree with would be the way forward.

    A happy an relaxed son and DIL would create a genuine environment of love and care for all four of you, as opposed to the forced nature of your relationship with them resulting in mere duty and obligation from their side if you were to control and manipulate. They are always going to be supportive and caring towards you but how you behave towards them will dictate the love and affection vs. duty and obligation scenario. The choice is yours.

    *(and at this point, it would be fair for her parents to also be involved, if the couple so wished it)

  42. Dad paying the credit card bills is wrong on so many levels- even if it is the son’s own money. It develops a flippant attitude towards money. What if one fine day he wakes up and demand where has all the money gone? He wouldnt be able to grasp that much of it is gone in expenses because he doesnt have much experience in handling money. (Much like we thought 1000 bucks was a huge amount when we were small :D)
    When I was doing my college, my dad gave me his credit card copy to hostel. I never realized how much I was spending becoz its all swipe swipe swipe. Dad didnt say anything for almost a year. Then mum showed my the bills in my 2nd year and gave me an earful on my attitude.
    But the fact was that I never realised that I was spending so much.
    That made me start my own account and I asked dad to deposit a fixed amount. Trust me, it took a long time for me to adjust. No more sweeping off 5-8 books from landmark, no more fancy cafes on a daily basis, no more unnecessary random show-off treats to friends.
    I shudder to think what i’d have become if this swipe-habit wasnt nipped in the bud.

  43. @ desidaaru

    I will have to post my answer to your comment too separately because I can’t fish out the reply button.

    ‘Or they could move into the girl’s parents house- the girl wouldn’t need to pay rent to her parents (by your logic) and her parents would be against taking any from her husband.’

    By all means, they can go ahead with your suggestion but if only, the girl’s parents would take them in.

    Most parents are done off with the girl after marriage (not permanently though; it would be heartless to say so) and though their married daughter is received gleefully as a guest for a few days; she isn’t expected to overstay her welcome.

    So, I think your suggestion wouldn’t work here. So sorry!

    And, if you now feel the need to blame; you can but not the guy’s parents (if you think that they wouldn’t allow her to be there)

    You can blame our societal set-up if you want to for the girl’s parents won’t be interested in taking her in too; a favorite topic of discussion.

    • If the couple move in with her parents and she gives 100% of her salary to them (as the guy does now) and he also gives 35% of his salary to the household (as the DIL is proposing now), I think they should have no problem ‘taking her in’.

      You speak as if the man’s parents do some great favour to the woman by ‘taking her in’. Actually, she brings a fat paycheck (in this situation), a fat dowry (in many situations), a free maid (as she is made to be, in many situations) and a source of free gifts for a lifetime. So it is extremely profitable for the in-laws to ‘take her in’.

      On the other, when visiting her parents as a guest, she is expected by the in-laws to contribute nothing but bring lots of gifts back for them. They achieve this by either keeping her financially dependant or by controlling her salary.

      Reverse this situation and see how happily girl’s parents ‘take them in’. You seem wilfully blind to the economics of our society! I am baffled by your implication that daughters are unwanted in their own homes for some fundamental issue with them. If you weren’t so opposed to the husband and the wife’s parents being equally important and getting equal support from them, you would see that there is an easy way to make daughters ‘desirable’.

      • Just to clarify, I never meant for it(living with wives parents) to be a solution to the OP.

        I’m sure a lot of Indian parents would gladly let their daughter and her husband stay with them if the alternative was that their daughter and husband had to pay ‘rent’ to the MIL and FIL.
        A lot of parents actually do pay this rent- it’s called dowry.
        If they had a choice in the matter (a social situation where it was acceptable to EITHER pay dowry OR let the new couple stay with them) I’m willing to bet there would be many takers for the latter.

        P.S This too is an entirely hypothetical argument. Just like my last one was.

        • @ desidaaru12

          I am not sure if that dowry would cover the rental expenses of lifetime; not that I am some supporter of dowry. I said that in response to your comment.

          And, you seem to have gladly missed out on the expensive gifts that her showered on the DIL at time of marriage and at a later stages too by the in-laws. (that includes expensive jewels & jewellery and no, it isn’t some single token jewellery set as someone here commented, expensive silken robes & dresses and a lot more; gifts are also distributed to the wife’s side of the family)

          And, then are several family occasions which extend over a lifetime where she is gifted by the in-laws as a family member and her husband as a son-in-law (or an outsider) is left bereft of any such benefits (there are fewer occasions where he gets gifts from wife’s side of the family as compared to his wife as a DIL during his lifetime).

        • @ Ragahav,

          I think you are speaking of some alternate universe Indian society. Dowry is not enough rent but somehow you assumed that the MIL has already paid her share of rent. Why such a bias? Do you know how much dowry people take? Sometimes it IS a flat and a car and so on. Also, you think DILs get more in gifts than the in-laws over a lifetime? I wonder why it’s the DILs that get burnt alive for the in-laws’ want of more dowry/ gifts post marriage then. About a 100,000 women in India get burnt alive for these demands every year. How is that possible, if in-laws are actually the ones giving gifts all the time and no demanding them, as you say?

          Besides, this jewellery that DILs are given, who do you think ‘takes care’ of keeping it? Do you think that a MIL who doesn’t even want the DIL to keep her OWN salary will let her keep the gifted jewellery?

          I have already elaborated upon this in my previous comment and I will say again, you seem WILFULLY blind to our society’s economics.

      • @ carvarka

        //I think you are speaking of some alternate universe Indian society//

        I don’t speak of a any parallel, alternate or make-believe Indian society. Though you have encountered in-laws who only wish how to fleece a DIL or her family; many others including me have had different observations.

        If you think that you have right to your experiences, good for you but you can’t negate other people’s experiences and observations about life and society just because they are different from yours.

        And, those very eyes have seen DILs being treated as queens, being showered by several expensive gifts & diamonds on several occasions (some times occasions are simply created by the in-laws for the purpose of gifting them) and nothing is expected in return (not even a simple gesture ‘thanks’).

        I didn’t talk about this MIL for I am talking about several families where such practices are a normal way of life.

        Yes, the issue of dowry deaths needs to be addressed; it’s serious but to use it to paint a wrong picture (for the majority of the in-laws) is incorrect just like using the instances of several married Indian men who commit suicide every year due to the physical, mental & financial abuse at the hands of their wives & their wives’ natal families.to create a stereotype.
        No, this is a reality and you just need a google search to find the statistics.

    • Glad to see you realize the societal set-up needs to be blamed. We can spend all day complaining about society and how unfair it is. Or we can decide to try and change things fostering this unfairness. For example by suggesting ways out of explosive situations. Which is what most people here are trying to do, to their best knowledge. What way the email writer eventually chooses, is up to her. Just as it is up to her DIL to choose how much money she spends on herself and her own parents.

    • //Most parents are done off with the girl after marriage (not permanently though; it would be heartless to say so) and though their married daughter is received gleefully as a guest for a few days; she isn’t expected to **overstay her welcome**.//

      I cringed a bit at that, especially the last bit.

    • So according to you, DIL neither belongs at her in-laws place(she has to pay the rent) nor at her parent’s place(not accepted in our society).
      So then what choice does a woman have if she wants to get married – put up or shut up?

    • @Raghav

      You are assuming an Indian woman can live at only one of the 2 places – her maternal home or her IL’s home. You are forgetting that she can live at HER home. She is financially independent, so really, she does not have to beg anybody to take her ‘back’ because society disapproves.

      I have not lived with my parents or any one else since I was 21. Cannot thank my parents enough for letting me go without all the drama. The lessons I have learnt are priceless.

    • ugh! sorry to say but my parents miss me. they’re happy to see me married but THEY MISS ME. I am welcome in their home at any time. any number of days. always. you know why? I’m their daughter. not a burden.
      also, my husband always says we need a 4 bedroom house if we can afford it. one room each for us, our son, his parents , my parents. I am not the one who said it, it’s him.
      and oh, when my fil talks to my dad he says just as I am now their daughter, my husband is my parents’son
      this is how civilized families think.

  44. The ILs need to understand that two families are now living under one roof. They may not share the same ideas on how things work. Open discussion is needed.

    I would suggest the MIL and FIL take a proper look at their finances: how much are the monthly household expenses, what and how much are the investments, which of these are in the name of the son, what is the rent in their area for the portion of the house that the son and DIL are occupying, how much money do they both need for their own other expenses etc.

    Once they have all these details, call a family meeting, calmly explain that since the home situation is now changed due to the son getting married and due to the FIL retiring soon, you would like to discuss how to manage the finances. Inform both the son and DIL how the finances were being managed till now, what portion of the FIL’s and son’s money were being spent till now, how much was being saved each month and what would be the shortfall once the FIL retires.

    There is no way that a new entrant to the situation will know what the procedures were till now unless it is discussed. It also appears that the son is also ignorant of household finances if he had no part to play till now. Also the ILs need to be prepared to face the fact that the son and DIL may not wish to manage their finances in the same way after hearing all the details. After all, they may want to make sure they have enough to live on after their own retirement and not depend on their future children.

    Let the son and DIL handle their own investments in future. If they do not want / like any of the investments already made, they should have a right to refuse those and make their own decisions on what they want to invest in. If the ILs think those investments are good, they could always transfer them in their own name.

    Let the son and DIL handle their own shopping, credit card expenses etc. They can decide between themselves how they would do it, it is not for the ILs to decide.

    After that see what are the remaining household expenses and discuss how it can be shared by all so that every one will contribute to a common budget and still have their own independent money. If the MIL has no income of her own, she needs to remember that she is contributing in other ways (managing the home, bills, household help, shopping whatever) and such contribution also counts towards the house. Don’t think it is all about money.

    If the ILs will not have any income after the FIL’s retirement (or even otherwise), they need to make it clear and ask for a reasonable rent to be paid. If the son and DIL do not wish to pay the rent and some day own that particular house, they could of course move out and rent/ invest in a house of their own liking. If the ILs then cannot afford the big house they invested in, it is an investment they can liquidate and move to a smaller house that is correct for their own requirements and save the rest for future. Or they could take in renters for the additional space. It also helps to think if the portion of the house used by the son and DIL would appeal to unrelated renters. Does it have enough privacy for another family, enough space for future kids? If it does not, don’t expect a DIL who joined your family recently to find it does either.

    If the ILs had overspent all these years and therefore will be facing a financial crisis (as they expected that the son and future DIL would be supporting them) they need to explain the situation to the son and DIL. Ask if they could be supported. Now it is up to the son and DIL to decide how and how much.

    As others have already said, the DIL is a separate individual. She also belongs to a new family and that family consists of her and her husband. She has an extended family in which her parents come first before the ILs. According to me, she gets to make decisions with her husband on how money will be jointly spent by them for their own family (them both and future kids if any) and their household. They both get to decide what portion of their salaries are to be invested and saved jointly. In the remaining money, she gets to decide how her money is spent on herself, and she gets to decide how much she saves for herself separately and how much she spends for anything else including her parents. Same goes for the son too.

  45. Interesting letter, too busy tonight to read all the comments above, will catchup over the weekend.

    Here are my thoughts, I absolutely applaud the daughter-in-law and her decision to do what she wants with her hard earned money (support her parents/save for herself/spend on designer shoes whatever). She has no obligation to hand over the money to her father-in-law’s bank account. Is DIL a joint account holder in the father-in-law’s bank account? If not, why the hell would she hand over her earned money to a stranger’s bank account? Yes a father-in-law is a stranger where money is concerned, he is not the husband or the parents. Heck, I would not give a dime of my money into a bank account where I am not 50% joint account holder, would consider such money gone for charity and not coming back. DIL is educated and earning, she should be saving for her and immediate family’s (husband + future kids only) financial security and not supporting in-laws who already seem well off to me. In-laws owning a 2 bed room apartment in prime Mumbai location, are not exactly poor and cash strapped here. Is your son funding his in-laws (dil’s parents) retirement account, if not why should she? If you want your son/dil to pay for staying with you in a prime Mumbai location, call it rent money and ask for that. I would happily pay my share of “rent” proportional to my income to my in-laws but would not “donate” money away to their retirement account, it is a matter of principle. As for giving 15% of my income to my parents, absolutely acceptable because they paid for my education and it is my duty as a child (even a daughter) to help them if needed but I would not have same expectation from my spouse. The son himself is way too attached to the father, now that he is married it is perfectly fine to have joint bank account with his wife only and save for “their future”, It is high time her son cut the “financial” umbilical cord with his father.

    I know my attitude will be seen rebellious and hurtful towards the in-laws. But where my financial security is concerned, I refuse to compromise. I choose to have cold hard cash in savings in “my name” with no-strings attached over little hurt in-laws. When sh*t hits the fan in life, I would rather rely on my earned/saved money than hope/pray for mercy or good will from others (even if they are my own children/husband/parents/siblings). Women have done that centuries, only now we can earn/save our own money and I take pride in building for my own future security. Call me the “dil from hell”, but I have no guilt or shame in taking responsibility for my own future.

    • we need more ppl like you ..not just women but men too ..who plan for their own future and save their own money .not the ones who either use their parents money or wait for fat dowry Or the ones who depends on their children’s money .As a family we should help each other but making this an obligation for your family is wrong . I have seen children spending their parents money and vice versa without shame and thought . Life would be easier if we share responsibilities and co-exist without asking for BIG share from other’s hard earned pie.

  46. Well I think there is nothing wrong if your daughter-in-law wants to save for her parents and herself. If she wants to stay separately, though you say you are giving her ample privacy and freedom, I think the matter needs to be discussed amicably amongst you all so that you know each other’s heart and mind and can find an intersection point where you all can see eye to eye together.

    Though from your own side you must be doing enough for her yet she might be expecting or feeling something amiss. Why don’t you talk it out?

  47. Dear IHM, What is V’s reply to all this? Unlike shravan kumar, scaredly cat or ananya, we have here a rather a short mail and 80+ comments going by this finite data.
    Did she really expect DIL to turn in the debit card and then say “Auntyji, I prefer to use lux soap . can you please give me a few bucks”?
    anahisc has pointed out the obvious. There is nothing callous about what the DIL has suggested at all.

  48. Woah! Deluge of comments, all of them sane. Agree, you need to get out of this interdependency. Everyone seems well off, everyone’s an adult here, capable of managing their own finances.
    The lady and her husband manage their on finances.
    The younger couple manage their own finances.
    Younger couple get their own place to live.
    The younger couple can choose to help both set of parents (girl’s and boy’s side) as and when possible, with no explicit demands placed on them by parents. Ideally parents shouldn’t ask kids for money. But if parents are struggling and kids want to help and CAN help, that’s fine. But this applies to BOTH sides, boy’s and girl’s side of the family.

    • Dear Lady,
      I also wanted you to know – I have very traditional in-laws – but they have never asked us for money. There was a time, when my f-i-l retired, and they were struggling a bit. My husband (their ‘only son’) and I gladly helped them tide over this phase, (even though my hubby at the time was a Post Doc and I was the working/earning one so in a way, we were struggling too), but we CHOSE to do so. My in-laws are not half as well off as you people are.
      My parents are reasonably well off (like your family) and they’ve never needed support from any of their children (including their “only son”).
      If you consider your d-i-l your daughter, then please treat her like one.

  49. deal MIL,

    I have 2 grown sons, who will soon enter the realm of financial independence and marriage shortly thereafter ( or not) so plconsider me your peer.
    1. You can certainly expect your son to support the house runnig with a certain portion of their ( his and hers) income. how they split it is their issue.
    2. Likewise her parents can expect the same and leave it to the couple to decide how?

    beyond that as a parent we are not entitled to anything more.

    Now as a responsible adults we ( me and my hubby) have taken care of our future. yes moeny is not a concern but we did not spend money on our kids beyong our means either, our retirement comes first adn then comes their luxury :-)
    my suggestion.
    1. have your son open a joint a/c with her and you for household expenses. and put money into it ( again however they want)
    2. have your son/dil do so with her parents too ( even if she doesnt want to contibute the same amount or whatever)
    3. leave the rest of their pay to themselves.
    4. do not give your money int he name of benevelent parents :-) they are old enough and earning and will not starve – trust me.

    now coming to treatment – she is your DIL not your daughter, you can never be her mother . ( 90% of the cases) and even if she thinks of you as a mom would you like her yelling at you as one does to a mom sometimes. :-)

    space – a bedroom with tv/ac and bath is not space.
    1. can she come home take a shower and lounge around in a t-shirt???
    2. order pizza and strech out in front of the tv and pig out??
    3. can she and her spouse ( or she alone) go out late night and come back inthe wee hours and decide to sleep intill 2pm ( yes a bittoo much i know)
    4. can she ignore your food and decide to eat chinese and mess up the kitchen leaving the cleaning for later?

    If it’s yes to the above canshe di it with out reporivng glances and approval.

    unfortunately irrespective of how much we like to think and want joint living has it’s drawbacks, of course benefits are many, it all comes down to who wants what, your needs are diff than hers.

    so let them decide and do whatever they want, buy a house, maybe move out, maybe live with you, but that choice is possible only if you free up the money and free up the expectations. and definetly loosen up the apron strings.
    also imagine how much fun your life will be witht he kids finally out.. trust me i’m enjoying this for the past yr when my sons are in college and it’s beautiful… never ever give it up.

    yes your house will go to them but do you really want them to wait for you to die before they can opwn their own ???

    we have bought 2 flats for the 2 boys , they can use it sell it and buy or do whatever they please, this we did to settle them and out of love not because we gave birth to them. pl cut the strings and let them fly and you fly too.
    sorry for the long advise

    • Dear Radha

      Thanks for your thorough analysis which seems to be quite heavily skewed in the favour of the DIL.

      You say:

      ‘now coming to treatment – she is your DIL not your daughter, you can never be her mother . ( 90% of the cases) and even if she thinks of you as a mom would you like her yelling at you as one does to a mom sometimes.’

      Why do you talk about one-sided expectations? You say that the the MIL should be ready to yelled at by her DIL if she genuinely wants to treat her DIL as a daughter (though the practice of adult kids yelling at their parents seems quite rude & despicable to me but I can overlook it for now since you feel it’s fine) but you fail to mention that the DIL should also be ready to being yelled at by her MIL just like the MIL can to her own daughter.

      Play fair, guys!

      You also make a very loose assumption just like others here about married guys for you feel that all the married guys feel a desperate urge to leave their parents and are dying to get out.
      And, if at all they choose to stay, they do it only because of some parental pressure/expectations/blackmail.
      So, if a guy doesn’t want to move out after marriage, he is either depressed or under extreme parental pressure or isn’t being able to love his life to fullest like a free bird.

      You are so wrong!

      Talking about private space & joint living arrangement, these facts were certainly known to the DIL prior to her marriage and by getting into this marriage, she has offered her approval so please don’t blame the the in-laws for it.

      And, if the DIL took a decision to marry in haste or out of parental pressure, then she is the one who squarely deserves the blame or she can hold her own mother accountable (if she was coerced into this wedding by her mother) but certainly not her husband’s mother.

      You also say:

      can she come home take a shower and lounge around in a t-shirt???
      2. order pizza and strech out in front of the tv and pig out??
      3. can she and her spouse ( or she alone) go out late night and come back inthe wee hours and decide to sleep intill 2pm ( yes a bittoo much i know)
      4. can she ignore your food and decide to eat chinese and mess up the kitchen leaving the cleaning for later?

      So wrong because even in a nuclear family set-up, this might not be possible unless we are making an assumption that such a set-up is composed of only a single member.

      The woman enters marriage along with a partner and so her partner’s/spouse’s tastes/likes are equally important unless we feel that he is a puppet/ a pet/ a toy created for the sole purpose of her amusement.

      ‘she might want stretch out on a sofa and pig out’ – I thought that sort if behaviour is an exclusive preserve of the toddlers or people with boorish mannerisms.

      I can tell you any sophisticated guy will have a hard time keeping with such a spouse with boorish manners.

      And, what is the wife is a nightbird but the husband is a morning lark or vice versa?

      Or is it that a guy is supposed to sacrifice his tastes/likes & dislikes and have no say & tune them completely as per his wife’s preferences?

      • Have you ever been married. . No I’m serous? You can’t imagine coming from work , stretching out in front of a tv and ordering pizza in pj’s ???
        Let me enlighten you, I’m a clean freak, I hate a mess I hate even a pencil out f place and my house is like a sparkling museum. Yes we employ a cook and helpers to kep it o my satisfaction YET.. My husband will Coe from work occasionally order pizza , lounge in pj’s strew newspapers around and pig out on pizza and beer. Yep nuclear family and yes against my taste. I don’t complain because, it’s once in a while, he as a right o relax how he wants and h enjoys it. And has nothing to do ith booish manners.
        I’m a night bird my husband is early morning riser and runner , you can find him most mornings in Bandra. It’s called a marriage my dear we are not this we are art ears . Fri nights we hang out late and sun mornings I accompany him on his run. It’s called compromise not sacrifice.
        I didn’t say leave home . I said give them a choice ith free reign on money.

        This whole email is a purely financial issue. The son and dil have ownership f their money t not the parents.
        The rest f my oment was to highlight to the mil that it is much better to leave grwn kids o their own deuces.
        As for shouting, you seem to read everything the wrong way, I yell at my mom and have told her once ‘ I don’t want your free advise’. I still lo her can I make this ate ment to my mil?? Or a million other things I say to my mom.
        Do you consider your fil your dad and would you encourage him criticizing your earning capacity and maybe your unruly hair??
        So no a dil is nt a daughter she is like one. The sooner le recognizes the diff the applies the family will be.

        • I’ve been reading all the comments and I can’t help but put in a salute to those who take the time and effort to reply, especially you, Radha. You guys rock!!

      • Are you saying that a girl is supposed to sacrifice her likes and dislikes and live as per her husband’s ideals?

        I live together with my husband and son. There were occasions when I have done the kind of things Radha mentioned. The sky didnt fall down! My family didnt starve as my husband also knows to cook. If I sleep longer one day, my husband and son try to make as less noice as possible. If my husband did similar things i am ok with it too. Because we live in our home and we have equal rights.

      • Thanks for your thorough analysis which seems to be quite heavily skewed in the favour of the DIL.
        Actially, I don;t think there are any sides here. You should think of this as an issue concerning a family. NOT as a clash between two individuals.

        (though the practice of adult kids yelling at their parents seems quite rude & despicable to me but I can overlook it for now since you feel it’s fine)
        Ok, what fairy-land do you live in where everyone loves everyone else and noone ever loses their temper and raises their voice in the case of a disagreement? I would love to move there with my family ASAP! :D

        but you fail to mention that the DIL should also be ready to being yelled at by her MIL just like the MIL can to her own daughter.
        Sure! But do you think either of them can fight/argue/disagree with the same trust that mother-daughter do? If my mother and I disagree, and we do this violently and loudly at times, we know that in the end, it’s a bond of trust that has been built for 30 years. 30 years of closeness and friendhip later, I’m sure any MIL/DIL can disagree similarly but not when you know a person for only a month/year/five years. It will always lead to bitterness as it never can with a mother and daughter.

        So, if a guy doesn’t want to move out after marriage, he is either depressed or under extreme parental pressure or isn’t being able to love his life to fullest like a free bird..
        Not true. No one has said this. Everyone has only posted that the issues involved with living together might make things too difficult. That said, if a family can work it out, more power to them!

        And, if the DIL took a decision to marry in haste or out of parental pressure, then she is the one who squarely deserves the blame or she can hold her own mother accountable (if she was coerced into this wedding by her mother) but certainly not her husband’s mother.
        I don’t think ANY sane woman expects that her husband doesn’t even control his own salary and still gets pocket money. Trust me, if she had known, she might have run miles away (or maybe not. But I certainly would have!) Seriously, of all questions I thought to ask my husband before we decided to get married, “Do you get pocket money from your dad” was certainly not one of them! The idea is so ridiculous, it’s hard to imagine and plan for…

        You also say:

        So wrong because even in a nuclear family set-up, this might not be possible unless we are making an assumption that such a set-up is composed of only a single member.
        You are so wrong! Because, I have done all of the things on the list BUT only in my OWN place. In my in-laws place, I eat what is served, watch what everyone else watches on TV, and sleep at THEIR regular bed time. Are my in-laws ogres? Of course not. Do I feel welcome? Am I taken care of? Of course! Do I feel it’s my home? No. It’s their home and it always will be.

        ‘she might want stretch out on a sofa and pig out’ – I thought that sort if behaviour is an exclusive preserve of the toddlers or people with boorish mannerisms.
        It’s boorish if I do it in your place. Not mine. Public and private manners are completely different things. One may do as one wishes in one’s own home. Rather, one should be able to! This includes things I might find boorish but others might find acceptable.I love putting my feet up on the sofa, eating chips and reading till 2am if it’s an engrossing book. My mother thinks that’s boorish! Who’s to say? And oh, I would never be able to do that at my in-law’s place because I don’t feel comfortable sleeping late here. Or putting my feet up on the sofa.

        Or is it that a guy is supposed to sacrifice his tastes/likes & dislikes and have no say & tune them completely as per his wife’s preferences?
        Or is it that a woman is supposed to sacrifice her tastes/likes & dislikes and have no say & tune them completely as per her husband’s and in-law’s preferences? That’s what you seem to be implying.

        My two cents (if WordPress accepts this length of comment and anyone’s still reading)
        Without financial security, no one can feel happy. Everyone, man or woman, rightly feels responsible for taking care of their parents. In the given setup, the MIL wants the DIL to ask for pocket money to even buy tampons. If I was in her place, I would be terrified and ask,
        “What is she going to control next?”

        • @ CLS

          //Ok, what fairy-land do you live in where everyone loves everyone else and noone ever loses their temper and raises their voice in the case of a disagreement? I would love to move there with my family ASAP!//

          I ever soke about all the family members. I said – the adult kids are not supposed to raise their voice on their parents. If there is a difference of opinion, it should be communicated in very polite manner by the ‘kids’ and care should be taken that their parents’ feelings aren’t hurt.
          And, I am sorry to disappoint you since no such fairy-land exists. Your search for that fabled El Dorado or the Peter Pan’s Neverland (where no one ages) would prove futile. This is because it’s the inhabitants and not any miraculous powers of the soil/land they inhabit that makes all the difference.

          //Sure! But do you think either of them can fight/argue/disagree with the same trust that mother-daughter do? If my mother and I disagree, and we do this violently and loudly at times, we know that in the end, it’s a bond of trust that has been built for 30 years. 30 years of closeness and friendhip later, I’m sure any MIL/DIL can disagree similarly but not when you know a person for only a month/year/five years. It will always lead to bitterness as it never can with a mother and daughter.//

          It’s good that you accepted that a DIL should also be ready to yelled at by the MIL or vice versa. I completed the sentence to offer a balanced approach.
          I don’t see any reason for violent fights when all differences can be amicably resolved.
          I don’t want to comment on your personal life because that’s yours and you haven’t explicitly sought my opinion on it so I will give it a go.
          But, violent mother-daughter fights – horror of all horrors! What can I say about them?

          You are so wrong! Because, I have done all of the things on the list BUT only in my OWN place. In my in-laws place, I eat what is served, watch what everyone else watches on TV, and sleep at THEIR regular bed time. Are my in-laws ogres? Of course not. Do I feel welcome? Am I taken care of? Of course! Do I feel it’s my home? No. It’s their home and it always will be.

          I don’t understand the definition my OWN space because we are talking about a married couple and that space is very much is his (husband’s) as it is hers (wife’s) even in a nuclear family set-up. So, the mutual preferences have to be kept in mind even there.
          A sense of belonging to any place including in-laws can always be fostered and it all boils down to that feeling.
          And, then as I said, the husband might also have objections to some activities of the wife or vice versa (I wrote vice versa & I mean it too because I don’t want people to make unnecessary assumptions here)

          //It’s boorish if I do it in your place. Not mine. Public and private manners are completely different things. One may do as one wishes in one’s own home. Rather, one should be able to! This includes things I might find boorish but others might find acceptable.I love putting my feet up on the sofa, eating chips and reading till 2am if it’s an engrossing book. My mother thinks that’s boorish! Who’s to say? And oh, I would never be able to do that at my in-law’s place because I don’t feel comfortable sleeping late here. Or putting my feet up on the sofa//

          Some manners remain the same irrespective of whether they are displayed in a public or a private domain or somebody else’s house/ on own’s house.
          When we change those specific mannerisms to make ourselves more appealing in the public eye, they don’t define us and then they are called affectations/pretensions and not manners. I don’t want to go down to examples because such examples abound.

          I am sorry to include some of your examples here for I compelled — putting my feet on sofa etc. – parents/brothers/sisters too can have objections to it yet many unmarried people feel it’s very much their own place. And, then there is always the spouse in case of a married person (even if the couple occupies a separate house)

          Adjustments have to made and in-laws also do it but then I must say that there is little tolerance for mannerisms gone wild in any place unless we chose to stay in single-member households even after marriage (or better still unmarried)

          You mentioned about comfort but then there are people who are too private and feel inhibited even in the presence of their own spouses.

          //Or is it that a guy is supposed to sacrifice his tastes/likes & dislikes and have no say & tune them completely as per his wife’s preferences?
          Or is it that a woman is supposed to sacrifice her tastes/likes & dislikes and have no say & tune them completely as per her husband’s and in-law’s preferences? That’s what you seem to be implying.//

          Now, that’s an implication that you chose to make. I made the comment about the guy’s sacrifice (or let’s use a milder term ‘compromise’ as someone seems to have specifically suggested; I don’t have any issues using it) because may people who commented here were focussing solely on the girl’s adjustments/sacrifices without any regard to those made by the guy in a marriage.

      • I would say that if people are not ready to move out after marriage, then they are not ready for marriage. The whole implication of marriage is that you are in a sense moving out of the family you have grown with to create a family of your own. Why should one spouse be time and again asked to move out when married when the other spouse is not even considering the possibility of moving out?

        And when we talk about pigging out on the couch, yes we want to be not judged for our boorish mannerisms once in a while when we feel too exhausted. This is more easily achieved when the house is not your ILs home and it is your home. I don’t believe that you have not had a single day in your entire existence where you felt like procrastinating the daily chores and taking a break no matter how sophisticated you are. You also make an excellent point for live in relationships, btw. You can find out all about the boorish mannerisms of your partner and see if you can really live with it or not. Trouble comes with arranged marriage where such things are not considered.

        And when you talk of nuclear setup, while everything may not go down well with the other spouse, you have a better chance to resolve it 1 on 1 where as in a joint setting, it is 1 DIL against 3.

        I am amused by your self righteous tone defending the likes and dislikes of the guy while having a “kindly adjust” attitude towards the DIL. Please remember that the DIL has already made a HUGE sacrifice by leaving behind a familiar environment – we should be talking more about preserving her likes and dislikes.

      • // any sophisticated guy will have a hard time keeping with such a spouse with boorish manners//

        Your above comment goes to prove your limited thinking. Why only the guy?

        • @ The purple sheep @ Rajk

          It seems that you have ignored the source my comment/reply is coming from.

          I said:

          // any sophisticated guy will have a hard time keeping with such a spouse with boorish manners//

          in response to the comment:

          Can SHE order pizza and strech out in front of the tv and pig
          out??

          Should I say ‘any sophisticated GAL will have a hard time……………….with HER?

          or Should I have said: ‘her WIFE will have ………………

          HER WIFE??

          That’s what you wanted me to say. Seriously?

        • And there you’ve said it Raghav. HER WIFE! Exactly. If only all women had wives, and all husbands had husbands (not in the homosexual sense, but the cultural one).

    • I love this statement “he is your DIL not your daughter, you can never be her mother” I would like to add that this daughter business ends up implying that the woman’s parents have no rights over her anymore. She “belongs” to the new family now. Therefore, why use “this” family’s income to help “outsiders”?

      I wish ma’am that all MIL’s would be as clear about the role as you are. I’m sure you will be one cool MIL!.

      • Thank you, you guys have articulated much better tan me — see youngsters are much more capable nowadays :-)

        I don’t want to raise more kids or cook and lean for my dil and son. Been there one that, now it’s time for us to enjoy and reap the benefits of all our hard work for so many yrs. of course I will help with babysitting occasionally in small doses v v small doses. :-). Live and love each other from a distance not in my pocket :-)

    • Radha, there’s a ton of sense in your approach to raising kids. I like your attitude of letting kids live their lives. What I like even more is that you are not playing the martyr and sacrificing everything for the kids – you’ve also prioritized your own retirement. And you understand so well the concept of space – yes pizza and crashing on the couch sounds familiar (my pre-kid days), something I can never do in my in-laws house. And what’s perfectly normal and acceptable in one home may not be in another – when you visit your in-laws you follow the rules of their house. Live separately, visit and keep ties, respect differences, why is this concept so hard to get?

    • eh….no the spouses don’t have rights on each other’s salaries either. I know lot of married couples who maintain their finances independently.

      And I don’t think there is a single comment here that said that the DIL has rights on the sons salary or that the son should give his salary to his wife. The discussion is around the fact that the DIL has rights to her salary and no one else. Perhaps if they have a kid, then as parents they have financial responsibility towards the child.

  50. I feel , its not a financial issue at the core , its the fear of losing control over ‘only son’ because of the changed dynamics in family by new member and her earnings.
    If the older couple owns a big house , V’s husband has a good job, has a good economic sense in investment etc.I am sure there is no financial crisis awaiting them .
    Its the hurt that DIL doesnot want to agree to their traditional way of managing finances which requires a lot of asking money for every single expense and which also brings a false sense of importance of ‘allowing/giving/generosity’ by handing over money to younger couple .
    Son was/is fine with it all along and doesnot mind asking money for his expenses so he was/is being a nice , obedient child(i somehow don’t have a heart to call him a man) , but since DIL wants to have her financial freedom ,this paranoia of she being uncaring /wanting a seperate house has ensued.
    Dear V, allow your son to grow up . you groomed him to earn but still left him financially crippled.Its a good thing that DIL has a strong sense of financial independence otherwise TWO OF A SAME KIND would have been in a thick financial soup in their lives .

  51. Dear V,

    I am assuming you are just scared about your financial security in case your son and DIL decide to move out of the house. You could even be terrified thinking about your life after your husband’s death. I don’t know if you are aware of your husband’s investments, or if he is making all the decisions by himself.
    This is a very common scenario.
    Talk to your husband. Ask him where he has invested his money. You may not understand it(sorry! if you do), but just try to write it down somewhere. Make sure that the house you are in is in your name, even if it was mainly bought by your son’s income. After all, as an only son, he will get it after your demise.
    Any day you can rent it out. If it is at a prime location then fetching a decent rent would not be a problem. Let that be your income. You can move into your son’s house (if you keep an amicable relationship with your DIL). But if you live in their house, the dynamics will change. You can give them a share of your income(rent money) for household expenses and keep the rest for yourself. In case your son and DIL decide to stay with you, then let them manage the household expenses. Handover the control to them. Keep your investments to yourself. Put some money in the bank(ask from your son if you don’t have enough or withdraw money from your investments) and try to live off that interest money.
    It is high time that your husband starts to separate his money(investments) from your sons.

    Just because your DIL wants to plan for her future(own money) doesn’t make her a bad person. It is a necessity now. Don’t get hurt. In fact, for all you know, she might be better at managing money than your son.

  52. In a month’s time, MIL’s expectations of her DIL changed from being a great one to a disappointment (in one case). Its unfortunate that the hubby is part of it. While their intentions may be noble, this is a slippery slope. Since she is taken the time to write, I hope she reads and does the necessary course correction.

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  54. This is a much too common situation. The mil seems genuinely hurt and confused as to why won’t dil follow her husband and hand over all her salary to her in laws. After all they are her husbands parents who only have “their” best interests in mind. Well, at least this son is an only son so whatever money investments etc the fil has made will in the end go to the couple. Of course, in return for which they have to hand over the financial independence to the parents. And since without financial independence they will have to lead lives of virtual slaves, having to ask for everything. The son has been bought up in this situation and is used to it and possibly doesn’t or didnt see anything wrong with it. But how can a third person, an educated woman who earns her own money agree to this? However, good the in laws treat her how can she feel comfortable in this scenario?

    I got married into the same sort of scenario. With the difference that my husband had a younger brother. In laws used to the same sort of situation here expected to keep cornering as much if my husbands salary as possible. For household expenses, investments in my bil’s name etc. For a very long time my husband was under the impression that they genuinely needed all his salary to make ends meet, even though my fil was employed. Finally, when the proof against this was too much to ignore, and our relationship started heading south that realisation started to dawn. After a “discussion” with fil, where fil admitted that he had been saving his salary and spending my husbands things became clearer. For a long time our relationship with the in laws became completely bitter and full of distrust. After many years, we have only now embarked on rebuilding the relationship.

    Like someone said above, it’s this feeling of entitlement, that parents of indian boys have. We have sacrificed, worked hard to bring up our son, now we deserve, control, COMPLETE control over every aspect of his life. And by extension his wives’. This is how we ensure that we extract the respect and security they owe us. This mindset has to change. Girls parents too bring up their daughters and do their best for them. But because social norms are such that this sense of entitlement is missing. Hence, they are the ones that genuinely do their best for their offspring and spouse without an eye on what they get back in return.

    • In addition, working women are expected to now contribute financially to the household while shouldering the traditional responsibilities of a DIL. So the new DIL is expected to raise and shine at the crack of dawn, make tea, fix breakfast and lunch and zip off to work so she can smilingly hand over her paycheck to the MIL every month.

      At least the previous generation of women wasnt expected to work in AND out of the house. Women in the 25-40 age group have to be good little DILs besides pulling in a monthly income.

      The more things change, the more they remain the same.

  55. So many informed comments and balanced discussions here,I am hopeful that even if these many of us are enlightened as parents and parents-in-law we would make some difference.:-)

    • So true. I’m pleasantly surprised and delighted at this new breed of progressive Indians. When I look at my relatives, most of them are stuck in the Middle Ages. I’ve always wondered why I’m the odd one out. Now I know I’m not :)

  56. Me thinks Raghavan is either a guy whose wife decided not to hand over her quietly or step from a traditional family who is worried his wife will turn out to ave a mind of her own :-).

    Raghavan my dear you need to Come past the 19th century and understand that Inspite of living how they please, taking control of their own money and living life on their own terms kids can still love, respect and support their parents.

    Giving your salary to your parents and in laws in full and is not the only way to show respect.
    iMO as a parent I want my kids to be happy independent self sufficient humans. Not boys asking us for permission for every little thing.

    I can certainly say my sons in their youth will take more risks to achieve things whereas my and my husband are more conscious of stuff going wrong and have slowly turning very conservative nothing like our daring selves in our 20′s.
    That’s the way of the world. Sit back and let the young ones rule. Relax .

    • @ Radha

      19th century wisdom or not but I certainly do know the following:

      One should focus on the comment & not one who made that comment because when one does so, it just weakens one’s arguments and reflects one’s own personal prejudices.

      • Following this logic Raghav, try and imagine this same email, written by a daughter in law’s mother, disappointed because the son in law is planning to contribute only a certain percentage to his wife’s parents, and plans to keep the rest for his own, and his parents’ expenses.

        • @ IHM

          I think my reply to Radha has mistinterpreted by you. Not a problem, I will clear up the confusion.

          I replied to a particular portion of Radha’s comment (that is directed at me).

          I will pen her (Radha’s) statement here:

          //Me thinks Raghavan is either a guy whose wife decided not to hand over her quietly or step from a traditional family who is worried his wife will turn out to ave a mind of her own.//

          I only replied to her remark because I feel it is important to adopt the art of making objective arguments without personally targetting the person (that’s me) who makes the comment.

  57. I hope the lady in the email replies to the comments here…because I really don’t see what she has to be hurt and upset about! The DIL is doing a perfectly reasonable thing, she is saving for herself, she is looking after her parents, AND she is contributing to household expenses. WHY should she hand over all her money to her in-laws?? And I don’t understand how the in-laws and son could survive on their combined incomes before, but suddenly because the DIL won’t hand all her money over it is a financial crisis. Something doesn’t add up.

    And I think I am in the minority here but I don’t think it is a terrible idea to charge rent…otherwise there is an unequal balance of power here where the in-laws are graciously letting the son and his wife stay for free. If the couple pays rent then they will be on a more equal footing with the in-laws. When your children are young and not earning yes it is a parent’s duty to support them but once they start earning they need to pull their own weight, and this includes rent and other expenses.

    Also, maybe I am going blind but I didn’t see anything about the DIL wanting to move out…?

    • BBD-Lite,

      “She also set a condition that 15% of the amount of her salary will be invested in Recurring Deposit on her own parents name and 50% of the amount will be utilized by self also no amount will be given to IL unless they plan to purchase another separate house for them.”

      Going by this statement – a separate house for them – I understand that the dil would want at some point to move out and set up their own home. In effect it appears to me what she is asking is to be allowed to go by paying for her independence.

      The fact that the son/husband (of dil) is against this demand means he wants to stay put with momma and daddy. In which case, yes they can demand a rent from him. But it is evident momma and daddy love little boy sooooo much, they wouldn’t want him to go away, so why would they ask for a rent. (Anyway, when they take away his entire salary, what else is left for them to take away from him as rent)? That apart, why should the dil pay a rent to stay in a house in which it appears she stays only because her husband is there (according to his and his parents’ wishes) and not out of her own desire?

      I don’t want to read too much into what is not said, but there could be a lot (which is not mentioned here for obvious reasons) that has been going on which we do not know about, so it is really hard to say anything.

      • Oh I see. So if the in-laws buy a separate house for the couple, the dil will hand over a portion of her money to the in-laws.But isn’t it weird (wrong?) for the dil to demand that her in-laws buy a separate house? But then I don’t see why the il’s feel entitled to the dil’s money (in addition to their son’s!), so both are in the wrong imo. What I read into that line though was the dil is setting an impossible condition (buy a house) so that she could hold on to her money (i.e. her freedom from control)…not necessarily that she wants to move out..although I can see why she would want to leave…you’re right we don’t have enough information…

        When most people agree that it is right to share household expenses (electricity, water bill etc.), why not rent? At some point the parents must have bought and paid for the house, and by living there (whether they want to or not) the couple is saving money they would have had to pay for rent/house payments elsewhere. It’s only one room but the parents too are missing out on money they could have made by taking in renters. I guess I just feel that living somewhere for free when you are earning is taking advantage…this goes for both son and dil. I think if the parents are actually facing financial difficulties rent is something they should consider.

        I think it would be best for the couple to move out buying/renting with their OWN money, and the son give a portion (not all!) of his income to his parents. And the dil can continue to split hers the sensible way she is already doing (15/50/35). But if the son doesn’t want to move out, I don’t know what the solution is. Either way the in-laws should just accept that they are not entitled to dil’s money. Nothing to feel hurt and upset about.

  58. trust me, what ur dil is doing is v pragmatic and will keep u guys close for a long time.
    she is taking care of all the conflict causes from the word go.
    1. supporting her family – taken care of.
    2. personal expenses – the fact that she is capping that at 50% of her own salary is MUCH better than her pumping it into the joint pool and then asking for personal expenses which others may not approve of. it is her right to spend her money as she pleases.
    3. joint account with husband – but i m not sure what she wants to use this money for. since she says she doesnt want to give it to the inlaws. is it for household expenses or joint investments?

    it is wrong for her to say that you should buy a flat for them. they have to buy a flat for themselves or rent one if they want.

    Some things that i dont understand yet:
    1. your husband has made investments in the name of ur son and the premium goes from the husband’s salary. WHY? why didnt u ask ur son to bear the premium expenses? also, since u mentioned premium i am assuming these are all insurance products. does ur son need so much insurance?

    2. assuming there was no DIL on the scene, what was ur retirement plan? that you should get a contribution from your son after retirement? what percentage of ur son’s salary will that contribution be? that contribution is between ur son and u and ur dil has no business commenting on it. so long as the household expenses are taken cares of, she has her personal money and ur son has his.

    3. what about investments made by your husband for his own retirement? are they inadequate?

    4. i notice that ur son deducts some amt for personal expenses and u still pay his credit card and shopping bills in addition to his personal expenses deduction. is he living within his means, or is ur husband’s salary supporting his lifestyle? ideally, his personal expenses should include credit card and shopping bills.

    5. what is the joint strategy of this couple towards investment? have they discussed it , independent of you, or is this about using money to create boundaries of control? to me, it sure looks like everyone is using the term “money” but meaning the term “control”.

  59. @Raghav You would make an excellent fiction writer. Look at your imagination and assumptions! I don’t see Ms. V talking about dowry, gifts on occasions to either her son or the DIL, I don’t see any talks of temper or boorish manners, there’s no talk that she’s being rude or anything. You assume that the DIL knew about the residence she was going to live in before she married. You assume that the son is handing over money of his free will (Someone else assumes he’s being coerced). You talk about the DIL should pay a rent? Why shouldn’t the son do that too? He’s an earning adult too? Let him pay his 25% of the house rent and household expenses, maybe deposit 15% towards a parents RD and keep the rest to myself. That I think is excellent financial planning – so everyone’s set for later – no one has to worry about money. You assume about the MIL having paid 25% to the FIL. First of all I don’t understand if everyone is paying and monitoring in on a cent per cent basis, then the whole essence of relationships go out the window. You assume that the ILs gift the DIL on every occasion much more that the son gets from his ILs. HUGE assumption. Most households the expectation is the other way – ‘ladke waale’ you see. It’s good that guys and girls in this generation are working against such customs. But again, in this case, why the assumption? I don’t understand. Ms. V is not talking about gifts at all. And you are comparing gifts? On monetary basis? What do you expect to happen? – Mrs. Sharma, how much are you spending on a gift for my girl? OK I’ll also spend the same for your son then? Are you kidding me?!!

    I know that a whole bunch of arranged marriage and love marriage DILs DO NOT know about the residence they would be staying in after marriage. I have no idea of Ms. V’s DIL. There is nothing of that sort in that email. Regardless of free will or coercion that’s not healthy money management for an adult. How and when will he learn to then manage his finances? Most children are raised independent even as they are in school or college to be able to handle contingencies later. The reason I didn’t add NOR his wife in my statement about the first right on a son’s money was because he wasn’t paying her anything anyway. Ms. V’s statement clearly says except for his personal expenses, it all goes to his father. Do you see her saying he’s now started paying his wife? I am going exactly by V’s email and not cooking assumptions in my head! In fact the DIL is the one who’s ready to put money in a joint account isn’t she? Ms. V’s has sent an email mentioning her problem and asking for responses on that email – how about sticking to what she details as the issue instead of going overboard with assumptions and imagination?

  60. Well, I would say my situation is more or less same(as a son)
    My suggestion would be that your son should take care of you and your husband if he can do so. Its too much to expect from DIL these days. If neither your son or DIL can afford to support you, forget about it.Find out some way to support your self. Please dont be dependent, its my request to all parents.I am sure you have done in past so you should be able to do it for rest of your life.Its difficult but not impossible.

  61. Wow…this whole situation is crazy. I cant believe that the son doesnt manage his money by himself. Having had the foresight to invest and buy a house i am sure the family must have saved from that good salary the private firm paid the FIL. I applaud some of the earlier comments. The MIL thinks she has done a lot by giving them a room with A/C etc etc but its hard because you still have to adjust and the DIL has done that. Son or daughter, they grow up and need to be independent and have the right to decide what to do with their money. When raised the right way, they know their responsibilities and will not shirk away from helping the parents on both sides. This inherent need to display the helplessness openly because its a son, totally baffles me. So does this mistaken condescending attitude – I am a saint because i am being decent.

  62. Hi, I completely agree with most comments here except one point, the point about every adult needing to take care of their own finances and planning for retirement. If your income is below a certain threshold, that is always just not possible. For instance, my parents started out in life in pretty dire straits, had to buy their own home, car, etc. as they struggled and made progress with their career. But the books they bought me, the academic school and dance school they sent me to were perhaps not really feasible in my childhood considering their financial status. But they did it, took a gamble, choosing to prioritize me over retirement funds. So when they both retire, their finances will take a hit, but that is also when I will have started working, and as a family, we have always thought that I would contribute to their household then, even if I do not live with them. They have never explicitly stated this, but I think this is the prevalent value in many Indian middle class/lower middle class families, and I see nothing wrong with it. Everyone wants upward economic mobility for their children, and they have ensured I get the means to earn enough to be affluent myself, much more than they were. So I consider it my duty, and only normal human instinct to help people who have not only brought me into the world but stretched themselves to the extremes of their means to make me the person I am today. I am a daughter, by the way, but I would completely apply the same logic to my future spouse’s parents. Just my two cents, but while I agree completely about the personal freedom/space points being brought up, I feel the retirement funds point is one that is practically achievable for a very minuscule fraction of our country’s large, and largely poor population. My parents’ case is not that extreme since they would still be able to survive on their own resources(without some of the comforts they are used to now). But think of the daily labourer or domestic worker who takes out a loan to send their kid to college. Isn’t it ungrateful of the offspring to not share their earnings? I am not saying the parental sacrifice OR the children’s sharing is a compulsory obligation, but it seems a little mean on the part of the children to not do so after their parents have made financial sacrifices for them. At least, as a child, I feel so. But then, personal dynamics vary from family to family, and maybe I feel so strongly this way because my parents have been wonderful, supportive parents to me, and never encumbered my freedom/independence in any way, and hence this is a free choice that I make of feeling this way,

      • I know and I completely agree with you IHM, but my comment was not so much in reference to the original email as comments following it along the lines of “every responsible adult should plan their own retirement!” Ideally, yes. But ideally, no one should starve of poverty, all children should be able to go to school, and so on. The world’s not perfect.

      • sorry ihm, i dont see that anywhere in her email. she appears worried abt paying their own bills post retirement, not abt why the dil is paying 15% to her own parents. lets not assume that abt her pls.

        • She is worried that her one month old DIL’s contribution may not be enough to pay her bills? What if the DIL was not working? What if the DIL earned much less? What if their son did not get married that year?

          It sounds very fishy that their entire retirement hinges on the DIL’s contribution when infact she arrived on the scene only a month back.

    • Blinkdot, I think most children want to help their parents if they are struggling, despite having spent their money wisely. It’s a natural reaction. The help will be given naturally, in most cases. It must never be coerced, with % and amounts outlined.

  63. I think its wrong for you to not plan anything for your retirement and comply rely on our son and DIL. but its too late to correct this. If you are already getting your son’s paycheck then why be greedy and also ask for your DIl paycheck? if you are saying since she is living in your house and eating your food, then ask her to deposit 15% into your account, but I don’t think you can expect any more than this. Think of it this way, what if your son was not married to a working woman? Then you would have managed with just your son’s salary, so why expect the extra money now? one solution could be to ask both your son and DIL to deposit 20% of their paycheck into your account and thats it. they will pay the bills and everything else. the 20% will be for you guys expenses. That way your son will learn to manage his money and also learn the responsibility of money. you can’t expect to have all family members money in your own hands, its time to let go. to all the other plp out there,,, please plan for your retirement as soon as you start working. even if you are just 20, start putting money into ur retirement acct so you wont have to rely on your kids.

  64. @ biwo

    //And there you’ve said it Raghav. HER WIFE! Exactly. If only all women had wives, and all husbands had husbands (not in the homosexual sense, but the cultural one).//

    I have no issues with using the term ‘either spouse’ because my argument would still hold its ground and validity.

    • Sorry but neither does it hold ground nor valilidity.

      You think a man is entitled to not tolerate his wife’s boorish manners but she is expected to bear with a man who has no sense of financial management.

      • @ the purple sheep

        Well it is, because it made in reply to the ‘boorish mannerisms’ comment.
        So, a sophisticated guy might have problems adjusting with a wife with boorish mannerisms and vice versa.

        Moreover, this comment of mine wasn’t made in response to that email writer’s son so I can’t understand why are you even bringing it (the son’s financial sense or lack of it) up over here.

  65. i want to add one thing… the MIL should feel happy that the collective wisdom in their house just increased , with the entry of the money-wise DIL. The comments should now give the son and the parents some direction to move and be money-wise.

  66. So here’s to the net savy MIL –

    if you want to see your son to be a responsible adult -
    1) ASK your son to have his own account.

    2) Your son will pay for his own expenses in his own house – yes you will kick him out

    3) since your husband has made investments for you, you should not worry about the son’s money.

    4) As for the DIL, she has her own set of parents. She married your son and not you. And yes she is still family for having married your son .

    5) It is more pleasant to have your son and dil to start out their own, get to own each other with the Rok/Tok or the lovey doveynisee you have for your son and does not have to displayed in front of your DIL. You had the XX number of years with your to show all the affection

    6) if you want to see a happy son – leave them on their own . they are young and will obviously want a word of the old and the experience. They will seek your opinion because he is new to the responsibilities , but continuing to keep them in your house will be considered retarded for the growth of the new husband-wife relation
    . In giving responsibilities to your son you will only enable your son to learn and grow more and make finer investments for himself and his family and will come looking for you too, just because you are his mother. He would be proud of a secure mother who ensures growth of the son and his wife than keep him trapped in blackmailed chains.

    • Dear Ma’am,
      With all due respect I would like to put forward my perspective as a daughter-in law. The situation at your home (considering your investment schemes and housing loan) and at my in-laws place could vary greatly.
      Firstly, as a girl from this generation, I feel most of us wish to get married to a person and in a family who is self sustained and might not lean on the wife/ DILs for financial support. Conventional I know. But I also believe, that even though every girl wants a financially sound husband but if needed, most of us would not hesitate to give full financial support to our husband/ in laws, provided, things are put forward most appropriately and the DIL is taken in confidence. For eg:- My Husband in a way dictated that both our savings will be kept in a joint account. Like a good indian wife, I agreed to it. He had full control on my salary and full accountability. But, when I once asked about his Salary details or savings, he abruptly replied-” we do not discuss financials with women in our house. My father never did so with my mother, neither would I do”. That was the moment when I stopped saving in joint account or giving account of my salary to my husband. On this my mother in law screamed at me and said “We chose you only because you earn and you will have to give your salary.” I hate her for this mentality and for what she said (may be in spur of the moment). But I hate her more every time I think of what she said.

      The crux is, I am not a money lover, and I don’t mind giving away all that I earn if needed. But, If you try to snatch it away from me, or tell me that I do not have a say in Financial matters of the family, then I am not going to act as an ideal Indian DIL. Please take her in confidence. i am sure she’ll understand and do as much possible.

      Secondly, RD for her parents is fully justified. As a daughter, it is so hurtful that I am not able to do anything for my parents who have spent all their savings on my education. What I am is just because of them (my ILs have no contribution) and if supporting my ILs is my moral obligation, then supporting my parents is an emotional necessity. I am so proud of your DIL that she is trying to do something for her parents and I am so ashamed of myself for not being strong enough and support my own parents. Do I need to be a man to support my parents?? A woman have no responsibilities towards her mother and father??
      Please do not stop your DIL. She is just being a good daughter. Give her time and your trust. She’ll be a good DIL as well :)

      - An anonymous DIL

  67. Pingback: Of girly men who fail to convert irresponsible women from liabilities to assets. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  68. Pingback: Instead of eyeing their husbands’ ancestral property, why don’t Indian daughters in law make their own homes? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  69. Pingback: “…being his mom’s support in ways his sisters were not…. He borrowed money off me to pay for his mom’s car.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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  73. Why IL wants to know and control DIL’s money managing like her own son’s?
    There is no harm in taking care of your parents and in-laws both BUT IL should not govern DILs finances. What I see here is only 15% for her own parents and that too she is crystal clear about. What if they also had no retirement plan?
    I personally do not like joint account concept. I believe if both couples are working they should jointly support both set of parents and share logical household chores expenses.

    Why here IL is applying so much of maths as if DIL is owing something to her.
    Also, the son is quite a shravan kumar here then what is making her so insecure here???

  74. Pingback: “You can listen to your parents and be unhappy or you can go against them and feel guilty – those are your choices?” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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