“Do my parents have two different standards and expectations for my brother and for us?”

Sharing an email.

Hi IHM

Reading your blog and the comments that you get has helped me understand and articulate a lot of my own thoughts and beliefs.

I am writing to you to get your and your readers thoughts on something that has been bothering me for the last few weeks.

I have been brought up in a very liberal nuclear family. My parents have always treated us (me, my sister and brother) the same. In fact, my brother did more housework growing up as me and my sister used to order him around (he is the youngest) hehe :D

We never ‘could’ and ‘could not’ do things just because of our gender and the rules were the same for us. I am married now and live in a different city than my parents and inlaws and we follow the same tradition in our home. My parents have always been supportive of my sister’s and mine off-beat decisions like keeping our maiden name after marriage, or not having kids (in case of my sister).  Needless to say that I am very proud of my parents and I even sometimes tell my hubby that I was raised by two feminists.

Now the thing that is bothering me is this-

When I was talking to my brother last month he said that the parents were upset with him because he told his fiancee that he will bear half of the wedding expenses. When I talked to my parents about this my dad said something on the lines of – didn’t I spend on my daughters’ weddings? I got very upset and hung up on him.. Then my mom called and said that they were upset because my brothers is an arranged marriage and these things are delicate and should have been discussed at the parents level. Huh? She went on to explain that the girls parents had called to ask if my parents were upset about something, and thats why want to pay half of the expenses.. I really am at a loss at understanding these dynamics.

Also, at the time of her wedding my sister was so upset about the un-sharing of expenses that my BIL came home with a cheque.. which my father vehemently refused to take saying that it does not matter who pays etc etc. At the time of my wedding I was so blinded with excitement that I knowing ignored the matter relating to expenses (something I feel guilty about now)

Also, my brother after getting married is going to live in the adjoining flat (my parents idea). This flat was barely furnished and now it’s getting done up as per my brothers and his fiancees choice. My parents gave some money to do up the place as wedding gift.

Anyhow, coming back to my original question, I am scared that my parents are turning into typical boy’s parents with big egos. I don’t understand why they got upset as my brother is going to spend from his own savings. So does this mean that they feel they have some right over my brothers money? They sure haven’t bothered about what I do with mine except giving lectures about virtues of saving and occasional investment advice. Nothing else has happened after the said incidence but I am disturbed. Actually I feel a little cheated. Do my parents have two different standards and expectations for my brother and for us?

My mom says that i am making a big deal about a nonissue but she still maintains that my bro should have talked to parents first. Am I reading too much into a minor event? Should I just let it go because as my husband says.. “at least they aren’t forbidding him from doing it”.

I would be really glad if you could share my email as really need some objective views on the matter.

Thanks a lot
A

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41 thoughts on ““Do my parents have two different standards and expectations for my brother and for us?”

  1. Er…I don’t think they’re ‘suddenly’ becoming traditional parents. I think they always were traditional parents because they paid for both you and your sister’s weddings. Also, perhaps having paid for two weddings already, they’ve exhausted their resources–it is much easier to fall back on tradition if it falls in one’s favor.

    It’s also interesting how ‘weddings’ are tied to ‘honor’ in most South Asian cultures (I think accepting your BIL’s check would have gone against the wedding honor code or something). Or is it money that’s tied to honor? One can definitely understand why girl children are unwanted if it’s solely the woman’s family who has to pay! I remember seeing a ridiculous jewelry ad in the movie theatre, where a little girl asks if she’ll get to wear a hideous gold necklace when she gets married. The dad gets all depressed and the mom says ‘no worries, we’ll get her jewelry on credit.’ Luckily, it wasn’t only me who found the ad ridiculous as a few other people in the theatre burst into laughter.

    Our wedding wasn’t as expensive as other Indian weddings that we’ve been to even though it was a destination wedding in a gorgeous hotel by the beach because we only had about 130 guests. Luckily, both of our families were only keen on inviting close friends and family (and not the entire extended family).

    • ” One can definitely understand why girl children are unwanted if it’s solely the woman’s family who has to pay!”

      Indeed. This was the tradition in all patriarchal cultures, including the west until very recently. I remember the movie ‘Father of the bride’ where Steve Martin loses it over all the money he has to spend as the father of the bride (funny movie). The west seems to be growing out of it, with smaller weddings paid for by the couple. Planning the wedding is still seen largely the bride’s job but it’s only a matter of time before this changes too.

      It will happen in India as well eventually as we inevitably move to being more individualistic. It’s a lot slower than I would like but I do believe that it is inevitable with economic empowerment. From personal experience, it is becoming more and more normal to see wedding expenses being shared. It was the case for mine and all my friends’ weddings, although admittedly we represent the same socio-economic class so this is probably not a wide-spread phenomenon. I personally have no intention of paying for my children’s weddings, girl or boy. They will definitely be paying and planning the wedding themselves. ;)

  2. honestly, I think it’s hard to modernize the rules of arranged marriages. there’s so much drama involved that it’s impossible to see each issue for itself. my suggestion is this. your brother and his fiancee should pay for their wedding themselves and have it at a scale they can afford. the parents can throw a party to celebrate as they wish. complex? yes but I can’t think of another way.

    also, and I say this from pure observation, it’s easy to be a feminist when it benefits your daughter and hard to be one when it hurts your son. (I can’t judge your parents’ motives as I don’t have enough information so this is a purely general statement)

    • “It’s easy to be a feminist when it benefits your daughter and hard to be one when it hurts your son.”

      That’s exactly what someone told my father when he mentioned that one should do away with the custom of the girl’s family paying for the wedding. Two of my cousins had weddings around that time. My female cousin’s parents told my father to keep his controversial ideas to himself and not mention it in front of the groom’s family.
      My male cousin’s parents said they wouldn’t want ‘insult’ the bride’s family by offering to pay for the wedding.

      I don’t think its as simple as being feminist or not. As A (the LW) mentioned, its a delicate balance. I’m pretty sure my parents would offer to pay half the wedding expenses if they had a son, but it would be difficult to bring up the same issue at a daughter’s wedding because simply because people would assume the worst as quoted above.
      The parents in this case might be feminist themselves, but its difficult to impose these views on people who do not share the same views. They might feel like they’re getting the short end of the stick by being feminist. I’m guessing this wouldn’t have become as big an issue if the son had gotten married before the daughters; in which case they would have felt more comfortable accepting the BIL’s check and going against the tradition.

    • Love what you said SB. It is the best if two independent adults spend on their wedding with their hard earned money according to their budget, instead of asking the families to share.

      Its a far fetched hope though, as there is always ‘honor’ and show-off associated with ‘Big Fat Indian Weddings’ where unnecessary show of pomp is seen as mandatory even if that entails taking loans. I have seen cases where the bridal family itself insists on pomp weddings even if the groom’s family wants it simple. I know of relatives who started saving utensils and jewelry for their daughter since she was ten years old :\ It is a very hard-wired concept of honor, which might take eons to uncondition.

    • “it’s easy to be a feminist when it benefits your daughter and hard to be one when it hurts your son”

      Totally!!!! My family is just like this….. i was married , and got divorced before my brother had even found someone. During my divorce, which was because i was tired of adjusting to everything he and his family dictated…. my parents supported me awesomely.

      Now that my bro is married, i am actually witnessing my mom become a traditional mother-in-law, demanding all sorts of things from my sister in law. I have to constantly remind her , of how I felt during my marriage and not to forget that if she (my sil) is even living with them, it’s a favor not duty.

    • “…also, and I say this from pure observation, it’s easy to be a feminist when it benefits your daughter and hard to be one when it hurts your son”

      Ditto. Bingo. Bang on and other such expressions. You couldn’t have said it better SB. I know many people who raise liberal daughters and turn traditional when the son gets married.

      I’ve always noticed that the rules are always different for the daughter and the daughter-in-law. Do as I say, not as I do.

    • I couldn’t have said this better. I’m a guy and had found myself a girl, and my so-far “liberal, egalitarian, parents” turned overnight into backward-thinking people who I was doubtful of discussing anything with.

      Starting with demanding that I keep off the marriage plans completely, because only parents were qualified to talk about such complicated/sensitive issues. The whole situation degraded into asking questions like “her’s is a poor family, will they be able to set up a marriage that’s prestigious enough for us?”, or “will her family members be as prestigious as ours?”, to showing me photos about arranged marriages in the family and showing me how many piles/kgs of Badam/Pista/fruits of food items there were during the engagement. Of course.. the count and variety of fruits present during the engagement are primarily what determine how well the couple live together, even if parents did triple-horoscope matches, passed dirty ‘background checks’, know the boy-girl spend a year with each other, know that extended family approves of the match.

      Why does her family have to set up a ‘prestigious wedding’? Both her and I are earning far better than both set of parents put together (we live and work abroad).

      Whatever happened to all the nice parents I had? Those same parents had admired and donated so much money to poor kids in the neighborhood. Those same parents who had admired how the watchman’s daughter received a B.E. degree with flying colors.

      • From noticing 3 dislikes, I’d sincerely like to understand where I’m going wrong above. Could someone explain please?

        I find it very bothersome that my parents had rights over what and how much the girl’s family had to spend. Also, trying to shove away another family based solely on how much they can afford to spend – I find this sentiment quite inappropriate. None of this makes a successful marriage, although it does give lasting memories. The girl and I were willing to pitch in, but parents wouldn’t listen to us.

        • Not sure why you’re getting the thumbs down Niketan. I agree with your POV completely. Self-reliant adults who make the decision to get married really should be paying for their own wedding – do what they can afford to do. I personally don’t believe in “big fat weddings” of any kind. I realize it is an important day, you’re declaring your commitment and love towards your future spouse, but it doesn’t have to come at the expense of your parents having to mortgage their home/car/life.

        • I think you were spot on. Thumbs up from me! :)

          “I find it very bothersome that my parents had rights over what and how much the girl’s family had to spend. ”

          Yep, makes no logical sense. If the bride’s parents pay for the whole wedding then logically the groom’s side should be rather grateful for whatever they get.. instead our society bestows them with the divine right to demand how much is spent and on what! It’s like you get invited to a birthday party that the hosts are paying for and then start making demands on what they spend and how. Would be considered weird, right?

        • Completely agree with starlitwishes. On the other side of the coin, my parents expect me to pitch to make my sister’s wedding ‘succesful’. Why would my parents demand a ‘prestigious marriage’ for their son, knowing fully that they cannot arrange a ‘prestigious marriage’ for their daughter without their son’s extensive support.

          I also have my parents telling me that unless they hold the leash, the girl’s parents will tighten the noose on the girl and teach her how to extract what she can.

          Almost appears to me that some of our family values are based on one-upping the other family at every possible opportunity. To be clear (expecting dislikes for my post already), I can spend on my sister’s marriage, but such a ‘great family-based society’ should also understand the fact that my parent’s aren’t capable of spending all that much for their daughter’s wedding, and shouldn’t demand it.

          Agree with Carvaka as well. If the girl’s family is offering to pay for the entire ceremony, the boy’s family should gratefully accept whatever they get.

      • Yes, I’ve seen, parents may not object the choice of partner but do demand to keep off the wedding plans saying there are very sensitive issues the children are unaware of…it seems as if they (guy’s parents) want to say…see we have let you select your partner, be thankful and now give the noose of her parents in our hands..we’ll see when to tight it…

        • Precisely what happened with me! My parents wanted me to be thankful enough that they ‘accepted her’ into the family; apparently they were only thinking about my life and my interests and ‘unhappily gave up’ everything they had desired (which btw, was just the girl’s mother tongue). I should also point out that none of the other girls that my parents found were better in any possible way, and they agree on that, but they still ‘gave everything up’. Needless to say, my relationship with parents changed forever after this incident.

  3. I don’t know much about you or your family but it is very difficult to completely shed all the cultural burden and societal norms we carry and really question why you do the way you do.

    I agree with SB’s statement – it’s easy to be a feminist when it benefits your daughter and hard to be one when it hurts your son.

    On the other hand, if your parents paid for their daughters wedding, they have really not gone beyond traditions and society in a lot of ways. People progress in bits and pieces and the pieces are theirs to choose.

  4. wedding celebration is a very complex issue in India…till we get married parents seem to rear their children gender unbiased but as soon as wedding is fixed the gender difference comes to surface…deep rooted traditions ensure that females are made to feel like objects..in the enthusiasm sometimes even girls don’t realize and they let happen as is asked for…but if children try to have their say they are often suppressed by parents saying it is all elders affair…often boys’ parents take the rein in their hands and children are made mute spectators…

    here is a story of my friend’s daughter’s wedding…it was a case of love marriage to be arranged by parents…children were asked not to give their opinions and asked to be thankful that parents respect their choice of life partner…though boy was not of that mindset but wanted that the event passed off peacefully…but the girl was not at all ready to bear all expenditure…she was ready to have a very simple marriage, but guy’s parents were not…they wanted to have a big fat marriage and all the expenditure to be borne out by girl’s parents…the boy offered the money to the girl secretly but her parents did not agree….in her case they could find out a solution by guy paying for girl’s college fees(without in the knowledge of his parents) for MBA admission for which otherwise she would have taken a bank loan(boy’s parents were unaware of this too!)..and it was more than the wedding expenditure…they are happy couple now and have a lot of respect for each other..but it was a unique case…not always such solutions can come to the rescue..

  5. I would say yes. Though parents are very liberal and want their daughters to be independent nowadays, they are not the same when it comes to their sons. That is because the Son-in-law is immediately accepted as a son. But the DIL is mostly-the other woman.

    When the Son-IL takes good care of the daughter-he is a gem
    When the Son-IL spends for his inlaws-he is a gem.
    When the Son-IL takes spends for his wife and kids, for the house, takes the family on holidays-he is a gem.
    When the Son-IL discusses or takes advice from his inlaws-he is sooo respectful and is a gem.
    When the Son-IL and daughter decide to live separately-he is a gem. He has invested in a house so soon. Our daughter needs to live with her husband and they need to manage by themselves.

    But when all of the above is done by the SON

    Oh, he only takes care of her-our son has changed
    He is spending all his money on them-our son has changed
    She is making him spend all his hard earned money-our son has changed
    Now he listens to only his in-laws-our son has changed. He no more respects us.
    He wants to live away from us. She has turned him against us-our son has changed.

    Parents are not ready to accept that their son has his own thoughts, wants and needs and is capable of taking his own decisions. Any change they see is because of the DIL and her parents. They can’t seem to accept that the son also has a brain and what he does is because he wants it. This is the situation in your house. Your parents are unable to accept that your brother has made his own decision in paying for the wedding expenses. He should have asked permission, he should have discussed everything. No, he cannot just go ahead and decide things with just his future wife. If before marriage he has started doing things on his own, what will happen after he gets married?

    This is the main reason why parents who are otherwise liberal and have brought up their son and daughter in the same way-start to show a different behaviour as soon as the son gets married. They expect the son to always listen to them.

    Your parents have got you married and have also accepted your elder sister’s decision of not having kids. But they want your brother to live in the next flat beside them. Why? Why have they not agreed for your brother and his fiancee to find a house on their own wherever they wanted? Would they agree if your Sister-in-law and brother decided they too don’t want kids? Maybe not.

    If you feel that their behaviour is strange you definitely need to have a talk with them and point this out. I sure do not know your parents, but this is just my opinion based on what you have written and the parents of sons I have seen. This is definitely not a minor issue and if it’s not nipped in the bud, there will continue to be similar expectations from him and his wife in everything.

    My mother has been an independent working woman. She is a person who would not take any type of nonsense from anybody. She is very happy with my husband and my elder sister’s husband. But me and my sister thank God that she never had a son. I know she would have been the typical MIL if she ever had a DIL.

    • “But me and my sister thank God that she never had a son. I know she would have been the typical MIL if she ever had a DIL.”

      I say exactly this to my mum! I often get questions from my mum and not my MIL when I don’t follow traditional expectations. I can tell her off for being secretly sexist and indulge in a long discussion about how that expectation is sexist.. but I doubt a DIL would do that! Having said that, maybe with an actual DIL my mum might have been careful not to voice these questions.. hard to say.

      • Thumb downers, don’t worry I am very respectful and loving my mum. Just obeying your parents is not the way to show respect. If I just quietly listen to her traditional advice, she’d be much worse off considering she has two daughters and no son. My parents gave me all opportunities possible and the least I can do is think for myself and actually explain to them when their traditional advice is wrong. So instead of having to literally ‘daan’-ofy me in marriage, she has a very involved (married) daughter who can Skype her everyday to chat about stuff and send her on holidays and take care of her when needed.

        A DIL would have been more likely to just listen to the same traditional advice quietly though – or perhaps my mum wouldn’t be as receptive to the same reaction from a DIL as she is from me – and they would both be worse off for it.

    • “But me and my sister thank God that she never had a son. I know she would have been the typical MIL if she ever had a DIL.”
      LOL. I think I could say the same about my mum too. She herself grew up in a family where she was discriminated against for not being a son, she overcame with with academics and went on to become far more successful than all the men- so her sexism is sometimes puzzling to me. She’s a role model in many ways, but i’m glad I don’t have a brother!

    • “Parents are not ready to accept that their son has his own thoughts, wants and needs and is capable of taking his own decisions. Any change they see is because of the DIL and her parents. They can’t seem to accept that the son also has a brain and what he does is because he wants it.”

      that is why I think the girls are outsmarting boys these days….

      just for their selfish reasons and egos they are making their sons duds so that they can use them according to their whims.. and making daughters independent and smart so that their in- laws are not able to use them according to their whims…

  6. Your parents were feminists enough to treat all their children the same, giving all of them equal opportunities and so on, but they are evidently also traditional enough to believe that wedding expenses must be borne by the girls’ family. That’s the reason they wouldn’t even hear of accepting the check your BIL offered them. It might have upset you but your father was only being honest when he reminded you how he had paid for his own daughters’ weddings.

    You know, it is hard to let go of privileges, fair or unfair, which you believe you are entitled to, which you routinely see others in the same position being accorded. I wouldn’t blame them for believing that they deserve the same privileges that their sons-in-laws’ parents enjoyed. Come to think of it, I am surprised that it should upset you so much, when you didn’t really mind your parents bearing all the expenses for your own wedding. To say you were too excited to notice is not enough. If your parents attitude suggests double standards, there is a slight discrepancy in your position as well.

    I think I agree with your husband here– your parents might not be pleased with the arrangement but its not like they’re forbidding your brother from doing it!

    • “If your parents attitude suggests double standards, there is a slight discrepancy in your position as well.”

      That’s a good point actually. Would the parents be acting differently now if their daughters/SILs had taken a stronger stand in their own weddings and insisted on expenses being shared? Food for thought. Maybe that would have go the point through that this tradition need not be followed. However since they have already paid for two weddings, they probably feel cheated with the rules being flipped when it was their turn to benefit from them.

      Obviously I’m not blaming the OP in any way, it’s just interesting to think about what an intervention at the right time might do to change attitudes. I commend the OP for even questioning things now as it can be difficult to be objective about your own parents.

  7. I would say, your parents probably are carrying some hangover of our traditional culture. They paid for their daughters’ weddings so they probably feel like the system owes them the same for their son’s wedding. They probably are treating genders differently in this case, even if that’s not what they always do. I can’t say if they will continue to treat your brother differently than you post marriage. You know what, parents are human too and they are flawed.. hard as it may be for us to accept.

    Our wedding expense was shared by our parents (we wanted to pay ourselves but they wanted to invite all their hundreds of acquaintances so we figured it’s fair that they split the cost). However my mum sent me a package after the wedding addressed to ‘Carvaka husband’s-last-name’. I told her that no one by that name exists as I don’t intend to change my name. So was my mum showing some gender stereotyping there? Yes. She was perplexed, ‘what else do I call you then?’ and me: ‘MY name!’. That just hadn’t occurred to her, even though she doesn’t have a son and is not benefitted by this tradition. Our parents are subject to conditioning too.

  8. I think it is such a honest post and there is no harm if the brother is willing to fund his own marriage. The sad part is how parents think they have a control over the lives of their children. It is not a good thing to do and I strongly believe that two set of parenting rules cannot and should not be applied to the son and daughter. This is how we perpetrate gender inequality.
    Cheerz
    Vishal

  9. Most of the above commenters do agree that there are some double standards at play here.

    Actually, during mine and my sisters wedding, both our inlaws had already assumed that the bride’s family is going to bear the expenses. And though my parents did not take any crap from the grooms parents during the arrangements, they decided not to ask for their share of expenses either.

    During my sister’s wedding she got furious, accused her husband of being blissfully ignorant as against totally merely innocent (her own words) and the whole drama followed. So I thought that this issue was settled from the side of my family and hence I was taken by surprise my my parents reaction. And I was a bit scared because I don’t want them to turn into someone like my MIL who was offended because we didn’t talk to her before finalizing our daughter’s admission into pre-nursery!!

    Anyhow, my brother is a great guy who understands the importance of maintaining healthy boundaries and I am sure he will keep my parents in check if they try crossing it.

    I really hope that this one was a glitch and they are their normal selves while dealing with bro and his wife :)

    Thanks a lot for all the comments and suggestions.

    • I am bit confused about the whole situation. However I am certain of one thing that you will be an amazing sister in law!

  10. We insisted on splitting the bill at my brother’s wedding. There was no question of anything else. Actually, there is no cause for doing otherwise. Why should the girl’s parents pay? It defies logic. We’re talking about equal relationships here. I’d refuse to marry a man who thought it was my parents’ ‘duty’ to pay all expenses. No way.

    In fact, I’d like him and me – not our parents – to pay for the wedding ourselves. At the age of 34, I’d feel ashamed asking my parents for money to pay for my wedding, especially when I’m earning more than they ever did. When an adult couple is earning, neither set of parents should even be asked to pay.

    This is why I’m not fond of our society’s ways. Children are never allowed to grow up.

  11. I think wedding expenses are such a thorny issue in Indian families. I honestly think the ‘right’ answer varies from family to family. Obviously, it is fair for both sides to split expenses equally, but it can become tricky if one side wants it on a scale that the other considers excessive.
    I’m not really sure about the bride and groom contributing to the expenses-
    When I brought the issue up with my dad he got very offended. He acted like I insulted him by even mentioning sharing the expenditure. On top of that, the bride and groom paying for the wedding usually results in a smaller, cheaper wedding- which is probably a good thing, but pointless from the POV of the ‘elders’- who will miss out on getting ‘their people’ to attend the wedding.
    Ultimately, when parents pay for the wedding, they gain control over the guest list and the scale of the event :) Which is what they really want, I suppose. To do it ‘their’ way.

    • Similar scenario, except we still put our foot down despite parental opposition. Said we would bear the expenses and not let them spend anything. Budget obviously smaller than what they’d wanted. Still let them decide guest list, but within OUR budget. Smaller cheaper wedding but happier us, and less guilty about blowing up their money on what we thought was sheer waste. Now years later, it hardly matters – I like the man’s parents and vice versa and he likes mine and vice versa.

      Net net, can be done.

  12. I think that most Indian families need to approach their finances from a much more practical point then they do now. Anything to do with money such wedding expenses, personal expenses, inheritance etc. is so burdened with emotions and social expectations that even discussing basic matters becomes a minefield. I can identify with the email writer’s situation except I’m the dil in this case. We paid of our own wedding splitting all our expenses while my SIL’s was paid for by my in laws. Post marriage my husband continues to help out his family out substantially with their personal expenses etc as I do to for my own. We never question each other about the amount each spends on their own family and I don’t be-grudge my in-laws the help they get. But I do mentally question my SIL for her attitude. Her parents provided for her and treated her as an equal and more. But when it comes to responsibility it’s the sons that are left shouldering the burden? So dear A since you feel guilty about the expenses spent on your wedding maybe you should offer to do your share now and help out with either the wedding or post wedding expenses?

  13. I think IHM this might be an interesting and potentially controversial post, “forgoing the privileges of patriarchy” . I far too often come across people, both men and women who rail against patriarchy and call themselves feminists but gladly take any benefits given to them from the institution. For men it would be, accepting wedding expenses and gifts from their in-laws, for women it would be accepting disproportionate gifts and financial help from her own parents. As many other commentators have pointed out it’s easy to go with the flow when it’s a question of privilege and not discomfort being accorded to you. But isn’t the acceptance of these traditions also contributing to the problem?

    • So the one thing that I did not mention in the post was that I used the whole of my bonus for my wedding/ new home which we had shifted to the year of the wedding. I had already worked for almost 5 years by that time and was doing well, so this amount was quite substantial.

      However my inlaws including my hubby did not spend anything at all. Also, my sister has a turbulent relationship with her inlaws and I really didn’t want that.. that’s the reason I didn’t say anything at that time. I now know that a lot of things I did before and during the initial period of my marriage were not correct and I ended up setting wrong expectations. I am still trying to correct those mistakes. :(

      Anyhow, the update on the marriage front is that my brother is going to spend half on the wedding and his fiancée + her parents are going to spend half.

      Also, my mom has a great idea of having lunch as family every Saturday with bro and his wife and leaving them alone the rest of the week. I have also told her that I will be pointing out to her any “double standards” that I observe in the future.

      My heartfelt thanks to all of you for taking time to read the post and also commenting on it.

      A

    • Forgoing the privileges of patriarchy- that would make an interesting post. Many aspects of our culture are directly or indirectly patriarchal. For example, any financial help extended by parents to their children over the age of 18 in the West is considered a ‘bonus’ and a blessing- it is never taken for granted.
      In many ways, there’s a certain privilege that comes with being an upper middle class girl in India. You can choose a career if you want to, there’s really no pressure, you can choose your partner (with social limits) and mummy-daddy will foot the bill for your wedding, your home and even your car!
      I personally know atleast 3 women who have benefitted enormously from this system, their parents don’t seem to mind as they see themselves doing all this for ‘daughter’s happiness’.

  14. Read it twice because I thought I was missing something. Dear OP, you mean it was fine when you got ‘excited’ and forgot they were paying ALL of your wedding expenses, but are worried they have double standards because they expect their DIL’s family to bear all expenses??!!

    Interesting. IMO *YOU* have double standards, not them!

  15. Pingback: Is it possible that the ones whose disapproval is dreaded the most are those who are most likely to express disapproval (and occasional approval)? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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