From an Anonymous DIL, Wife and Daughter.

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I am publishing this comment and my response to it, from ‘How Important is it for a girl to get married?’ because I agree with Ramit when he says, ” IHM This topic that has been raised by Anonymous, needs a separate post in itself so other girls can relate to it too and get a few pointers to stand up. It’s high time they need to stand up… Unbelievable that India has put men on the moon and our mother in laws even after migrating to London are still living in the 15th century! Utter crap!

Here’s the comment.

Dear IHM,

I am a 24 yr old newly wedded girl. got married 4 months ago and moved to the UK with my husband. i know this is a problem every indian DIL faces and I guess I am falling in to it too. my family is very liberal and they do not really believe in following all the customs that the entire world harps on. My inlaws on the other hand are super duper orthodox and for them every custom under the Sun is important no matter how inconvenient it is for the other person. My MIL like any son’s mother thinks that I am the luckiest girl on earth because her son decided to marry me. because her son is in the UK and he is the only one in their family to be living abroad, whereas in my family, every second person is in some part of the word other than India so to me its not a big deal at all! in fact i refused to marry this guy because he is not in India but since everyone in my family insisted that they know this guy very well and I got convinced after speaking to him a zillion times that he is genuinely good at heart.

Now my MIL has a typical characteristic trait of pointing out everything. Even if you miss a small safety pin that was supposed to be given to her or her daughter from my parents’ side, she does not waste a single moment in pointing it out and making it obvious that she is unhappy because the “custom” has been broken. Her daughter is the world to her. I am the world to my parents too but she is a little weird. During the entire wedding, she was not anywhere near us. Kept insisting my SIL stays with us all the time coz she is the daughter of the house. And made sure my SIL and her husband were served everything properly. She does not care if anyone else is not properly taken care of, but with her daughter no chance! So much that once they had their invitations ready, they sent it to my SIL first got her approval and then bothered to send it to my husband coz his approval was not necessarily important though he was the groom.

Somehow, the wedding went on very well with the help and support of a lot of family and friends. Now when I was moving to the UK, I’d left all my jewelry, silver and gifts at my parents’ place. Somehow I was not very comfortable leaving them with my inlaws coz my MIL tries to find fault with everything she sees. In some piece she will think the design is not good or she will say that we should never buy gold at a jewelry shop but make sure we get it made by a goldsmith etc etc. So since I would not be around, I did not want my mom to listen to all her nagging everytime she met my inlaws. Even though my mom asked my MIL if she wants her to get all the gifts and all and leave it here. I did not want her to ask about the gold though.

My question # 1:

Is it not my choice about what I want to do with my things? Do I have to seek my MIL’s permission for everything I do to “my” stuff? Each and every piece of that jewelry has been bought by my parents. None of it is what my inlaws gave me. The stuff they gave me is with me here. But do I have to take her permission before deciding what I want to keep with me and what I don’t? My parents will definitely not need my jewelry. They have enof of their own.

Now coming to it, she has spoken to a common friend of my family and his family recently. She has very conveniently told him that she has no idea what I have done with all the silver items (including 2 sets of thali and glass gifted by my parents) I had and all my jewelry. She tried to convey that she thinks I have given even the thalis and all to my parents and they are happily living on it. The thalis and glasses are as a matter of fact with me and with her proper knowledge coz she was pissed off when I said I want to take them with me. My whole point was I did not see any sense in keeping them safe at home when we could make proper use of it everyday over here. )

Question # 2:

Is it right on her part to speak like this about me and my parents in front of a third person? Is she not kind of insulting me and my parents?

Now the more interesting part, my SIL’s husband does not have any family of his own. His parents passed away years ago and his elder brother and all are only for the sake of being there. So all that my SIL had are at her parents’ place. So she has a valid reason to leave everything with her parents. Now for everything my MIL has one excuse that since my parents dont know all these customs, she is trying to tell them the customs.

I had no intentions of having any ill feeling towards my in laws but this is making me very very sad. I wept all of yesterday and as soon as my husband came home, he realised something is wrong with me. He managed to get me spill out everything (and i am cursing myself for it), spoke to his mom, my mom and tried to convince me that his mom is only trying to tell us the customs and all. He is otherwise very understanding. he knows how his mom has a very weird character and tells me the same thing but when it comes to this particular issue, he says it was a casual talk between my MIL and that common friend and he took the liberty to call up my parents and speak to them about it. What I dont understand is if this ‘casual talk’ was a month ago, why did that man call my parents now and speak to them? I am a new DIL and so I am not supposed to question anyone. All I am supposed to do is keep quiet and see my parents being nagged every now and then because they did not some custom about a piece of haldi or a saree that was supposed to be given.

Question # 4 :

Is that all my parents are supposed to do all the time? Keep giving things to me and my husband? They do give us a lot but is there no break to it? Do they have keep giving us gifts all their life? They have already done enof for us, is it not our turn to make sure they have everything they need and care for their wellbeing (including his parents). Is a piece of jewelry and a set of clothes the only way to show they love us and care for us?

Question #5:

My parents still dont have an account of how much they might have spent for my wedding coz his parents wanted a grand ceremony because they were not taking any dowry. I’d already told my parents that I dont mind staying single all my life but I don’t want them to pay a single penny as dowry. I am beautiful, educated, had a very very good job and I am self sufficient in all ways. There is no need for someone like me to get married by giving dowry etc. My husband also was very particular that he did not want anything as dowry. So since there was no dowry in question they wanted the event to be a grand one. My parents wanted the same thing and so they made sure everything was remarkably exotic much against my wishes coz I dont see the whole point in spending so much money on something which lasts just a day or 2. Is a simple ceremony not worth enof to get married?

I am soo disappointed now that I can’t express it in words. I wanted a family where human values are more important than customs. Thankfully, to my husband all that matters is human values and feelings but I am very disappointed by his parents coz I realised that for them customs play a higher role than human values.

I wanted to spill it all out coz I am just not able to take it anymore. I am a regular reader of ur blog and all I could think of was you when my mind went completely blank.

Please help me.

From
Anonymous DIL, Wife and Daughter.

* * *

And my response.

Anonymous DIL, Wife and Daughter I was thinking maybe this should be published as a post … it’s such a typical situation!
At 24, and when you are married, you should be left alone and not suffocated with such controls!

I am amazed women achieve so much despite such cruel and horrible circumstances. Just be brave, remember that you are absolutely justified in wanting to be free of such controls, and you are NOT WRONG in expecting your parents to be treated with respect and basic decency. Malicious gossip against a DIL’s family is not something a girl can be expected to respect. And what you do with your jewelery is upto you, even if you do sell it or give it away she can only express an opinion – no matter what our conditioning tells us, it is wrong to to try to control another adult’s life. She is also trying to control her adult, and married, son’s life.

The sons grow up and are conditioned to believe that since mothers only want what is best for them, it is fine if they also want to monitor their entire lives.

This is where Joint Family and patriarchy are so wrong.

And don’t feel guilty if common sense tells you this is wrong, just because somebody is older or is a spouse’s parent, they do not automatically become right.

Expecting your parents to keep spending is wrong; discussing them with anybody, least of all mutual contacts, is not going to build bridges. Discussing you is immature and cruel, and I think if they really care for the son’s happiness, then it is essential that his wife is shown respect… your MIL does not seem to realise that no man can be really happy if his wife is treated like this. Happy wives make happy families.

Don’t feel guilty – you are right, and tell your parents to be stronger, I always say, Strong parents have happy daughters.

Don’t give in to such controlling, keep your jewelery where ever you prefer to keep it.  And quite definitely not with your MIL. Not even if it means a lot to her (Why should it mean a lot to her?). Not even if it makes her feel you love her like your mother. Not even to please your husband. Keep it pleasant but be firm. Maybe just smile and change the topic.

You could tell your mom in law or husband that even if this is done in every next house, you do not like such indulgences in petty gossiping. Convey that you may find it difficult to show respect to  your mom in law unless she (and he also) show the same respect to your parents.

No harmony is possible unless their is justice. Bitterness and oppression can not bring peace. Be tactful, remain polite and respectful, keep your cool …. but do not accept such treatment.

I wish you (or any human) didn’t have to go through this, but since you have to …

Also ask your husband to remember you also have the same feelings, how would he like to be treated EXACTLY the same way by your parents? If parents love their children, shouldn’t they be nice to their spouse too…?

He cannot keep speaking to his mom on your behalf – she will start calling him a JKG. he just has to very clearly let her see that he will not allow his family to treat his wife shabbily, when a husband stands by his wife, nobody from his family bothers her.

Take a look at this post,

No jeans for an Indian Daughter in law.

Two more posts by Unmana you may like to read,

In-Law Advice: What Husbands Should Do

In-Law Advice: What Wives Should Do

***

Response continued,

@Anonymous DIL, Wife and Daughter, Of course human values are more important than any customs … in fact the only purpose of all customs is to bring us together and make us happy, ‘customs’ by themselves are of no other value, don’t get bogged by all these thing that you forget that these are the best years of your life, remind your husband also.

I fear sometimes elders use customs to show they know more or know better … I feel bad for them, maybe they feel you know more in some other ways so at least here they can show some superiority .

Newer customs will be brought in by newer generation … we  will  change with times, so will the customs.
You will be fine, be brave … hugs, God bless, IHM

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86 thoughts on “From an Anonymous DIL, Wife and Daughter.

  1. Sad, sad, sad. I wish this young woman all the courage she needs to tackle such a situation. Why do MILs imagine that only their son is special and not the girl who marries him? Staying pleasant but firm is the only solution. The silver lining is that she says her husband is a genuine and intelligent person; hopefully she will get him to see that custom is not all that it’s made out to be.

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  2. IHM she is asking for a plan. My response yesterday was a kind of step by step approach to the problem (God knows she can learn from my experience)

    1. Do not Do not Do not bad mouth your mother in law and sister in law. That will get your husband anti you since his instinct would be to defend Ma and Behn!
    2. Be strong and it is entirely your decision on how and where to keep your stree dhan. Take a firm stand on this.
    3. Pursue your career/personal interests. A busy person is a happy person and is unlikely to brood over real and imagined ills
    4. Gain stature in your marital home, by winning approval of your MIL’s relatives. It makes her disapproval weak
    5. Use all your feminine wiles in achieving these aims.

    All the best!

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    • Well said! I too have a policy of never bad mouthing my in laws and it has worked like a charm…My husband has always supported me and he treats my parents very kindly…If I ever had a problem (my in laws are no longer alive), I always let my husband know in a politically correct way…If he thought he needed to interfere to resolve things, he did so without me asking him…

      Me- Sraboney most husbands feel guilty is supporting their wives in any way- there is also the fear of being called a Joru ka chamcha etc. A lot of women feel no matter what they do, they feel they need to please the MIL to make the husband approve of them – that I feel is what makes them resent the entire system.

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      • Since I never ‘experienced’ a MIL, I don’t know what the situation is like…My husband wasn’t very close to his father so it made things a little easier for me…If my FIL wanted me to do something, say for instance wear sindhoor, all I had to say was, “Your son doesn’t want me to” even though the son never said such a thing…

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    • Ritu, to all the above

      I will add. Do NOT TAKE CRAP. Get out of this thing with sanity intact.

      You are 24- too young to be wasting your life in something like this. But yes, do it step by step.

      Like

      • I do not advocate divorce Allytude and so often men are unwilling to set up a home away from their maternal homes. When they do agree, its as though they are doing their villainous wives a huge favor. But yes I agree that times are changing and they may as well be given the boot if they dont adapt.

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    • @ Ritu, the problem is that carrying out the suggestions given as points 1 to 4 is the main issue .
      And that is because point No 5 is better practiced by the MILs because of the additional experience. And they wont let a DIL carry on with their desires without creating problems. A DILs effort to make up is often seen as a mark of weakness which they exploit further.

      I am sure every woman tries to make it work but the more she tries, the more the in laws become intolerant and mean.

      The only way out is “way-out” but not all can do because of various problems like complete dependency, social pressures, kids, etc etc…

      And being a bit careful while getting into it. And getting out as soon as one realizes the futility of any” making up ” efforts.

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      • Wiz I do not advocate “adjusting” ever. Trying to make up is the fundamental flaw. When you are right, stick to your stand. I do not believe in any woman eating humble pie. I always say that “If you behave like a doormat, people will wipe their feet on you”. But tell a man that his mother or sister is a bitch and he is less likely to listen to you. I advocate tact – always. Strength of character is very essential and so is courage to walk your own path. Too many women have faced violence and torture because they were asked to “adjust”. Career always helps. If one does this well, one gains in stature anyway. And heck a bit of manipulation, seduction and .. etc etc is so good when it helps you achieve your aim.

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  3. I am so glad that this anonymous dil thot of you to write to, IHM. She has done the right thing. Reading the pages here, will give her more strength and info on her rights too.

    Agree with Phoenixritu. Keep busy and gain stature. Show that you are indispensible. These kind of petty ppl cannot stand a strong mind and a greater conviction. Be strong and keep cool.

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  5. Ie is a really sad situation IHM. I have gone through worse than this in my 19 years of marriage and I know how it feels when The man you marry for ” love” shatters all and you realize that what you were following was just a mirage. I hope that her husband remains supportive of her because things can get real bad sometime.

    “he just has to very clearly let her see that he will not allow his family to treat his wife shabbily, when a husband stands by his wife, nobody from his family bothers her.”
    I think this sums it all but for the men who are sandwiched between mom an wife are usually helpless in taking up a stand as far as I know.

    You know bad mouthing the inlaws or anyone is not right but then even a simple sharing of the day’s facts are considered bad mouthing.
    Ritu , for people who are economically dependent it poses a huge problem and in circumstances which are not conducive getting a job also becomes a hassle in many cases, it happened in my case.
    I am not replying to the anonymous DIL here for I myself have not found any solutions till now but I agree that husband’s support is must.
    Sometimes we just are a little too late to make the right choices and decisions and that results as a huge setback. There are times when the family looks well placed, happy and content from outside but there are burning issues which a woman can not share with anyone due to social pressures or any other reason.
    Getting bolder and taking a stand for her own dignity is a take it or leave it situation.
    Gaining stature is not the solution Ritu , I am so loved by my husband’s relatives but the situation here at home has not changed one bit.
    Now that I am writing about it openly is my first step to recognize myself.
    All I feel now is that the sooner you recognize your worth and stand for your self the better it is. No one ultimately stands for you. will be posting my views on my blog soon and will link it to yours. I would not be anon , have no reason to be.

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    • Tiku I know its easier to advise than to do it. With all kinds of emotional upheavals and day to day petty annoyances its impossible not to get depressed and freak out. God knows I’ve been in a similar situation. The other option is not a solution …. to go for a divorce. Its a step by step kind of thing – and an uphill task. Sometimes I feel Indian women are still giving agni pariksha – and their tormentors are none other than women

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  6. Its so annoying when the ILs expect so much from the DILs family in the name of tradition, just bcos they refused to demand dowry ! They think they are so noble for not demanding a dowry that they should be compensated for it on a regular basis. Went through it myself when I lived with my ILs for first 6 months of my marriage…and hated it. At times I would get so fed up of them pointing out how my parents didn’t follow this/that custom ( where obviously they were supposed to give something to the ILs ) that I wished that my parents would just send them the damn thing so that I wouldn’t have to listen to it on an hourly basis 😦

    I don’t know why marriage of a daughter is so important for some parents. I really wasn’t ready to get married since I wanted to choose someone for myself but my parents would hammer it down to me that my other sisters were waiting in Q. And why is the burden of raising children and if they, specially daughter/s do anything to dislike of their parents..rests on just the mothers. A major reason that I didn’t dump my ILs place and return was that my dad, who believed that he was very forward thinking man, would blame my mother for doing such a bad job of raising me that I didn’t even think about their reputation or worried about my younger sister i.e who will marry them if I come back. And I could never let that happen ! So it was a lose-lose situation for me really..the only silver lining was that my visa was ready and I knew I will be flying off really really far from such two-faced people with my husband who seemed to be the only genuine person in that family !

    Sorry, got carried away again – could see so much similarity between the anonymous lady and my situation immediately after the marriage that I still get mad just thinking about it. I hope she finds courage to hold on the the stuff her parents gave her. You have given wonderful advise to her in your comment.

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  7. Anonymous DIL, Wife and Daughter..

    My Personal Experience:

    It is very easy to break a relationship or walk out on a relationship or for that matter have it strained.
    The winner is he/she who is able to change the circumstances, thinkings, mindsets in the way he/she wants.

    In your case, I feel what you can do is this:

    Understand that you would have a happy married life if both of you understand each other and are supportive of each other. He gives you the space you desire and you give likewise. He respects your opinion and so do you.
    So

    it is of utmost importance to develop that bonding and have that feeling in your relationship.
    Whatever you feel right, you must communicate to him and if he is mature enough, he would understand your point and would be supportive of you and help you change the environment. Understand, we are talking about a paradigm shift.
    Speak to him. Make him understand and he would.

    Its all yours and you are the sole custodian. Make him understand it and he will.

    The secret lies in finding the right way of getting things done.

    It does not happen overnight. It takes patience and perseverance to achieve it.

    God be with you.
    All the best.

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  9. I think even sita did not have to give agni pareeksha for all her life damn it and she was brave enough to reject the offer of returning to ayodhya after being rejected by her hubby, but then it’s another story. Yes it is an uphill task and sometime all we get is a broken heart, skinned knees and bruised soul and find that we have skidded and are still there where we began from.
    I know you have seen it all. I admire your strength .

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      • Sorry IHM for taking up your comment section in this way

        Me-

        Woh aye hamare blog par,
        Khuda ki whatever hai,
        khabi hum apne blog ko,
        kabhi unke comment ko dekhte hain

        🙂 😆 😀
        Wah wah!!!

        Like

        • Totally awesome exchange!

          (IHM- Khuda ki kudrat hai)

          Life can be so tough for a DIL:(
          To maintain one’s integrity and one’s spirit, despite all odds, is no joke.
          All the best to your young friend, IHM.

          Like

  10. IHM, this post shook me completely..it is so sad that such things still happen..

    I had written two posts on Domestic violence..first post spoke about legal aspects and second one spoke about the precautionary measures to be taken in such cases..the second one will for sure help you to answer the queries more clearly..the jewellery that Anonymous DIL is talking about is called as Stridhan in law terms..the DIL has the right to keep those wherever she wants..not only jewellery; but smallest of the piece she has got along with her at the time of the wedding is considered hers..further, the jewellery and clothes given to her by her in laws is her property too..please read this post

    http://www.nehasilam.com/2009/10/domestic-violence-part-2-facts-and.html

    and this too as domestic violence is a major problem in our country and outside too with Indians..

    http://www.nehasilam.com/2009/10/domestic-violence-part-1-legal-aspect.html

    I hope everyone takes the measures mentioned in the part two of the post I have mentioned above..it is really very important to know our rights!

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  11. Anony DIL, U’ll be fine ….. keep your spirit strong …..

    Be firm about things, but also be very pleasant .. dont go for unnecessary irritations.
    And try to get out of the house once in a while.

    Try to please them at other times …. I know it’s difficult, but still ….

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  12. What can I say? New DIL or old DIL… DILS are always the ‘wrong ones’, the ‘incompetent ones’ and the ‘ignorant and stupid ones’. Always! And DIL’s parents are the ‘incredibly ungrateful ones’ who do not realise the value of their Son-in-law and who dare to neglect the Samdhis. Such people should ideally be shot to death. But since that’s not possible, one should either live away from them, or if living together, then avoid talking to them! AVOID OR IGNORE, otherwise one’s life is screwed!

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  13. While the wives are busy adjusting/sacrificing (willingly or unwillingly) / suffering in relationships with in-laws, husbands are often busy pursuing more worthwhile activities. You get to waste a certain (normally large) amount of time, energy and mental peace only because you’re a daughter-in-law.

    It’s horrible! I’m ashamed to be a part of such a society!

    Me- And Haresh I have heard one person say that men in the family also have it tough, because they have to come home and listen to all this. Shouldn’t women also have the option of being able to ignore such things and just pick their car keys and drive upto a friends’ place?

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  14. Nish – IHM

    Since you’ve covered the other side I will play devil’s advocate and point out some things that I think were not properly stressed on in your post.

    First, her claim that she comes from a liberal family seem to be wrong. Her parents have forced her into this marriage against her will. And in any case marrying off your daughter (via an arranged system) to someone living outside the country seems the opposite of liberal to me.

    Me – She said, ‘they do not really believe in following all the customs that the entire world harps on’, that is what she means by they are liberal.

    Nish – Second, it doesn’t seem as if she has a great rapport with her husband who seems to be a mom’s little boy.

    Me – She says, ‘I got convinced after speaking to him a zillion times that he is genuinely good at heart.’ And again, ‘Thankfully, to my husband all that matters is human values and feelings but I am very disappointed by his parents’.

    Also Nish he too is a young man who has been raised to believe all good boys put their mothers before their wives, and only JKGs respect their wives. He is probably as upset and confused, on one hand guilty and then feeling that perhaps he would be selfish to support his spouse!! A lot of Indian men are made to feel there is something wrong with showing affection, respect and concern for their wives.

    Nish – Third, she also seems to have major issues with her sis-in-law. We only heard her side of the story which is probably skewed in her favor. Maybe she was the darling daughter in her family and can’t stand the sight of her sis-in-law being pampered.

    Me- She has given this example, ‘once they had their invitations ready, they sent it to my SIL first got her approval and then bothered to send it to my husband coz his approval was not necessarily important though he was the groom’ – I think that’s good enough an example.
    Also remember this is not just one Indian girl in one rare situation, when answering any such comments, one must keep in mind, thousands of other such cases. We all live in the same society. I have seen this and much worse happen, hundreds of times.
    I have seen mothers who otherwise treat their daughters like slaves, ask them to let the new sister in law do all the work at home. This is a common Indian scenario.
    One woman had been married for several years and still each time her sister in law visited them, she could rightfully pick anything she liked from her brother’s house (it was not seen as the brother’s wife’s house) – and again this is not a rare case, this happens all the time. I couldn’t understand what she was going through then , because this was never going to happen to me – and this is how many men also are not able to understand how traumatic these so called petty things can be…
    .

    Nish – And finally I honestly think she should get back to India and file for divorce. This marriage will not go anywhere. Time to resolve things before it’s too late.

    Me – She seems to fine with her husband and I think they have many years of happy marriage ahead, unless her in- laws brainwash the husband by calling him a JKG for showing some concern and care for his wife.
    Generally if the guy is fine, a girl can hope to lead a happy life. I have seen whereever men stand by their wives, the family eventually accepts that the new bride is his life-partner and if they ill treat her, they would lose their son/brother’s respect too.

    My grandfather had explained this simple rule to his four daughters – the way to a married brother’s heart is through his wife, or else one loses the brother, because generally the brother and his wife’s lives are connected, and nobody is affected by the ups and downs in his life as much as the wife is. The sisters will all get busy in their lives (and should), the mother should hopefully have a life of her own too – they can make sure that this guy in their family is also allowed to have a life of his own.

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    • I agree with some of the points you’ve said , Nish. ANd yes maybe we need to hear their side of the story too before we make a hasty decision.

      However going in for divorce immediately seems a little hasty dont u think? Not because I think the girl shud live with all the difficulty just because she is married…. but only because there shud be an effort to work things out before taking a drastic step. If it still doesnt work, then fine…

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      • Ashwathy,

        I accept that divorce does sound a little hasty right now. But it doesn’t seem likely at all that her husband would be willing to move out of his mom’s house. So she will be living with her mother in law as well as her sis in law, and even if they all got along together (which they obviously don’t) I still don’t see that as an ideal situation.

        Moreover it’s quite likely that she is on a spouse Visa in the UK, and if it’s anything like the US H4 Visa, then she won’t be able to go for a job. To be unemployed and then living in a house with multiple in-laws sounds like a complete recipe for disaster to me.

        Obviously, if they go for counselling and that weak minded husband of hers realizes that at some point he needs to act like an adult and as a husband, rather than live his entire life as a son, then maybe they have a chance.

        I’d hate to think that they wait 3 more years, have a child, and then decide to divorce. Which was why I thought separation would be the right choice.

        Of course we are all theorizing here, since we don’t have all the facts.

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        • Nish, I agree. If both go in for counselling there is still hope. But they need to go in for it.

          I’d hate to think that they wait 3 more years, have a child, and then decide to divorce. Which was why I thought separation would be the right choice.
          from that perspective, yes I agree. All I meant was, divorce has to be a very last option where both sets of parties are convinced that there is no other way out and this is the best.

          Call me old fashioned but I’m a little appalled at all the divorces taking place these days due to apparently flimsy reasons – thought it is not to say that this case is flimsy though.

          I certianly hope this girl can work things through…

          Like

    • IHM,

      Took me a while to figure out what JKG means 🙂

      Here’s a quote from her letter :

      >> why did that man call my parents now and speak to them? <<

      She's referring to her husband here. Doesn't seem like there's a lot of love there! From the use of "that man", it sounds like she's having problems with him too.

      Me- Nish I think ‘that man’ refers to the common friend.

      And as to her sis-in-law approving the invitation cards rather than her husband, it's not a big deal. Maybe he and his sister are very close, and maybe he wanted her to choose the card rather than make his own decision, perhaps because he trusted her artistic abilities better than his own.

      I know that your blog was about the bigger and more general issue, but in this particular case I've got to say I find that this particular lady is mostly unaware of her own issues.

      Me – Nish this is not a trivial issue. Women are known to commit suicide because of this kind of harassment. Do you know 20% of ll suicides in India are comitted by young married women? Ever wonder why? And then we are not counting those women who are said to die in fire accidents.

      And seriously with that kind of attitude, and with her husband's seemingly immature stance with regards to all this, I don't think this is going to be a great marriage in the long run.

      Like

  15. omg!!!! 😐 what a horrible situation!

    this is why I said in my Matrimonial Mish-mashes that I wud carry a can of kerosene to my in-laws…in case I need to use… and OF COURSE not on myself 😀 😀 😀

    jokes apart, this girl needs to take a stand and be firm (yet be polite).

    No harmony is possible unless their is justice.
    this is so true. she will continue to feel bitter until her side of the story is heard and given due respect to.

    I certainly hope she will have the courage to stand up for herself…

    Like

  16. Thanks for posting this IHM. It’s high time we all come together and talk about this nonsense.

    I fail to understand why would parents allow their children to be subject to such mental and emotional torture.

    Parents of girls have to understand that by bribing the in laws with clothes and jewelry and television’s on every festival will not ensure their daughters happiness. Giving the girl child basic education and helping her establish herself in a career might ensure her some amount of happiness.

    It’s also time that girls themselves become strong and demand for basic education and pursue some career.

    We should ensure the practice of making sure the girls have a career just as much as the boys do before we start to look for a match for them.

    It’s also time for the boys to come forward and demand for the girls to be established somewhere in their careers.

    There’s no rule book for a successful marriage, but we should at least try and make our girls more prepared by teaching them to say No when the situation demands it and learn to voice their opinions in public too.

    Like

    • >> We should ensure the practice of making sure the girls have a career just as much as the boys do before we start to look for a match for them. <<

      Why should anyone look for a match for "them"? This is the crux of the matter. Parents should stop interfering in their children's lives. Picking a spouse is a very personal matter and the best person to make that choice would be the person involved, and not her parents/brother/sister. Once that happens most of these mother-in-law/sis-in-law problems will automatically vanish.

      Like

      • You know, even in countries where most people have love marriages, there are still MIL/DIL problems…

        Then I always find it remarkable that people can live under the same roof as their parents or husband’s/wife’s parents. Indian women are incredibly patient.

        Like

    • Yeah Ramit, it is very important for the movement to start somewhere. And the blogo sphere is a great forum. I think, looking at these two posts, yours and IHM’s I am going to give this problem a little legal angle too. Soon.

      Like

    • Do you mean to say that educated women having successful careers AND voicing their opinions are not having these problems?

      If feel they are more so because of education . Earlier, these rifts were unheard of ( but they existed ) …. that was when both MIL and DIL were not so educated. Now the tilt is DIL educated; so there are problems since MIL wants her to lead the life which she herself was subjected to.

      I think the next generation should have less problems as both MIL and DIL would be more alike ( in most habits , outlook and education levels ) … there is increasingly more tolerance for individual ‘space’.

      The younger set of MILs are much more adjusting and friendly and it is only going to improve. Like, all those people giving comments here ( men and women ) would definitely make good in laws if they practice what they say.

      Like

  17. IHM, some time back I did a post ‘Drunk on Power’. It was about how my inlaws wield this invisible band of power over me all the time. They are a highly educated and pretty ‘sophisticated'(for lack of a better word!) lot – the two of them – and they are very subtle in the way they misuse their ‘power’ , which they think they have, simply by virtue of being the guy`s parents!
    Here`s the interesting bit – I took down the post and just left a footnote, apologizing! I didnt have to. But I did. Because I got scared of confrontation. My sis-in-law sometimes sneaks up to my blog and knowing the bitch she is, I didnt want any unwarranted family drama..
    And that was when I realized my true defeat..
    It makes me sad, very very sad.. I wish I could write about all the subtle and the ‘not-so-subtle’ ways I have been trampled upon. And the reasons I put up with it. But honestly, I do not have the ^$^&$*^$ GUTS.
    My heart goes out to the anonymous DIL. I understand. Because in some ways I`ve been there too(albeit in extreme variants of what she narrates)..

    Like

  18. Joint families are like jails where everyone besides the DIL is a jailer while she has to tread on mines of tradition and culture. Girl’s parents are “cultured” if they show up with stuff every damn festival, gifts for everyone……even for those who are dead now!
    This is such a common situation and can only be sorted when both husband and wife are able to talk heart to heart and are on the same plank.

    Like

  19. BTW one thing that is very alarming is that quite a few of the people who have commented here say that they can identify with the girl, and that they have experienced similar problems in life. That’s definitely a sad state of affairs, considering that the women who comment here are educated, internet savvy and quite likely very independent. If this can happen to them, then a poor uneducated girl has no chance at all I guess.

    Me- Nish those who can’t identify have seen it happening all around them. This is not a small matter although one hears about how women only talk about these things… I would ask, why does any woman have to put up with so much of this? Ask any young married woman and there’s a sad story about what she has been through… isn’t this supposed to be a time for romance and fun? the best years of one’s life?

    Like

    • I am not surprised that most girls have either experienced something like this or know someone who has! Although I do not understand how inlaws can treat a girl so shabbily, and be so petty about money. But I totally trust these stories. Nothing is past Indian inlaws.

      Like

  20. Some of the guidelines to avoid such situations are :

    1. MOST IMPORTANT …try to find out before marrying as to HOW MUCH that guy is a Mommys kid. About 70 % Indian men are. They will always be ruled by and would be standing by the mom, whtever happens. Till you get this straight, DO NOT MARRY. However smaert , savvy, well educted and Rich / cultured that person is.
    How to fnd that out ? Well …. write to me at truwizard@gmail.com and I will tell you …. some responses here would also guide you thru this.

    Me – More than this Wizard I think all the girl needs to think seriously if she would like ot live in a Joint Family.
    And she should have a job that pays. Marrying a man who is a part of family business means he would not be able to stand on his own. Some families have a custom of letting one son go into the world while the other is kept at home so that his wife (not he) can take care of the in laws in their old age. A girl should decide if she would like to be that wife. If she likes to have some me-time, some ambitions, her own friends, long, impulsive drives on her own, some eating pizza in front of the TV on lazy Sunday mornings… 😦
    There is no harm in asking a man if he expects her to obey, give up or start working, be traditional etc.

    2. BE OBSERVANT ….how that guy deals with siblings, strangers, colleagues, you, your friends AND most importantly with the lowly staff like housemaids, drivers, waiters etc. Do not neglect small pointers of selfishness, arrogance, one up manship, etc.

    Me – Also watch how women are treated in that house. If there is another daughter in law, is she participating in all discussions? Do they look like they value her opinions, can she keep sitting while the mother in law goes to make a cup of tea …
    Men change too. I have seen some immature and even silly cousins turn into good husbands – they become like their fathers basically. MCP men often have MCP sons, and good husbands have sons who grow up to be good husbands.

    3. MIL pointers …. Have at least 7 meetings with her ( it is more important than meeting her son ) and see how much she brags about what she has done for him …how much upbringing pains … also how much he listens to her. Try to annoy her in the seventh meeting, if the guy holds your side; you would know he is right , else better to look elsewhere.

    Me- I think it would be a good idea to tell the son clearly that as an adult he is expected to move into his own house – and he would also be expected to have a mind of his own. He should not take any sides, all he needs to do is make sure nobody ill-treats his wife. If this is understood right int he beginning there will be no problem later. I have seen it’s often the younger sons who take this stand for their wives, because they have learnt from the example of older siblings.

    4. SIL is generally a pain in case she is the only daughter as she would be pampered. She would not like her share of attention being diverted so check it out if he is married and how far away and how happy …. They are most difficult to sus out too ; you got to really give a real try. All siblings appear happy with marriage, but it fizzles out soon enough; just try to play up a role in which you act like a spoiler by dropping them out from a planned shopping spree or movie or dinner …. and see how big the sulk is and how does the prospective groom handle it.

    Me- All sisters in law are not like this, and pampering a sister in law is not the problem – the problem is expecting the new bride to pamper her, and also comparisons!!
    We also have customs that clearly give the new member a lower position in the family hierarchy. Often the only time daughters begin to be treated well is as soon as the new bride enters the house.

    Life is not simple….. When in love It is understandable if you cannot do all of the above; but in arranged marriages, it is a MUST to go over things deliberately.

    All the best 🙂

    Me- Isn’t it unfair all these difficulties forced upon only 50% of the population?

    Like

    • 48 % ….. men’s ratio is higher, you see 🙂

      but seriously, it is more of a women sorting out women ( and men standing by – confused, not knowing which side to take ).

      Like

  21. Ramit, I feel the efforts we make as bloggers to bring to notice issues are successful only when men like you, Haresh and others come out and talk on an open forum.

    I agree with Nish that there are some things which do not seem very correct in the post of Anon but still I would like to go with what she is stating. How can there be love when a girl comes to a new home hoping that ” the man” she is marrying will hold her dignity above his own if not anything else and finds that he is completely incapable of doing so.

    It is important to listen to the other side also but then there are stories like this in each household and few come out to even mention it anon.

    It has been so long I have been wanting to write yet never could for various reason.

    Piper , in my home too sneaking is a habit. It does not matter which family background you come from or how sophisticated you are , it is just about ego and a resentment towards the new comer.

    I remember my MIL saying once Never ever try to control my son. I know how to keep people like you under the tip of my shoes (jutti).The interference is too much and there is no solution.

    oh Yes there are subtle and the ‘not-so-subtle’ ways I agree 100%. Sometimes one feels as if it’s a whole conspiracy against the DIL.

    all that is ” allowed ” to a daughter is ” not allowed ” to DIL and the son agrees. aakhis ma to ma hai, kya karen?

    sigh!!!

    Like

  22. I, as a 24 year old girl, feel scared and vulnerable right now, and I have just one question. When will this end?

    Me- Neha it will end if we stop thinking that of 50% that our population has to get married and stay married, no matter what. I feel girls should seriously think about whether or not they can live in a Joint Family. It’s not right that only a son’s parents’ in our society are taken as senior citizens – while a daughter’s parents plan for their retirement. Once the traditional system of Joint Families where a son lives with his parents all his life, and brings home a spouse to take care of them is replaced by all young couples living in their own homes and taking care of both the sets of parents – a lot of these biases will gradually end.

    Like

  23. Thanks for linking me, IHM!

    There have been a lot of comments on the post itself, so I don’t think I have anything to add. I think you covered it quite well. I hope she manages to improve her situation.

    Like

  24. Everyday, I appreciate my in-laws a little more. and more. and more…
    Not only did they accept and defend their son’s choice of marrying outside his religion, to date, they have never done the ‘in-law’ act.

    Now to the post: We’ll never know the whole story will we? When you agree to an arranged marriage, you have to expect (not necessarily accept) issues that tag along with it. You need to really work hard at sorting things out.
    Secondly, I’ve seen so many DILs entering a marriage set in the understanding that the in-laws are demons.
    I am with Nish here. The SIL thing seems to be blown a bit out of proportion.

    I am sure this will draw a lot of flak — but don’t many wives expect their husbands to give up being sons and brothers the minute they are married?

    I do think Anon here is not totally reasonable. Ha! there I said it.

    Like

  25. Dear IHM!

    I cannot believe that there is a post on my problem and there are soo many comments following it. The fact is things are great now and yes even though there is a little trouble with the SIL occasionally, nothing comes out in to the open, coz I have decided to take the high road and not bother myself with the petty and cheap problems of my SIL. Thanks for supporting me in the comment by Nish.. Everything you’ve said is true. Its been more than a year since I got married and I have had a fabulous life so far! I’ve travelled to the most magical places, husband has treated me with too much respect and showered me with immense love and at the same time made it clear to his Mother that any nonsense about me will not be entertained at any cost. Even the inlaws seem to have understood that their initial attitude was wrong. They genuinely care for me and love me. MIL is still all about customs and traditions but does not bother me with much of it coz I have started a master’s course and keep very busy. FIL and MIL don’t talk much to the husband any more.. they think he doesn’t care and that their DIL is more caring! 🙂 They tell me that since he doesn’t talk to them much, they’d rather talk to me.. FIL goes about praising me in front of my friends’ parents, friends’ inlaws, their relatives, my parents, grandparents everyone!

    SIL had a baby boy and though MIL is occasionally sad that we are not planning kids yet(like all old people!) she doesn’t torture me with the though. She is a good person and the way she talks does show that she genuinely cares about me. Afterall I am the only DIL she has! 🙂

    As a new bride, I was not sure what was going on, but I guess speaking to the husband did work out. Atleast he made it clear that he genuinely cares about me. Whenever there is some discussion of SIL’s behavior in general, his words tell me indirectly that he knows about her attitude and does not really care. He entertains no nonsense about me and has made it clear to his mom that my happiness and smile is more important to him than any custom or tradition which could drain the smile away from my face even for a second. 🙂 That nagging for grandchildren etc will not help and that unless I am ready to think of a child, we will not.

    He is totally supportive of my education and is very helpful with the whole thing. In fact it was he who suggested education considering the bad economy and me nto able to get a job..

    I’d like to reply to Nish’s comment about my parents forcing me in to the marriage – perhaps she did not read the whole post. I spoke to the guy a zillion times. I was not against marriage, I was against moving out of the country, but frankly speaking I guess I am better off far away, atleast I don’t have to waste my time in never ending poojas and functions which do no good to anyone. So, my parents did make a good choice for me. As for getting married young, I have to say my parents were very patient with me. All my cousins got married at 20-21, they were given no choice and bore children by 22-23! My parents waited for me to agree for marriage rather than throw me in to it. In families like mine, it is normal for girls to be wedded off by 21.

    As to the husband and his sister being super duper close, in the last one and half year of being married, I haven’t seen him call her by himself even once, I haven’t seen him discussing anything with her other than normal issues like how she is etc during pregnancy, and he himself tells me that he does not like discussing much with her coz her thoughts are too old and immature and not in sync with his.. and when it comes to me being jealous of her, well.. I could say it bothers me that she is the queen of “my’ house. She has a husband and now even a kid, but in the three years that she’s been married, she’s spent like close to 20 months with her parents.. it bothers me that she calls my house “her house” and that she talks to me as if I am an outsider and that I don’t belong to that family when all this happens when she is sitting or standing in the middle of a house which is on my and my husband’s name. Irony is MIL heard that once and reminded her that I am not someone from outside rather the owner of the house. 🙂 From the moment, her son was born, I’ve been buying gifts for him every time I go shopping or something cute catches my eye, everyone knows I do the shopping, ILs show off the stuff to people saying our DIL bought this and that.. SIL tells everyone her brother has been buying stuff.. She keeps showing off her jealousy at times with her words.. points out numerous times that I am the one abroad, and it appears as if she is jealous coz she hasn’t seen a place other than Chennai. Everytime we go on a trip, there is a hint of jealousy in her tone when she talks to me..Now is it really my fault that I think she is weird?

    I guess the other replies you gave were what I had in mind. Just wanted to thank you for bringing this out and thank all the people who commented for their advice. I guess it was just an initial jilt and the nervous new bride got worried a tad too much with the way things were.

    Thanks a lot once again..

    The Anonymous DIL, wife and daughter

    Liked by 1 person

  26. And yea, I forgot to mention one thing, treatment towards my parents has been amazingly wonderful too.. Since I am here, I guess my parents meet them more often and the other day, for some festival, when my parents were gifting something to my inlaws, my ILs refused and FIL threatened Dad that he will complain to me that my parents are not listening! They refused saying its not a big deal function or anything, but my parents being the daughter-crazy ones they are, decided to leave the stuff there itself and then FIL and MIL did actually complain to me that my parents did not listen to them! 😛

    When my brother was not well and was in the hospital and dad was away on work, mom called dad and asked him to come back. As soon as ILs came to know of this, FIL was upset with Mom coz she did not inform him but called up my Dad and Dad had to cut his trip short. Now even after brother is discharged and home, they keep calling and if possible visiting him..

    My understanding is this was the initial troubles and I would blame outside effect for this. Neighbors, jobless relatives etc who have nothing better to do in life, poke in to everyone’s affairs and try to meddle with relationships. And initially it is very easy to corrupt people’s minds about the new person. However, with time, after my ILs learnt more and more about me (though not in person yet), they realized how wrong they were.. As they say, ek galati tho kisiko bhi maaf hai..

    As a matter of fact, in a lot of aspects, all that I am allowed to do, SIL is not. There is no restriction on the kind of clothes I wear etc, but for SIL there is and that too from her parents.. Sometimes, I do feel sorry for my SIL that she doesn’t get as much freedom of choice as I do whether its from her parents or husband.. and maybe that’s why she is a little jealous. Over the time, I’ve learnt a lot about them only by talking on the phone and occasionally seeing them on the webcam. The 24 year old meek and scared bride has evolved in to a 25-26 year old smart woman (oops Girl! :P)

    I’d still want to stay anon though…

    Once again, thanks a lot..

    The Anonymous DIL, wife and daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. **There is no harm in asking a man if he expects her to obey, give up or start working, be traditional etc.**

    Exactly what I asked my husband when we spoke before agreeing to get married! When he answered as I thought he would, I asked him if he could say the same thing again and if I could record it!! He tells me that was the moment he fell in love with me.. 🙂

    To the anon DIL, life throws its challenges in all weird ways.. for a girl, many a times they are painful ILs..You need to be strong and face everything head on. Be clear in your mind and thoughts and there is absolutely no way you can ever get hurt or feel sorry for yourself! make sure your husband is with you as there is no bigger support than the spouse’s when dealing with troublesome ILs.

    Sad fact is ILs of today seem to be more of the monstrous kinds… my 70 year old grandmother tells me that her MIL and she used to sneak out to movies together! 🙂 granny still keeps her MILs belongings and cries everytime she sees them coz she misses her MIL so much! she tells me that there was no restriction for her at her inlaws place and that she was never allowed to cook being that she was young and was told to play with her SILs. Considering we’re talking more than half a century ago, this was the age of child marriages and so, she was young when she got married, so was my grandfather.

    A 58 year old aunt of mine tells me that there could be no better woman in the world than her MIL.. she says her MIL was better than her mom! And I’ve heard many similar stories from relatives etc who are definitely more than 55 years old.. So, I’ve come to a conclusion that as the society is advancing, boys’ moms are going back in time.

    What say IHM?

    Like

  28. It never is a question of whether it is an arranged or love marriage or whether it is a joint or nuclear family. For the mother, most of the time it is a matter of her petr suddenly lavishing all love and affection on his wife. She suddenly feels out of control.
    What the husband or his family normally doesn’t think of or ignores is that the girl after some 25 years of her life in an entirely different background has suddenly come into a new world. For the boy’s family, it is just one person whom they have to get accustomed to. For the girl, it is an entire new group (in Indian families it is more of a battalion) that she has to get used to. And she is expected to suddenly transform into this new avatar who should be at home with everyone on the husband’s side, from day one.
    On one side she might be getting used to a new way of life with her husband. Even if it is a love marriage, you would need some time to get adjusted to this person who suddenly is there all 24 hours day in and out. On the other side are all these expectations.
    I really really admire the mother of a friend of mine. She made it very clear to her son that he need to find a place for himself before he got married. He did that. The mother helped him with the basic furnishings, “it is your wife who should make it a home, not me, so I am going to get you a bed, a stove, a gas connection and a refrigerator, nothing else”. A few days before the wedding she stocked the refrigerator with enough meals for a week. After the wedding and after most of the relatives had left, she asked them to leave to ‘their’ house. My friend laughs whenever she remembers the stunned look on her sil’s face. Do you have any doubt what kind of relationship they maintain? She also told the two of them, “Your kids are yours. I am ok with baby sitting now and then, don’t expect me to be a nanny, though” (that’s the kind of mil i am going to be 🙂 )
    It is not whether you are educated and accomplished or not, it is a joint family or a nuclear one, most us go through these though the degree may vary.
    Lessons I have learnt:
    1. Be very clear about what you want – to your husband and his family
    2. Keep yourself busy
    3. Don’t bad mouth your husband’s family. You can share your thoughts with him – ONLY if he is willing to listen
    4. If the wave length variance is in light years, get on with your life, if possible, move to a different city or even better, to another continent.
    5. Make it very clear that you and your husband decides how to raise your children. It is only you and no one else in either families.
    6. Be very clear how much you are willing to do for your husband and his family.

    You will make many unhappy, but you will be at peace 🙂

    Like

  29. looks like the bride has solved her problems already, by herself..
    after reading the post and all those comments, thankfully i read her reply too before commenting…

    giving any relationship some time and lots of understanding makes a lot of difference.

    Me- And this relationship had the husband’s support throughout. Husbands can make all the difference.

    Like

  30. The 2 rules that I follow

    1. Be polite – ALWAYS. If something angers/frustates you, go away into a room and cool off. But don’t raise your voice
    2. Be firm – Don’t get pushed into doing something you don’t want to do. No matter what.

    They have worked for me. I would also like to add that if ILs are reasonable people, the understanding and affection also develops with time. Initially, both the DIL and MIL are wary of each other and eye each other with suspicion. But with time, both learn to accept each other as they are. There will always be conflicts but that is more because of the generation gap. Both have different ways to doing things. That is something that happens with own parents too. Just that the situation here is trickier because you cannot shout at your MIL like you can do to your mom 🙂

    I am glad Anon DIL is happy with her husband and ILs now. Most of the time problems are not as big as they seem to be.

    Like

  31. Glad to hear that things worked out for this DIL. What seems to have made a difference really is the husband putting his foot down and making it clear that his wife cannot be mistreated. Ultimately, parents-in-law will take their cue from the son.

    Me- I agree Apu!

    Like

  32. I understand how upset and nervous this anon DIL must be. She is married just for 4 months,which is relatively very less time in arrange marriage to understand your partner,his family and to take them in confidence.

    According to me,anon DIL should give some time to their marriage, settle with hubby,develope an understanding/bonding with each other. Slowly her hubby would understand,what is wife is and what bothers/hurts her a lot.Its also hubby’s responsibility to never let her down. And to always stand by her in any situation. She can not expect her hubby to support her from day 1..He would be obviously labelled as JKG then.

    Most important is to win the hearts..1 mantra which i believe in is “Never bad mouth your in-laws. Never nag your hubby over petty MIL-DIL issues” and everything will fall in place.

    I think the typical mind set any MIL has is to keep firm tab on her DIL from the day one.

    Sadly enough in India,groom’s parents still consider themselves to be superiors..and girl’s family is the inferior one

    ..i don;t know when this ridiculous mindset will change.

    IHM, I am really happy to see that someone looks at you as a moral support 🙂 and you are indeed providing one !

    Like

  33. I think its the first time I am commenting here, not too sure.

    The situation isn’t new, the solution not unknown, yet we find so many reasons to not follow the simple way out. Everybody needs personal space and freedom, whether it is to decide something as petty as what to wear or something life altering like whom to marry. And girls often have a opinion of their own on everything that matters to them, just that they succumb to the outside pressure too easily sometimes.

    I am 24 and not still married. But I know the woman who will be my MIL. And though I get along with her very well, I can forsee some problems in future because our tastes differ. Whether it is my small, tiny earrings against her big, glittering jewelery or my way of trying new cuisines against her ‘wasting money’ ideology, we will surely have clashes, I know.

    My solution is plain, simple and strong.
    Do as you please with your life. Wear as much gold as you like. Don’t wear skirts if you don’t like. Don’t eat from outside if you think it is unhealthy or a waste of money. Because it’s your life, and I m not imposing anything on you.

    And yes, you are free to have your opinion on my life, my ways, my choices. But let them remain as your opinions and may you never forget that when it comes to my life, I rule!

    I think the girl in question needs to stand up for herself and insist that she will do it her way. The gold and silver is hers’ and therefore, she decides. Period.

    About discussing it with outsiders, try and let it not bother you unless the outsider matters!

    My best wishes with her.

    Me – I agree with you Rani, loved this line – you are free to have your opinion on my life, my ways, my choices. But let them remain as your opinions and may you never forget that when it comes to my life, I rule!!!

    Welcome to this blog 😆

    Like

  34. IHM, it is my opinion that,

    nobody should interfere into the affairs of a married couple, be it parents or in-laws or out-laws or whatever-laws. They can advice and give suggestions, but decision making on all matters should be left to the couple, good or bad let them take the decision and live a life. The husband and wife should make this clear to others. At least, the man of the house should take this stand. If not, why the heck does he marry ! He can very well stay with his parents and go behind Mama like a school boy.

    Some parents tend to put their nose inside every affair of their children’s family and children find it hard to resist their parents.

    It is high time our Indian society learns to give couples the respect and privacy they need, and stay out.

    Me- I agree Viv – very well said.

    Like

  35. This has become a ‘they lived happily ever after’ story now, IHM!

    I had started reading this post and wanted to read all the comments and then give my comment ‘to ask her to study further if she can’t work in the UK – my niece did that -‘. Good to know that Anon has settled down. She has taken the right steps.

    God bless her and her family.

    Like

  36. a very common story amongst we Indians. most of the Indians girls will identify with what the lady in question has mentioned.
    i have been writing about such issues since so long. because

    one time or other we women have been through these stages.
    there are women with 25 years of marriage behind them and they are still facing the same dominance by the mil

    to handle such situations support of a matured husband with a balance approach is a must.

    either you fight back ( not literally) but – assert your self, show that you are not ready to take such nonsense , you have an identity of your own.. ( like my father used to say that if the Mil is doing wrong by being cruel the Dil is equally to be blamed for tolerating the injustice)– but do this softly, with due respect to her age, her relation with the husband BUT PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN THAT YOU ARE NOT GOING TO TOLERATE SUCH BEHAVIOUR.

    or go on tolerating and wait for the day when u will win her over with your patience, your caring, your tolerance —- which is a far fetched idea. it never happens.

    if you do get time do go through the following links

    http://anjugandhi.wordpress.com/2010/03/07/wake-up-girls-at-least-on-this-women-day/

    http://anjugandhi.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/musings-of-a-married-girl/

    http://anjugandhi.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/is-it-stree-dhan/

    http://anjugandhi.wordpress.com/2010/03/15/which-is-her-house/

    http://anjugandhi.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/ok-to-kick-son%E2%80%99s-wife/

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  37. Marriage is based on understanding…and not ‘adjustment’, as per popular belief.

    Every couple has problems — but letting it go out of the family — be it a serious or casual talk, is a big no-no. it’ll only aggravate hard feelings.

    IHM, great job here!

    Me- I agree!! Love that line – it says so much!!

    Like

  38. Pingback: The invisible family member in the saas-bahu post. « The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  39. i think Phoenix Ritu had the most sensible suggestions. Divorce or walking out is such an easy thing to say these days. its scary!

    and just the way we don’t like bad things being said about our parents, then how can we expect the guy to be OK with bitching about his? even when they are wrong, they have brought him up and had a hand in what he is today.

    M was very clear that he is not to be used as post master between my MiL and me. and i respected that. thankfully i didnt have to live with her. she did make some snide remarks by syaing “tumhaara toh gold zyaada nahi hai” very casually. but these kinda things i TOTALLY chose to ignore because I was very sure that my value is not decided by how much gold my parents gave me.

    over a period of time she knows that M’s and my relationship is something she just cant even touch with a bargepole. and that is because we both made a conscious effort to make things work and today get love and respect from both sides.

    apart from that she ofcos does not need to give ANY of her jewelry to in laws to please them! thats just BS. she should also tell her parents to NOT keep sending gifts for no reason OR for a reason. tell them (her folks) that she doesnt care about stupid remarks her MiL makes about gifts or lack of them and they shouldnt to.

    once she just ignores these remarks and gives coupla smart yet sweet retorts, the family will hopefully get the hint. and she will learn to not get affected by such BS stuff. i mean seriously in larger scheme of things these saas-bahu kinda taunts are SO not important!

    she has just started her married life. try and keep it positive and dont let any tom dick and harry upset her by carrying stories and faltu gyaan!

    am sure good times await them if both her hubby and she KNOW what is important to them.

    cheers!

    Like

  40. oh, its good to know this DIL has got it all sorted for herself.

    My heart goes out to the rest of the DILs who are trudging this miserable path. I know a few friends who are going through similar issues. and most of the times, I feel so helpless, as most of them prefer to don the act of a martyr, for some wierd reasons. some of them dont speak up, but you can sense the discomfort even while you have a telephonic conversation with them, while their ILs are around.

    I’m not an experienced person, but I feel rather than looking at the MIL issues in isolation, why not look at it as a more generic ‘people’ issue. How do you deal with a person, who steps on your feet? who walks all over you? yes, the dynamics vary depending on your relation/equation with the person, but still, I feel when we learn to look at it as an inter-personal issue, rather than a huuuge MIL-issue-I’m-doomed-for-life, we’ll be mentally and emotionally in a better frame of mind to tackle it.

    And the only right way to deal with an interfering person is to show them your boundaries and let them know (of course, in a mature way)that you mean business and wouldn’t tolerate trespass.

    For MILs playing power games with DILs by manipulating your oh-so-innocent-babies(err.. hubbies), the best way to deal with anyone playing a stupid power game is to choose not to play the game at all. Dont let them have their way in your life, and make sure you dont end up playing the same game by manipulating your husband against his Mom. If she gets no response to her silly lil tricks, she’ll soon get bored to play the game.

    My 2 cents.

    Me – The last bit must be difficult Usha, because some of the power games may involve not letting the daughter in law work or buy – say a new computer, or to let her children study in an expensive school… I think here again, the husband has to respect the fact that he has married an adult, and she should take these decisions on her own, others can offer advise… but that’s it.

    Like

    • you’re right. It’s easy to choose not to play the game with an acquaintance or colleague. The dynamics here are different though. Not playing the game, can sometimes make you feel like a doormat too.

      Though what I meant by refusing to play the game is by not responding/reacting to their gameplans. What I meant is to keep doing your thing irrespective of what the other person says.

      But again, practically, when the woman’s so-called harness is at the hands of a so-called Man whose harness is at the hands of the MIL, then it all gets a li’l too complicated than all our interpersonal skills theory. sigh!

      There must be some litmus test, by which you can know whether the guy you are going to marry is a Man or an overgrown Mama’s boy. :/

      Like

  41. Pingback: Top Indian Blogs with blogposts from the Indian Blogging community

  42. my suggestion to this anonymous women : dont keep reading this blog, else u will messup your life…

    Me – What made you say that Maya?
    She left another comment and is doing fine now.

    Like

  43. Hi anonymous dil,

    First let me tell you that what u have gone through will not stop ever,the only thing that u can do is stand up for yourself.I know this from personal experience,the exact same thing happened to me 4 years back.Now a days its fashionable to say we dont want dowry but the truth remains that there is a indian mindset that boys side is superior and are always right.This mindest will never stop until the girls parents decide to stand up for their daughters but then again most of the time daughters dont want to hurt their parents and never tell them the truth.Dont be fooled that ur husband supports you,u never know when one fine day he says u were wrong all the time.I understand that being alone in your inlaws house is a bit intimidating and sometimes quite frustrating and your only support is ur husband but all this wil never stop unless you decide to stop it yourself.By stopping I dont mean get a divorce but stand up and say what u feel is right,dont think u will hurt someone ,saying what is right is not wrong.so girl stand up for urself after all self respect is the best gift we can give ourselves.

    Like

  44. Pingback: An email from an anonymous Confused Wife. « The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  45. Pingback: The interference of parents in the married life of their daughters… « The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  46. Hi anonymous,
    Your story reminded me of what hapenned to me 5 yrs back when i was 24 got married and moved to US. The best advice i can give you is never come back to india.. Then u wont have any control over your life.. Thats the mistake that hapenned to us. I feel we lived so peacefully in the US. BUt now MIL trouble is there every day of my life.. And sadly it is affecting everything from my husband to my baby.. Life is hell.. SO howmuch ever u miss india never ever come back…

    Like

  47. Pingback: A daughter in law’s legal rights in her in law’s house are same as her husband’s rights. Whatever is his, is hers. « The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  48. Pingback: An email: This is the life Mr Shravan Kumar and Mr Scaredy Cat offer to their life partners. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  49. Pingback: “What if I let go the gold and money, not that I am rich, but they won’t give me a divorce easily…” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  50. Pingback: “When there are guests I don’t get to talk to them because I am in the kitchen all the time …even wearing a Nighty is considered indecent.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  51. Pingback: “Now I just think of marriage as contract to go serve some stranger family. He made it clear that I could have ended in a much worse situation.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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  53. Pingback: Simple methods, recommended to anybody else, coping with any other kind of abuse, are forbidden to Indian daughters in law. Forbidden by whom? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  54. It was yesterday that I came across your blog and since then I have become addicted to it. This particular post forced to put a comment as I also got married two months ago and ours was also no dowry marriage, yet the customs stretched to so much that I feel embarassed to be reminded of those gray parts of our wedding. And not only customs but imposing tradition values in terms of household work, traditional attire (cover your head stuff). I am an IT professional and have always worked in multinational corporates but my MIL and SILs are housewives, still I get compared to them. Plus there is social stigma in our country that corporate job is not good for females, why dont you try for government job?

    Like

  55. Pingback: An email: “He told my MIL that he doesn’t like me. I knew he was depressed so I tried to console him.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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