“My wife often rakes up property issues, or rues the expenses on my father’s ill-health.”

Anonymous xyz was disappointed with the last post.  (“I don’t claim to be a spokesperson for all the men on this planet, but…” )

He says there are some more problems he is facing, I am sure these are common problems. His comments in bold.

Doesn’t matter if my wife often rakes up property issues,

IHM: I think it does matter. Here’s a link (it’s in Hindi) with information about a Daughter in law’s Legal Rights  so far as inheritance is concerned. Your parents have a right to decide what they do with their own hard earned money.

or rues the expenses on my father’s ill-health,

IHM: It matters. Please assure her that you would do the same for her parents too. If you have financial difficulties, please know that your siblings, including sisters are also required to contribute.

comparing the gifts that I give to my sisters on rakhi.

IHM: Matters. Reminding her that you won’t question/compare what she spends on her siblings might help?

Added: But also consider, yearly Rakhi gifts to your sisters who are, today your equals in every way, can be compared to dowry? Why no gifts to brothers, they are siblings too.

I can move out today if I want (though the house is big), but my mother wants me to stay on since she feels helpless alone.

IHM: The size of the house is less important than how much at home she feels in your house. Does she feel this is her house too? If not why not? Do you and your family feel this is her house as much as it is yours? Do you value her opinion on family matters? Is she included in decision making, budget planning, family jokes etc like all the other members are?

Does she have as much authority as she has responsibilities? This applies to all family members. It’s not possible to like to live in a place where we are treated as less equal.

Only honest answers can truly solve your problems.

Both my wife and mother use their tactics to get their way and both feel martyred.

IHM: Your wife (or even your mother) would have handled a situation like this in office or anywhere else on her own, if nothing else then may be by simply ignoring the person she does not get along with. Would you like her to do that here?

If you interfere and stop her (or them) from doing that, then you are taking the responsibility of ensuring that the situation is comfortable for both.

Is it possible that both are over worked? Tedious, routine house hold chores can be very stressful, make sure you all do your share (equal share) of household chores.

Maybe the word ‘driven’ was wrongly used or my wife has many unrealistic expectations from our marriage.

IHM: Generalizations don’t help, I would suggest sorting specific issues. What expectations do you consider realistic or unrealistic?

For example expecting to have house help is not unrealistic in India. Thinking you have a right on your siblings’ share in your parents’ property is unrealistic. Expecting those siblings to contribute in care giving (physical and financial) is realistic.

I hate it when she uses my failings against me and thwarts any genuine attempt to reach a reconciliation because in that resolution she has to invariably adjust.

IHM:  Genuine attempts to reach a reconciliation would mean any resolutions are arrived at jointly. Are the adjustments expected from both or is only one of you required to make all the adjustments?

I maybe asking her for more cooperation and adjustment

IHM: Maybe asking her to suggest solutions would work better? Like asking her what she thinks might work better? This way the responsibility is shared and this would make her feel included.

and seriously can’t afford an entourage of servants.

IHM: Do you plan your expenses together? If she is aware of the financial limitations and feels  equally responsible for budgeting, she might either accept your plan to save on domestic help, or show you it might work better to have help at home.

Since there is a lot of stress at home, it might help to have domestic help to reduce chores related stress.

My mother does whatever she can and so does my wife, but then why this clash to dominate?

IHM: Maybe they are not compatible? Your parents might benefit from spending some time with your siblings occasionally?

Maybe you would all be happier if you lived in your own homes, even if means spending more, you’d probably live better quality of life. Many families would trade luxuries for peace of mind.

We both have a job but managing children is another problem.

IHM: How are you managing house work with both of you working? Does your mother manage all the house work? If yes, is that fair?

Do you do your share, before expecting other family members to contribute? It would be unrealistic to expect another member to do your share of work, that includes your mother (Nita’s comment) and your wife.

I do feel when both the partners are working then they do need some house help. Even if your parents supervise, they could be spared the physical labor.

I had a love marriage and accepted no dowry.

IHM: But please don’t see that as a favour to your wife, or as deprivation for your parents. It’s even possible that your wife would not have married you if you had accepted dowry. If you talk about it too much, you might sound like you think accepting dowry was an option.

(I am not saying you do that, but I have blogged about some families who do.)

was I concentrating more on my own needs, or I can ask my wife to adjust?

IHM: If you really want your problems to be solved, you will have to answer this question honestly to yourself. Remember happiness is not possible in a relationship where one person thinks they have some special rights because they are women/men. Respect fair play.

Would you be willing to exchange places with your spouse? No, being men/women does not mean we become more tolerant, caring, sacrificing, unemotional etc. Those are excuses made by abusers.

is it wrong to expect her to adjust when she wants to do each and everything her way

IHM: Yes. It is not right to expect someone to ‘adjust’ when they want to do something in a way different from yours – either they should understand your point of view or else they will do the ‘adjusting’ filled with resentment.

Have no hope of intimacy from someone who is resentful.

is it wrong that my parents want to leave behind some property for their daughters also who are now married whereas my wife thinks otherwise?

IHM: No it is not. Parents have legal right to leave equal (or not) property to all their children. Your wife might feel she deserves more (through you) because she is made to adjust and take care, while your siblings are not, but apart from what she has received as gifts from them (generally jewellery) she has no right on what your parents own, except through you.

This is also why your sisters have as much (legal and moral) responsibility as you to take care of your parents’ health care expenses. It is possible that your wife sees herself giving more than she receives and that makes her bitter.

I don’t give much thought to property like my wife does.The problem is not of property but of living peacefully together.

IHM: Property does become a big issue in Indian families. Most wives believe their husband’s home is their home and the sisters in law are ‘paraya dhan’ but legally the sisters have the same rights on the property as the sons. (I think this does not apply to agricultural land – if you wish you can click here and find out more).

Maybe if the sisters took equal responsibility in caring for your parents and also contributed financially for your father’s health care, it would be fair to you both. Legally all children are equally responsible for caring for their parents in their old age.

[Note: Both the links are in Hindi (shared by Desi Girl). Please do share if you know of any equally helpful links in English.]

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79 thoughts on ““My wife often rakes up property issues, or rues the expenses on my father’s ill-health.”

  1. XYZ – hats off to you for asking these questions. I see this as a first step to resolving the issues, even if
    a. it is only one side we’re hearing (am sure your wife will have a totally different take on it); and
    b. I do see more expectations of your wife (from you) to ‘obey’ and not so much of a willingness to ‘adjust’ on your part.

    These are common problems that others have handled well – wouldn’t it help for you to talk to a friend, someone elder who you think has done this well (of both genders and a bit more enlightened in your eyes) and see what they did and can suggest for you?

    Good luck. Even if it doesn’t seem like it too much, my heart does go out to the pain I can hear. It’s not so difficult when you put your minds to it and implement some simple actions

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  2. Poor chap. It sounds as though nothing at home is the way he would like it to be.
    I wonder if, in the love marriage they had, had they discussed the fact that they would live in his parents’ home? If this is not what his wife envisaged, she may find it very difficult to accept.
    All the negatives his wife expresses seem related to his dealings with his family.
    I have personally seen that the more loving and giving you are to your SILs on any possible occasion, or even otherwise, helps them feel close to both the brother and bhabhi- gifts may not be expensive, but need to be chosen and given with affection.
    Successfully managing housework needs
    a) good planning and simplification of tasks. Maybe all laundered garments don’t need to be ironed (I know someone who actually irons her husband’s socks!)
    Maybe the living room can be dusted/tidied everyday, other rooms less often.
    b) participation by all members in an age appropriate way– even an elderly person can do his /her fair share of domestic tasks as long as he or she is reasonably mobile.
    c) Not complaining about what is not done!
    d)Employing help

    Very personal questions, XYZ- do you love your wife?
    Apart from the gift angle, how is the interaction between your sisters and her?
    Are they older/younger?
    What kind of lives do they lead in their marital homes- any clue? They may be complaining about the same things your wife does, if their life situations are similar.

    For how long have you been married?
    How old are your kids?

    Essentially, everyone in the family will want enough of your time and attention to fulfill their emotional needs. I wish that they would also be concerned about your emotional requirements.

    All the best.

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  3. You and your wife need to sit down and thrash out these issues one by one and come to some sort of understanding that is fair to both of you.

    1. Your wife’s concern with property: I don’t think your parents property is any of her business. However, as IHM said, she may be feeling that she is entitled to it because she is looking after your parents mostly. Maybe it would be fair to not have her have to look after your parents if that is what is happening. Perhaps you should look after your parents mostly.

    2. Your wife’s concern over how much you are spending on your dad’s illness: how money is managed in a marriage is a huge issue, especially when it involves supporting other people. I saw this with my parent’s marriage and a couple of my friends. To avoid falling into this trap I resolved when I got married that I would never bother about how much money my husband spent on his family as long as he did the same for me. For this reason, I need to have a job, so I can turn a blind eye to mostly what my husband does with his money. As long as we live a reasonably comfortable life, if my husband chooses to give his parents money, that’s his choice. The problem is if my husband started stinting on our life in order to give money to his parents. Is this what is happening with you? Nevertheless, if your father is ill and needs the money and care, you woudl naturally want to support him. Ideally, this responsibility should be shared and you shoud discuss it with your siblings. But if you’re an only child or noone else is taking responsibility, it might have to be just you. You need to explain to your wife why this is necessary.

    As others have commented earlier, a lot of these petty problems would get solved if you wife did not have to live with people she clearly does not get along with. The feelings of resentment build up when you are around people you don’t like. And there’s no reason your wife should like your mother (and vice versa), leave alone have to live with her. If they serendipitiously got along, then yay! But clearly they aren’t. So you might want to consider moving away and you might see all these issues melt away. This happened with my own parents – don’t expect your wife’s grievances to dissipate (my mother still remains very angry over the way my father was treated over some property) but it just won’t be a daily issue.

    Your mother “feeling helpless” if you move – why? Is she physically sick? Unable to take care of your father alone? Otherwise, just “feeling helpless” is not a good enough reason to keep you tied there. Even if your parents are unwell, you and your sisters need to share that responsibility. I have made that clear to my husband – that I don’t want to live with his parents. If they are really unwell, we can consider it, but it should not automatically be us… his sisters need to pitch in too (and they will). The same goes for my family if my parents are unwell. And the lions share of the work should be done by you and your sisters (unless your wife/brothers in law are really close to your parents) because after all, your parents looked after you when you were young, not your wife.

    I don’t agree with IHM on the “adjusting” point. Ideally, yes, she should see your point of view before adjusting. Sometimes, though, I give in on things I don’t agree on (as does my husbad) and yeah, I don’t cherish doing those things but that’s life. Sometimes at work we have to do things we don’t see why we should also. But the adjustment shouldn’t be onesided, and there are things a person can say they just don’t want to adjust to – living with my in-laws was one such for me.

    Mainly, I think you need to go for a nice dinner with your wife and both of you talk about where you can both give and take a bit.

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  4. Big applaud for the the courage this man has come up with . Honestly.
    Speaking up is not always easy and here this is the first step to find solutions.
    And applaud for opting for a sensible no-dowry-marriage.

    But still there is some life skills to be learned and some ‘fair play’ to be exercised. The wife needs to feel at home and needs to be a decision maker to be rational about he expectations she is having as you said XYZ ! Does she have a realistic knowledge of your assets ? If yes, you need to talk to her calmly and not rubbish her cribs as a daily honking , it is going to work only if you understand and share her household responsibilities as well . If you don’t understand and share the household chores how do you expect her to share your concerns about the things you care for ?

    All the solutions provided by IHM are wonderful , she has addressed every single thing that you need to take notice …. you should be able to see logic now and work accordingly…

    I conclude that men speak like your earlier comment ( the subject of the last post here ) when they are frustrated by the problems in their life and don’t find a way to solve them. But still blindly blaming someone else for your own failures is not right and you really need some growing up ….and i think you have started 🙂

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  5. Ok, now I’m happy! I’m happy that XYZ has gotten into the specifics of his issues and is addressing it properly instead of smothering it in generalizations and expecting peace to just come to him. Peace takes work too!

    Good luck dude! IHM has already said all the things that is there to be said.
    I wish you the best.

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  6. I sometimes think men have it tougher than women, because they cant pick sides and are torn trying to be with both the warring women.

    That said and done … the man has to establish boundaries and lay down ground rules. He has no option since he is the common factor between the parents (+siblings) and the wife. To do that, he has to be fair and mature. Only then will the issues get resolved.

    Domestic help is a non-negotiable issue, working people need them.
    Finances – since both of them earn, both of them have to decide the spending
    Property – it is legally and morally not theirs – so the issue has to be shelved for now. If parents are holding that over their head like a sword or a carrot, well, then the parents have to be told off.
    Siblings … don’t they cease to matter so much once you are grown up? So why the issue about a twice-a-year gift. Something does not ring true here. Perhaps the MIL makes a big fuss about her daughters to irritate the wife.

    me – Don’t agree with, ‘since both of them earn, both of them have to decide the spending’ – non earning spouse also has an equal say in the family’s spending.

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    • Oh yes! There should be no talk of property. After all, xyz and his wife are both working and are not likely to starve. So any property that is or is not coming their way is none of their concern!

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    • I have always told my mother that the money my dad earned was their ‘joint’ salary. He could only put in those hours and that commitment because she looked after everything else. If she isn’t entitled to her say and her clout I don’t know who is. Certainly not the man who isn’t home all day and is expected to take decisions and consider factors he really doesn’t know!

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  7. Is your wife a homemaker? Does she have money, property and assets in her name, from her parents, from her income and from your income? Do you both discuss finances jointly? Are you honest with her about where your income is going, does she have a say in your personal financial decisions as husband and wife and as parents of your children? If the answer is no to any of these, that’s where her feelings of powerlessness are coming from. If she feels financially self-reliant, she’s not going to hanker after your parents’ property.

    About the taking care of your parents’ bit, I agree with the previous commenters, that’s your job and your siblings’ job, not your wife’s. She’s a free nurse, housekeeper and caretaker for them. If on top of that, she is in financial ‘slavery’ or dependence, then do you blame her for the measures she uses to establish some sort of control on her financial future?

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  8. I think it is wonderful this man has come out with his problems and is trying actively to solve the situation. Several people have given good advice already. My suggestion would be to take a break with your wife. Go on a holiday (just the two of you) and have a heart to heart talk with her.

    Your wife has no right to tell your parents what they should do with their property. In fact, it is up to them even if they want to give it to some charity. Make her understand that it is not your property or her’s, that she can stake claim like this. Nor does she have the right to object to your spending on your father’s medical expenses. It is your birthright to take care of your parents, if you want to. She may do the same with her parents. Also, why are your parents not paying for the expenses themselves? From what you write, I got the impression that they are able to. I understand that if your father is really sick, it may be difficult to move out. How about considering a flat next door or something?

    It may help if each of you have allocated chores. For example, your mother can do the cooking, you can do the dishes and your wife the cleaning. This kind of clear allocation of jobs stops people from feeling victimised. After all, we all have other better things to do! It might be a good idea to hire help for basic work. They are not that expensive, and you and your wife are both working, AND your parents apparently have property to leave!

    She cannot “invariably adjust”. Having married her, it is up to you to see that you address her problems. Simply living in a joint family might be the problem. I don’t think anyone has the right to ask anyone else to spend their lifetime with his parents.

    Looks like your mother and wife are both playing a deep emotional game for your attention. Did your mother approve of your love marriage? Was your wife happy to move in with your parents? The honest answers to these two questions might give you something to work with.

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  9. xyz,

    1)You are willing to talk about this issue and seek opinions. That is itself a positive first step.Unburdening yourself, even if it is done anonymously, will make you feel better

    2)Welcome to this blog. We need more males here. Do not mind some negative responses. They need not necessarily be “negative” or “hostile”. May be they are mirrors that reflect a different perspective which you may be unable to see, as you are so deeply wrapped up in your problems.

    3)I generally echo IHM’s advice to you.

    4)Your wife must not mind your parents options regarding property issues. My parents willed their flat in Mumbai to my younger brother’s daughter after consulting me. There was absolutely no unpleasantness on this issue. The reasons too were convincingly explained to me and I convinced my wife.

    5) Your wife is welcome to discuss a more equitable sharing of the burdens if any of supporting your parents if they are old and need it. For this you must open a dialogue with your siblings.

    6)I am not suggesting that what I have done is the ideal solution, but it has worked for me. My wife is one of four daughters. My in-laws have no son. They spent most of their earnings and savings, raising four great girls, educating them and getting them married. They were finally left with just enough to be able to contribute their living expenses to whoever would keep them, but they could not afford an establishment of their own.

    They have lived permanently with me for for the past 34 years. Their eldest and youngest daughters were married into a large joint families. They couldn’t have lived with them. The third daughter married and emigrated in 1980 and has become a citizen of USA and keeps in touch with visits once in a few years but is unable to host her parents. Her husband will not welcome them unless they are temporary guests. He does not even keep in touch with them over the phone or through letters.

    That leaves only my wife and me to depend on. I have had no problem, keeping them with me and I even convinced my parents not to feel that my in-laws have stolen their son. My parents had three sons. They were economically better off and did not have to depend on any of their sons till their last days. They are both no more. My in-laws staying with me permanently did not affect them in any way.

    Besides my father and father in law got along famously. They were childhood friends from the same village.

    While both my parents are no more, my in-laws are now in the last stages of life, when their use to the family is nil and the expenses are the maximum. People wonder why I have saddled myself with the sole responsibility of supporting them. I don’t see it that way. Some one in the family had to undertake this responsibility and I consider it a privilege that this responsibility fell to me.

    My sisters -in- law adore me for being a brother to them, a brother they never had. They have cheerfully borne the financial burdens and completely exempted me and my wife from any expense on their medical care and hospitalisation. One sister in law is well employed in a Multinational and the other two regularly send them money, including some received in Dollars from USA. The eldest daughter also hosts them for a month or two every two years just to give them (and us too! ) a change. But my place is their headquarters and has been so for over 33 years. My children too have been used to having them around ever since they were born and never felt that ours was not a normal family. The occasional visits of my parents and their short stays with all of us resulted in a happy Mela like atmosphere in our house.

    There have been other indirect gains too. My wife was a bank employee. My in laws were always at home when both of us were out of the house, busy with our careers.
    They ran the household, and took care of my children
    till they were old enough not to need their attention. My wife and I felt a lot more comfortable not having to leave our young kids to the care of Ayahs or in Child care centers.

    Every family has problems like yours and a good heart to heart talk can help sorting out issues. First have a heart to heart talk with your wife, and separately with your mother and father. Then have a family discussion. Invite a neutral and respected elder relative or friend who is acceptable to all, if available to mediate. For specific issues, invite your siblings to participate and calmly discuss and sort out the issues.

    Talking about it, is a necessary first step. Keeping your thoughts and feelings bottled up will only make it worse. Living separately can be the last resort.

    I hope and pray your problems will be sorted out in the end. Be patient and hopeful.
    Once again welcome to this blog.

    Regards
    GV

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    • GV, such a simple and comfortable arrangement! Breaking out of traditional mindsets gives us all the freedom in the world to do what is needed, and what is right.
      My late mother-in-law was very attached to my younger brother-in-law and mostly resided with him, but spent the last three years or so of her life based in our home. She became seriously ill and had a full time home nurse taking care of her. She had some small pension, but my husband met all her expenses, without any help from his siblings. Before her illness, I would ensure that my husband gave her some amount of spending money to call her own.
      It was not easy, financially or emotionally either, especially since that was also the time in which both my husband and father suffered serious illnesses, and I also had a major surgery. We did survive this tough period somehow.
      Both my parents spent their last few years mostly in our home, and some time at my sister’s home. Our brother lived abroad, and had predeceased them. My Dad had his pension and some savings, and a flat of his own, but they were just not fit enough to live on their own after a point. They did insist on paying what they could, which was important for their self respect. My husband never ever complained about them staying with us, though it was often restricting, and there were times when I myself would be very stressed out with all the responsibility.
      All of this is to say that there is no one correct way of living. But we do need to live according to our own values- the elderly do need to be given the appropriate care that they need, it doesn’t matter whose parents they are!

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      • Thanks Dipali, for sharing your story.

        Yes, society must change.
        The old custom that required that parents of married daughters must not even drink a glass of water from the house of a married daughter, have to be thrown out of the window.

        I wince every time I hear the dialogue in old Hindi movies
        बेटी के घर पानी भी नहीं पीना चाहिए।

        This बेटी पराया धन है mentality also needs to change.
        I am also uncomfortable with some old traditions in Indian families.
        Many men are most uncomfortable being an overnight guest at their in laws houses. They may visit their in-laws but mostly come away after leaving their wives there.

        The change in attitudes has begun already with the present generation.
        I hope by next generation all this will be history.
        Regards
        GV

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    • See how simple it is when we don’t go by Society’s rules as if they are iron clad?? Some people believe they should not stay with the daughter and son -n law. All stuff and nonsense as proved by this very warm picture you have painted GV.

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    • Dear GV,

      You seem to be a very nice person and remind me of my brother-in-law (my sister’s husband) with whom my mother lives now (both my father and brother are no more). My husband, I am sorry to say is more like the husband of you sis-in-law based in the US – this does cause me a lot of pain.

      Its good to read your comments.

      -NN

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      • Shail, NN, Gounder Brownie,

        Thanks for your appreciative comment.
        I have presented some more of my thoughts on parents staying with married daughters in my reply to Dipali.

        I have faced ridicule from some male cousins and friends, but never from my parents.
        I have even cheerfully put up with the reputation of being a “Ghar ka Jamai” in the neighbourhoods I lived in about 30 years ago when my in laws were merely middle aged and not old and were quite visible and well known in the locality and I was a young man.

        I never bothered to clarify to any one that my in-laws were living with me, and it was not the other way around. I didn’t feel the need to.
        My married daughter and my 24 year old son have not experienced not living with their maternal grandparents in the same house.

        I am reaping the benefits now. My married daughter and son in law have emphatically stated that they would love to host me and my wife and keep inviting us to spend at least a few months every year with them in USA. Two generations ago, this would have been unthinkable.

        I yielded to their request and spent a month with them in California last year and that was my first visit to USA.
        I had blogged about those experiences in Hindi.
        I will share the links with interested persons later.

        Thanks once again for your feedback.
        I notice the replies from everyone are much more cordial and friendly and I hope xyz has noticed this and finds it comforting. I was afraid he may be put off by some of the responses last time.

        Regards
        GV

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    • Vishwanathji, I salute you. A son-in-law caring for his wife’s parents! It’s almost unheard of in our country. Most men expect unending gratitude from their wives for monthly visits/phone calls to the wife’s family.
      You have proved that custom and tradition are not effective deterrants if one is determined to have equitable and fair domestic arrangements. In future, everytime I hear a man boast about what a good damaad he is because he “allows” the wife’s parents to stay for a few days, I will think of you. 🙂

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      • Dear GV,

        remember your comments on the live-in debate and me taking them as views of a man belonging to an older generation who was deep set in the formidable traditional mould of taking marriage as the only ‘right’ way.
        it’s a pleasant surprise you bent the tradition when t’was necessary to accommodate your in-laws,not bothered by jibes. few people have this sagacity. not abandoning your parents when you don’t need them anymore is what defines Indian culture.

        Cheers

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      • My parents moved out of my father’s parents house due to issues that sound similar to xyz’s. Basically, my mum could not bear to live there any longer because my grandparents were so mean to her. When they moved out, they had to forgo the flat that my father had bought with his own money – because he did not want to make his parents move – and start over from scratch. It was hard, they had to buy secondhand cutlery and my mom had two kids and no help. But it was a good decision. Ironically, when my father’s parents were old and sick, it was my mum who looked after them the most and they realised and regretted being so horrible to her.

        Anyway, when my parents got married my dad told my mum’s mum she could come live with us if she didn’t want to live alone (my grandfather had passed away). Although she had five sons, she took us up on the offer. It worked well because my dad was anyway away nine months of the year on work and my mum was used to her own mum anyway. As kids, we found my grandmother’s presence very annoying as she was a huge nag. However, once my mum told us that if we hated sharing our room with my grandmum so much, we could ask her to move to an old age home. That was unthinkable for my sis and me so we toned down our grumbling. My grandmum is now 97 and she has her own quirks and drives my mum and dad crazy. But overall, it was no issue in terms of a wife’s mother staying with us and I never heard of comments from anyone else either. This blog is the first time I realised there’s a big taboo on wives parents living with their son-in-laws or whatever.

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      • Thanks Ruchira.
        “Vive La Difference” in our opinions.
        Life would be so boring if we all agreed with each other on every issue all the time.

        I have enjoyed reading the views of evem those readers also, who do not agree with me. In fact these contrary views articulated so well by a section of the readers are what kept me hooked to this blog for the past few months.

        When I started posting comments here some months, ago, I got more thumb down ratings than thumbs up.

        That monkey has done wonders to my ranking here and I am pleasantly surprised at the warmth in the replies to my comments.
        I don’t know if you read that post published about 10 days ago.

        Of late some readers have begun corresponding privately with me courtesy this blog. These are people who for some reason do wish to go pubic with their views.

        I hope my future opinions also will find you in agreement.

        Regards
        GV

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  10. XYZ, first up, apologies about my comment on the last post. I feel differently after having read this set of problems about your situation, but there I took umbrage to the point about women using sex as a manipulative tool and the fact that you seemed very sure that all men have significantly more sex drive than the women in their lives.

    I agree with most things IHM has addressed in the post above. But beyond that, I can’t help but be a little less practical and ask you to step into your wife’s or your mother’s shoes for some time and think about what REALLY bothers them:

    1. Does your mother like being straddled with taking care of your children, partial responsibility of the house in the absence of househelp and also taking care of your father? If not, maybe she needs to be taken into confidence and explained to that while she would love for you to continue staying with her, how much is it actually making her happy?

    2. Does your wife resent you denying her your time or money for something she needs or treating her parents/siblings differently? If yes, can she be expected to cooperate or adjust? Would you be able to do that?

    3. What’s your parents’ view on your siblings helping out as much as you and your wife, or not? Can and should this be questioned? Is it fair that you expect your wife to do more than your siblings?

    4. Are you and your wife a team, or do you find yourself flying off the handle more with your wife than your parents ? Who’s dealing with your stress more: you, your wife or everybody?

    Please note that even if it seems so, I am not emphasizing that your wife is right nomatterwhat.. I’m just saying that you need to see her story as if it were your own.

    Be well – hope you’re able to resolve all these soon 🙂

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  11. Unlike what Ritu says, I don’t think men have it tougher, just DIFFERENT. Men may be torn between mother and wife. Women are suffocated by husband and MIL (his family). Now who can say which is better or which worse, being torn or being suffocated??

    Me – I agree.

    That said, I don’t know why the matter of in-laws property should come up between couples. Isn’t it theirs (in laws) to decide what to do with?? In my own case, my MIL divided her property unequally, with my husband getting a share that was much less to what his siblings got. He was okay with it and so was I… NOT because we had pots of money and did not need any more, but simply because it is HER property and she can divide it as she wishes. But of course, the same way, I’d not let anyone (not me either) interfere with how my own parents go about distributing their property as well.
    In any case, when the time came to care for my MIL, the way she divided up her property was no issue with us. My husband took care of all her expenses and I agreed wholeheartedly. After all she is his mother and if he so wants, he can take up the sole responsibility of spending for her was how I felt about it. What if he had been an only son??
    Don’t let this give the impression that things were hunky dory with me and the MIL. It wasn’t. But when it comes to property, I feel it is up to the older people to decide what they want to do with it, even give it to charity if they so wish. And taking care of them, for us (me and the husband), certainly does not depend on what they bequeathed (or not) to us. Idealism perhaps. But thats how I feel.

    I go with the suggestion that the husband and wife should have heart to heart talk about things.

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    • Actually all the children should contribute equally – time, money, resources, or at least, to the best of their abilities.

      Inheritance is made a big deal of in Indian culture – I think because it is also seen as an indication of parental affection, a common Bollywood threat to an adult child wanting to marry someone the parents have not chosen is that of disinheritance.

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      • //Inheritance is made a big deal of in Indian culture //

        True… and I don’t agree with that. I feel children should set up things on their own and live within their means whatever that is, not look out for inheritance.
        Parents too, should save for themselves rather than spend it all on children and then depend on them.

        me – I agree!

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      • And yes, ideally all the children should pitch in for the care of parents in whatever way they can. Sometimes, it is not so. So rather than pick up a fight over it, we (the husband and I) would much rather do whatever we can. That of course is a purely personal choice.

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    • I agree, Shail, in fact I think women have it tougher than men do.

      Imagine marrying into a family, being made to feel like an outsider and being excluded from the decision-making process, yet being made to feel responsible for caring for all the members of the family and for upholding family traditions. Imagine being expected to be steadfastly supportive of your husband, but being conditioned to not expect similar support in return from the patidev.

      Imagine not being able to help and support one’s own parents however much one wants to. Imagine having to care for people who do not respect you or care for your well-being. Imagine having to compromise on one’s value systems, lifestyle, style of dress and food habits while at the same time, being expected to adjust to everyone else’s value systems, lifestyle, style of dress and food habits. For the last part of the previous sentence, think of when the DIL is expected to serve meals to different family members at different times just so it is convenient to them, yet she cannot eat when she feels like it. She has to serve others at their convenience, but she may not eat at her own (she eats after everybody else is done). I do not think any other society is as unfair to wives and daughters-in-law as is ours, the Hindu joint family. I use Hindu instead of Indian because I suspect family structures in India differ vastly based on religion, region and caste. So I’m not sure if all religious communities have similar family structures.

      Me – I agree. Well said BIG.

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      • Shail,
        Relax.
        There can’t possibly be reason for the thumbs down you got except for an honest error in clicking by some reader.
        I’m sure some one clicked on the wrong icon without intending to.
        You can’t undo this error.
        Never mind.
        Regards
        GV

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      • Looked like you were describing my first few months in my in-laws house! It just went one step further – Sometimes there wouldn’t be enough food left after everyone has eaten!! If I tell that to my husband now, he will think I am making it up!!!!! His family can never do that!!!! Any wonder why I feel so much resentment towards his family or towards this whole arranged marriage system. He never thought it was that bad. It was hard, really hard for me to go hungry cos I never ever ever fasted even for a single day even due to any religious reasons at my parents house. I still can’t fast..and I don’t – that’s the advantage of not staying with your mean in-laws 🙂 Sometimes even I wonder if I really let myself go through all that! At times I feel I need to see a therapist for what they put me through those 6months!
        I think, if for nothing, then atleast for this I will be forever grateful to my husband that he fought with his family and refused to leave India without me. I would have been dead, honestly!
        Sorry for going a bit off topic here IHM. Bad Indian Girl’s comment brought all those bad memories flooding back..

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  12. Both of you are working. I would think that finances should not be such a huge issue then. Just ensure that you are spending almost equally on your parents/siblings as your wife’s. And yes, get a domestic help. That will lift a huge burden from your mother’s and wife’s shoulders. See, its unfair to expect your mom to do household chores and babysitting in this old age. She’s done it all her life. Give her a break now. It’s unfair to expect your wife to do it too since she is also working. Would you like to enter the kitchen after a long day’s work. So, outsource what you can. It’s worth the money more than anything else.

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  13. Hooray! XYZ – good on you for following up on your previous post and for asking these questions. You may have felt angry when you wrote them down, but little by little, your situation is opening up.
    One question – do you feel like, because you married for love, you now have to cope with all the burden on your own and can’t have an open discussion about reality with either your wife or mother? Do you feel alone in all this? Because in reality, you are not. Just as all your family expect you to listen to all their issues, they need to listen to yours as well. I think that IHM has provided some very sage advice to your questions. I think that you should keep asking questions of the people in your life – it will help to release the pressure that is building inside you and may also help to find some mutually beneficial solutions. Life is rarely perfect for any of us and marriage in particular is a lifetime’s work! I can only encourage you to communicate as much as you can. S

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  14. Dear XYZ,

    When I read the first post, you simply made me angry because there were so many generalizations there and I couldn’t see any merit in why you felt so aggrieved. Thanks for writing the second one- it’s more honest, specific, and as you can see from the comments- capable of eliciting actual solutions.

    This parents issue is an issue in several homes, not just yours. A big argument for son-preference in our society is that the son will take care of the parents when they are old while the daughters cannot (since they will be married off). While this seems like a big advantage for men, it obviously is not. Though they are not aborted like female fetuses are, they are expected to show their gratitude as grown-ups. While we are obliged to take care of the people we love, this shouldn’t be seen as the repayment of a debt. If your parents are physically unable to take care of themselves or do not have the financial ability to do so, I would suggest that you shoulder the responsibility along with your siblings. Otherwise, there is no need for you to tear yourself up over this. They are adults who have had the chance to live their lives- it’s now your turn.

    I agree with several others here that your wife’s interest in your parents’ property shouldn’t be encouraged. But maybe it’s because she feels the two of you are ‘entitled’ to it because you are the one looking after them? I really think you should have a serious talk with her or even go to a counselor or a third party who can thrash this out with you without taking sides.

    This MIL-DIL politics over who gets your attention could come from feelings of insecurity. This is probably because they find each other unbearable and look at you as the person who can decide who’s better. The problem is, they need to understand that the role of a wife and the role of a mother are two very different things. Unfortunately, in our cultures, wives tend to mother their husbands as a show of love (is he eating, are his shirts clean, how is health blah blah) and these boundaries get merged. It maybe easier for you to talk to your wife about this than with your mother. Convince her that you view her as an equal partner and ask her for solutions. Discuss the problem, don’t tell her what to do- draw out the conclusions together.

    Adjustments have to happen- but they should happen with all members of the family, not just your wife. Definitely get domestic help- a thousand a month will buy you a lot of peace and some freedom from the drudgery of household work. Housework is necessary and must be done- it’s not particularly a very enjoyable thing to do, so understand if it frustrates your wife. Don’t help with the housework….share it. It’s your home too and your contribution should also be there in making it an acceptable living place.

    Lastly, please don’t make that dowry statement to your wife (or anywhere else), even in the middle of a very heated argument. I’m not implying that you meant to make yourself seem generous, but it can come out seeming that way. Giving and accepting dowry is a crime. Nobody should be made to feel grateful because you didn’t commit the act.

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    • Quote:
      =================
      Giving and accepting dowry is a crime. Nobody should be made to feel grateful because you didn’t commit the act.
      ===================
      Unquote:

      Agreed.

      I have heard some similar fallacious arguments.

      I don’t smoke or drink. So many husbands do. So be thankful.
      I don’t beat you. So many husbands beat their wives. So be thankful.
      My mother lives separately. So you don’t have a mother in law problem. Be grateful.
      I don’t have a mistress, so consider yourself lucky!
      Etc Etc

      Isn’t this sickening?
      Regards
      GV

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      • The entitlement and privilege in those statements are really nauseating. Stems from the worship of the husband as God and God-given. Bow down, touch his feet and be grateful, woman!

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  15. A question to the commenters about all children taking care equally. It’s nice on paper. But people get old and even if they are physically fit, it’s kind of sad to put them through the pain of travelling thousands of miles (a lot of my friends are in the US and in this situation) to a place where there’s little company, lots more dependency, no health insurance. Even if it is not a out of India thing, unless siblings live close by, parents have to shuttle quite a bit. Is it really a practical solution for every sibling to take care? Or even go exact halves or thirds or quarters on monetary care? Parents are sometimes more comfortable with one home situation or one DIL or one of their children.

    It will most likely be one or a few of the siblings taking care and I think people need to talk through this aspect pretty honestly. And when a person is not so healthy and people have figured out the nursing/medical help situation satisfactorily, does everyone really HAVE to go through so much adjustment every so often, only in the name of ‘equal care’?

    Me – Like in GV’s case children can also provide financial contribution, or sometimes just visit them often and take them to hospitals etc. Equal care only means feeling a sense of equal responsibility.

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    • Sangitha,
      I agree.

      This time table setting for the hosting old parents is most distressing.
      I have watched it happening from close quarters.
      This old man had three sons, two of them living in the same building, on the third floor and the ground floor.
      The third lived a kilometer away on the ground floor.
      The old man was 85, in poor health and merely living out his last few years.
      The sons were reconciled to supporting him, as an inescapable duty, not because they wanted to do it.
      The daughters in law too put up with the old man for fear of “लोग क्या कहेंगे?”

      From 1st January to 30th April, the old man was housed with the first son and his family. Never mind if this son lived on the third floor in a building with no lift and the old man could never get out of the house but had to be content with staring at the skies from the balcony.

      From 1st May to 31 August he lived on the ground floor with another son.
      From 1st September to 31st December, he was moved to yet another son’s house some distance away.

      The seasons might be delayed, onset of the monsoon might be delayed but this old man’s departure on the dot, on the assigned day was ensured by the son and daughter in law he was currently living with.

      After three years of this routine, God called the old man away and put an end to his misery.

      Me and by brothers ensured this would not happen to my parents both of whom are now no more. By common consent, my parents spent 95 percent of their time with my younger brother and I would visit them whenever I could. The only time I took them away for a significant period was when my brother and his family had to go abroad, leaving my parents behind.

      I also had the privilege of keeping my mother with me for the last three weeks of her lifetime. She died in spite of all the care we could give, from incurable ailments associated with ripe old age.

      I don’t expect that the next generation will continue the courtesy.
      Times have changed. I may end up at some old age home and I won’t complain.
      Regards
      GV

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      • Great advice GV,
        and kudos to Mr.XYZ for sharing this.

        i have a few questions in mind-

        1) it’s not told if his sisters are working or homemakers? (They may also have expenses,have to save for their children’s education,another family set up)…would the in-laws and husbands be broadminded enough to let the sister(s) welcome her parents?

        2) are the sisters clueless about the property issue? Is it good to let them know and further raise/dash their hopes? ( is this kind of a manipulative carrot or sword,as Ritu says in her comment, through which the parents expect a better treatment)?

        3) with no rewards forthcoming, why the independent wife would like to be a free slave to her in-laws? the last post mentions her in-laws resistance towards supervising duties (maybe the inability since the father is ill)?

        -devil’s advocate

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      • Excellent point, GV. It is sometimes very sad how parents become a liability to their children. On the other hand, it is a difficult balance act, and one ought not to expect the partner to take care of your parents either. The ideal would be if everyone first becomes friends and divide duties within the home instead of making it seem like a duty. It can be horrible to feel like you are a mere duty to someone, instead of someone cherished. Going into an old age home is not the bad thing in itself. Sometimes circumstances make it impossible to look after parents personally. The horrible thing is if the children abandon you totally in all kinds of ways: physically, emotionally and financially.

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      • G Vishwanath,

        You are a true idealist.

        As far as I can recall,I’ve seen property becoming a contentious issue in all the Indian middle class households,problematized by the fact that it takes a lifetime to own a house.Rented place,on the other hand, gives no long-term stability.
        usually, if there are two or more brothers, the one who tends to the parents in their last days is the one to whom property is bequeathed.
        this for many is the only incentive to care for the old.

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    • Taking care equally does not mean pushing parents from one house to another. which will be rather unfair on them, but letting them stay in comfort wherever THEY want to, and everyone taking care in whatever ways they can. That would be my way of putting it.

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      • Someone seems to think old people have to be moved from place to place??!! Is that what the thumbs down indicates??

        Hello Mr Thumbs Down, will you please explain to me WHY or WHAT is wrong in wanting to keep old people in comfort??

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  16. Interesting to note there are no thumbs-downs (yet) on this post! Food for thought? Talking about the problem is healthier than generalising and stereotype statements and playing victim. I think xyz is approaching this with a clearer head, and that’s promising for a possible resolution!

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  17. Job,wife,children and parents-this man is being pulled and pushed from all sides,demanding his time,attention and commitment.
    oh wait!
    a woman is tugged from all sides too.
    but again, Who can escape these responsibilities?
    Such is life:-(

    keep courage Mr Xyz

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  18. You have:
    1. An ailing father
    2. A working wife
    3. A child, or more, that need to be cared for.

    in absolute terms, that is A LOT OF WORK.

    My suggestion to you, in brief, is as under:

    1. Separate finances with your wife. My suggestion is that you pay for household expenses and she can pay for anything extra that she needs. This way, she will get some financial independence, will get a sense of control, and most importantly, since her money is not getting spent on your father, there will be no crib. You take care of the father, and you take care of her. She is free to save or spend her money as she wishes.

    2. Tell her in no uncertain terms that the property belongs to your parents. She is welcome to create her own property (maybe you cld pool together to pick up a small flat or some other investment), but she cannot eye property created by someone else.

    3. Check how work is being done now. I am sure that most members of your family are overworked. Please ensure that there is at least the following domestic staff:
    A. A nurse for the father. At least during the day.
    B. Some day care arrangement for the child or a part time nanny for them.
    C. A cleaning person who is part time.
    This is not an “army of servants” . This is what you need to keep peace at home. Please understand that your mother is under tremendous emotional strain because of your father’s condition and expecting her to do any house work at all is not right. Likewise, you cannot imagine the stress level of ur wife’s job and if she has to come home to take care of a child, be a nurse, caregiver etc., it may not be right for her. After this, cooking remains the only job, and that one can think of managing. Taking care of the child after day care is also possible.

    4. Please start working at home and sharing responsibilities. At least for your father’s care-giving. To my mind, you should do this because he is your father, not because you are going to get a share of property.

    5. I see a constant sense of “requesting more co-operation from my wife.” I agree with IHM that a better approach is to “ask and collaborate with the wife”.

    Long comment as usual, i cannot help self.

    Me – HDWK I feel they also need a part time cook or helper in the kitchen, otherwise two tired people will come back from work, and will have to enter the kitchen, maybe husband will chop, and wife will fry, but still it might be too much for a tired couple.

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  19. I am going to say something sexist to xyz. Be a MAN or atleast an adult. By that I mean trust what you know is right and try to negotiate that with others. And I think both you and your wife are stuck in the whole who will blink first mentality. Both of you need to give some and take some. You don’t need an entourage of servants but you need one or two and your kids are your responsibility, not your parents, coz you chose to have your kid. Secondly forget what is general norm of how families SHOULD be and concentrate on finding specific solutions to your problems. I always tell my parents to stop thinking about what some cousin will think because frankly they are not doing anything to improve my day to day life, so why should I let their judgements of what kind of a daughter I am hamper me?

    Both you and your wife seem to have decided the other won’t listen and all of you are on the vicious victim triangle, each of you feeling victimised. Would you consider counselling?

    Do you love your wife still or is she now more of a child of your mother, caretaker of your parents? Have you guys attempted to rekindle your romance and there are ways other than just sex to do it? Have you had an honest talk with all parties concerned without any blame? Also if you live in a house the peace is your responsibility too, your responsibility doesn’t end at being the breadwinner. Remember even your wife comes home after a hard day’s work at office, I don’t think she wants all this either. Do your parents have an independent social life? And try and be a part of the solution rather than being a critical observer. Good luck.

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  20. Such is life if you choose it to be.

    Take care of your parents but keep your marriage out of it. Get them interested in something else other than your life, very hard to do because desis are extremely co-dependent. The money you spend on your parents well-fare has to be money coming from you not from her.

    She has no right over your parent’s property, if she insists you are living with the devil, devils are meant to be cast aside. Seriously if this is all she can think about my advice to you is to tread carefully as this could turn out to be a difficult road, which may ultimately break up the marriage. Protect what is yours.

    Build your own assets. Look into investing money earned by you to build your assets, I would suggest something other than property, e.g. gold and silver in liquifiable ounce quantities which would make terrific investements for the next few years given the state of the world economy and massive printing of money by major economies such as Euro Zone countries, Canada and most importantly US. Outside the box thinking? you betcha but hold on we are desis …. I just commited a crime.

    This thread just validates my no marriage policy, ah the wonders of independent single life everything is just so calm.

    Good luck dude.

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  21. I agree with IHM’s reply and probably don’t have much more to add over and above what everyone else has said here.
    @GV: Salute you for going against the norm and using humanity and good sense to guide your actions instead of social norms.

    Good that xyz has started to articulate his issues more clearly, there is however, some more work to be done here, I think. I don’t mean to insult here, so I hope you won’t take it that way. Here are somethings I write with a lot of hesitation.

    1. SILs and gifts: her resentment towards this, does it stem from her genuinely feeling (either real or perceived) an economic hardship?
    When they thank you for the gifts, do they include her in the thanks?
    Do they make her feel like she was part 0f the giving process?
    When/if they buy things for you, do they make sure that they buy something for her too (it doesn’t have to be a big thing, just a token gift)?
    If/when they give that gift to her, do they give it the same way they give yours to you, or do they make it sound like they are doing something because they have to?

    2. Property: As everyone else has pointed out, your parents get to do whatever they want with their property. Or is the property debate more indirect? Are your parents saying, “I can’t spend on this or that other thing, because I want to save up some to give to your sisters when I am gone?” This is a little more complicated and more honest evaluation of the need for that expenditure and everybody’s financial situation must be analyzed.

    3. Some of the things you say seem to contradict the fact that you are in dire financial difficulties:
    (1) that you can move out now if you want
    (2) two people working… etc etc.. Is it possible that you are so concentrated about saving money for your children’s future that some living expenses seem exorbitant to you?
    I know many parents fall into that trap. They are so worried about the kid’s financial future that they restrict a lot of spending in the “here and now” and also add a lot more stress to themselves than is necessary. You can only save enough to give your kids a good education, anything beyond isn’t really going to work. Inflation alone will kill you!

    Decoupling emotions from money is a hard thing. But, if you want peace, you need to do that.

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  22. Some good questions asked, and some sound advice given.

    I’d like to comment on the property inheritance / father’s medical expenses issue here.

    XYZ and his wife are both earning, but let’s not assume that their combined income is helping them comfortably cover their total expenses and leave some room for savings for a rainy day, which is very important for many people to feel safe and secure in life.

    If his father’s medical expenses are too high for him to shoulder on his own + if his sisters are simply not ready to count it as their responsibility/ that they too are pretty hardpressed in the money deptt, then your parents do have one option. They can pledge their property to cover their healthcare expenses. The advantages are:
    1. your parents can live with their self respect intact without feeling like a burden to you or your siblings.
    2. whomever your parents choose to give their property to, (shared equally or otherwise, according to their wish), they will get the property minus the money spent on your parents healthcare/living expenses.

    I know a family, where a widowed mother of 3 girls chose to take this approach, and it worked perfectly for her. I feel this could help reduce a lot of resentment people feel about inheritance/monetarily supporting older parents.

    I’m not too sure about the legal angle in this. Maybe someone could throw some light on the viability of this option.

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  23. In Indian Homes the basic problem is that one does not marry a person , one marries a family . Time has changed woman have evolved more mentally then man . Woman have gone from the non working mode to working mode . Every year the CBSE results prove that the girls are scoring higher then boys . With such mental evolvement how can a girl adjust to being a wife and caretaker in a moment . Its a transition that would be take long .

    Paradox lies in the fact that boys who marry become free . They dont have to look after their parents any more and they have no “duty” to look after their in laws .

    We have no equality when it comes to taking domestic duties . They are still the resposibility of the girl/woman.

    This gentleman had a love marriage but did he tell the girl before hand that she would be required to take care of his aged parents . He probably assumed as all others do that its her responsibilty as the role of daughter -in – law is defined with all such responsibilties

    The BAHU of the family has no legal rights , she does every thing and at the end of the day she is just her husbands wife and nothing more .
    The legal system does not give any right to her except that she would inherit her husbands property which will be shared by his children and mother as well

    Now her insecurities always make her think that she need to save for herself as nothing belongs to her

    All woman who are married need to understand that, any thing that is in the name of your husband, even if its given to him by your parents will be equally divided between you , your mother in law and and your children so its important that instead of going to have things in your husbands name have it just in your name . any joint property where your husband is co owner with his mother will be eventually half his mothers and will be distributed between her children and husband and in case your husband dies {unfortunate but does happen } then 1/2 will go straight to your mil and out of half you your children and your mil will be sharing
    this is true for everything including the life insurance policies.

    mr xyz
    the problem is not with your wife but with the system that has been always partial to woman .
    fellow woman
    start earning , be woman empowered

    One single person like GV puts up his experience and we feel elated,
    thousands and thousands of woman become caretakers the moment they marry and we take it for granted
    why ??

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  24. I am sure that XYZ and his wife will tide over this rough patch in their married life and work out a solution that works for them. All this will take some time though. But meanwhile, what about XYZ’s father? I do not know what sort of ailment troubles XYZ’z father and what is the quantum of the medical expense that his wife is grudging about.But the thing is that he needs medical attention right now. He cannot postpone his sickness till the time an amicable solution is worked out. What happens if they fail to arrive at a system involving cotributions from all siblings? Will his treatment be stopped? I approve of all the suggestions given by IHM including her suggestion that he should assure his wife that XYZ would be willing to do the same for his wife’s parents.But what if her parents are in a better financial position than his parents?

    A patient is a patient is a patient. Taking care of the patient can not be conditional. If a family member falls sick, his comfort should be the top priorityfor all members of the family. Maybe this lady needs to be reminded that ANYONE can fall sick at anytime. What would her reaction be if SHE were to fall sick and her in-laws started behaving the way she is behaving right now? I feel that she is being inconsiderate towards her husband as well. If my father is unwell, as a daughter, I would wish to ensure that he gets timely and appropriate treatment. I would feel horrible if my husband was to raise even a hint of an objection. In all probability, such a conduct on part of my husband would even cause a major dent in the level of my love and respect for him.

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    • The problem is in the way Indian families work. Parents when they bring up the kids (boy or a girl) should worry only about bringing them up with good education and then let them lead life of their own. No property saving for generations to come. All that parents earn or own, they should use for their self. Also kids once on their own should start leading their life independent of any expectation on money or property from parents. This will ensure no Saas Bahu problem, no inheritance issues and property issues. We live in a house that belongs to my father in law. Though things are going on well between my inlaws and me, I still feel that the house is not mine. When I go to my home, people ask when “When did you come from your mil’s home”. When I am in my husband’s home people say “When are you going to your mother’s home”. I feel like I have no home for me. Its either my mil’s home or mother’s home. That creates a kind of insecure feeling and I pester a lot about buying a home of our own, which no husband would listen to as for them their father’s home is their home.

      Like

      • //Parents when they bring up the kids (boy or a girl) should worry only about bringing them up with good education and then let them lead life of their own. No property saving for generations to come. All that parents earn or own, they should use for their self. Also kids once on their own should start leading their life independent of any expectation on money or property from parents.//

        @Revathy, I agree with you 100% on that. Making your kids fit and able to live in the world is the only responsibility of parents, not hoarding up for generations! If only people had the pride to carve out their own life instead of eyeing what the parents have and what the in-laws can give as dowry!

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      • not only u even unmarried girls face the dilemma. as an unmarried girl you are always living in your parents home and its never your home even though you may be a contributor in household expenses

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  25. 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

  26. 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

  27. It’s unfair that some wives interfere in property issues so much so, as to demand. I think its OK to give suggestions without expectations. On the issue of father’s illness, I think it’s pure shame that one continues to weigh money over life and it’s importance.

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  28. This is a truly wonderful discussion & I hope it helps Mr.XYZ in some way. I have a few questions though.

    I was wondering why Mrs. XYZ was objecting to the in-laws wanting to give property to their daughters. Could it be because the couple don’t have any property of their own (I mean belonging to the 2 of them only)? Could it be that the husband considers his parents house as his house, while the wife doesn’t feel like it’s her home? As a lady commented above, women need to feel like they have a home too. Otherwise it’s just parents house or in-laws house.

    Also, XYZ mentioned that he & his wife could have moved out, but didn’t because ‘my mother wants me to stay on since she feels helpless alone’. Was this decision taken after discussion with the wife or taken unilaterally? If this was not discussed with the wife, then maybe she resents the fact that they don’t have their own home & feels insecure about that. And it could be that she is complaining about the property issue only because of these insecurities.
    Whatever the answers to these questions, I think a serious discussion between husband and wife is needed.
    All the very best XYZ.

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  29. Pingback: An email: Can a woman be married off with a promise to the in laws, that her father would find a job for her? « The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  30. Pingback: Should couples’ assets be treated as joint property? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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  32. Pingback: Haryana panchayat cuts off married girls from parents’ property | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  33. Pingback: My wife will inherit my family’s property, her brothers too will share their property with their respective wives. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  34. Pingback: “Her husband has told her she can leave if she wishes, she does not have a steady income of her own.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  35. Pingback: Should women be given a share in residential property of the husband, including inherited and inheritable property? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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

  37. Pingback: “Although my in laws maintain a facade of being content with what they have and never asking the girl’s side for anything…” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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

  39. Pingback: “When my first pay check came, my MIL made a huge drama about how I am not informing them about my finances…” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  40. Pingback: An email from the Accused Guy: ‘I would request all to respond once again after reading the other side of it.’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  41. Pingback: “I am tempted to ask- does she mean girls who have no brothers should send money to their parents as well?” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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