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.]