This morning I was in conversation with a friend who mentioned an ideal family, a good example to the society, of in laws who cared for their daughter in law more than their irresponsible son. So much so that they let her, instead of their son, take over their business. She worked hard and now the business is thriving. The husband (and son) is irresponsible, he doesn’t work, and only comes and goes as he pleases.
Reminded me of another case of a driver who worked in the NCR. His parents persuaded him to marry a girl they liked, although he was in love with a girl he went to school with. The wife had a child, a girl child, and they all lived in their village. This driver avoided going home and continued to meet the girl he loved, and finally married her and started living with her in the NCR, now they have two sons. His parents have refused to accept the woman he chose as their daughter in law. He doesn’t visit his home much and they have enough ‘kheti’ (income through farming) to survive without his support. The daughter in law the parents chose, lives with them.
In a third case, a close relative of her husband helped the daughter in law, living in a joint family, divorce an alcoholic husband, much to the displeasure of the in laws. After the divorce, this woman trained to be a teacher, got married and had two children. She is still seen, by some, as irresponsible for not standing by her husband.
Would you say the in laws in these stories are being selfless? How much say in these situations do you think did the daughters in law have? And if they could take independent decisions, what do you think would each of them have chosen to do? What would have been the general response if the daughters in law had chosen to walk out of these marriages (to marry again or to live independently) despite the kindness of their in laws? Why?