An email from a DIL living in a Joint Family: Should I adjust or should I leave?

Sharing another email.
Subject: Is it worth to change a Patriarchal mindset?

Hi IHM,
I am a twenty five year old Software Engineer working for a reputed company and earning well enough.

I got married about two years ago and I am lucky to have found the right partner (software engineer working for a reputed company as well), who complements me in every way. I rejected many proposals earlier. Even though all these guys were successful , I looked for features like compatibility, dynamism, boldness etc in my partner.

I am from a family of four daughters me being the youngest. My dad and mom are extremely progressive in their thoughts and made sure each of us sisters are independent, self reliant and opinionated  before being married off. Their major objective in finding a groom was someone who respected us and our identities.

Despite societal pressure they helped me forgo many tempting matches until the perfect guy well suited for me came along. I come from a family which is open, liberal and encourages every family member to pursue his/her own dreams and aspirations.

Now when this perfect guy came along we had a free and frank discussion in the family. This guy looked tailor made for my criteria. The only hitch was he is from a joint family living with his mom, dad, brother, bhabi, nephew, and, a sister brother in-law and niece who are frequent visitors. My parents clearly stated that being a part of the joint family may not be ‘my’ thing. But we decided to go ahead anyway. It was a compromise we agreed upon. We were very disappointed earlier not to find the right guy earlier, so this alliance seemed god send.

Initially the guy’s parents seemed very modern, approving the idea of me being the only working woman in the family and how happy and proud they are. This encouraged my decision further.  My would-be husband and me went out a couple of times before committing and he made it clear that he preferred a working woman not for the money but for a partner who is self reliant. I am free to look after my parents etc and marriage shall not impede me in any which way. Till now he has stuck to his word and am proud of him.

Later started the demands for dowry, demand by his parents.  They asked quantities of gold and jewelry all for me. It was asked rather genially. I vehemently denied the match itself. But my parents somehow sidelined me and agreed to shell out the money as a wedding gift to me. The engagement was done by then and I was deep in the throes of love with my hubby.  From my parents perspective, it was like a payment seat in a good college. Getting a worthy match for their daughter by satisfying the in-laws.  My family somehow convinced me into it.

I know it was my fault not to break off and put a strong opposition to the deal. Later when I confronted my husband after marriage, I was shocked to know that he didn’t even know about it.  I also didn’t speak to him earlier because I didn’t want to get into the ‘Me and My Family vs U and Ur Family’ debate into the equation even before we knew each other well. I wanted to know him as an individual first. Now I am terribly guilty about the whole episode. I feel bad for going against my principles of anti dowry.

My husband wants me to return everything to my parents if it relieves me. He also is very guilty of taking dowry unknowingly. But I am in a huge dilemma, my parents will never accept it back. My parents have meticulously planned their future and don’t need my support. But I am saving some amount for them every month.

My in laws meanwhile have insulted my parents many times which has hurt me a lot. After one and a half years of all this, finally, once, I put my foot down and revolted rebelliously.  My husband also had a long aggressive debate with them about my rights, my parents rights etc. After that they have given up on any attempts to insult me and my family. Now they are good to me and my parents for the fear of losing their son.  But the bad memories continue to haunt.

Tell me IHM…

1.     How should I heal myself from the guilt, memories of ‘tamasha’ created before/on my wedding day? They are getting stronger and creating nightmares for me.

2.       My MIL still practices gender bias in very obvious ways. She gives the best food to her sons and the leftovers to us bahus (including herself!).  They firmly believe serving men is the only path of salvation for women. I sometimes negate this by shifting all good items from my husband’s plate onto my plate right in front of her. She says nothing, blankly stares at me for my audacity.  But is this battle worth fighting? I have access to all the dishes I aspire for outside home. I can also cook in my floor. Its only dinner that we take on my parent’s in law’s kitchen (we stay in separate floors). Should I continue the battle and create turmoil? I also end up spending a lot of energy mulling over the episodes and feel is it worth my time and energy?  These people believe being unfair (to women) is the fair way.

3.       I am shocked at the gender biases.  Should I shift base elsewhere? I know my husband respects my need for privacy etc and will agree to move out. We will continue to support his parents as well.  But should I do it, since my in-laws are behaving well and non interfering except some  areas which are hard engrained in them. I know they are making efforts but that is not from their heart, only for the fear that the son may leave them and go away.

4.       Meanwhile my BIL feels that since me and my hubby both are earning its entirely on us to provide the finances.  He is a freeloader. He never gives his share of money. His wife cooks (on weekdays) and I don’t, so he feels from his side he is contributed enough. We discussed this with him, he agrees but never gives his share. How do we fix this without straining relationships?

5.       Despite all these the joint family is demanding, and I am stuck between a choice, of sticking or moving away. On week days I don’t contribute anything but on weekends I have to contribute to kitchen chores and compensate for my absence on week days. I contribute my share financially but that is not counted. I have to compromise on my rest.  Hubby helps but other men laze around while me and my hubby slog it out.  Meanwhile MIL and SIL take a weekend break. Even though my husband is a gem, other males are chauvinists and that irritates the hell out of me.  My husband does enjoy the everyday company of his mom/dad but is okay to move out respecting my difficulties. Should I adjust or should I leave?

Publish this and any comments from readers would help me.

Confused DIL

 

Related Posts:

To an Anonymous daughter in law.

It’s not about hot hot chappaties.

109 thoughts on “An email from a DIL living in a Joint Family: Should I adjust or should I leave?

  1. In a joint family system the power equations are skewed. It suits only those who benefit from it and can abuse the others. Generally this system is patriarchal in nature, so a new entry should not expect anything positive, unless she is out and out brazen.

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  2. I think moving out is the best option, especially since the husband is supportive. Life is too short to live badly. It will be impossible to change the ingrained attitudes of the in-laws, particularly the brother who is enjoying the best of the joint family without the responsibilities. Why would he give that up for you?

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  3. First of all, I applaud the way you are handling the gender bias situations in your household. Actions do speak louder than words, and I think you should continue to do so, because self respect is a very important thing, not only for yourself but for your future children who will learn from you.

    About the moving out part, give it a thought. Is it worth it? This is your life. Is this the way you want to spend it, fighting every inch? If you continue to live in the joint family system, then you may have to accept that some things will never change and that is the way it is. Your MILs ideas, your BIL’s freeloading with support from MIL….you need to make peace with it. Also consider the environment your kids would grow up in and if you would be OK with that.

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  4. As someone who has faced similar situations from both my parents and my in laws, I would say it is best to move out and keep yourself free from the stress of the situation. There is no point trying to educate others or trying to modify behavior of people who obviously do not respect you. On the other hand, I can see you and your husband spending most of your time trying to come to terms with the situation, rather than spending time on productive or fun activities. Moreover, your children do not deserve to grow up in this environment. Imagine your daughter growing up in this house. Move out and keep peace.

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  5. I am blunt as always I would say .. talk to your hubby (although many will say otherwise).. and then if you both are earning good move to a different house….

    Regarding dowry well that has happened can’t be changed and as you say your hubby did not know .

    So you shud take all that gold and put it in some safe in your name.. since you say your parents won’t take it back…

    Joint family is like that and even if u revolt your in laws are not going to change it will only spoil the environment of the house… Best option if you and ur hubby are happy get ur own house….

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  6. Dear Letter writer,

    I see why you are in a dilemma, it is because you consciously took a decision to marry into a joint family, else you would have moved out by now. Good part is your husband is a great guy as you expected him to be, living in a joint family is not that great.. I guess that was a little bit expected too.
    My suggestion is to talk your heart out to your husband, raising your fears and concerns. From your email,it doesn’t seem that living in same house is very important to him … maybe even he wants the same.
    On the other hand, if it is important to him (and IF this was clear before you got married), you should try to work things out a bit. The set-up does seem partially independent to me, with you living on separate floor and sharing only dinners. From your email, it is clear some changes have been made.. more can come along if handled well. They may have changed for ‘fear of losing their son’ .. the motive shouldn’t bother you much, as long as they do change their ways.
    Regarding the dowry, I will say keep it in a safe in your name and don’t carry the burdens of past so much that they interfere with your mental health and well-being. You don’t have to forgive & forget, just take steps to regain your balance and composure.
    The BIL problem is for household expenses I presume? We had a household expenses box, into which everyone’s contributions went at beginning of month. Everything for house including repairs,utility bills,food, maid’s salary came out of this one. You put your decided share in and then if money is running out mid-month, it is clear who didn’t put their share in….and then they will have to.

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  7. I would have been in the exactly same situation as yours, had both my husband and I not been in the same IT field working for MNCs away from his hometown. Thankfully, we face these issues in the once or twice a year visits home for 7 days or so and I don’t mind it, unless it crosses a barrier and intrudes my self respect. Gender biases are dealt with similar actions like you take and sometimes even more firm. Like once I flatly refused to eat some bland left over curry and ate my food only with curd and pickles. Since that day, that sorta thing has never happened.

    Just move out, better would be to a different city. It helps, trust me. If you both are working for leading IT companies, most of them have offices in all major towns in the country (I am assuming you are in India). Consider relocation. That may be easier than staying in the same town in a different house.

    All the best! It’s your life, live it the way you want to and you have your husband’s support, don’t think twice.

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  8. Me n Hubby stayed alone for 3 years and then I concieved. My In Laws came to stay with us (it was a pre decided arrangement that once I concieve they will stay with us to provide us support and I am thankful for their support). Things have been different and difficult after that. I have faced many issues that you are facing and the most prominent one being me n hubby being treated differently. I might do 100 good things but will not be appreciated and hubby only has to move a pencil from x place to y place and he will be praised to hilt. I used feel sad about it and used to feel how unjust is this. But then over time I realised “apna baccha apna hota hai” though I for sure know that my parents never do this kind of discrimnation but then everyone is different no?

    There are days when I feel why I am doing so much compromise and then I think about them, they have left their home to stay with us to support us and I am 100% sure that even they are compromising for us. Fortunately I have a set of in laws who are open minded enough to listen to criticism. So that day when I felt my FIL was too hyper on unnecessary things I called and told him. He was happy that I was frank. SImilarily we were having a misunderstanding so we sat across and cleared all our doubts and decided to work towards bettering the relationship because we know we have to stay together. I remember my MIL saying “beta mere saath bhi waise raho jaise apni ma ke saath rehti ho” and even I told her that she should also start treating me the way she treats my hubby.
    The best part here is that if we have an issue we settle between us hubby never comes in picture.

    You know even my MIL is like your MIL, ‘Give the best to men’ but slowly I am trying to change her mindset with the simple logic, ‘if it isn’t good for men it isn’t good for us’.

    So what I really mean is the key lies in accepting the situation and working towards bettering the relationship (of course not if things are really bad). We need to decide which issues are important enough to take tension on. If there are issues which are hurting you but if you can ignore and still not be affected in life then it is better to ignore them.
    You know what is the best part of your situation? Your hubby is supportive trust me not all wife’s are lucky that ways. I do not see any aparent reason for you to move out, I feel you should start ignoring things which can be ignored but yes you need to tackle your BIL & SIL. May be have a frank discussion, may be start saying no. the keys lies with you because you know your people and how they react to a situation. I feel moving out will be an easy solution making it work out might sound difficult but trust me a positive result would give you a life big satisfaction.

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    • Completely agree with you.

      To the letter-writer: The main issue here is not your MIL but your BIL. Once the issues with finances are fixed the other problems would seem minimal. Parents have very old beliefs which cannot be changed in a day. So you would have to work patiently.
      Plus I dont understand. You find it difficult to do household work on weekends because you need rest. But you dont do it on weekdays as well. And you do not want to contribute an extra part as well. Isnt that unfair? How much should your SIL do? You will have to come to a decision on that. You cant have the cake and eat it too…

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      • At last someone highlighted the contribution of SIL. Do you think physical contribution does not count. I know the pain of charcter your SIl is playing. It can even break her marriage!! Yes mind it. With your entry her workload increased and with your kid that will again increase. Just try to measure the household finance and physical contribution impartially and you will get clear picture. Do you know how squated your BIL will be between family and wife. He might be cursing the moment he decided to marry like me. He must be taunted daily by his wife. He surely will not ask money for him or her wife’s personal spenditure.

        Joint family gives pain but think how a old father mother will stay without our support. Your BIL might be coerced to go separate by her wife but he might not be able to ignore his parents atleast . Never underestimate the value of physical contribution.

        Will you are not happy so you can stay way but ask you hubby to contribute financially to parents. Yake the dowry item back though. If not by bone n muscle do help by money. BIL n SIL will be happy doing chores for less people.

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  9. You say this : “My dad and mom are extremely progressive in their thoughts and made sure each of us sisters are independent, self reliant and opinionated before being married off. ”

    But the last 4 words in that sentence contradict the previous part. Personally I don’t think any woman who’s truly independent and opinionated will go for an arranged marriage, or say things like “being married off”.

    And as for your husband, chances are pretty good he’s a very good liar, and that he was fully complicit in your in-laws’ attempts to get money off your parents. In my opinion, it was also fundamentally wrong of your parents to try and pay their way into getting a groom for their daughter. The one way to stop the practice of dowry is if parents of unmarried Indian women refrained from offering it in the first place.

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    • “Personally I don’t think any woman who’s truly independent and opinionated will go for an arranged marriage, or say things like “being married off”.”

      I agree. The family is hardly a modern one if they are looking at marriage proposals when the girl was only 23 years old! She also mentioned that she was disappointed with not getting a proper proposal at 23, and hence married this guy and agreed to a compromise. Hardly something an independent woman would do. The entire story is of a traditional person coming from a traditional household. But if she wants to break free, the husband is willing, now is the time.

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  10. Dear Letterwriter,

    Move out with your husband separately. It is not worth your worries. You have a life to live, job to take care of. This time is too precious to be spent worrying about these things.

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  11. Best option to get out with hubby. May be to a house nearby so that husband can be close to his parents.
    Moral of the story for all going-to -be -married ppl is never to agree to live in a joint family after marriage.

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  12. Hey there,

    1) Move out.

    2) Stop considering yourself and your family as extremely progressive and independent. Face the truth:
    – you are young, yet you and your family felt the pressure to “marry you off”
    – you agreed to stay with your in-laws (!) no progressive woman does that
    – you decided to discuss certain matters with your husband after it was too late to change your mind about the idea of getting married to him
    – even though you had doubts about certain issues, you did not address them when the time was right (i.e. immediately)
    – you consider “adjusting” to the situation (nuts!)

    3) The bright side is, your education and the support of your husband save you. You have the money and comfort to move out. You are more lucky than smart.

    4) Being opinionated is not a virtue. Blabber without action means zero these days. Independence is something you DO. Think about practising that. You seem to have all the resources needed.

    Good luck!

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    • “you agreed to stay with your in-laws (!) no progressive woman does that” Really??
      I agree that living with the in-laws is a choice not everyone likes–but i wouldn’t generalize that say that people living with in-laws and parents are not progressive!!

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    • Why is staying with in-laws not at all compatible with being progressive? Doesn’t it depend on circumstances? My dad stayed with in the same house as my mother’s parents for the last five years with both my parents taking care of my really old grandparents. My parents are retired so they had the time and patience to devote to eldercare. So being progressive and choosing to stay with in-laws need not be mutually exclusive.

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      • @ Anonymous, Sruti,

        You can say whatever you want to defend living with in-laws, which doesn’t change the fact that YES, it is not progressive. Not a slightest bit.

        Parents and grandparents can be conviniently and properly taken care of from a distance. I have no idea where this notion comes from, that taking care of someone requires living with them.

        As I said many times, there can be only one alpha male/female in the house. Cross-generation live-ins never work unless you accept the role of the less knowledgeable, less important and less qualified to do anything, plus if you don’t mind everyone sticking their noses into your business and preventing you from having shreds of authority in your own house.

        There are reasons for why certain traditional Indian family arrangements suck. Liwing with in-laws is one of them.

        I come from a very close-knit family, but NEVER across generations starting from my grandparents did anyone live with in-laws. This has just been out of question. Even when people were poor, they prefered to move out to the tiniest apartment – but THEIR OWN.

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        • I think if you have a family where everyone does mind their own business— living together is not a bad option. Yes, such cases are rare, and many a times living with the in-laws/parents does pose several problems/issues.
          And i think that the idea that you live with your parents/grandparents only to care of them is silly–you sometimes live with people because you want to–it’s when you have to–that problems arise.
          What i find not progressive is this ability to find one formula that we want everyone to follow and fit into. For someone who doesn’t like living with the family–asking them to follow the rule is not progressive, but moving out –even when you want to stay–just because several generations before you did –is equally nonsensical( and by you–i mean the couple–where both individuals have given it much thought)

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        • Sruti,

          being progressive or modern means doing something new, unusual, fresh, out of the box or at least going the path that is unusual or not practiced before. Living with in-laws is nothing of those.

          Let’s not mix being comfortable with something and progressivism.

          Some people in India are still extremely happy with dowry, honour killings and infanticide. Just because these are such long-live practices and just because some people are more than comfortable with them, does it mean those people are progressive? Would you call them that?

          Adult children living with their parents/in-laws are bound to experience conflict much more often than those who live on their own. That’s a fact. It is not my problem that in India people persistently try to deny that living in their cross-generational homes often proves disfunctional.

          Nitya,

          I don’t understand why you jump to exceptional cases. Of course when parents/in-laws need intensive care 24//7 somebody has to live with them – preferably their own child.

          Did the author of the email mention such a situation? NO. Her in-laws are safe and sound. They even have enough energy to make her life hell.

          No point of further argumentation.

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    • Aren’t you warping the definition of “progressive” and “modern” into a VERY narrow one?

      Why is living with the in-laws “non-progressive” – if there is a genuine need AND if all members are comfortable with it, I don’t see any reason why not?? Granted that I may never be comfortable doing that – but that’s no reason for me to snub the practice as regressive and traditional. Since in the case of the email-writer, she’s clearly not comfortable with the situation, by all means move out and you’ll be doing yourself and your marriage a huge favour.

      Also, I see “adjusting” is a terribly dirty word for the progressive and modern brigade. Even with all the conditions for an independent, “progressive” life satisfied (self-chosen husband, nuclear family setup etc etc), I’m willing to bet that you will need “adjusting” and “compromising” at some point or the other.

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      • I agree with Nanduku2 completely. ‘Living with in-law’s/not living with in-laws’ is a personal choice and a lot depends on circumstances. For some people, finances are just not enough to have their own setup, and for some others, there would be serious reasons why they have to live with their in-laws.
        I also know people who have done so out of choice, and are perfectly contented. [And no, they do not have the alpha-male situation – there’s an actual sense of equality/respecting privacy – this is rare, but I have seen it happen] Its not really right to slam it as ‘not progressive’, especially when you may not know their reasons in doing so.

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      • Nice thoughts! Thanks. Your words seem like an oasis in the middle of a desert for a parched traveller.🙂

        I would also like to add (you may agree or disagree) that the we also need to consider the husband’s consent (without duress or undue influence) before such a big decision is made.

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      • Nandaku, the reason many think “adjusting” is a dirty word is because conventional wisdom dictates that any marriage can succeed with the right amount of adjustment and compromise.

        While this is true if you consider the length of a marriage as an indicator of its health; it is NOT true if you include other factors such as emotional intimacy, mutual respect and consideration, a commitment to each other’s growth and well-being and a desire to experience marriage as a shared journey.

        If one truly loves one’s partner, one would never demand they do anything that makes them uncomfortable.

        As the old adage says, “If you love someone, set them free.”

        Perhaps this sounds idealistic, but at its best, marriage does bring out our highest nature.

        Adjustment would then become irrelevant because it would be freely and joyfully chosen.

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        • Hi, I agree with your comments and ideas completely. I used the word “adjusting” in a very general sense, not necessarily linked to marriage and its complexities. For instance, after a child arrives, you may decide to let your career take a backseat – mind you, this was COMPLETELY your choice, however, maybe not what you exactly wanted? Maybe a financial downturn or a layoff that forces you to seek your in-laws’ help? The point I’m trying to make here is that we often let such preconceived notions block our view – as in the case of the commenter above – and don’t appreciate the sometimes very difficult choices people have to make and “adjust” to. Anyways, whatever floats your boat – and thanks for the discussion space, IHM.

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      • “Aren’t you warping the definition of “progressive” and “modern” into a VERY narrow one?”

        No.

        “Also, I see “adjusting” is a terribly dirty word for the progressive and modern brigade. Even with all the conditions for an independent, “progressive” life satisfied (self-chosen husband, nuclear family setup etc etc), I’m willing to bet that you will need “adjusting” and “compromising” at some point or the other.”

        Oh, I see, now being modern means belonging to a “brigade”. This military language clearly shows that you are nothing but scared of progressivism and treat it as the ultimate evil to “great traditions”.

        One way or the other, a free person chooses to live separately. It’s only natural. Some people need to grow up to see it. For others it will never come.

        I don’t care how intensively you delude yourself.

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        • A free person can make his own choices.
          If he wants to stay with someone( his parents/spouse/in-laws) so be it right?
          As for adjustments– for some people the fact that their spouses have different eating habits can mean adjustment. Adjustment is just a word–without a context it has no meaning.
          The point which I’m trying to make EM is that as an individual i’m allowed to make choices on my own– and if living with my parents is my choice–well it’s my choice–it’s no less progressive than your not wanting to live with your parents.

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        • I am specifically replying to your comment about elder care.

          I have no idea where this notion comes from, that taking care of someone requires living with them.

          From having taken care of them maybe? Imagine that you have an old grandparent in the house who is morbidly afraid of falling down when she walks from her bed to the bathroom. It is 6 AM, she wakes up and wants to go to the bathroom, but is afraid to get out of bed. I would think there needs to be someone around the house, anybody, to help her with a task as basic as this. If you can afford household help who is not undependable, not uncaring, doesn’t speak harshly when she is woken up early (all of which very much happen in real life) and thus assure the comfort of the older person, then great. But if someone feels, of their own free will, to want to stay with an elder and care for them, then that is what they want to do with their life. It is as much an exercise of one’s free will as anything else. And if those people happen to be in-laws, if I feel it is justified, so be it. I take umbrage at the fact that you presume to dictate what is progressive and what is not for everybody under the sun. I define being progressive as the state of mind where you follow your own ideals without fear. And if anyone can honestly do that, whatever their stand is, they are progressive.
          -Anonymous who commented up there

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      • A straw man argument, nandaku.

        She didn’t say that you couldn’t be happy if you are not progressive, nor did she claim that progressivism is the be all and end all to a happy married life.

        Calling a practice traditional is not a “snub”, unless you deliberately choose to see things that way, and I really don’t see how the practice of living with your parents can be called progressive in any way. I’m not saying people SHOULDN’T do it. People are free to live whichever way they want to – to each their own.

        One must acknowledge and accept that freedom, one must keep in mind that old Latin saying, De gustibus non est disputandum (tastes, or preferences, are not disputable), but I see no compulsion at all to sugar-coat criticisms of regressive practices.

        You cannot legitimately claim that a particular practice is progressive simply because many people are happy to partake in it.

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        • What i don’t get is–why must living/not-living with anyone be considered a sign of progression??
          I mean really–it is up to the couple involved right? In this particular case the writer does not want to stay in a joint unit, and i totally agree that she should do what is best for her.
          But there are others– who would like to stay with parents/granparents/in-laws. Are we saying they are not progressive at all?
          I know this topic is veering totally of the point–but i think there is general feeling always of wanting people to fit to formulas.
          So if you stay with you parents, you are not progressive, and if you don’t–you are.

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        • From Dictionary.com:

          pro·gres·sive

          adjective /prəˈgresiv/ 

          1. Happening or developing gradually or in stages; proceeding step by step.
          – eg: A progressive decline in popularity

          2. (of a group, person, or idea) Favoring or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas
          – eg: A relatively progressive governor

          3. Favoring or promoting change or innovation
          – eg: A progressive art school

          Living with your parents fits none of those.

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        • What I’m really trying to point out is that as a practice, living with your parents can hardly be considered progressive in itself.

          While you may lay claim to that adjective in various other ways, living with your parents is a distinctly non-progressive idea, and that’s a fact.

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        • Ah! I was thinking of progressive = open minded. Where you are open minded enough to consider all your choices and balance your options and then doing as you please.
          Anyway progressive or not( as per dictionary definitions) what i meant through all this was it’s your choice– you should do as you please–and not worry about what people think.

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        • See, my objection is to the phrase you (and a brilliant commentator above) used – “regressive practices”. I fail to see how living with parents, out of your own choice, (I repeat, out of your own choice) is regressive. Any practice is regressive, only if it perpetuates or worsens some kind of social evil or victimization of a particular group. Going by that logic, I would say, Confused DIL’s decision to stay mum about her dowry was regressive, but a well-reasoned and educated decision (taken jointly with her partner) to stay with the parents would not be so. As Sruti mentioned below, I believe everyone likes a one-size-fits-all formula to fit a situation to, that makes passing judgement on others so much more easier.

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        • nandaku2 – Here’s why the Patriarchal Joint Family system is generally seen as regressive.

          When women marry and relocate to stay with the male spouse’s family,

          1. It makes it difficult for their parents to receive elder care and companionship (when needed), because women are supposed to see the spouse’s family as their own.
          2. They are not encouraged to mix with their own families anymore.
          3. The society sees any unwillingness on their (the women’s) part to fall in with this system as wrong.
          4. The end result is that those who stay with their family (sons) become more empowered, more valued and more useful for their families.
          5. Those who have to be sent away (daughters) to their spouse’s families are seen as liabilities.
          6. Women, then, belong to neither their parents’ families, nor really their in laws, often not even their husbands’ (because they were not really his choice of partner – they were chosen to get along with the family).
          7. One could consider all couples living in their own homes and welcoming both the sides of the parents to this home.
          Traditionally a daughter’s parents are not supposed to visit/stay in their sasural/marital home. And even if they do stay with her, they would actually be living in her in law’s home, not really her own home (and remember she is lowest in hierarchy in this home) – so it difficult for them to expect to feel comfortable there.
          All this is what makes Indian parents want to have sons and abort daughters. This will not change so long as daughters are expected to move in and serve their spouse’s families, and sons to bring home obedient daughters in law to ‘look after’ their parents.

          Like

        • nandaku,

          There you go, IHM said it much better than I could.

          In my view, it is not possible for a married couple – especially a newly married one – to lead an independent existence with either set of parents staying with them. No matter how liberal the in-laws are, it is simply not the same. I have no way to back up this claim, of course, so it is only an opinion.

          Now, an independent existence isn’t something that you MUST have in order to be happy. If you don’t mind giving it up, that’s perfectly fine.

          However, a practice which asks you to give up independence can only be termed regressive.

          That it was a well reasoned out decision is all very well. That everyone has a right to live their private lives the way they want without being adversely judged for it is not debatable. That I should not term a regressive practice regressive for those reasons makes no sense.

          It is not a judgement, merely a statement of (what I perceive to be) fact.

          Sruti,

          I agree with that sentiment completely.

          Not being ‘progressive’ doesn’t make you any less of a person, just one with different opinions.

          Like

        • I agree with EVERY point mentioned in your comment, IHM. The patriarchal joint family as a system and as a practice, however, has a certain crucial feature – the couple (or the DIL by herself) does not have the CHOICE to move out. From the Confused DIL’s email – that hardly seems to be the case. She is independent, financially stable, supportive husband, no pressing need to live with the in-laws, as I mentioned in my very first comment – Confused DIL, please move out and exercise the choice you have.
          The only point I was trying to make was, when circumstances force people to make this choice, it does not become regressive – because YOU made the choice. Isnt this similar to the case of a new mom who gives up work and financial independence, because she chooses to – would you equate it with the case of another who simply does not have the choice to work or not work (the choice taken away by the family)? Would you call both regressive – I would not, simply because having the freedom to choose makes all the difference.

          Like

    • I just realized i was thinking more of my parents and my in-laws staying with us in our house–that too only if they wanted to🙂.

      Like

  13. You went into this with your eyes open. Why can’t you hire a helper or cook for weekends and maybe even weekdays? That resolves the weekend cooking situation.
    Finances is always a problem , even spouses have issues. This needs to be resolved across the table. Your bil cannot contribute to your extent likewise you cannot help out to the extent his wife does. Come to a compromise and make sure it is met . Enforcing that should be your in-laws job.
    As for giving the men food first, people should eat when they are hungry not when someone else is done. Come from work and eat. If it happens to be the first person so be it . All humans are born equal and tell your mil that. If she chooses to eat after her husband or eat bad food that is her choice to make . If that makes her happy so be it .
    In the end do what gives you and your spouse peace of mind. You are a unit both of you must be happy for the unit to be happy.

    Like

  14. Briefly:
    I’ll join the chorus.
    Move out.
    Convince hubby and win him over gradually.
    Live separately ( close to your in-laws place) so you you can be useful to each oher and maintain family relationships.
    Regards
    GV

    Like

    • Good one. I can never understand why you cannot maintain your own home, your separate existence yet live closely and provide elders all the care, support and mental reassurance they need. Why sit on their heads all the time? Keep some distance yet be close at heart and enjoy each others company and support

      Like

  15. 1. You need to let go of what happened in the past.
    2. Accept you cannot change othe people’s mindsets
    3. DIscuss with your husband
    4. Move out. Life would be better with the daily stresses away.

    Like

  16. I might get thumbed down repeatedly for saying this, but in my opinion the letter writer’s family practice(d) their own form of gender biases, wanting to ‘marry off’ their daughters, considering their in-laws’ dowry demands payment for a ‘seat in a good college’, ‘their major objective in finding a groom…’ . An unbiased parent’s priority, I would think, would be to see their child self-reliant and independent, as opposed to finding someone to marry them off to.. I think the letter writer needs to accept that her own family still follows/believes in patriarchal gender normative roles and is not really ‘progressive in their thoughts’ as she claims they are.

    Like

      • Not judging her, I honestly feel awful for her. Never having been married, however, I would not like to pass judgement on that particular situation, since I have no experience. I have, however, seen gender issues create issues in society, so wished to comment on that, which I did.

        Like

  17. Compromising on rest is not a good thing to do. Weekends is the time to rest. Most working couples living in India have maids on weekdays and eat out on weekends and have fun.

    At work, we always put on a ‘work face’. At home, we want to be ourselves.
    Whatever has happened in the past can be forgotten. But you need to rectify the present. Right now, you are contributing to the housework and contributing to the finances. The other 2 women are working in the kitchen 2 and 1/2 days each exclusively (5 weekdays, 2 women) whereas you are working 2 days exclusively (the 2 weekend days) and contributing to the finances. (Never mind that your husband contributes..you guys are one unit) You and your husband are working 7 days continuously whereas everyone else is working for 5 days only. Not fair at all.

    Like

  18. Your situation might be better than a DIL’s who is actually being abused, but that doesn’t mean your situation is good. It’s still TERRIBLE.

    I know first-hand how much of a toll it takes on a person to have to stand up to elders on a daily basis. When my in-laws were living with me, my every response to their daily, nay, hourly disrespect for me had to be calculated to ensure that –

    A) it forcefully invalidated their gender biases/disrespect of me, for my children’s benefit

    B) it did not cause too much offence to them by being overtly rude and thus making a big open fight

    C) it caused ENOUGH offence to them that they did not dare disrespect me in the same way again

    D) I was still able to deliver this response in a smiling, “friendly” way, betraying none of my anger at it.

    IT TAKES A TOLL. It is enormously stressful, and a horrible experience. You should not need to live like this. Your home is supposed to be a sanctuary, not a battlefield or a political arena.

    Move out while you can. Once you have kids (if you plan to) it will become impossible to move out. YOU will be dependent on them when that happens, you will have no income, and you will be caught forever in their web of forced dependence and submission.

    Move out NOW.

    Like

  19. @Confused DIL,
    Welcome to self hating phase. Been there done that. DG hated herself so much for compromising her principles that her health took the slack. It took a very long time to forgive herself. Focus on your self and work on forgiving yourself. You were told school, job and marriage were the steps and this was best match and you bought into it because deep down within yourself you believed this was the last guy or you’ll end up alone. Now you know better so you do better.

    Rest everything aside take care of your health this constant fight and flight exhaust adrenals, mess thyroid and estrogen.

    http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/401/
    http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/633/
    http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2009/11/28/desi-in-laws-wedging-a-psychological-warfare-against-bahus/

    Hire a domestic help for weekend and go to couple’s spa instead of slogging in that spicy kitchen and reeking in spices. If it doesn’t work move out. Every body here will give you good advise.
    Peace,
    Desi Girl

    Like

  20. i will suggest move out. for the same reason that the others here have pointed out. this is a value system difference that cannot be bridged.
    we cannot change our value system and its wrong to impose your values on them at this age, no matter how “wrong” their values appear to you.
    right now, things are easy and the logistics of moving out can be worked out before it all becomes bitter for everyone involved. you will need to think of stuff like:
    1. your financial contribution once you have moved out.
    2. the floor u live in will be rented out and u will take another place on rent. how do u propose to manage the inflow outflow of that… have it clearly out.
    3. accounts of u and ur husband. if u r planning to support ur parents, its a good idea to separate accounts now.

    Like

    • I would also suggest 4. childcare. Many working parents rely on the grandparents to provide childcare support. If this was your gameplan for when you have kids, you would have to rethink it if you move out.

      Like

  21. I apologize to the email writer, because I have not sufficiently engaged with her problems. Just got on my own train of thoughts that I wanted to share here. This is quite possibly a separate mail, as I have no answers for her, but only going to talk about me.

    //Moral of the story for all going-to -be -married ppl is never to agree to live in a joint family after marriage.//

    As a ‘good’ son, who’s at the age when he should be thinking about getting married, these kind of mails/comments put the fear of God into me.

    My principal fear is my wife is not going to be able to love my parents as much as I do.
    That her conception of a marriage is going to be principally about ‘me and her’ and not principally about my family and hers.

    I grew up in an environment where individual identities weren’t a big deal. Individuals were integral part of the families, where the sum is greater than the parts and naturally got greater precedence. There wasn’t anything to think about it at all. And this wasn’t always about women. Men choosing careers, other life-choices was always wedded to the interests of the family, even as things got more and more nuclear.

    Slowly this has begun to be viewed as ‘stifling’ and it gets mixed with the debate about a women’s role in the marriage. But I think it is larger than that. It is the individual and the family.

    This kind of ‘judging parents’ is just not done. They can be difficult it just does not matter. They can’t be approached with a calm weighing of pros-and-cons. In fact the terms with which relationships are being discussed here – ‘fairness’, ‘I do my bit’, really leaves me baffled. I see one commentator has done person-hour math about kitchen time!!

    Anyway each to his own. Let me stay on me..

    These new-fangled ideas of parents ‘letting the kids live their lives’ do not appeal to me. I just want my parents to be as they are today. Comfortable making the kind of decisions (or what would be called ‘intrusions’) they have been always been making. I don’t want them, at this age, to start withdrawing into a ‘you have your life, we have ours, we’ll meet for dinner’ mode of things. If marriage were to do that to my relationship with my parents, it would be quite disappointing.

    And they are already mentally preparing to turn our relationship into one between adults who respect each other. And I know they are consciously turning into different people as this is in my best interest, going forward. I just want to be treated as always: like a kid, who can be ordered about and taken for granted – not politely asked favours. In fact I get very annoyed when they say: ‘would it be possible for you to do this?’ when the last two words would have sufficed.

    I want to be someone with whom they can speak their mind to, without fear of being judged. And I hate it that they are slowly transitioning away because popular media and their social network is teaching them to ‘be mature’, ‘to stay out of your adult son’s business’ etc.

    I know that seems to work for most people these days. I also know I probably skipped a generation: I much prefer the relationships my aunts had with my grandparents than my cousins (and cousins-in-law, I have no siblings) have with my aunts. It worries me that the girl I am probably going to marry, is likely to prefer the latter.

    I always make career/life choices that ensure my parents are most comfortable. I don’t like associating words like duty, sacrifice etc. with this, because all of that emanate from an individualistic thinking. What I am talking about is, having really no considerable conception of oneself as an individual, in the first place. IMO, more than any attributes, it is his/her relationships that defines a person. Someone who is even conscious of placing a family’s interests above one’s ‘own’ is going to have a problem. It’s only a matter of time.

    I realize, the way I have presented it is quite paternalistic as I I have not mentioned my relationship with my parents-in-law. Actually I am resolving to go all out on that. And that is not just because of reciprocity, because that is how I naturally feel about marriages and relationships.

    Heck, the last few years I have been thinking about my prospective parents-in-law, whoever they are, more than about my prospective wife.
    Will they be living with us? What can I do to make them comfortable with me, my parents (4 elder people, starting to live together in the autumn of their lives – one can anticipate discomforts).
    Or will they not choose to live with us? Where then? With my siblings-in-law? What if they live in another city? Will my wife be ok with that?(I can’t conceive not living under the same roof as my parents, let alone in a different city). Or would we need to move to a place that works for all of us. Or will they be more ‘mature and distant’ people, than me and my parents? In which case, would a girl who grew up in that environment enjoy become the closeness of our family? Or would she call it ‘suffocating’?

    And so on and so forth that it is just crazy. My question is, is it possible a girl out there is likely to be thinking about a marriage along these lines and not thinking principally about the guy she is going to marry?

    And the more I read the comments here, the more I doubt the possibility of that.

    Like

  22. Oops meant to post it in response to the previous email writer. Got confused with the comments here and there. So, if you don’t mind, when you moderate it, can you please post my comment there.

    Like

  23. this is common among joint families, especially ones with traditional values. i have seen it happen in all of them. you are very lucky that your husband supports u and understands u. best thing is you both should move out. talk to your husband. he might not like it at first but explain to him why its good for both u of. tell him that u will still visit the family regularly. if he is still doesn’t want to move out and u feel like u can’t live with his family then tell him to choose. i know its kind of rough but u have to let him make the decision. good luck

    Like

  24. Everyone is suggesting you to move out. I think its a good idea but you really don’t need to raise a storm for this. Handle it with some tact. If you do not wish to hurt anyone, you can have a thousand ways of doing that. Since both you and your husband are in IT field, you could always try changing jobs in another city stating stagnation in the current job as a reason. This way you could avoid any confrontation as the decision seems to stem out of need of better prospects. Or you or your husband can look up for an onsite opportunity. In the meanwhile you could keep providing for your in-laws.
    Try to find a middle path. A fight is not necessary here. You can move out quietly.
    Regarding the dowry, make sure that all the jewellary is accessible to you. As long as this is the case you really do not need to worry. If your parents need it at some point of their life, you could always encash it and give them back as a loan (if they will not accept it directly).
    It is not easy to live in a joint family. If you think 10 years down the line, you will end up as a bitter person, then move out.

    Like

  25. Dear Confused DIL

    Firstly, I must mention I think you are great..I would not have survived in such an atmosphere however great my husband is!

    I think I agree to the commenters who mentioned that perhaps you should move out but to a location near by so that you can do the needful for your in laws when needed…often moving out is considered to be a taboo…

    My cousin stayed with her in laws for a while..and then after her two babies were born..she moved out…same town, but nearby so that she can help the in laws whenever needed..there are loads of people in our family who are still commenting on her moving out, not taking care of her in laws, etc etc..but at the end of the day, what would you want – a life which is easy to lead with few people (who dont even matter) commenting about how you moved out yaada yaada..or a life where you are constant subjected to little little inconviences…the choice is with you and your husband…

    If you think you can continue ‘adjusting’ stay..but if you think you have reached a limit and its putting a stress on your health and relationship with your husband, its time you moved out..

    Then again, its your choice..

    Its better to move away, and love and support your family, than stay and get bugged with them all the time eh?

    Like

  26. Thank you all for ur comments…Just wanted to clarify a few things
    1.Arranged Marriages!=progressive thought ?I dont agreee. When you decide to get married,
    whether you bump into the guy yourself or the bumping in is ‘staged/facilitated’ by parents is irrelevant.
    This is as long as you choose your own partner after knowing him enough.My parents merely helped in the logistics in meeting prospective grooms.
    The choice was 100% mine.
    2.Early Marriage(@23?) . Depends entirely on the person who ties the knot.There was no pressure by anyone on me to get married and I took the decision

    myself.
    3.I agree that the dowry part was entirely my fault ,not talking to hubby at the right time.
    4.My point is,we are three earning people(hubby,BIl and me) and ideally the expenses have to be shared by all three equally.But BIL doesnt see it this way.
    House maintaince also has to be shared by rest of the three(MIL,SIL,FIL). On weekends,maybe we all can chip in and do our share
    which will make life very easy for all. But why am I punished and dumped all the work upon on weekend?
    People feel on weekdays I escape from house work,atleast weekends let her compensate. And if the hubby choses to share the burden he is labelled JKG.
    For the boys,its they are tired the whole week,let them rest and for the girls(me), who has forced her to work,she only has chosen it(the small fact that
    its me and hubby who jointly contribute financially is conveviently ignored)

    Like

  27. Some of the posts I read on this blog makes me convinced that Indians, both men and women have no idea of what it means to be progressive, open-minded and liberal. I wonder if that is because they don’t get the concept or is it because they have such low standards when they define something? It is like my ‘non-religious’ former flatmate, who fasts in all fasting days, makes a fuss about non-veg cooked in our (shared) flat and goes to the temple every Tuesday.

    This one is a classic case, her ‘progressive’ parents who made her ‘independant’ married her off in her early twenties to a ‘catch’ they found from a joint family and then comes another classic scenario – dowries. The only thing progressive here seems to be their stance that their daughter is ‘allowed to choose’ are husband.

    The only solution in this case is to move out, because as harsh as it may seem, your ‘gem’ of a husband doesn’t have the backbone to stand up to his parents when his wife is taken for a ride.

    Like

    • Yeah, the saddest part about this thread were the delusions of independence and progressiveness the OP has about her parents and her husband. It’s comparable to how a lot of women who are forced to stay home unemployed to cook and care for their husbands/children assume that they are not in a bad position because their husbands “allow” them to watch their favorite TV shows.

      Like

  28. It’s women vs women yet again. My comment for the the lady is to learn from what is going on around her. For one day she will too (I hope) have children (both male and female) and what she learns now will help in bringing up her children to be more like her.

    Like

    • Umm, men are also a part of this family equation. There’s a difficult BIL and a FIL whose role remains unclear.

      If you’d bothered to set your prejudices aside, you’d have realised that family conflicts are caused by men AND women.

      I’ve no idea why you often insist that women are to blame for family conflits and that the men are completely uninvolved.

      That’s certainly not what I’ve seen happen around me.

      Like

      • Well – to be honest I am not interested in what happens around you. We (or at least I) was talking about this particular case. No point generalising everything because each situation is different from one another. Let’s stick to one case/blog post at a time. Makes life simple.

        Like

        • @ Indian Homemaker,

          In this case, I suggest both couple discuss this matter between them, see it from each others prospective and then decide (together) what is ‘right’ thing to do at the ‘right’ time.

          Like

        • There are two of them in this relationship, and as I said both sides need to agree on a plan, not necessary short term but a long term plan too. I emphasis that both need to make the decision together.

          In life we all need to compromise at some stage, and I’m not saying that the wife needs to compromise the husband needs to take a hard look at the situation too – maybe the husband wants something different.

          Like

    • BAB: It’s women vs women yet again.

      Me – She has clearly written, //Hubby helps but other men laze around // and //…my BIL feels that since me and my hubby both are earning its entirely on us to provide the finances//
      Men and women family members are involved, and some of them seem to clearly benefit from the situation and would want it to continue.
      Please do take a look at this post,
      https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2010/11/28/a-woman-is-not-a-womans-worst-enemy-patriarchy-is/

      BAB: My comment for the the lady is to learn from what is going on around her.
      Me – I feel she is trying to learn and understand.

      BAB what do you think of the Patriarchal Joint Family System – it seems it doesn’t care for the health and happiness of it’s female members, from old mothers in law who have accepted it as their destiny to eat leftovers to new born baby girls who are not allowed to be born. Do you think this system is responsible for Indian parents preferring male children?

      BAB: For one day she will too (I hope) have children (both male and female) and what she learns now will help in bringing up her children to be more like her.

      Me – It’s good to learn that in general every family member should have a choice of whether or not they wish to live with in a Joint Family. When other family members realise that a new bride has the option of leaving – they are less likely to be abusive.
      In our present system women are under immense pressure to stay with their husbands’ families. Any woman who dares to admit that the situation is unfair and almost prison-like (often no choice in what to eat, what to wear, to relax, to work, when to have children, watch TV, meet friends, talk to friends/family on phone etc) – is criticised, and we know many women end up taking their lives (or being killed/burnt etc) – but still the mindset is so strong that women still feel compelled to agree to support this system. Mothers are ‘warned’ that if they don’t have male children there would be no daughter in law to take care of them in their old age. (In general husbands are older and their wives have to look after them, but generally wives are supposed to ‘control’ and depend on the daughter in law.

      Like

        • Learning curve? Learn about what? There are some things (atleast in my book) that I will not “learn”. Eating left over food after the men have finished is one of them.
          And really, why should I lose my precious years with a learning curve when I can as well live the way I want to?

          Like

        • The problem is indeed cluelesschick, women in Indian society are unable to live they way they desire to live. I never said said anything about the left-overs and never wanted to go into specific details as such. But to make a better world, we all learn so we can apply the knowledge for the future.

          Like

        • My in-laws call this learning curve as ‘The Training period’. (Yes, I am not exaggerating)
          I learnt a LOT about the World in general, don’t even want to go into the details.

          Like

  29. IHM, Pardon this digression. This is a test to see if I can post comments using HTML codes embedded

    This sentence must appear in bold print

    This sentence must appear in italics

    This must appear in Blue colour
    <p If this experiments click, I can make my comments colourful and more readable

    Is there a horizontal line above this line? There should be.
    Regards GV

    Like

    • I have had partial success.
      The codes for writing in bold and in italics worked.
      The rest including font size, coloured text and introduction of a horizontal separating line across the page did not work.
      It’s okay.
      I will make do with what your comment box permits.
      Thanks and sorry for this digression.
      Regards
      GV

      Like

      • Sorry, let my try one more time.
        I spotted some errors in my code.
        Let see how this appears.
        Thanks

        ================

        IHM, Pardon this digression. This is a test to see if I can post comments using HTML codes embedded

        This sentence must appear in bold print

        This sentence must appear in italics

        style=”color:blue”>This must appear in Blue colour
        If this experiments click, I can make my comments colourful and more readable

        Is there a horizontal line above this line? There should be.
        Regards GV

        Like

        • Okay, last attempt for today.
          I want the following line to appear in blue colour.

          This must appear in Blue colour
          Regards
          GV

          Like

        • How does Desi Girl manage to get some lines in blue colour while I am not able to?
          Yesterday I could manage to make a line appear bold.
          Today in the same comment the “boldness” has disappeared.
          Only italics seem to be working.
          The whole comment with the same html codes appears correctly in my browser.
          I will live with it for now.

          Regards
          GV

          Like

  30. Pingback: An email: My principal fear is my wife is not going to be able to love my parents as much as I do. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

    • Ha : ) no luck I think it only picks the basic html. NO color working

      h3 {
      color: #006400;
      background: none;
      margin-left: 4%;
      margin-right: 4%;
      font-weight: bold
      }
      well let see this one

      Like

  31. I think that you should never have agreed to live in a joint family since it is really at odds with your family system. However since you went into the marriage knowing that you would be living in one, you should make more of an effort to see things from the rest of the family’s perspectives too. Before you came into the picture, SIL will have conformed to family’s expectations – ie eat last, cook, serve menfolk. I can’t imagine anyone actually WANTING to be bottom of the pile yet she did it and now you waltz in wanting all this special treatment. I’m not saying what you want is wrong I’m just saying that you should understand other peoples motivations and stresses. Your in laws too have grown up with one mindset and now someone who has been in the family a very short time is challenging their authority and beliefs. Would you find it easy to change your beliefs overnight? They are obviously willing to try in that they accepted you would work but even they probably didn’t think through the other effects hence the bizarre compromise where you are both contributing to the household and also expected to cook weekends whereas BIL doesn’t contribute and his wife only cooks weekdays. This unfair state of affairs is obvious attempt to placate BIL and SIL. It also cannot be easy for the nicest of husbands to be between his wife and his family. I’m not saying you should sublimate your wishes, just that you should consider other peoples motivations and feelings in going forward. The key injustices of you having to contribute materially and having to help domestically need to be addressed. If its a daughter in laws responsibility to look after the domestic side, fine. Use your contribution to hire help to do your share. Do not contribute anything else as it is families responsibility to look after your needs and you should get just what SIL gets from family. Gender Bias, fight it with all your might but subtly. The dowry, make sure you can get your hands on Tito help your parents if need be and then forgive and let the bad feelings go. What’s done is done.

    If at the end of the day, after trying to work changes within the family set up, recognising that necessarily progress will be slow, then consider moving out but preferably to a different city to save inlaws face which will make them resist it less. Just as your parents brought you up with hopes and wishes, so his parents brought him up with hopes and wishes. As long as they are not verbally or physically abusing you, please try and change things softly. Major changes do not happen overnight but they do happen.

    Like

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

  33. phew…this is a huge family. you are lucky that your husband is supportive towards you. See, not everyone is perfect & especially whn it comes to living in a joint family. i think the best way is to move out of the house with your husband in a nice way without hurting anyone (unless if thy don’t want u to leave for some reason). you can live your married life properly & you can always assure thm that you will come to visit them on weekends!

    Like

  34. Dear girl, why are you putting up with this? My question to all such women who tolerate injustice from their inlaws is “WHY are you putting up with this?”

    Move out. You are well qualified, you can support yourself if your husband refuses to move with you. But don’t let yourself be treated like a sack of rubbish by unworthy people.

    Do you not deserve to be happy? Or is that asking for too much?

    Like

  35. i am doing a study on working women in joint family ..project named “ME” . Aim is to get to root of the actual problems faced and find solution to make life better. Any women who is working and living in a joint family can realy contribute to project ME by sharing her experience.You are the one who touched the topic so openly. How can i interect with you to know more from you

    Like

  36. my husband after six months of marriage wants to shift to my inlaw family.he is well settled in a MNC.My mother in law is very conservative,clever,she acts very nice n caring fr me infront of my FIL and husband but at back she hurts me a lot.I am not interested to stay with my in law from the beginning of my married life.My married life has just began.Please suggest.

    Like

  37. Pingback: You’re going to be with your in-laws for only a few days in a year so why can’t you live the way they want and keep every one happy? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  38. Pingback: “I had written an email about being a DIL in the joint family, I am happy to share my current state …” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  39. Pingback: It’s not about hot hot chappaties. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  40. Pingback: “She went on and complained to my father in law that this gal cooks non veg at her home.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  41. Pingback: “I put my blood and raised my sons. Now the daughters in law are enjoying the fruit.. “ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  42. Pingback: “About household financial status… his parents have done all that they can, and now have passed the baton to their three sons.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  43. This sounds like me writing. Only been married 1 month, knew I had to live in joint family but was hoping for otherwise. Our family has his bro, bhabi, 3 little kids and him/I. So the dynamic is different but I still feel the pressure. Bhabi cooks on weekdays but I rush from work to kitchen, which has left me feeling tired. The kids are constantly with me & that makes me exhusted. I feel like I went from single to married to with kids in a matter of day because of his nephews.

    I love my husband and his family is great. But I feel tired/exhusted at same time I don’t want to demand he moves becuase thats his family matter. I don’t want to be that girl who couldn’t make it

    Like

  44. Pingback: Not touching feet after a year of marriage is disrespect to MIL? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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