An email from a Happily Married Indian Daughter in law…

Sharing an email from a Happily Married Indian Daughter in law.

Dear IHM,

Since you have written often about living with parents after marriage, I thought I should tell you about my experience.

Ours was not an arranged marriage, and my husband and I had a good idea of what both of us wanted in our lives.  Though initially I was hesitant about moving with him into his parental home, I agreed after getting to know his parents.  Also, by then I knew that this guy is someone who is going to stay by me no matter what happens.

I had absolutely no problems at my in-laws’ place.  Though they are very traditional, they were open-minded about everything.  No restriction in what I wore, whom I met, where I went… they didn’t even protest when I refused to wear a bindi or a mangalsutra or toe-rings.  They were not comfortable with it, but they didn’t insist that I wear it.   My parents-in-law managed the house… my MIL was in complete charge of the kitchen.  I used to go out to work, and then come back and help MIL cut vegetables, knead the dough, grate coconut… you know, the assistant in the kitchen.  Even if I had not done anything in the kitchen, I doubt they would have said anything to me, but of course, one cannot just sit around when someone else (anyone, not only MIL) is working.

But.  The fact was that whatever it is, I felt like a guest.  It is not that they made me feel like one, I just felt like a guest.  I never felt like it was my own home.  I always had the feeling that I was living in someone else’s home and so couldn’t be totally comfortable.  I knew I was bringing this upon myself, but I guess some people are just that way.  I wasn’t shy, but just uncomfortable.  So my entire stay there, for almost three years, was like that of a guest.

Besides, there were little things like, in summer, I would be itching to wear an itsy-bitsy t-shirt and just lie around, which I couldn’t.  And i am the kind who likes doing work only when the mood gets to me.  So sometimes, during the weekends, when I would rather be lazing around, my MIL would start preparations for lunch, and I would feel terrible if I didn’t go help her.  I would sometimes invite friends over, but we would end up going out for lunch or for a walk, because we couldn’t talk freely inside the house. Little things like that, but when put into a context of living your own life, it was like I was always living an incomplete life.

I would come alive only in my room, behind closed doors – where it was my kingdom.  The sheets I had chosen, the curtains of my choice, the music system that played the music I liked, my books in the bookcase, sprawled on the bed.

We moved out a few months after my daughter turned one.  The move was due to a number of reasons (none of which was friction with the in-laws) and was initiated by my husband.

In a home of my own, it was an entirely new world.  On one hand, I was swamped with work.  Managing a whole house, cooking entire meals all the time (something I’d never done) looking after a small child… it was work, work and more work whereas in my in-laws’ house, it had been a bed of roses.

BUT.  The freedom was unparalleled. I did what I wanted when I liked.  I cooked varieties of food, and sometimes I didn’t cook at all.  I wore what  I liked whenever I felt like. I could bathe in the night if that was what i wanted.  I could sit in the middle of the drawing room with my legs up.  I could and did call lots of friends and their families over, and entertained a lot.  Most of all, I felt like I was living my own life in my own home.

And most of all I discovered that my husband was very very different from what I thought. (some lovely surprises, a few nasty shocks.) It was in a sense, after three years of marriage and one child, that I actually discovered my husband (whom I had fallen in love with and married, remember.)  And it was then, after moving into our own home, that we had terrible adjustment problems, but we worked around them, and we are now much closer and love each other even more.

We now visit my in-laws frequently (they live close to us) and my relationship with my MIL is much better now (not that it was bad in the first place)  We are on an equal footing in my mind, and besides, all the minor irritations and annoyances that are inevitable when we live together with someone – they are not there any longer.  My MIL and I are better friends now than we were when we lived together.

Living by ourselves is the best thing we can do for ourselves, for us to grow and love and live.

I thought you might find that my story validates some of your views about living with parents, so I wanted to share it with you.

I love your blog, and can’t thank you enough for opening my mind about so many things on so many levels.


Related posts:

To an Anonymous Daughter in law.
An email from a Newly Wed Wife. “Now they don’t like me.”
Another email. When an Indian daughter-in-law has no brothers.
I could not sing after my marriage and I am really sad about it, but women have to ‘adjust’ to see their family happy…
The interference of parents in the married life of their daughters…
An email: My principal fear is my wife is not going to be able to love my parents as much as I do.

Can’t end marriage over a sari.



149 thoughts on “An email from a Happily Married Indian Daughter in law…

    • Yep, totally loved the story. It’s difficult to really know your life partner until you have created a life (not intended to mean babies) with that person… contributing equally to the creation and maintenance of a dwelling, etc. The nasty shocks are as important as the sweet surprises, because they are aspects of the same person. If you never encounter them how can you say you know and love the whole person?


  1. You hit the nail on the head DIL. No matter how good the relationship is; it is still a mental prison – where you cannot sleep and wake up at a time convenient for you; you cannot make yourself a cuppa whenever you feel like, wear the clothes you like, watch t.v. whenever you want, and whatever you program you want – and more importantly, you cannot let down your guard with the spouse, lest it is frowned upon.

    it is a huge lifestyle change for most women. if they even express these thoughts, they will be judged and branded as ‘not the adjusting type’, ‘arrogant’, ‘westernised’ and so on. People don’t understand that wanting your own space does not mean you are disrespecting or demeaning others in the family.

    you have rightly pointed out that you rediscovered your husband (as I am sure he rediscovered you) – which is the way it should be. There is no greater joy than setting up one’s own nest.

    You do have a lovely family in terms of your husband and in-laws. god bless!


    • Totally..and it should not be mixed with the feelings that we don’t respect our elders or in laws for that matter..but a little more space is required for breathing smoothly in our own home and yes i too got too know the 2 sides of my own sweetie pie hubby when we lived together with in-laws (even for 2 months) and when we were left ALL on our own..the change is drastic..but the sad part of my story is that my partner wants his parents to move in with us so that they are taken care of :((..and i still have to work on all chores with the feeling of living as a guest in our own home….


      • I think you need to talk to your husband if you are uncomfortable with the choices you are being forced to make.

        He needs to know how you feel about his parents living with you.


        • thanks biwo 🙂
          he is just not ready to accept some things…and its now that i have broken my silence almost after 2 years and let him know that there do occur some things that i too get hurt from as earlier he only knew of the things his mother/father didnt like of me (lfor eg i like my hair kept open and they like it plaited and then taking a bath before entering kitchen and working for nearly 2-3 hours kitchen after which i have to again take a bath as i have to go to office etc etc) and now i have started letting inlaws know that please let me be.i will work for you but please let me be..and that i just need a listener who can listen to my issues and lend me some emotional support which only my husband can do…but then ge tells me that they(my inlaws) too have some expectations that needs to be fulfilled..somebody please enlighten my husband that this way things cant work out..agrhhhhhh..a lot to say..
          funny part is it takes us sometimes even a week to get to our normal selves after coming from inlaws or when inlaws go back from our place…such is their effect :))


  2. Exactly my story! Though there were no apparent problems, I never felt at home; a sort of uneasiness, unnaturalness prevailed. I couldn’t be me. But now I have a ‘home’ of my own and it’s MY world where I am the queen!


      • No, the problem is between those who have are forced to live with other people. An FIL and a Son in law would face the same problem if they had to live with their wife’s family and win the approval of her extended family and neighbours, obey the father in law without ‘answering back’ and not rush to his own parents when there was a little disagreement with the in laws.


        • i wish that our indian marriage system changes over night and that in new setup the Son has to report to girl’s family and fulfill their every wish and do some seva for them just as we are asked to do :)..its only then men will understand our concerns..
          i would love to see that..a wicked dream of mine 😉

          Liked by 2 people

        • This is exactly what i say to my husband when he argues about my adjustments with my FIL.


    • I think after some time, it doesn’t matter whose house it is except whether it is your own. The point is exactly that – that a couple needs to be an independent, compatible unit that today supports their child and tomorrow lets the child have his/her life experiences. Not whose house one is uncomfortable in.


    • Of course there are bound to be differences between the place you grew up in and the place you have come to occupy 20-30 years late into your life. It is different when you are with someone who brought you into the world and raised you Vs. being with someone whose connection to you is through your spouse. A mom and her daughter bickering is different from a MIL and her DIL arguing.


      • i second that !! …whenever we talk about discomfort of living in IL’s home,ppl tend to say do you feel same in your parents home but plz god sake who make them understand we were connected to that home and ppl around from last 25 yrs and so but this is not the case with IL’s home ….. and every family has different nature of ppl likes and dislike its very difficult for DIL to fulfill the expectations of all in her new home …..


      • Could not agree more! We can never compare the home we were raised in and our husband’s family’s house! As I keep saying, parents should come and stay with daughters as much as they stay with sons. Yes, it’s the duty of children to take care of their parents and this holds true for both sons and daughters. And for the record – I dont believe in the Paraya Dhan nonsense.


    • After a couple gets married, they need their space and privacy. They become another unit………a family…..a nuclear family…..with/without kids…a space they can call their own, be themselves and live their life on their own terms. It is not always about getting or not getting along. I am sure even the MIL would have loved her space to be herself. Not everyone is lucky enough to have their own space and freedom to live by themselves.


    • Let me try and answer. I can totally relate to this experience. When I first got married no one was bad to me at my in-laws place. Yet I did not feel at home. It always felt like I was living in someone else’s house. My mother’s house felt better because this was a place I had spend my whole life and it was where I was most comfortable. After my husband and I got our own place, I felt a sense of freedom. Freedom is allowing adults to make their own choices, whether it is in small things (like choosing when to get up and what to wear) or in big things (like when to have kids or where to send them to school). After living for some time in my own house, whenever I went back to my mother’s house even that did not feel like home. I felt like a guest even in my mother’s house. I realized that the way my mother did things was not the way I did them, but I never interfered with it because it was not my place anymore. It is called growing up and being allowed to be an adult. Most Indian children are not allowed to do that. After some time every adult needs to be in control of their own life and living in someone else’s house, however good will feel like a gilded cage.


      • Perfect understanding, mutual trust, will to make minor adjustment in adversity, unconditional love, commitment, feeling of respect and responsibility towards each other as well as family can all go a long way to make the marriage work.


        • S R Ayyanger. You write “Perfect understanding, mutual trust, will to make minor adjustment in adversity, unconditional love, commitment, feeling of respect and responsibility towards each other as well as family can all go a long way to make the marriage work”.
          This letter writer has no marital problems , no problems with in-laws either. In fact everyone involved seems to be very nice and understanding. The letter writer states that she feels more comfortable in her own house as opposed to her in-laws house. Why does this seem to imply a lack of understanding, mutual trust, feeling of responsibility etc or that there is a problem in the marriage. Someone has asked you before and I would appreciate an answer, whether you would feel happy and comfortable in your in-laws house, or your own house? It’s easy to write down these fine words when we do not actually have to do any of these things.


    • @S.R.Ayyangar

      Ofcourse it is different at my mother’s house because I have grown up there since I was born! The relation between me and my parents vs me and my ILs is different and can probably be never the same.

      Tell me sir, have you felt completely at ease at your MILs place to do whatever pleases you? I suppose not. Then why hold DILs to different standards that you could not meet as a SIL?


      • Fantastic reply! Agree 200%. Its time our outlook changed on this. Daughters and sons are the same and parents shoudl stay in whosever house they feel comfortable with. This is different from us going and staying in our in-laws’ house.


    • I used to feel the same way in my mother’s house LONG before I ever got married. It’s why I moved out for undergrad….because at SEVENTEEN, I was ready for it and felt that house was too small to contain me. It’s a crying shame that people are expected to “feel at home” in their ILs’ house at…I don’t know, TWENTY SEVEN or older?!!!


    • @ S.R. Ayyangar
      It’s unfortunate that you are holding the fact that she didn’t feel at home after staying at her in-laws’ place for a few years, against her.
      Did you feel instantly at home when you went to your in laws place?
      Your answer might me that you have been conditioned to feel not at home at your in-laws’ place unlike a daughter in law who is apparently supposed to embrace her in-laws’ home like her only home.
      You are talking about about a regressive cultural norm without taking into consideration the feelings of the individual.
      I think that a 4 hour ceremony is no magic wand that turns a strangers home in your own, however nice and cooperative everyone in that home may be.It’s still your husband’s home.
      Let me quote my own example.
      I help my mom in the kitchen on and off whenever i am at home. I do so when i feel like it. However when visit a friend’s (male/female/couple) place for a stay i try and help out in the kitchen as much as I can. It’s only natural to do so as guest. One’s in-laws’ place is the same. Though you certainly might get more comfortable with time, you can never be as comfortable as you are in your own home which by the way,may not necessarily be your parent’s home 🙂

      Great post IHM! Happy to hear about the good things in married life!


        • You are still avoiding the main question: ‘Did you feel instantly at home when you went to your in laws place?’

          If you most likely didn’t, then you cannot sit in judgment of someone who felt the same way.


        • “Marriage is all about understanding, adjustment & adoption to the new environment, sooner it is, better for the couple & the family.”

          So the in-laws should adjust to the new DIL and make efforts to understand her and help her feel comfortable, right?


        • The adjustment you are talking about is terribly one sided, considering you never had to move out into your MIL’s home.

          And really, we do not have to live in each others pockets all the time to be considered loving and respectful.


        • @S.R ayangar,
          Its easier said than done. with due respect, please try and leave at your in-laws place for 2-3 months without letting them know the duration of your stay that you planned. Probably you will get all the answers to your queries and also understand what exactly, ‘understanding,adjustments,adoption to new environment’ means and how easy is it to slip off your sandals and get fitted into others 🙂


        • Where is happiness in all this? If the very basis of marriage starts with adjustment then aren’t we doomed? And really, what is wrong if a couple decided to move into a house by themselves? Why look at it as a crime?


        • Would the same rules apply for a man? Forget some of the norms, I am talking as a normal human being with feelings.


    • Lets see if a guy can live in his in laws place even for a day and be comfortable? Why all the obligations only to women? DIL is not treated like a daughter in MIL’s house, so obviously she is not comfortable. Besides you put it in your own words, “MIL house” which means it is never and never will be DIL’s house.


    • Daughter will be very happy with her parents as the son is with his parents…. and SIL will be uncomfortable with his in laws as DIL will be with her inlaws


    • Why is that someone has to feel like a guest in their parents house…. A woman feels the same way, a man would feel when residing in the in-laws house…. The same way the in-laws will feel when living in their son’s or daughter’s house……it’s not the question about, under whose ownership you are living or what is the relationship shared??!! Instead it’s about a new member adjust with certain things and is made to feel comfortable and involved in a place and relationship which is termed to be our own after MARRIAGE…..this has to be the scenario for close relationships, unless one only needs to keep a rather formal and long distance relation.

      And what do you think is the reason behind sibling rivalry in some families, it’s just that one of the child feels uncomfortable as compared to other….so it really doesn’t matters whether one is residing in parent’s or in-laws house…When we are in the presence of our elders our child like behaviour comes out and in the presence of young ones our more prominent and elderhood behaviour comes out…..😊


  3. A nice, sensible set up that I completely understand. A better relationship with all parties is possible when there’s some space for everyone to be themselves. That would include the older couple as well. I know of enough older couples who are pretty happy with what they do, saying they’ve done their part bringing up their kids, enjoying hobbies with a pretty full, interesting life. It works!


    • That would be both my folks and my folks-in-law. They come and visit us, often together, we go visit them, sometimes with the other set of parents, sometimes by ourselves.

      BUT we would all prefer a separate permanent arrangement till the day they cannot manage by themselves.

      Reason: Space. For them and for us.


  4. Glad to note that, for a change, some one does not have problems!
    I feel happy for you and your husband and the little one.
    This is the best arrangement. Live separately but close by so that you can be there for them or they for you, should the need arise.


  5. Loved reading it!!! now, I don’t really live with my in-laws, but every time I visit them, I undergo the same sentiments. Like you said, I am a busy mom to 2 small kids and have a thriving career (in a senior management role) with a husband who is equally busy. Still, I like to manage my home and take care of my family’s needs. I haven’t had any issues with my in-laws touch wood, but, I also think, it is this way because we have not been living with them. The freedom of living in YOUR OWN home is something!


    • It sometimes is. Not everyone wants to live separately. My soon-to-be mom-in-law has Prakinson’s. While standing, she sometimes simply loses balanace and falls on the floor. My dad-in-law has health problems of his own. Would you want me and my fiance to let them live on their own? Yes I would love to live alone with my husband in our own little heaven. But sometimes there are reasons, financial and otherwise, when living with in-laws, or in-laws living with us, becomes the best option.


      • I was not talking about exceptional cases (health, financial or any other serious problems). Of course when there is somebody’s life at stake you need to make a decision considering this special factor.

        When everybody is fine, living with in-laws is just a stupid choice in my opinion.


        • There need not be an exceptional case, emotional need is also one of the important needs of humans as any other financial or health needs.. and it is very natural of parents to seek and fulfill that need from their children.
          I am not married yet, but few yrs down the line when I would be in my 50s/60s with my son/daughter married I would seek that in them. Instead of living alone with no one to share my joys and sorrows with..

          And since I would want that joy of sharing, I would also not deprive my in-laws of the same thing. I am unable to understand on what lines these ‘modern’ women think on !

          A family is not just about a husband and a wife.. its more than that ! 🙂


        • So would you say she should give up the kind of food she likes to eat, and agree to meet her parents (also parents, although they have no sons) only on and off while she lives with her husband’s parents?
          Do you realise this is the reason why Indian parents abort daughters to have sons? (Daughters become paraya dhan once they get married)

          Liked by 1 person

        • So would you say she should give up the kind of food she likes to eat, and agree to meet her parents (also parents, although they have no sons) only on and off while she lives with her husband’s parents?

          Where in the post has she written that she was not allowed to have food which she likes ? Infact she is so blessed with an understanding MIL who would cook food and let her take rest while she was back from work.. Also, neither she has mentioned of anything of not meeting her own parents. Does now staying separately given her more time to meet her parents ?


  6. Oh, I can so very identify with what she is saying!! I feel the same thing when I am at my in-laws’ place (we dont stay with them now, but I am saying this based on my few weeks’ stay every year). They are super nice and all, but still there are small things which I cannot do which gives me a sense of comfort, and which I can do in my own house or even my parents’ house. Things like sitting without taking a bath till the afternoon, just lazing on the bed reading books or ordering takeouts, or not helping in the kitchen and not feeling guilty about it or even the way I behave with the husband changes (again small things). It is these small, seemingly insignificant things which make home comfortable and relaxed and free! I guess if my parents’ would not have been super chilled out, I would have felt out of place in their house as well.
    But yes, I whole heartedly agree to this post! And a welcome change to see a happy DIL with a supporting husband and nice in-laws 🙂


  7. I don’t live with my in-laws, but when they visit us or when we visit them the situation is pretty much the same as mentioned in the post.
    For example, I might sleep till 9 or 10 in the morning, my MIL starts making breakfast, she tells me to sleep coz it is only on weekends that I can sleep, but still I feel guilty and try to help her in the kitchen.
    Ditto to roaming around in T-shirts, or having friends over etc etc …
    To someone who asked above would I feel the same if I were in my parents house.. Yes to most of it.
    For example, I might still feel gulty that I am sleeping and my mom is cooking, but I won’t get up and go help her. It is probably the way we are programmed or conditioned ( probably not in obvious terms but I have always seen my maamis and chaachis help in kitchen whereas my buas and mausis don’t (“maayke” mein we don’t have to do that”) -( I don’t associate much to maayka because I have lived away from home more than I have stayed at home.)
    My husband sometimes makes breakfast while I am still sleeping, but I neither feel guilty nor get up because I know that I am making lunch or dinner and that we are equal partners.

    I would be equally uncomfortable in my parents and in laws houses roaming around in T-shirts or cuddling up on a love-seat with husband while watching TV.

    As a couple we have decided on the following when it comes to staying with parents (both sets)
    – As long as they are healthy and active, it is better that we live our own lives. We visit each other and stay together for 1-2 months (not more than that 🙂 )
    – If they need constant care, we help with a nurse/maid etc.
    – If one of the parents die, we would want the surviving parent to move-in with us ( of course ONLY if they want to), because it would be difficult to lead a lonely life at that age.

    There might be pros/cons to the above arrangement, but that’s what we feel is a perfect mix for our family where we get to enjoy our individual lives at the same time will be there for each other at times of need.


  8. You’ve articulated the situation so accurately – this is exactly the way it is. Like someone correctly pointed out – after a while- regardless of mom’s or MIL’s house it doesnt matter if its not your own. Yes its incredibly hard work doing everything between husband and me but we love every moment of it. As for having friends, the initial few months we had none of our friends over (they werent too keen on coming over either) simply because its difficult to bum around with friends in the presence of parents/parents in law. Now we’ve got people dropping by any time they want.

    We live very close by to the in laws – we drop in often and so do they. Its really a lovely lovely situation – knock on wood.


  9. What a lovely post and I agree with each word. Living apart gives you the freedom you want and I honestly think a little distance makes the heart grow fonder ! But you know what, I want to say something different here .. When my brother got married, he and his wife set up their own home (it was my parents idea to give the newlyweds more space and privacy – yeah my parents are different from the majority of their generation that way!). Any way my brother travelled a lot and when he was out my sis in law would come over and stay with us (her decision – she did not like being alone). We always had a good time .. except sometimes when mom would be out and my sis in law would be doing something in the kitchen (even if it was cutting veggies or just making a sandwich) I would feel guilty for lolling about and not helping and I would force myself to get up and help. After coming back from work, even if I was tired I would help her lay the table and wind up the kitchen .. with just my mom around I would sometimes skip helping mom if I fwas tired but never with my sis in law ! While watching TV I would let her watch whatever she was wanted even if I was dying to watch my favorite show .. I would try so hard to make her feel at home and to ensure that she doesn’t feel as if she is getting the “DIL treatment” that I would start to feel uncomfortable in my own home ! So you see there are always two sides to the coin !

    Well .. I wonder how many thumbs downs this is going to give me …:)


    • I think this conveys the same thing – that it’s good for everybody to live in their own homes. Even in the case of the email writer, her in laws were nice people and tried to be helpful, but she still felt like a guest.


    • I completely understand. I also go overboard trying to make the family’s DILs feel at home. Except that they feel more comfortable with my extended family than I do myself, so it’s all in vain! 🙂


  10. Visiting u after a long time…..and what a lovely post I get to read:-)). I identified quite a bit with the HMDIL…….I lived with my inlaws for 8 yrs & when they were leaving I wondered how we’ll manage without them esp bcoz I was handling 2 small kids[they were a big help with them]. Initially after they left back to India I did find it difficult but after the dust settled I realised I was actually ‘living’ life:-)).


  11. Hi IHM, this blogger and all other comment writers,
    I cannot thank you all enough! This blog so very aptly reflects my thoughts and i was glad to share it with my hubby, just so that he understands these soft issues, which i have hard times discussing about. Very good discussion.


  12. Sounds like a normal functional family with each member having lives of their own. This is like owning gold in today’s time of debased currencies. We need more of this for sure.


  13. I just wonder… Why is it that just in the last 15 – 20 years, Indians are discovering how crappy their culture and lifestyles are ? If Manu (the author of Manusmriti) had screwed up our lives long back… what were all those generations of women (and men, remember by the way, if you read Manusmriti carefully, you will realize Manu doesn’t spare them fully either) doing ? They should have burnt him alive….and of course, needles to stay …. on the pile of his own books. Indians are crappy … I tell you haan…. we are all-time losers waiting for the British to tell us how to lead our lives properly. Thank God, (and the Queen of course) the British did arrive finally, to help us with our problems and, more recently, the Americans are teaching us how to respect one’s personal space… hmmm… something we need to really learn.


    • For centuries we were not doing well – we were burning widows; burying, drowning poisoning little girls of all ages and lots more, and we were calling it all our culture.
      Burning people or books, or following anybody (even if they seem to be humane) is not the solution. Respecting other people and their rights – no matter what colour, gender, age and caste they come from is maybe a first step.


    • No doubt, what happened in the past (Mughals coming, British coming etc.) has made some indelible changes to our culture – some good and some bad. But the fact remains that what Manu may have prescribed suited India of yore, not anymore.

      A woman staying with in-laws made sense when she was married off at 9-10 years of age. She literally grew up at her husband’s place, spent more time with MIL than her own mother and and learnt to embrace her duties towards in-laws without qualms (of course, husbands and in-laws too were impeccable in discharge of their duties towards her, they never probably perceived her as an ‘outsider’ because she was almost a child that grew up in their family. Dowry and female infanticide etc. were unknown back then).

      See the contrast in today’s times. A lady is with her parents for a long 25-30 years, grows enough to love and be attached to them and (mostly) is a carefree, well educated & independent individual, only for all these to be cut short and expectations of her radically changed when she makes the transition to married life. Like someone above mentioned, a mere 4-hr ceremony later, she is expected to snap ties with her family and embrace a new one (in fact, one that asked for a price to accommodate her) fully and unconditionally.

      Why don’t most Indians find this unnatural? Beats me!


    • I hope you are joking. The Americans? The British? hahahahhaa! The same Americans who bomb the shit out of everyone in the name of democracy? They teach us ‘space’? ROFL! Do you have any idea about the issues raging in America? Issues specifically pertaining to lack of individual rights, such as clamping down on gay rights and abortions.

      And I do hope you realize that at least some of the problems with women’s rights in India is a leftover of the British Victorian culture. Yes, they ‘solved’ problems by thrusting people in prisons, inciting war and forcibly converting people. By the Queen, you mean Victoria (cos the current one was not even born then), who did not lift a finger to restrain some of her more zealous officers, like General Dyer.

      Great examples! You are so funny! But get some perspective, honestly.


  14. I am glad that you were able to move out, it really can be suffocating having to live in a place where you dont have enough privacy and freedom. But i wonder how the uneducated, much more traditional women are able to cope up with the stress. Do they stay there forever and suffer accepting the limited freedom? I wonder because this is the case in majority of the households. Yours was a welcome change.


    • I think all of us have varying needs for privacy, independence, respect and self-expression.

      How we view family life and behave with in-laws has a lot to do with how much exposure we’ve had to the world at large, our own belief systems and the lifestyles our birth families followed.

      Most Indian women are not raised to be strongly individualistic or even to expect and demand respect from in-laws. From a very young age, they are trained to accept the in-laws’ way of life and assimilate completely into their martial families.

      Life in the martial home is probably easier when you enter marriage with zero expectations, or believe that the in-laws are above reproach no matter how they behave.


  15. I agree with the email writer. I stayed with my in laws in a 1 bedroom flat for 1 year after my marriage. Although mine would say or do things which never made me feel comfortable. Although everything was subtle and not in your face.

    My mom in law ruled the kitchen and had a catering business, I was only allowed to do things in the kitchen under her supervision. If I woke up in the night to heat a cup of milk she would send my father in law in the kitchen to check what I am doing.

    The days I used to be home I used to cook meals for 20 – 25 people and if I slept in the afternoon when there was no work they would JOKINGLY call my mother to tell her that I am sleeping and ask her to wake me up.

    I could not close my bedroom door and had only 1 cupboard that I shared with my husband and I could not lock it.

    We could not go out to eat or meet friends. If we did my father in law used to stay awake and keep calling us till we went home. So we could never enjoy because there was a pressure that he was awake waiting for us. Although my mother in law never fought with me I still felt extremely uncomfortable and unwelcome like an uninvited guest.

    We finally moved out and they visit us often but even when they visit us you can see the whole air in the house change because everything I say or do is critically analyzed from my Shampoo to the number of shoes I have. But when they are not there I have the freedom of choice, the freedom to do what I want how I want. And I am sure they have a freedom to do what they want in their house as well.

    And I am thankful we moved.


    • I can totally relate to your experience! funnily to the tiniest detail of my shampoos and lotions being analysed by them which I found very invasive. I have had shoulder length hair all my life coz its very thick frizzy and gets knotted up and breaks if i grow it longer. I did however grow it for the wedding and trouble began as soon as i had to move in with the inlaws after the wedding. I couldnt spend even 10 mins on my hair even drying it and it got hopelessy difficult and i had to shop it. They got to know and made such a big issue out of it with my MIL even tellin me ” your FIL does not like short hair” I mean why would a woman have to keep her hair the way her FIL likes it? sounds really off and awkward to even hear it. They made all sorts of excuses like it wil bring bad luck if i cut my hair within 2 months of being wedded and that kinda crap. I just went ahead and did it anyway after my repeated polite ways of making them understand my difficulty. They even insisted that i wear a bindi as soon as i got up…and i had to have a bindi after washing my face and throughout the way…and as luck might have it im v allergic to the liquid and sticky formulas and they give me a bad itch and rash each time i wear bindis of either kind. Dont get me wrong but i like to wear bindis myself but nobody cared if it caused me discomfort and i was forced to wear it all the time i was in thier place. Then coming to my dressing sense, even though i wore all decent salwars at home with a dupatta pinned up even during summers, they had to comment on it and said things like i wear very simple cotton salwars and that i should wear more sparkly stuff! How ridiculous! that it never matter how so many relatives commented on how nicely i treated them and that i took utmost care of them and thier family, helped in the kitchen , cooked everythn that they askeed me to and still such trivial things like bindi, dress, and hair mattered to them more….such shallow people….and not to forget that they have 2 daughters themselves who they dont impose such rules on even if they are married. It was a lviign hell combined with my health problem that causes me to be constantly out of energy to do anything. Im soo detesting the idea of them even visiting us now. they way they are towards me makes it so much mroe difficult for me to feel nice about them.


    • My MIL is really very dominating.. She used to look after my SIL(Husband’s sister)’s kid on weekdays and used to visit us every weekend when we were newly married.. n keep on asking me to clean the house …cooking everything I used to do.. She used tor relax.. She never let me n my husband go out.. everytime she wanted to accompany us.. there was no personal life for us.. my life was hell bcoz of her..


  16. It’s nice to see such a happy mail!

    I know how the DIL feels. Last year, my husband and I moved to the city my ILs were staying in. We decided to stay with them for a month, till we found our own place. However, I travel extensively on work and husband works from home and doesn’t have friends in this city so he can sometimes go for days at a stretch without human interaction – and we realised that staying with the parents worked wonderfully for us in addressing this issue.

    My ILs are absolutely wonderful people, and in some ways, more liberal than my parents – for example, I am comfortable having a drink when I go to dinner with my ILs but not with my parents! It also helps that we have a lot of household help, including a cook, so MIL herself doesn’t do any housework or cooking and I am not expected to either. Most importantly, we stay on the 1st floor with our own bedroom and living areas while the ILs stay on the ground floor – though the dining and kitchen area is common – so I get my own space.

    YET…..the only reason I have so far been happy staying here is because I know this is a short term arrangement. My contract will be over in two months and then we’re off to another city. And it’s only because I knew that we’re here for a few months that I was happy here, and willing to make the few adjustments required. I’ve been living away from home for the last 11 years, so it was a nice change to live in a proper home where everything is taken care of for you. But it’s not my home. So at the end of these two months, I’m looking forward to having my own home, where I can roam around in shorts and nightshirts, have mad drunken parties every month, read a book in bed all day without having to be polite or social, and not accompany anyone shopping when I don’t want to!

    Incidentally, I don’t think my parents home is exactly my home any longer. Every time I go there, I try to throw out useless stuff, change the decor, clean up the messy house, change the way food is cooked etc. – and it drives my parents MAD, and they keep begging me to stop trying to institute all these changes and just let them be! My dad says “Do all this in your house. Just leave us to our messy and chaotic lives!”. So I guess even our parents need their own space and their own homes. 🙂


  17. This is definitely my story..except that we have lived alone and the in laws join us for 3-4 months an year…during those 4 months, its all about adjustment, from both ends…I dont wear Mangalsutra..MIL doesnt like it too much but she doesnt force, she does the stuff in kitchen, FIL cuts veggies…but like the email writer, I feel bad if I dont help them out, so I do that…but again, there are no fights, no drama, nothing..errr..we do have disagreements, but thats everywhere I guess..we argue, we apologise and we continue to live together 🙂

    But honestly, my ideal situation would be parents of either side in same town but living separately, well…if wishes were horses 🙂


  18. Every woman needs her own space to manage…. You cant really have two people managing one unit without friction… I think its best to stay separately, but to always be close and support both the husband’s and wife’s parents equally, as and when needed.


  19. I really loved this post. It reflected my own life to a large extent. I live with my in laws. Except for some traditional thoughts, i can conveniently say that they are very nice people and I don’t have significant issues with them so as to complain. But still, it is not necessary that four nice people can live happily under the same roof. We have lots of difference of opinions. Since they belong to a generation where individual independence was unheard of, they especially my MIL don’t understand such needs. When we are staying with them, my day to day life is completely programmed in such a manner that i have to really work hard to break that schedule and do something that I want. Not to mention even she leads her life that way. Even going alone with my husband somewhere is not that easy for me. Earlier i used to undergo guilt trips when we don’t take them along with us but nowadays I know how to handle it. One of the major problems we face is that we have different ways of running the household and since she is senior and more experienced, she expects I listen to her. It was fine earlier when i was too young to run a household myself but now after four years of marriage, I feel irritated with her remarks and advice. But I cant show it since technically she is just doing her MIL duty. Another problem is that when they are living with us, my social interactions becomes very limited. My folks feel uncomfortable coming for a few days and staying with me when my in laws are around. Moreover I just can’t leave them alone doing all the work and go and visit my friend. She does not say anything directly but unfortunately, I can read her expressions when she gets offended and that makes me feel very uncomfortable during daily interactions. There are many other petty issues faced by both of us and the only reason for that is living together. I am pretty much sure that we can share a better relationship as the email writer says if we live under different roofs not sharing the kitchen, being connected as a family as well having our own individual space.


  20. I have been reading your posts regularly though I dont have a blog account.. One thing I noticed in this post.. the dils seemed to feel guilty coz the mil was working in the kitchen while they were resting.. i wonder how many Sons or sons-in-law would have said the same thing: that they felt guilty cos their mom or m-i-l was slogging in the kitchen??


  21. I understand you don’t feel at home anywhere apart from your own home. But for girls it is taught from young that they are the ones to adjust on most of the occasions! If the newly married young girls insist on having a own home, they are branded as ‘non-adjusting’, ‘arrogant’, and sometimes ‘disrespectful’ too.


  22. ditto my experience…..i am not saying anything more..just one thing….i flourished after leaving that place and living of our own…it is tough job but i have become more smart and love this life too…and also the relationships have become better now


  23. 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

  24. Pingback: “Wives..well they are awesome! They will cross heavens to make you and the family’s lives happy.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  25. Pingback: “I seem to have a lot of similarities with the villainous daughters in law of India’s favourite serials.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  26. Pingback: “Leaving US is a tough decision and, going back to live with in-laws has scared and shaken me.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  27. Pingback: ‘I googled “how to behave with in laws after marriage in India.’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  28. Pingback: Working just to avoid being home with in-laws - Page 10 - IndusLadies

  29. Like most of the participants I have realised that for today’s independent working woman , living with in-laws is not an easy life. Adjustments that both sides have to make leave everybody exhausted. After 7 years of marriage I too have decided to move out because its been like living in somebody else’s house and having to worry 24/7 about niceties and proprieties. My only regret is that I wasted all those wonderful years over a project that was doomed to fail.
    Life will be tough with so many responsibilities on our head but the freedom you enjoy is priceless.


  30. i am student of computer parents has only two children me and my elder sister.
    my sister get married.but she is not happy she has to live with in-laws.they are very traditional
    now my turn will come.we are gujarati .and i know rarely find husband who can live there parents.
    i don’t have brother so i have to take-care of my parents but if i have live with in laws it is not possible.i have to married.because in future after my parents there is nobody with me for whole life.may be will do arrange marriage but i don’t think show any boy can understand this.
    i am not so much beautiful so there are less boys who like me.if i talked about this problem within my surrounding everybody say girl can not is our social structure.but what should i do?
    how can i live my life with life-partner who require every sacrifice from me.every gujjarati boys are like this.may be he understand this.but he will not leave his parents.even i have to live with them do in-laws work with my career. gujarati boy never do household work.i want life partner who understand all this things and give me freedom. gujarati in-law don’t like if her daughter-in-law stay with them.even they don’t allow her to meet them always.


  31. This is exactly my story except the child part, my in laws are so good but I am constanty feeling like a guest. I have been wanting to move on our own with my husband but we can’t afford a house on our own as we live in Mumbai 😦 , sometimes feel so depressed and helpless. The other reason being that my parents are also old and they dont have a son like my husbands parents and I want to keep them with me once in a while when they don’t do well and all. But my in laws dnt understand this need and are not even willing to help us financially to buy a house even when they can afford to help us.
    Am waiting for that day so desperately.


  32. Hello to everyone who raised this issue. Those things written in the DIL letter are EXACTLY what I feel and think! Word to word!
    I’m a foreign girl married to Indian. Of course, we had a love marriage, with some obstacles, but we got married. And we are living with my husband’s parents for almost 3 years now. They are really nice people, no one forces me for anything in the house…but it’s not MY house. All the things there (except our room) belong to them, the house managing style is not mine, the meals timing too., and many other smaller and bigger. I told my husband my problem, he told me his, that he has to take care of his parents..then I asked what about my parents? I’m, the only child, a girl, and still they let me go and marry you and stay so far away from them.
    I also told him about the wish of freedom, of MY own place to live in… the problem is that if we say we are moving out, it’ll be accepted as offence, or disrespect.. what I really don’t mean at all when I say I want to live separately. I understand my husband, but I feel so depressed and helpless too, as I don’t see any solution. I feel like we are really lacking that bond right now in our relations, he tears apart, me too, I’m in a low spirits frequently, and miss my own parents even more because of all this.


  33. Pingback: “This would help people realize that happy families like this also exist.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  34. Pingback: “I will never live in a joint family, it has its roots in patriarchy and benefits only men.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  35. As all other ladies here i too feel the same. My hubby is an ultra sweet person and he wants to take very good care of his parents. But I felt its really unfair because I want to bring my parents home. My parents stay alone. I miss them so much. I want to cook some continental food for my hubby. But my in laws never adjust. They always want to eat the normal food and they do not quite show any interest in to eat special food. All the things in my house belong to them. Old and torn things, old vessels which are not useful are also preserved like precious stones. I have no freedom to give them off too. 😦 My in-laws are ok ok people. My MIL is kinda bad. My FIL is ok. They do not want to stay away from us because they are financially dependent on my hubby, but they want everything to go as per their wish. I am just waiting for the day where I can have my own house and have more privacy with my hubby. I want to choose my furniture, fabrics etc. But that day seems to be very remote. I told my hubby that I want freedom in the house but he says that will take time. I want to have a nice kitchen with all my kind of stuff. But no. The whole house is stuffed with old things that I just cannot buy anything extra for the house. My hubby is damn sweet and he does so much for his parents but they do not seem to relax their rules on anything. They want their way for everything. It is their house. 😦 Not mine I guess. I wonder when I’ll have that freedom. I really want to become smart and independent. But until my hubby and me have a private space that wont happen may be 😦


  36. 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

  37. Pingback: “If a girl has done MBBS or IAS, I can understand that she did not get time to learn cooking. But it’s strange how you, a mere journalism post graduate, failed to do so.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  38. 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

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

  40. I completely agree with the writer’s POV and can relate to it. I want to understand how to make the husband see this POV. In my case, just the mention of the fact that I want my space and independence portrays me as a bad daughter in law who is not willing to adjust and impacts my marriage relationship negatively!


  41. Pingback: Feel suffocated living with in-laws - anyone else out there? - IndusLadies

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

  43. Pingback: My husband gives me the usual ‘you have not just married me, you have married my family..’ sermon | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  44. I think the most difficult part is that no one gives you a choice.. whether you want to stay with them or not !When they have to move in they just move in, in which case, the decision is made by them and your husband (and his siblings!). We are completely out of the picture there and it is expected that we put up with it.


  45. Pingback: Shravan Kumar takes his wife to London to bring back her smile… | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  46. Pingback: “For every woman who is tired of being a sex object, there is a man who must worry about his potency.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  47. Pingback: “My in-laws don’t hate me at all. But ‘love’ isn’t about all this. ‘Love’ is about letting your loved one ‘live’.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  48. 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

  49. Pingback: ‘I am not really sure why is it the duty of a new bride to adjust no matter what you feel?’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  50. I just wanted to say that your letter was an inspiration to me. I was in misery trying to accept that my life would be the way it was living with in-laws and being constantly uncomfortable and feeling trapped. I read your letter and I was taken aback because it sounded like I had written it, just like yours, mine was a love marriage and my in-laws are incredible caring and loving people but I just could not adjust. My husband finally agreed (after about 6 months of disagreeing) that we should get our own place and I can’t describe the happiness I feel and the freedom is just unparalleled no matter how much work it is to be in charge of your own home. Thanks again and God bless!


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  52. Pingback: “I have no other option than to move in with my very orthodox in laws. I need tips to not get hurt.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  53. Quite a disconcerting page.

    So there seems to be absolutely nothing that a husband and his parents can do to make a girl comfortable enough in a joint-family arrangement today.

    Many parents these days are very cognizant of the fact that the girl has grown in a different atmosphere and is making the bigger shift and accommodate and ease them into the new environment. So many of the comments here mention that.

    But despite all that there seems to be a widespread discomfort and dissatisfaction until they move out.

    To clarify: I don’t mean to look down upon any of the life choices all of you have made. It is a difficult choice and, without exception, all of you seem the happier for it. Each person’s life is different and one needs the strength to make the choices that best suit them – particularly in a society that tries to judge those choices, at every turn. No two ways about that at all.

    What struck me is the apparent consensus in the comments here!
    Perhaps it may have something to do with the regular readership of this blog.

    The consensus here seems to be that non-nuclear families were hitherto in every single case in history, an impossibly repressive arrangement. It just varies shades and subtleties as its adapts with times; and thankfully it is finally being shown the door.

    I find that universalization simplistic and live in the hope that there are others out there who do too.


    • I don’t think this is a case of bad in-laws. It just a case of unfair expectations from women. As I have said before, marriage is the coming together of two families and not a girl going to a boy’s! So, it is always better for them to stay independently and build their own home and have the girl’s parents or the boy’s parents coming and staying with them when they so desire. Even a girl owes responsibilities to her parents, not only to her in-laws.


  54. Pingback: Shadi ke baad ladki ki PRIORITY sasuraal ki taraf ho jaati hai? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  55. i don’t hv problem living with our in laws although we r living in our own house as my husband is working somewhere else but my question is this is a big issue if husband and wife are living together 😦 . Actually I m living over here with my husband n one daughter but my mind is alwaz there bcoz some of irritating relatives alwaz taunting me that I m a house iwife I should live over here with my in laws and some said in todays life DIL live separately they dnt hv special bond with their in laws bla bla and even more if my baby cries sometimes in her grandma house then my neigbour said she doesn’t feel gud here… And some says u dnt want to do a job here as you dnt want to live without ur husband all crap I feel so disgusted ….even my in laws don’t have ny problem 🙂 but I feel so depressed as if some day it happens 😦 ya I love my hubby n baby cnt live without them but cnt say to everybody…


  56. Pingback: “He has decided that we will stop trying to have a child now as he wants things to improve between his mother and I.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  57. Pingback: ‘Older people in our society need to learn to have a life of their own. Instead of seeking happiness in their kids’ lives, …’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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

  59. Pingback: And here is why women are so helpless in marriage issues and in their martial home. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  60. Pingback: “And on the other hand, we have this section of women who seem content and even happy with the current set-up. This seems akin to a freedom struggle going on here.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  61. All the above replies reflect the current Young Gen society where the rate of separation with better half is more than that of bonding with love and affection as earlier times. Being individually separate and gardening your identities isn’t all about life. Its just a notion begun by some liberal women and followed as a trend by the rest like the fashion sale at stores!
    The concept of marriage is not well identified with everyone.The Love marriages husbands have no choice for they already have landed in soup. So they leave their parents behaving like cowards.Arrange marriages also have girls who have radical views.Google-ing such articles and hopeing to change minds with family dismantling views is really a disappointing and pathetic situation of the present youth.
    Someday the gals who talk about liberty are going to be in their mother-in-laws shoes and they would realize when their Son moves out of house with some girl who he likes and doesn’t even know if he loves for the duration a quarter of the entire love and affection showered by his parents who always have been looking after his well being.
    Its true that every girl has to leave her own family and get along with a new family.It is difficult to absorb but then it is equally difficult for the other side(family) too.
    In modern days not all families have mother in laws/father in laws as showcased (cruel/orthodox) in classical drama movies.
    Its all about beginning a new life and being absorbed and getting absorbed.It is an opportunity for every woman to prosper her husband’s family and its also equally a responsibility that every family (parents) takes care of the daughter in law as they would do if she were their daughter


  62. Pingback: ‘It’s true that every girl has to leave her own family and get along with a new family.’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  63. Pingback: “I thought it would indeed be wonderful to live with my in-laws.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  64. OMG. I didn’t expect to find a situation like mine! but I am glad to see this. Mine is a similar story of un-intruding in-laws but with a twist. My in-laws are aged (82 and 72, but fit) and they do not have any contact into the world or have a social life. They stay at home 24/7. so, their life completely depends upon their son for emotional and financial support. It was a love marriage and I never seriously thought about living with in-laws. I had only once told about my apprehensions to my husband. we did not discuss it further.
    I have been living with them for 3.5 years now and now I feel suffocated without space. They are always there, in the living room, eating, sleeping, watching tv, literally 17 hours a day. I have no privacy, no place to sit and enjoy myself except my room, cant invite friends over, have not watched TV in years, no place for guests to stay over and usual set of problems. They still think we are kids and they need to take care of us. It is so frustrating. My husband initially was shocked about my complaints as he thought he has the most loving parents and it should not be a problem for anyone to adjust. After talking and a few fights, now he understands my plight. But he is also worried to leave his aged parents. There is really no place for them to go. They have always lived with him in a rented house. now either we have to take two rented house in one city, or send them back to hometown which is a day’s journey by train, and not well connected by flight. To take two rented houses, will be a toll on our finances, though we can afford it. I think that’s the best option for the peace of my mind. But I am also afraid I will be called the villainous DIL who separated aged parents from the son (it is my problem, I need to get over it).

    A year back, when my husband told them, we are planning to take 2 houses, there was a deathly silence at home for 3-4 days and my mother-in-law told my husband they can’t live away from us. After that I really felt bad and said its ok, we will manage. Because I couldn’t see the sadness in this entire household. Both of us have been trying for an assignment abroad so that we can have a better life. Unfortunately, that hasn’t worked out either.
    Now again, my suffocation of them insisting that they do stuff for us and their hold over the house frustrates me to the core. The anger and freedom that was supressed for so long is simmering now. I feel absolutely angry that I am forgoing my right to space and live freely as I want. I really have no space and a home. Because of this, I haven’t been able to plan for the child and I am in my 30s.
    Now, again, we are thinking of 2 houses in the same city though it will cost is some money. when we tell them, they might say, they want to go back to the native, which is far away. That will make my husband unhappy. I am also afraid, god forbid if there is a medical emergency, my husband will probably hold it unconsciously against me. but I believe he is sensible enough to let it go.

    But, they are going to be heart-broken with this news if we do it. I also somewhere feel a little guilt to make them go away while they are getting old. is there any other way you can see? I can’t see. let em know if I am right in thinking what I am thinking.


  65. Hey This is how i exactly feel… The only difference ours is an arranged marriage. I have stayed out of my house for about six years and accustomed to live on my own. My family and my in laws are quiet different in terms of the family values and thought process. I dunno how to deal with this. Its been one year and six months for our marriage and things are getting really difficult for me. Like in the above article i help my MIL in things in the kitchen when needed as most of the time we have house help, they are religious but open minded so they really ill treat me. But when the basics are different if becomes difficult. The thought process i have been raised to and when these people have is very different. My FIL was a govt employee and retired from a very high post which meant that they were used to the life where they had 10-20 servants at their hand at any given time, so obviously my MIL and people in the family are used to instruct. Not that they dont work at all but are used to instruct as most of the servants were dumb (are) and also they fact that they had all resources plentifully they dont bother or rather it never occours to them of how much they are misusing the natural resources. I had a very normal and middle class upbringing and had both working parents. i have never seen my mother sit in the house watcvhing those stupid serials and do stitching and get work done from maids which was too much. We are people who bothered about the natural resources, we spent thoughtfully. Where in here i see so much of wastage of water while washing utensils and clothes and unnecessary washing bedsheets and covers it really gets me into dipression that when i was staying with my parents we used to curse these kind of people and now i am a part of such a family. Also like you mentioned i really dont feel a part of the family how every good and sweet mouthed these people are. I dont feel that i belong here. Also i am not that good a person who can talk i dont know how to react to some things and feel really sad and depressed at times. I cant initiate the fact that i want to nstay on my own. Now these people are behind us for a kid, but i’m not really comfortable to get a kid into a place where me in first place am not comfortable.

    But glad after reading this i feel better and not the only one.


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

  67. Pingback: “So I had a fancy wedding and moved to a business family ready to stay with in laws.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  68. Exactly the story I am experiencing! But the difference is still stay here, still go through piles of arguments and they shout at my for the way I dress up… And above all am not allowed discuss these at all. Sometimes think of hiring a counselor who would at hear me. Because whenever I talk to my parents there’s always someone or the other spying at me.


  69. Completely agree! You have hit the nail right on the head. I would add that we going and staying with in-laws is different from in-laws staying with us – in OUR house. As far as looking after parents is concerned, I would think taking care of our OWN parents (by daughter) is as important as looking after in-laws! Parents should stay with daughters as much as they stay with sons! Fortunately that happens in my case 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  70. A few questions folks feeling happy and identifying with this blog should ask their conscience
    Does only your happiness matter ? what about the in-laws’ happiness ? what have you contributed to your husband’s life that should make you a priority over his parents ? why didn’t you put forth this condition before entering into the marriage? if you are so concerned about your freedom why don’t you stay separately from your husband and visit him at his parent’s house on the weekends (well.. you feel its ok for them to do it)?


    • Really? I married because I would like to live with my partner and plan our lives together, certainly not to keep his parents happy in any way. For me, my happiness should matter and that of my husbands, and each one is responsible for their happiness, for one’s happiness should depend on themselves, not their children.
      In-laws’ happiness should depend on their satisfaction with life, not their son’s life.
      No one knows how it is to live with in-laws until you do. And we (Indian women) are not conditioned to oppose this in the first place.
      After marrying someone, a man owes his time and space to his wife not parents. That is why I will not live separately and visit him, instead he will live with me and visit his parents. Therefore, man should move out of his parent’s house and live with wife. Because she is the one who will live alongside him for the rest of his life, not parents. As for parents, one can look after them physically, financially and emotionally.
      But living with them, no one is happy. Because there are two families of different generations, varied interests, different social circle, food habits, and everything else!


    • Agreed its our duty to look after parents – but why ONLY the In-laws?? How about MY own parents? That is a girls’ parents? Marriage is the coming together of two families not the girl going into a husband’s family. So, its a give and take. We need to be able to look after both sets of parents, the boys’ and the girls’. And that is possible only if we live separately so both sets of parents can come and stay with us when they want. It is the in-laws and parents’ happiness that also counts alongwith our own happiness.


  71. Toooo many comments already … But still I’m adding to it ….I can soooo relate to whatever is written in the post …. However I’m not as lucky to be a queen of my place since my husband cannot live without his parents !


  72. 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

  73. Hi I just read this blog.. and i felt so good and started to feel that even my life will change one day 🙂 I stay with my in laws alone… my husband is abroad… I dont work as I’m looking forward to move with him …
    But its’ been three months already that I’m staying here… I miss my husband very badly. Mu inlaws say that they r my own parents and feel free to treat them as my own… but as you said… its not working out… I mean i feel so uncomfortable. 😦 Also my MIL has strict views about home maintenance… I do things my way.. infact thats what i feel comfortable with… but then my inlaws often point out my mistakes… i feel so scared of doing anything now… am nervous.. coincious.. fear… they say i dont treat them like parents and thats the reason i feel this way.. Well,I dont think so my dear friends.


  74. After getting married, I have to suffer a lot due to my inlaws. I have now forgot to believe in easy going married life. Even my husband remains silent on their acts and whenever we talk on this matter he strictly supports his parents and sisters by proving me stupid and wrong.

    Though, I’m happy for this lady who is very lucky to have such kind and friendly in laws.


  75. I’m in total surprise to see how many women actually feel the same way as I am feeling even today after three years of marriage….” A Stranger”…….like the author even I have a very understanding MIL…..but its a whole different story with my Fil…
    Although on the outside he appears to be good…but deep inside he cribs n sulks about everything…. He makes my parents n brother n sister I law feel extremely bad each time v meet…..
    N my husband n I are both doctors… So consider us highly knowledgeable… But my husband is totally different person when his own brother n wife are around us….my husband’s brother has a daughter who most naturally is d apple of d eye in did family…
    I do not have a problem with dat but when de r arnd my husband totally forgets me…last month v had gone on a vacation… Our whole family with my newly wedded brother n SIL…even der I was alone….my husbands family is one n I don’t really want to intrude d newly wedded….so I was left alone…
    N I don’t no so many times all my needs r ignored in did house….right from us not having a bed or a cupboard….but my husbands brother n wife get everything?…I’m depressed n really considering taking few counseling sessions….even after having a word wid my husband I don’t seem to be solving any of d problems….its frustrating….


  76. My story is exactly like your’s I guess!!!! I feel as stranger still (more than 3 yrs of marriage). Though we do not stay together we call them daily (2-3 times a day)!! That is sometimes irritating as my MIL gets angry when I do not call her in particular, though she has reduced this behavior a but it sometimes keeps happening.
    When they visit us for vacation there is no personal space at all, they expect me to be like be very open, always keep joking around, laughing, be frank like whatever I feel I should say..but me being an introvert it is veryyyyyyyy difficult for me to open up!! It’s not like I am like this only with them..I am like this to everyone!!!!!!! They do not understand this thing…
    When they go out for shopping they want me to buy something for my-self but why should I buy when I do not need anything!!!!!!! This is the case when I go out with my own parents also!!!!!!!!!!! It’s difficult and terrible to explain the same things again and again. I tried to be very clear in these things but still they always get angry or upset with this behavior of mine!!!!!
    And my parents fortunately live very very near to my house but still when they come and stay here they won’t tell me to go and meet them even once in a day or two!!!!!!!!!!!! Until I tell I have to meet them or I have some work they will not tell me to go and meet them!! When they can not like my visiting my parents how can they expect me to call them twice in a day?
    There are so many things I want to pour out here!!!!!!!!
    It was my nani (granny) who expired and my sole purpose to visit our hometown was that..but just after one day they were angry because I did not call them (I had called them but for some work)!!!!! How can you expect me to call in such a situation!!!!!!!!!! There was another big issue after this that completely broke my heart and respect for them..completely!!!!!!! I just do not want to mention!!!!!!!!!!
    Everyone was angry when I visited my in laws during my nani’s death, my MIL tried to appear very sweet in front of my FIL, BIL and my husband but when we were alone she was different, she did not talk to me properly and this is the case every time. She would tell her family she felt bad bcoz of me and would talk properly with me but would be all together different when we both are alone. This makes her a good person in front of everyone.
    My MIL is actually apple of eye at our home!!!!!! She is the sole earner and the so called “PERFECT BAHU’. It’s always like she did so much she sacrificed so much!!!!!!!!!!! I understand she faced many many hardships and she tries to maintain all the relationships even after so many issues but that does not mean any other person is less than her!! It was her life, her destiny!! Her point of view. How many times can one hear!!!!!!!!!!! Everyone can not be like her!!!!
    I had all the respect and love when I got married but now I have no feelings for them!!!!!! It’s just my responsibility to talk and act as good as possible because they say they lobve ME, care for ME so much more than their sons.
    How much ever you lover your DIL how can you expect her to forget her parents?? How can you expect her not meet them even once in a day when they live in front of your eyes. Would they expect their son not to meet them in the same situation!!!!!! Why should I not meet my parents then? I wish at least my husband would one day understand these things one day!!!!!!


  77. I can totally relate to the story. It’s similar to mine.

    Thanks for making it easy for me to make someone understand my situation.


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