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?

Sharing an email.

Hi,

Sorry if the post is too long and seems random. I was emotionally overwhelmed and in too much of a hurry to pen them else my head would have bursted.

I came across your blog and have been a frequent reader since then. And really this helped me question the assumptions and mindsets of the society.

I questioned on issues of gender inequality but considered it okay if somebody is expected to dress as “married woman”, or to have kids, and similar other things. Well thanks to you that I was prompted to read from other places as well and  value an individual’s freedom and opinion.

I am a highly educated, working woman of 25 and planning to get married next year to my boyfriend. As my boyfriend is of a different caste, I had a hard time convincing my parents. They have agreed reluctantly.

Though my mother treats me and my brother equally… now she has started me giving advises on how to behave at sasuraal…. get up early in morning, take  a bath, wear a saree, do puja, behave nicely with everyone and cook/do all those things they require.

I question her that she is expecting me to do these things and definitely she will expect her DIL to do same. For this she replies that you or any-other-girl-these-day is going to be with their in-laws with only for few days/weeks in a year so why can’t you live the way they want and keep every one happy.

I initially perceived that my In-laws are understanding so I could be myself. I wanted to have a dialogue or discussion with them over every thing — wearing a saree, putting a sindoor or say at what time to get up.  And my intention was to develop a healthy relationship in this way so that they know and accept me for what I am. (Considering that I haven’t met them so far ). All of my friends who have similar backgrounds and got married recently advised me against this. They “compromise” when they are with their in-laws and they feel its good to keep them happy. The mere fact that they crib to me about some or other bullshit traditions proves that their rendezvous with in-laws are not happy ones.

As a working woman The only time I will get to spend with my in-laws place will be during festival breaks or such.  And I am expected by one and all to be an ideal bahu at that time and “not create any scenes” by my “unnecessary feminist ideas” as they won’t serve any purpose. Its not that I can’t fake an ideal bahu for few days but I won’t be happy doing this and would never be able to love and accept my in-laws as my family. ( On a side note as of now I don’t feel part of either families. I am “parayi” for my parents and I am not able to accept my in-laws). When I talk to my boy friend about these things he agrees that my points are valid (for eg. I can be disrespectful with a foot long ghoonghat so respect lies in how I behave rather than how I dress and similar arguments). But he does not argue with his mother any-more. (Remember  his parents feel that they have done a huge favour by agreeing to an inter-caste marriage and to an extent I feel that my boyfriend believes in it as well).  He wants me to adjust for few days and behave in my ways with my kids. I want to behave with my kids in a way which is suited at that time. Time changes and so does context. If I argue with my mother-in-law it will cause a fight with my bf which I don’t want to for simple emotional reasons.  I think that my bf wants to avoid any confrontations and to have a “normal” undisturbed life.

I am really confused what to do. I can do drama for few days if thatz the solution. I know it seems an easy way out but trust me its not easy to please everyone when you are not happy yourself. I will be dreading those bi-annual in-laws visits which will be no fun for me. I will be forced fancy dress participant-cum-beautiful-cum itni padhi likhi par sanskari bahu-and other such tags which are considered praises. On the other hand I wonder whom I going to argue or discuss with. Will it be a case of “bhains k aage been bajaye aur bhains khadi paguraye“?

Thanks & Love,

Not sure if ready to be a itni padhi likhi par sanskari bahu

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122 thoughts on “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?

  1. A friend who recently got married was narrating an ordeal of similar kinds and preposterous proportions! I asked her to take it easy, but she said the world has suddenly changed for her! Although it will just last for only a month, and then she will go to live with her husband in the US she was just asking me why us all the time? Her in alws supposedly wanted to experience the joy of being served by their dil! And you know she is a phd in forensic sciences! She was one of my greatest critics at one time, now she says and accepts the fact that whatever I ever said on my profile or blog or anywhere else or believed makes sense to her, now that she has gone through that kind of a life!

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    • ‘Her in alws supposedly wanted to experience the joy of being served by their dil!’

      Maybe they just want to get to know their daughter in law better. She is a part of the family now, isnt she? I stayed with my in-laws before joining my husband abroad after our marriage and I admit I was hesitating this stay initially, I didn’t know what to expect and knew that would miss my hubby a lot in his absence while staying with his parents and in the house he grew up. But believe me, this proved to be the best thing for blossoming the relationship between me and my in-laws. They loved me so much and it was a pleasure spending time with them. I did miss my hubby a lot since our talks often ended up being about him, stories from his childhood and his favorite things. I talked about my parents and siblings, our childhood, travels and our life. We cooked together, learnt some hubby’s favorite recipes from mil and introduced some of my favorites to them. We went shopping, they showed me their city and introduced me to their family friends. It also helped me understand my husband more than I did before, it gave me different perspective since I experienced a little bit of his life. We grew up in different cities, different backgrounds and our families are so different, however what we share is love, respect and values and that bridged all the gaps.

      About getting up early, dressing or doing things regularly that I had not done before getting married all I can say is that since my relatives are scattered all over the world, everytime I would visit my cousins during holidays I had to follow the ways and rules of their family during my stay. It took some effort but these were mild adjustments that didnt bother me so much, infact I took them in spirit and saw the fun in living ‘their way’. I showed them the true person I was, I don’t think getting up early, helping mil or fil or dressing up in traditional clothes changed me as a person, it doesnt change my opinions, my thoughts, my values nor my behaviour. When they visit here they experience our way of life here, dress up differently as per the weather here demands and change their daily routine as per the requirements of our schedule (eg. the time they go for morning walk/ evening walk etc.). When one is a visitor for a short time I think it’s natural enough to be flexible about things that are suitable to the place and people you are visiting. Even if you are a tourist you have to be careful about not offending the locals by your actions or dressing sense which might be normal to you but highly objectionable to that place/people.

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      • agree with you completely on how we should adapt to the ways and customs as and when situations demand: we don’t dress casual to a job interview. we change. so all that is pretty much understood. I don’t think anyone here is under the illusion that wearing hot pants and spaghetti outside of their bedrooms when someone is visiting is ok, let alone in-laws.
        You are lucky to have in-laws who wanted to get to know you better. This mail is perhaps about in-laws like mine who “told” me, categorically, not to call my husband by his name, to give them a “pota” in two years, and of course the usual crap like: wear a sari, sindoor, choodi, etc.
        They made sure to ridicule in every way the place I come from, our culture, and our customs – being a Gujju, I am supposed to be a penny pincher. They still do and then deny it ever happened; they told me that they let our wedding ceremony go on peacefully only for the sake of their son (my folks had forgotten about installing microphones in the mandap according to their express wishes so that all our guests could hear them chanting the mantras).
        I got 2-hour long lectures on what “indian culture” is and how we should be a joint family ‘coz my ultimate “use/upayoga” as a bahu was to care for them.
        All this and more went on for so long until a dam burst inside of me. And in one fell swoop I got them to back off. I had to. rational pleas were disregarded. Well-meant advice was taken as offence. and every opportunity they got, they did a volte face when there son took off somewhere.
        I am not saying in-laws are bad people. These are simply people who are so intellectually dependent on their “culture” that makes them feel safe within a certain framework only, that they lose the ability to exercise compassion. “How dare the bahu sleep in so late” is a hop, skip, and jump away if you believe “bahu must always wake up before everyone else” despite knowing that she is the one who was the last to go to bed after tending to everyone’s cares and comforts. Your culture backs you, your scriptures say that. You think your only job is to uphold those scriptures. Although the same scriptures say that after your son is in grihastashram, the parents must leave everything to the new couple: home, business, money, everything and immerse yourself in social work/good work/religious work. That no one will do.

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      • Your point of view is interesting however there are some things you do not consider – it is called CHOICE and EQUALITY.
        Let me elaborate using your example of visiting Cousins and in their household following their rules.
        Case 1: your Cousins get up early and have breakfast together at 7. At home you get up whenever you want to. It is ok when at their place, you do what everyone else do. What is not ok if it is expected you get up early and get the breakfast ready and your cousins can get up whenever they want to.
        Case 2: You have the habit of doing a small puja everyday after taking a bath. Your Cousins family is Atheist. It is not ok if at their place you are not allowed to follow your rituals and are laughed at for your beliefs.
        Case 3: Your Cousins parents are careless and do not discipline their children.
        You have the habit of cleaning your teeth and changing clothes before going to bed. Should it be expected you give up your good habits and follow the not-so-good habits of your Cousins family just because that is how you leave.
        Case 4: Your mother wears only sarees and you wear only salwar kameez. Both of you do not feel comfortable in Jeans. You visit your Cousins abroad and they live in a small white subarb. Would you and your mother wear Jeans because if not it make it awkward for your Cousins to face their neighbours – Log kya kahenge.
        Think about it!!!
        I think the Email writer talks about these points.

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      • I am glad you had a nice experience, but did your husband do the same to know you better? Was he expected to? Is your husband not a part of the family?

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        • My husband stayed a few days (out of our very short visit) with my parents and family when we visited India for the very same reason, to get to know them better and to create some lasting memories. He suggested this himself. He spent one to one time with them when I was out on my own, mostly gossiping with them about me behind my back😉 browsing through family photo albums and listening to stories about events he had missed. He also helped around with whatever he could. He used to wake up earlier than he would at his parents home, dress up more smartly, did more things around the house and was his best at all times. If he found something that bothered him he would tell me about it but he never cribbed or complained about having to behave against his own wishes or any feeling of oppression. He was very clear about the purpose of his visit and my parents cherish the memory of that stay even years later. When my parents visited us here he give them a very thoughtful surprise gift, based on what he had learned about them during his stay, that left my parents teary eyed with happiness.

          The only purpose of giving all these details is, we really enjoyed living with each others parents and went out of our ways to make them happy. Yes. We knew these moments mattered a lot to everyone so we made them special. We are not always so angelic in real life but we chose to show our better sides because that is what we want to be remembered as. Instead of feeling the burden of maintaining this positive image we think of it this way – the presence of our in laws makes us strive to be better people. Seeing them so happy makes all the efforts worth it. Are we always so keen on showing our not so good sides as a priority to new friends, new colleagues, or even our own children? Then why such keenness to ‘make it clear’ to the in laws?

          People might forget what you gave them, they might not notice what all you did for them, might miss hearing what you say to them but they will never forget how you made them feel.

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        • “Are we always so keen on showing our not so good sides as a priority to new friends, new colleagues, or even our own children?”

          What if you are required to hide/ change things that you do consider good though? I agree with putting one’s best foot forward but it is down to me to decide what is ‘not so good’… if someone else tells me ‘I don’t like x part of your personality, change it’, that is not the same thing as putting my best foot forward.

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      • hey, I really like your optimist way. Its just that “forced change” which makes me even more adamant. For example my bf’s sister who is 3 years younger to me tells me that after marriage I should not call my bf by his name in front of their relatives. Since she is of my age group, I was actually shocked. I tried to talk to her but instead of support/ empathy all I got was…” jab mummy papa bolenge tab karna padega aap ko” ( You will have to do it if her mom n dad asks me to do it). This really pissed me off and it would not be wrong to say that it has made me more adamant. Instead of standing for my core ideas and negotiating for trivial things I just feel doing everything “my way ” or “no way”. Its irrartional and I am trying to be more reasonable and open and I just wish I succeed. In your case what I liked was that wen ur laws are visiting you they are open to experience your way of life.🙂

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      • i agree with priti above.. it is your kind heart tht saw only the positives of your in-laws and also the same kinda good hearts of your in-laws to have seen only the positives in you.. its always this give n take policy which works.. give more love and you get back more love.. you go to your in-laws place expecting something bad to happen, you will act in a way subconsciously tht the bad would eventually happen.. so go with a positive perception n give them a lot of love so you get back the same amounts of love and your fears of being a hypocrite will subside eventually… peace..🙂

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      • She isnt liking adapting to her in laws! That is why I even raised this issue here! Why you liked it and adapted to it is your perspective of life, not that of hers or women like me! Sad, that “please live your in-laws and know them” is a stereotype that is slapped on most women! Some like her and me just don’t need it! That doesnt mean I am raising questions against your choices in life, nah never! I didnt come back and reply because I was dying for the “thumbs up” here!

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  2. are u seriously marrying this person without having met your prospective in laws???

    either way, this is not a recipe for happiness. not at ur parents and not at ur in laws. pls set expectations right now. with both sets of parents. tell ur parents that ur bf will not change himself to fit into ur extended family and tell ur bf that u can either love and respect his family or do drama. and he has to decide now, before the wedding.

    its not bi annual visits. what abt when u have kids? what abt how to bring up ur own kids? what abt financial arrangement? does this padhi likhi (kamau) bahu have to surrender her salary or buy expensive gifts “to take care of riti riwaaz”?

    pls do NOT brush your issues under the carpet. Talk them out NOW. its very very important. if u want to be happily married, u have to be very unhappy right now and go thru this process.

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    • You should consider one question: How would you like your daughter to see you interact with your in-laws when she is old enough to draw lessons from it? Would you want her to see you compromising on your values and beliefs?

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    • Jeanne & how do we know :
      Thanks to you that I am thinking beyond my short term view.
      Financial independence never became an issue as me and my bf discussed that its going to be the way we want it individually so there was no family interference.
      But impact on kids was one such thing which never occurred to me. Its silly but yeah…seems like I was just considering myself in the equation.

      Carvaka you are bang on in saying ” If you still pander to their demands, then you are rewarding their unreasonable behaviour. If you refuse to let this affect you, you stand a better chance of discouraging it”.

      I will talk to my bf first and definitely with his family next🙂

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      • Good luck the-one-who-sent-the-mail! I think you are being very wise to think about how you handle these issues before you get to that stage. It’s worse when you’re caught in the heat of the moment, so well done for thinking ahead. I hope everything goes well for you.🙂

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  3. If your bf loves you and wants to spend his life with you, he also needs to respect you enough to not ask you to pretend to be someone else. It doesn’t matter if you’re with your in-laws for a few days or years, there is NOTHING wrong with having intelligent views on how you want to live your own life.. nothing wrong in being yourself. Please don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You should not have to do things that you are not confortable with just to please others. You are not demanding that of your bf so there is no excuse for him to demand that of you.

    I find that as long as I am calm, polite and logical in putting forth my views, people don’t get a chance to escalate situations.. if they still freak out then it’s their problem. Your bf needs to understand (and will eventually understand) that you will be patient and polite with his family, but you will still be yourself. That shouldn’t make anyone unhappy and if it does then they are being unreasonable. If you still pander to their demands, then you are rewarding their unreasonable behaviour. If you refuse to let this affect you, you stand a better chance of discouraging it.

    I think that actually it is quite important to define boundaries of interference and control from the beginning of a relationship. There is nothing wrong with the person that you are and there is no reason to change yourself to fit into any role. If my mum gave me the advice your mum did, I would absolutely question the sub-conscious (or conscious) sexism in this advice and assert that as an educated and independent individual, I am fully capable of deciding when to wake up, whether to pray or not and when to shower.

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    • You should not have to do things that you are not confortable with just to please others. You are not demanding that of your bf so there is no excuse for him to demand that of you.

      Nicely put carvaka! Agree with you completely.

      OP, if your BF wants you to pretend to be something you’re not, you need to be clear with him that this is nonsensical – after all, as carvaka says, you aren’t expecting him to do so in front of your parents, or anyone else for that matter.

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    • OP, please keep this in mind. No one is doing you a favour by letting you marry the person you love. It’s your fundamental right. If either set of parents does not approve, then it’s their problem. Not yours. And please make sure your BF understands this as well.

      You should not have to do things that you are not confortable with just to please others
      This. This is the reason I come to this blog. Sensible advice, You know why we shouldn’t be doing something only to please others? Because we’re unhappy. And none of the others who’re pleased would care that we’re unhappy because hey, they’re happy! Wasn’t that the whole point?
      In my opinion, it’s easy to fake it for the first few years. Marriage is in honeymoon phase, everyone doesn’t really know each other, there’s restraint from all directions. Then, boom! there are kids. (from your mail assuming you’re planning to have kids) and everything changes. Here’s why:
      1. You see everything through your kid(s)’s eyes and wonder what they’re learning. And this is a very valid concern because kids are really like sponges and they absorb/assimilate everything they see.
      2. After becoming a mom, you’ve moved to a different stage in life and you seriously wonder (rightfully) why you should put up with B.S.
      3. Everyone starts venting about how they’ve been wronged
      4. MIL’s tend to make statements like this when they find out your “true nature”: If I had known that you do/don’t do/think/behave like X, I would never have agreed to let you marry my son.

      This last line is the when the whole tale morphs into a saas-bahu serial. Any self-respecting woman who hears the line will a) discover that she can swear like a sailor and she just didn’t know it all along b) lose a lot of respect for the person who says these words. This respect cannot be regained.

      It’s better to know your in-laws/potential IL’s and understand where BF stands with respect to upholding his mother’s honour upfront. Because in my experience, even the most liberal Indian man ends up becoming a mama’s boy when he feels his mother’s honour is being threatened (whatever that means). It’s better to have strong boundaries and keep to them than to try and establish them later in the relationship. Because the latter’s quite impossible.

      ps: Carvaka, I always find myself nodding along as I read your comments! Where’s your blog?

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      • Ah, so much wise perspective regarding kids and life post-kids SB! Point 1 about what the kids learn is really a moment-of-truth type thing. Even if I reconcile myself to being an occasional doormat, would I want this for the kids?

        And thank you for your kind words.. I should start that blog soon so I can quit ranting so much on other people’s blogs so much!😀

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  4. I had an inter-caste, inter-state marriage (we stay in a different country as in laws) and my in laws too had certain expectations from me. The first time when I went to meet them, the only things they asked me were- whether I like to cook, whether I believe in god and do puja path and whether I like to wear saree..The answers to all these were a big no, and I told them that clearly. At that time I was depressed that they did not even want to get to know me as a person..what I do in my spare time, what is my job, what are my hobbies, what I think about life etc… In any case, my husband has always been chilled out and has never told me to do a particular thing for his parents and is quite firm in not letting his parents make me do things I dont like. So, after marriage the pressure was not ‘that much’ I would say to be an “ideal DIL” from the in laws. during the first visit to their place after marriage, I did wear certain marriage symbols, but over the next few visits I slowly weaned off everything I dont like… My MIL has now come to realise that it is futile to tell me to wear jewelry and marriage symbols and sarees and the like…because I wont be listening to her anyway. If any of their relative asks her, she tells them that I dont like all these things. Regarding cooking.. they do realise I am not much into it, and the first time I had cooked something for them, it had turned out horrible (I had burnt the veggie I cooked), and hence they are not enthusiastic when I cook in any case…which works for me😉 … I am very much ok with the fact that I dont fit their definition of an ideal DIL…
    The point being… Whether it is for 2 days or for ever, it does not make sense for anyone to tell you the definitions of what an ideal DIL is. Let them get to know how you are as a person, and not based on whether you fit the definitions they have in their mind. It is not your duty to make them happy. No one can really “make” anyone happy in any case… So yes, stand your ground and make you opinions clear (how you do it, is something you have to decide…)..And yes, please meet them and get to know them before you marry!

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  5. I have dreaded a very similar situation a few months ago (will be getting married in a couple of months to my BF). First of all, I think it’s good to have a dialogue with your in laws about everything – Rational conversation is preferred any day than blind obedience – I personally consider rational argument as a compliment between the two. What I did was I projected myself as even more “modern” than what I normally am without directly pinpointing at my in-laws for everything so that they are atleast prepared and know what to expect. They already knew me through their daughter since a long time so they pretty much knew what to expect when my BF told them about me. I think it’s a good idea for you too to be yourself instead of acting ultra-traditional and if your in-laws are sensible, I’m sure they would accept you for who you are. Give them time to know you and get to know them better (this is not same as obliging all their potential expectations).

    Another important aspect is In my case, my BF was very supportive helped me a lot by setting some prior expectations in his family without being acidic to anyone – He used to keep mentioning casually that no one wears mangalsutra these days and that I’m a very independent person who wouldn’t wear mangalsutra and am very fashionable when it comes to dressing – stuff like that to set expectations. He sometimes does the job of being the messenger between me and his family about wedding – like discussing about sharing the money, not having first night ritual etc. My in-laws are really sensible people and they don’t expect blind obedience from us so we’re getting along well. Take your BF’s help – If he agrees with you on principle, he should help you in practice too – They go together.

    I definitely suggest that you slowly try setting expectations rather than listening to the standard advice and not even trying to oppose before you blindly adjust – For all you know, your in-laws might be really sensible & broad-minded and may come to like you for who you are and you might be able to build a real relation with them unlike your friends. In any case, it’s unfair to assume/expect so much of stupidity and evilness from your in-laws without even giving them a chance – Try them and see if they’re broad-minded enough!! Lastly, after all this, if they turn out to be regular draculas after all, then don’t hesitate to do what you like. You don’t have to give up being yourself for anyone, including your boyfriend. All the best.

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  6. I was in a very similar situation and I’d like to tell you my perspective in hindsight. My in-laws had very similar expectations about wearing a sari,assuming I would change my last name, touching people’s feet etc. and they were already referring to their future grandchildren in terms that made me cringe. I did not like any of this and made it quite apparent to my then boyfriend now husband. It was unpleasant for everyone concerned and put a lot of strain on my relationship with my husband. Here is what I wish I had done differently. I should have picked my battles more carefully i.e. stuck to my guns on the issues that were core to me and let smaller stuff go. This doesn’t mean that you be a fake but I’ve found that it’s easier to slowly give up on the smaller things long term and gradually lessen the expectations and some things might never even come up to be a problem. For e.g. I definitely did not change my last name, and stuck to my ideas on certain wedding rituals. But I went ahead with the jewellery, sari expectations for a short time around the wedding and then slowly showed that I did not like being told what to wear. and they are no longer a problem. Things where I could have just let go were issues about future children. By the time that we are actually close to having children it’s quite clear to everyone concerned that it’s me and my husband that will have the final say and it’s not even going to be a problem so we could have avoided the previous arguments.
    Also one thing that helped me deal with things much better was that I realized that even my mil was only asking me to do a lot of things because she thought they were “expected” and that people would bad mouth her if I didn’t do them. Seeing things from her perspective made me address the problems differently with my husband. So instead of saying that “my wife doesn’t like to do x” he was able to convince his mum by saying “no one cares if she does x can she not do it” and the result was the same with much less grief.

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    • //I realised that even my mil was only asking me to do a lot of things because she thought they were “expected” and people would bad mouth her if I didn’t do them.//

      What do you do when you understand her point of view? You understand hers but she doesn’t want to understand yours. Would you still wear symbols of marriage(assuming you don’t want to) just because you understand that wearing them means more respect for MIL in relatives and her friends? This is my question to all. Because my MIL wants me to wear the assortment for same reasons. While I understand her she POV I still don’t want to wear them.She just refuses to see my pov.She exploded on me once and I have lost respect for her completely.

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      • It really depends on how strongly you feel about it. If it is an issue, a matter of principle for you, then stick to your guns. Are her friends really going to ask you to show them your mangalsutra? If it is the south indian type,where the thali is concealed, you can wear a simple chain without the thali and no one need know whether you are wearing it or not. Of course if the chain is a black bead chain, I guess there is no way you can hide your not wearing it. But honestly, these days beyond a general comment “oh these young girls these days don’t like to wear all these things” no one really bothers about such things, do they? It leaves me wondering for whose benefit all this drama is put up.

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      • No I don’t. I only wear them on special occasions and only the minimum required. In situations where I sensed that it mattered a great deal to her that I was dressed a certain way I did it e.g she wanted me to wear a sari when visiting her family which I did and added sindoor without being told but I had minimal jewellery (I had conveniently not carried a lot with me). This situation was important to her because I was her first bahu being shown to her family and she wanted to make a good impression. In other situations e.g. just at home she has remarked that I don’t wear bangles etc. I just say that I find them inconvenient and don’t change the situation. I’m polite but firm. It’s hard to give generic advice but I think for me learning to not make it a confrontation has been key. No showdowns!

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        • That seems to be a very sensible approach. Ultimately one wants to live in peace and one has to learn to choose one’s battles. I guess it works differently for different individuals.

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  7. HI,
    I want you to listen to me and not take these things lightly . I was in exact situation 6 months back and i did marry my intercaste BF .Before marriage it was OK if i didnt cook (we can eat out) ,it was OK if i worked hectic hours ,it was OK if i come home late (from work ) ,it was OK if i wear a one piece once in a while while going out with him . it was ok If i go for my MBA after marriage. I had clearly asked him before marriage that I wont be able to cook as I too work full time and coming home at 7 and cooking for whole family everyday never made sense to me . I had asked him clearly what were his parents expectations regarding this cooking issue. The answers i had got was that :- it ok … No problem. Obviously its FIne . We are in 21st century . Obviously my mom wont expect you to cook after office .She will cook for us as she is at home. BUT GUESS WHAT this was not exactly how his parents think . (I NEVER TALKED ABOUT THIS WITH MY ILS..BIG HUGE MISTAKE)They do want to be served head to toe by their full time working bahu earning loads of dollars. Now after 6 months we have fights daily (me and hubby ) reagrding cooking . How i should cook atleast dinner without any help from anyone.Make tea 2 times daily . How i am a bad person for taking off the mangalsutra coz it didnt go well with my western outfit. I am being emotinally blackmailed by his family to change my surname. How i should clean the house and Bathrooms and change sheets. Coz if i dont i am such a bad bahu . HAW i didnt even vacuum the house .Every wife does all this why should i crib.And guess what my ILs have guilt tripped my hubby that as they agreed for an intercaste marriage without DOWRY and a huge lavish wedding they have done a huge favor.Due to this hubby never argues with them and i am at the receiving end . As per him his parents wanted a huge wedding with some high profile singer and every guy in his family gets gifted a car on wedding and as my parents didnt do so his family had to make such big compromises. (this is all being told to me now after being married.)

    Anyways i am not good at writing and so i hope the above made some sense . I am writing here coz i have been there and done that . Please sit with your BF and his family and get all these things straight. I want you to do so so that you dont get a shock of your life . Its better to do so now than later . There is nothing wrong in being frank and setting expectations right.Its you whole life you are talking about . And if you have that independent streak in you then trust me you will never be happy living a fake life . Consider all options . what if due to some emergency you have to live with ILs? will you fake it everyday ? Or revolt and fight battles for your independence everyday ?
    If your BF wants to avoid confrontation now do you think he will stand by you then? There is nothing wrong in a face to face talk.. You will get to know their thought process better and how much you BF can stand for you when you are not happy with something ..

    Wishing you all the love and luck .

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    • Wow.. the entitlement! Firstly it’s their ‘right’ to get a car from you for the pleasure of letting you marry their son and then it’s their ‘right’ to have you make dinner and tea twice a days, nevermind whatever else you are up to. It’s also their ‘right’ to make you wear mangalsutra and make you change your name.

      Lots of strength, love and luck to you as well. I hope it sorts out for you.

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    • You are are a full time working dollar earning bahu, why not just tell your in-laws outright you are not going to cook and clean and change bed sheets after working 12 hours a day while they sit at home all day and their son has a relaxing evening? What will happen? They will be upset, insulted, mortified? So what? Their happiness is not your responsibility. After working 12 hours a day I don’t give a damn about pleasing a MIL and would slam the door on her face. The hubby has two hands and two feet, he is very much capable of running the vacuum cleaner or changing bed sheets if his mother has so much problem with it. I can’t understand why we Indian women think we have to be so accommodating and pleasing everyone at the cost of our own self respect, comfort and dignity. Sorry if I sound harsh, I just don’t understand why we need to be respectful and care about such in-laws who do not reciprocate any such feelings towards you. Go Girl !! don’t give a damn about making tea 2 times a day, get a MBA instead if that was your plan, more useful for you in the long term. Nobody ever died of missing their daily chai.

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      • Good advice, holds good for men too. My friend rejected a past girlfriend because she couldn’t hold her parents at bay. They were getting too nosy about his salary which was sufficient for the couple, and they wanted the girlfriend to hand over her salary to them. They were penniless, and not humbly so. She was not listening to his pleas that they could use part of her money for investments such as an apartment. one can make up for som3 parental carelessness, but we aren’t responsible for their lives (being penniless and losing it all from bad decisions).

        In-laws seem to troublesome for both partners in my community these days.

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    • i am loving all sensible advises🙂 It keeps me sane.
      ” slowly try setting expectations rather than listening to the standard advice and not even trying to oppose before you blindly adjust – For all you know, your in-laws might be really sensible & broad-minded and may come to like you for who you are and you might be able to build a real relation with them unlike your friends.”

      Thanks to IHM for this platform.

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    • Unless your in laws are physically unfit to do their own chores, you should chill. Get them a maid and a cook since you sound like you can afford it. If they are against getting paid help and feel it is your duty to do these things – you’re in big trouble.

      In case you don’t know, there are laws against people who taunt/mentally harass their daughter in laws over things like dowry and overly expensive wedding gifts by the girl’s family. And making you cook and clean after a full day of office work can be clubbed as mental and physical abuse too – it’s a different thing if you’re a housewife who would rather take care of the home instead of working elsewhere. What comes next, if you have a girl instead of a boy? Will your in-laws approve? Cos they sound pretty old-school.

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  8. I feel really sorry when I read some comments here. Some people come across as so adamant that they see any change in a negative light. So much so, that I feel this stubbornness at not changing their own ‘perfect selves’ for anything or anyone actually makes them more orthodox in their mindset while showing off a ‘modern outlook’.

    There are so many prejudices that are openly stated as if they are ‘unwritten rules’…in-laws are potrayed as villians, only the daughter in laws have to ‘adjust’, traditional ways are oppressing, doing as one pleases without taking into consideration the effects of your actions on those around you is being ‘independent’, being ‘highly educated’ means by default that some portion of your brain and personality is set in stone. ‘Do not change for anything and anyone’ is highly preached but isnt change the only constant thing in life, don’t we all (men and women) have to adapt in all aspects of our lives for our education, jobs, familes…for life. Don’t we all seek change in the world around us.

    Sometimes I feel we have been so alienated because of our busy lives that interpersonal relationships seem as complicated as ‘rocket science’. It’s natural to feel some amount of anxiety for new people and for a life that is not familiar to you but if you approach it with a huge list of ‘do’s and do not’s’ based upon all the negative experiences others have had in their lives it’s not going to help you in any way either. Please try to keep an open outlook. Don’t reject every new thing that comes your way just because you’ve not done it before. If it bothers you too much then try to talk it out. Try to explain your point of view, listen to theirs, don’t reject theirs because it is not same as yours. Try to seek a middle way, isnt that what education instills into us – analylitical thinking, problem solving and tackling the causes rather than pondering on the effects.

    Lastly, attempt to see the positive sides of people. We all are good and bad. Each one of us have some scope for improvement. Take life with a stride, be willing to ‘give it a try’ and offer your best to the world.

    Btw, your in-laws are a part of this world too. They might be equally anxious about your visit. And with time, people evolve because of the experiences they have to face. From my own experience, I see my in-laws have changed their outlook in the past few years about several things in life and honestly, so have I.🙂 So if you want to prepare yourself for something, prepare yourself for some change. Try not to be too critical of every action, don’t see every request as a ‘demand’ and don’t be hasty in saying ‘no’ before giving it a thought, just take it as another experience life has to offer you. Make the most of it!

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    • I beg to differ and would also say that I gave one thumbs down to this comment..
      “prepare to change” you say? Well, let me tell you, we all (at least most of us) change every single moment. Our thoughts, beliefs, perceptions…But when that change is forced (either directly or through guilt tripping) that is when the problems arise. And most of the issues with inlaws fall in this category. I do not wish to paint all in laws by the same brush..heck, in spite of our differences I love my in laws and think they are really kind and decent people, but with different thinking than mine. But that in no way means they have the right to force me to dress in a particular way or to change my name or start cooking all of a sudden for a houseful!
      Change is never negative, if it comes from within. However, it is negative when it is forced upon you when you do not think that particular change is necessary. So yes, you can change howmuchever “you” want..but you cannot call people adamant for sticking to their thinking and actually choosing what they want to change about themselves. Or you know what, you can call them adamant, and I am sure most of us wont mind it either ways.

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      • This makes no sense at all. How many times does a change in our life really comes from within? It is mostly forced upon us by circumstances and people around us. Now does that mean all of these “forced” adaptations are bad for us? The need is to objectively analyze how the changes are affecting us and to resist the ones that affect negatively. Who is trying to force it upon us is immaterial. Discipline in daily life is a classic example of such a change.And if one thinks getting up at 9 AM is what defines “who” s/he is, that’s rather unfortunate. Isn’t it?

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        • If the will to change is not coming to you from within and is a forced changed most of the times, something is really wrong! At least I wouldnt want to adapt to different things if they dont make sense to me. And lets not even get into what really defines a person. That is a complex question which is really irrelevant to this post.

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        • @Vaibhav
          Well lot of time changes comes from within. When I start putting on weight I get up in the mornings and work out. No it is not the situation that has changed me. I have the choice of waking up late but it is MY OWM WISH. I would not want to wake up early for making puris for in laws while they sleep. Forced by circumstances around us is understandable but what kind of people are they who who force it on you? Are we talking about concentration camps here, right? Like you mentioned all forced adaptations are not wrong for us not all forced adaptations are right for us too. It does matter who forces changes. Can a DIL ever force a change on MIL? Yes it would be unfortunate if waking at 9 defines me. But it would be even more unfortunate if forcing DIL to wake up at 5 defines an MIL.

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    • You know what, if they expected their beloved sons to cook and clean after a full day’s of work I’d still see some fairness in it if the daughter-in-law was expected to do the same too. But it’s not the case. it’s a GENDER bias. And that’s what makes it unacceptable.

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      • Absolutely !!
        I would love to follow all customs and I won’t find any problems at all if someone asks me to do things according to their own traditions, they would ask me to do so coz everyone in their family does that and I would be a part of their family after marriage.. there is no question of being critical at all, as long as it does not affect my own work or health.

        And then, at the same time, I feel that whenever my husband would visit my parents, he should follow things their way as well..

        Its not stubbornness, its about equality and understanding..
        If something affects your work life balance and health, you are right if you don’t accept it, even if people call you adamant or modern or stubborn!!

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    • ‘Change’ is natural and positive when it comes from a person’s own will. When someone else ‘makes’ you change, that’s generally called control or abuse. The only exception I can think of is trying to make someone give up a life threatening addiction, which is certainly not the case here. Somehow this abuse is conveniently trivialised when the subject is a woman, especially a ‘bahu’.

      Generally, everyone makes an effort to be nice to people around them, that’s human nature. You naturally respect the house and lifestyle of your hosts. Obviously one wouldn’t sleep until 2 pm everyday if everyone is up and buzzing at 10 am. That would just be antisocial. However, for example, being asked to wake up at 6 am, pray and cook while everyone else wakes up an 10 am.. just because you are the ‘bahu’.. is not about being nice and social. Pleasant social etiquette is obviously quite different to the kind of ‘bahu transformation’ being discussed here… and the truth is that men are not subjected to this transformation, right from their name to diet to wardrobes. It is gendered and hence it is not simply a matter of ‘getting along’ with people.

      Encouraging such forced ‘change’ then either unknowingly ignores the distinction between being ‘nice’ and being subjugated or intentionally trivialises the subjugation of a person’s identity.

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    • I disagree with the entire comment, but wanted to just make one point.
      Don’t reject every new thing that comes your way just because you’ve not done it before
      Actually, we’re rejecting all OLD things because we know exactly why they’re wrong to do.

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    • You know Priti, I’m sure everyone can see where you are coming from. But honestly, its is futile to try and invalidate the experiences of the people who write to IHM or comment here.

      These experiences are familiar to women of all ages all across India. And FYI interpersonal relationships in Indian families ARE actually more challenging than rocket science. The saas-bahu may be a stereotype, but stereotypes come into existence for a reason. And while many women have wonderful relationships with their in-laws ( and may their tribe increase), let’s not preach to those who struggle to do so.

      My would-be in-laws are SO much more liberal than my own parents, but i do still tread with caution in dealing with. You can call this pessimism, or realism, but the generation gap in India is *so* vast-and social mores SO different, that ‘accepting’ a different worldview is nearly impossible for either side.
      People tend to accept that in-laws are too ‘set in their ways’ to change, so why is the same excuse not acceptable for an adult woman of 21 plus years? Why the assumption of malleability just because of age/gender/position in family hierarchy?

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    • The reason some people might “appear” to be adamant is because they have had to give up so many things one after another, “adjust” and finally even that not being enough blamed for being themselves.
      Seeking a middle way as far as I know is not an option in Indian families. The more you give in, the more they demand has been my experience and what I’ve seen around as well.
      Marriage is an event for two people. It is an important life occasion for the couple. It is two people embracing each others’ values and promising to spend life together. It is also two families getting to know each other and expanding. It is not just the boy’s family getting a bahu. The in-laws don’t want to get to know their DIL. In fact, in most cases all the in-laws want is to prepare and gloat around a well-groomed woman and boast to others how cultured they are. True getting-to-know-each-other would be exchanging answers to questions like “What are your interests?”, “What is your passion?”, “What do you want in life?”, “What are your values?” etc. But that’s not what happens in reality. Chest-beating and parading is what happens. It’s fake.
      Let the newly weds get to know each other first. There is plenty of time for the MIL or FIL to know the DIL and honestly it is not that important. There are enough problems for the couple as such even without the in laws interfering. So leave them alone, give them some space and respectfully know each other when it’s time and there’s plenty of time. Of course, I’m talking about the ideal world.

      The real world however is fake. One needs to be adamant to remain sane. Some women like Preeti might have in laws who are respectful or perhaps Preeti doesn’t mind giving up who she is to please her new family. But it is not right to expect everyone to do that just because the society has been doing that for a long time. Change is different. Faking is different. Change comes from the heart and once a person truly accepts a change they embrace it because that’s who they want to be. Waking up at 4 am just because you are married may be a welcome change for one woman. But if it isn’t and the woman still wakes up at 4 just because some one says so or is forced to do so is faking it and there is bound to be resentment, not to mention it is very unfair.

      “I see my in-laws have changed their outlook in the past few years about several things in life and honestly, so have I.” – Some people don’t have “few years” because by then the in laws have wreaked havoc in the couple’s life🙂

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    • Priti, I’m glad you have a very happy family everybody adjusting for everybody else. Everybody (including the parents) making sure that the other person is happy. You seem to have a view of a family which reflects movies like hum saath saath hai, where everybody lives happily ever after. You willingly change for your ILs and they willingly adjust to you. All good for you. But not everybody is you. I don’t want to change my ways to please anybody. Be it my own parents. Because I believe strongly in certain things and will live only on my own rules. Adjusting or giving in to others’ expectations actually causes me discomfort and pain. Do you even now ask me to do differently?
      I like my ILs and don’t have anything against them. I just can’t live with them for a long time as I can’t with my parents. Even when I stay with them, I am my own person. Just because I am there doesn’t mean I will do whatever they say, if I don’t want to. It is just the way I am and I don’t think any amount of coaxing or threatening will make me budge, rather it will make me stubborn. Which is not good for anybody involved. Instead why not be a live and let live person and let the other person be?
      If I want to try or change I will, else I won’t. Simple isn’t it?

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      • You said it so well! I love my parents and in-laws too much, but, can’t see myself living with them as I have my own way(s) of living my life. Thankfully, my husband is also like that.

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    • @Priti…Sorry to see an equal number of thumbs down to your comment!!

      This is one reason I don’t believe in the many “-isms” our society boasts of because none of them really comes close to serving the cause it is supposed to be serving. It rather ends up serving the pride, and dignity of the believers.

      The number of thumbs down proves that more than our beliefs, it is our hollow egoes we are a slave to. Every believer seems to KNOW and BELIEVE that only a believer can be right. So all you non-believers – take a hundred thumbs down before you can bat an eyelid.

      “We don’t want to be ‘forced’ to change. We want to be ‘willing’ to change” – well, if people haven’t noticed, change remains just as inevitable as it is unpredictable, as it is natural. Your adaptability to change doesn’t come from your willingness…it comes from being ‘open’. Being open is facing, accepting, embracing, growing with an experience. It is allowing yourself to reach out and expand….beyond your abilities.

      Getting up early, or giving up your favorite activity or place OR letting the comfort of another precede yours for once – is being open to giving and receiving love. It can be most satisfying.

      @GV Sir…I saw your comment was thumbed down as well somewhere up there!!! You have my thumbs up…

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      • Admin – this would be okay if it was not applied selectively to someone who is also expected to apply it selectively – //Getting up early, or giving up your favorite activity or place OR letting the comfort of another precede yours for once – is being open to giving and receiving love. It can be most satisfying.//

        A lot of it seem to be about ensuring that social hierarchies are maintained, ever seen a husband doing any of this even if he does (very rare) live in the wife’s parents’ house? Can you not see the harm that such hierarchies do to those who are at the bottom of the hierarchies?

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        • I totally agree with you IHM. And I see the rot from the top to bottom of such hierarchies.
          I am against the system. But my instincts guide me to do what is right…or what I feel is right at a time, in a given situation. It is not for me to judge what another person will feel like doing at the same given situation. Likewise I wouldn’t like to be judged for what I choose to do. A woman might still wake up early and still do something that others call an unnecessary sacrifice or stupidity…but perhaps that suits her, helps her maintain her sanity and be happy. If one is trying to understand the system and work her way accordingly, and trying help others understand as well, why attack her with rude comments? No one needs to follow her…everyone can still do what they want to do.

          You write sensibly, and are respectful, not judgemental. I appreciate that.

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        • Sometimes, the woman who wakes up early might judge those who don’t wake up early – sometimes because she resents having to give-up her sleep, and sometimes because she believes waking up early is what everybody should do and it’s okay for her to expect (with or without voicing it) this of others. Not fair to others, not helpful to herself. Ideally, adults should be able to decide (and take responsibility for) what time they wake up.

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        • You know waking up early is actually a healthier habit and getting started early with your day’s work gets one ahead of everyone else…but I totally understand what you are trying to say.

          I think ideally, husband and wife, no matter what age, must get up early to get their share of tasks done. Chores should be divided between ALL adult as well as junior members of a family. Everyone should contribute towards housework in some manner. No one should be sitting around. But does that happen in Indian households? Kids order their maids to tie their shoelaces, fetch them a glass of water or an eraser that is lying in the same room…and parents just look away!! I rather wish we didn’t have a choice but to get up early, like in older days…get some fresh air in our lungs and bring some discipline in our lives. Set up an example for our children.

          This bickering about who will do the housework, who will get up early gives our children this notion that housework is some dirty job no one wants to be responsible for and getting up early – the most hated activity. Keeping a home clean and tidy should be an enjoyable thing…shared amicably between young and old in the family.

          I understand the problem too well, I am not immune to it, rather I live with it myself. But I say why not make everyone wake up at the same time. Take healthy measures and get everyone involved. Times are changing…so must we.
          Let’s not sit around…but get up and get busy. Bring change in our lives…

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      • Waking up early is definitely a good habit. As a person that loves to stay up all night, I’ve found the benefits of waking up early, especially when you have kids. The main problem here is not about who wakes up early, who wakes up first or even about waking up at all. The problem is what we do after we wake up.
        As normal human beings women have dreams, passions and aspirations too. They have a mind of their own as well and deserve equal treatment.

        This basic thought EVERYONE knows whether they acknowledge openly or not. But somehow ILs conveniently forget this fact because of the vicious cycle of “I did this as a DIL so why should my DIL not do this for me and pass on the same respect” or “If I let this slide and let DIL relax she will climb on top of my head like a vetal, then people will think I have no power or standing in the family, what will they think about me” (These are real dialogues I’ve heard from some MILs).

        For argument sake let’s assume that the woman is not an early riser, no one is forcing her to wake up early, she somehow disciplines herself to wake up at 4 am.

        When she wakes up, does she have to do the morning coffee and get breakfast for the family ready? Is that the first thing she does? What if cooking is not her main interest? What is she is passionate about gardening or painting? Will the MIL make her own coffee? Will the woman be able to spend 2 hrs in her garden first thing in the morning? Will painting be seen as frivolous by the in laws because they are not being served?

        If the in laws respect her interests and not interfere with her choice of activity or expect to be served all the time, I’m sure the DIL wouldn’t mind treating them as a friend and repay for the understanding. So why don’t we get up, get busy and make THAT change of equal rights?

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        • Well said. I’m sick of hearing the oft-repeated “I had to do so and so but you are lucky…’. Well **** you, I say in my mind to my MIL. I have my own problems. Stuff that you couldn’t even imagine.

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  9. You have decided to marry your boyfriend without having met his parents. Strange for a “highly educated, working woman”!

    It is even more strange that you have worked yourself into a frenzy (“I was emotionally overwhelmed and in too much of a hurry to pen them else my head would have bursted.”) without knowing what your in-laws expect from you.

    Meet your boyfriend’s parents as soon as possible and get to know them and their views on matters that affect you, your boyfriend and your respective families. Let them get to know you and your views on the same matters. Ensure that you sort out major differences, if any, BEFORE you get married.

    Simultaneously, ensure a similar interaction between your boyfriend and your parents.

    Also have a very open discussion with your boyfriend about the possible points of difference in the future, and be clear that the two of you agree on such matters.

    If there are serious points of difference that just cannot be resolved, you could even reconsider your decision to marry this guy.

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    • yes, setting expectations with your parents is very important too. a friend’s partner has to tolerate the father of the girl berating him at every opportunity. This happens only once a year, but is not pleasant for anyone. the husband doesnt complain, but the friend finally stopped taking him along on annual visits because her father just wouldn;t stop!

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  10. It does not matter if you are highly educated or have a primary school education, as it does not matter if you work or not. What matters is how you imagine any decent, loving, well meaning person who is hoping to nurture a long term relationship with (essentially) strangers will behave? Do you even identify yourself in that role in the first place?

    Before setting yourself up for failure and inviting drama only on the basis of principle, please be clear and honest with yourself about what you are fighting for and why. Principle is one thing, but what you do with principle is an entirely different animal. Think about what your ideas about freedom, self worth and independence really are. Do these ideas stand alone or do they actually have meaning in your daily life even as a single woman? Which of these ideas will bring purpose to your life as a married woman in the short term and then the long term? How would you like your children to view you and how do your ideas affect what they will see about your relationship with their paternal grandparents. Lots to think about.

    Then have a very clear headed discussion with your fiance about what is negotiable (or not) about your beliefs. Be very honest and clearcut about this, without any emotional blackmail atleast on your side. Leave nothing ambigious.

    No one can tell you exactly what to do, but perhaps we can help you think clearly so you can make an educated decision about how you will chart your relationship with your inlaws.

    There are two bits of advice I can give you though. First,.. do not limit your own personal growth by refusing to have certain experiences only because you are educated or earn money and therefore on principle will not cook or do laundry or fly a kite or wear sindoor or perform cartwheels or whatever. You never know what experiences you might actually enjoy. Be open to everything that does not make you feel like a less worthy person.

    Second… do not shortchange yourself by fearfully turning your back on what might become a fulfilling relationship with your inlaws. You do not know them yet at all, so why make presumptions? If you want them to know you as a person, you need to give them an equal chance. Better get to know them now than after you are married. Go visit with them… NOW.

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  11. what i would say is that it is best to act for a few days….if u act nice to them ur bf will love u all the more… thank ur lucky stars that u are not living with them forever…
    when u live forever, u cant act good all the time… and ppl will keep scolding and finding fault with everything u do (my case)… and they will keep telling complaints about u to ur husband.. and he will start hating u.. and there will no one in the world to understand what u feel..

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    • Many problems can arise if someone does this. Firstly, irrespective of whether she’s living with them forever, it’s hard to act. Secondly acting doesn’t mean that the IL’s won’t criticize and the BF will be happy. Finally, it’s just for a few days today. What if the few days increase after the IL’s retire or they stay for a longer time for childcare or any of a million possibilities.

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  12. I had an inter caste marriage as well… And my husband’s family are so very different from my own in many ways… It was all very difficult in the beginning.. but now, I have learnt how not to talk much, yet live the way I want. All this has been possible only because my husband and I see eye to eye and have similar views on many day to day activities. Marriage is between two individuals… and the understanding between these two individuals is what is most important.

    I would suggest please meet your in-laws first before your marriage. Stay silent, understand their views and lifestyle in a couple of visits before marriage. Then you will know for yourself if they have the capability to understand your feminist views and accept your freedom. If they seem to be very conservative and intolerant, talk to your bf and make him understand your situation. You and he will have to work out how he makes his parents give space to your views and lifestyle.

    Please try to make all this happen before your wedding… Jumping in and then confronting so many issues will make it more difficult.

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    • //I have learnt how not to talk much, yet live the way I want. All this has been possible only because my husband and I see eye to eye//

      //Stay silent, understand their views and lifestyle in a couple of visits before marriage. Then you will know for yourself if they have the capability to understand… //

      I agree.

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      • I loved these two points too. Sometimes, it’s so hard to remember that you can do what you please without having to have the whole world and their first cousin agree with you.

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  13. Pingback: How To Talk When A Prospective Groom Comes To ‘SEE’ You 101 | There and Their

  14. All the POV’s are really worth gving thought. Almost all the openion have come up with personal experience.

    I was just wondering about a situation, where there is not much OPEN communication with the DIL and inlaws before the wedding. Because usually that is how it happens in arranged marriage. In this case may be things might work in different way but i just want to know how would iniyaal,anotherkiraninnyc, Priti etc handle the situation if you were not allowed to get a basic openion about thought process/ way of living about inlaws before marriage.

    I agree adjustment and ability to understand other’s POV is very very needed but what would u do if u never had chance…Would you take a chance or insist on meeting inlaws who do not want to brake some tradition where mils are not well accessed to dil.?

    //Stay silent, understand their views and lifestyle in a couple of visits before marriage. Then you will know for yourself if they have the capability to understand… //This sounds really interesting but how would it be possible in above scenarios.

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    • I never met my in-laws before marriage… Had I met them before marriage, I would have known what to expect…

      That is why I suggest meeting in-laws prior to marriage would ease the relationship. If this is not possible, then best thing to do is to be prepared for a patient, tolerant time after marriage. Understand your in-laws in every visit… stay who you are, and make others understand that you intend to stay this way…. Do this through your actions, words will not help much. But, I would again stress, your BF’s understanding and co-operation are essential here. Good luck🙂

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  15. You still have not met your prospectve in laws?
    And yet you have already decided on the marriage?
    Why not meet, discuss and settle all issues right now.
    Why anticipate problems when none may crop up?
    Why assume no problems when unsettled issues may crop up in future?

    In my view, if you are going to be staying with them, remember their home is their turf.
    If the rules they live by in their own home are unacceptable to you, to abide by when you visit them, then you should live separately always.

    Incidentally, when I go to stay with my daughter and son in law, in Usa, I change my lifestyle to fall in line with their preferences. I don’t see it as a climbdown from my side. Their life style is different and I respect their preferences.

    I live the way I want, in my own home here in India.

    If and when I have a daughter in law i will expect her to respect our wishes when she visits us, while not intruding in any major way on her life style.
    For example, if she smokes or drinks, we will insist she does not do that inside our home.
    If she is a non vegetarian we will insist that non veg food is not cooked in our kitchen, while she is free to consume them outside the house.
    We will not interfere with the way she dresses.
    Of course these are matters of details and will vary from family to family.
    A frank dialogue before marriage can settle these issues.

    I don’t see a problem here. It is only being imagined .
    Regards
    GV

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    • You change your lifestyle when you stay with your SIL and daughter. Would you do it when you visit your son and DIL. Yes staying separately is always a good idea. But sometimes the inlaws do not want to part with his parents especially if there is only one parent and in the same city, if the guy had been living with them earlier. Sometimes parents don’t let their son move out and force a joint family. What would you suggest then. Home is still their turf? Does DIL have any turf?

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      • Thank you “Anonymous” for responding.
        In answer to your questions:

        Yes, I would change my lifestyle when I stay with my son and daughter in law. I would stay with them only at their invitation. I will never impose myself on them.

        I will change my lifestyle to suit who ever I am staying with, when I am a guest at their place.

        In my opinion, a fiercely independent woman, like the many who are posting here, should not marry a man if it involves having to live with his parents in the same house. If parents do not allow their son to move out independently after marriage, he automatically becomes ineligible for marriage to modern independent women, in this modern era.

        I believe a daughter in law’s own home (shared only with her husband) is her own turf. If she stays with her in-laws, she has no turf.

        Regards
        GV

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        • I am a chemist by Profession. Got married which was arranged by parents. Met the guy before meeting the family. Liked the guy and after we told yes the marriage got fixed. Was non vegetarian before marriage became vegetarian as my in-laws don’t take even onion garlic. My husband who never tested onion garlic started having food cooked with onion garlic after marriage. Wear all sorts of dress when I am away from in-laws(we both work in Bangalore away from both sets of Parents). But when I go to native I wear sarees and wear bangles (redone, white one and iron one), sindoor ,mangal sutra . Don’t take husbands or elders name in front of them. When my in laws visit my place, I don’t wear sarees. I wear only salwar. When we go out me and hubby eat food cooked with onion garlic in front of parents . When I was in school I had started wearing a chain and pendant , I still wear them to office. I used to wear black bindi on Indian clothes. Now I wear red one. In my house my dad was strict follower of early to bed and early to rise. But in my in-laws house they don’t follow that. Most of the time my in-laws get up earlier than me. When my mom in law is there she never allowed me to get up early on weekend as she feels I am not getting proper sleep. When she is there we both cook together, she cuts vegetables and I cook. We chat a lot. When we come back from office, they leave the house and go for a walk so that me and my hubby can get some time together .
          I touch my in-laws feet twice a day. They call me twice a day to check I have taken food or I have reached home from office or not. I wrote all these things just to know what all of you feel . M I compromising? Yes many of you will say. Are not my in-laws compromising?
          Even I will say to keep a relationship intact we have to adopt. If we show a little sign of compromising the other person in front of you if he is human then he will also show some compromise from his side. And if he/she is a heartless selfish person , then you always can get away from that situation.

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        • “I believe a daughter in law’s own home (shared only with her husband) is her own turf. If she stays with her in-laws, she has no turf” – So true!
          My husband says that “there can only be one queen in the house, in my home, that is my wife”🙂.

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        • you are right. ” she has no turf ” that’s why i always told my husband – when it is your parents turn to come and stay , they will come to “our ” house . We wouldn’t have to go to
          ” their ” house. a lot of expectations will be said UNSAID right rightaway.
          I hve also told this to my brother because after marriage his first point is his wife and children and then everybody else.

          My mother screamed at me , when I told them that I will be taking care of them, because she was going out of her way to please her son – always did that when he was a kid .

          I am waiting to see how the drama enfolds – the SIL has an ass kicking job while the son is entrepreneurial and buidling up his way ..

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  16. Difficult reading! Specially the comments. The trouble is that this kind of thinking is much more common than we would wish to believe. This ideal picture of a good bahu, good daughter-in-law. Is that a role at all? It’s incidental to marriage and we don’t have to make a big deal out of it. Basically, being a daughter-in-law anywhere in the world is mostly difficult. Do we need cultural norms to make it even harder? Let’s not aspire to be good bahus. Let’s aspire to be good human beings. And to take care of ourselves.

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  17. Dear IHM,
    Sorry for the really long comment.

    To the letter writer,
    Firstly congratulations that your parents have agreed for your wedding, but there are certain aspects of the letter that have baffled me and they are as below:
    1. How could you being the “highly educated working woman” agree for a marriage with your boyfriend without having met his immediate family i.e. parents? The fact that is even more surprising is that how did your family or his family not insist on meeting each other at least once before fixing up the wedding?
    I ask this question because be it love or arranged marriage, I feel that meeting the immediate family is very important for both the boy and the girl as its imperative that you will interact with them in future and even if its a social call or obligation which might just last from a few days to few hours its important to have a pleasant feeling about the meeting and God forbid if you cannot tolerate his family or if he cannot tolerate your family then over a period of time life will become very difficult.
    2. How is it that you decided to get married to him without talking to your BF about all these aspects and trying to understand his family background from him. In you letter you wrote that “he sees your logic, but then does not argue with his mother about the same” – do you think he will be able to support you in future?
    3. You have written that as “a working woman I will hardly spend time with my in laws except on festivals” – BIG mistake that you are making here again by assuming. What makes you think that they will not want to stay with their son, also even if you stay separately but what if they fall sick or need help and what if after you have children they want to come and stay? Obviously, then at that time you cannot ask them to simply leave. I am saying all this because I am a working woman too and my in laws stay in a different city, but they visit during vacations (My FIL is retired, MIL is a school principal) and post retirement they have already expressed their wish to come stay with us for at least 6 months in a year… Have you thought about such scenarios??If not, then please think.
    4. You might not be staying with your in laws but then have you discussed financial matters as to whether your BF needs to send them money for their needs and does your BF expect you to give a part of your earnings also and if yes then how do plan to do it. Also, you might want to support your parents – have you discussed if your BF and his family would be comfortable if you spend your earnings on your family. Silly and stupid as these may sound, but the fact is that these are issues if not tackled and sorted now, will blow out of proportion in future and then it will be too late.
    I feel the above points are important and should be discussed. Also, please do not be hesitant to change and as far as cooking and doing household activities are concerned, you might enjoy them and you might actually learn new things which might be of interest to you.
    All said and done, adjustments have to be done from both sides but there are certain things that cannot be compromised on. So please discuss these things and weigh your options and only then take the next step. If you need some time, please ask for it and then sort out the issues.

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  18. 1. Why does the daughter in law’s reluctance to touch feet make some people unhappy? What does it indicate that causes unhappiness to those whose feet are not touched and their well-wishers? It has to be more than just touching of feet – what exactly is it? Does touching of feet symbolize something and that something cannot be conveyed in any other way? Is it about control?

    2. Why does the daughter in law not wearing sari affect her in laws? Again, what does wearing a sari indicate that is so pleasing to many people in traditional families?

    3. Why is it considered important that the daughter in law should wake up before everybody else? Why does everybody else need that extra sleep which an Indian daughter in law does not? And those daughters in law who do wake up earlier – are they happier?

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  19. I’ve replied to a comment earlier. Here’s an afterthought: ‘my parents have agreed’. Agreed to what? and why do you need them to agree? why does anyone other than the couple whose decision it is to get married have to agree? Two adults in love want to get married and they wait for their parents to “agree”? If you want to milk any actual benefits of your ‘high’ education, get this into your head first: only you and your hubby make this couple you want to. No one else needs to agree. When you look at it as if your parents “agree”, well, you are extending his parents the choice to “disagree”. It fails the purpose of a relationship/marriage. as an adult and an individual, my parents have the right to dislike my spouse, not engage with him. They do not have the choice to disagree to our union. Or even ill-treat him. As simple as that. If you allow parents to have this kind of agency, you deserve their meddling. You asked for it.

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    • Well the option of going ahead and marrying was always there if either/both sets of parents would have not agreed. Parents in many cases do not see their interests in their kid’s marital life as interruptions or meddling. And the issue is how to deal with it in best possible way. Love or arrange marriage. I don’t think any body deserves their meddling.

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    • That’s exactly it. When a couple want to get married they need no one to ‘agree’ to it. And here we have comments asking the LW why she agreed to marry her BF without meeting his parents!! Lol.

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      • absolutely! I met my guy’s (whom I had known for 6 years) parents at my mehndi. We had informed our respective parents of our intention to marry and had included them in the process because they wanted to be a part of it. That was it. There was no question of taking any permission. Who cares whether they like me or not. And who cares whether my folks like my guy or not. It’s great if they do but if they don’t, it’s their problem. Their son and I want to commit our lives to each other. That simple.

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  20. just can’t relate to the word, ‘in-law’. As if this relationship is forced on you. There is no attachment with this word. Are we not taught to differentiate between mayka and sasuraal from the beginning? Are we not told enough times that we need to be a good daughter in law who binds her family together? Why is the expectation from a DIL high than a daughter itself? May be because, a DIL will carry forward the traditions of the family she is married into. Hmmm…expecting your boyfriend to choose a side (because he is not fighting/arguing with his mother) is also wrong, isn’t it? Talk to your inlaws. Not all inlaws bite. Get to know them better, spend some quality time with them (if you can), get to know their traditions and values, and adapt a few of their core values.  Expecting your inlaws to accept u the way you arr is not right when you don’t want to follow their traditions because you don’t want to be typecast as a sanskari bahu!!

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    • If all DILs had been carrying traditions of inlaws forward as expected of them we would still be getting invitation to sati ceremony.

      Thank god for DILs who stand their ground and refuse to give up reason and rational thinking in the name of tradition. Thank god for DILs who do not sell their soul to MILs and are true to themselves. Our first responsibility in this life is towards us. If we are not happy we cannot make anybody else happy. Nobody owes anybody anything least of all DILs. We are all born equal. It is love, respect for others choices, giving space to each other that makes a healthy relationship. Actually we can take out love from the list. That can be developed if all these ingredients are there. Live and let live is the motto if followed by all whether they are parents, MILs and DILs is what uncomplicates life. Why do we forget such basic thing. We just have one life so do what you believe in.

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    • What about my expectations from my MIL and FIL? Will they change because I cannot accept them the way they are? Would it be fair of me to ask them to adopt some of my core values?

      Just because I am younger in age and female does not mean all the adaptation has to come from me. Wanting or not wanting to be a sanskari bahu is not about right or wrong. It is a preference, just like you would prefer a color over another. Why I have the preference should not be of concern here.

      And lastly, when two people are choosing to get married, they are picking a side. They are choosing to side by their spouse and support them in all issues that may arise. Including parents. If you are not ready to pick sides, then you are probably not ready to get married.

      And for heavens sake, why should it always be parents or girlfriend? (notice how the issue never comes up in case of boyfriend / husband – ofcourse the girl needs to side with her spouse) Choosing one does not mean that you are deserting the other. Asking your parents not to force their choices on your spouse does not mean you love them any lesser.

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    • “May be because, a DIL will carry forward the traditions of the family she is married into.”

      Who is supposed to carry forward the traditions of her family if she has no brother? Or are her parents no her family at all post marriage? Also what if she doesn’t care for these traditions and wants to do what makes sense to her instead?

      I will never understand valuing traditions more than a living breathing person. I refuse to ‘carry forwards’ anyone’s traditions, including my own parents. I am not a vessel, I have a mind of my own and I will decide what I pass on to my children.

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      • what are these traditions? why don’t we have a tradition of using our mind intelligently and rationally? why don’t we have a tradition of following our heart and finding our true calling? Why don’t we have a tradition of becoming mature humans beings with good intentions in general? Why are our egos so fragile that we feel slighted when someone chooses not to touch our feet? Why do we go all prickly when someone doesn’t conform to our ideas of dressing and life choices? What is it that makes us feel that it’s right to mind others’ business than working on improving our own minds, and our personal relationships? Why don’t traditions get made from these good things? why are traditions only about ridiculous stuff like “married women must fast, wear bangles, cover themselves up”? down with stupidity!

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  21. From personal experience, I would say this is very dicey ground.

    I got married in my mid 30s and was living with my in-laws. That was 16 years ago. I did all the house-hold chores in the house quite happily – no complaints about getting up early, cooking for everyone etc. – except that the folks in the house were extremely messy and did nothing to make my job easier. Result – I used to be on my feet from morning to night. I was working too. Naturally I used to get very upset at their non-cooperation. No amount of requests, however nicely worded worked. All that happened is that the atmosphere got vitiated. So I stopped going into the kitchen and allowed mil to do what she wanted in her own way. (Despite my doing all the cooking, she would insist on doing things in the kitchen, mess it up – it used to look like a war zone, no exaggeration there, after she made a single item and hygiene was a non-concept – and leave it that way).

    I was not party to other things like poojas, dressing up in loads of jewellery, sarees, I called my husband by name (mil’s mother often made oblique references to how XYZ, despite being so educated did not call her husband by name because her mil did not like it), did not wear all the typical signs of a married woman. I admit they did not say anything about my dress etc to me. However, they were very upset that I did not do daily poojas (the grand-mil tried to bribe me into doing it with promises of various things), mil probably complained about it to others (well, I suppose she has her freedom of speech, so I do not grudge her that), she did not like me keeping my hair short and sometimes made personal comments about that. Sometimes attempts at polite “discussions” ended in ugly scenes with horrible things said to me (I admit I retaliated too).

    Gradually things got too stifling in that kind of an atmosphere. I still remember my fil arguing with me to do things to “please” him, mil, her mother and her relatives. His reasoning “We are not going to live for ever. Why don’t do things that make us happy as long as we live”? Not that they were too old. He was 60. Grand mil was in her late 70s and going strong. I know it sounds atrocious to say the least, but I could not help thinking “When do we live the way we want”? By the time they were not around, we would probably be too old ourselves to enjoy anything or to be bothered about doing anything we liked.

    Today fil and grand mil are no more. Mil is still there and still a thorn in my side. We have moved out to our own home, but even the occasional days we come face to face are not exactly the most pleasant or comfortable ones with her making some snide remarks. I sometimes wonder, could things have been different? I know one thing for sure. Had I complied with their every wish, I would not have recognized myself in the mirror today. But today I recognize myself in the mirror, but there is a huge rift which I see no hopes of ever repairing.

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    • Sorry, I posted before I had completed what I want to say. I wanted to say that in the light of the above, I wonder if it would not be a good idea to try and work out a give and take situation (if it is workable, by feeling your way tentatively) if you are going to spend only a brief while with them. Maybe if they take a liking to you, with time, sab kucch maaf ho jayega. Padhi likhi bahu might become ghar ki bahurani. Who knows?????

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  22. I do not have much to add in terms of advice differing from what others have added but I would like to look at this issue from a much larger perspective – that of being authentic or pretending to be someone whom people like.

    When teenagers and many adults as well, buy branded stuff, try to be seen at the hip places, hang out with supposedly cool people is an extension of that. It is okay (though annoying) when teens do it because they have not really decided what they stand for and what they believe in but many people continue to do it all their lives. Standing out does require some courage and being clear on what you stand for and a huge number of people can go through lives living pretending to be somebody they are not because they did not have the guts to stand for what they believed in.

    Luckily, western societies have evolved to be individualistic and this eliminates a lot of the problems mentioned in this blog. Asian societies (yes, that includes all of Asia – even Japan, Korea, China etc) are still societal and traditional in their values or in the general values of the society which many would pretend they believe in solely because they do not want to create disharmony.But the truth is nobody can be loved by everybody and change does bring resistance.

    For those who comment, that the email writer is over reacting, she should adjust for a few days, why fight when you can adjust and make elders happy by adjusting, notions of sacrifice, respect your elders etc., I would like to make a few points –

    – Is it okay only to respect only a set of people because you have to – like in laws, elders instead of being respectful and nice to everybody including children?
    – If a person is respectful and courteous to everyone, of course, when you are staying as guests in someone’s house, you would follow their house rules – yes, she would not eat meat, if they were vegetarians and do not want to eat meat in the house but they shouldn’t be dictating if she can eat meat outside in a hotel or not. Because we are guests, we should help them out in the house but that does not mean that we do all their housework because you are the DIL
    -What the DIL wears as an independent adult is her wish, not something to be dictated by her in laws. Is the DIL telling the in laws to wear jeans or shorts?
    -Happiness is an inside job. I can expect people to be a certain way, if they are not, then okay, i choose to cry and be upset by it, it is my problem, not theirs. You cannot, put that problem around the DIL’s neck. DIL is not getting married to be subservient and make everybody happy by sacrificing who she is, she is getting married because she wants to to the guy.
    – Asia has too much of a cultural burden, do what your ancestors did. There are other places with same issues but I am speaking about this case.

    What would I do? – We can either perpetuate traditions, slowly change them bit by bit and toe the line for some though we do not agree with them or take a large sword and chop every single of those cultural threads and recreate our own lives in our own way.

    I am not patient, pretending to be something I am not annoys me, so for me the best route is chop it all off and feel the freedom.

    I would first ascertain if the guy is ready to do the same. I am marrying him. If he is quiet because his parents did a favor by allowing him to marry me (which I think is bullshit – he is an adult; if he thinks so, he is not ready to get married and many parents use this to perpetually blackmail their sons) and thus cannot stand up to them, well then, I am not willing to stand by him because he is not standing by me in what I am and what I believe in. So, he is off my life – of course it will hurt but I would rather grieve for a few months than cry with frustration because I cannot be me.

    Like I said, since I am the chop it all off methodolgy girl, I will not have a registered marriage, no ceremonies because I do not like them (unless they guy really wants it because he likes it, not because society expects him to), hang out with in laws for a day or 2 and move onto my own place. No sari unless I feel like, no sindoor, no mangalsutra ever coz I do not like it.

    For those who may call me selfish, well I am not a fake at least and I prioritize authenticity over fitting in. If you prioritize fitting in over authenticity, that’s your life and your priorities, not mine.

    And for those who would ask, if I would not even do those for the happiness of my husband( either because he wants it or he will b happy if I did it for his parents) – I am not into boys and men who do not share my values. He likes those kind of things, he will not be marrying me – he will be marrying a girl who likes those things.

    I know I am not everybody’s cup of tea but then that’s okay.

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    • 🙂 i personally believe now that to do something out of nature for yourself is never sustainable. sooner or later, as is wont the truth will “out” with ugly repercussions. it’s not called adjusting if you change who you are. better be yourself and suffer thw consequences thn be someone else and suffer anyway.

      I think what’s massively lacking in our society is a chance to know yourself before committing to marriage. wish women would get married later…

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    • “We can either perpetuate traditions, slowly change them bit by bit and toe the line for some though we do not agree with them or take a large sword and chop every single of those cultural threads and recreate our own lives in our own way.”
      Thatz really true. The change lies in our hand.

      And just to clarify its not my bf who thinks that he is burdened by favour of his parents (by allowing him to marry me”. The point is our parents have a way of thinking in which inter-caste marriages are not so common. They have been brought up that way. I am not saying its correct but all said and done it will be wrong to assume that their thought-process and ideas will change overnight. His parents might see it as a favour but we do not. But yes we acknowledge the welcome change and appreciate it. Sadly its not the happy ending of the story. Its just a beginning 🙂 I will be firm but its” being polite” part which becomes problem. When you are hearing nagging and complaints then its real taste of patience. I can chop it all off but that will end the relationship as well.

      I need to give them some time , be patient and polite, make them understand my point of view, stay true to my ideas and values and develop a transparent and healthy relationship. I know its ambitious and sounds an uphill task but thatz what I want to strive now. How it turns out will depend on both parties and only time will tell that. 🙂

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  23. This might sound very basic or perhaps philosophical but people can go through life, generations, even a life time without knowing who they themselves are or who they want to be let alone others. There are very few things sadder than such a wasted life, so here’s my advice:
    1. Take time and figure out what you want in life if you haven’t already – family, career, love, so on. Know who you are as a person, your values, dreams, peeves, vulnerabilities. Sit down, think and write it down if you want. Mull it over until you have to. Discuss it with your boyfriend. Ask your boyfriend about his values. Or help him do the same exercise. See if you’re values align.
    2. Assuming it does, he shouldn’t have a problem if you want to meet his parents and have a conversation before marriage even if he doesn’t want to have one.
    3. Share information with your in-laws. Ask them what their expectations are. Tell them where you are willing to compromise and where you would be very uncomfortable giving in. Very challenging to be perceived as nice yet and not cocky or impolite, but take time to prepare for that conversation. Like someone said, interpersonal relationship IS harder than rocket science. But it’s not impossible.
    4. Often times we don’t speak our minds for fear of sounding rude, especially to elders. That’s only because as Indians we haven’t had practice. Add a disclaimer to anything you say. Make sure you tell them that your intention is not to offend them, that you want to see them not very different from the way you see your own parents.

    It is better to be upfront and wrinkle free from start than trying to sweep everything under the rug until everything explodes and turns to hell. It is the start of your life, after all.

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  24. Pingback: Some people come across as so adamant that they see any change in a negative light. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  25. LW, please be sure of what you want from your life. If you are a strong headed person who is absolutely uncomfortable of any kind of forceful behaviour in the name of culture and tradition, it is better to be upfront about it now and talk it out rather than assume things will settle down as time goes. Never assume. Parents have a way of blackmailing which can be really painful for their own children as well as the newly married boy/girl, so setting expectations and getting to know each other beforehand is very important. Role of you/your spouse is major in setting the stage with either his parents or yours. You both need to make it clear to them that certain things are off limits. Rest you can talk and sort out, if need be come to a compromise if you can. Yes, parents’ perspectives can’t be changed. They will continue to think they have done a favour to you both, esp. you. But you both need to be sure amongst yourselves that it is BS and that you’ve made a decision fair enough for each other. Does your husband support your views, respect your decisions and value your opinions when it comes to ‘your life as a couple’? Or does he let his parents interfere because he feels sorry for them? It is very important to be clear on all terms before your set foot into marital relationship.
    Yes, go ahead and give a shot at understanding them while letting them a chance to understand what you actually are, your views, ideals, principles and what you believe in. It is important to do that before marriage. Any kind of discord can be tried to set straight now or you can decide on the course of your decision based on their reaction or willingness.
    All said, you both have to support each other for this to be smooth and for you both to feel secure in this relationship. So first make sure he is in.

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  26. I still believe that you have preconceived views about your in-laws and you are only reacting to the advice your mother gave about being a perfect bahu. Why do you not discuss this matter with your in-laws? I think there is nothing wrong if they have certain expectations from you because; you are getting married into a family where you could be expected to follow their traditions. Life is all about give and take. Get to some kind of arrangement with them because if you follow their traditions halfheartedly, it will leave you bitter and if not it will leave them bitter. All the best to whatever your decision be, have a happy married life ahead and god bless you always.

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  27. I thnk I’m going to rise the ire of many people but i have to write this.
    I understand the value of parents and elders, and since I’m a mom to 2 boys i do love them and they me and we have a great bond etc., etc.,
    BUT when i got married my in-laws had passed and my parents had cut off ties with us. I think me and my husband have bonded and grown to love each other more than most couples simply beacuse we did not have any influence/interference, no expectation on bahu or SIl, no one to comment on our lifestyle, no one to make demands, no one to keep happy , no one at all to please but each other.
    After reading and seeing so many things around us i feel blessed and v v lucky to have led these 2+ decades of a very happy married life on MY OWN terms. the sheer jot and freedom to live as we want in unparalleld.
    So much so that now my parents want contact adn access to their grandkids and i’m ok with that, i really dont fit in their life , just last week we met them for lunch, and in those 2 hrsthey proceeded to tell us how we should raise our kids, our lifestyle and our religious views, very subtle but to us very glaring. i without any intention to hurt them simply asked them ‘ what qualified them to give us instructions and they said it was their age and wisdom and our culture🙂 age does not bestow wisdom, it bestows experience and hopefully we learn form it and tell the younger gen of our mistakes int he hope they wont repeat it but beyond that nothing.
    sometimes i feel bad that I have not one iota of regret and actually being happy that i didn’t have any parental influence. so much so i tell my sons, to find their mates and dont expect advise. you screw up your loss, you suceed in your relationship your gain.
    Maybe i’m giving young girls wrong advise, yes me and my husband adjusted to living with each other but I’m really really glad i didn’t have to ever accommodate or compromise my principles for anyone else in the name of culture and tradition and love.

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    • You are very lucky! Thankfully, my in-laws are very nice folks, I have stayed away in US from the time I got married, may be that is why, there are no conflicts. I run my home the way I want to. I know that my in-laws do not like the way I run my home, they have tried to complain to my husband, my husband (I love him so much), said “Ma, this is her home, she is managing it since she came here leaving everyone in India, she has established a few processes (we use a lot of management terms, he he), let her run with them. You guys are here for 5 months, I am sure you can manage’. That shut them up.

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  28. I always wonder what makes it right that when the dil lives with them she has to do things their way and when they visit her home she still has to do things their way. So then where is her home? It is indeed sad that the day a woman gets married, she virtually becomes homeless in this kind of a situation.

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    • i have to say in defense of my MIL, when she visits us int he US she follows the rules of my house and when we visit her in india we follow the rules of her house – albeit her cooking and snack making , and child rearing skills are vastly superior compared to my husbands or mine🙂. she’s a closet feminist I think !!!!

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      • That is really so good to hear. Nothing like good understanding between both sides so that there is a healthy relationship maintained and everyone has some peace and is happy.😀

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