“My Mother in law is very patient towards all the doings of the Males in the family.”

Sharing an email. Do you think these are trivial issues?

Hi IHM,

I am educated , well read and independent working woman. We  (I and my husband ) stay in a city A and have an almost normal happy marriage. We visit our in laws during Diwali every year to city B. My Mother in law is very patient towards all the doings of the Males in the family. She keeps on doing all the household work along with extra works like washing all clothes (I mean everything), cooking according  everyone’s taste, extra cooking for people who work for us (we have a shop with few workers) until night 12.30 am (yes I mean it, she sleeps around 2 am and gets up at 6 doing all this) without any complains at all. So when I am with my in laws even I just follow her around and do all the work which she does without any complain as I know that there is no way that situation can every improve. I feel sorry for her and help her as much as possible. She is strictly against using washing machines/maids etc ….!! ( We are in a situation where in we can afford all this plus extra)
So this one incident caused a big turmoil at home. Almost a big fight which resulted in me shedding tears along with my Mother In Law.
 The incident is as follows, my husband was washing his inner wear after taking bath (Which his practice since ages). My mother in law suddenly commented “Men should not wash inner wear after Marriage according to Sampradayam (meaning Traditions)”. I was very angry hearing that and I retorted saying that that’s not correct. If someone was capable of washing inner wears before marriage then he is completely capable of doing so after marriage and I won’t do it. Then my husband being the dutiful son stopped washing his inner-wear and left it on bathroom floor. I was even more angry I felt it all wrong so I said the same thing to my Mother in law, she started saying about some very great sanathan dharma orator saying about this. She said that he (The great Person) said that
a “Man should not washing his inner wear after Marriage as that brings lot of misfortunes to home and family”. I just do not get the logic of it at all. I argued but she didn’t try to understand me at all. I tried explaining her many things, I told her that all this is to oppress woman to make them lowly. I tried a lottttttttt……!!! She didn’t relent at all, she was continuously arguing saying woman is very great she is Laxmi of the home she should do all this. I just couldn’t convince her at all. The fight grew big and bigger and I suddenly reminded her of an incidence in which she had told that its OK to beat a wife then telling her bad words (later she told that it was just an analogy which I failed to understand and she didn’t mean it), which caused even more tiff. I tried a lot by telling her that we women have to ask questions and we should try to follow things which we feel correct not only because some so called great person has said.
I have no anger or hatred towards her (MIL) I just feel very sorry for the sorry state of woman at our home. I am obviously angry with my husband who didn’t take a second to agree to his mom and do as she wishes. (Later on my husband said that suddenly he (on hearing what his Mom said) felt that a woman does washing of clothes better than himself so its better they do the washing of inner wear, in which I am still searching the logic). I am trying to solve this issue with my Husband (who is otherwise very adorable) and I believe that I can convince my husband but I will never be able to convince my MIL
-A worried daughter in law of a traditional family.
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134 thoughts on ““My Mother in law is very patient towards all the doings of the Males in the family.”

  1. Some of my friends have told about similar incidents in the houses of their in-laws. The situation won’t change unless the new age women change it themselves.

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    • You know, I agree with you. Sadly enough, a lot of girls’ parents subscribe to this nonsense as well. We’re repeatedly reminded to “Correct our ways” else how “will you ever survive with your in laws”? I had to firmly insist to my parents to NEVER EVER say “poor thing” if my husband ever cooked or did household chores because I wasn’t put on this earth to slave away all while having this fake sense of gratitude to his highness for accepting me in his life. I will do things out of love, but if you call “sampradayam” on me, you’re treading dangerous waters.

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    • Of course patriarchy couldn’t have survived so long without the connivance of its loyal foot soldiers. This woman who has slaved all her life is praised for her efficient slavery and is accorded personal power over younger men and women, what else could she ask for; unquestioned reverence and obedience.

      That spineless squid just left his wet undies on the floor for the wife to wash. How smart a logic is this- women can wash better than men, as if they were born with this skill. This drama should end here everyone do their own laundry. If the senior lady wants to slave let her have the pleasure but this young woman should do exactly what she truly believes in; if your hand can feed your mouth and your hand can wife your behind then your hand can do anything and everything.

      “Man should not washing his inner wear after Marriage as that brings lot of misfortunes to home and family”.

      What about all those married soldiers on field duty their families might be in dire straits. Attach family endangerment to any act and you can get a following of idiots to tow the line.
      By now everyone knows DG was in intercatse inter religion marriage so there she stood in the MIL’s kitchen rolling chapatis and that evil incarnate of woman tells her she asked someone wise man fron DG’s faith who told her it was bad omen for a woman to scatter flour while she is rolling a chapati. Ask that idiot when did she find time to find a wise man and did that wise man ever roll a chapati to know if it is possible to roll a chapati without scattering a bit of flour.

      It is all power and control saam, daam dand bhed by hook or crook make the other person follow your line of logic or else create so much drama that they buy peace by following what you are saying.

      Young woman you stay strong and tell that foolish woman to kill her self slaving in the name of sampradayam but you stay sane and alive because history is written by those who stay alive.
      Peace,
      Desi Gir

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      • DG I agree keeping women engaged in household work is I think another way of keeping them out of the decision making processes and exercising their mind or free will elsewhere in the house or family.

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      • My mil said to me once .humne kiya hai tum kyu nahi karogi …humne kya aise hi kiya ye sab …. I also didnt like some things but still it is in our and your own respect you should do xyz thing…
        Hence proved : my above statement
        Xyz : tradition of wiping husbands feet with your hairs on marriage day.

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        • Oh my god. Is there actually a tradition of wiping the husband’s feet with your hair on your wedding day? Dear lord, no wonder so many Indian men have such gigantic egos.
          They’re made to think the sun rises after talking permission from Their Highnesses.😉

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  2. You don’t need to convince anybody. Your MIL can live as she likes and wash her husband’s inners all she likes. Just as she refuses to relent, you must also live as you like. YOU cannot be made to agree to her thoughts in your life and wash your husband’s inners. If you and MIL are not agreeing then her view is not automatically above yours. In this case, she can do as she likes and you must do as you like.

    I think you should simply refuse to wash the husband’s inners. Why do you need to convince him about this? If they argue with you about this, just say you don’t agree and you cannot be forced to wash someone else’s undies, it’s a personal choice. HE can leave them on the bathroom floor all he likes. He can throw them out after every use and buy a new one. Whatever. His inners are not your problem. You don’t need to convince them. You don’t need their permission for not washing someone else’s inners. You simply don’t wash it. Ever. Let him run out of innewear.

    As far as your MIL’s status in the house, it’s her choice and she seems too conditioned for your logic to make sense to her. I would leave her be. BUT her choice cannot be a rule for you. Don’t follow her around doing the work, don’t let her set rules for whose underwear you wash. You do what you feel is right. She chooses to do this work, without machines and maids. The men don’t feel the need to help her. You shouldn’t either. Her work and thoughts are not automatically to be inherited by you.

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    • “a woman does washing of clothes better than himself so its better they do the washing of inner wear”

      Then he needs to hear that he cannot decide what work someone else does. That is slavery. I mean should the whole building give you their inners to wash because you’re supposedly good at it? Tell him if he’s so bad at washing inners, he should learn to do it better. Not pass them on to you.

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    • “you cannot be forced to wash someone else’s undies, it’s a personal choice. HE can leave them on the bathroom floor all he likes. He can throw them out after every use and buy a new one. Whatever. His inners are not your problem.”…lol…:)….a big thumbs up….

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    • “Her work and thoughts are not automatically to be inherited by you.”

      This is a perfect summation of what goes on in Indian homes. Younger women ‘inherit’ the work of the older women- partly rising up to meet expectations, and partly out of a genuine desire to help.
      The only solution is for younger women to think for themselves, set boundaries and stop this inevitable transfer of the responsibility of ‘looking after’ fully grown adult men.

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    • So well said, why is the LW even arguing or trying to reason about such insanely absurd bullshit demands? Just say NO and refuse to do it, plain and simple. What would happen? He will eventually run out of under garments, go buy new ones or go without them or get off his ass and wash them or ask his mommy to do it. He is a fully functioning adult, his undies his choice, she must absolutely stay out of it. He can do whatever he wants, as a wife she is an equal partner in marriage, not an expert undie washer.

      Seriously given this ridiculous drama, I would refuse to go vist the in-laws for diwali. Isn’t this your vacation time away from work to enjoy festive time? Why the hell ruin it on undie washing arguments, goodness. Go stay in a hotel next time or take your own vacation where you can actually relax and unwind, your husband can visit his “male-pleasing slave mommy” and get pampered. IMHO, I would pay for room service, massage, bottle of wine and have an infinitely better time even if I spend it alone watching TV or reading a book in a hotel room than deal with this shit.

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  3. I’m sorry, but a husband who agrees with his mom about his wife washing his inners is not “adorable” to me. And what’s this business of you following her around while she bears the whole world on her shoulders? She chose to do it and you should have the choice to not do it.

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    • I agree. What is this unspoken understanding to follow the MIL around and adopt her ways? It looks like the LW’s intention was to be helpful. But this nice intention is now being get her to follow everything that the MIL does extending to inane things like washing your husband’s underwear! And obviously the husband is really quick to follow his mom. Less work for him!

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  4. Its strange how professional dhobis and cooks are male..is it so that woman are better at cooking and washing only when it is inside the four walls of her in law’s house? And when for doing the same things for earning cash, men suddenly develop better skills?

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    • Brilliant question. I think what the LWs husband means is this “women are better at doing these things when they’re not for cash”. This may also be rephrased as “Women are better conditioned by our society to be slave-like”. So sad.

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      • Exactly! Thumbs up ladies!

        it’s like someone has appointed women to do all the free and unappreciated labor without complaining..
        the moment appreciation and money are involved we are not good enough for the job!

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    • Yes, that is how feminisation of professions is created. Call center work was done by women in the US, once outsourced it was picked up by men in the developing countries and and it became the most coveted job. Once it was realized it was a dead end job it was relegated to women and now majority of call center workers are women in these countries.
      DG

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    • I’ve seen this pattern before : notice that women “traditionally” are considered responsible for pujas/culture and sanskriti in the home, but doing this outside the home, in a relative position of power, say as a priest or a son doing the last rites are off-limits for women. Same for “chefs” (although this is changing now) – women cook at home, but the famous chefs in big hotels – they are men. “Women’s work” is suddenly OK for men when it pays/accords power – and then women could even be disbarred from that activity – like for female priests.

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  5. You tried to explain to her, it didnt work, If she finds pleasure and joy in washing someone’s underwear, then so be it. It’s her house, her life and her happiness.
    if you dont want to you shouldnt. I’m sure your husband will act like an adult when he realises he has no clean underwear…
    trust me works every time…

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  6. Your husband’s underwear is not your problem. If he throws them on the bathroom floor, let him. Just ignore it. When he does not get clean underwear, he will come to his senses. Also, if he argues, ask him if he expects you to clean his backside after toilet next. And buy him a packet of Pampers since he is obviously so incapable of taking care of his toilet business by himself.

    Ignore the MIL, she is obviously trained to be a zombie slave, and she knows nothing different. It’s probably too late for her to change and you are only wasting time and energy arguing with her. Just say a simple ‘no’ and continue with whatever you are doing. Also, I agree with Carvaka. You don’t need to help her just because she has chosen to take over all the work. I NEVER offer to help in households where the men don’t seem to do any work. Otherwise, I always do because it’s only decent as a guest. You can just adopt that as a rule.

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    • ” I NEVER offer to help in households where the men don’t seem to do any work.” Brilliant. Fem, I find your stances to always have most impeccable logic.

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      • Thanks. I am just very aware when I am being treated as a lesser person because of my gender and I always refuse to accept it. You don’t need to fight and argue and make a scene. Just nod along and calmly refuse to be disrespected. I guess it works with me because I don’t dislike confrontations if they are forced upon me and I can hold my own. Most people know that so they don’t really mess with me.

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  7. “Man should not washing his inner wear after Marriage as that brings lot of misfortunes to home and family”. I just do not get the logic of it at all.

    There is no logic to get in this kind of thinking. Because there isn’t any, at all. It’s like the people in the US who advocate for schools to teach ‘Intelligent Design’ in place of Evolution. If you’re going to argue with someone like this, you best use the same kind of reasoning—I e ‘a great person told me that a man should wash his own underwear or else he’ll become impotent.’ Problem solved.

    On a more serious note, if you only visit her for a few days/year, then I’d say ignore her idiosyncrasies. Your husband can accommodate by packing tons of extra underwear, packing it all up, and doing laundry back home when you guys return to your place. If that’s too gross then he’ll just have to sneak in the bathroom and wash his underwear when his mom’s busy (and by the sound of things, the woman seems to be in the kitchen all the time so that shouldn’t be too hard).

    This part about your husband bothers me “he … felt that a woman does washing of clothes better than himself so its better they do the washing of inner wear.”

    It looks like your husband’s suddenly decided that his mother is the bastion of logic and it’s your duty to wash his underwear because you’re better at washing stuff than he is. That’s a douche bag move. I’d advice with nipping this kind of behaviour in the bud by telling him that even if you were the best underwear washer in the world, he would still have to wash his own underwear.

    PS—when you wrote inner wear you meant underwear right? Otherwise, I’m kinda confused. What is inner wear?

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    • ‘a great person told me that a man should wash his own underwear or else he’ll become impotent.’ Problem solved.

      Lol. Yes. There is a dearth of such *wisdom* in our society!😉😛

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    • Kay, it’s a rarity to find a man, even in this day and age, who can stand up to justice. I would say it’s actually impossible to find a man who can try and resolve a conflict without hurting either party involved.

      I think the family welcoming the new bride should actually indulge in a matured discussion about the changes they need to make in their lifestyle in order to make the new family member’s life easy. My brother, me and dad went by the strict rules set by my mother all our life but when my SIL was about to be a part of our home, we actually spoke to our mum about how uncomfortable we already were with her rules (but then we had to go by her rules out of love with little complaining). My mum was told that she cannot expect a new person to go through the same, she would suffocate just like we did. I see this discussion as an important ritual in comparison to the “all talk, no practice” kind of wedding rituals.

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      • Does a bride need to enter the husband’s family? It’s a much better idea for husband and wife to have a home of their home and make up new rules according to their comfort than make it necessary for the woman to leave her home and go to her husband’s home. The very idea that ONLY the woman is going to make the major change is WRONG.

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        • Oh I forgot to mention they live in thier own house. But the
          DIL needs to pay visits occasionally right, we want those visits to be a happy experience, we need love for each other not control over each other.

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      • You say rarity, I say excuse. The minute anyone says something like ‘it’s a rarity to find a man, even in this day and age, who can stand up to justice’ you give all men an excuse to be entitled jerks. That’s like saying ‘it’s a rarity for illiterate people to want to change, so therefore, we shouldn’t open public schools.’

        Why does any ‘party’ here have to be hurt? All it takes is to say ‘sure mom, I agree’ while doing the exact opposite.

        “indulge in a matured discussion about the changes they need to make in their lifestyle”

        Can you have a mature discussion with someone who argues that the world is flat and not round? I sure as hell can’t. Neither, it seems, can the letter writer.

        There’s no way an old, possibly illiterate and senile woman is going to change her lifestyle. It’s up to the LW and her husband to work around these issues. Going by the letter, the husband does not seem interested in treating his wife as an equal.

        In my view, the conflict over here isn’t between the MIL and the LW, it’s between the LW and her husband.

        “we need love for each other not control over each other.”

        And in which way do you think the LW is trying to control her senile MIL?

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        • Bingo. Like you said in a previous comment, the husband’s made a douchebag move because he knows that the wife is outnumbered and outgunned.
          What a sneaky thing to do but not surprising at all, given the kind of female role model this man has had.

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      • No need to find such a man, we just need stand up for ourselves. I don’t care if my husband agrees, I will not change my name. Simple as. If basic personal decisions bring on abuse then there are bigger control issues and the sooner those are addressed the better.

        I think it’s great you had this chat with your mum. However, I don’t think we should see marriage as the bride ‘joining’ the groom’s family.. because the other end of that is bride’s own family thinking she is leaving theirs. That’s not fair. I see marriage as two people coming together and both their families becoming their extended family. There cannot be any more expectations from the bride than the groom. I won’t fulfil any expectations that my husband doesn’t have to.

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        • Exactly my point. It’s two people getting married. If the mother wants the son and daughter in law to visit and have a pleasant time, she can behave herself, otherwise forget it. Also, I feel that ‘love’ is no reason to take abuse from anyone, and the family members seem to have encouraged their mother’s weird control issues instead of putting a stop to it right at the start.

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  8. A mother has no business talking about how or who washes her son’s undies. Really, the very idea! It is up to the man and his wife to solve this problem. And I so agree with what Carvaka has said above.

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    • //“Man should not washing his inner wear after Marriage as that brings lot of misfortunes to home and family”//

      This is another of those to scare women into doing the washing, nothing more, nothing less. So easy to make them toe the line citing misfortunes to home and family!

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      • I’m REALLY curious as to what those horrifying misfortunes are. I’m not even kidding. I really want to know. I could use another laugh today.

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      • These isiotic creatures work over time to invent these logics. Like the one DG mentioned above about rolling chapati without scattering flour. At time it feels they really spend spare time inventing these things and then spewing them at an opportune moments. If these women had a chance of making a life outside the four walls they’d have patched the skies, “aasaman mein paidand lagati.”
        DG

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  9. Like everyone said, no use trying to change them. My MIL tried her luck at this when she heard we have washers and dryers in our apartments here and we wash everything there. She hinted that the undies can be washed with hand blah, then left it saying you are a working girl, you might not know how to etc. I calmed my mind, ignored her and changed topics.

    Hell, my Dad is 50 year old and still washes his own chaddis.

    Anyway, I tell myself I have no energy to change her thinking, I’ll just keep mine fine.

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  10. This reads more like a RK (or is it KR? I always get confused between the two) Narayan worthy satire than a real-life incident.

    Tell him you’ll wash his underwear for him if and only if he’ll hand wash your bras for you. No fair otherwise.

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    • In some families, displays of motherly/wifely love revolve around treating the son/husband as if he were a fragile, infantile being who cannot perform basic adult chores like washing and folding clothes.

      I’ve always wondered how such babying affects an Indian man’s construction of masculinity.

      At least Western culture recognises that the apron strings have to be cut at SOME time, Indian mothers baby their sons even when they’re on the wrong side of 40

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    • I know right? I’m really tempted as to the horrible things that will happen to the family if men keep washing their own underwear. I’m pretty sure there will be some non-existent correlation between that, a woman’s period, the number of sons she can produce, and how round her chappathis are.

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  11. This is ridiculous! Reminds me if the time we moved into our inlaws place for a month before leaving for studies abroad. My mother in law told me how to arrange my husbands underwear in his cupboard (he had been living by himself for 5 years mind you). I was so surprised, I did not know how to react! I burst out laughing after she left the room. Fortunately good sense prevailed and my husband never expected that of me. Poor rhing, he apologized after I was done laughing, and probably talked to his mother as she never came back to me with such brilliant advice.

    In case of the LW, I agree with the other commenters that she should just let her husbands underwear be and let him figure out what to do with it.

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    • So sweet of your husband.

      This reminds me of my ex MIL’s visit to my home setup by my parents in Pune. It was only the first hour she spent in my home and she asked me this question “What did your parents bring you from Hyd?” I said “Nothing, as we could not carry anything, they bought everything here” (She was sat on the chair bought by my parents). She replied “In our side, if the girl doesn’t get anything from her parents home, that sounds very cheap” (She used his word after taking a lot of bargained dowry)…I was really hurt by her usage of the word CHEAP. I never showed my hurt to her, but when my husband came back home, I mentioned this to him (Mind you, I was warned a lot by my thaayi ji that I should not go about discussing every little problem with neither my husband nor my parents, perfect recipe for depression hehe). He said you should not bother with her words as she is not educated and also don’t complain about every little thing. I couldn’t believe they were competing in hurting me.

      That showed me my family-in-law’s understanding of the word CHEAP. Unfortunately, I had a different understanding of this word, that’s why I divorced that family.

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      • Yes, but why are you expecting anything good from a person who is taking dowry? Did you really expect to be treated as a human being after giving dowry? Partly, it’s your own mistake, imo. No one with self respect would give dowry to get married, and anyone who does so WILL be looked down upon because they did not respect themselves. It’s human nature.

        Excellent job in divorcing the man.🙂

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  12. I happily wash my husband’s inners just like he has no qualms washing mine. We both do laundry and we have together washed tons of dirty inners that belong to our daughter. Even if laundry was exclusively my responsibility, I would still have no issues washing my husband’s inners.

    What bugs me is the “you should do this because – WOMAN” logic. And how the husband is literally dropping whatever he has been doing for a presumably long time without any unwanted side effects just because mommy said so. How he has no hesitation throwing his wife under the bus, that too for totally inappropriate and ridiculous reasons.

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  13. LW, I have heard loads of cockamamy BS stories in my short life time. But this has to take the cake. Never, in my entire life, has anyone made the stunning correlation between men washing their underwear and the good of the home. Someone needs to do a study on this stat, because I feel like this would be something very interesting along the lines of how tornadoes are solely attracted to trailer parks.

    Now, with that being said. Your MIL is a lost cause. I’m sorry, but it’s true. It’s how she was raised, and how she has lived her entire life. People may say that it’s never too late to change your life, but for people like her, they are accustomed to living how they live, and they see nothing wrong with it. My solution for this is to just forget about it. Live and let live. If she’s going to be a workhorse like this, it’s entirely her prerogative at this point, and there’s no trying to change her or her views.

    However, as for you. You are an entirely different matter. If you do not agree with what she does, why, for the love of boxer shorts, do you go along with doing all the work in her house? Don’t. Don’t do it. You don’t agree with her views, so stop following them. She cannot coerce you into working like this. If your MIL wants to do it, all on her own, there is no stopping her. But do not join in to this dance. What you’re going to do is set a precedent for yourself, which you’ll later have to fill when your MIL passes away, which is that of the family work horse. Make it clear that you will do only the duties that you want to do, and nothing more, and if anybody else wants their work done, they will have to do it themselves.

    As for your husband and his underwear, I’m going to give the same advice. Don’t wash them. Just don’t. Let them pile up in his laundry. Let him to go work commando one day. I promise, the chafing alone will make him come to his senses. Necessity is the mother of invention after all, and after a week or so, he’ll be forced to wash his own damn underwear. Your husband has two functional hands, and sufficient brain capacity to know how to use a bar of soap and a tap. Whatever the circumstances, do NOT wash his underwear for him. Don’t enable his thinking, no matter what he says or how much he whines.

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    • Haha. Imagine the husband telling his doctor about the chafing. “Waah. My told me not to wash my undies and my wife won’t wash them for me.” Pout, pout, sob, sob!

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  14. the women in question is doing all this because she wants to have a nice family with indian traditions. her arguments with MIL shows that there are troubles in all families but she love her and will resolve her problem herself.
    there is always a difference between women who break family and who make family.

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    • “the women in question is doing all this because she wants to have a nice family with indian traditions”

      And what is the family doing to make her feel loved and happy snd respected?

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    • What do you mean by that comment? Washing the men’s underwear is tradition? What happens in households where thee are servants for washing? My 70 yr old grandfather washes his underwear himself every single day, he also washes my grandmom’s clothes if required! That doesn’t mean my grandparents aren’t traditional, they are practical too.

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    • I didn’t realize that asking people to utilize the tools evolution has given them in order to be self-sufficient was “breaking the family”. I didn’t realize that learning how to take care of yourself by taking care of your clothes and undergarments was something that would tear the household in two. Good lord. I’ll go tell my father, uncle, and grandfather to stop putting to good use all their talents in picking out laundry detergent immediately! Clearly, our healthy, happy, wonderfully traditional family is going to the dogs, just because they have the decency to pull their own weight and be a part of the team to make sure that everyone is happy! No no no, we need to get them to start sitting around, waiting for the women to be at their beck and call all day.

      Forget that my grandmother has arthritis and is pushing 78 and can’t do all the housework! It is her duty, damnit, as a traditional woman to wash her son’s clothes. Forget that my other grandmother has been in and out of hospitals, and my grandfather out of love for her, washes his own clothes to lighten her household load. NO. Clearly, all the women in our family must suffer through their follies and stop complaining and remain unhappy and miserable. For the sake of the family. I mean, forget that THEY too are also part of the family, and that their unhappiness is also capable of tearing apart homes. Nope. They must swallow it all and suffer in silence for the glory of men and their boxer shorts.

      /sarcasm

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    • Since when is washing husband’s underwear tradition in India?o_O All men in my family have washed their own underwear, this including my great grandfather, even when he was 90 years old! And he was as traditional as you can possibly get. So kindly don’t be silly.

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    • Dear God Of Tradition,
      Please enlighten us on how women who wash undies make the family.
      Yours sincerely,
      Woman-with-husband-who-knows-how-to-wash-his-undies-and-backside

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    • Eh, so women who don’t wash their husband’s underwear break families? Indian traditions = washing men’s underwear? Hahahahaha.. can you please point our which veda says that?

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    • A male,
      I’m convinced you operate from different accounts to up vote your own comments.
      The content of your comments, on the other hand, I will refrain from acknowledging their gyan lest it spurs you on further.
      Thank you.

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    • @ A male,

      Thank you for your amazing wisdom. You should be a marriage counselor! The way to ‘make’ (and not ‘break’) a happy marriage is to make sure to wash your husband’s underwear – listen up all newly married ladies!
      We would be indebted to you if you could also recommend the washing powder brand that ensures maximum marital happiness and is in keeping with this precious tradition. Lol!

      Like

    • Why is it that the power of breaking families lies exclusively with women? That women alone have to work hard at maintaining friendly relations with everyone concerned while the male counterparts just sit and scratch their behinds?

      I understand everyone’s desire to have a “nice family”, but why on earthy should anyone bend over backwards to have nice family + indian traditions? Especially at the cost of one’s self respect and sanity. I can understand the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you talk about stuff you have grown up with or something that your family did as a tradition, but are such traditions more important than giving someone the respect they deserve as a member of your family?

      When your mom or dad are unreasonable with your spouse, it is YOUR responsibility to step in and deal with the issue. Because YOU are the reason they even interact with each other and know each other. So in effect, it is YOU, the guy, who is breaking families by not setting clear boundaries. Not the wife.

      Like

      • Sensible comments, Clueless, but I doubt said tradition-upholder is interested in thinking it through. for these men, its basically, “mommy knows best, don’t fight with my mommy” that matters.

        Like

      • “Because YOU are the reason they even interact with each other and know each other.”

        False. The parents are the reason a husband and wife get married in India. So this doesn’t apply in most cases.

        Like

  15. One evening after about 3 weeks of marriage, I was chatting with my MIL standing in the porch, when my husband went out to put his washed undies on the clothes line. The conversation that followed was :
    MIL (proudly) : I taught my boys to wash their own undies and they have been doing it themselves since their school days.
    I (confused) : I too wash my own undies!
    MIL: Arey that we women do but men don’t do that no. You are lucky you don’t have to wash my son’ undies. I brought him up that way.
    I:But my dad and bro wash their own undies and I never thought there was anything special about it.
    MIL: You mean you don’t know that Men are not supposed to wash their undies and wife should do that for her husband ?
    I: OMG ! who makes such rules?
    MIL: That’s how it has been for ages. Don’t you worry, you don’t have to do it. Even your FIL washed his own undies. Only recently I have started doing it, because I thought he was not doing it well.
    Husband hearing this talk : You people don’t have anything better to talk than about my and father’s undies. No one in the whole wide world can wash my undies better than me.
    MIL: Oh if you have become so pro in washing undies, wash your wife’s undies also (winking at me)…. (The conversation was interrupted by a phone call and never came up again)

    Like

    • How women take pride in making efficient/super wives out of daughters and making barely get by sons who can take care of their basic needs is amazing in this culture.
      I have heard so many women say that they raised their sons to be able to take care of their basic needs so that their DIL don’t suffer like they did. Their favorite quote is, ” or else the DIL will say the old woman didn’t teach her son anything…” It is not out of need to teach a basic skills to all their children women teach male children to take care of themselves as a favor to their prospective spouses and patting their backs for this egotistical act. What a shame.

      Men are taking women for ride in this culture because women are letting them to.
      DG

      Like

  16. ““Men should not wash inner wear after Marriage according to Sampradayam (meaning Traditions)”.
    I never heard such Sampradayam .. anyway, save some money and buy a washing machine..
    Thats what i did as i hate washing cloths with hand..It reduces a lot of work..

    Like

  17. It is sad, but I doubt she will change at that age. I’m sure she is very stubborn, right?
    I wonder, what would she do for herself if she didn’t have to fill her day with all those chores. Just imagine what kind of interests she’d have…! It seems as though the whole ‘self’ is built on serving others. Sooner or later it’s really going to catch up with her regarding her health.
    It is common among women of that conservative generation, like my own MIL, to have this slave-like mentality, thanks to the ever-imprisoning patriarchal mindset that is deeply ingrained in both men and women.
    To me, it is very weird. I encourage my MIL to do things for herself – sometimes she adamantly refuses, because she wants to suffer/not feel good; other times she opens up and has a wonderful time. But then she gets scared and says if she’s enjoying herself too much that “everyone will tease her for becoming too Westernized”. Isn’t that terrible…but what to do.

    Like

  18. Omigod, i have never heard this kind of an argument but I am well aware, it is way too common in traditional households. Other people before be have put it excellently.

    – You can’t change your MIL
    – Don’t bother trying to argue with her. Drop the topic. Let her do what she wants, you do what we want.
    -Stop doing things with her all the time.
    – Your husband does not seem adorable to me, if he can fall for stupid rules set by his mom & not support you.
    – Don’t wash his underwear. Uski chaddi, uska kaam.
    – Refuse to stay with your inlaws. Go to your parents house, let ur husband go to his. If you need to meet them up, stay in a hotel. Just don’t stay with such people.

    As much as we try to avoid confrontation, when people fight for such things, it is better to avoid these people. Then, there will be fights because we are avoiding them. You & your husband should form a team. If he cannot stand up for you, you need to relook at your marriage. Just don’t give up your freedom for your in laws happiness. They are in charge of their happiness. Not you.

    BTW, do these kind of people come under the statistics for slavery in India? Apparently, we hae the world’s highest population of slaves.

    Like

  19. This is essentially a manifestation of a toxic culture of expectations closely linked with outdated ideas of division of labour. She(MIL) slogs in the household and expect the DIL to do the same. Meanwhile she might expect the outdoorsy things to be taken care of by the men of the house. Perhaps she has rendered herself totally useless when it comes to doing things other than household jobs and derives her sense of purpose in life by living the way she does. In Industrial terms, she is a specialized operator with a narrow set of skills. Washing machines are capable of putting her out of the job she recruited herself for(or her MIL did).Perhaps this perceived fear of obsolescence is what makes her detest washing machines !

    Gender roles are obsolete. People need to have a diverse set of skills. Washing undies certainly is not a gender specific jobs (in this case this is a personal responsibility but the gender-independence of the capabilities of doing things always holds good ,e.g. when it comes to shared responsibilities).

    P.S. : We don’t need no undie-washer,
    We don’t need no correlated well-being
    Hey !! undie-washer!
    Leave them undies alone🙂

    Like

    • Muahahahaha….
      “P.S. : We don’t need no undie-washer,
      We don’t need no correlated well-being
      Hey !! undie-washer!
      Leave them undies alone ”

      Hahahahahahahha…laughing like a maniac here…whew!

      Like

  20. I don’t understand why do you guys always have to visit your inlaws for diwali? Why don’t you visit your parents too alternatively or wouldn’t you sometimes like to celebrate on your own? maybe invite friends over.

    Its not your job to change her thinking. She cant physically force you to wash undies. Just dont it. No explanation required. A simple ‘ I will not do it’ has to do. you don’t owe any explanation to anybody. And no need to feel sorry for her being a work horse because she ‘chooses’ to be exactly that. You too can ‘choose’ to be yourself and not ‘her’. I am sorry but you are in denial about your husband. Anybody who makes such sexist remarks that too because he gets a pat from mama is not adorable.

    Like

    • Because his childhood home is “her home” now per our fabulous Indian tradition. So all Diwalis must be spent there. I’m sure her “adorable” husband never forces this beautiful tradition upon her. Makes me want to shake my head and ask people what the hell they’re thinking.

      Like

  21. Undies remind me of something my MIL mentioned. She said her son’s undies are getting old and that I better take care of it because she is the mother and cant be looking after her son’s undies. Well does it ever occur to her that its not even me who should be looking after his undies, but the son himself. When we had just got married he left his towel in the room. I didnt pick it up. She came to the room and told me the room is smelling because ‘I’ didnt pick up ‘his ‘towel. I asked her,’ doesnt he ever pick up his own towel? Sad i’ll have to teach him that too.’ She got super pissed at that.

    Like

  22. so the husband’s logic now is that women are just better at washing underwear?!

    hahaha! I cannot even… mannnn!

    And this is only an issue when you visit your in laws I presume? Cos you said you are more than capable of getting a washing machine? I don’t see this as much of a problem (for YOU anyway). Just don’t wash his underwear or anything else. Tell him to wash it in the machine when he goes back home.

    And as for following your MIL around slaving around like she does, WHY

    Like

  23. okay,,, comment got posted before I was done! I meant to ask…

    WHY do you feel compelled to follow your MIL around the house and slave around like she does? Her son does not feel that way, neither does anyone else in this household. Why you then? Why do you feel compelled to behave like a slave just cos you’re a woman?

    Like

  24. Seriously girl! Leave the effing underwear on the floor for days if you have to. Let him grow a pair and wash it eventually when he needs a clean pair of boxer shorts.
    And when it gets to a point where it’s lying there and he isn’t cleaning it, just throw them away.
    It is YOUR life with him. When he left city B to make a life with you, he should have closed the Mom chapter.

    Like

  25. Sometimes I feel like women need to invent their own set of ‘sampradayam’ rules and blatantly use them with people like the LW’s MIL, who are not capable of understanding logic, are too conditioned to change and refuse to accept the idea of self reliant men who do their own chores as well as chores for their own family. Something to the effect of ‘this swami I know, said that if a woman washes anyone else’s underwear, it will bring misfortune to the entire family’.

    Like

  26. I’m sorry but it is disgusting to even imagine washing someone else’s underwear (who is healthy and abs. capable of doing it on their own) that too by hand. And wtf is this leaving undies on bathroom floor business??
    What kind of a person expects others to touch their used undies? Certainly not adorable in any way imaginable. I am appalled at your husband more than anyone else.

    Like

  27. FROM THE EMAIL WRITER:

    Thank you so much IHM…..!!!!

    All this comments have really boosted my Morale to a great extent but still the shackles are very strong around me.I have to try and keep trying all my life to at least set things right in my Home for my future kids to have a healthy environment devoid of all this nonsensical arguments and so called traditions.

    I tried a lot by being very sweet yet firm to set things right but I think the things will never be right here but I can at least think of a better future ahead.

    As far as not doing the household work that would not work out currently (because of n reasons which will just make the environment of home even more difficult) but I will try my best to instill some sense at my own home.

    I did not get any logic by the comment from ‘A Male’ there is no question of breaking or making a home by any woman its the whole family which makes a house worth living. I am sorry if I sound rude.

    I am so sorry for all the mistakes in my previous mail as that was written when I could extract 5-10 mins of Computer time ….!!

    Thanks for giving me hope.

    Like

    • Dear Email Writer

      Please note most I mean more than 99.99 percent of the commenters have been thru similar stuff and most of us have broken the shackles .Now we cannot save our images anyways in that world who anyways keeps a low image of us.So dont worry stop tge nonsense now as it will be tougher with time and kids but certainly not impossible .Best of Sane HardWork.bye Fib

      Like

    • Washing your husband’s undies is not household work. You are scared of not doing stuff as that will ‘disturb the peace’ but they are not scared of asking you to do irrational stuff to avoid ‘disturbing peace’. What kind of peace is it? It surely doesn’t exist for you. Why do you maintain it for others when you have none?

      This is usually a game of who blinks first. I would still say, just don’t do think that are not right for you. If there is initial drama, ignore it. Nothing will happen. They will eventually understand that they can’t walk all over you and back off. The shackles are your own fear to stand up for yourself, nothing else. You don’t need to convince others to set things right, just act as per your conviction in your own life.

      Like

      • When people make you do things at the threat of mental/ physical violence and ‘peace disturbance’, it’s called bullying. The more you give in to bullies, the more you get bullied. Seriously, YOU be the peace disturber if you are being asked to do irrational things, let THEM worry about peace disturbance.

        Also, if your husband disturbs peace when asked to do his share of housework/ chaddi washing, there is nothing adorable about him.

        Like

    • Being sweet yet firm does not work with most Indians, especially if they are in a position of authority, like bosses or in laws or parents. Be direct, be blunt, be stubborn. That’s the only way they’ll get the message. If you try being sweet, they’ll take it as a weakness. You might get a bad name in the family by being blunt, but you’ll gain peace of mind.

      Like

  28. “Then my husband being the dutiful son stopped washing his inner-wear and left it on bathroom floor. ” This is the most decisive aspect of the whole narrative. There was a choice available to Husband who could have make change in tradition at home… but it was wasted😦

    Like

  29. This could easily mushroom in an unpleasant family situation because she lives with her in-laws.

    I don’t see this getting any better until the couple move out and have their own home.

    Like

  30. My husband keeps washing his underwear after his shower, even though we have a washing machine… I find it annoying but now I know I shouldn’t say anything… By the way our pressure cooker exploded on our 3rd wedding anniversary day, is this a bad omen ?🙂

    In your case dear LW, I noticed your MIL said married men shouldn’t wash their undies but she didn’t say THE WIFE had to do it. Why not say “is that a fact ?” and hand your MIL the half washed undies with a sweet smile ?🙂

    Like

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