Not touching feet after a year of marriage is disrespect to MIL?

Display of respect for those who are considered higher in social and family hierarchy is a part of Indian culture.

The members who are lower in social and family hierarchy (also the less powerful) are required to display respect. 

Obedience, isolation, faith, tradition, guilt, emotional blackmail etc are used to enforce the display. 

A missing display could be a challenge. If not immediately controlled, it could embolden the rebel enough to question the inequality.

Which is why neglecting to touch feet of those who are entitled to have their feet touched is often taken very seriously. 

Patriarchy can’t survive without controlling the lowest in the social hierarchy.

Touching feet can also be used by non-believers, to falsely convey that they believe in Patriarchal Hierarchies of Respect. 

Would you consider the issues in this email trivial? What advice would you give to the email writer?

Sharing an email. [All emphasis mine.] 

Hello IHM,

Let me tell you that I googled for something on DIL’s (to know if there is something wrong with me or my in-laws) and luckily saw your blog and read a lot of stories of Indian DILs. I loved your blog and read the stories to boost up myself whenever I am depressed.

After reading so many stories, I also wanted to share my story after an incident at my in laws. I don’t know it is small or big.

Let me tell you the incident:

I got married last year to a family friend. My in-laws family was known to us. I am the choice of my MIL. She wanted a modern- traditional girl.

It’s almost one and half year after my marriage, and I feel like I have no good quality in me.

There were many taunts on my clothing, cooking etc etc. I kept quiet, never uttered anything. I used to cry in my room at night over such issues.

There were so many things of which I will definitely write to you in detail.

The incident I am talking about is about touching feet.

From the very first day in my new home, I myself touched feet of both my in-laws and said good morning and this is how it used to be every day since then.

My in-laws believe in Radhaswaomi, while my husband doesn’t and neither do I. He has a small mandir in a corner where he used to do his pooja and me too after marriage. It was weird for me to say Radhaswaomi (in which I don’t believe at all). I felt like someone was forcing me and I was not at all prepared to follow this.

I was even asked “subah uthke babaji ki aage matha tek liya karo” (Wake up in the morning and bow your head infront of babaji). I only used to do this for them. I was not connected to this thing and was uncomfortable. But I did this just for the sake of respect to my in-laws.

If they wanted their DIL to be like this, they should have married their son to a girl who believed in “Radhaswomi”.

After few months, on a weekend I forgot to touch their feet as I woke up little late. I literally forgot. She behaved very weird after that in that weekend. In weekdays we used to get up around 6 and face each other in the kitchen  and I always used to touch feet but it was weekend and somehow I forgot. I didn’t know the reason of her weirdness though. On the following weekday when I touched her feet, she said ” Paer na chua kar, Good morning na bol, koi baat nahi, radhaswaomi bol diya kar” (Don’t touch feet, don’t say good morning, it’s alright, say Radhaswami).  I tried doing this also but somehow couldn’t. It was difficult for me still I did with a half-heart. You know it’s very difficult to do such a thing when your heart doesn’t allow you. I am showing respect by touching feet and saying good morning in the morning. Now this they don’t like this, they want me to greet them in the morning as they want.

She complained to my husband about this and said that I am angry with her and that’s why I didn’t touch her feet. And when my husband questioned to me about this, I have no answer as I was not angry with her for any reason and just simply forgot.

Still I touched feet everyday, and whenever by mistake I forgot, she complained to my husband and he used to ask me, “How can you forget this thing?” We used to fight over this single issue (my husband and me) most of the time.

Days passed, with a lot of other things, taunts on other issues. I kept my mouth shut. I used to cry in my room at night. I never uttered a word in front of them, never showed disrespect to them. I shared my grudges with my husband only. He is nice, loving, caring but he can’t say anything to his parents even if they are wrong.

After 10 months of marriage, I had a miscarriage (pregnancy of 1 month) and was asked for one month bedrest for which I stayed with my parents for two weeks and after I came back , my FIL was hospitalised, and etc etc. And I stopped touching their feet somehow, it happened automatically and I never planned or thought of not touching their feet.

After that I completely stopped it thinking it’s been almost a year now, and if I forget any day then she will complain to my husband and we will fight over this single issue again and again. It’s better to leave it now. And I thought I am also a member of the family now.

Though I never forgot to touch feet on any ‘occasion’; or whenever I went to my home for a stay, and when I came back.

Everything was going normal (though other issues were there), after 3-4 months she complained to my husband about this.

He asked me.

I said, “I have stopped doing this now for quite a long time, and you know the reason behind this. I don’t want to start it again.”

Then again after few days, she complained to my husband. Now he fights over this with me, always asks me to wish her in the morning. She said, “If she doesn’t touch feet, then she should say Radhaswomi”.

He again fought with me and then again she complained, He said to his mom then,  “She cant say ‘Radhaswomi’, you cant force her to say that when I also don’t.”

Then they came up with, “Ok then, she can say good morning”.

My concern is, there are 4 members in the family, the 3 don’t wish each other in the morning and why is there a rule for the 4th one? When I used to wish Good morning, then they had a problem with that and because of that I stopped saying “good morning”.

Though I tried for my husband’s sake, one day I came out of my room in the morning and both my in-laws are having morning tea. MIL’s back was towards me, I said Good morning, my FIL responded but she didn’t utter a single word. I felt like a fool. She has ego problem. (my husband agrees with this).

Even after so many things I tried, but nahi hua mujhse (I just can’t do it). I don’t know why but when someone forces me to do something , I can’t.

Now, what she did recently. She called my Husband’s Aunt (who is also known to my family really well). She complained to her that I don’t wish her and said I don’t work at home at all. (which is completely false) That Aunt called my husband and said, “Your mom called me she was really distressed as she (the DIL) doesn’t wish her everyday in the morning and she doesn’t do household work.”

My husband was in office, he just said, “She does house hold stuff. I will talk to her.” But my husband never talked to me about this. He just asked me to wish her in the morning and again a fight over this issue happened. I had my own reasons and I didn’t want to start it now.

It is disgusting to force someone to ask for respect in this way. They can’t see I never misbehaved, I always obeyed them, etc etc.

When I got to know that she discussed this with this Aunt and I went into depression, I cried the whole night. That aunt is also close to me and I had a really good impression on her. And moreover MIL warned me just after marriage not to share any ghar ki koi baat (family affairs) with her as it won’t look good. I always wanted to share my problems with my in-laws with this Aunt but I never did as I had been warned by my MIL. And she insulted me by calling Aunt and complaining about me.

I told my husband that I knew about this but I never told him the name of the person who told me the discussion of MIL and Aunt (that person is very trustworthy and very close to me).

For 3-4 days I was pissed off, I alone know how I spent those days. On the following Sunday, my husband discussed this in front of me and MIL.

She said she never said I didn’t work, koi aag laga raha hai. (somebody is trying to create trouble) I am 100% sure that she said these things to this aunt. Then she said, “ye bhi jaake mere baare me bol de usko, vo jaanti hai main kaisi hu.” etc etc. (She too can go and talk about me to that aunt, she knows how I am.)

Just after this incident they left for a month on a planned trip abroad, to stay with my brother-in-law.

I am really pissed off with all this now and simply just don’t want to stay with them. But I have no other option.

What wrong have I done ?

Thanks,

NM

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71 thoughts on “Not touching feet after a year of marriage is disrespect to MIL?

  1. What is a “modern-traditional woman”, sounds like a complete oxymoron to me.

    “He is nice, loving, caring but he can’t say anything to his parents even if they are wrong.”

    Ah yes, another case of the big bad inlaws but the husband is “loving and wonderful” and if it weren’t for them my life with my husband would be great, story.

    Your husband is not caring and loving. You said you spent the entire night crying, I’m guessing he was in the room. He obviously doesn’t care for your well being. He sees the distress that his parents are causing you and has done nothing to stop it. He is the one in this situation that has the power to put an end to it. Instead he is fighting with you. You say that he can’t say anything to his parents. You are wrong, he can but he wont. Why would he, he’s got male privilege on his side. He’s not being forced to live with strangers and submit to their will and desires.

    Sorry if I’m being mean, but this is a common notion in these emails and it gets frustrating to read them over and over again.

    You need to recognize your problem is with your husband and not your inlaws. Nothing will change until he changes.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Modern traditional bahu ..let me try explaining :):)

      Modern – when it comes to dressing up in salwars , jeans , even skirts
      traditional – cover heads and touches feet

      modern – cooks pastas and cakes , make coctails and snacks , can tell you about vitamins and energy drinks , understands labels and medical terms .

      Traditional – still cooks 3 meals a day and packs the dabba for everyone.

      Modern – Educated , understands finances , has a job .
      traditional – Hands over salary to ILs or husband , Is OK when property is not on her name , doesn’t make financial decisions in spite of contributing. Spends mostly on her family

      SO some one who is modern in the outlook and a doormat at home ..let’s just say an fancy branded doormat ..is the modern -traditional DIL :):)

      Liked by 6 people

      • your explanation of modern-traditional was bang on Lady! That’s exactly what it means, shows your feathers when we want you to and not when you want to.
        All control in other people’s hands.

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      • preetidutta you are spot on. When my sister and husband were going through matchmaking for my niece (who kept resisting and saying she’ll meet someone on her own), this was the most frequent requirement: “modern traditional”. When my sis asked one lady what she meant by this exactly, she replied, “When she goes out with her husband, she must be willing to wear jeans or whatever he likes, but when she comes home, she must change into a saree and blend into the women at home.” My niece replied to her mom, “Ask them to get a Barbie doll and they can play dress up all day.”

        Liked by 1 person

        • Let me add more to this already apt description of a “modern-traditional” bahu. This is not the case only with arranged marriages as there are a lot of men and their families out there who expect such things even in love marriages, because you loved their darling son right, so for the sake of love all this is expected.
          My own ex-bf whom I had to struggle to get rid off exactly wanted this – modern traditional girl, so according to the definition of the term I had to dress as per his moods, so if he wanted to see me in skirts I had to wear them, if in salwar then I had to wear that, so much so he would even tell me if the salwar should be cotton or silk etc.. And all this he would tell me in such a loving manner that the fool that I was believed that he loved me a lot. Then if both of us had to go out his sister who stayed in the other city had to give us permission, but I had to meet him at his beck and call, so much so I had to seek his permission even to go out for a movie with my family because according to him all movies have to be seen with him only but he could got out with his friends.
          These are just some examples for the definition of a modern traditional gf/bahu. Expectations are subject to change according to family, friends, neighbors and the neighbors dog too just like Mutual Funds are subject to market conditions.

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      • Very well said. You explained it really good.
        But who actually want modern-traditional DIL should understand this more clearly.

        First they get really happy for getting an educated, modern, smart, good looking girl.But when she shows her smartness, education,modernisation in her day to day life and work then that causes problem to them.

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        • You can’t blame In laws when your parents most of the time leave you confused . You are equal to your brother as they have allowed you to study but you have to come home and serve dinner while he can hang out with his friends.You might wear saree or salwar once in a year but thats the picture thats shown to your prospective in laws . You are taught to have opinion but only in your girls group .you still shut up and listen to the men of the family . Your younger not so smart brother has a say on financial / investment decisios.Your dad / mom , brothers and neighbours neighbour still decides what you should wear , how many male friends you should have and how much make up you should wear . when you get married , you just change house and with take get new masters … :):)

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      • Lol that’s a good explanation. Haha. Well for me I’m MODERN but have SOME TRADITIONAL aspecst mixed with my modern life. And no, being a doormat and traditional DIL is not one of them.

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    • “You need to recognize your problem is with your husband and not your inlaws. Nothing will change until he changes.”

      Completely and wholeheartedly agree with this.

      LW, you married the man, not his family. So if you refuse to pander to their whims, it’s absolutely understandable. What’s not ok is how your husband decides to “question” you – he needs to grow a spine and deal with his parents. It’s not your job to please them any more than it is your husband’s job to please your parents.

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      • “LW, you married the man, not his family. ”

        So true, but do the husband and his family know that?

        I feel like in marriages where the DIL moves into the family/ancestral home, progressive notions of marriage (like the couple starting their ‘own’ family , and being a unit ‘separate’ from the in-laws) are taken to be forfeited.

        Most women in this day and age WILL chafe at being placed on the lowest rung of an outdated hierarchy. The solution lies in refusing to take your ‘place’ in the system- i.e in moving out. I will wager that even the husband will not really change unless she insists on moving out.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes he can say.. And he even discussed with MIL. But she was very stubborn on this point.I think she took it as an ego and don’t want to ignore it if I don’t wish everyday..After being constantly forced by his mother he asked me to wish every morning for his sake only.. I tried to make him understand that I can’t start it again now.

        He says I am wrong it this point , it is just out of respect. On other matters when his mom was wrong I saw him taking a stand and tried making her understand the situation.

        She is acting very stubborn here.She was the only female in the family with two sons and no daughter. I judged that she was being pampered and has a hold in the house. ( I mean to say everyone listen and does what she says). Being the dominant member of the family, she is unable to accept the fact that why this girl is not doing what she wants or asks. Thats why she was constantly raising this stupid issue again and again, even with extended family.

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    • Yes he can say.. And he even discussed with MIL. But she was very stubborn on this point.I think she took it as an ego and don’t want to ignore it if I don’t wish everyday..After being constantly forced by his mother he asked me to wish every morning for his sake only.. I tried to make him understand that I can’t start it again now.

      He says I am wrong it this point , it is just out of respect. On other matters when his mom was wrong I saw him taking a stand and tried making her understand the situation.

      She is acting very stubborn here.She was the only female in the family with two sons and no daughter. I judged that she was being pampered and has a hold in the house. ( I mean to say everyone listen and does what she says). Being the dominant member of the family, she is unable to accept the fact that why this girl is not doing what she wants or asks. Thats why she was constantly raising this stupid issue again and again, even with extended family.

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      • Only in an Indian joint family can something as simple as wishing someone a good morning become a hierarchical power struggle for domination.

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    • Loved your response. In each and every mail , “my husband is loving and caring but” is a mandatory line. Nobody realises that there husband are not loving and caring as he is partner of good time only.He is there when everything is rosy but leaves you alone at the moment or even stand against you when a thorn is hurting you. That’s not love basically in our culture we don’t understand the true essence of love which is standing with each other in bad times and respecting boundaries.

      As for suggestion don’t touch feet. If anybody ask the reason give it the same what you have given here that when other 3 member don’t greet each other then why the hell broke when you didn’t greet. Say you are not an outsider and same rule should apply to all. Don’t go on repeating this just say once and be done.

      Don’t cry in front of your husband he will think that you are helpless and cannot handle situation. If you are not happy with his performance as husband then make him loud and clear.

      In Indian marriage husband and wife share everything except mind. So try sharing that.

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  2. “What wrong have I done?”
    You have allowed them to tell you, an adult, what you should and shouldn’t do.
    This is not your fault. We (Indian women) are so deeply conditioned to please our in-laws. There is such tremendous pressure (as IHM pointed out, through the use of disapproval, isolation, guilt, emotional blackmail) to please that even the most assertive women may fumble and do something to keep the peace rather than do what they believe in. But keeping the peace is a trap that soon turns into a prison. Confrontation is hard, no doubt. But there is no other way. Because people who have become used to controlling others will fight hard before giving up that control.
    What you can do to help yourself:
    – first understand that you get to choose how to greet someone
    – you don’t owe anyone an explanation
    – don’t cry all night, they’re not worth it
    – when they ask you why you didn’t touch feet, etc. simply say, “I have decided not to.” and move on to the next task.
    – if they raise their voices or belittle you, tell them you will not engage with them if they behave rudely/meanly, and leave the room.
    – if they keep insulting/harassing/abusing you over this, you need to start discussing with your husband the subject of moving out and living separately.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Simple. Just don’t touch anyone’s feet any more. Let them stew. They will come to terms over time. Make it clear to your husband too that this is not going to happen. Does he touch your parents’ feet every time they meet? If he does not, does it mean he disrespects them? Are they not older than him? Are they not his pil?

    Avoid any kind of conversation with your mil. Don’t greet her if she does not have the courtesy to wish you back. Saying good morning is no great deal, but if the other party is averse to it, then leave it. I used to say good morning to my mil every morning just to lighten the atmosphere in the kitchen when we met there every morning and to start a conversation. Once she told me that it was unnatural for people to wish each other every morning. So I stopped. End of story.

    If things continue like this all the time, try and get your husband to move out to a separate establishment and live in peace. Don’t expect to get the ‘good bahu’ tag. Don’t try to work too hard for it either. It is just not worth the trouble.

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    • You are right. That’s exactly my point it’s very unnatural that you wish good morning or touch feet everymorning. I did this for more than half a year as I felt like a new member, they were new to me. When I felt like I am now a part of the family and they are like my parents and I don’t feel like doing it as now I don’t need to touch feet everymorning to show respect to them. I am their daughter now. There is no need of showing off that I respect them. They took it other way. But I will follow what you said.Because I know even after doing so much for them in the very first year of marriage what I gained is this. I don’t want a good bahu tag now. I wanna be myself.

      Thanks for the response.

      Like

  4. There is no way you can please people who have decided to be offended by whatever you do , and good news is you don’t have to . Your MIL or anyone else for that matter is not worth the constant tension .You cannot begin the day with the thought what i will do today so that she stays sane and I don’t have to fight with my husband at the end of the day .

    I think you need to first talk to husband in their absence and tell him you are not going to touch her feet , start wishing her and FIL morning with a smile . wish and leave even when she doesn’t respond . keep it for few days and whenever she doesn’t respond , complain to your husband. His reactions will tell you if he really cares for you or not.If he doesn’t care about your mental wellbeing , is not impacted by your all night crying , is clearly not able to see stupid demands of his Mother , I think it’s time to reevaluate the relationship. Tell him in clear words that you are uncomfortable and he as a partner is not living up to your expectations .

    Do no indulge MIL in any other aspect , and if things do not improve , consider having a separate house . Your husband doesn’t have to cut ties with his parents , you can move to flat in the next lane or same building . He can go visit them all the time , do not control his time with them , just cut down on your time with them if they are making it difficult for you . And make this clear to your husband and then to them

    If she talks about you to relatives , tell them your part of the story as well . Do not isolate yourself . There is nothing like a gold medalist nice DIL .no one is going to award you anything . Though I am not fan of discussing any personal matters just for gossiping , if your aunt is your support system you shouldn’t cut it because of your toxic MIL.

    May I also advise you to not bring in a baby in this mess. Relationships miraculously do not improve with babies and being stressed is not the right frame of mind to bring a new responsibility in our lives .

    Good luck

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What I feel is the obvious choice in this situation? – Do not give a fuck about what your in laws say or do. They moment you make that choice is the moment you will be free and happy.

    My views in detail:
    – I am also the same. The moment anybody tell me “you must do this, this is tradition/respect etc” is the moment I do not want to do it. I will do it if it feels logical and right, not because I must do it.
    – Do not feel that this is trivial complain. Drop by drop makes an ocean and every single little thing they do leads to subjugation of women and little by little they break women’s will.
    – The problem here is your in laws here are bullying you because they can. Because they are higher in the family hierarchy. You need to make a choice whether you want to be continue being bullied or stand up for yourself.
    – Also, clearly your husband does not support you. You have to explain to him and ask him how he would feel if were treated like that by your parents. Well, maybe your parents should treat him like that just to give him a taste of how it feels.
    – There is clearly double standards because clearly your husband is not being subjected to the same things while you are and I would make it a point to point that out in front of everyone. No brushing it under the carpet.
    – They are humiliating you and making you lose face by complaining to all and sundry how bad you are? I would play the same game. I would also humiliate them in front of guests and relatives. That does not mean yelling or crying, it means making comments and smiling so that you cannot be accused to being disrespectful. Call out their hypocrisy in front of everyone. Call out the double standards they have. Take back your power. They have the power because you are letting them have the power over you.
    – The problem started because you were obedient and conformed and so the expectations grew. I would just have not done it because then they make up their mind – “woh aisi hi hai” and have given up by now. Well, it is not too late, but stop doing any of the things you do not like and no more touching feet, or saying good morning or radheswami or anything. No need of praying to a god or a saint you don’t believe in. They are making a choice to be offended by your non belief but not their son’s. Ultimately it is their choice to get offended. i do not see why people should get offended as long as they are not being insulted or bothered by another person. Anybody asks you, just say I don’t believe in it and don’t want to. You want to do it, you do it.
    – They are doing this because see after every fight and them complaining to your husband, you are back to touching feet, proving to them that they can control you and make you do things by complaining to your husband. Because their tricks work. Don’t make their tricks work. What can they do?
    – I would put my foot down and demand to live separately. If your husband does not agree, you should really be working on your marriage first. If you wanna really go low, start blaming the stress cause by your in laws for “health problems” you have had to everybody who will listen. Potray them as evil.
    – Why the hell are you even talking to your in laws? Pretend they are invisible. Don’t talk to them unless vital and stick to the point.

    I know it is not nice but that is better than being treated poorly. If it is of any comfort, I do not talk to most of my colleague unless it is a work related question which i answer to the point. Not one extra line of chit chat because some of them are horrible to me and start nasty fights. Better be left alone than that. What was the last fight someone had with me in office? A long while ago because I do not entertain non work related talking.

    Do I wish for nicer colleagues? You bet. But ignoring is better than spoiling my mood because jerks and bullies pick up fights with me for no reason. At least I am left in peace because people don’t talk to me.

    – Why are you trying for your husband’s sake? Let him try for his sake. for his parents. See this entitlement is the biggest problem in traditional societies – this entitlement is not only felt by your in laws or your husband but you also feel that they are entitled to your courtesy and obedience because you are married to them. He is your husband. They are your in laws. So you cannot ignore them. You have to put up with them. No they are not entitled to anything from you except basic courtesy and they get it only because they are nice to you. Not because they are older or your in-laws.

    – Imagine your in laws are your office colleagues or college mates. How would you treat someone who treated you like this? You will pander to their whims or do a total ignore and tell them to go to hell? Well do just that.
    – Then she said, “ye bhi jaake mere baare me bol de usko, vo jaanti hai main kaisi hu.” – Say thank you MIL for your suggestion and advice and do just that – go tell that aunt everything! If they complain, tell them you followed their advice with all due respect and did what they told you to.

    Please be aware that doing all this might lead to you being called a bad bahu and whatnot but like I say better be a happy girl than a good girl.

    Like

  6. It’s a system of control to get you under her thumb. I like to say “good morning” to people. But that’s because I genuinely want to wish people a good morning.

    Also respect should be earned, not be automatic. Insults aren’t going to foster respect among people hence the LW shutting down.

    You are right that if you don’t feel it in you, why do it? I’m not married though (although considering it). I don’t really touch anyone’s feet except maybe at weddings and festivals.

    “Modern traditional girl”..utter tripe.

    (First time poster btw. Yeah I have all the “modern” views, UK raised but I can cook the AP dishes though🙂 )

    Like

  7. MIL picked you of all women coz’ she wanted a confused person to manipulate and control.
    “I am the choice of my MIL. She wanted a modern- traditional girl.”

    This is biggest desi BS modern yet traditional; modernity is about reason and tradition is about forsaking reason and following a set way just because it is the way it is…
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/desi-parenting-raising-confused-daughters/

    It is a psychological warfare your MIL is waging against you. She has all the time and you don’t so pick and choose your battles.
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2009/11/28/desi-in-laws-wedging-a-psychological-warfare-against-bahus/

    Here is the truth about Ghar ki Baat https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/633/

    Next time if you have an out and out fight just ask her who called your aunt to complain?

    Here are two cents on your squid with uncut umbilical chord
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/desi-parenting-raising-devoted-sons/
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/desi-sons-victims-of-their-mothers/

    Work on your primary relationship even after a year you guys are fighting about the same issue you need some tools
    Learn to say NO

    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/assertiveness-learn-to-say-no/
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/feeling-and-expressing-your-emotions/
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/your-rights-in-a-relationship/
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/emotional-abuse/
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/dealing-with-in-laws/

    If nothing works then this
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/couples-counseling-faq/

    Good luck cruising desi marriage…
    Peace,
    Desi Girl

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Everyone above have covered all that I had in mind. I only wish to insist that you are a grown adult. So take a stand and be confident about your decision making. Nobody deserves to be bullied or treated any less just because you are a bahu/woman/DIL etc. You are an individual first. So first steps, talk to your husband and cut all double standards. You mentioned your husband does not believe in it so why should only you be expected? If they don’t treat you right, you have no reason to stay with them. Talk to your husband and try to move away even if that means to a less comfortable place etc. My opinion is do not get into family politics by acting the same as your MIL (like talking to family members about her.) Instead ignore them, maybe get a job or study or involve yourself in better things and do not get into that vicious circle. The more you resist , the more they will taunt and the more they taunt the more you will resist. And please do not justify your husband’s actions by saying he is a nice guy but he can’t stand up to his parents. There are no justifications for people who have to love you the most and support you come what may. Your one bold move will show you true colours of people a.k.a husband. Tell him what you want and see what happens. If he respects and loves you enough (and mature enough) he will make the right decisions.

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  9. Want to share my story here, although it is slightly different. In my husband’s family, everybody used to be bhakts of Nityanananda for a long time, so much so that my FIL donated Rs. 3 lakhs to his ashram. My SIL decided to take up sanyas. My husband who has been educated abroad and has lived here for 20 years also became a blind follower, I was the only one who stood my ground and said I will only bow and pray to god and my parents , nobody else. This caused so many fights. I was pregnant and my husband would force me to hear this swami’s discourses loudly over youtube. I didn’t budge. My in-laws stopped talking to me, i didn’t care. Then, the scandal happened and this swami turned out to be a sex fiend. All those videos of his surfaced on every single TV channel. I looked at my husband and said “Ha! there you go! there is your sex swami, you wanted me to be follower of him??”, I said the same thing to my in-laws. They went into a deep shock. Stand your ground, do not do anything that you do not believe in.

    I have always kept my career skills current, I make sure take good courses (career certificates which anybody can get) from top universities, I have a double masters too. I am constantly doing these things as this helps me to get ahead in my career and has some great financial benefits too. Last but not least, I want to make sure if god forbid our marriage cracks, I am not in a financial lurch. Sorry if I digressed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You didn’t digress even a little. This is a solid comment. That you keep your skills relevant and current is so important. Wishing you the very best!

      Like

  10. Question: Does Mr. Spineless touch his mom’s feet every morning and do as much housework as you? If not, how the heck does he get to lecture you about anything?

    Another question: why are you focused on your ILs when your real problem is him? Why/how is His Mamma’s Voice loving and caring? Because he doesn’t beat you? Can’t you see that you’re being abused by everyone in that house? Move out, with or without him.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. As the first comment mentioned, another ‘big bad inlaws but the husband is loving and wonderful’!! LW, Please understand 2 things – 1. You are an individual who needs to stand up for
    what you want/do not want, put your foot down for what you think does not work for you. This includes your husband too!! 2. A husband is not loving and wonderful as you dream/visualize when he can see his ‘love’s’ self-respect crushed and cannot understand that love comes from basic respect to the fellow human sharing the life with him.

    The phrase ‘one’s own space’ is unknown to lot of our families. The issue with a ‘modern traditional’ girl is the girl herself first wants to try to fit into this category and
    then getting frustrated of the reality. Its ok if you are not certified as ‘modern traditional’!! Anything brought over by control against wishes cannot go long at all. Do not get into
    this vicious circle, there will be no point of satisfaction on ur side and the bully side.

    Been there, seen lot more than this, learnt the hard way to stand up for myself. The day i told my husband I dont need you to defend/talk for me, i will handle them (IL’s),
    i smiled at myself. Practically, It even brought more peace into our room – we didnt end up fighting/crying explaining this cycle nor ‘i understand everything, but they are my parents’ heart ache story. You dont owe an explanation. I do get the expression of seen this as arrogance, but I can handle this as i don’t care than the bully.

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  12. Oh please! Enough with this my husband is a nice guy narrative. I agree with all the great suggestions above – it’s time LW and women like her take charge of their lives and move ahead. How many generations of women are going to suffer the same abuse under different garb? Enough already.

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  13. Dear LW, I think you really need to read this story, by Mallory Ortberg at The Toast..

    Children’s Stories Made Horrific: The Little Red Hen

    One day as the Little Red Hen was scratching in a field, she found a grain of wheat.

    “This wheat should be planted,” she said.

    “Who are you talking to,” said the Duck. “Who on earth do you think is talking to you?”

    And the Hen had learned not to hear insults unless they were absolutely unavoidable, so the Hen did not hear the Duck say anything.

    “Who will help me plant this grain of wheat?” she said.

    “Not I,” said the Duck. “How embarrassing for you to ask me that, as if we were friends.”
    “Not I,” said the Cat.
    The Dog only snapped at her.

    “Then I will,” said the Little Red Hen. And she did.

    “Then why did you bother asking,” said the Duck.
    “Why did you bother the rest of us.”

    And the Hen kept very quiet, because it seemed like the safest thing to do. But the others were determined to punish her, and when someone is determined to punish you, there is nothing safe to do about it.

    “Keep a civil tongue in your head,” the Cat said, and clawed a pawful of pinfeathers out of the Hen’s back.

    Soon the wheat grew to be tall and yellow.

    “The wheat is ripe,” said the Little Red Hen cheerfully. (She was cheerful because she had taught herself to forget all insults and harm, so that every day she woke up surrounded by friends.) “Who will help me cut the wheat?”

    The Dog lifted its leg and pissed on her stalk of wheat by way of answer, and everyone else laughed.

    “Oh,” said the Hen. “Oh, oh.” And she went and fetched water and cleaned the stalk off as best she could. The Dog is my funniest friend, she said to herself as she washed the wheat. He is always playing jokes on me.

    When the wheat was cut, the Little Red Hen said, “Who will help me thresh this wheat?”

    “Why do you keep asking,” said the Duck. “This isn’t funny anymore. No one will help you. None of us will help you.” And the Duck flew at her, biting and kicking dust into her eyes until she flew to the top of the barn.

    “My friends are busy today,” said the Little Red Hen. “I will thresh the wheat myself.” And she did.

    When the wheat was all threshed, the Little Red Hen said, “Who’ll help me take this wheat to the mill?” The Little Red Hen had found that the easiest way to deal with injury was to forget it.

    If she didn’t forget it, she would be unhappy and in pain every day, and the Little Red Hen did not like to be unhappy. So instead she decided not to remember, and was happy.

    The other animals said nothing. They were not interested enough to hurt her.

    “How busy my friends are today,” said the Little Red Hen. “My good friends Dog and Duck and Cat must be very tired, and very busy, and they will have lots to tell me about after they are done working for the day.”

    She took the wheat to the mill and had it ground into flour. “How my friends back at the farm miss me,” she told the miller. “They do not like it when I go to the mill by myself for even one afternoon. The Duck and the Cat and the Dog all offered to come to the mill for me today, but I said–”

    “Your flour is ready,” said the miller.

    “Thank you, Miller,” the Little Red Hen said. And so she went home.

    “It’s back,” the Cat called out from its sun-spot on the fence.

    “Shame,” the Duck said. “I hoped it had run away, or been made into Sunday supper at last.”

    Then the Little Red Hen went into the barn and scratched out a bed among the hay. She bent her head down toward the floor and whispered: “I am back from the mill! Who will help me make this flour into bread?”

    “I will help you,” said the Little Red Hen to herself in the Duck’s voice.
    “I will help you too,” said the Little Red Hen in the Cat’s voice.
    “Oh! Let me help,” said the Little Red Hen in the Dog’s voice.

    “Let’s all help,” said the Little Red Hen quietly to the hay. And she made and baked the bread. Then she said, “Who will eat this bread?”

    “Oh! I will,” said the Duck.
    “And I will,” said the Cat.
    “And I will,” said the Dog.

    And they said little else as they fell on the bread and devoured it. And the Little Red Hen smiled to see her friends so happy.

    “Quit staring,” the Dog said, and kicked at her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • :):) This need to be in the schools ..
      i learnt this lesson 2 years ago in my corporate life
      1. Do not confuse people who are constantly putting you down as friends .
      2. Never help a mean / cunning person . They will use you as stepping stone and kick you when they are done.
      Safegaurd your self and not the people who are keeping you down.

      Liked by 1 person

      • To protect yourself from harm is your right and Godly duty. If I am not for me then who will be?
        All religions and societies advocate against selfishness and that is confused with self abnegation.
        Karna in Mahabharata is exalted for giving up his armor to one of the beggar Gods, he preferred the title of “Danveer” (greatest giver) than self protection what more example of egotism do we need. Women are indoctrinated into self abnegation as selflessness. We learn our lessons hard way because no one teaches us, the whole system is dysfunctional.
        Peace,
        Desi Girl

        Like

    • I did not quite understand the analogy to the letter writer’s situation here. The story almost seemed to imply that being a doormat, a pushover, being in denial about being abused is a good thing?

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      • This writer is very firmly against being a pushover. In this story, she highlights many ways that abuse is normalized, ways that even MOST people consider to be acceptable.

        For instance, we are often told to “just ignore” insults. We are told to “forgive and forget” and to “let go of anger”. We are told to be quiet and hide in order to be safe. We are told that “in friendship there is no sorry and no thank you.” And we are told that being happy with what we have is very important.

        All of these ideas are shown to be facilitating abuse in this story –

        > the Hen had learned not to hear insults unless they were absolutely unavoidable, so the Hen did not hear the Duck say anything.

        > And the Hen kept very quiet, because it seemed like the safest thing to do.

        > when someone is determined to punish you, there is nothing safe to do about it.

        > She was cheerful because she had taught herself to forget all insults and harm, so that every day she woke up surrounded by friends.

        > The Little Red Hen had found that the easiest way to deal with injury was to forget it. If she didn’t forget it, she would be unhappy and in pain every day, and the Little Red Hen did not like to be unhappy. So instead she decided not to remember, and was happy.

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    • This is fantastic!

      Letter Writer, you need to read and learn.

      What lies are you telling yourself in order to live with your in-laws and with your husband?

      Do you tell yourself that your husband is a nice and kind man who loves you, even though he shows so much disrespect for you? Do you tell yourself that your in-laws must love you deep down inside or at least not intend to harm you, even though they treat you like shit?

      You are the Little Red Hen in this story. You are an abused woman who makes excuses for her abusers and refuses to face reality. Wake up. Walk out! The power is in you. Don’t let your husband and in-laws disrespect you any more.

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  14. Dear LW,

    A lot has already been said, so I have only one thing to say:
    We as human beings need support and expect it from people whom we consider as near and dear. But most importantly, we have to learn to be our own best friends, learn to be our own support system and treat ourselves with utmost love and care because when all external support fails we have to be able to take care as life has to go on and that is primarily why the good lord has given us human beings irrespective of man or female a brain and a mouth, something which animals that have 4 legs do not possess. So make use of what is given to you. So its not your fault to expect your husband to support you, but when shit hits the roof and and is falling on your head then you have to clean it, so if after talking, crying and getting into depression if your husband is not supporting you, then its time you start the clean up process just so that you can keep your sanity and and head above the shit.
    But before you leave the house with or without him, become financially independent, think about how you want to lead your life and what your priorities are and carefully take a decision.
    Lastly, I want to know how your loving husband could sleep when you were crying in the night? Is he deaf and blind? Or is he made up of stone? Or he does not love you? It has to be one of these because otherwise its impossible to sleep when someone is in so much distress in the same room.

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    • Thanks for the response RM, I appreciate your thoughts.

      He was sleeping and woke up in the midnight and asked me and at that time i told him everything and he was mum. He listened to me calmly. He didn’t react. I outburst with all the anger and problems i was facing since 1 year. He understood everything.He is the one who was actually talking to MIL on my behalf.

      He explained her calmly and asked her that what she did was wrong. But she being and egoistic fellow never accepted her mistake that she should not discuss this outside. She said ” that aunt is also a family member”. Though i confronted her ” they why she asked me not to discuss any family affairs with that aunt in the very first week of marriage”.

      The emotional fake drama they played is ” Hum to tereko beti bana ke laye the”. Even my FIL came in the room and said these words and went.

      My husband confronted that ” Beti banake laye ho to whats the meaning of touching feet.” She said ” nahi ye to karna hota hai. Ese hi hona chahiye”.

      She had no logic in what she said.

      Actually, she falls sick every other day ( she has diabeties, blood pressure, insomenia,etc). And when someone says anything bad about her she overthinks, doesn’t sleep and fall sick. This is how i saw her since i came. This is how they were living from past 10 years. Everyone pampers her.

      Now, my husband don’t say anything because of her health conditions. He says if he argue with her then she will feel bad and fall sick. Because of this everyone pampers her, listen to her, do what she likes. And everyone wants me to do the same things ( do whatever she ask). But i can’t and not on everything, everytime.

      I know an instance when her own sister said something about her just after our marriage ( you know shaadi me kamiyaa niklna types), she was so upset and hospitalised after this.

      That’s why my husband is bounded. He confronted her on this issue but to a very minimal level and calmly.

      Everything is normal now as they are away, They are coming back next weekend and then lets see how it goes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • There are some practices in each household that are better followed quietly. They fall outside the ‘pick your battles’ category. Aim for a compromise. Tell DH you are willing to ‘do it for his sake’ if he can also do it. So, he will do it for your sake, and you will do it for his sake.🙂

        If parents ask why he is starting the practice so late in life, he can say, ‘It is a good habit vonly, achchi aadat start karne se koi bura nahin ho jata’

        The time of their returning from the trip is a good one to start some new practices. Your DH can surprise them with touching feet etc at the airport or when they arrive home.

        This is what we do… if something is needed to be done with my family/relatives, I take the lead, and DH follows suit. Same with his. Of course, not living with them makes this simpler and not often required.

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        • I think this is actually a good suggestion. If you feel you have your husband’s support and have made your point and are happy otherwise you could think of this as humoring someone who seems to have some mental issues and go ahead with this approach. The other option is to make it a non issue and refuse to discuss it further.
          I had similar problems when I got married and for the same reasons. They were easier because we do not live with my in-laws but in the same vein: touching feet, wearing sindoor, referring to my SIL as didi, etc etc. I picked the ones i felt were more important and ignored the rest. I touch their feet on arrival and departure when we meet but for the rest I managed to pretend that I never got the memo. Not allowing things to escalate is always useful I’ve found.

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        • Thanks Anonymouse , I liked your idea of asking the husband to do it everyday and I will also do the same.

          And yes, obviously when we meet after a long we touch feet not only parents but any relative also.
          The problem here is you should do it every morning. And that’s I found stupid after a year of marriage. I was new I did it . Now I feel like a part of family now. And I should be treated the same way as others.No one wishes each other in the morning then why I am being forced to do it. Why there is a rule on me and not on the other three members. means I am not accepted as part of the family. Then why I should be treating them as my parents.

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      • Here is the truth about Beti banake laaye the…
        Desi Parenting: Daughter vs DIL
        https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/desi-parenting-daughter-vs-dil/

        Now about her falling sick, it is attention seeking behavior and half of her life style illnesses are psychosomatic.
        https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/desi-parenting-raising-devoted-sons/

        You stand your ground by setting strong and healthy boundaries. About your spouse, information does not execute into action it needs a skill and skill comes by practice for that you guys have to go to couples counseling as next step.
        He knows his mother is at fault he tried once or twice to resist but she created so much drama that he is giving up. He needs more skills and practice to stand up to her.
        Here is another tool for him if his open to suggestions:
        https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/assertiveness-learn-to-say-no/
        https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/feeling-and-expressing-your-emotions/

        The woman has very low self esteem her concept of self depends upon approval of others and that too on material possessions. You save your self esteem coz’ such people have to put you down inorder to feel better about themselves.

        Good luck with everything, stay relevant and proactive learn to identify signs
        https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/lets-talk-communication-deadlock/

        Peace,
        Desi Girl

        Like

  15. Ok LW so you were looking for URBAN TRADITIONAL IN LAWS and u got RURAL TRADITIONAL IN LAWS . Try telling this to all they say what they got . UTIL are those who look after their DIL when her husband fights with her and let her enjoy her independent life . RTIL are those who still live in pre independence era where DIL needs to be trained :))

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  16. No one should fall at anyone else’s feet, including one’s own parents. Period. Falling at someone’s feet ==> hierrarchy =>inferior/superior relationship. Nobody owns anyone else.

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  17. I just don’t understand why even after marriage, we are still being told what to do despite being adults. Looks like control and manipulation is the basis for every Indian person with a conservative traditional family from infanthood through adulthood. If your MIL feels that touching the feet is a sign of respect, she can just approach and gently remind you and admit that she feels if you don’t touch the feet, she sees it as a sign of disrespect and so she can just ask you if you can start doing that. No reason to gossip and spread rumors and complain to your husband on how rowdy you are and ruin your own reputation and good nature. We’re all humans, we are not perfect !! And yea, the fact that the husband will not step his foot down when he knows the In laws are doing something wrong just needs to stop. That’s ridiculous and uncalled for.

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  18. I personally think touching someone’s feet and putting that hand on your head is a very bug gesture. Think about it! Especially in the olden days when we didn’t have tarmac/concrete roads and pathways, shoes like the ones used now, effective soaps etc.
    I do not touch everyone’s feet. It’s a conscious decision. I sincerely touch the feet of some people who I have grown to actually respect. I think the pretense of touching someone’s feet even though you don’t feel like it is actually disrespectful to that person.
    It was awkward at first because the instinct is to say “namaste” and immediately bend down to touch the feet. Sure it took practice! And parents embarrass you further woth “pair nahi chuhye?” But I’m at a point where the perfunctory gesture is unacceptable to me.

    Like

  19. Get a t-shirt that says on the front: ‘peri paaunaa’ or ‘pai laagu mummyji’

    Walk into the hall in morning, and say, “Mummyji ?”
    When she looks, then just point to the message on t-shirt…
    Rinse, repeat every morning.🙂

    Mummyji khush, bahu khush.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Isn’t it weird that the MIL wouldn’t approach the DIL directly but always went through her husband to get her to do things. I really wish the OP had stood her ground from day 1 and said I’m not comfortable with this and I won’t do it. Yes, it would have led to very uncomfortable interactions between everyone for a few days but at least the in laws would know they can’t push the DIL around.
    It’s so sad, a girl leaves everything, her family, friends, her entire way of life to move in with a stranger and his family and rather than making her feel welcome, they treat her like this!

    Like

  21. A lot has already been said here. However I would just like to add one point here.
    I think you should really take matters in your hand – you are an adult and have an independent thinking and existence. You really dont have to rely on your husband to convey your view point.
    Next time your MIL complains about anything to your husband/aunt/anybody for that matter – tell her if she has girevances against you then she should talk to you directly. Dont get into arguments with her – you know it for a fact that she is going to twist and turn the arguments always in her favor. So instead of find some logic in her words focus on your goals.
    Like you can tell her something like – I heard from so and so aunt that you mentioned that I do not work enough at home. If she says that “koi aaj laga raha hai” and its not true, then say that you are glad that she appreciates the work that you do at home and maybe it would be a good idea to clarify it to that aunt so that she does not get a chance to spread more rumors.
    If she complains to your husband – then tell him that if his mother has grievances against you then she should talk to you directly – that you are open to listen to her.
    In matters of not believing in her guru – stay firm. Tell her I know you really wish that I should believe in him but I am sorry I cannot. No explanation needed!!!!
    Wishing good morning/touching feet – depends on you if you want to do that. There is nothing wrong or right here. If she does not respond to your good morning either you can insist on it saying – maybe you did not hear MIL, I wished you good morning. If she does not respond then tell her it seems that she does not want to be wished. If you do not want to wish her good morning then dont do it. Just tell you think it is too much of a formality in a family and that there should be equal rules – either everyone wishes each other or no one does. In your case I would call for a family discussion – get everyone together and ask the question – are we going to greet each other each morning or not. Ask your MIL directly in front of your FIL and husband what is it that she wants. Tell once for all in front of everyone that you and your husband do not believe in her guru.
    Thing is dont let such things pull you down. You are a strong woman so learn to stand on your ground. You do not need your husband to speak for you. You can do that yourself.
    When you insist she speaks to you directly – a lot of problems will be solved.

    Like

  22. इस समय अगर हमे किसिके पैर छूने हो तो मातापिताके । वो भी इसलिये क्यॉकि उन्हीके कारण हम इस दिनियांमें आऍ है । मुझे आपसे कोइ हमदर्दी नहीं । किसयुगकी हो ,आप ? आप पढीलीखी हो कोई चीज नही हो की सब अपनी मरजी आप पर रखना चाहे रखे ।तुम युवा पिढीहो ,कोई ४०/५० साल पहलेकी भारतिय नारी नही हो। जीवन अपने लिये जिना है। किसिकी ख्वाहीशे पूरी करनेके लीये नही। जिवन कैसे जीना है यह अधिकार तुम्हारा है।
    मेरा मानना है जब इन्सान कोइ चीज के लिये राजी हो जाय लोग करवाते है ।मगर एक बार सामना करो तो डर जाते है ,क्योंकि वह खोखले होते है ,तुरन्त डर जाऍगे ।अपना अस्तित्व तलाशो ,जो आपचहती है वही करो । पति कोई देवदूत नही की उनकी हर बात मानलो और करो ।याद करो अपने पेरेन्ट्सकी कितनी बांते मानी है? और कितनी बार फटाकसे जवाब दिया है ।भाइ बहनके साथ कितनीबार आर्ग्युमेन्ट करी थी । वहां सब मन मर्जी करशक्तीथी क्योकि वहां आजादी थी । यहां दब जाती है लडकियां \।अपने उपर भरोसा नही.।बाहर निकालो अपने आपको ,कोई सलाह मशवारा काम नही आयेगा अपनी ही सोच होनी चाहिये\।अपनेआपको तैयार करो । सामना करो , अपनी लडाइ लडो अपने तरीकेसे ।मुल्यवान जीवन अपने लीये जीओ । अपने आपको समजो । गल्तीहो तो स्विकारो ,अगर साम्नेवाला दबाना चाहे तो विरोधभी करो । किसिको जबरज्स्ती पैर पडवाना मतलब उनके अहंकारको डाउन करना । कोई भी इन्सान अपने अहंकारको डाउन करवाना नही चाहता। अलग होना कोई हल नही । सामना करो ।डरनेवालोको लोग ज्यादा डराते है , यह नियम है ।

    Liked by 3 people

      • इन्सान जो कुछ भी चाहता है , खुदको करना पडेगा । किसीकी सोच के उपर अपने आपको निर्भर रखना । मतलब आप मैदान छोड चूके हो । हार चूके हो । जीवन हारनेके लिए नही जीतनेके लिए है।

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      • The gist: “Stand your ground because you are an adult and are entitled to make your own decisions. Bullies will usually back off if you stand your ground.”

        My Hindi is not great, so [lease correct me if I interpreted that incorrectly.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. This BLIND OBEDIENCE that is so celebrated in Indian culture is one of the key causes why domestic abuse and even some case of child abuse go unreported.
    The elders cannot and will not always be right and as mature adults we must realise and accept that. BLIND OBEDIENCE only makes us like a sheep in a herd, if I may use that analogy.
    a tagline from an ad is so relevant here : dikhawe par mat jao apni akal lagao ( Don’t trust whatever you see, use your brains).
    introspection,discussion is the key.

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  24. Hi,
    I came across this blog a couple of days back. It is funny how I arrived on this page searching for “woes of an Indian daughter in law” on a search engine. Funny because I never really thought I would have to look for a solution to such grievance ever in my life. I grew up in a family where we were continuously taught to focus on how to get a good career which shall lead to an independent(financially and otherwise) life. Never really bothered much about learning to cook or do household chores. My mother was an academician and evidently those values were instilled in me and my sister since a very young age. Both us eventually got through good colleges, completed MBA from Tier 1 school and landed up with good jobs. My sister went for an arranged marriage settled in a different city with completely non interfering in laws. All these years, I had been dating this guy(who did his courses from the same B School) until last year when I decided to get married to him. By then, I had switched 2 fancy corporate jobs, lived independently, managed my own investments and was fairly satisfied with my life. My husband decided to join his father’s business in our hometown despite having the opportunity to crack MNCs in campus. It was his decision(not sure if influenced by his parents) and I respected it. When the time came to discuss our marriage, it was understood that one of us had to quit and move. His being a very established business, I was given an option to join family business(after all they were not asking me to be a housewife). Discussions went on for months and finally I gave in. He has been the best thing to happen to me, I could have made that SACRIFICE and I did for the sake of our marriage. So I had a fancy wedding and moved to a business family ready to stay with in laws. There were so many who warned me against it but I thought nothing could really impact me as long as I’m working and I have my husband by my side. Days passed, I joined work but realised slowly how my work is not acknowledged or appreciated as much as I expected it to be. My mother in law is a very quiet lady, does not socialize much and is totally obsessed with her children. She sits at home entire day, constantly seeking attention from every family member and reacts vehemently when others do not reciprocate. I tried to manage her mood swings for months giving her company during the evenings, managing her fights with the domestic help. I was uncomfortable but I thought she does no harm to me, so I should be more considerate.My father in law is a complete extrovert to the extent of being an absolute braggart, sometimes even lying or creating false stories of his fake glory. It was always hard to digest because I grew up in a completely different environment.Now months have passed and things have not changed, only gotten worse. They have relatives coming in from the village who would stay for months and comment on the way I dress(Oh, the bahu in jeans or a suit minus the dupatta?), would want to evaluate my culinary skills and also question me on the knowledge of customs/rituals. My in laws are extremely traditional, they never really forced me to follow anything but the expectations are very clear. Both of them are in the habit of chewing tobacco, which I absolutely detest. There are many other things that makes my day to day life unbearable but I have no other option. Although my husband is extremely supportive , I hate to share these problems everyday with him. He is torn between me and his parents. Another house is out of question as long as we stay in the same city(log kya kahenge?) and moving to another city is very difficult for him since he has been managing the business for 4 years now. Corporate options are limited in this city and even if I move to a company here, it leaves me with the same house and same set of people. My husband and I dreamt of a very different life and I truly feel am transported several decades back in time, away for the progressive world.

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  25. Pingback: An email from the Accused Guy: ‘I would request all to respond once again after reading the other side of it.’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  26. So now in-laws are back from abroad after a months stay with my brother-in-law. Now their attitude is a bit changed.. To my surprise , not interfering, commenting on me. I mean I think they understood a little of live and let live…Though they had concerns that house was dirty, not clean etc etc.. But to their surprise.. I cleaned the house a d specialist kitchen and arranged it in a really better way then her which she said herself.. But now she is ruining all my arrangements😦..I think she don’t like things arranged in a proper manner, or may be since I took over the household stuff in my hand when they were away.. Anyways I did my part, I just touched feet the day they arrived and not any day after that….Life is smooth now…Lets see till when :p…Though Brother-in-law said twice while talking on Skype after they are back.” Ab to inhone dekh liya western culture… They have seen how we youngsters live..” He said these words to me.. For the moment they are letting us live with no taunts on my sleeping, cooking, cleaning , dressing etc..

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  27. Appreciate the definition explained above,,, wonderful. as per my view, expectation is much much on higher side of in laws (especially when they are less educated more into fear of society. they want modern education girl ( who are financial Independent of course this will also support their son) along with traditional stuff like touching feet, wearing ornaments etc… and doing all household activities all the time, which today working women can effectively manage. This is not enough, they are scare of society also, if their DIL will not do that they will lose respect ( irrespective of fact when they didn’t have any social status/ respect lols ) why do they treat their DIL as a person who just bought for domestic help or making their society happy by following custom. What a girl actually feels by doing stuff in one day , its none of their business….

    From a girl perspective, who are newly wedded have her own dreams in marriage be it love or arrange marriage, he leaves everything for a “ MALE” called as husband even her parents; & expected to adapt everything in one day. and do all uncomfortable things daily,,,,,,, its impossible for boys to understand,,, how girls compromise by leaving her home just to stay with them…happily for the entire life and doing almost everything for him.

    How doing all this custom will make “in laws life chill”, I didn’t understand.. all people should specially in laws should understand that time has changed now,, we all are facing challenges into our daily life, this tiny stuff should not be made top news headlines.. be the people live their life, the way they want. life is too short, we ll respect elder people but they should also not treat us like child every time.

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