Relationship with mother-in-law (an email)

A letter from a reader – I’ve asked the LW if I can share her letter as so many women find themselves in this situation and the discussion could be helpful to many women if it happened here – the LW agreed to share –

As you read the below, ask yourself:

  • what was my experience and how do/did I deal with it
  • what can I suggest to the LW that could be helpful
  • what are some things we should be doing as friends and family of someone in this situation
Dear Priya,
I like reading your blog and your posts on IHM’s blog. I have found myself nodding to almost everything you write and have found strength in your words to listen to my inner voice, to be assertive in order to keep myself happy and content.
I’m a 34 year old woman living outside India with my husband and 4 year old son. I had a very difficult childhood growing up in a sort-of broken household with a non-existent father who emotionally abused my mother every chance he got. My mother( who got married young without much skill or education but a sharp brain) stood her ground and put up with him to give me and my 2 sisters and one brother the best education she could(I’m now in a position to financially support her and help her start a small scale business all because of her stubbornness to not let her girls end up like her).
I got married to a wonderful man who is nothing like my father and has helped me a lot in letting go of the bitterness I have bottled up in my heart.
However I’ve had a very tough time integrating into my husband’s (very educated and status conscious) family following my marriage and have had conflicts with my mother in-law on more than few occasions in my 9 years of being married. She was against her very intelligent son getting married to me at such a young age (we were both 24 and just out of college with our first jobs) without going for higher studies as she had planned. I understand her disappointment but the taunts that we were subjected to went for far too long. I don’t look back to my marriage or my short stay at my husband’s place with any fondness.
Fortunately my husband got a better job offer outside India and we moved out. After struggling for two years we found our footing and got better off financially and things improved considerably between me and them.
This year when my brother-in-law was about to get married in a ‘proper arranged marriage'(unlike ours) to a bride of respectable profession ( read doctor) I voiced out some of the glaringly obvious double standards at display which again took our relationship back to square one. Having learned to be more assertive of my choices over the years, I spoke to them at length and cleared misunderstandings and brought things from the past to a closure (or so I thought). I kept in touch with them and helped them with the wedding prep, had them come over and stay with us for sometime all happy and merry.
I found out that I am pregnant recently and my mother-in-law started giving me well-intentioned but unsolicited advices about how to go about it. I told her very politely how I think I should be left to deal with it as it is not my first time going through the experience. She has been giving me the silent treatment ever since. I tried reaching out to her once but got no response. I would be lying if I said it doesn’t hurt me because it does as I thought we had reached a place where we could have genuine conversations.
I wanted this relationship to work for the sake of my husband who is a great son-in-law himself and my son to whom they are wonderful grandparents. But now the efforts are weighing me down. I’m having some trouble at work and have the additional pressure of this pregnancy plus my regular life that I don’t have the energy to deal with my mother-in-law anymore. Is giving up on this relationship the right thing to do? I would want my children to have grandparents and my husband to continue to have good relationship with his family. I just don’t want to be the only one putting in all the efforts anymore.
Best regards,
Repeating questions from above
  • what was my experience and how do/did I deal with it
  • what can I suggest to the LW that could be helpful
  • what are some things we should be doing as friends and family of someone in this situation
  • please share any other relevant thoughts not covered under the questions

“They have both managed to convince two girls (and the girls’ parents) that they are the right match for their daughters.”

Sharing an email. What would you do? 

Dear IHM,

I write to you about a dilemma stemming from a recent news in the family. I thought I would seek your opinion as well as that of your readers.
I have two cousins whom I have known very well since they were young. They were very bright kids growing up but something happened somewhere and as a result of their upbringing and their career choices, they chose to get fake degrees instead of studying, decided to live off of people’s money either by seeking loans from near and dear ones (and not returning them), threatening close relatives and their families who came forward to guide them. In general, they thought it was easy to live by fooling people to think highly about them.
Well, for the most part this was not fine and now that they are adults I have just been watching all this hoping that the brothers would somehow make up for what they failed to do so far and change for the better. The latest I know about them is that they have both managed to convince two girls (and the girls’ parents) that they are the right match for their daughters. It looks like the girls have real degrees and are employed which says that they are hardworking.
My dilemma is this – if it were me, I would have definitely not wanted to marry such people and would definitely not have fallen for such con artists despite their make believe gallantry and pompous display. I would have thought that in this era of networking and connectivity, the girls would have done their homework in finding out about the boys. The fact that they are both engaged to be married suggests that perhaps the girls have not done their homework. To me it feels like I should somehow tell the girls to do their homework better. I have nothing against the boys getting married, if they show some promise of working hard henceforth and/or if the girls know fully well what they are getting into. Since I don’t live in India, I have talked to some of my relatives if they could inform the parents or somehow reach the girls, but nobody wants to bell the cat. They couldn’t care less, apparently.
On the other hand, I hear this from these very same relative who chime, “who knows, perhaps all will be well henceforth”. I think I know very well that things that have not been tended to so far, will continue to remain as is and perhaps the girls will somehow suffer the consequences. I have nothing against people not studying or working. But a life of pretense and public fleecing (which is what these con brothers have been doing all this while) is something I abhor and I would like to think that the young girls would do so to.
Do you think I should somehow reach out to the girls in the next month or so (before they get married) to do a thorough background check on their fiancees? Or am I over-reacting? Should I just let them figure it out on their own post-marriage?
A well-wisher

An email. I’m 27 and my parents were happy that I finally found someone. But does a relationship have any meaning without trust?

I am sharing an anonymous email. What do you think would be the traditional advice here? And what would you suggest?


I have a problem but thankfully I’m not married to him yet 🙂 I don’t write, so may not be able to express it well.

We have been seeing each other for almost three years now and we have been in love before (not the pehla pehla pyaar type). My ex moved on to another girl and we have been sparingly in touch since. His ex got married and they are back to being best friends (like they were before falling in love). She moved to the US with her husband but calls him occasionally.

Problems started pretty early because I wasn’t really comfortable with her calling him. I showed my discomfort on many occasions but he always took her side and assured me that my fears were unfounded and I was just being jealous. We have had many fights, with the issue usually being her. But he never stopped talking to her.

Finally one day a few months back, I was staying back at his place with a couple of friends when she called around midnight. It was daytime for her but I wasn’t very comfortable. I told him very politely but clearly that she cannot call him at midnight. He had to make it clear that he was committed and his girl friend wasn’t feeling good about this. I do not know what they talk about on the phone and I never checked his mails. He assured me that he wont pick any more calls at night. I went onsite for three months and when I came back I checked his phone log and mail, still don’t know why. I saw that she had been calling him everyday at around the same time at night. And they had exchanged quite a number of mails, not romantic but not ‘friend’ type either. He had always told me that he was very busy with work, so we weren’t talking so much. But he had found time to talk to her, everyday. I confronted him. We had a lot of fights but he never accepted that he was cheating on me. I am disheartened by the fact that he was doing something behind my back, that I had told him not to. And he never found time to tell me.

Even if I try to forget the incident I am not being able to trust him anymore. Our families have already started talking so it wont be very easy for me to back out now. Plus I’m 27 and my parents were pretty happy that I finally found someone. On one side I do not know whether ‘she’ is worth breaking the relationship. But does a relationship have any meaning without trust? Now even if he says that he is busy in office, and he might really be, I am not being able to believe him. I’m out of India again and have no idea what he is doing there. I have also realized from his mails to her that he has been telling her everything about us. About all our fights. Am I just jealous and insecure or is there really something to worry about?

It would be a great help if someone who doesn’t know both of us could give me an opinion on what I could do. Thanks!


Twenty seven and insecure

Twenty seven and Insecure says, “I do not know whether ‘she’ is worth breaking the relationship.” If this relationship does break, do you think it would be because of the man’s ex, the ‘she’?

Response and a Question from the Anonymous Indian Liberated Wife

Sharing the Anonymous Indian Liberated Wife‘s response and a question she asked.

First, some clarifications:

1. I am not dependent on him for money. I will be able to sustain more or less the same lifestyle without him. The house is in my name and I paid for it. There is also a car that is paid for with my money. I have my own investment portfolio. Money is not a reason for being in or out of this relationship. It’s not even a factor. Neither is lifestyle.

2. I did not marry him for social security. today, part of my fear does come from “How will my son react to other children calling him a divorce kid“, and how will he react to other boys telling him, “I can call my papa but you cant call your papa because he does not live with you!” but it does NOT come from people giving me a social stigma because of being separated.

My worry is not social or financial “security”.

After this post, there has been a lot of revelation… and quite a lot of introspection.

For instance, so far, most of the people are asking the question “Whats in this marriage for you anyway?” the right answer, predictably, is ‘Nothing.’

I want to now turn that question around and ask,What is it that I will get by getting a divorce?

I am already independent, get money for the housekeeping, and take care of the child.

The only thing that a divorce will give me, is the freedom to have another relationship… but my guess is that such relationship will be short-lived…and I’m trading in one frustration for many smaller frustrations…

So net net, what do I get by staying married? Nothing. What will i get by getting divorced? Nothing…

I also agree that the child will grow up seeing an unloving family – but my honest question is this – Yes, my child does see that something is very wrong with his family (separate rooms, no holidays together except to dadi’s house et al) , but the other scenario he will see is not rose tinted either – no father at all, or father in a separate house. taking turns to live in two houses,  not knowing which set of friends to call his own.

How much “normal” will his life then be?

Related Posts:

1. Let us not for a minute forget that we women still walk across minefields…

2. Eleven questions the family elders ask women in unhappy marriages.

3. Feminism has gone to women’s heads, divorce has become like selling onions.

4.Why exactly are marriages in India disintegrating?

Marriages in Indian Advertisements.

1. So this man has clear ideas about the kind of woman he wants to marry.

2. These parents would love the guy in the ad above, provided he is ‘from our own community‘.

3. What if their daughter does not want ‘a nice boy from our own community‘?

There’s help available 😉

4. Or she might decide to get to know him a little.

5. But don’t forget who calls the shots. (Now such ads have been replaced with TV serials.)

6. Finally it seems everybody has a boss. 😆

There was another commercial I can’t find, where the groom-to-be must prove to the bride-to-be’s father and brother, that he can provide for his future wife. He does that with confidence because he has XYZ life insurance or investment plans. The bride-to-be gets up from next to her father to this man’s side once he has assured her father (and brother) that he had planned their future vacations and jewelery.

It seems marriage is a favorite theme for Insurance and Investments advertisements.

How do you like the second one – Community Matrimonials dot com?

I feel the Pepsi ad mocks at our prejudices and uses them to deal with our other prejudices. Do you agree?

Obedient Wives’ Clubs: Insulting to both men and women?

If he needs sex, obey him. “You must satisfy your husband. A good wife should be a whore in bed,” (A tip for club members to prevent husbands from straying.)

And to imagine this coming from Rohaya Mohamad a 46-year-old doctor, whose husband has three other wives, not an average woman’s idea of a successful or happy marriage.

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – A group of Malaysian women launched an “Obedient Wife Club” on Saturday, urging members to be “whores in bed” and obey their husbands to curb social ills like divorce and domestic violence.

Shouldn’t women instead be informed that the only thing that prevents them from finding real life-partners for themselves (instead of those who marry them to curb social ills like prostitution), is their social conditioning?


The club has come under criticism from Malaysian women’s groups who say the onus on keeping a family together is being unfairly placed on women.

With obedience comes submission, which may lead to domestic violence and marital rape,” Women’s Aid Organisation head Ivy Josiah told AFP.

We should really be forming equality in marriage clubs,” she added. [Click to read more]

I googled to read more reactions,

It turns out, the secret to a happy union is to let your husband have sex with you whenever he wants. If your marriage is sad or fraught with strife, simply fuck your way out. How novel.

This view is insulting to both men and women, and it’s not limited exclusively to countries with more strongly religious populations. It’s sadly pervasive in American society as well. [Click to read the article at Jezebel]

Picture of two members of Obedient Wives’ Club with their husband and children  linked to Jezebel

For Indian women (and their divorce rates), we have ‘Manju Sanskar Kendra‘ in Bhopal, where girls, often teenagers, are taught to ‘adjust properly‘ since ‘families are breaking up because girls nowadays have too much ego‘.

Hemnani says he was open to taking classes for men and their mothers too (Not fathers?) but there was no response. Maybe they didn’t want to know what caused tuberculosis?

The head of this institution (who, surprise, surprise is a man) has authored books on this topic “ Grahasth Mein Vyavaharik Jeevan (Practical Married Life) for one. For the uninitiated, this book scatters many pearls of wisdom, such as too much sex is the cause of diabetes and tuberculosis among men.[Click to read]

Here’s a letter from an Indian woman who is eager to join Manju Sanskar Kendra in Bhopal because she confesses she, started getting all bad, bad thoughts about Bill (her fiance) – I tried, I really tried to control myself but you must remember that I did not have the benefit of attending your school then…🙂

Does the fact that such schools have limited takers and face derision shows we have started putting common sense above old habits (euphemistically called traditions)?

We generally expect men to be afraid of commitment, but obviously women can have similar doubts.

We generally expect men to be afraid of commitment and marriage, but obviously women can have similar doubts. Women are generally expected to want marriage. Sex, children, safety from sexual harassment, respect, financial security and lots more is disallowed to most people, but more specially to women, unless they marry.

This was a comment on ‘Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation‘.

Dear IHM,

I have faith in your blog and in the sensible advice readers offer here. To talk a little about my life – I am an unmarried twenty eight year old woman residing with my parents, living a hectic life-I go to office, come back, eat dinner, watch a bit of TV, waste time on comp, read a book, and then sleep for another day. On weekends too, it remains the same (yep even the office going part, mostly 😦 ), except that I laze on Saturdays and Sundays. Now, my parents are pestering me to get married, I am already old by Indian standards.
But the real problem is that I hate/am scared of the very concept of marriage/relationship: Friends around me are getting married, but I am scared of making any commitment yet. I am unable to see the point of it all – devoting your life to one person is such a waste of a good life. One reason could be the complete absence from my life of that entire love thing, whatever that means. And it might also be that I have internalised this hate for relationships/ commitment. I do not know what it is, but I definitely do know that men as objects of lust appear more appealing than as objects of love. I have also started believing that there is no such thing as true love – and that it is just a name for endless compromises that people make in order to remove their loneliness. Moreover, I have grown out to be too self centered to actually think about making sacrifices in a relationship, like my friends do. One point in time I was probably ready to make sacrifices, but not anymore – and as I have realized this is probably a good way to live your life. But somehow, sometimes, I do feel terribly alone. I enjoy this loneliness at times, but for how long? What after my parents pass away? I will be left to fend for myself and by then, my younger brother will have a family of his own. His wife may/may not like a sister-in-law residing with them.One thing I know for sure is I want people around me and not want to be abandoned, though I do enjoy solitude immensely and want my freedom.
As far as the responsibility of a relationship or marriage – I am afraid I will not be able to motivate myself enough to carry it forward. The more the responsibility on me, the less keenly I work nowadays. I generally laugh at people who show too much enthusiasm for life, or their work, or even their relationships.
Also, People bore me after a particular time, which is why when someone gets too close to me, I try stupid things in order to alienate them. I do not want to become best friend to people – burden of relationships or expectations – whether of parents or of society kills me.
I wonder if I can save myself from society and people casting doubts on my character if I choose to remain single. I am also afraid of getting trapped in a stagnant marriage if I choose to marry as most of my friends are but would rather die than admit to it. I am scared of becoming sexually frustrated, being used by a man or becoming a pervert, a mere “f–k buddy” in a live in relationship, if I choose to live life on my own terms.
I am successful career-wise but seem to be heading nowhere as far as my life is concerned.

What should I do?
Please guide me, someone suggested I write here.
Thank you in advance.


An Email: “I really like this guy, but I’m not sure I can handle his parents’ hatred or begrudging approval.”

Silent O’s email reminded me of Anon’s comment on ‘Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation.’

Anon said, “The point is I have a wonderful marriage because of the man I married. Everyone tells me to forget in-laws, but can I forget them? They are an integral part and it hurts me when they pass stinging comments. I think I am paying price for a love marriage.” (Click to read).


I’m writing to you because there’s no one in my real life that I can talk frankly to about this, or get an honest, unbiased opinion from.

I’m almost 27, have been working for 6 years and currently live by myself. I like a guy, whom i got to know about 5 years back. He has been studying/working abroad for more than 4 years now. We like each other but his parents do not approve of the match because we belong to different castes. They are totally against it. This was always expected to an extent but we had assumed they would budge if this was told to them after he had established himself in his career, proved himself, and so on. But that’s definitely not the case. He’s visiting India, and will return in a few weeks. He’ll come back next after probably 9 months.

I had talked a bit about the guy to my mom a few months back and mentioned that his family wouldn’t approve easily. My mom was concerned about that, understandably. And later when she asked me, sometime last year, i told her that his parents wouldn’t approve and that was it. We haven’t talked about it since, she assumes that I’m fine with it being that way because she doesn’t know the details. I haven’t updated her about the recent events either (him visiting, actually talking to his parents about it)

Also, things in general have not been very normal at my home. Sort of dysfunctional. Dad used to be a drunkard, is even now to an extent, and that created a rift in the way things are in my family. I have a younger brother, and we (mom, brother and me) are close but don’t talk much to my dad, cos he just wont, and wont take any help, or change or even listen out and he is just very short tempered, to say the least. That’s just the general pic at home, a bit about where i come from.

I really like this guy, totally trust him, am sure things will be good if i choose to be with him. That is, things will be good for the two of us. But I’m not sure if i can handle his parents’ hatred or begrudging approval (that is if they do agree, this will be the best it will get) or if I can put my family through all this.

My family and extended family have been behind to get me married ever since my elder cousin got married earlier this year. But I don’t know what is the right thing to do here. It’s overwhelming for so many reasons. What would you suggest that someone do in such a case – one set of parents dead against the match? The best it will get is ‘fine, go get married to her if you want to, we don’t approve of it’. Which the guy is fine with, because he doesn’t see any reason in their disapproval. They wont agree to even meet me;/my folks just to meet once.

It’s not that I intend to get married within a deadline, or let others decide when/whom i should get married to. But am I holding on to something that i shouldn’t be? Should i let go, accept that things are for the good, and try to go on from here?

Am I even considering everything that a girl ought to be thinking about? What do you think? Please let me know.

Thank You for reading through:)

-Silent O

“My wife often rakes up property issues, or rues the expenses on my father’s ill-health.”

Anonymous xyz was disappointed with the last post.  (“I don’t claim to be a spokesperson for all the men on this planet, but…” )

He says there are some more problems he is facing, I am sure these are common problems. His comments in bold.

Doesn’t matter if my wife often rakes up property issues,

IHM: I think it does matter. Here’s a link (it’s in Hindi) with information about a Daughter in law’s Legal Rights  so far as inheritance is concerned. Your parents have a right to decide what they do with their own hard earned money.

or rues the expenses on my father’s ill-health,

IHM: It matters. Please assure her that you would do the same for her parents too. If you have financial difficulties, please know that your siblings, including sisters are also required to contribute.

comparing the gifts that I give to my sisters on rakhi.

IHM: Matters. Reminding her that you won’t question/compare what she spends on her siblings might help?

Added: But also consider, yearly Rakhi gifts to your sisters who are, today your equals in every way, can be compared to dowry? Why no gifts to brothers, they are siblings too.

I can move out today if I want (though the house is big), but my mother wants me to stay on since she feels helpless alone.

IHM: The size of the house is less important than how much at home she feels in your house. Does she feel this is her house too? If not why not? Do you and your family feel this is her house as much as it is yours? Do you value her opinion on family matters? Is she included in decision making, budget planning, family jokes etc like all the other members are?

Does she have as much authority as she has responsibilities? This applies to all family members. It’s not possible to like to live in a place where we are treated as less equal.

Only honest answers can truly solve your problems.

Both my wife and mother use their tactics to get their way and both feel martyred.

IHM: Your wife (or even your mother) would have handled a situation like this in office or anywhere else on her own, if nothing else then may be by simply ignoring the person she does not get along with. Would you like her to do that here?

If you interfere and stop her (or them) from doing that, then you are taking the responsibility of ensuring that the situation is comfortable for both.

Is it possible that both are over worked? Tedious, routine house hold chores can be very stressful, make sure you all do your share (equal share) of household chores.

Maybe the word ‘driven’ was wrongly used or my wife has many unrealistic expectations from our marriage.

IHM: Generalizations don’t help, I would suggest sorting specific issues. What expectations do you consider realistic or unrealistic?

For example expecting to have house help is not unrealistic in India. Thinking you have a right on your siblings’ share in your parents’ property is unrealistic. Expecting those siblings to contribute in care giving (physical and financial) is realistic.

I hate it when she uses my failings against me and thwarts any genuine attempt to reach a reconciliation because in that resolution she has to invariably adjust.

IHM:  Genuine attempts to reach a reconciliation would mean any resolutions are arrived at jointly. Are the adjustments expected from both or is only one of you required to make all the adjustments?

I maybe asking her for more cooperation and adjustment

IHM: Maybe asking her to suggest solutions would work better? Like asking her what she thinks might work better? This way the responsibility is shared and this would make her feel included.

and seriously can’t afford an entourage of servants.

IHM: Do you plan your expenses together? If she is aware of the financial limitations and feels  equally responsible for budgeting, she might either accept your plan to save on domestic help, or show you it might work better to have help at home.

Since there is a lot of stress at home, it might help to have domestic help to reduce chores related stress.

My mother does whatever she can and so does my wife, but then why this clash to dominate?

IHM: Maybe they are not compatible? Your parents might benefit from spending some time with your siblings occasionally?

Maybe you would all be happier if you lived in your own homes, even if means spending more, you’d probably live better quality of life. Many families would trade luxuries for peace of mind.

We both have a job but managing children is another problem.

IHM: How are you managing house work with both of you working? Does your mother manage all the house work? If yes, is that fair?

Do you do your share, before expecting other family members to contribute? It would be unrealistic to expect another member to do your share of work, that includes your mother (Nita’s comment) and your wife.

I do feel when both the partners are working then they do need some house help. Even if your parents supervise, they could be spared the physical labor.

I had a love marriage and accepted no dowry.

IHM: But please don’t see that as a favour to your wife, or as deprivation for your parents. It’s even possible that your wife would not have married you if you had accepted dowry. If you talk about it too much, you might sound like you think accepting dowry was an option.

(I am not saying you do that, but I have blogged about some families who do.)

was I concentrating more on my own needs, or I can ask my wife to adjust?

IHM: If you really want your problems to be solved, you will have to answer this question honestly to yourself. Remember happiness is not possible in a relationship where one person thinks they have some special rights because they are women/men. Respect fair play.

Would you be willing to exchange places with your spouse? No, being men/women does not mean we become more tolerant, caring, sacrificing, unemotional etc. Those are excuses made by abusers.

is it wrong to expect her to adjust when she wants to do each and everything her way

IHM: Yes. It is not right to expect someone to ‘adjust’ when they want to do something in a way different from yours – either they should understand your point of view or else they will do the ‘adjusting’ filled with resentment.

Have no hope of intimacy from someone who is resentful.

is it wrong that my parents want to leave behind some property for their daughters also who are now married whereas my wife thinks otherwise?

IHM: No it is not. Parents have legal right to leave equal (or not) property to all their children. Your wife might feel she deserves more (through you) because she is made to adjust and take care, while your siblings are not, but apart from what she has received as gifts from them (generally jewellery) she has no right on what your parents own, except through you.

This is also why your sisters have as much (legal and moral) responsibility as you to take care of your parents’ health care expenses. It is possible that your wife sees herself giving more than she receives and that makes her bitter.

I don’t give much thought to property like my wife does.The problem is not of property but of living peacefully together.

IHM: Property does become a big issue in Indian families. Most wives believe their husband’s home is their home and the sisters in law are ‘paraya dhan’ but legally the sisters have the same rights on the property as the sons. (I think this does not apply to agricultural land – if you wish you can click here and find out more).

Maybe if the sisters took equal responsibility in caring for your parents and also contributed financially for your father’s health care, it would be fair to you both. Legally all children are equally responsible for caring for their parents in their old age.

[Note: Both the links are in Hindi (shared by Desi Girl). Please do share if you know of any equally helpful links in English.]

Live in Relationships: The man gets a temporary disposable wife?

Here are some commonly heard arguments against Live-in Relationships. (I picked these from the comments on ‘Live-in relationships in general are inherently advantageous to men and disadvantageous to women?‘)

The basic premise seems to be that Marriage gives women and ‘their’ children ‘Respect and Acceptance’ in society while Live in Relationships don’t.

My questions.

1. How have women and their children (and even the society) benefited from this dependence of women (and their children) on ‘Respect’ and ‘Acceptance by Society’?

2. Could this Respect be a trap that restricts and rules women’s lives, choices, sexuality, happiness and freedom?

3. Is it possible that women might live better lives if they did not have to depend upon the ‘Acceptance by the Society;? (Like most other people?)

Here’s the comment.

“If a woman is not careful in her selection, she may end up becoming a bed partner of the man , without the associated commitments and responsibilities.

The man gets a temporary disposable wife. A use and throw kind of wife.”

If that is true, then doesn’t the woman also get a temporary disposable partner? If both are uncommitted, and if neither is being forced or exploited, then why is it seen as wrong? How and who does this harm?

But it is believed that women do not want ‘temporary disposable partners’ while men don’t miss a chance to find one.

Gender Stereotypes. Men are insensitive, commitment-phobes, women are desperately looking for marriage (and if they dare to admit they aren’t, they must be sluts – this doesn’t apply as strongly to men because ‘men are like that only’).

“Women I like to believe will not chase a man for the sole purpose of sharing his bed. Their needs are emotional and much more sophisticated.”

Women are people too. They may want to do all the things that everybody else does. Not all women are emotional, and men can be emotional too.

And of course a woman can chase a man just for sharing his bed, with no desire to marry him.

This is one of the reasons why Patriarchy disallowed premarital sex (mainly for women). Maybe because in the past, it put a man at risk of raising a child who did not carry his genes.  To ensure ‘purity of lineage’ strict rules were laid down,  unwed mothers were not allowed to raise their children on her own. Widows could, but that was acceptable, because they were married when they got pregnant. It was made mandatory for every child to be known by their father’s name.

Did it harm some children?

The child’s well being was not a big concern. Lineage was.

“At the risk of putting it crudely, a live in relationship in some cases may end up as a multiple night stand instead of a one night stand for the man. Mature men and women may be an exception to this rule.

I don’t expect this statement to go down well with live in enthusiasts. But this is my secret inner fear.”

Assuming this is the case, if there is no force, exploitation or abuse – how does it matter to anybody else what two consenting adults do in their personal lives? What makes it wrong?

“It is always the woman who bears the brunt of pregnancy.”

That should, can and is being changed. If a woman wants, she can ensure that the man provides child support. This would be only as inconvenient as dealing with an irresponsible but married father.

“It is the woman more likely to be emotionally and psychologically scarred if the relationship terminates.

Men are crude thick skinned creatures.”

Any relationship exposes those involved to pain. Men are not thick skinned creatures, although they are expected to hide their feelings. Devdas was a man too. Drinking, smoking, violence, acid throwing, stalking, aggression, murder, and suicide are seen as manly ways to deal with pain or rejection. 

“They will simply look for fresh prey.”

Relationships are not about trophies, hunting and preys. Men and women both might see relationships as conquests.

“After getting pregnant, if they choose to have the baby, they are denying their children a legal and socially acceptable father.”

Sushmita Sen has two adopted daughters, no husband. Neena Gupta has one biological daughter – no husband. Thousands of widows in India have no source of income, they suffer abuse and raise children alone. Which children of these single mothers do you think have better lives?

In the past Indian society never cared about children (and not just girl children) – children were seen only as ‘budhape ka sahara’, brought up on Shravan Kumar stories. Children were told the parents did them a favor by ‘bringing them to this world’ and by caring for them.

Thankfully parents are becoming more matured and responsible now, one hears about mutual respect, love, care and support. And less about a child ‘repaying’ the parents’ karz’ (debt).

“Right or wrong, men will find it easier to get married later if they walk out of a live in relationship.

Right or wrong, women will find their live in relationship another handicap if they change their mind.”

That is if she wants to marry. And if she wants to marry a man who wants to marry a woman who has never been in a relationship.

Which brings me back to this post – what if women saw marriage as just another option in life and not their life purpose? Don’t you think that might open up a universe of previously unseen options for them?

“A loving caring environment is not enough. A child needs a father. Ask any orphan. It needs a mother, a grandfather, grandmother, cousins and uncles and aunts too.”

If the society realises that children need all this then why do we deprive children born out of marriage from all this?

Our social rules are not child-friendly.

Live in Relationships might actually bring more acceptance to children of both gender.

1. Independent women who see more to life than Geting Married and Staying Married will make being a woman easier in our society, they would then be seen as an asset to the society, and so more girls would be allowed to be born/live.

2. All children, no matter whether their parents were married or not would be able to live with their mothers/families. I know of a mother who did not sign the documents for her child to be made available for adoption, for three years after the child’s birth, because she was hoping the child’s father would marry her. Now the solution is not that she should not have had the child (because that solution has not worked for centuries) – the solution is she shouldn’t have had to bother whether she was married or not. Today this is possible, and high time.

The society/law makers are becoming aware of every child’s right to live with dignity.

Live-in Relationships might just help make this easier…

“Will a child from a live in relationship enjoy the facility of sitting on the lap of its grandparent and be told a bedtime story? Couples in live in relationships will live by themselves. They may not even welcome the parents of their partner to visit them and neither will these parents like to embarrass their son/daughter by visiting them.”

This would depend on the families and the couple. Married couples could prefer to stay away from their families, and Live in couples might enjoy mingling with their families.

“When a child born out of live in relationship, meets and mingles with normal children of married parents, how can you gauge what feelings it experiences?”

If the families(/extended families/social circle) care for their grand children(/their children’s friends) they will not misguide their children to treat other children differently for any reasons.

If they don’t understand, then the parents might choose to avoid those who treat their children differently. Remember the need to mingle is mutual and given a choice, matured parents would rather have their children playing with well brought up children, irrespective of whether or not their parents have a marriage certificate.

“What next? Will live in enthusiasts accept the next stage in this progression?

What if some of you feel ” Why have a live in relationship with just one person? Why not have more these and experiment with A, B, C etc.? Let the other partner also experiment with P, Q, R at the same time. Live with different partners for a month each and see which partner is best””

This can happen in a marriage also. And much worse, when consenting partners are not found, they might stoop to force, Strauss Kahn and Shiney Ahuja are just two examples.