Tied in knots: The problem with mothers-in-law in India | family problems in India

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Family Problems in India

 

As we move ahead in time, we see that an increasing number of couples are choosing to start nuclear families, away from their in-laws, at least that’s what a recently conducted survey by the online marriage portal shaadi.com points out to, with almost 64.1% of those polled voting in the favor of the same

Privacy and compatibility issues with in-laws (in majority of cases between the mother in law and the daughter in law) have been some popular reasons for this drastic change in the lifestyle habit of remaining secluded.

That is when we decided to actually get on to ground zero and ask some newly-married women as to what is it that is actually leading to such a change. During our interaction, something that we observed was common with a majority of respondents was that a common grudge they all had for their respective mothers-in-laws was that they feel they had changed drastically after they got married. The same mothers-in-laws were apparently extremely good to them earlier, or so they behaved.

  1. A sudden change

Before Nimisha Kadam*, 28, a telecom professional, got married to Prasoon Kadam* (28), she frequently visited his fiance’s house, and maintained an excellent rapport with her to-be in-laws. But, a couple of months after her marriage, she says things changed with not only her mother-in-law, but also her father-in-law. “They would rebuke me, asking me to dress in only Indian outfits, and constantly asking me to eat only what they liked. Gradually, things worsened and they started ill-treating me. I’d feel pathetic. The end result? My husband and I moved out eventually,” says Riya.

  1. When the working hours bothered

Thirty-year-old Mahima Maheshwari’s* was an arranged marriage. Mahima worked with an advertising agency and her working hours often stretched till late night. Maheshwari’s mother-in-law knew this prior to marriage but post the marriage, continuously started raising problems with the same. “I would often come home late from work. Though my husband never had any problems, and I always believed the same for my mom-in-law. Suddenly, one day, my in-laws ordered me to leave my job, because they felt that it wasn’t good for a woman to come home late,” says Maheshwari. What amuses, rather disgusts me even more is that they told me that the house help had quit, and they were finding it difficult to find a replacement.” Mahima and her husband, too, now live separately.

  1. Where she influenced the ‘man’

Sonia Rehal* (28), a media professional, not only coped with unrealistic expectations, but her mom in law also blamed her for “influencing” her son. “Prior to marriage, she’d treat me like a VIP, but I have no clue as to what happened after marriage. Suddenly, she wanted me to be all clad in sarees and manage all the household work on my own. Also, all the while my husband had always been an introvert, and would take his decisions on his own, but post marriage my mother in law started assuming that I was the one influencing him, and that I was trying to ‘snatch her only son away from her, the kind of stuff we usually hear in TV serials.”

The conclusion?

The root cause of the problem is the conflict of ideas. It is the insecurity that erupts in. The mother-in-law is used to running the house in a certain way, and feels threatened if the daughter-in-law wants to make changes

How do we, as a society cope with the prevailing scenarios? Well, husbands have an important role to play here. He must make sure they don’t hurt both mother and wife, though striking a balance tends to be tricky.

If the generation gap is to be blamed, then yes, generally it gets a little frustrating for the mother-in-laws (the old generation) to see that the new-age woman doesn’t sit at home like she did when she was a young daughter-in-law. The new-age woman works and contributes to the household’s earning.

On the other hand, the daughters-in-laws (The Gen-X) might not be used to taking advice from the ‘new’ matriarchal figure in their lives. “A daughter-in-law becomes part of a new family. So, the mother-in-law advises her in the way she would advise her son. Progressive women often have an issue with that.

 

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Aayushi Vasishtha

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A blogger, a copywriter, a content curator and an avid reader; curiosity drives her nagging habit of questioning anything and everything. Suffers from an unhealthy addiction to shopping and smiles.

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