To make your daughter-in-law comfortable, nothing could be best then a joint family. Make her feel that you have accepted her, and she will give you 100% of love with compassion. Take one step to support her shaky behavior as she’s new to your place , and she will give you all her love, kindness and enthusiasm unconditionally. Give her time, let her adjust, let her feel comfortable, be her backbone and see the difference that she creates in your small happy world. Let marriage be a beautiful thing to happen and not a load that needs to be dragged till the end of an innocent and sinless girl’s life.
My purpose is not to frighten anybody. It takes a lot of courage to leave a home you were brought up and go to a new house with new faces but going to a house full of people just to feel isolated is almost every Indian daughter-in-law’s story.
A story of a girl who is been married for few years, who lived on her terms and conditions, was loved by her friends and family for her bubbly nature. She was her parents lifeline, her siblings strength, her friends’ support, a listener to her friend whose sad and what not; and one fine day, she was married off which was again her dream which most girl have, a fairy tale wedding, and her life took a serious turn. She was very excited to pack her bags with her favorite set of accessories and the little black dress she wore for her spinster with a heavy heart, she told herself that she was going from one home to another. But by then, things already started changing to the new place she would be going too.
She became a wife, a daughter-in-law, and tons of new relations were added to her name, just because she agreed to change her surname.
In Indian society, be it love or an arranged marriage, you face the same issues, because you love the boy but you get married to the family. As soon as she got done with her seven rounds the ritual of Hindu marriage, she was expected to change and adapt to the lifestyle of a new family, people she didn’t even know much about — accept their values. She was expected to change her name in the wedding banquet itself. As an Indian daughter-in-law, you lose your identity in just a moment’s time and nobody cares about how you feel in that moment. If you don’t do that, you’ll be looked at in a bad light forever.
There was a question pondering in her mind — does getting married mean that you are now somebody’s slave? Nobody will tell you the “rules” of your new house (you are expected to learn them all by yourself OVERNIGHT), else all you will hear is: “This is what your parents taught you”. And you are humiliated in front of all — close and distant relatives — because of course, you deserve it.
This is what she left her parents’ home for and have been through. She was never made felt agreeable and comfortable to regulate to new situations or accustomed to people’s thinking, new circumstances and everything else that was new to her. Her parents always taught her to take toddler steps in life; even if it takes time so that she make less mistakes on the other hand her in-laws, taught her how to take a short cut to everything so that everything is done within no span of time. For few situations are even worse in case in-laws are the “wear only suit or saree” types. Early morning it had to be suit (Indian Dress), vermilion , bangles, anklet and what not, and in case if any of them are missing , expect to get lecture on ‘culture’, and what not in out times we can’t even think of such mistakes how can you be so careless.
If you do not take a dupatta (Stole), then people in the family start feeling uncomfortable. Strange, isn’t it. Was she the only female in the family and aren’t her clothes enough to cover them? And in case you get into a serious discussion or try to answer back, EVER, get ready for your own character assassination along with your entire family’s insult.
Rules are always different incase of daughter and a daughter-in-law in the same family. A daughter has the right to wear anything that she feels like, but a daughter-in-law cant think of it also. She will be insulted the moment she wears something of her choice. If a daughter has period then everybody in the family is asked not to disturb her, as she is “unwell”, but when the daughter-in-law has the same problem, she is made to work. Especially if she has period then the work given to her would be more and you dare to say that you’ve stomach ache you get another lecture what they have done then. Our body functions same when will they understand that it doesn’t change after we get married. she was depressed and broken with such kind of behavior and attitude towards her. She was destroyed and lost, She wondered if her parents would do the same to her brother’s wife.
A daughter can do job and have the career of her choice, because it is HER life so she can decide for herself, she has to be independent in life. But if a daughter-in-law is working/or planning to work, she will have to face humiliation every single day of her life even if she plans to resume back to work. And for those working moms who have kids, all I can say is May God give you some strength to overcome the problems! Some in-laws are upfront in telling their daughter-in-law that they would not look after their baby if she plans to work and neither she has the permission to keep a nanny for the baby, this is being very rude and making her feel helpless every single moment. The fact remains that you will remain an outsider for your husband’s family all your life, the family secrets and the money matters will all be discussed behind closed doors, as if you are here to take all their money but then you’re asked to ‘feel comfortable’, how is that possible? What ever you speak is always misunderstood and still if you speak less just to avoid misconception then too they have a problem. So what is the solution to such situation simply nothing.
A very unusual thing that happens here in Indian culture is, the moment you get married, the next big question people asked to you is “good news”, especially women!! Is your daughter-in-law a machine to produce babies? In-laws become so impatient for the baby, is it that they are not aware of the fact that it takes nine months to bring a child to this world? It’s not an automatic process, it’s a responsibility that a women needs to take when both she and her husband are ready for it. How difficult is that to understand! But when it comes to planning a baby sometime couples thing after a baby parents will change, but they were proved wrong infact the daughter-in-laws gets mad with so many things to handle.
Finally, you may have an amazing and understanding husband, but will he will always hear the problem that you are facing at his place — NO not always. And the reason to this is that their is someone filling their ears. He will also ask you to ADJUST and LET GO. There is no problem in adjusting from a woman’s point of view (that is what she does all her life) if only the adjustment is for a week, ten days or a month even its acceptable. But if you have to permanently live with your least understanding in-laws, and a “mamma’s boy”, it’s a challenge. As she can’t share with her parents if it is a love marriage as parents will say we told you not to marry him even if they are understanding you and if it arrange marriage parents are scared thinking we have our second child to get married and if something unusual happen then the siblings marriage would also be question, so basically adjust for sometime things change.
She couldn’t tell them how alone she felt in her new house and not home sometimes. She couldn’t tell them how she felt like calling them up with tears rolling down her cheeks and her eyes saying — she missed them terribly, feeling like “take me home I can’t take all this anymore”.
She is forced to say goodbye to her freedom, independence and friends.The poor husband is also not at fault because he’s stuck between two women he loves the most in his life. A husband will be supporting enough, but he will sometimes give up in front of his parents and wife, hence you will be the one feeling concealed and left out, because you are new in the house and you need to ADJUST to everything and everyone! Sometimes its always not the in-laws who make you feel down it may be your sister-in-law and you have no clue why she also being the daughter-in-law too is behaving indifferent. Why one daughter-in-laws needs to adjust always and the other is always given space, and the matter is that they will never realise what the new girl at your place is trying or going through.
A question to all my readers. If your in-laws tell you to leave the house for the mistake made by them. Should you be staying in that house anymore? Yes many of you may feel yes as how can we judge whose mistake was it, but let me be clear it was been asked to many of her well-wishers as a third party story and it was been concluded that the in-laws are at fault.
Indian culture fail to understand that the daughter-in-law is not a witch, here to take away your son. Also, when you got married to somebody’s son; did you have the same thought back then, of taking a son away from his mother? They will not have any reply to such question and you may again be misinterpreted so its better to leave the conversation and let others stay in peace.
In-laws only want their son to marry for the fact that they just wanted a free maid in the house. You will always be the best daughter-in-law with a caring attitude, over the pre-wedding phone calls and birthday wishes at 12. But you changed drastically as soon as she entered their premises. What birthday they don’t even wish you, how will they be your backbone?
Why was she asked to minimise her visits to her parents’ place or why not to discuss the issues that you are blamed for to your parents? Its simple because they know whose mistake it is. Daughter-in-law need to accept all his relatives whole-heartedly, but he has all the rights not to do the same. And if he mixes well with er relatives his parents don’t like it. Why? Girl need to forget her parents, or rather don’t get married in such a family where there is no son, because you may have to take care of them when they become old what type of thinking is that? Why should she not take care of them, they are also ageing, they treat her well and make her feel good, they still loves her and will always do unconditionally, and so will she! They need her as much as her mother-in-law needs their son.
She’s still looking for a solution for her unborn daughter…
Also published originally on AkkarBakkar