It is said that we cannot clap with one hand. Two hands are responsible for a clap to take place. So is the relationship between a daughter-in-law and parents-in-law. Why do in-laws have expectations from daughter-in-law, why can’t a daughter-in-law expect from in-laws? It has become a taboo in our society that daughters-in-law should take care of their in-laws because we are bound by marriage to do so. Why? My philosophy is, take care of your daughters-in-law as you want your daughters to be taken care by their in-laws and the rest will automatically go smooth.
I got married to the love of my life after a long courtship of 12 years and the dilemma of in-laws began. At the end of the honeymoon period, the horrible face of in-laws was shown to me. I had already quit my job and moved to other city and was looking for some job there.
The things I never did in my house have to be done every day in my in-laws house. Moping, dusting, brooming, and dishwashing, cooking, all the household chores have to be done by me. My in-laws never kept a maid to help me out in the house. I felt like a maid here. They want me to get up early in the morning and be in the kitchen. I was not used to get up early in the morning before marriage till I started working. I felt all my dreams getting shattered. I even got engaged in wordy war with my in- laws several times.
I tried very hard with my in-laws to include them in my family, but all efforts go in vain. I have then come to a conclusion that in-laws can never become parents; however, there are exceptions too. I have seen my parents loving and caring my brother’s wife as their own daughter even behaving more than her real parents. Everyone is not that lucky even I am not.
My husband is a kind of person who wanted peace between me and in my in-laws. He used to explain me and his parents separately and tried to calm both of us. I never asked my in-laws for anything. My only caretaker was my husband. I used to take permission from him for whatever I did. He was always by my side whenever I needed him.
One day I made it clear to my in-laws in front of my husband not to interfere in my life any more. I will live my life according to my own rules. I will not change myself for anyone. I will not submerge my feelings, desires, preferences and needs in the service of”doing things their way”. I will not allow them to disrespect, control or manipulate me for their own selfish ends. Their crazy requests will not be entailed at any cost. I will not sit dumb and deaf listening to their illogical orders.
.That day and today, I am no longer intruded into my personal life as
“Good fences make good neighbours”.
Don’t let your in-laws rule your life. Set reasonable boundaries. Let your spouse know it very clearly that you firmly and kindly insist that your in-laws respect these limits. When you get married, you become part of another family with its own let of expectations. You need to recognise and respect those-within limits.