Expectations from Indian daughters in law and how it affects them. How expectations create a plethora of distress and unpleasant situations in relationship with in laws.
India is a land of diverse culture, here even if you get married within your own community you will come across different sets of rituals and customs. Forget about the inter-caste and inter-religion marriages, they turn out to be a lifetime challenge for the couples. But no daughter in law could escape from the heavy baggage of expectations by the in laws.
In this blog, let us discuss the types of expectations Indian in laws have with their daughter in laws and how it affects the family and relationships.
Expectations from Indian daughters in law
The picture of daughters-in-law in India is not very pleasant, as they are still burnt alive in the name of dowry and can become a victim of acid-attack to get rid of. This is the reality of any woman struggling in their married life and what is more disheartening you know? The reason behind all this is mostly that other women in the house in the form of a mother in law or sister in law.
Just because of jealousy and insecurity they mistreat her and don’t accept her as their own. The new-age modern and educated daughters-in-law still try to survive this injustice with pride and dignity but what about the ones who don’t even know that there exists a life beyond her husband, in-laws, and her toxic marriage?
10 Expectations from Indian daughters in law which ruins their life
Daughters in law are no less than an unpaid caregiver, who was born to cook and serve selflessly to their in-laws and husband. Failing to do so results in domestic violence, arguments, fights, and abuse in the form of physical and emotional abuse.
Women lack support in this even from their parents, in India a daughter is born and her mother starts preparing her for her after-married life. She needs to learn cooking, embroidery, stitching, taking care of elders, being respectful, if a little amount of time and energy were utilized in training boys, in the same way, it would have certainly bought a lot of change in society, but no, the kitchen is women’s area, and they belong there. So you can imagine the level of expectations from Indian daughters in law with the duties they are expected to perform.
I am not a therapist or counselor, I am like many of you and one among you. It breaks my heart when I see how a woman belittles another woman and on the other hand, we are building sisterhood tribes, we talk about women empowerment, and what about the woman you treat disrespectfully in your own house? I am pointing some 10 expectations from Indian daughters in law.
|1.) They need to be perfect in everything they do|
|2.) They should obey the elders in the house|
|3.) They should become selfless|
|4.) They should strike the perfect balance|
|5.) They should forget their parents|
|6.) They are expected to adjust with a smile|
|7.) They should support everything|
|8.) They should not opine|
|9.) They should slog and struggle|
|10.) They should forget that they exist|
1.) They need to be perfect in everything they do
Perfection in everything you do and say. No mistakes and no pardon. If you fail then your parents will be blamed for not upbringing you wisely and instilling good skills in you. You are constantly judged and criticized and yet you are expected to one perfect.
2.) They should obey the elders in the house
Obeying elders is a good thing a part of moral ethics and good manners, but can respect be commanded? Your need to earn it through love and care. What is the point of respecting pretentiously and inside cursing that person for ruining that life? Does it even satisfy their small ego?
3.) They should become selfless
Another expectation from Indian daughters in law is you are expected to sacrifice and become selfless, you are expected to sacrifice your beloved dresses, your favorite pieces of stuff, and even your happiness. Family first, as we are taught, and of course we all put our family first but not at the expense of our sanity.
4.) They should strike the perfect balance
Right from managing groceries, bills, finances, even though the husband is the sole source of learning bu the onus of smooth operation of the daily chores in the house lies on the responsible shoulders of the wife. She can fail too, she can be imperfect too, she can also take wrong decisions but she is not expected to do that.
5.) They should forget their parents
Expectations from Indian daughters in law are such that as soon as you get married and enter the in-law house you are expected to treat them as your parent, right from day one you call them mom dad, you search for meanings and try to form relations same as you had in your maternal side, then how can one forget the very basis of their existence? This is not only wrong but unethical.
6.) They are expected to adjust with a smile
Adjust with the societal norms and adjust with each and every member of the family, please them, seek validation from them otherwise how will you become a perfect daughter in laws? How will you win hearts, if ever you could win hearts? I don’t want to sound like a pessimist but I have hardly seen hearts melting. I have never seen a toxic mother in law turn into a loving one.
7.) They should support everything
Expectations from Indian daughters in law are such that they are expected to say yes and do things as per their in-laws direction. When you start using your brain and question or reason, you are not welcomed. You are supposed to support yourself selflessly and your rude mother in law will never appreciate you. You will feel hurt and end up feeling frustrated.
8.) They should not opine
A daughter-in-law cannot opine, she cannot express her views even if she has the best solution to offer. I have seen this many families around me, where I see women saying that we can’t even say a word, let it be. They just see things go haywire in front of them but have to keep mum.
9.) They should slog and struggle
As if it is a part of the legacy system and one of the most bizarre expectations from Indian daughters in law. All the old wives’ tales suggest that women from generations have slogged and struggles a lot to maintain the peace and harmony of their house. So girls should be patient and should tolerate everything their in-laws say. In everything comes abuse, disrespect, ignorance, arrogance, and insult too.
10.) They should forget that they exist
One of the unreasonably worst expectations from Indian daughters in law is to serve selflessly like an unpaid caregiver, who doesn’t even get appreciated for all the efforts she puts to keep everything in order, one must forget that they exist. Only then it is possible to become this mechanical and perform the daily chores as a part of her humdrum life.
To conclude, I would say, we can certainly not control the way our in-laws or others think about us but we should be a little lenient towards our own ourselves. If no one is taking care of you, if no one is understanding you, you need to take charge of your life. Allow yourself to make mistakes, allow yourself to learn from your mistakes.
Give yourself the space to make mistakes and learn from them, do not fall for the perfectionistm, it is a myth. Every mother does best for her child within her capacity, every daughter in law tries to fit in the new family in the best way possible, remember all the relations are two ways, it doesn’t work if one side has lost track and going in some other direction. So the onus of making everybody happy is not your sole duty but yes maintaining a peaceful environment is, for yourself and for others, so do not get into unnecessary stress, take charge of your mental health and stay sane.
Lots of love and gratitude
Priyanka Nair is the author of 26 Days 26 Ways for a Happier you and Ardhaviram. An NLP practitioner and Founder of Sanity Daily, helping you prioritize your mental health. Let’s build a happy community.