Handling Indian in laws can be quite a task even in this current day and age. The reason being, India is a diverse country. Hence, each household is different and every culture is unique. So adjusting and be a part of a new family isn’t easy.
However, if you are somebody who is tactful and respectful of yourself as a woman, you will surely win the craft of handling Indian in laws. Not only will you learn the craft but you will also stay empowered for the rest of the days.
Happy homes are need of the hour. Therefore, it is upon us as family members to accept and respect each other. Mindless arguing will not help. Being the bigger person will and also celebrating differences across cultures will count.
Handling Indian In Laws
All thanks to vicious prejudices, the term, ‘in laws’ is seen by most women in India as scary. Young women dreaming of a happy life getting married are often worried about their freedom. The fault lies in the mentality at large that is responsible for depicting people in a certain way. Also, for people to think that they are entitled.
Our society isn’t very balanced when it comes to marriage. Right from the outset, it is the man who gets the unfair privilege, and the woman is expected to follow the stereotypes. This is why the parents of the man become entitled whereas the parents of the woman get ignored. A woman is expected to leave everything and not follow her dreams.
However, there are also families who were staying in peace is the norm. Families where the daughter in laws are treated as equals. Families where love is showered upon a new member entering the family. Therefore, handling Indian in laws is more a matter of the family you land in than a stereotyped version of them that scares you away.
Do’s and Dont’s for Handling Indian In Laws
Always keep all channels of communication open
Stay fully assertive as a daughter in law
Remember your complete set of rights as a daughter in law
Stay respectful and loving towards everyone.
Learn to adapt and let go
Don’t ever lose your identity as a woman just because you are married.
Do not make permanent sacrifices for temporary egos.
Avoid conforming to things just because your in laws say so
Don’t ever allow anybody to inflict violence on you.
Don’t discriminate against your in laws
Handling in Laws that Love and Respect you
It is said lucky are the women who get loving and respecting in laws. I say that loving and respecting in laws should anyways be the norm. Why should love and respect be showered on only a few women? Why should a handful of women receive true affection?
If you are one of those women who have caring in laws, make sure you care for them as well. You see, relationships are a two-way streak. Hence, if they do their bit, you should surely do yours. Love them truly and respect them. After all, they are the people who are evolved enough to accept you as their own.
Gratitude is a great thing. The more grateful you remain as a person, the more love you will receive from all ends. Also, the higher you will soar in life. Therefore, when it comes to handling Indian in laws that are so nice, please be nice to them as well.
Handling Indian in Laws Living with you
Life surely changes post marriage – at least for most of us. It changes more for women than it does for men. As women, we try our level best to be accepted in a new home and stay well behaved at all times. However, issues have begun to emerge if you land up in a family where you are expected to stay with your in laws at all times.
Now staying with in laws is not a bad thing if you understand each other well. But if your new family already assumes that you should be subjugated and that your voice means nothing, then surely you are headed for doom. Either way, you should be intelligent enough to know how to deal with in laws living with you and not causing your mental health any disruption.
There are a number of ways to handle in Laws living with you. I’ve specifically mentioned 8 practical ways to deal with in laws living with you in another blog of mine. The underlying principle is you respecting yourself at all times. Without self-respect, you will be tossed like a pizza by even the best of people.
But even before that, a question that needs to be asked is, “Should you be living with in laws in the first place?” Let me elaborate it more below.
Why Living with in Laws is a Bad Idea?
Well, living with in laws who don’t respect you is surely a bad idea as it might cause you only mental distress. There are many reasons that support this stance. The most obvious one being inequality. A man and a woman should start their new life as equals and not as one leaving her home to live permanently with people who don’t want to change themselves a bit.
There are so many reasons that prove why living with in laws is a bad idea. First and foremost of them being enabling and internalizing patriarchy in the worst form possible. By the way, this has nothing to do with your in laws being bad. In fact, your in laws might be the best in laws in the world. But even then expecting you to leave everything and sacrificing yourself for a life they want for you is surely not equality.
I have made an attempt to throw light on the most important and obvious reasons in another blog post of mine. These reasons will help you understand human nature more and the psyche behind certain attitudes. Also, you will realize how important personal space and privacy are as constructs.
Handling a Jealous Mother in Law
As sad as it may sound, there are women who take offense of another woman staying in their household. Now, this is heartbreaking because the other woman is the first woman’s daughter in law. Jealousy is common in mother in laws. As a daughter in law, you might not know whether your mother in law is jealous of you. However, you should surely keep looking for certain signs of insecurity and outburst.
No human being is perfect so how can mothers in law be perfect? Envy is one of the most common traits in our species. It has affected us all. If you are one of those daughter in laws who have been sensing signs of envy from your mother in law but are unsure, it is time you find out the truth.
As a society, we are taught to respect our elders. Hence, we miss out on the basic trait that defines us all – imperfection. Respect does not mean that we overlook the flaws of our elders. On the contrary, we should help them become better human beings. Unless we know their flaws, how can we possibly resolve issues and let go of negativity?
Hold your mother in laws’ hand and tell her that getting her son married means bringing a more positive person in his life. It does not mean letting go of people who exist already. This single thought will help her forge the bond between her and you. Try it!
Handling an Arrogant Father in Law
If only our society didn’t have seeds of patriarchy sown in it, it would be so much better. Most father in laws (especially from the previous generation) feel entitled about their status. As soon as an empowered and educated daughter in law enters the household, they start feeling threatened and start acting all control freaks.
It is anyways so hard for a daughter in law to adjust to a new family. But things become even worse when a father in law acts weird, doesn’t approve of your presence, and makes it difficult for you to reach out to him. His ego might even ruin his own relationship with his wife i.e your mother in law.
As a good person, do keep all lines of communication open from your end. Also, help him out of ever let go of his big ego and tries to become a genuinely humble person. Your own good behavior will do wonders for him. However, you are never to submit to his ill will. So always remain assertive.
Handling Indian in Laws that are Violent
Violence is a crime and no living being should be subjected to it. As a daughter in law, if you are being harassed mentally, physically, or emotionally by your in laws, you are to report this behavior. You cannot under any means accept this violence.
First of all, inform about this behavior any trusted person. Also, take your parents into confidence. You cannot allow silence to be your weakness. Instead, speak out. No matter how fearful you are, please speak out.
If nobody from your family or friends supports you, just file a report at National Commission for Women. Do it on their website. The authorities will take care of you and hear your voice.
Just remember to take full control of your life. Nobody and I mean nobody should dare to harm you.
Handling in Laws who Don’t Like you
If your in laws don’t approve of you as their daughter in law since you were their son’s choice and not theirs, you will surely feel resentful. I mean why should you even need anybody’s approval in the first place? However, it is important for you to prioritize happiness over everything else. Hence, be the bigger person and reach out to them.
You should also take your husband into confidence and talk to your in laws together. If they are reasonable people and actually care for their son, they will surely accept you and respect you with love. However, if they are mean and petty (since they are humans too), the onus of rectifying the relationship surely lies on them and not you.
You just stay calm and do your bit. As long as you are in the right place, you surely will have peace of mind. There is no need for you to force yourself into doing things that will impress them. Continue to be yourself and stay kind. Be humble and respectful in your approach, maybe today the chords are not striking in together but the possibility is that after some time they will see the real you.
All you should worry about is your mental state, dealing with tough in laws could lead you to mental distress and if you allow all the negativity to enter inside you it will turn you off completely. We cannot afford that, right? Do not pretend what you can’t be and do not show off in order to make a place in their lives, they should transform their behavior in order to be better human beings first.
A daughter in law is not anybody’s crapper that anyone can come and vent out negativity. So stay respectful towards yourself and to the people around you. Do not lose your mind’s peace and keep growing as a person. The best people will always be there for you. The rest should learn to catch up because as I said before, relationships are a two-way streak. So how about you ensure some equality around your household?
The day you when you will free yourself from the burden of fitting in, things will change. Trust me life will be good for everyone. Take charge of your life.
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.