Is being a daughter in law difficult? I wonder. How we are constantly judged on the societal parameters and expected to follow every set norm by society, what for? Just to please others?
Why is being a daughter in law so difficult, why are we continuously judged and labeled? Why can’t we just be? Blessed are those daughters in law who ended up with parents-like in laws, who believe in nourishing relationships and not punishing.
In this blog, let us discuss and see if being a daughter in law difficult or is it just another by-product of fears set by society.
Is being a daughter in law difficult?
I feel somehow we are conditioned to believe that we fit into the good books of others only when we are good at doing things and able to perfectly manage everything. All these things come with certain labels, especially for women in our society. If she is less educated, she is made feel inferior, if she is a working one she is labeled as someone who doesn’t know how to take care of house and kids, the labels could be exhaustive and sometimes leads to a lot of stress in women.
We are usually advised to adjust, compromise, sacrifice in order to become the ideal package and compete for the race of the most eligible daughter in law. It leaves me appalled when I think this from a relationship point of view. What are we giving and getting here, if a healthy relationship requires efforts from both the side then it applies to each and every relationship and when there is no reciprocation, no recognition, will you feel like performing your duties whole-heartedly? NO.
Just like when you don’t get yearly appraisals and job recognition at your workplace, you feel disappointed and discouraged. There you have an option to switch the company. What should a daughter in law do, slog for a lifetime? Is being a daughter in a law difficult in our society or is it made difficult? Let us see few reasons which have made it difficult to for the daughters in law to survive their role.
Eight Reasons Why Being A Daughter In Law Is Difficult
Is India really a tough country for daughters in law? Where a girl is burnt alive in the name of dowry, suffers acid attacks, violence, abuse and is expected to slog throughout her life and not utter a single word in her defense? Or is it a global fashion to treat daughters in law in this manner?
Being an Indian girl and a daughter in law, I have seen and experienced many such things in my life and personally, I have faced color shaming, dowry taunting, and total biasness from my in laws. It leaves me wondering that if how would I cross the bridge, the gap has built so much that even though I try to bridge the gap, I fail because I cannot do it all alone.
Few steps from here and few steps from the other side are all needed to lessen down this distance. But half of our life we fail to make each other understand this because we don’t communicate, we argue, we argue to prove each other wrong, and give ourselves ego massages.
The day a daughter in law stops pampering the ego of her disrespectful mother in law, she gets labeled as uncultured. Here are the eight reasons which make being daughters in law a little difficult.
|1.) Lack of proper communication|
|2.) Being treated like an outsider|
|4.) Unsupportive husband|
|5.) Comparison with others|
|6.) Societal norms|
|8.) Cultural Barriers|
1.) Lack of proper communication
When we lack proper channels of communication we close the doors for forming an understanding. The major problem in living with in laws is that we have to follow certain protocols and we cannot talk or express directly about anything. Where there is no proper communication, there is no room for betterment in the relationships among the family members.
2.) Being treated like an outsider
This problem of being treated as an outsider annoys the most and makes it very difficult for daughters in law to cope up with the feeling of treated unfairly. Who likes to be treated as an outsider and stand way aside while the family members are having conversations of which they are not a part.
The brides and the prejudices, the pre-conceived notions are the killers of any relationship even before it is established. The unfavorable and biased behavior by the in laws makes it really difficult for a daughter in law to manage the day-to-day communications. Whatever she says or does is judged and in laws are never satisfied with the amount of effort she puts at work.
4.) Unsupportive husband
If you are lucky and your husband supports you and cares for you, half the battle is won. But the ones who land up with unsupportive husbands and cannot stand a single word against their parents, which creates a lot of problems. This kind of ignorant behavior makes a daughter in law feel left out, neglected and like an outsider. She starts suffocating herself with toxic thoughts when she has no one to speak with.
5.) Comparison with others
Constant comparison is reflective of an innate inferiority complex. Right from cooking, to dressing to any small thing she will try to show you that she was and is the best at doing things. Is being a daughter in law difficult? She will also compare you from other daughters in law on the basis of looks, educational qualification, how much work they do, and even how much dowry they bought. Looks and beauty being a constant meter of judgment.
6.) Societal norms
It becomes really difficult to adhere to the societal norms and suffocate yourself in order to maintain peace and harmony in the house Why the onus of a happy family lies on the shoulders of the daughters in law alone? What about the elders of the house, have they retired from humanity too? Why do they stop being responsible and caring just because one girl enters their house, didn’t they started their family the very same way?
The expectation is the key to all the problems. Yes. Right from day one, we start expecting things from our in laws, our spouse, we expect everything in our mind, we don’t say anything but we have established an image of expectations in our mind for each and every relation and when we don’t get treated like we expected, we get hurt. We feel miserable.
8.) Cultural Barriers
There are few socio-cultural barriers, few religious barriers and then there are few mind-made barriers. You come from another community, a mother family, it is quite natural you will have certain different sets of traits which will not match with theirs. In laws want you to unlearn everything right from the start and here you start juggling between what you were and what you are expected to be, this causes a lot of stress in daughter in laws.
Ten Ways To Deal With Difficulties
Difficulties in our life do not come to destroy us but to make us stronger, I read somewhere. I don’t know how much it makes sense in this situation but somehow I feel we need to remind ourselves every day that this shall pass soon. We will either learn the art of not being affected by such difficult in laws or we will somehow manage to swim against the tide and stand for ourselves, either way, we will grow. Please follow the steps mentioned below and remind yourself to save your sanity.
1.) Focus on what matters
2.) Don’t make a mountain of a molehill
3.) Say ‘stop’ to your mind when it goes in a negative direction
4.) Learn to let go
5.) Do not doubt your own abilities
6.) Do not lose your kindness
7.) Maintain healthy boundaries
8.) Do not seek validation for what you do
9.) Fewer expectations and more gratefulness
10.) Breathe in positivity and breathe out negativity.
In the end, I would say that 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 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 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.
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.