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Raising Children Topics..

You are here : home > Raising Children > Parental Dilemmas > In-Laws


Husbands don't realize it, but domineering in-laws can wreck the mental health of their wives.

In laws can be good, too interfering, or downright manipulative, just like people all around the globe. In general if we come across people that rub us the wrong way and that we just don't get along with, we try to keep our distance from them as much as possible - and if we have to cope with them because they are our colleagues or seniors at work, we associate with them no more than we have to, and forget all about them when we are back in the comforts of our own home.

But what should we do when the people who annoy, anger or needle us the most, actually live in our homes?

These situations arise in two ways:

  1. When the son and daughter in law lives with the parents.
  2. When the in-laws move in with the son and daughter in law.

In this article we will focus on the first group:


In India you often find sons living in their parent's houses even after their marriage. If the daughter-in-law is living in the house of her in-laws, she ideally needs to adjust according to what is generally considered acceptable in that house, but she cannot be treated like a slave.

Although the daughter in law may have done things differently in her own home, she needs to display some flexibility now. If everyone in her new house wakes up at 7, she too needs to do the same. But if they all wake up at 10, then she alone cannot be expected to wake up earlier than everyone else! She needs to adjust just enough to do as much as the others do, and no more.


A mother-in-law cannot expect to hand over all duties to the 'bahu' unless she is unwell. If the mother in law is not feeling well, the daughter in law along with other sisters in law, if any, should all help out at home. If the daughter in law has a full time job, then she needs to be given less responsibility at home. The members of the family who do not have a job should help out more at home.


If a very traditional mother-in-law wants her daughter in law to wear saris at a family event, the daughter in law should respect her wishes. If she and her husband are going out separately with their friends, the mother in law should not tell her daughter in law what to wear.


The mother in law cannot assert her rights over her grandchildren, and cannot dictate how they should be raised under any circumstances.

If a bahu doesn't like the way things are in her in-laws household, she and her husband should make the decision to live separately. It would be selfish for the husband to insist they all live together just because he wants to be with his parents, unless there are severe financial constraints.

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dil.8 years ago
Good article.I now understood when I can bow and when I can demand infront of my ILS.But there's sure no end to DILS' misery be'coz in most of the indian families ,the husband is unsupportive or sometimes confused and helpless.
in-laws.8 years ago
how to cope with the in-laws
my evil in laws....8 years ago
this is a good article for some in laws. but, mine are down right just evil! i prefer they fall off the face of this planet. they cause lots of problems between my husband and i.
my in-laws doesnot want me to meet my parents who live quite near. with my husband, i stay in another city but when i visit them, they doesnot want me to meet my parents. my husband feels that one day visit to my parents is ok., but i wish to stay with my parents for some days and enjoy with them. my husband fears his parents and so cannot support my wishes when we are with them.i dont talk much with my in-laws coz they dont want to listen anything about my parents and they are disgusting. what to do? i have 2 small children.
another bahu.8 years ago
this is a very good article... i also liked the "living together" article. i just wish there was a way to get these articles in husband's hands. i noticed the trend of more girls visiting this site. if this article was on times of india or ther sites frequently visited by guys that it would make them think and this article would serve the purpose :)
Dias.8 years ago
this article is ok but need to focus on the general barriers between in-laws and daughter-in-law.and need to elaborate the solutions sometimes only son can understanding concerns from both sides and not only with parents or wife.and narrate on how guys can make the home like heaven with their decent and matured behaviour...because sometimes guys spoil relations by showing partiality to parents which makes wife feel left alone,and thus that girl cant feel comfort with him or his family.the best solution a guy can make is avoiding complaints made by parents against wife's parents (his inlaws).and stop doubting at only oneside. because ,as per my belief this generation ,girls r matured and willing to maintain good terms with in-laws,though ,in many cases they r not fair-minded towards her
Oh God.8 years ago
in indian families,no matter how educated they r, they still have the same expectations from daughter in laws as in the 18th century. mother in laws feel like after their son's marriage they have to share their son with another person but they forget that , that another person has the same relation with their son as thay have with their husbands. a husband & wife can be the truest & best friends with each other. the friction arises b/w mil and dil when both of them r trying to impose all attention and wishes on one person. it is seen that as soon as son gets married mothers become more sensitive to that son and go all lovey dovey on him.but dil thinks that she is interfering with their lives by doing this. they may both be correct in their own way. it atlast depends on son how he handles the situation.
geena.8 years ago
nice article
would have sounded confusing earlier but things are clear after marriage
how unhappy & cheated u feel once u are into it
Just another DIL.8 years ago
good article.i wish my husband could read it too.
xmasnoelle.8 years ago
this article is just ok, there are topics i agree with and others i do not. in 2004 my husband and i went to live with my in laws, it was a living hell. i was talked into living with a women; that while my husband and i were dating did some down right mean things to me, such as reporting me and my husband (boyfriend at the time) to the department of children services, telling them that we were molesting my oldest son (from a prior relasonship) it was found of course that she was just lying to get me out of the piucture. then right after we were married, my husband joined the military and while he was in basic training she sent him a letter, she told him that she had recived a letter from the health department stating that i had been cheating on him and i had given several men aids, which of course again is not true and i don't even have aids. it was just scary the leangths this women would go to, to hurt me and try to break her son and i apart. well we didn't live there for more then a few months, i couldn't take her riticule anymore. on october 1, 2006 she died of cancer, yes i feel bad, and i am so sorry she had to pass in such a horrible way, but god forgive me? i feel a burden lifted like she can't hurt me again. we have now come back to live with my father in law and help him deal with his loss, yes it is hard and i get frustrated with him, for the butting in he does when it comes to the way i am raising my children, but i am not walking on egg shells this time around. i wish he would just leave my kids alone, especially my 2 year old, but i just keep telling myself he just doesn't understasnd small children and it is won't be long before i fininsh school and get a good job so we can get back on our feet. we are still struggling from the last time we lived with them, we lost everything, i mean everything, we are just now after 2 1/2 years starting to catch up, my mother in law told use to sell everything the 1st time we moved in with them, so we did, she claimed we would not need anything. wrong. anyway i wasn't going to let that happen again. so it took alot of careful thought before i would move in again. now that we have i am kind of glad we did, we are able to save money now. i just hope that we can someday get a house of our own. well sorry for rambling on and on sometimes it just feels good to vent. thank you to all for taking the time to read.
take care and god bless
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