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Raising Children Topics..

You are here : home > Raising Children > Parental Dilemmas > Living Together

Living Together

What happens when the husband wants his parents to come and live with him, but his wife doesn't get along with them?

In India one very often sees sons living with their parents even after their marriage. But amongst Non Resident Indians, it is another story. Sons that move out of India and set up home abroad, get married and start their own families, often invite their parents to come and live with them.

One common complaint amongst many Indian men living abroad is: "I want my parents to come and live with us, but my wife has a problem with it."

First of all, try and understand why your wife doesn't want them to come and live with you.

Additional work

Anyone can look after and serve others for a short period, but when this short stay becomes permanent, it is another matter.

Are your parents the kind who will do their work themselves, or will your wife need to serve them? In a country where labour is expensive and few have servants, everyone, unless bedridden, does all their work themselves. If people in their nineties can do their own grocery shopping and cooking, so can your parents. If your parents will not be able to look after themselves, are you willing to hire help? If you want your parents to come and live with you and want your wife to look after them, understand that you, and not your wife, are being unfair.


No one wants to live with someone who constantly tells them what to do, how to do it and when to do it. Few in-laws can resist interfering, and this can be a source of great pain for your wife. True, their intentions and their heart may be good, but this is not a justification. Don't force your wife to see their intentions, and don't make light of her feelings if she is hurt by something your parents said. If you want to live together, you need to tell your parents to interfere less, instead of telling your wife to tolerate more.

We recently received another letter that stated: "I do not want to abandon my parents in their old age. I am thinking of divorcing my wife."

This may seem like a shocking statement, but it is a truth for many Indian men across the globe.

If you want to look after your parents their entire life, don't get married. Stay a bachelor, and look after your parents. Don't get them to come and live with you, and then force your wife to get along with them.

Although your wanting to look after your parents is noble, it is not noble to expect your wife to want the same. Instead of being so set in your views, consider the option of having your parents move into a house close by. This way you can look after them and yet let your wife lead her own life.

If your parents and wife are not on good terms, don't play judge and try and figure out whose fault it is. Many husbands automatically blame their wives believing that their mothers can do no wrong and as a result they fight with their wives. Remember, it is not your wife's duty to bow down to every desire of your mother, especially in her own house.

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l.7 years ago
And for my old age.. I would definitely not stick on to my son or daughter .. I would like some privacy and independence whatever be my age
frustrated.7 years ago
thanks a lot mv.. my situataion is exactly the same as yours.. Its not that my in laws are bad or anything.. The frustratinng thing is not feeling at home at ones one home..
l.7 years ago
And for my old age.. I would definitely not stick on to my son or daughter .. I would like some privacy and independence whatever be my age
l.7 years ago
I am sorry mister Kumar.. I did not mean to be mean.. Looking after parents who are sick or cannot take care of themselves is fine.. But i think those who are absolutely healthy can live indipendently (like how parents of girl childs plan to)
l.7 years ago
Hello mister Kumar.. Is it only men who have parents.. Dont parents who have only girls look after themselves at their old age.. Oh probably parents develope a handicap when they give birth to a boy i guess.. Ha Ha.. what a pity..
Kumar.7 years ago
The author may note that he/she may be a newly wed. But later in life a time will come when their son/daughter will get married. Will the author stand by the views then, only time will tell. People are selfish, more so people who preach.
Kumar.7 years ago
The author seems to be onesided in the article. What are you suggesting, to the end of the human civilization.
q.8 years ago
oh well done! high time such clear and fair words were spoken!

sa.8 years ago
really a good article. every man should read this article
S.8 years ago
what the article gives is true to certain extent, but what when the wife's own parents come and stay with them, the hubby also has to adjust to certain norms of his in laws then.
and all indian families are in this list, my in laws when they were with me, they had adjsuted to my life style,inspite of that i feel guilty that they were too co-operative with me when they were with us, they would go by the way i had my life style,and never showed much of interference, but truly said that sons should remain bachelors ,as the mother becomes too possessive for the son,and holds so much of the authority on the son that the wife really suffers,and the son also flaunts with the spoon feeding habit of his mom.but ,when i come and stay with my in laws, i find it difficult to adjust with their life style,and then i notice that the hubby is all for the parents,and wants the wife to be as desi bahu to certain advantages and disadavantages are their,but the good alternative suggested in the article is to move with parents close by to us,or make them move near our habitat.
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