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
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.
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
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
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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- The Indiaparenting Team