- Gender and Relationships»
One of the major problems in Indian households is the feud between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. Though there is an increasing number of nuclear families in cities, the towns and villages still have joint families in place. In Indian tradition the bride, after marriage, should go and live in her husband's house, serving her in-laws.
With problems like Dowri prevalent, it is very common that problems exist between the mother-in-law and the bride. Irrespective of the nature of the women in the relationship, the mother-in-law - daughter-in-law relationship is always strained. Women who are generally more emotional and sentimental than men tend to take things faster to their heart and get offended easily. They also tend to give it back immediately.
Mothers who are generally attached more to their sons, feel possessive when the son gets more attached to another woman and this in turn causes hatred towards the daughter-in-law. Men are caught in between the two women of their lives with both of them burdening him with expectations from their end.
With the obvious generation gap and no basic love/affection in place, only the duty of taking care of the husband's parents in place, the daughter-in-law also finds it cumbersome to adapt and adjust. thus ending in fights and quarrels.
In Indian culture apart from the tradition of the bride accepting the husband's family and home as hers, it is also considered a shame if the bride groom settles down in his wife's house. The groom who decides to make his wife's home his home, is treated like vermin by the other members of the society.
Thinking about the reason for this, men being the bread winners of the family are always considered superior, thus mothers want to hold their sons tight. Thus, it should be women who would have initially framed the rule of the bride settling in the groom's house. The irony of the situation being, every mother-in-law would have been a daughter-in-law at one point in time.
The main purpose of a joint family is to take care of parents in their old age and get ideas from their experience. With all the problems between the women in the family, the whole idea of a joint family seems to be old-fashioned. What could be the logical solution for this problem, keeping in mind that it is indeed important to let parents have a peaceful and healthy old age?
It seems to be a better idea for the groom to make his home with his in-laws. Given the fact that women are women and men are men and that generation gap will exist between parents and children always, the problems will continue to exist between the mother and daughter also. The advantages are more here, with the husband left in peace not having to take sides or decide "Who is right/wrong".
Being mother and daughter, the underlying love and bonding is strong enough for the women to come out of the feud by forgetting and forgiving easily. This easily solves the problem of mutual troubles caused by the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, with more peace for everyone in the family!