Left one mom, got another
I had an arranged marriage in a very traditional household. So initially, I was nervous about how my in-laws were going to be. To my surprise, I found my mother-in-law to be very co-operative. She cooks my breakfast and lunch like my mum used to do for me, and she even prepares a little tiffin for me to snack on while at work. If anything, I feel sorry for my husband because whenever he and I have a fight, my mother-in-law takes my side.
-- Indira, 26, government servant, Mumbai
Don’t have time for them
To be honest, I haven’t really spent any time with my wife’s family. When we started dating, it was all hush-hush and then, by the time I met them, we had already told our parents of our decision to marry. So I basically met them with my own parents, so that talk was diffused. There has never been a one-on-one interaction with my in-laws, and I know how hypocritical it is — I mean, we live with my parents! My wife's’ parents live in a different city so it gets hard to spend time with them.
--Suraj, 29, software engineer, Nagpur
Unexpected visits by dad
I was brought up in a very sheltered environment and I basically went from being a pampered brat to a wife. My husband and I get along really well, but I have always been daddy’s little girl. However, my father started landing up unexpectedly at our house to see that I was doing ok. Initially, my husband was all cool with it, but after a while, I could see that he started getting annoyed. At first, it was small things — he likes a drink after coming back home and since my father is a teetotaller, he doesn’t drink in front of him out of respect. But after a while, his annoyance became quite acute and he actually started calling before leaving from office to find out whether my father had come home or not, and if he had, then he would stay out with his friends. It started taking a toll on our relationship, till I had to tell my father in a firm but polite way that perhaps he should cut down on the visits.
-- Jyoti, 30, teacher, Gurgaon
My parents and I are not close, which is why, when I started dating my girlfriend, it was incredibly hard for me to wrap around the fact that she tells her folks everything! Things just got more intense when we started living together. I moved out of my house when I was 16 and I only go home for marriages or the occasional festival. However, she is completely the opposite. Either she goes home to be with her parents, or they come to town. I feel that I hardly end up spending any time with her because her parents are always there! I have tried to broach the subject a couple of times with her, but that always leads to a fight. So now, we are in this sort of stasis.
--Thomas, 31, advertising, Pune
Silent treatment by husband
I’m married with two beautiful baby girls, but lately, I feel like there is a lot of friction creeping in because of my husband’s parents. Taking care of two small children is exhausting at the best of times, and I have trouble keeping my temper down, while they are very demanding. However, whenever there is an argument between me and his parents, my husband stays out of it. It’s not that he doesn’t care — he just doesn’t like conflict. He seems to think that it’s better to say nothing and hope it all works out. I understand why he feels that, but it just makes me feel left out. Fortunately, they are only here till the girls grow a little older, and then they will go back to their village, and honestly, I am really looking forward to that.
--Neelam, 33, publishing, New Delhi
Some names have been changed. The persons in the picture are models.
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