It is heartbreaking when you see progressive parents, who believe in equality between their daughters and sons, set different rules for their daughter-in-law. These hypocrite in-laws, though take pride in being perceived as progressive but hardly realize how they carry double standards when it comes to their daughter-in-law.
5 years ago, my husband and I tied the knot. Realizing how progressive his parents were given the fact they treated their son and daughter equally, I assumed that they would treat me with dignity and respect too! But, I was so wrong!
In the first six months of my marriage, it was pretty clear that laws for me were very different from my husband or my sister-in-law. And, though I never had the issue with the freedom that my sister-in-law enjoyed in the house, what broke me was how I was shamed or insulted for the same things.
From wearing shorts to speaking up my mind to doing work chores to sleeping hours, everything had different laws. While my sister-in-law was called progressive, when she wore shorts, I was called unsanskaari! While my sister-in-law was encouraged to speak her mind, I was snubbed when I did!
But, the thing that disgusted me the most was the fact that when I tried to spend some alone time with my husband, his family would raise issues.
They would tell him,
“Why Bahu wants to spend time only with you? Why not us?”
“You are so busy with Bahu, you don’t have any time for your parents.”
“Before your marriage, we were a family. Now after Bahu has come into this house, seems like we are not a family anymore. You only two want to be together all the time.”
That time was the toughest phase of our marriage. As a newlywed, I expected my husband to spend some time alone with me and when he did, I was called home-wrecker and he was labeled as a reckless son. During that phase, we fought a lot because we just didn’t know how to manage our marital expectations in midst of his family expectations.
But, what shook me was when my sister-in-law got married, I saw my in-laws encouraging her to go on solo trips. When she would travel with her husband, my in-laws would show us her trip pics and call the couple so adorable. Yes, they are adorable but what about me?
Now, what they find so much adorable about their daughter and her marriage made me the home wrecker. Don’t get me wrong I am very much happy for my sister-in-law or any bride, who gets to spend adequate time with their husbands – because that’s how marriage should be!
I don’t have any issue with my sister-in-law but I do have an issue with the sh**ty double standards that my in-laws have. And, it’s not just my in-laws. The practice of having different rules for daughters and daughter-in-law is very much prevalent in our society. But, what is disgusting is when it comes from really educated and well-to-do families. And, when these rules are set more often than not by one woman for another.
I hope things will change. I hope my in-laws would soon realize that a daughter-in-law is also someone’s daughter – who deserves a life of dignity, love, and respect!