“Reena, you should accept my parents as your own. It’s enough. After marriage, every woman needs to accept in-laws as their own parents. You need to respect them even if they say or do things that you don’t like. After all, they have done so much for me! For me, they are no less than Gods! And, you should show them the respect for the sake of our marriage!”
On many different occasions, my husband made it a point to let me know how his parents are so important to him and why I shouldn’t treat them less than God. Before you pass any judgments, I want to make it clear that like many Indian women, I have always expressed respect to my in-laws – many times when they didn’t even deserve it!
Even after being brutally bullied at the hands of my in-laws, I always treated them with the utmost respect. I always hoped that one day they will realize my value. I would often tell myself, even if they don’t realize my value, they are my husband’s parents and they have done a lot for him! They deserve respect for all they did for my husband!
But, I was heartbroken when I realized that while I was treating my husband’s parents with utmost respect even after being humiliated by them, my husband didn’t see my parents as anything more than a burden.
“No, Reena, you can’t go and stay with your parents. Who will take care of the home? Who will manage the household chores? My parents are old and they can’t manage it on their own!”
“Yes, Rahul I do understand. But even my parents are old. And, at least your parents live with us; my parents live alone! I have given this home 3 years of my life; I am just going to spend 2 months at my parents’ place to ensure they are recovering well!. ”
“Reena, you can check on their health on a video call, get them to hire a maid or helper! You are the daughter-in-law of this house and this house should be your priority. And, after marriage, the girl should maintain some distance from her family! Don’t include this unnecessary burden in our lives, we already have so many things to worry about!”
As he said that, I lost my cool. I was so fed up with his hypocrisy. He wants me to treat his parents like royalty but my parents are a burden!
But, this isn’t just my story. This is the story of so many Indian daughters who are expected to serve their in-laws and forget their own parents. I have no issue in taking care of my in-laws, but I have issues when I am asked to abandon my parents, who did exactly the same things for me that my in-laws did for my husband. I have issues when my husband expects me to treat his parents with the utmost respect while he treats mine with none!
Here a short note to all such husbands:
Dear Hypocrite Husbands, Shame On You! You remember all the great things that your parents did for you; You remember how your parents sacrificed their life for your dreams but so did our parents. Our parents left no stone unturned in raising us strong and independent daughters and they never even expected anything in return. And now when they need us, you expect us to abandon them for the sake of your parents; How fair is that?
Even in the 21st century, women are expected to seek permission from her husband to do anything for their parents. But, I refuse to follow this norm. I just want to tell the world that I am fine with being an average daughter-in-law, but I want to be the best daughter! I want to let my parents know – I may be married now, but I will always be a daughter first and a daughter-in-law or wife later!