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Vijay Mehta

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xx Can American Born Bahu live with in-laws?
« Thread started on: Mar 25th, 2010, 3:51pm »

One young lady asked, "do you have any opinions on girls born and raised in the US getting married and living with their in-laws soon after marriage?

Girls born and raised in USA or western culture who get married and live with their in- laws after marriage!

It is definitely a big challenge. Our so called joint family concept worked reasonably well fifty years ago. It has slowly fallen apart in the land of its origin. Today's empowered women who are capable of making their own money and managing their own affairs can not be expected to live in the structure of a joint family with their in laws.

That being said I do see it working in different communities. Surti Leva Patels, come to mind as having the highest rate of joint family. But more and more the sons find a place to live separately but near the parents to assist in business and if necessary to provide the support.

I personally feel it is extremely difficult to merge two adult lives these days. Why complicate it with merging several more lives at the same time. A couple needs time to deal with their differences. My recommendation is for parents to encourage the youth to live alone; that way the relationship would not be harmed too much so 20 years from now when we are not able to manage our own affairs it would be easier to be with your daughter in law.

To the newly married my advice is to remember that the best gift you can give to your kids is to have the involvement of their grandparents in their life. So make sure you keep the grandparents on both sides as much as possible when you have your children. And for the couple, remember nothing beats free tender loving baby sitting by grandparents.

So, it is in best interest of every one involved and especially the children that are going to arrive few years from now that we focus on the warms of the relationship rather than the geographical location of our daughter in law!

This is a very important issue and every potential couple needs to visit this. How do you take care of the parents of bride or groom when they are not able to manage their affairs? What are the expectations as to the place to live for a new daughter in law? As a matter of fact major difference in this area can be a deal breaker.

Ii is the job of the husband to assure that if his wife is not comfortable with the living arrangement he would be ready to move out of Daddy's house. Unless of course he had clearly indicated his position otherwise to his wife before commitment.
She wrote
I am in 100% agreement with you. I am glad that you have written what you have. this has been a recent struggle of mine in that I tend to be attracted to guys who after some time will let me know that they have to live with their parents after marriage -- not because of finance or health, but just because the parents would feel hurt if they didn't.

My dad keeps telling me, what the big deal you can work it out. but in my heart I feel that I would find it very difficult. I think I can definitely work it out if I had to or put my mind to it...but I think it would definitely be difficult.

Vijay Uncle
Well tell your dad, Vijay Uncle thinks it is a big deal. Right now I am in the middle of three divorces where there is nothing wrong with the guy or a girl. But inability of the woman to put up with the rest of the family is playing the most toxic effect. The women in your generation will go out of way to do things for others but not by coercion and force.

Happiness is a lot more about perception than reality. If the newly arrived daughter by choice feels forced to adjust it will only make it worse. If anyone is going to suggest 'let us live with mom and dad' - it has to be the woman.

And any Desi man who wants to get married this day and age need to make this thing very clear to the prospective bride early on. Granted there are lots of parents who are like bargains, who will enhance your life. But let us face it, in the beginning a couple needs a private place to yell and scream without everyone participating in it.

And to me the biggest victim of this forced joint family is the groom; poor guy gets it from both sides.

Your dad is right in the sense that. initially, it would hurt the feeling of your new parents by choice. But if you make a slight effort they will get un-mad in short period of time, when they realize that their son is actually happy. Forcing the situation on women these days is most likely be counter productive - few exceptions not withstanding. There are many different ways than living with your parents by choice to show that you love them and care for them!

As it is right now we have so much difficulty in getting the "miyan bibi to be razee" (your generation to find the right person, get married and stay happy). I urge all the thinking parents not to add one more obstacle to their happiness by requiring the new daughter in law to live with you,

Many traditional families fail to recognize how difficult it is for to day's self sufficient independent women to make the transition into traditional family situation, For the starters, would your 30 year old daughter prefer to live with you for the rest of the life if she were not married and she were working in the same town? I can practically write a book about it!

Do not get me wrong if everyone can get along and live to gather they get the most out of families. But it can not be forced upon.
Edited by Sneha Sharma.
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