Friday 23 October 2015


Why its tough being a Daughter-in-law in India?

I have been wanting to write this one since some time. I would really be pleased if even one person changed after reading this.

I remember one incident. Way back during my Post-Graduation days, I was treating a young lady who was facing major depression because of in-laws related harassment. While discussing my progress, a senior of mine said -
"Spend some extra-time on this case, You are going to come across hundreds if not thousands of them in your life.."
If you ask me Today, even I would give the same advice to any young counselor/psychiatrist.

Irrespective of your religion, caste or creed.. Here are 5 OUTRAGEOUSLY IDIOTIC THOUGHT PROCESS, which lead to "psychological, physical and financial abuse" of a Daughter-in-law in India -

1. "Outsider Tag" - The main reason for evil, is the lack of acceptance of a daughter-in-law as part of the family. Everyday I meet and counsel families who "keep a daughter-in-law" out of a discussion.
I have heard thousands of stories of how the husband and his parents, talk secretly in a room while the daughter-in-law is made to watch TV, because she is an "outsider"...
The really ironic part is that, when I asked some of such people what they thought about "untouchability", they had these really "amazing answers".. But they failed to realize the same behavior in their own home!
2.  Insecure Parents - One of the most common lines I come across in counseling parents - "that women took away our son".
Its time to accept it, most indian parents are selfish. So lets keep the "selfless love tag aside".
They "invest" time, money and love on a son.. so he can repay by taking care of them in their old-age. The finer print to this is - They expect him to behave like an obedient 5yr old kid till they die!!
They just get insecure when he starts to take his own decisions. Decisions that will revolve around his "selfishness" for his own family.
Have you heard the saying - what you throw into the universe, comes back to you magnified!!
3. No guidance through Adjustment phase - Have you every heard about Adjustment phase or Adjustment disorder?
In most probability you don't even have the faintest Idea what it is.
Adjustment phase is the time it takes the mind to adjust into a new environment.
Adjustment disorder is very high levels of sadness, fear, depression and anxiety that one suffers, if the adjustment phase fails. In great majority of cases this disorder requires medicines for cure.

The adjustment phase for daughter-in-law in Indian setup, would be anywhere between 1 - 2years.
How much time is given to her for adjusting? - so-called PROGRESSIVE households say - 1or maximum 2 month is more than enough.
During this time, no one guides her.. she has to learn on her own.

Now as you can logically deduce, the failure of adjustment phase leads the brain of many ladies into clinical levels of depression and anxiety.- this is manifested as fear, sadness, anger, irritation!!

TO ADD INSULT TO INJURY - how do Indian household take care of this depression/anxiety..  another IDIOTIC thought is seeped in - Have a child!! everything will be fine!! - no doubt we have reached 1.2 billion..and mental health illness is growing exponentially every year!!
4. Everyone loves the Dark Side - It doesn't matter how rich or powerful you are. It takes a lot of inner strength to stand against the Regressive thought process of society.
I have seen mother-in-laws who treat their daughter-in-laws like "slaves".
They decide on her daily routine, feel pride in giving her "holidays" and hand over a list of things she "demands" her parents to provide.

All this Stupidity is done in the name of "SOCIAL RULES".
Hardly a marginal percentage of people stand against this.. why?
Because its so easy to like the negative.

Remember in childhood you were taught - Bad habits come easily and are very difficult to go.!

Its so natural to like the dark side.. and as a big Joke.. Everyone prays to GOD for more of it!!!
5. Husband is still a boy not a man - Most men take a lot of time to mature. Maturity isn't related to physical age, but your mental outlook. Most men behave as small boys, who are happy outsourcing their responsibilities to their parents.
A great number of men find marriage a legal way to have sex, someone to talk to and roam around with.
Most don't have the maturity to understand the emotional and social responsibility they have towards their wife.
Most are not ready to accept the changes that life demands once they get married.
Most men cannot stand up to their mother or father and fight for their wife. But they have on great trait, they create amazing "excuses" to run away from this responsibility.

There are 5 additional issues, which affect a daughter-in-law. I will not write about them today, but sometime soon. These are -

1. Difference in rules for Own Daughter vs those for Daughter-in-law.
2. Passive aggression - when In-laws slowly their own son/daughter relationship through gossiping, unnecessary intervention and rigid rules.
3. Turbulent past of Mother-in-law and how it changes her present brain-behavior pattern.due to her own turbulent past.
4. Parents of the "daughter-in-law". - love vs. social laws.
5. having a girl child doesn't mean you are blessed or cursed.. its change in your attitude that matters, else be prepared for a repeat!