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Is Father or Son(married) the head of the house?

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by ASimpleGal, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. ASimpleGal

    ASimpleGal New IL'ite

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    I would like to hear your views on whether in your houses(maternal & in-laws), it is the father or son the person who is in the limelight. In other words, who is the main decision maker, who is the person whom you would call the so-called 'head of the house'?

    I ask this since in my in-laws place, it is FIL's show all the way!! He is almost 80, still works (part-time, off and on), and is very active. He also had a good career in his heyday. However, the son(my hubby) is very submissive, has just an ok career, and always seems to be in the shadow of his father. He never takes any decisions on his own, is happy to be under his father's shadow, and never argues with his dad on anything. My MIL also is submissive when it comes to her husband, and does not argue with my FIL on anything. The net result is that my FIL runs the show, does not care for other people's opinions, always thinks he is right, and hogs all the limelight even if it is not his. My hubby does not argue with his dad because he feels it is equal to talking to a brick wall. I think my MIL also thinks the same, and keeps quiet just to maintain peace in the house. So, while my FIL thinks they are agreeing with his views, it is not really so.

    He is not used to anyone opposing him on even general topics. However, I am not the type to take nonsense from him, and argue with him, though he never agrees that he can ever be wrong. I too never bow down in front of him.

    A few examples -
    - when the alliance from my would-be-hubby came, the bio-data(one-pager) about the boy had the Father's name(XX) on the first line, in bold letters. Then followed father's job(though he was retired at that time), his education. Then followed by XX's family - wife - housewife & Son(XY, my dear hubby). Then followed hubby's job, qualifications, etc. This was 11 years ago, and I did not read much into it. But when I recently looked at some old documents at my parents place, I found this bio-data that was given to my dad prior to my marriage, and found the whole thing repulsive. Should'nt the bio-data start with talking about the bridegroom-to-be, and then talk about his family members? After all, it is the son who is the groom, and not the father??
    Am I overreacting on this point, or is this the case in several other houses too?
    (2) When there is a function in our house, of course, I and my hubby pay for all the expenses, but my in-laws do all the honors of gifting, sitting at the sacred fire, etc. Does this happen in all households too? I also mean functions like my child's Ayushya homam(first b'day as per the star date), which is a traditional function unlike the birthday party per se.
    (3) Only in-laws' friends, relatives, etc usually visit our place. On the rare occasions when hubby's friends come, FIL plonks himself on the sofa right in the middle and engages in all the discussions that take place in-spite of the huge generation gap.

    Have you seen this kind of behaviour in your relatives or friends circle? I have'nt.
    My other question is, is there a link between my hubby's submissiveness and FIL's overpowering behaviour? I strongly feel that 50% of hubby's problems are because of this, and the other 50% because of submissive mother's genes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
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  2. Mahajanpragati

    Mahajanpragati Platinum IL'ite

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    really it depends on family to family.in my inlaws place mil is the decision maker wheras in my parents they are jointly doing things.
    in my house well, i decide something,discuss with dh & sometimes agree on what he says & sometimes do what i want to do but with his consent.

    in ur case FIL is a dominating person wheras dh seems like peace loving person.as ur kids grow & as both of u get more involved with them ur dh may come out of cocoon & start asserting himself.
    during some function etc its good that the elders handle issues like gifting etc.its an honour we bestow on them even if we are the one providing all fininical help.soon when u start attending b'day parties of ur kid's friends etc then u will get to do the honours.
    ur dh meets his friends regularly but ur fil meets them occasionally so he may want to talk with them.if the friends are ok with it ,them i guess u should not worry much.if the friends are not comfortabe u can meet out somewhere or even try to request FIL to give some private time to dh with his friends.
    many a time oldies have to be told certain things calmly.if they accept well & good if not then nothing lost .
    ur dh seems a sensible person.he has learnt not to waste energy arguing with his dad who will anyway not listen .if u want something done against FIL's wishes u can try to convince dh in privacy of ur room.give some good reason.if u have his support even if its silent u go ahead.afterall u are answerable to ur dh.if he is with u then what does the contrary opinion of ur fil matters.take care not to argue with him.

    as i mentioned earlier ,mil rules at in laws place but since mil sil lives with them she used to fume because of this.now,i observe sil does whatever she wants but she does not argues with mil neither to justify or to explain her action.this has made mil little less dominant.
     
  3. lavii

    lavii Gold IL'ite

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    see every family has a different story
    but at my home my dad takes decisions but he considers us before he considers us before he does annything
    at my in laws place my mil takes decision but if its something related to us my dh makes sure i have information in hand also agree to the point..
    but mil sometimes does it even without asking my dh so at that time we have no clue but ya everyone have their own attitude and behaviour
    so cant complain..but when it comes to baby stuff..no i will make sure me and dh do it..afterall he is not orphan..i repsect pils but when a parent is alive all the rituals should be performed by parent
     
  4. pbindu

    pbindu Silver IL'ite

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    As there is a saying in Sanskrit which means - Lion was declared king of jungle not by some voting but buy its strengths..

    So it often happens that when somebody is Hard working, courageous, bold, they become head of the family.

    Now in your case, after all its your husband father, your hubby will always think its right. He will be hurt if you make yourself sit in a function, asking them(parents) not to sit.. You tell that your FIL is 80.. Just accept it. You are fortunate to have such elders with you. Yes some times elders are wrong, but just like you cant make a 2 year kid understand between right and wrong, you cant change old people also.. Just look at them like you see your kids..Not very easy.. Not easy as said, I know.. But again, they will not be with you for ever right.. for your hubby's happiness, to keep yourself cool.. accept it.

    In case if he insists on doing wrong things, then you should always oppose it be it your FIL, or father..

    Thats what I am feeling.. if I were fortunate enough to have my FIL and MIL around me, I am sure my hubby would have behaved same way..
     
  5. 12adityas

    12adityas Bronze IL'ite

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    In my house, my dad is the head of the household. He takes all the decisions, but after consulting with mom & me & Bro (if we are in the house. Not since we are married & moved out). When he vists me & wifey, till the end of his visit, he will be the head of my household also. When he leaves, I once again become the head of my household. As kids, we were often imposed upon by my dad. But as we became adults, he always made it a point to take our considerations into whenever he made decisions. Mom never argued or questioned my dad. Dad also gave control over finances to mom & she controlled money flow. However, any important purchases were made by mom only after dad approved it. This is exactly how it is in my home also.

    Your case seems to be a little extreme. But I think head of the households do run the show & there's nothing wrong with it. One may call it dominating, but a little domineering is needed sometimes to steer the family in the right direction. You dont need to take 'nonsense' from him, but you dont need to give him 'nonsense' either! Its perfectly alright for your husband to never argue with his dad & always yield to him. I do the same out of respect I have for him. I recommend you do the same. He's 80 years old & should be (I am not saying 'is') the wisest person in the family. His actions may seem commandeering to you, but he has a right to be so with his kin. You are his kin, a daughter who entered his household & who took on his name. You need to adjust to his family's way of life & culture, not they to yours. Yielding to him will in no way diminish your reputation & how others perceive you. That is not nonsense either. Obedience is a long-lost virtue of women & is long forgotten by DILs of today also. Dont argue with him, let him be & if he wants you to do it for him, do it.
     
  6. adara

    adara Bronze IL'ite

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    12adityas, I want to ask one thing here. How come you conclude that obedience is lost virtue in DILs today and what does obedience mean anyways?
    OP says that no one can oppose FIL even in general topics. So, isn't that called selfish and dominating? And are we to play 'YES BOSS' here? Can't he consider other people's view and not treat them like his subjects. If not, then that is PURE EGO of the FIL here. He needs to understand that there is something called generation gap and he needs to change with times. In families, what is all this domineering about? It is solely male ego! And why should someone bow their head to this nonsense? And if nodding head to all rubbish from someone who just denies changing with times is called 'obedience' and a great 'virtue' then I chose to be disobedient and virtueless and raise my voice where required than simply playing 'jee huzur' to some egoist.

    Enough is enough! We all have only one life. Let's live and let live! Family is not a kingdom and FIL is not any king and the rest his subjects.
    We all work hard for family and everyone of us need to be heard and considered seriously and given equal freedom. Even country gives freedom of speech and expression and what is this so called FIL in a country? A citizen like any of us....right? Then why this feudal mentalilty?
    Don't you want to live your life your way? If being a male is all that a man thinks makes him superior then my dear being born a male was just by sheer chance and men need to realize this. The sooner they realize this, the better for them!!!


    Adara
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  7. bhuvnidhi

    bhuvnidhi IL Hall of Fame

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    Wow..what statements!!!I wonder whether you will be the same if your daughter gets a hubby like you(with all these idealogies).I do not understand where your "obedience" will vanish when YOUR FIL who is as old as your father comes to your house.

    I wonder why some men think that obedience is applicable only for women and not for men.I wish they are brought up in a good manner so that atleast the future generation has a better life.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  8. Tugga

    Tugga Silver IL'ite

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    Sorry, I did not read the entire post and responses. I wonder how an 80 year old senior citizen controls his son's family, while his 40 year old son (I assume so) still feels happy to be under his father's shadow. Strange!

    First of all, your FIL is not a member of your immediate family, so is your husband to your FIL's (his parent's family). It is OK, if your FIL decides on his, his wife's and his un married children's life matters provided they are happy with his ruling.

    But, it is not OK, if he still influences his married child's family matters.

    There is no rule that a man can only play the role "head of family". If you think your husband is not capable of managing his own family, and still expects his father to decide on his behalf, then it is time for you to take charge. You can be the head of your own family, which is still better than having someone from your extended family (FIL).

    Obedience and respect is something else, which you must follow while living with elders in a joint family. But it has nothing to do with managing/handling your immediate family matters on your own.

    You have to draw a line between your FIL's influence in your own family (you, DH and kids) matters while respecting him and following his overall guidance.
     
  9. 12adityas

    12adityas Bronze IL'ite

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    By observing how today's DILs behave and act with their in laws and by hearing to their views of how they would never consider themself as a part of their DH's parent's family. All DILs I have seen till date, except only one DIL, rest of them all have this mentality I mentioned above and misconstrued notions of 'domination' etc.

    Bhuvnidhi,

    "Wow..what statements!!!I wonder whether you will be the same if your daughter gets a hubby like you(with all these idealogies).I do not understand where your "obedience" will vanish when YOUR FIL who is as old as your father comes to your house." - I am obidient to my FIL too. I make sure that my wife remains obidient to her father too. However, I am more obidient to him compared to his daughter.

    "I wonder why some men think that obedience is applicable only for women and not for men." - who said that? Please re-read my post. I did say that her FIL's son should never argue with him & do as told by his dad. I am obedient to my parents and I recommend everyone else to be.

    "I wish they are brought up in a good manner so that atleast the future generation has a better life." - Because we are brought up in a good manner, we are obedient to our parents & recommend others to do so too. It is those who are not brought up well who do not obey elderly people and who argue towards that end. Kindly refrain from making wrong assumptions and personal attacks if you did not comprehend my post.
     
  10. maya69

    maya69 Gold IL'ite

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    Definetly my husband. In Laws have lived with us for 10yrs. financially in laws could have continued to live on their own in india but my dh took the decision to bring them with us. all big decision in our household is by my dh. his parents take his advice for most things from travel, dr appts, bank work etc. he is their youngest child and has always been the most opinionated. he is very loving to them but if he senses anything illogical he will say exactly how he feels to them. I think my inlaws are happy that they no longer have to take the burden of taking those decisions in someways.
    I know they are a little scared of him than their other children but thats their relationship and I stay out of it. It has helped me have a good relationship with my in laws knowing that it my dh who is in charge. My older BIL(DH's brother) on the other hand always deferred to his parents in the beginning of his marraige. My SIL got stuck in the middle. My in laws and her did not have a good relationship for the longest time though now its better.
     

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