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My US raised niece and her inlaws problem!!!

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by sridivya, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. sridivya

    sridivya New IL'ite

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    Hi :

    My niece (cousin's daughter) is 26yrs. She was born and raised in US, is well educated and working, got married 3 yrs back to an Indian man who was born and raised in India. Her dh is 32 yrs, well educated in India, US and holds a good job. Both of them met at a Diwali party at someone else's house, liked each other initially, met more often and finally married. Marriage was here and they also had a grand reception in India. So far the marriage is fine these 3 yrs.

    Her inlaws keep shuttling between both the countries. Her SIL is in Seattle,WA. They came to live for atleast 8months to a year here in US dividing the time between both kids. The issues:---

    1. When my niece goes to work she leaves her dog at home. They have to fill the water bowl and give food which is prepackaged. When inlaws were not there she would leave the dog at her mom's place which is 20 mins away or sometimes leave with a neighbor. They never complained when they were there but now they say she made them work for the dog. When she asked them why they did not express then atleast she would have taken it as usual to her mom, then they say she is shouting and controlling them.

    2. They say that she does not put bindi when at home which hurts their sentiments. She said she is not used to since childhood except for putting in with Indian outfit or on any Indian festivals/if they go to temple. They were upset.

    3. She leaves home at 7am and she is not used to making/eating Indian breakfast even when a child. She would have cereal, bagel, or anything that did not require much preparation even for her mom. That is how she is raised. They said they cannot eat oatmeal or other stuff. So, she made sure that Idli batter was ready everyday for breakfast and told MIL to make it for themselves. They got annoyed.

    4. Both she and dh eat lunch outside everyday. She only makes dinner. But when her inlaws were there she would cut the veges at night for next day's lunch and do any stuff like grinding/blending needed and leave the lunch prepartion to MIL. She and dh continued to eat outside.
    They did not like this.

    5. She gave her cell/office phone no. and told them to call if anything needed in the afternoon. They wanted her to call them and enquire but never expressed till they went to their daughter's place. They felt they were not cared.

    6. They eat more spicy food so whatever she makes is bland for them. They say that they never ate full in their son's house. She is not used to eating spicy at all so her food preparations are very bland........even I have seen that but is that an issue??

    7. She speaks to her husband in English. She knows our language but not very fluently and speaks with an accent though she can understand very well. Even I speak to her in English, somehow never felt like speaking in my language to her though her mom and me converse in our language. Since the time she met her dh the conversation was always in english. Her FIL does not like that. It irritates him a lot!

    8. She never did their laundry. She says they know how to operate the washer then what's the problem?

    9. They keep saying that she talks back a lot and argues a lot. She does not understand what makes them think so.

    When she returns from work the dog runs to her and she hugs and cuddles the dog. They say she gives more attention and time to the dog than them.
    Due to all these her inlaws were not happy when they were here and complained to her dh. They said we never felt we were welcomed and wanted there.
    Her dh says just say sorry and next time just do as they say, thats it, no more complaints then. She says what wrong did I do?? Why should I apologize? Because of all this husband wife are having arguments often and is disturbing their married life.



    Sridivya
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
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  2. Priya16

    Priya16 IL Hall of Fame

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    sridivya,

    I believe here more of a your niece husband problem. If he listens complaints then in-laws will have many things to complain.

    I am born and raised in India and I came here only after my marriage. But I don't make breakfast in the morning before I leave to work. if my MIL at home she fixes for herself.

    My husband is a spicy person and I am not. Some how I can't make spice food. If they are spicy, anyhow they are at home and they can cook for themselves or son can help them or DIL can cut veggies and they can cook themselves.

    If they wanted to work out something, there are always ways. It’s just any kind of in-laws issue.

    What would your niece do if her in-laws were not there about the dog? If that is bothering them (I think they may not like dog at home), then your niece would drop in some dog day care center.

    But rest of them any woman who lives here and go to work does all kind of things. Even I wear bindi only on the special days. Lot of Indians who came recently also only communicates to husbands only English. There are lots of common things in all households.

    It’s simply her husband have to stand beside her then no complaints. If her SIL also working, I am pretty sure her house step up also like this.

    Keeping cloths in washing machine, why doesn’t her husband help them? For my MIL, only my husband helps her. It’s her preference. My MIL doesn’t like any other person touching her cloths so she prefers her son to take care of it.
    What do they by sitting at home? At east if they cook then they will have some time pass.

    I don't see a reason why does she have to say sorry to them and do whatever they wanted.

    Even my MIL also complaints about this. She will call her son 2-3 times a day and she will have my cell phone too. But she won't call and complaint to son. May be she can just a give a call for courtesy sake and next she can tell she didn't receive any call from them.


    Overall she can do some small adjustments.
    Like cooking whenever she cooks,she should ask her husband help to make more spicy.She can take out her food and then mix more spicys.
    Cloths:In the week end she should ask her husband help to keep the cloths in the machine.
    Dog:Look for alternatives
    Calls:just give a courtasy call once or twice
    Some small changes as needed atleast she is trying type

    The more diplomatic way will be
    -Whenever her husband and all in same place in the night,She should check with them like do you any thing for breakfast tomorrow,my feeling they say no.But if they yes,she should ask her husabnd we will both take care of it tomorrow morning and you do this and I will do that.
    -Cloths:She should check with her in-laws,whenever her husband in the same place.She should tell,tell me know either me or my husband can help you.
    -Spicy:Shoudl tell them,since I am not used to make spicy food,MIL can help me or I can also ask my husband to help me.

    I think your neice should do more of a fancy talking.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  3. tuliplady

    tuliplady Gold IL'ite

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    The parents want to feel at home at their son's home but dont want to help in home duties??:bonk

    The ILs cannot expect her to go to work at 7 and fix breakfast/lunch for them. If they are here, they should try not to be a pain to their sons family. I am born and raised in India and moved here few years back for school, but even I dont make traditional breakfast on weekdays. The DIL is atleast cutting veggies and grinding stuff for ILs lunch, so what does the MIL want?? What does she do at home in India?? In India they have maids, but they hae to understand that they cant expect same luxuries in US.

    The son needs to make this understand to his parents!!

    One thing I want to know is, whether the sister is a homemaker or a working professional?? The reason I ask is, since the MIL complains to the daughter, I want to know what opinion the daughter has. Whether she makes breakfast/lunch for her parents or not and if she does not, why to expect out of the DIL?

    What do the ILs do sitting at home, if they cant even do their laundries??:spinIf her language offends her FIL,its his problem not her. They knew she was an american when they married their son to her. The ILs are unnecessarily being a pain.

    Few things the DIL can do:-
    1. Divide the basic curry into 2 portions, one less spicy and grind more green/red chillies for the ILs and add it to their food.I do it all the time, since I eat less spicy food and dh eats little more spicy
    2. Continue dropping off her dog at mom's place even when ILs are there. She should not expect her ILs to take care of the dog
    3. The son should intervene and say that he likes the american breakfast on weekdays and does not prefer dosas etc on weekdays. That would probably make them quiet. Same goes with the bindi!
    4. She could just casuually call them during the day and ask what they have been upto.It does not hurt to call and talk for few minutes if they are going to feel good about it. These little things go and extra way to bridge gaps, IMO!
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  4. sridivya

    sridivya New IL'ite

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    The whole issue she feels she is wronged by asking her to apologize.
    Will they be happy then or will the demands start increasing?? What should she do??



    [/quote]

    If inlaws are not there she would leave the dog with her mom, parents live about 20 mins away on the way to her work. Since inlaws were there so she left it at home and they never expressed their unhappiness then. It was only after they left to seattle to their daughter's house they told their son that she cares for the dog more than them.

    This is the first time they came to their son's place after his marriage. She assumed that since they know how to operate so they do not need help. I think even her dh might not have expected. May be next time she should ask her dh to do it.
    Thanks Priya for response.





    [/quote]
     
  5. Traveller

    Traveller Gold IL'ite

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    Divya,

    I agree with Priya absolutely, esp on the fancy talk part. I don't think the DIL is at any fault and she's right in asking why apologise when she has done no wrong. Unfortunately some ILs want to establish their rights only by making the DIL apologise, beg and plead over trivial issues; many such things can be avoided by open talk and a magnanimous heart. I only assume that even if your niece had continued to leave the pet at her mom's place they'd have gone to say that they don't even trust them with a dog. so you see either way there'd be some trouble. it's a typical case of the MIL feeling my daughter does everything for me so why not the DIL!

    Latha
     
  6. reach

    reach New IL'ite

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    Hi Divya,
    These things are common if the girl/guy is brought up in one country and the spouse in the other. There are many couples like this, initially there will be small clashes but it will be fine in sometime.
    Both the niece and her in-laws should change a little. Your niece could do somethings - like applying a bindi at home just for the sake of her in-laws. Calling them once in a while from her work. Asking them about lunch/breakfast. Inform them about her food tastes, so that the MIL doesn't complain on this issue. Dog- leave it at her mom's place. Laundry - do with them on weekend.
    Her in-laws should also learn to adapt to changing times. They should accept her the way she is and not make her do/behave how they want. I think its important that they realize their DIL is brought up in a different country, she wont be very fluent and comfortable talking their language, she has to express some words/feelings in English. In-laws should realize her upbringing is different than theirs for their daughter. Both are good in their own way, they should not comment on that and learn to accept her the way she is.
    Her husband should understand this and try to explain it to his wife and parents. There is no need for your niece to apologize, cos she did nothing wrong.
     
  7. asuitablegirl

    asuitablegirl Gold IL'ite

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    I don't think she has done anything wrong. In fact I think her and her husband should be working as a team right now to nip this problem in the bud. It's THEIR house, which includes the dog. If the inlaws don't like it? Tough. Also, they are getting jealous of a dog... what does that say about how petty they are... Geez.

    They should remember that they are guests in that house and behave accordingly. They haven't gone to the five star Hilton or Marriott where everyone will wait in lobby to fix breakfast and wash their clothes. As for wearing bhindi... they don't have any business requesting stuff like that. They should realize... when their son got married, they got a dil, NOT A PUPPET or dress up doll.

    As for english... if that's the common language that everyone in the house understands, then that's the one that should be used. Obviously, why would she want to speak a langugae she can't express herself or understand properly? Isn't the whole point of langauge to COMMUNICATE?

    This isn't an inlaws problem so much as a husband problem. Her husband married her knowing she wasn't going to be a traditional village belle. In fact I think she's been overly gracious to allow her inlaws to stay in her house for such long periods of time and to put up with all their nagging. She needs to have a talk with him and ask for his support. HE should be the one to confront his parents and tell them that he loves his wife as she is, and that if they want to have happy visits, it is up to them to gel with the way the family operates and not make problems.
     
  8. sridivya

    sridivya New IL'ite

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    Their daughter, niece's SIL is a homemaker.


    Me too think that fancy talk is required but again not all can do it.

    Really, now it is the husband's duty, to seriously talk to his parents and not ask the wife to apologize.

    ASG, Yeah I agree with you. I have read in your profile that you are also raised in the US as my niece is. What do you see the difference in the general attitude of people towards spouses raised outside India as compared to the opposite. Did you inlaws accept a foreign bred without any hesitation? I mean, we can get a better understanding from a similar person. Please respond only if you do not mind.
     
  9. tuliplady

    tuliplady Gold IL'ite

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    Its their son's house so i dont think they should be considered as guests. Of course, that does not mean they throw their weight around. They should cooperate and ensure proper functioning of the house without causing inconveninece to their son or DIL.
     
  10. asuitablegirl

    asuitablegirl Gold IL'ite

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    No, my inlaws did not (and still do not) accept me. But my dh is soooooo 'Americanized' I hardly ever think, 'Oh, he is from India, I'm foreign bred'. I cook, he cooks, I clean, he cleans... we don't eat Indian food everyday, the only language we speak at home is English... we don't go to Indian cultural events (except India fest once a year)... like your niece, we also own pets (2 cats)...

    In the beginning my dh had a hard time backing me up in front of his parents. Now he supports me 100% of the time no questions asked. He has no desire to ever live in India again. His parents HATE me because my dh is so modern... I think they wanted a traditional dil to tie him back to his roots... but I'm just like him... we both think the same... there's no problems between me and him.

    At first I cared a lot about my inlaws not liking me, because I like family stuff and all that. I did EVERYTHING to try and get them to like me. As I wrote in another thread, mil has a Rajasthani fetish... so I even wore fancy gargara choli out to an American restaurant to try and butter her up. Imagine how foolish I looked! :bonk But now, I don't give a damn, not even 1%. They were very abusive towards me when they were here, so now they are not welcome back in our house. Maybe someday I'll extend the invitation for them to come visit again, but not until I feel like it. Hubby agrees. My home is my castle. Disrespect me in my castle, you're outta hereeee!
     

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