Indian marriages follow the same old tradition of a girl going to her husband’s family after the wedding. The conversion from a daughter to a daughter-in-law for most women signifies changes in one’s spirit – new husband, new family, in-laws, and a likely new identity through a change of last name. When a woman gets married and becomes a member of a new family, she is marrying more than just her new husband. In most cases, she is going to be sharing this person with the rest of his family. However, it must be remembered that the girl might take some time to fine-tune to the new family. Moreover, in case of difficult in laws, this time can further lengthen. How can a young woman effectively make the transition into the role of daughter-in-law in a family?
Challenges of Being a Daughter-in-Law
Why is being a daughter-in-law challenged by so many women? First of all, no two families are alike. Each family has a unique set of beliefs. For example, which parent was the key decision-maker in your family – mother or father? What about males doing household chores in each respective family? How many relatives do you each have? While these may seem to be subtle differences, they shape the patterns of an individual’s perception of how family members communicate to each other. This changeover from beliefs of one family to another is the biggest challenge a woman faces after the wedding. And if your in laws are demanding or difficult, then this problem is bound to compound!
Understand the Family
It is very important that the woman entering a new family first understands it before she reaches to any conclusion. Sometimes, accepting the new family with some minor adjustments is the key to the issue. The stubbornness and rigidity need to be shunned in order to become part of the new set up. A daughter-in-law also needs to be aware of how she is perceived by her new family. Very few families want to have sweeping changes forced upon them. If you are always seen as a proponent of change, you could land yourself & your husband in constant trouble. . Become aware of the differences between your family’s values and your husband’s, and try to understand and appreciate the different traditions. Engaging yourself in your husband’s family culture helps to bridge many gaps, yet at the same time caution must be taken not to lose your own personal identity.
Husband as a Bridge
Trust your husband and your actions and words should make him trust you. He should be your best friend with whom you can discuss anything. But, make sure you do not instigate him against his family. Your discussions should bring peace and calm your mind and possibly reach a conclusion. Your husband knows his family better and has been handling them for long. Seek his help to understand the environment prevailing in the house.
Mother-in-Law as a Friend
It is also important to have a good mentor in the family. Ideally, the best mentor should be your mother-in-law. She probably was also a daughter-in-law. Moreover, she knows your father-in-law and has been a mother to your husband. If anyone should know how to get along with other family members, it is she.
The role of a daughter-in-law comes with a lot of responsibility. As a daughter, you were the princess of your home. Every wish of yours was fulfilled, and your tantrums were accepted. But now, you are a daughter-in-law and suddenly you are expected to be mature, sensible and responsible. Your moves are judged and your words are analysed. It is in your hands to make a smooth transition, which involves a little bit of tolerance & acceptance. Trust me; it is not that difficult as the world sometimes wants us to believe.