If you take a room of people and asked them who their worst enemy is, the first reply would be “In-laws”!!

The second choice would be “Boss”!

Most people begin to think of marriage by envisaging their partner first and he/she is expected to fulfill certain expectations. When they zone in on a prospective spouse, the next thing that they start worrying about is the kind of inlaws they will have to spend their lives with.

A mother-in-law comes with a lot of baggage. The relationship between a daughter/son-in-law and mother-in-law is at best times an artificial one. The tug of war for power between generations in a family results in arousing negative emotions in this relationship. Strangely enough, father’s in law come a second best in the reckoning.

Similarly sister’s in law…both by blood and by marriage…are next on the battleline. Sisters feel threatened when the brother brings in a stranger and the ones who had fought tooth and nail amongst themselves group together to present a united wall of resentment and antagonism. The incoming in law finds this wall difficult to breach and gradually takes away the son of the house and corners all his allegiances.

The tug and pull between women married to brothers is set aside when the common enemy, the MIL has to be tackled. And when there are favours to be gained, stuff to be inherited, well! the metaphorical knives are brought out!

Today, the MIL has become a shadow of her old avatar. She has learnt to let go of her son and enjoy his presence in her life when and if he initiates a reachout. That does not mean that the stereotype is extinct…they too continue to keep their traditional image intact.

The modern DIL prefers a mate without the added luggage of parents and they are quite open about this especially in urban India. When parents are inevitably part of the relationship, they make sure that the interaction is at a distance.

In the Indian patriarchal society, a FIL was a figurehead and all communications to him was routed through the matriarch. Gradually this has changed and the father-in-law has become a second Dad.

The kitchen continues to be a battlefront in most families…your family dishes., your Mum’s cooking, your family traditions are ammunition inevitably used in the relationship.

I shall keep the second common enemy “Boss” for another blogtime.

This is my blog on this week’s Friday 5 On 1 blog post topic. The other four bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, Padmum and Shackman and Conrad. Conrad incidentally, is the original founder of the weekly bloggers group formed way back in 2009.

This week’s topic was suggested by Conrad. Please do pop into their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic.

Thank you.


About padmum

You could call me Dame Quixote! I tilt at windmills. I have an opinion on most matters. What I don't have, my husband Raju has in plenty. Writer and story teller, columnist and contributer of articles, blogs, poems, travelogues and essays to Chennai newspapers, national magazines and websites, I review and edit books for publishers and have specialized as a Culinary Editor and contributed content, edited and collaborated on Cookbooks. My other major interest used to be acting on Tamil and English stage, Indian cinema and TV. I am a wordsmith, a voracious reader, crossword buff and write about India's heritage, culture and traditions. I am interested in Vedanta nowadays. I am now an Armchair traveller/opinionator/busybody!
This entry was posted in Current Events, Friday Three On One blog, Society, Women and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to COMMON ENEMY

  1. rummuser says:

    My in-laws adviced me against marrying my late wife and my mother adviced my late wife against marrying me. Despite that, we got married and had a very successful marriage for forty years. I had a lovely time with my in-laws and I doubt very much that my late wife had any problems with hers.


  2. I loved the humorous spin on this topic! Enjoyable post 🙂


  3. Conrad says:

    It always amazes me how you present items so familiar to me as an American, yet retain your distinctly Indian detail and distinction. It always gives me a better sense of a shrinking world that need not lose its individual colors even as we view a more complete spectrum!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s