It is wonderful if children can look after their parents, but if this arrangement is not working, it’s best to separate.
Most of us Indians take pride in the fact that our family ties are so strong. After all, we don’t see the joint family system existing in many other cultures, do we Where else will we see families consisting of two brothers, their wives, their children, their parents and perhaps even a grandparent if not two, living in the same house Where will we find wives who wake up early morning, cook for their husbands and prepare their tiffins before they set off for work In which other culture do the old look after their young Truly, we Indians could teach the world a thing or two about happy families.
Or so we think.
While the joint family system can be great if it works, it rarely does. Animosity amongst sisters-in-law or amongst mothers and daughters in law is common, and this eventually leads to a break in the relationship amongst parents and their sons, or between brothers. Often, husbands are unaware of the seriousness of the problems faced by their wives when it comes to coping with in-laws. The blame may lie with either side. Not all mothers in law are evil, not all ‘bahus’ are angels.While it is definitely nice if children can look after their parents, if this arrangement does not seem to be working, it is always better to separate. A husband should never compel his wife to live with her in-laws if they are having problems. Perhaps the mother in law is harassing his wife, or perhaps she is harassing her mother in law. Either way, it is best for all, if he starts working on arranging for separate accommodation.
Kamini had pleaded with her husband, Karan, for seven years to separate from her in-laws. Her pleas fell on deaf ears, and finally, taking matters into her own hand, she walked out of the house with her daughter. They did have alternate accommodation thankfully, and she started living in her new home. Though Karan was initially upset with her, one month later, he moved in with them. Now, though Kamini lives happily in her new home with her husband and daugher, she is still worried because the entire business and all their property is in the name of her in-laws. If something were to happen to Karan, where would Kamini and her daughter go He ignores her constant requests to put something down in their name, saying, Nothing will happen to me, you worry too much.
Karan typifies the husband whose priority is his work, and his home life takes a back seat. Not only is he being incredibly insensitive to his wife’s genuine fears, but by refusing to make arrangements to ensure his family is financially secure in the event of anything happening to him, he is also being shortsighted, and is making a mistake.
Let’s say that everything in your family is going well. Everyone gets along with everyone, so you see no need for separate accommodation, or for separate finances. While this arrangement may work fine for you, have you given a thought to the future generation While you may never dream of squabbling over money with your brothers, would you want your children to squabble over money with their cousins Millions of family disputes over a business or property are pending in Indian courts, all because the earlier generation did not have the foresight to distribute their assets wisely.