Why must I, a grown adult and my husband, another grown adult get his parents permission for us to go have lunch in my patti’s place on the day of my thatha’s devasam??

One more time the line “You are now married and must act in accordance with their customs” is thrown at me I am going to scream so loud. What’s worse it isnt even that KT’s parents expect this. But my over enthu folks insist.

When I can choose my own husband, contribute significantly to the family income, live alone, travel across the globe alone and be extremely independent and I know you are proud of all these attributes of mine, how am I expected to meekly surrender to the larger than life in laws and do as they say. As long as I can remember I have made my own decisions and have sought your guidance no doubt, but I have been solely responsible for my actions and for sure I did not “listen to you” at all in the way you mean it. Now after turning into a completely strong willed stubborn ass, I am supposed to say yes ma’am for everything?

I had no teenage angst, rebellion nothing. Late bloomer I am I think, these are my troubled twenties 😦

 Edited to add:

Ok I am issuing a clarification here..this is not a rant against my husband or my in laws. This is a rant against the “What will they think” syndrome that has aflicted my family. They keep imagining that my in laws would get bugged by certain things I do..stuff that I have done all my life which may be a little out of line as far as they are concerned. I don’t see any reason why I must change in those aspects. Now what if I had married a Muslim…would I be expected to give up going to a temple just because it is against the custom of the house I have married into? Now the customs between KT’s family and mine are largely the same…there are a few differences..for those on the know, he is Iyer and me Iyengar…yes teeny weeny differences. And these differences make no impact on my life or KT’s for that matter, except when these people choose to highlight them and make an issue. Like this devasam issue (or non issue)…KT has no trouble coming over to eat that lunch or receive the blessing on the occasion. But when my parents say that I need to get his parent’s permission to do this I get pissed. For me and KT this is as big a deal as going out for dinner…we don’t get permission, of course we let KT’s ma know in advance because its manners to do so..but we don’t seek permission obviously! And oh while I’m ranting…I hate it when KT’s ma says I am now an Iyer…I am not an Iyer, I am an Iyengar..(now repeat that after me). The sad thing is that I am not bothered about these things…I couldnt care less whether I’m a Hindu or Muslim or Christian or whatever…but the minute someone tells me things like this I get all militant and possessive about my identity…Grr at the human psychology 😦


14 Responses

  1. I think it is more to do with showing respect than anything else. When I leave for office still; I tell my mom. Been doing this from very child hood days. I tell my FIL too when he is here. Does not make me small.

    Aaah no not in that sense. Not sure if you know what a devasam is a kind of a death anniversary ceremony. and every year since I can remember I have attended this and eaten the lunch there. Now in my community it is supposed to be an auspicious day where you get the blessings of the departed, but in KT’s community it isnt..and has inauspicious connotations. Now KT is perfectly ok with going..I see no reason to break this tradition just because I’m married and I don’t think I need to ask for permission to go for this..has nothing to do with informing before leaving etc.

  2. Huh? I don’t see why your in-laws need to approve. Sounds weird. Don’t ask them. Your husband can ask his parents’ permission if he thinks he needs it 😉

    Yes no need for any kind of approval and my husband is more mulish and independent than even I am… 🙂

  3. That can be frustrating. I have had things thrown at me right from dressing in the colours they like to wierd things. I do make it a point to tell my mother that I am an adult. Doesn’t make the frustration go away though. Felt like punching walls and yelled expletives inside my head to no one in particular. Helps 😉

    The thing is I’ve been given a pretty long rope all my life..I’ve done my own thing and my people are proud of what I am, but now that I’m married they’re scared that I will earn a bad name if I were to take unilateral decisions…they’re worried that the in laws may not approve and in 95% of the cases the in laws are chilled out…so its a rather unncessary worry..causing only tension between my folks and me.

  4. You dont need to ask for permission. Though it is a good manners to inform them as a form of respect. And actually you can invite them too (if they r cool enuf). The way you say you’ve grown up, I guess it is not a big deal for you to ignore either your folks or your hubby’s. Even your hubby has no business poking his head into the matters he is not concerned, leave alone the inlaws. But of course out of love and respect you tend to get their opinions which you are free to ignore.
    I agree with binaryfootprints, yelling expletives inside your head is therapeutic. It’s been very helpful for me.

    No no this is nothing to do with informing..of course I will inform and KT is absolutely fine with me doing my own thing…he is like what my parents used to be…gives me more than enough freedom at the same time is there for me when I need his opinion / advice…I have no issues with him at all on that score. in fact even the in laws even though they may not approve of what I do at times they let me do my own thing. Its only the parents / grandma that start to think on these lines and give me trouble.

  5. Welcome to the club. If it makes you feel any better, it grows worse. 😀

    Thanks it did make me feel better 😉 . Knew I could count on you!

  6. Your parents who have been supportive all this while change when you get married. Truly WTF! How does life change just because you get married? You are sharing your life with another person of your choice. It does not essentially change your behaviour or general outlook or view towards life. But yeah, this happens. In almost every household. So start tuning off unnecessary stuff. I too have written about bossing sometime back.

    I know it happens and much worse too!! Like when people actually start controlling their daughters in law…

  7. hehee…teen angst in twenties..I like that….and all elders are like that. Control Freaks!!! And thanks for the comment on my post. Only a cancerian can recognise another. hope you are cancerian too?? 🙂

    Yes yes the complete Cancerian!!

  8. oh!! I am 80%

    Aha! That’s very true blue Cancerian!

  9. I think you are bit exagerating the things here…
    Earning independently and flying around the world is not a justifying point to avoid consulting the elders in the family.

    In our culture we consider girl coming into boys family and taking it as her family. If you are expected to consult them on your decisions, it is like they want to be sure of their daughter’s(you) right decisons in her life.

    All of in twenties are bacho before the elders(education and money is nothing before the experience and family values).

    I am not blaming you, but you need more understanding of life. Time will prove it. 🙂

    Welcome here Gopi, thanks for your views, I do appreciate your point that earning and flying around the world do not mean that I do not consult elders…a case in point is that we are buying a house and both sets of parents were completely involved in the process. Having said that I don’t agree with the fact that I have left my family to join another one…maybe that was relevant sometime back when there were fixed roles for women and men…now I hold a full time job and so does my husband, my husband is as involved in doing the work around the house as I am…and we are fine with this. And he has joined my family just as I have joined his, neither of us has left ours. So I don’t think I need to give up on any of my customs and beliefs because I am now a part of a new family. What if I married a Muslim, would I lose the right to visit a temple after getting married? Most certainly not. In that same vein if I wish to attend my thatha’s devasam why not?
    The problem here is that in all probability my in laws wouldn’t object at all to my going…what irritates my is my family’s insistence that I ask them.
    Another thing is that my parents have always backed my decisions, right from when I can remember I have been doing my own thing and have been encouraged to do what I have wanted to…and they agree that what I have done is almost always sensible…and now to expect me to ask for permission for such trivial things is a bit too much

  10. i am know one to preach becoz i am exactly like u. i omit informing (it’s never permission n my case, it’s always information!! 🙂 ) thinking no big deal and then the hubby says, had u just informed they wud hav been happy. just as a mark of respect. i think most IL’s start feeling insecure abt their sons and the sons in their guilt want to give thm extra mileu so try to keep them informed of every move. even though it is not permission!

    Hi Itchy..welcome here…sad that I missed meeting you when Sue was in town…if I didn’t have these many checks in place I’d be like you 😉

  11. Oh God! I totally get you. Happens to me all the time. And really, its more my relatives who’ve taken it upon themselves to guide me…


    There have to be some negatives to getting married huh??!!

  12. Just read ur post….and felt like delurking and saying….we’re so in the same boat!….my god!…it really pisses me off too when my in-laws do that…..its not only my parents but my in-laws who expect me to learn a new language a new culture and be their daughter! though its obvious…they always treat me like a daughter-in-law never a daughter….they’re nice people actually but like ur MIL my MIL tries to assert herself all the time…its frustrating really…the only advice on how I ‘ve dealt with it is to ignore it…to take it with a smile and then do what i think is right….slowly but surely they’ll realise this and mould themselves to u…but!! takes a lot of time!…and a lot of tearing out ur hair moments! 😀

  13. Time tested solution, listen to everyone and do what your mind tells you.

  14. I like Jayashri’s time tested solution : )
    But I think what annoys you is not that anybody is likely to stop you, but that they expect this token permission.
    Like when somebody told a friend they wanted no dowry, just a token one Rupee twenty five paise, she was like, a token of what? She was against the idea. When you are against something why would you sanctify it with a token?
    Indian mothers are a confused lot. My mother worried when she saw my husband ‘treating me’ like a friend. We were just married then, and she confused me with “You make tea, why are you ‘making him’ make tea for you!” ….Luckily he stood his ground. He comes from a family of Metrosexual men and today my mother is comfortable with him being yet another family member and not a ‘jamai raja’.

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