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December 07, 2006

Taking sides.

I have a new found respect for men who have taken their wives side and decided that wife and kids are more important than their parents. Until recently, I detested the sons who abandoned their parents. And the daughters-in-law who split happy families. But when I became a mother, my opinion changed drastically. We have long debates on who is more important to a man: his mother or his wife? But rarely have I seen the topic discussed with a daughter in picture. Is nt a daughter as important or even more for a man? Given a choice between his mother and his daughter, what should a man choose? Very tricky, I know! But a friend of mine has had some marital (read as In-laws) problems and her husband has nt gone to see his wife or his daughter for a year now. Occasional phone calls is all thats happening. This guy is living with his parents. So he has chosen, even if its temporarily, his parents over his wife and daughter. In the case of choosing one's wife, at least she is happy and Im sure any parents however miserable they are will only want their children’s happiness. But when a guy chooses his parents over his wife (and especially a daughter I should add), the wife is miserable. The daughter is miserable. The parents can not be happy seeing their sons family separated or is it possible? In that case, they don’t deserve a son who will sacrifice his family for them, right? If their son is so important for them to keep close, should nt the son feel the same about his daughter too? Is nt she important to him? Does nt she matter at all? I know this is not a simple matter of choosing this over that. But what kind of man is he? Am I missing something here? I hope this is only a temporary phase and he comes back to his senses soon. Thats what my friend wants, right or wrong, and thats what I am going to pray for too.

23 comments:

Nee said...

Oh dear - this is a really tough one Boo. I agree, no matter what, no one should come before your child - and I would think that's what the grandparents in question would want too...
The thing is, I've slowly come to realize, that there's no clear-cut right or wrong in a situation like this - can't judge without being in the person's shoes. Maybe the guy feels like his wife can be more understanding while he works on his parents and gets a truce underway...I don't know.

I do hope everything works out to the happiness of all parties concerned, especially the child's.

S... said...

Nee
No matter whose fault, a decent human being does not abandon one's child. Period...

Anonymous said...

I agree with nee - hard to judge without being in one's shoes. But no matter what I think it is wrong to abandon your child - a child is a life long bond...just cannot be broken at any time in my opinion. And grand parents too - I would imagine they would also go out of their way to reunite the family...I tell my husband that when we grow old we should aim to live on our own but close to where the children are - give them love but also give them their space...One has to pray for good health and independence in old age really.

Sundar Narayanan said...

once you have your own family, they become your priority.. if my parents put us above their parents, it is only logical that we put our kids before our parents !

:)

Anonymous said...

I think the whole situation is dicey - especially in India. In India, once married, the wife is expected to forget her parents and be bound to husband and in-laws. How many parents feel at home in their daughters place? I feel very bad that my parents worked hard to educate me - but the benefits are reaped by my in-laws!
These days with women working and being more independent, I see lots of issues with girls and in-laws. It takes adjustment from both sides. Most cases, in-laws find it hard to digest the daughter in laws independence. They still expect that things should be according to their rules. The problem is that in India, parents never let go. Even when their kids are mature adults, they still want them to listen to them.

B o o said...

Nee - I know that situations like these are ticky and theres no right or wrong choices. But believe when I say that this guy had made a wrong choice. Im sorry Im not able to elaborate more.

S - The world would be a better place if everyone thought this way...

Noon - I think the same too. That parents would go out of their way to ensure that their children are happy. But this case boggles my mind!

B o o said...

Sundar - Seeing so many guys having the same view point as you have made me take this for granted. But its clearly not so. My friends situation has made me realize that.

Anon - In-laws problems are there everywhere. But in my friends case, Im really baffled by the husbands choice. The guy missed his daughters first birthday, first word, first walk, first everything and also recently the second birthday as well. And thats a loooong time in a childs life and a crucial time too. I cant help compare myself and my daughter in that situation and go wild with rage. And its not like my friends problems with her in-laws are any different from mine or others perhaps!

Anonymous said...

Oh my god! What kind of a man abandons his own child?! Very sad.... :(

the mad momma said...

well i guess it would help to know the situation in its entirety....
but i usually side with wife.. lets see what happens when i am a MIL. for now.. not just your child.. you do not abandon your wife either. there is no excuse. period.

Aqua said...

i really sympathize with your friend. it just shows what a spineless creature her husband is. this debate is endless i think. i have a friend who is in a similar situation...and it's shocking to say the least. my respect for that fellow has really dipped now!

Shyam said...

I've always wondered why some of these clingy mothers even bother getting their son married. And why some of these guys get married - do they think that two women means twice the attention to him solely, without any friction? Have mummy to fuss over him and a wife for physical needs?

Each situation is unique, so you cant make a judgment just like that - but I think any parents who would force their son to abandon his wife and child are disgusting! Almost as much as the son who would listen to his parents on that account.

artnavy said...

Sometimes it may be wiser to let go of a relationship than make it living hell for the kid

What is really not ok is for the grand parents not to care enough about the son or the grandkid

itchingtowrite said...

wouldn't want to pass judgement but no matter what, all parties must ensure that the kid does no suffer. esp when she is no way able to exercise her chpice. and i would expect at least the grandparents to drive some sense into the husband & wife if not anything else & if not battling for their son's attention

Anonymous said...

Guess everybody agrees that no matter what, nothing could be so bad that the guy not see his daughter at all. Must be a real loser if his parents come above daughter and wife. In fact, I would say that the wife should come before parents, whether there is a daughter or not. Unless the wife is real bad.
On another note - what do women get when they marry - get to be a house maid+cook for husband + inlaws, lose independence, ...and husbands...get a cook cum maid cum secretary cum ...

B o o said...

Viji - I just came to know from my friend that he went to her city and met up. So theres still hope. But that does nt justify his action for not being there for his daughter and wife for more than a year.

MM - Definitely depends on the situation, I agree. Cant generalize. But this problem is so silly you know. So the wife does nt get along with her In-laws. Thats the case with most of the wives. Not all husbands abandon their families, do they?

Aqua - And I know they guy and we have hung out and all. So this hurts me more!

B o o said...

Shyam - Agree 100% with every word of your comment.

Art - Thats what baffles me too. Parents want their children to be happy. But not here!

Itchy - Grand parents? What grand parents? Nothing grand about them!

B o o said...

Anon - Thats what hurts me, the daughter part. Regarding the wife should be more important than the parents - well! The world is nt that perfect yet! ;)

Anonymous said...

So the wife does nt get along with her In-laws. Thats the case with most of the wives. Not all husbands abandon their families, do they?
>> Hmm...another sticky topic. Let's face it...most of us have in-laws issues and keep shut coz we don't want to hurt our husbands/create issues. What is the best way to deal with in-laws you don't like...who do and say things behind your husbands back...but act sugary sweet in front of others? I know from experience and others experiences that the moment the wife starts saying something against her in-laws, somehow the husband would find fault with her! I mean anything and everything can be twisted to be the wifes fault!

The Kid said...

Taking sides is dangerous business. I know I did that once and got the feedback... :(

Anusha Parthasarathy said...

I know how it feels...but a person should not neglect wife and kid...Unfortunately in India, a male undergoes this predicament often as to the choice between his parents and wife and kids...A wise man strikes a balance between the two or atleast attempts to...

Sylvia M. said...

Hi,

I conduct research in the field of communication on the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship. Presently I am focusing on the mother-in-law perspective, specifically the emotional experience of being a mother-in-law. Research on this topic is limited and I am always looking for mothers-in-law who are willing to participate in either on-line or hard copy surveys. If you or anyone you know is interested in contributing to research on the topic and letting mothers-in-law have a voice, instead of being defamed, please visit my website www.motherinlawstudy.blogspot.com.


Thanks so much.
Sylvia

The Visitor said...

Boo- Like Nee, ITW and the Kid I wouldn't want to take sides or pass judgement either. I feel that both parties are to blame. We really don't know enough to pass judgement.

'Abandoning' is rather a strong word. Look at it from the husband's perspective - couldn't he have the view that she simply refuses to go back? Isn't she denying him all the joys of watching his daughter grow-up?

mommyof2 said...

I hope everything works out well for ur friend.