What are common conflicts with in-laws?
In many countries, once a woman marries, she is expected to leave her birth family and go to live with her husband‘s family. For many young women, this separation causes much suffering because they not only miss their parents and siblings but feel lonely, isolated and without support in their husband‘s family.
Poverty plus custom and practice in developing countries, often drive extended families to live together under the same roof and mean that young married couples are forced to live according to the traditional values and customs of their parents and grandparents.
Under these circumstances, in-laws may make life very difficult for the young woman and may interfere in her relationship with her husband. Some typical examples of the type of interference that may be experienced are:
- the young woman will be required to help them a lot and to take care of them if they are in need.
- in-laws may disapprove of the marriage and consequently will not treat their daughter-in-law very well.
- in-laws may put a lot of pressure on a young wife in the event that she does not bring value to the family by bearing sons or providing income to the family.
- if the family home a young man brings his wife to live in is very small there may be very little space made available for the daughter-in-law and her in-laws may even limit the amount of food and other necessities available to their daughter-in-law because they do not want to spend money on her.
- in-laws may even ill-treat or abuse their daughters-in-law:
by assaulting her
by denying her food or starving her
by prohibiting her from going out and meeting anyone
by refusing visits to her parents‘ home
by not permitting her to talk with visitors from her parents‘ home
by denying her access to her children