Can a daughter-in-law really be a daughter? Or son-in-law really be a son?

Can a daughter-in-law really be treated like a daughter? Or a son like a son-in-law? Do you feel like you are being treated differently.

Historically, in the Indian sub-continent, when a girl was born into a family, parents knew that one day she will leave to go to her married home – her ‘real’ home. That came with an ultimate belief that your real mother was your husband’s mother, and that the birth mother had simply given birth to you and brought you up until it was time for you to get married. They believed that however they were treated by their in-laws family was down to destiny and fate, and that it just needed to be accepted – because this was their real family.

Now, we are writing this as 2nd generation British born Indians, but we have heard some people do feel second best in families.  Even in these days when couples are more likely to be living in their own homes rather than with the family.

Do you think this is a mentality that can change? Is the thinking that your daughter-in-law is your real daughter or that your mother in law is your real mum outdated?  I am sure there are some of you that have a great relationship with your mother-in-laws. We would love to hear from you – what makes it work?

Or let’s flip it the other way for a second. What about mother in laws not being made to feel like mum’s from their daughter in laws? What about those mother in laws that are treated so differently than the real mums by the daughter in laws? This equally causes the same feelings of hurt and resentment. For example, does your daughter-in-law invite her family over for dinner more than yours? Does she spend more time with her family and take her children to see her family more than yours? If you are experiencing this, we hope you also can share your experience and feelings so that people reading this will think again about their actions.

Do you feel like you get treated differently from your in laws than your sister/brother in laws?  Examples might be they get more gifts in general,  or at birthdays and christmas.  It could be that you feel you are left out of family discussions and things are hidden from you?  Maybe one way of overcoming this is just accept and don’t expect to be treated same as its natural that your own children will always come first.

Lastly, if you are one of the lucky people to have a great relationship with your mother in law or vice versa, your experiences and words of wisdom will be most valuable in this blog.


    • Zara
    • October 8, 2017

    A daughter in law can never be like a real daughter, no matter how much the mother in law tells you that you are. Actions speak louder than words. It’s a shame though because it should be no different but how the daughter in law treats her mother in law is also just as important

    • Anonymous
    • October 8, 2017

    When I first got married I used to think I will treat my mil just like my own mum. Slowly slowly, (and it took a few years) I realised she will never treat me like her own daughter despite her saying that she will. Examples I started noticing was her daughters got more birthday money/diwali or xmas money than me. If I had an argument with my husband she would take his side and tell me where I’m wrong, but not her son. Secrets were kept from me but not my husband.

      • Rups
      • November 1, 2017

      I agree I also tried my best to be a daughter to my mil, but she never accepted that I was good for her son and god knows why she let him marry me. I am educated but still used to sweep rug under table every night with dustpan cause they would be watching to (hubby and not his mum) and she would sit watch me instead and insult me for not sweeping rug the way she likes. I used to dread doing every night but still did it as thought of being good daughter in end I still ended up being kicked out.

    • A Daughter
    • November 2, 2017

    Never will a MIL treat a DIL as a daughter. Even if she doesn’t have one.. like most of you I thought my parents n my husbands parents will be treated no different than each other.. but no matter what you do MIL feels negative or conspired by it!! Like when she visited us 1st.. I looked after her diet to the core making sure her diabetes and cholesterol is well looked after.. but only after years to find out.. she wasn’t happy with it at all n was upset that she looses weight whenever she comes to ours. . She bought 1st dress for my unborn baby n for my hubby n nothing for me when I was pregnant.. Which mum would do that!! But Son in laws will surely be accepted as sons. . My parents would do their best for him n discuss everything openly to my hubby.. but I was never revealed family secrets for a long time until my hubby shared them..
    MIL would always get very formal everyone she would come home.. it would take me months to make her feel informal n by that time she will return..
    For some reason. . I started feeling as if I am trying to hard to be a daughter.. I have stopped it now. . Don’t need to be one.. I am happy being my parents daughter.

    • Anon
    • November 3, 2017

    I think the effort has to be made from all parties involved (mother in law, daughter in law, son in law etc).

    I am very fortune, and my mother in law treats me like a daughter and I would like to think she feels I treat her like a mother. I can talk to her about anything & everything.

    Although I dont know why there is so much pressure on women to treat a daughter in law like a daughter and a mother in law like a mother. You dont treat your husband like a father or your brother so why does one relationship have to be compared to another.

    Every story and relationship is different, it doesnt need to be compared. There just needs to be respect and love involved.

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