Am the Daughter-in-Law who's Expected to Take Care of my Husband's Old and Dependent Parents

by Distressed Daughter-in-Law
(Ohio)

I come from a culture where elderly parents live with their son and daughter-in-law and are looked after by them. Also, my husband did make it clear that they would live with us before we got married. So I was mentally prepared for it.


What I was not prepared for was their lack of appreciation, their complaints with the food....I cook (most of the time, only for them), my husband's siblings' dissatisfaction with my caregiving quality, my in-laws tremendous love and emotional dependence on their older son who judges me, criticizes my cooking skills and who refuses to keep my in-laws with him on the pretext that they lived with them for 7 years and now it's our turn!

More than anything else, I'm surprised with my own low tolerance levels, feelings of resentment against my in-laws and my rudeness - cause there are times when I'm very, very rude to them, saying things like I'm their unpaid servant and I resent having to change diapers and doing other similar stuff. I hate my situation!

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I Hear You!
by: Anonymous

Get this--my husband is a member of a culture like yours, but I am an American. His parents have lived with us for 12 years and are now experiencing declining health.

My brother, who is mentally handicapped and rather frail, also now lives with us. I do everything for everyone since my husband works.

I have not hired anyone to clean the house because every two weeks just will not help. These people are always dropping things on the floor and making messes so I have to clean constantly. We can't afford to have cleaners come often enough to really help.

I love my in-laws and my brother, but I am at the end of my rope. I am fortunate in that my in-laws are kind to me and show appreciation all the time, but I'm 58 years old and slowing down, too.

At this point I'm terribly afraid that they are going to outlive me because I feel myself on a physical decline.

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The Ball is in Your Court
by: Anonymous

Unless you are prepared to go against your culture there isn't much you can do, I look after an elderly mother and even though I am not expected to do it, it does get on top of me. You are looking after in-laws I don`t think I could do that especially if they were always complaining.

You could toss your culture out of the window and start by standing up for yourself, you could be a inspiration for future generations of women to come, it is rewarding in some respects to assist others, but the others must in return treat you with the respect you deserve, and that also goes for your husband and his sibling.

You are full of resentment, resentment can affect your health not just your mental health, but also your physical health.....you do not mention if you grew up in the western world, if you did, it is most unfair for you to be expected to comply to a culture which is not part in a western society, even if you did not grow up in the western world in this day and age things are very different.

If you cannot go against your culture then the day will come if you have a son, his wife will be expected to do what you are doing now, if you have a daughter then she will have to look after her in laws, I can see why sons are favoured so much. The ball is your court, good luck.

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