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When in-laws get in the way, husband takes sides

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus columnist John Gray answers questions.
By John Gray Published: September 20, 2012

DEAR JOHN: Like many Indian families, my husband and I live with his parents. Whenever I get into an altercation with my in-laws, no matter what happens, my husband never takes my side. Even if I'm right, and he acknowledges that I am right, he will only show displeasure with me in front of his parents. I've tried talking to my husband a number of times. I will accommodate his parents every way that I can, but I need him to at least be emotionally supportive of me. He, however, continues to give me no support. I have an independent career and I earn as much as my husband. Why should I tolerate this behavior?

End of My Rope in Vancouver, British Columbia

DEAR END: I commend you for your attempts to honor old world customs in this new millennium. You are right to seek the emotional support you need. Unfortunately, in his current mindset, I don't think you'll find that in your husband. He has been taught to honor his parents above all else.

As I suspect you know, in many societies, other women who live with their in-laws also experience your dilemma. Before you walk away from your marriage, please consider finding the support you need from other sources. For example, your personal friends and business colleagues recognize your strengths and assets, and they may provide the acknowledgment you deserve.

By establishing your domain outside the home you share with your in-laws, their pettiness will seem less substantial to you, and coping with it won't seem so hard. I'm sure you know that in the not-too-distant future, you will need a home of your own. The time to start discussing that future with your life partner is now.

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