UK: Moving in with your mother-in-law

UK: Moving in with your mother-in-law

It's still tradition for newly-married British Asian women to live with their in-laws. For many this rite of passage can be tough.

I've been living with my in-laws ever since I got married. Now, after 15 years, my husband and I have finally bought our own home.

For many Asian women in the UK, living with their husband's family leads to arguments, from petty squabbles over not washing the dishes, to more serious disagreements which can turn nasty.

British Asians make up 6.5% of the UK's population (there are 4.2m British Asians according to official estimates) and these households tend to be, on average, larger than other ethnic groups.


Women brought up more traditionally in India and Pakistan were often encouraged to believe they were just "visitors" in their parents' home. They were taught their real home would be their in-laws' house and they were to regard their in-laws as their "real" parents.

Rani, now in her mid-50s, has been married for more than 30 years, and has spent her entire married life living with extended family. She said the most painful moment was when she had to get permission to visit her own parents.

"I'd cry on the phone to my mum and say it was ridiculous… and she'd say 'that's just the way it is, you've to ask your in-laws'."

Thirty-nine-year-old Humera, a teacher from Walsall in the West Midlands, had an arranged marriage 10 years ago and moved to Leicester.

It soon became apparent that living with her husband's parents and sister was not going to work out.

"I remember standing in the bathroom and thinking 'what have I done'," she says.


Source: BBC (English)

No comments: