We happily received the family that came from a Chennai suburb, to register the profile of their daughter in KM Matrimony.The parents came with their son and daughter-in-law for the purpose. During their stay in the office for almost 45 minutes, we observed the parents only made all the talk, neither their son nor their daughter-in-law made any efforts to join the conversation.
Later when we took the father aside and asked him is there anything wrong with the couple, he broke up and said, though, they were married for over four years, they hardly exchanged any words between themselves in the last two years. He quickly added that his daughter-in-law is of good character and was not the reason for the problem. He explained that his son did not like the idea of his wife supporting her needy parents financially and stopped talking with her. The father-in-law further said, he and his wife are in support of their daughter-in-law, which was not liked by their son. He held that both of them were well educated and earn handsomely. His statement, while increasing our respect towards him and his wife, but made us all sad.
It is a fact that that an increased percentage of parents in India, especially those in their forties and fifties had opted for a single child norm. The only girl, when married, is most often not encouraged to support her parents. The problem is compounded, when such parents fell ill with no one to support them physically or financially. While, the duty of a son towards his parents is well defined and agreed by the society, it is yet to recognise such duty imposed on a daughter. Though, the awareness is being created among young men, most of them continue to oppose their wives supporting their parents financially or physically. They put forth the old argument of respecting the matrimonial home and not to give much importance to her natal home.
In the case of the wife who visited our office, though her in-laws (who normally oppose) backed her idea of extending financial support to her needy parents and her husband opposed it. The wife, who doesn’t want to take the extreme decision of divorcing her husband to support her parents for obvious reasons, started showing her descent by reducing the exchange of words with her husband. The husband, who has understood her predicament, does not want to change his stand and the stalemate continues.
We honestly feel that any well educated husband should allow his earning wife, to support her parents financially to the extent possible. He should not come in the way of her lending physical support to them when needed. In fact, when she shares his financial and physical responsibilities towards his parents, he must volunteer to reciprocate it the same way. Such an idea is fast catching up and in some cases, both the parents choose to live together supporting each other in a single apartment, when the couple are away at a foreign country.