The sequel to my earlier post In Law Trouble, can now be shared with my readers.
My friend returned home after completing his work in the Western part of India to a rather insipid reception. He put up with that for three days and decided to take the bull or, should I say, the cow by its horns.
He made his wife and children sit down with him at the dining table and explained what he though of the situation and why he did not want to change himself. His wife protested that this should not be done before the children, but he insisted that they need to know what was going on.
Smart man. The children unanimously voted for status quo and said that they were happy with the way things are and not at all interested in becoming members of the club or doing some of the things, their classmates were up to in such households. We tend to underestimate modern children.
It was a no contest. The wife has agreed to let it all go and continue the way things have been all along. She has also told her father to lay off! Quite how the latter came about is a mystery, but I can guess that my friend must have had a chat with her in confidence about the matter in private.
For the time being, peace reigns.
I had a visitor yesterday who has a peculiar problem. I could not find a solution and perhaps some of my readers will offer some solutions.
My visitor is a fairly successful businessman in the North of India. He is what we call a self made man. Starting from a sales representative’s job in a consumer products company, he went into his own business twenty years ago and is now a respected member of that particular line’s distributor net work. He is what in India is called a HNI (High Net-worth Individual}. He was till recently happily married and his two children go to one of the best local schools. He owns his own residence free of any loans and the property is located in an upmarket area. He has two cars, and employs two drivers. One for domestic duty and the other for himself. He is a highly domesticated man with no interests other than his business and his family. He simply dotes on his children.
The problem has recently arisen because of his wife’s younger sister having married into a business family. His new and only brother in law is a director in a few companies and runs one of the family’s businesses as the CEO. In terms of net-worth, the brother in law is way high above my friend and also is a member of the two clubs of the town.
My friend’s father in law as well as his wife have now started hinting that my friend needs to try and get memberships in the two clubs and also start doing some of the things that the other son in law does! My friend is simply not interested as he is not of the mental make up to put up with all that it entails. The wife keeps nagging him and the father in law is kind of ‘aloof’ from him since the last few months.
My friend is torn between his natural instincts, which is a low profile, business oriented family life style and the expectations from his wife and in laws for the superficial social networking life style of his brother in law.
He asked me to suggest a course of action to handle this very delicate matter. I had no answer and told him clearly that whatever advise I give will affect one of the two people that I am fond of. He on the one side and his wife on the other side. I simply told him that this is one situation where I have no opinion or advise to offer and that this is something that he has got to resolve himself for his own long term sanity.
What would you have done in my place?