Joint family system in Pakistan Part-1

  • Status, issues and solutions

In Pakistan, the very first question that is raised after knowing that a girl is getting married is always, “Is she going to a joint family or a nuclear family system?”

Yes, because people in Pakistan consider this to be a really big issue not only for the husband and wife but also for their upcoming family and children.

Back in the ‘70s and ‘80s the joint family system was considered better than an independent or a nuclear family system by the majority. But as the time changed, the new generation turned smart and grew up having the confidence that they are supposed to be independent and would not entertain anyone’s interference in their personal lives. Both the system either joint family or nuclear family have their benefits and flaws, but we are going to discuss what are the disadvantages in a joint family system when you are living in Pakistan.

Unlike the west, it has been a trend since forever in Pakistan for a girl to live with her parents-in-law after marriage. It’s not that the couples back in ‘80s always had a good experience of the joint family system, but it’s a fact that they were innocent and they valued their customs and respected their relationships more than their egos.

Disadvantages of joint family system in Pakistan

Nowadays couples desire to live their independent lives or at least they don’t feel like having too much interference from anyone be it parents or siblings. Some of the main reasons why a joint family system is not an option in Pakistan are:

Head of the family

In a joint family, there is always a head of the family who is considered to be the “Karta Dharta” of the family. You must share all the ups and downs of your life with him otherwise you’d be considered a rebel or a self-contained member of the family.

Sounds funny, right?

The parents or the head follow the old norms and customs while the younger members of the family want to live their lives according to the new century so here starts the so-called war between the “bahu” and the parents in law. As I mentioned today’s generation always prefers being independent and they do not want to consider anyone when it comes to their personal lives. The girl or the daughter-in-law deems to be under estimated while the parents who always have been considered the “monarch” of the family feels offended by the behavior of the new entry in the house.

Privacy? What?

Unfortunately, the most common lacking element in the joint family system is the privacy of the couple which irritates more than anything. The every single bit of your relationship is out in the open before your family.

The comparison game

You have kids studying in a government school or a middle-class school? Oh, well my kids are studying in the top school in the city!

Yes, this is what happens in a joint family. Starting from your dressing sense, and your living style to the way your kids talk, eat, sleep, study, etc!

Every single thing is compared to your sisters (Jethanis and Dewranis) which creates an inferiority complex in the parents and even in children.


I need to get all the attention of the family members especially the head of the family so I would be the only eye-candy of the family and no one else. This thought urges to plot conspiracies against the family members.

Well, I am not joking at all! There is always a villain character in the family whose primary focus is always to try and grab all the opportunity to torture and take advantage of another innocent member of the family.

Useless arguments

It is sometimes emotionally draining as there are higher risks of getting involved in pointless arguments based on misinterpretation or envy amongst family members.

Conflict in opinions

Just because you are saying this, doesn’t mean I have to agree with it too. Right?

Every human being is free to have a personal opinion regarding any particular issue. But, if you are living in a joint family system you have to agree with the view of the senior members of the family otherwise it means you are the only apple of discord in the family.

Financial clashes

The higher earning member of the family tends to have higher priority as compared to the one with the lower income which develops distance between the members and again the comparison and competition begins.


It’s my birthday party, and I am inviting my friends, but oh wait! If you are not inviting the in-laws of your phuppo, who are almost dead.

Here begins the brawl and your party are spoiled already.


The younger members of the family have to bear all the workload always because they must respect the senior members and stop arguing.

Limited space

Not all the time but most of the time you are forced to live in a limited space in a joint family it may be a portion or even a single room which is quite irritating and feels like being isolated in your own home.

Kitty fights

You always witness kitty fights in a joint family system. Taunting each other all day long and sometimes getting into some serious arguments and regretting being married to this family. Funny again?

(To be continued….)



  1. Very informative and true about the joint family system.. now a days it’s a big issue in our society.. well done ?

  2. a very good piece of writing.whatever written is totally true, most of us living in joint family system face these problems. It was a privilege living in joint families for Pakistani people but now they prefer not to live in joint family.

  3. Wow very well written! The pros and cons of joint family system have been observed very closely and discussed in a very interesting manner!! Waiting for the next part impatiently!

  4. Heart touching topic.
    Well done sir. The disadvantages of living in a Joint Family are mentioned very well. Now waiting for the advantages of joint family.

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