They say you can always choose your friends but not your relatives. This is true in a sense but is less truer in Asian community where the parents and siblings still play a part when you dated and marry someone. So, you do have to conform to the standards that your family believe in and you may even have to forgo your dream of having a Caucasian boyfriend or girlfriend. As globalisation seeps into all aspect of life, these norms are no longer a norm but a rarity.
That is why there is a need for in-laws either the mother or the daughter or the brother or the father, to find some common ground to stand on so that they can bear each other. For men, who always use brute force to assert their authority, the father-in-laws just need to show who's boss by claiming the best seat or the best steak. The son-in-law rarely had to play politics when it comes to this matter. Unless the father-in-law is asked to by the mother-in-law. As long as the boundary is observed, the ice will rarely thaw and each person will stick to their own turf.
On the other side of the coin, the women will always try to play the politics whether they choose to or not. As the prize will be the heart and soul of the man that they love, for the mothers, their sons and for the wife, their husbands, they consider another woman, although that woman may have the right to it, telling their son or husband how to do certain things, will be a territorial dispute waiting to erupt. Men, being a creature of habit, will have to break free from either one of the conquering force to make a decision on his own, which may actually be a form of free will.
So, it is actually very refreshing and triumphant even when the man of the house manage to get all the counter parties to go and have a good time together in the form of shopping at one of their favourite mall. Whether that work or not, is another matter...