This chapter examines ways in which relationships between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law are influenced and changed by crises in the family life-course. These may be acute crises such as illness or bereavement, or more gradual processes of ageing and dependency, but all create complex problems which upset the routines of family life. Changes in circumstances brought about by such crises frequently lead to a reassessment of what might be expected from affinal relationships and renegotiation of responsibilities and obligations between family members. Much of the material presented here looks at caring in the sense of tending relationships. These are two-way relationships, that is, care by the younger generation of the older generation and vice versa, and it emerges that care of the older generation is much more fraught than the situation in reverse. For example, when daughters-in-law identify their own needs they do not refer to care in terms of personal tending but of being cared about. Moreover, they see their own needs as more manageable and dispensable than the needs of the elderly. Firstly, their own needs are usually immediate and fairly short-term, for example for help and support after childbirth, and secondly, they expect to have more resources at their disposal. Most daughters-in-law feel able to call upon their husbands and/ or sisters and, importantly, on their mothers and when these people are available the mother-in-law is not expected or required to give much assistance. However, when daughters-in-law talk about caring for an elderly mother-in-law they refer to her needs as being those which require very personal tending and are worried that they will be solely responsible for providing this type of care. Again, this has to do with resources. The elderly are marginalized in our society; they are often infantilized and forced into ‘structured dependency’ (Marsden and Abrams, 1987) because of a lack of resources other than those provided by their families and this is reflected in the views expressed by women in both study groups. Indeed, visualizing the elderly as dependent is a form of determinism which tends to underestimate the autonomy many older people have and wish to retain. For example, attitudes towards ageing expressed by women in the mother-in-law group revealed their overwhelming concern with personal autonomy and freedom of choice. Thus, they expected to play an active role in decisions about how much support they might need in the future and from whom they would accept it.