Me and my husband have been married for 2 years. We had an arranged marriage. My husband is the only child. We stay with my in-laws. My mother-in-law is very overbearing, authoritative and controlling. She continuously insults me and my family. She poisons her son’s mind against me.
I am an introvert and keep quiet. I have not fought back or confronted her.
My husband sometimes stands up for me. I tried to celebrate her birthday, buy her gifts, give her importance and do everything to make her happy and accept me. I even encourage my husband to buy her gifts and take her for outings. But she has her moods where she is unbearable.
My husband too has noticed her behaviour and sends the in-laws to their native place.
But he is a ‘Mama’s Boy’ and too dependent on his parents. He always calls them back after few weeks. They are greedy for my salary. My husband too wants me to spend for most things.
I am pregnant and am at my parent’s house now. I have been advised bed rest for the entire 9 months, but even though I am no longer earning, my husband expects me all the expenses for my pregnancy and delivery. There was some complication in the pregnancy and when my husband heard about this, he said he wanted a divorce and that I should abort the baby. Later he said he didn’t mean it. But he threatened divorce earlier too. He is just not able to deal with any bad news and always starts blaming everyone around him in his immature fashion. I feel so abandoned by him when I need his support the most.
The things he says to me when he gets angry are very hurtful, I ask myself does he even love me? Can I ignore the things he says in anger or is there more truth in it?. Are those his true feelings? He and his parents regularly fight over small things, where they speak very rudely to one another. This is affecting my mental health.
Is it worth continuing? Can I do anything to improve things in my marriage?
Dear Distraught Wife,
The answer to both your questions, I’m afraid is ‘No!’ It broke my heart to read about the multiple torture that you have been put through. But it also made me very angry. And frustrated over the fact that this tale is repeated over and over again across the country, regardless of class, community, education or economic status. The bigger tragedy is that parents insist that their daughter continue to take this bull***t day in and day out because society dictates that the marital home is now her only home. Yeah, Society is this faceless creature which doesn’t have to suffer, but only smugly perpetuate these age-old injustices.
My dear, I know you are in even more of a vulnerable situation thanks to your pregnancy, more so because it is not an easy one. Try to stay calm, think beautiful thoughts about the life growing inside you till the baby is born and grows a little. By some miracle matters might improve when a brand-new life enters that viscious family, especially if it is a boy. Yes, the gender bias is taken for granted in people like these, husband included. But when you go back, find the courage to make it clear that it’s no longer going to be abuse as usual. Learn to stand up for your self-respect.
You can to be polite, but you have to convey that the old demands and offensive behaviour will no longer be tolerated. And, yes if they don’t get the message, you have to get the guts to shout back. Remember, a bully always wilts when confronted by a bigger bully. If nothing works, you should prepare yourself to walk out. Trust me, it’s not as daunting as it appears. You were already working, so at least you know you can be somewhat financially independent. Hopefully, you can persuade your parents to think of their own flesh and blood, and ignore what others say. The husband/ in-laws will make this decision as difficult as they can because they won’t want to lose face, or your income. It’s not going to be easy, but nothing can be worse than your current prison of horrors. Write again to me whenever you need to. All the best.
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Disclaimer Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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