She believes in couple love, equality and speaking up her mind. But, Her husband’s family is completely different. This is the story of raj and sejal or you can say the story of most of the married women of this generation.
Women of raj’s house are secondary to men and sejal’s confidence and self-worth makes her “not fit” for the marriage according to society. They are like made for each other. Everyone envy their bond until his family invades in their relationship with their age old traditional beliefs and unrealistic expectations.
Sejal and Raj live in another city for the work. They visit their respective parents in holidays. Each time they plan a visit, Sejal start getting depressed and anxious. Raj can’t figure out what’s wrong with her. But most of the women/ bride can relate with Sejal.
She faces criticism and silly remarks almost every time every day in her in-law’s place.
“She has no sense of how to dress.”
“She has no respect for elders.”
“She speaks very loud.”
“She laughs loud.”
“She should not walk like this.”
“She should not talk like this.”
“She shouldn’t go to her parent’s place.”
“She doesn’t know how to cook.”
“She should not talk to you (her Husband) like this.”
“She never understands our values.”
And the list goes on and on….
She is not as loved as her husband or his siblings. she is never a part of discussions. There was a strange sense of being an outsider. Nobody ever abused or beaten her. Yet She feels like worthless in the small things. The indirect taunting and threatening like:
“He loves his parents more… He would never give that space to anyone”
“He won’t do anything without parents’ permission. That is for sure”
“If his parents say him anything, even if it’s against his wishes, he will do it… No one is important to him more than his parents especially mother … He has in the past left many things just because I said it”
“The way he loves his mother, he would never love anyone like that…”
“He already has his commitment to his family. No other commitment is as important as that”
Sentences and discussions like these made her feel totally insecure about their spouse and their commitment towards them.
She is not allowed to sit with her husband, spend time with him.
Whenever she try talk to Raj her mother in-law start staring at her and scold her later on how she was talking to him, he is her husband and things like that. or she interfere in between and start talking to Raj about something else. this negligence is hurting her.
Her mother in law is trying to ignore her presence in her sons life. the only expectation she had fro her to do household chores and serve everyone.
She want her son to sit close to her. She touched him like a small kid. She lean on his shoulders while traveling in a car. she want him to hold her hand while walking. she want to feed him with her hands. and this too much closeness is just not feel right to Sejal. She feels worthless and nothing less than a maid. who is only here to serve everyone that’s it.
No one ever make any effort to talk to her or make her feel comfortable. Her brother and sister in law never call her for their side. No one remembers her special days. but every expect her to call on their special days and even generally because its her duty. Even when she call they don’t seem interested to talk. she never felt connected to anyone.
She is disrespected and emotionally abused. but she cant share it with anyone because who will believe her? or even if they believe what will they do? They will apparently ask her to adjust.
Even Raj hear and experience these things very often. He can totally understand how she must be feeling. But he used to ignore it all the time. Whenever sejal tries to share her feelings with him, either he tells her to ignore these things or shout at her.
Because its not his fault. her mother and family members treats Sejal so different in front of him. they try to manipulate him and play victim ifront of him. All these actions irritated Sejal. Raj feels like Sejal is not not putting enoigh efforts.
His ignorance is breaking her trust at him.
Raj was unable to understand what she wants him to do? Why is she complaining about his family all the time? Why is she getting angry at him?
She is crying all the time, always fighting with him about small things that happened to her in his place.
Their relationship is getting bitter day by day. And The ignorance is the root and stem of all evil. She thinks that his rejection has silent approval.
This is something very common for women. These cultural norms and compulsions are killing girls from inside. People say it takes time for the bride to become part of her new home after marriage. Agree. But it takes a moment for a girl to separate from her parents and become part of your family. She cannot be lonely for years. In-laws should also learn how to accept a new family member, how to make her feel like a home and how not to force her to change completely to fit in the family. This is your family and she is the new one here.
Let her be who she is then only she will be able to love and accept the new family from the core of her heart.
Shower her with love and treat her with respect, she will gradually and naturally become the part of the family.
People say the bride should prove herself her a little more to get the love of a new family. In reality, This is not love. love comes in the family without limits and conditions. Proofs are to please egos.
We listen to it very often that “Girls must adjust” so she does. And starts losing herself bit by bit amidst never-ending adjustments and expectations.
Everyone has their laughter, their wishes, dreams, thoughts, believes and personality. That is what defines them. and you are forcing her to change herself completely.
A person is born with their own identity and beauty. and her sense of identity is under threat and that is what depressing her.
Everyone needs to be treated as a human with empathy and maturity. In-laws want a bride to be a robotic machine who follow their instructions without complaining.
Every woman expects that her husband should stand up for her identity. and husbands should understand that It’s your home, your world, your family. You have all the power and you need to take charge of your wife’s happiness.
Please support your wife if you think she is right. Don’t take sides. I know that it is difficult but please don’t leave her alone either, because she has no one apart from you in your house. Please make an effort to be there for her.
Don’t ask her to change completely. It makes her doubt herself. Is she good enough and desirable? Did you ever love her? Can she be who she dreams and imagine to be?
Society and family members make her feel guilty for not doing enough for husband and his family. In reality, she tried to change every part of herself to fit in. but she was always a misfit and not valuable. she is losing herself yet no one care. She sees that you ask her to change all the time but you never ask anyone else to understand her or make space for her. This continuous rejection, confrontation and control will fill her with self-doubt and depression.
She never feels welcome in your set up. she feels like a prisoner. it doesn’t feel like a home.
Don’t expect your wives to play the role of maid, cleaner, babysitter, and caretaker to you and your parents. It’s her choice, and if she chooses not to, she may have her reasons too; that doesn’t make her bad or less ‘pious’. If you are looking for a full-time, unpaid maid in your life partner, you do not understand marriage at all.”
Stand Up for her and love her well. Your children are watching you. You are teaching your son how to treat women, and teaching your daughters what to expect from men.
The love of husband and wife is the force that welds society together. :Saint John Chrysostom
For now, signing off until next post.
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