An email: He says what am I expecting out of this marriage if I cant even make him happy.

I received this email this morning.

Hi
I chanced upon your blog few days back and have been reading all the posts since then…
I should say reading all these has helped me a lot. I would like to take some help from you and all readers whether am going in right direction. I got married 2 years ago. We like each other initially because we found we both had the right mix of modern and traditional beliefs, but now i feel he is very traditional and i am not sure i want to do many of the things that is enforced on me!. As soon as we got married, he insisted that i wear the bindi all the time since otherwise he feels like he is dead!! I rebelled for a few days but later thought whats the big deal and I wear it now all the time. Then slowly he started saying that am wearing boring clothes at home and he doesn’t feel interested because of that. He restricted me from wearing nighties so I started wearing loose comfortable pants and shirts. Even that he doesn’t like and said I need to wear well fitted clothes… so I actually used to come back from office, change into something which he might like, be fresh, wear lipstick etc etc when he comes back home… then he started complaining that am not wearing saree even occasionally… so I started doing that…now its like he says why are you not wearing saree everyday at home? you are a married woman… you should behave like one … not just wear pants,skirts which is not looking sexy… I have told him that i feel as a sex object if i do all that… but he says whats wrong with me trying to behave in a manner he would like… he says what am i expecting out of this marriage if i cant even make him happy…
Another thing is I pray to god in my mind and its usually when i retire to bed…but he wants me to put flowers to god every day, light the lamp and pray and put kumkum and go…after a lot of fights i actually started doing that also everyday… but if I forget even a single day, he shouts and screams a lot saying he has done me a favour and he had to put the flowers himself… I said how can it be a favour…what’s is wrong in his putting flowers to god on some days?? He says  how can I even question him like that…he is only angry that I didn’t pray to god that day..previously his mother used to pray for him and he used to get whatever he wanted …now he wants me to do that for him since am his wife!!!
Overall the last 2 years i feel I have become very subdued and submissive…. every few days he keeps telling that I should do better…. I should have done this or that… first 1 or 2 months my cooking was not good… he basically said without even knowing cooking how can I be a good wife… then slowly I started cooking very well.. and he said just cooking alone is not sufficient… you need to manage the household… so everything from bill payments, taking care of maids, driver, our house related problems-plumbing, electricity etc, filing all  docs etc.. it came to me… I did that as well… then now he is saying am just doing all tasks only and am not showing him any attention!! Every 2-3 days he keeps saying I don’t show him attention, he had so many expectations, am not even trying to make this marriage work!!! I am just tired of it all…. I don’t want to be a “good” wife anymore!! In fact I want to say go to hell… I need freedom!
Am I right or wrong??
– Not a good wife.

128 thoughts on “An email: He says what am I expecting out of this marriage if I cant even make him happy.

  1. If the issue was difference of opinion, I would have adviced to initiate a dialogue and talk it out. But no offense, the husband here sounds like a jerk. It’s one thing to request your spouse in a particular way to please your sensibilities once in a while, its a totally different thing to expect that your sole aim in the marriage is to please him (no thoughts about how he should please you, I am sure). The guy needs an attitude adjustment.

    Looks like the guy belongs to that special category of Indian men who think girlfriends need to be modern, lively, independent and then suddenly morph into epitome of Bharatiya-nariism as soon as they get married while men find the cultural excuse to act like jerks.

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  2. Not a good wife? Dont do that to yourself. From what i understand you’ve walked into an arranged marriage and have done your best to do things that your husband thinks a good wife should do. He seems to want a stepford wife but you’re only human.
    “he says what am i expecting out of this marriage if i cant even make him happy” – but, are you happy? what has he done to make you happy and more comfortable? And he’s telling you at every turn that you’re not good enough. That sounds like emotional abuse disguised as a way to make you a better wife. What does he do that makes him a good husband? Has he changed even one bit to accommodate the fact there’s another person in the equation? I’m sure you’ve already asked yourself these questions because you sound downright stifled. I wont say leave or don’t leave because those decisions are easier said than done. Just wanted to let you know that I don’t think you need to do any more because all your efforts until now have triggered off the something else that needs “fixing” (has he ever said thank you for making the effort?). I’m in your court on this one. You’ve done enough. A good wife ≠ doormat.

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  3. The husband sounds like a jerk who wants to get his way, even at the cost of his wife’s happiness and self respect! Slowly he’ll dictate the way his wife talks to people or who she should hang out with and whether she can talk to her own family or not!! People don’t change unless they themselves want to. This guy seems so full of himself that he might not even realize what he is doing is wrong and unfair. I sincerely hope the wife realizes that she has her own life and happiness to take care of. She should take control of her life and do whatever is right and makes her happy!! She sounds like a wonderful person who is letting an insecure husband trample all over her!!!

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  4. Well…you clearly need to get rid of this guy. As in divorce.

    But saying it is easy. You’re the one who has to change your life to do it. Luckily women these days have far more options than they did even a few decades ago. You sound as if you can be financially independent.

    Make use of it.

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    • Allytude, its emotional abuse. It sneaks up on a person. Remember she said she liked him once, emotional abuse makes you believe that if only you would do this one more thing, everything will be back to how it was in the beginning. And note how he started with simple stuff, like a bindi, which there or not doesn’t make a difference and that is why she agreed. After getting one thing, abusers escalate, right now she is being abused completely, but it started slow and mild, which is why she doesn’t know what hit her.

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  5. The hard truth is you married to a very very traditional better said- stereotyped guy! During the courtship he obviously was not willing to let you go. And I believe he thought he will slowly transform you subtly even though you were modern. . And his assumptions were obviously wrong! And let it be!

    But, it seems he is so hard coded it will be difficult to change him in your lifetime. Your chance is to assert yourself & not be a Good Wife from his perspective and if it doesn’t seems to work, do the obvious!

    Hope you don’t have a baby to make things complicated.

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  6. Your husband obviously suffers from a misguided perception of marriage, which probably roots from his mother’s servility to his father… These are cultural mindsets but they CAN be changed. Your husband seems like a person who is unhappy all the time and takes out his frustration on you by making unjustified demands… These are some things you can try:
    1. Become more social. Invite some couple friends over for lunch/dinner… people your age and discuss house related work and cooking and stuff openly with them to know their point of view. Knowing how the other wives our generation carry themselves may give him some idea.
    2. Get a life beyond him. Develop a hobby, take classes… do things that you like…
    3. Most importantly, take him to the spirituality path. It may sound farce but I have seen people change their attitude towards their wife/children/society through yoga/meditation and by hanging out with positive people… All this will tell him what true happiness is… It is not in making someone else slog, but in doing things together… I personally recommend Art of Living Part I course… They focus a lot on “seva” and doing things for others… That may change his approach towards life..

    All the best and don’t lose hope, my dear friend!

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  7. Should be working. Should be working. But then I saw this piece and had to comment
    “he is only angry that I didn’t pray to god that day..previously his mother used to pray for him and he used to get whatever he wanted ”

    You’re husband will get angry with you for not putting in a good word to God for him and therefore not getting what he wanted? He sounds a little unhinged. Run.

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  8. Honey, from what you’ve written, you’re an awesome wife. You are not the problem, your husband is. Men like these are so clever and manipulative it makes me sick. In the beginning they act all cool and modern so that they can attract the cool and modern girl. Once they think they have the girl, that she has no way out, they show their true colours. The requests seem small at the time but they keep piling up and they are all about control. He wants to completely control you and one way to do so is by making you feel guilty all the time. He wants a working wife (for the money), a sexy wife at night, a traditional one in the day (to show off to his parents and others), a secretary to manage everything, a cook, a maid – all in one.

    And what does he do? He just complains. Just try asking him what he does to make YOU happy. What can he expect from marriage when he can’t even make you happy. Does he try to look good for you? Does he ever cook? And if his mother’s praying made life so good for him he better go back to her and stay with her.

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    • There should be some evolutionary mechanism which ensures that scumbags like this man do not find mates.

      In a non-patriarchal, open society, such men would have been bred out of the gene pool. No woman would consent to mate with them.

      Alas, in India, even douchebags like this man think that they are God’s gift to women.

      Such men do not change. Like Nova said, his mother must be an excessively servile (and/or manipulative) wife and he expects the same from his own.

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  9. @The Letter Writer
    Relationships [and marriage is one] are hard work. I can understand that people go through some harrowing decisions on how to raise children, pay for mortgages, how much to spend on vacations etc and so on. But trivial [and yes it’s completely trivial] things like bindis and saris should not have an impact on a person’s happiness or well being.

    If your husband says he feels like he’s dead when you do not wear a bindi then he’s being completely illogical—that makes no sense what-so-ever. If he’s saying that his entire happiness and well being depends on how many times you wear a sari—he’s being ridiculous. This isn’t about his happiness or well being, it’s about him controlling you. Tomorrow, say you start wearing a sari every day, then he’ll find something else to crib about and something else to try and control.

    “he says what am i expecting out of this marriage if i cant even make him happy…”
    Have you ever asked him the same question? What is he to expect out of the marriage if he can’t make you happy?

    “Am I right or wrong??”

    I don’t think you can tally relationships by saying who’s right and wrong. Personally, in my opinion you’ve been very wrong to bow down to his unreasonable demands until now. But you’re right in getting angry because the demands being put on you are unreasonable. And regardless of the advice you get from this forum or anywhere else, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to stand up for yourself and how.

    I think a marriage counsellor [a non-religiously affiliated psychologist] and therapy would work well in this scenario.

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  10. Your husband needs to realize that the point of your existence is not to make him happy. That could be part of the agenda, but not the sole purpose of your life. Also, you are not his mother’s substitute and you don’t have to be like her for him to like you. The more you try to appease without sorting out issues, the more this appeasement culture will continue. He will assume that all he needs to do is complain to have you make changes without asking questions. I guess this kind of control gives him a sense of power. Virginia Woolf famously said that women are the magnifying glass for men. They see their reflections increase to giant-size by asserting themselves on women. You have to realize that if this doesn’t stop now, it never will. And you might just end up feeling resentful and bitter as time passes. If you want to give your marriage a chance, he will have to accept you for yourself…not an amalgam of ideal women he’s cut and pasted together. Tell him that this is a serious issue that is bothering you and that he needs to think about what you need from him as a partner as well. It can’t be a one-way street all the time. Take a break from each other if needed.

    Many men think all this is trivial and not really earth-shaking…they may think women are crazy for making such a big fuss over ‘little things’. They may even succeed in making you believe you are crazy. This is known as gaslighting. Here’s an article that might help: http://thecurrentconscience.com/blog/2011/09/12/a-message-to-women-from-a-man-you-are-not-%E2%80%9Ccrazy%E2%80%9D/

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  11. Marriage is about equal partnership. You definitely seem to have a dominant-submissive relationship. To break the cycle and to achieve equality, you need to stop being submissive. The more submissive you become, the more dominant he will become. When he tries to dominate, stay firm and calm. You don’t need to fight or reason out yourself for he will out reason you. Just take a stand and make it clear to him, ‘This is how it is. End of discussion’. You are not competing for the ‘Best Wife’ Trophy, for which he lays down the rules of the game. If he accuses you of being inconsiderate to him, remind him that love is unconditional.

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    • The problem with this approach is that every time you request the dominant/passive-aggressive spouse to do something, they turn around and remind you that “love is unconditional”.

      Emotional manipulators and control freaks are very good at using your own arguments against you.

      To them, marriage is not about sharing and partnering, it is about winning and losing, controlling and being controlled, and dominating and being dominated by.

      They have a very binary, “either-or” way of looking at the world.

      Another article on gaslighting. This one helped me a lot when I was trying to leave my own marriage:

      http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/power-in-relationships/200905/are-you-being-gaslighted

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  12. It sounds like your husband might have NPD. Someone with Narcissistic Personality disorder (NPD) has at least 5 of these symptoms:

    – has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
    – is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
    – believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
    – requires excessive admiration
    – has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
    – is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
    – lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
    – is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
    – shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

    Associated Features: Depressed Mood, Dramatic or Erratic or Antisocial Personality

    You might want to check http://www.narcissism101.com/

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  13. As clueless said, the breed where girlfriends and wives are two different people. I think there is a limit to how and how much one should change to suit a spouse’s needs/ requests. Somewhere down the line you might not like yourself anymore and that would be a bad deal at the end of it.

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  14. Lady he is trying to break you – bit by bit. He is slowly going to shatter your self esteem and completely finish your individuality. Please assert yourself, it will be rough in the beginning but slowly I hope you both reach some kind of a compromise. Oh, and don’t have children until you are absolutely sure that you can live as an equal in the marriage

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  15. The problem with your situation seems to be that there is a one way transaction – all the expectations are being communicated by your husband and you seem to be the follower. It is time to slowly begin to put your foot down and BE ASSERTIVE. You dont have to fight, but communicate that there are certain things that you cannot do. If you always follow everything that was told, he will always expect more. And will assume that you will always listen to what is being demanded. So,

    1. Say “No darling – I cannot do this.” the FIRST TIME.

    2. Communicate YOUR expectations. They may be small – like for example – you must go out to a restaurant or movie once a week.

    3. ASK for help. Say that you need help to do this chore – like paying bills, because you are busy with ironing the clothes for example. Ask sweetly.

    4. APPRECIATE him – when he does something that you like (for you, personally) – for example help out in a household chore.

    5. RECIPROCATE good deeds, good words. And say it out aloud that you expect him to do the same.

    6. Give examples of other couples who care for each other. Especially husbands who demonstrate willingness to help. Bring up these topics of how happy marriages are in social setup with friends and relatives. Discussions like these help in affirming positive mutually beneficial behavior.

    7. If all of the above doesn’t work – then, strong words and a threat for dire consequences will prompt him to clean up his act. If you yourself find it difficult to confront him, then seek counselling from a close relative or elder member of YOUR family. Some one who can sternly tell him off.

    The first couple of years of a traditional arranged marriage is a figuring out phase. Both husband and wife need to adjust, make way for each other, try to understand each others’ space and preferences and mold into a mutually acceptable lifestyle. Some change is inevitable, because relationships by nature are transactional and need effort and nurturing to be successful. But it is a two way street, and both partners should understand that. If they dont, they need to be TOLD that is what is needed. You need to TELL him out aloud that you are not happy.

    I think it is fair to give your relationship a chance if you love him and want to make it work. Have a heart, things change, I have seen many cases where people have eventually molded to each other and are having a happy contented life. The key is to determine at what point it becomes too much and call it quits.

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    • I love the step by step approach detailed by poet mamma.

      You have already invested 2 yrs for this relationship, dont quit in a hurry. According to your letter, though you protested initially, you have been largely submissive to his demands. Stop that and try being more assertive about your personal choices and happiness. Have calm open discussion about things you dont like, dont let them be stashed away and frustrate you. If things still dont work satisfactorily then think about quitting. In the real world very few of us get the ‘ideal perfect for each other’ life partners, the rest of us have to work with our partners for a happy relationship, I bet the perfect for each other ones also have to put in a bit of work(.;).). ‘work’ doesn’t mean being dominant or submissive, it means understanding each other and responding to reasonable requests from each other!

      And pls never ever say that you are not a good wife, remove that thought from your mind. Its he who is not being a good husband!

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  16. Well if he has certain expectations he has the right to voice them. BUT it is equally important for you to voice your opinion and expectations honey!
    Now is not the time for stupid fights, you both are married, it is time for rationality and communication. You can’t just keep on giving in or else there will be no stopping. Both of you need to make exceptions it can’t be a one- sided process.
    If he objects to you wearing pants talk to him and explain that it is your office wear. If he still fights and yells tell him that I believe we both should wear traditional clothes. Buy him a nice pair of kurta pajamas or dhoti and lay it for him on his bed while he goes for a shower (do hide his suits). If he recognizes and understands his irrationality great if not well you know you’ve got to take serious action girl!

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  17. Not a Good Wife says:
    Am actually very confused…..
    so many things are going on in mind right now…
    Sometimes I feel its frustration that is making me think like wanting to get out, sometime when am clear headed, I fear for the future, not about finance etc…but of the fact that if I am not able to communicate to this person, then is there a problem with my communication?? If so, how will ever connect with anyone in this world??
    but I know wherever I have voiced out it has only ended where I am giving in.. I cant seem to out-argue him…

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    • While all of us in the comfort of our homes/office etc can easily give you ideas, leave comments, brave your up and everything. But at the end “Good wife” – you have to stop being a good wife. Stop telling yourself “not being a good wife”. And maybe you should do the same thing – subtly & slowly transform him.. if you really want to give your marriage a try. But in anycase, at the end of it, you will have to face it! And you sure can do, just tell your subconscious and conscious mind you can face and take on! You said your were modern, right! And you are right!..so go girl!

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    • @the letter writer

      There’s nothing wrong with your communication skills. You’ve communicated your problems very well with your emails. You also seem to be a functional adult with a job and you seem to manage your household. If you are able to communicate to most people [save for one person = your husband] then the problem lies with him and not with you.

      Perhaps the best thing to do with a destructive and argumentative person is to simply choose not to participate? ‘I realize that we cannot see eye-to-eye on this issue so it’s best that we don’t argue.’? You go ahead and do things your way and he’ll do things his way. Judging by the sound of this person, doesn’t look like he’ll be open to marriage counselling.

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    • I feel for you , I really really do.
      Your exact words could have been mine a couple of years ago. I was quite quite lost.

      What changed and help me find myself , was that I moved out. Not just moved back to my parents or anything, just moved to a completely new place, joined a course and met new people who had no clue I was married, who did not ask about my husband, or anything.
      I talked , laughed, hiked, hung out, partied, built an identity that was mine and mine alone.
      In time, it became clear to me that the marriage wasn’t working, that I wasn’t happy in it, and that I had to end it.

      I would suggest doing the same. Just go away from all of this, for some time, and do everything to be happy.
      Maybe then you will be able to find some clarity that can help you decide either way.

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    • You dont have to try to out-argue him at all!! Just be firm and assertive. You dont need to be agressive but you dont have to be his doormat either. This will also tell you how much he values you in his life.

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  18. Not a Good Wife says: I went through the comments and am glad that I am not the crazy one here… the mistake was that I didn’t stand up enough for myself and what I wanted. I need to do that.. but atleast if I come out this relationship I can truly say that I did try my best to do whatever I could have done to keep this working.

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    • I am glad that you are able to gain some support from the comments here. However, I would request you to be very careful while charting out your future days. As people have said before, the events you have described sound very much like abuse, and it seems like it has been escalating. Pushing back is very much to be desired, but please do take care of yourself and be aware that things can escalate fast if an abuser feels that the control gained is being lost. Then there can be a cycle of further escalations and “Look what you made me do”.
      If you haven’t done this already, speak about all this to someone in real life who you trust, so that they can support you and back you up.

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  19. This is the result of those idiotic daily soaps on TV and that silly star anthem where females in families do everything right from household chores to office related work and even then they keep their hubbies “happy” by looking fresh and decked up in evenings. Huh!!

    Sometimes when you keep submitting to someone’s steep desires that person doesn’t even realize how much pain you have taken for him/her.

    And remember one thing, one needs to respect herself before expecting anyone else to do so….so next time don’t call urself “not a gud wife” and don’t just keep behaving like a puppet for someone… you should have revoked way back girl !!

    Just stop doing anything n everything that ur heart doesn’t want to. Be urself ! And yes, tell him (in as many words) to go to hell if he can’t be happy with the way you are. Try having a conversation and let him know how u feel about all the things you have been doing for him and inform him that marriage is all about acceptance and changing (a bit) mutually for each other, emphasis should be on “mutual”… though after reading what u have written, I don’t think he is going to change but you can always give it one last try but purely on ur terms.

    If you will keep living life like this for couple of more years, you are going to repent even more for not taking an action in time.

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    • Yes, I too think that he is not going to change, unless it truly comes from within.

      It is very difficult to change attitudes and beliefs because they are deep-seated and not governed by logic.

      She would not be in the position she is in had he been an inherently fair-minded and reasonable person.

      Chances are, that he realises that he’s being unfair, but is unwilling to acknowledge it because of the illusion of control that this setup provides him with.

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  20. To the letter writer,
    Some men in the name of upholding values, impose these conditions of being a Ideal Indian wife on their spouse.
    1. Does he have good friends circle? 2. What about his office relationships.
    Does he control people at office too? I know of a similar case where my friend’s husband is quite like this. He expects her to do everything from cleaning the plates to washing clothes. She is submissive sometimes but has supportive in-laws. But the guy in picture visits a psychiatrist every 3 months. There is nothing too wrong except some personality disorder(control) and slight depression. He has inter-personal problems too.
    If you care/love for your husband and want to give it one more try and think a psychiatrist or Councillor can be of help give the option a try. Otherwise if everything outside is good and he treats only you like this, its time to try communicating and move out.

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  21. ‘Not a good wife’…..my dear girl, you sound to be a very precious person but you are noy doing justice to yourself.you know for survival we human have many different ways of gaining energy from different people.one of these strategies is sucking in the energy of other people. This husband of yous is doing simply that. While finding wrong with whatever you do, he is subtly undermining your confidence. Don’t let him do that.you have borne his attitude,that makes you a strong girl but believe me your strength will start diminishing if you go on subjugating yourself.
    I understand your confusion. That’s very natural . It’s not easy to walk out on a marriage but I fear he will never admit that anything is wrong with him. Communicating with him……………you start on a level note…he starts complaining.. diverting discussions in other unreasonable direction…. you slowly start loosing control and to avoid further trauma, any untoward incident you surrender…………its maddening
    Create a source which provides energy to you as well. Whatever way you decide,you are not to be blame. You have a responsibility towards yourself as well.

    take care
    God bless you
    namita

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    • Communicating with him……………you start on a level note…he starts complaining.. diverting discussions in other unreasonable direction…. you slowly start loosing control and to avoid further trauma, any untoward incident you surrender…………its maddening

      Exactly!! this is what happens…he takes me to different directions where i lose control and then i surrender!!
      and when ever i say things like why dont u also do the same…for eg: why dont u wear dhotis and i will wear saree..he says u r trying to compete with me…marriage is not a competition…if u think u want to compete with me this marriage will not work! and when i say am not able to voice my opinions he is like even after 2 years of marriage you have not found a way to communicate with me…that means you dont know how to relate to me…maybe u should try harder!!

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      • @the letter writer–have you ever asked him his own questions?

        I e –if he can tell you that marriage isn’t a competition, can’t you also tell him that marriage isn’t about unreasonable demands about saris? ‘If you make unreasonable demands then this marriage will not work’?

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      • @Kay
        Yes i have..but he says how can it be not reasonable…he says its a common wear and even if am not comfortable in that,why cant i try for his sake…only when i keep trying i can become adjusted to that else i will always find it uncomfortable! the fact that am not trying often enough until i become adjusted to it is what infuriates him it seems…and saree is just one topic..this happens for every other topic where i dont share his opinions..

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      • @the letter writer

        Then that definitely further strengthens the fact that he has control issues and is likely to get abusive in the future.

        I think, by now, you’ve realized that this has nothing to do with tradition or culture–it’s about control. And it has nothing to do with bindis or saris–it’s about him controlling everything about you. I knew a woman [Canadian] whose husband used to lay out clothes for her to wear–it had nothing to do with conservative clothing/clothing to cover up–just the fact that he felt that he had the right to decide what she wore. Luckily, the woman in that situation got out it before it could take a turn for the worse.

        There’s a popular Julia Roberts movie called Sleeping with the Enemy, I don’t know whether you’ve seen it but your husband definitely has some things in common with the abusive husband in the movie. Please do seek help–unless he’s willing to visit a third party and be open to the idea that he may indeed be wrong, then I don’t think your circumstances will change.

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      • This used to happen to me too when I was married.

        I tried counselling, had my parents talk to him, tried to reason with him and his family.

        All I can tell you is that your instinct will tell you what you need to know.

        Trust your instinct and be willing to be guided by it.

        Life with my ex taught me one thing — never again to take my freedom for granted.

        It is precious and it is life-giving. Only when you lose your freedom do you realise how invaluable it is.

        Hang in there and always remember: Noone can disrespect you without your permission.

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      • Like Kay has said, this isn’t about sarees and bindis. This is about him thinking he can make decisions for you. Do. Not. Put. Up. With. It. Before you know it, he’ll be running your life for you and you’ll be too tired to put up any resistance. Women do not anybody’s permission to do anything. We are adults who can call the shots and husbands are not school principals who make rules for you. If he refuses to change, be prepared to walk out. Your parents, your friends, and every second person might tell you that you are being unreasonable. Be convinced that you are not. Him not drinking, not smoking, not hitting you etc etc are not favours he’s doing to you- so if anyone brings all this up, don’t even bother considering making excuses for his own control issues. You are right to feel angry. Take all that anger and do something constructive. Don’t turn it inwards. You were not born to resolve this man’s mommy issues. Marriage is only a part of life- don’t let it overwhelm you.

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  22. Dear Letter-Writer (I absolutely refuse to address you as ‘Not a Good Wife’),

    You sound very angry and if I were in your place I think I too would be very angry indeed- you have every right to be so and no you are not crazy at all. I can’t help wondering what this man and your relationship with him have done to you that you would think that you are the crazy one.

    Also as a number of people here are saying the issue here seems to be one of control- him controlling you. I would go a step further than that and actually characterise this as an abusive relationship albeit without physical violence. Your husband is, however, being emotionally and psychologically abusive towards you. As an initial step you may want to practice assertive communication with him (as someone above has already pointed out) and see how that goes. As a second step you should probably consider seeking some professional help to aid you in thinking through how you want to work through your relationship especially as it seems that it has already crossed your mind to end the relationship. I hope this helps.

    S

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  23. You need not obey these nonsense. Tell him you are not his mother. Also start demanding back lots and lots sarees and diamonds. Let him understand that being a traditional wife doesn’t look that nice.🙂 Sweet revenge.

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  24. I can clearly feel that your are doing your bestest to make your marriage work. After all, having a successful marriage (family life or ‘settled life) is seen as the most important thing for a ‘girl’ in our society. A failed marriage is seen as the wife’s personal failure hence the horror and shivers it gives us when we think of it while we are married to such people. The time, energy, focus, dedication and sheer hard work you have invested so far in this ‘contract’ is commendable…not everyone can do it.

    I feel there is nothing wrong with your communication skills; you are logical, articulate and very capable of putting across your points, seeking advice and processing the information. However, not everyone is worth explaining things to ALL the time. If they had any sense or an inclination to understand they would have got your points ages back. Sometimes it works to NOT argue/ explain/ debate and just do your own thing without putting up a fight. Try not to feel guilty/ scared about it and act as if there is nothing amiss. Arguing with such manipulative, illogical people is a waste of time as they will ensure they win…since it turns into an illogical, emotional manipulative debate, there is nothing much a logical person can say or do. Try not feeling scared of your husband at the time of taking a stand or defying his orders. It would help to know your options for getting help and support…like the nearest police station or friends staying close by…things may not come to such a level but it will surely assure you of support.

    Unfortunately things may not become fine between the 2 of you because people do not change, more so if they don’t want to. Sometimes it makes more sense to end a ‘contract’, cut your losses and just leave.Trust your inner voice, it will tell you when its time…

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  25. And I strongly suggest you stay away from people, friends, relatives who come up with statements like “thoda bahut to har shaadi me adjust karna padta hai, humne bhi kiya hai tum bhi try karo…sab theek ho jayega”, “bacha hone ke baad he your bonding with your husband will surely improve”, “itna gussa acha nahi…shaant dimag se apne husband ka perspective samajhne ki koshish karo….taali ek haath se nahi bajti” etc etc…

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  26. He says what am I expecting out of this marriage if I cant even make him happy.

    Let me take a guess at that.

    You are expecting:

    # Companionship
    # Someone you can share your life with
    # Someone who cares about you
    # Someone who can offer you a warm shoulder in a cold world
    # A secured, stable future with someone you like and trust
    # The freedom to be yourself.

    Different people expect different things out of a marriage, but chances are, you were expecting one or more of those.

    As he waxes eloquent about your inability to make his royal highness happy, pray ask him precisely what he is doing to make YOU happy.
    What is he doing to make this marriage a good one for you?
    What touching sacrifices has he made to develop such a massive sense of entitlement?
    What unique features does he have to redeem his pathetically immature and inconsiderate behavior?
    What brilliance has he shown as a husband which makes him feel justified in telling you that you should be a better wife?

    My dear woman, please realize that times have changed.

    This is not the 1970s, when a woman would be expected to be waiting for her husband, martini in hand, a smile on her face, as he got back from work!

    You have your own stuff to do. You work every bit as hard as him.

    You are intelligent and articulate, you can communicate well, and you certainly have no problems doing your bit for the relationship. You are doing much more than your bit. Any reasonable man would be immensely proud to have a wife like you, a wife who actually gives a whit about his well being, a wife who actually loves him, a wife who has changed her entire lifestyle just so he can feel happy.
    If you asked me whether it was a good idea to completely change yourself for the sake of a man, I would most certainly answer in the negative. It’s far too much. There is no human in the world who is worth that.
    Yet, you have done it, and he is STILL unhappy. What does he expect you to do? What WILL make him happy? Should you do the hula for him? Should you brush up on your jokes to make him happier?

    You are NOT a bad wife. You never were. You were a good wife even when you did not wear a bindi, even when you did not cook so well, even when you did not dress as he told you to, even when you did not submit to every demand of his,

    Do not forget who you are. If he is unhappy, it is his problem, not yours. You are NOT, in any way or form, responsible for his happiness. He is an adult. Let him start acting like one. Let him start treating you like one too. He cannot expect the world to change just because it does not measure up to his exacting standards.

    I am sorry if my words seem harsh, but I wanted to provide you an unvarnished opinion.

    You are unequivocally in the right here. Whether you want to give this relationship another try or want a divorce is completely upto you, but do not allow him to make you feel guilty for no fault of yours.

    Be assertive, be strong, stand up for yourself.

    Cheers,

    Praveen

    (Sorry for the novel-length comment, IHM)

    Me – Loved your novel length comment PT!!

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  27. its an typical indian marriage
    you want to stay happy in it , keep doing all that you have been doing it
    you want to stay happy without it , open your mouth and say NO MORE

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  28. you need to ask him what HE intends to do to make YOU happy.
    It works both ways you know! Two-way street!

    Tell him, that for one week, the roles will be reversed, so he has an idea of what you are going through. Make him cook, clean and manage the household while dressed in whatever he finds most uncomfortable to wear ( you decide of course!), while you complain about his inattentiveness.

    If that doesn’t work and make him a bit more understanding, I think the guy needs to go back to his momma, where he can be happy and leave you at peace.

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    • haha! I like that! I think then the classic, “I am a man” argument will surface. He has rights his wife doesn’t. Of course that does not mean he disrespects her, but doesn’t she see their roles are different? Hmmmmm?

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  29. I think the best thing you can do is simply stop doing his bidding. Throw off the bindi and the saris and wear what you want to wear. Stop doing more than your share of household work, and let him battle out the dust and the dirt. Go to bed in torn pajamas if that’s what you feel like. Cook exactly one meal, and ask him to cook the other. Live life as you used to before marriage. He will get the message, and if he protests, just tell him that he married this person, and now has no right to ask her to change. If he wants to be happily married, he has to accept you as you are.

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  30. I wonder what advice and wisdom the Ananyas and Sravan Kumars of the world would like to offer in such a situation…. I guess they are wisely staying out of this debate!

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    • I recon they’d have very similar arguments as the husband.

      “Bindis and saris aren’t worth fighting over, just put in a little bit of effort and wear them for him.”

      “he may be being unreasonable, but aren’t you being even more unreasonable by arguing with him, just do as he asks, after all they are only little things.”

      “my grandmother/mother/insert older female relative here, had to churn her own butter, wash her laundry by hand and herd cows. You’re lucky that you get to work in an office. So just do as he asks and manage the house–look at the rights you’re given.” [I remembered this from I Love Lucy].

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      • Absolutely! besides “let us hear his side of the story abhi to sirf tumhari baat suni hai”..” soch lo..agar ek taraf kuan to dusari taraf khayee (meaning a known devil is better than unknown…life after divorce is not easy either etc.)…”try karo apne pyar se usko jitne ki”. but the most damaging out of these is “bache ke baad sab theek ho jata hai”.. Nothing can be further from truth…we all know what happens when a kid is born and brought up in such a toxic enviornment. There are enough post on this blog to tell us abt the same.

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    • Ananya will say something like this(she actually said it one of previous posts)

      If the wife had issues, she could talk and let him know there are other ways to show his love and concern. And even if he goes on, that’s his way of showing his love. Not all men are born to be feminists’ puppets.
      But that’s what you feminists want. You won’t adjust one bit, but will expect the world to adjust. you won’t move an inch but expect others to buckle down. your feelings and wants are the most important things and you will use and throw others. If this leaves you incensed, so be it. That’s the truth.

      and in addition to it, she’ll advise the letter writer to be an obedient wife and to do whatever her husband is saying. Because since he is her husband so automatically he’s entitled to be her leader and you ought to obey your King. By telling her what to wear, he’s just treating her as her queen and she should grieve like she is now. Plus letter writer will also be warned to not try to make her husband a feminist puppet.

      I don’t know how long will it take me to forget this Ananya and Shravan Kumar. Grrrrr!:/

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  31. Am sorry, but reading about what you have been doing to please him, by itself sounds so tiring!

    Few things hoping it helps:
    1. Don’t aspire to be a ‘good’ wife in the context in which you have understood the role of a wife..
    2. Keep yourself updated… Knowledge gives you confidence.. knowledge, not like in studying degrees after degrees (which is good by the way..) Being informed helps… No one can take you for a ride..
    3. Challenge. There is no need to be cowered by anyone.. No one can eat you up. At the same time, no one is going to bestow an honour or an award for being a ‘perfect’ wife or a perfect woman or a perfect bahu. Because, such a thing as ‘perfect’ does not exist.
    4. Refuse to be a doormat. Respect yourself for what you are. Trust yourself. If we respect ourselves, we’ll never let anyone make us feel low..
    5. From your post, it is clear that you know what is right and wrong and you also seem to know where you should have drawn the line. Do just that. It is easy to be confused by the terms, adjustment, compromise, and sacrifice.. But these are not to be traded for self-respect, freedom and peace.

    Sorry again if I’ve sounded harsh!

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  32. It seems this woman fell into t typical Pattiarchy trap of Godly lovers turning into ‘Satan’ husbands. To know ur would be husband it is always better to be friends first before being lovers. Her best option might be to get out of marriage.

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  33. Dear Letter Writer,

    Honestly I think you are great…I mean, I would have walked out of such a marriage a LONG TIME AGO..while adjustments are important in a marriage, remember its from both ways..when two people have an arranged marriage as in my case, it means discovering your spouse like you would when you have a roomie in college…you may not like the way he keeps wet towels on the bed and he may not like the way you drink chai from the saucer instead of the cup…but then you adjust…but remember NEVER NEVER compromise…once you start doing that, it becomes difficult..very very difficult….setting expectations right from the start of the marriage is the most important foundation to a good marriage..

    I will never say ‘leave him and walk out’ its your decision, but all I want to say is that if you are not happy in a marriage, what is the point of being married…the whole problem in India is that marriage is considered to be the end of a woman’s life…its just a part of the journey in life okie?

    People have given you a lot of great suggestions in the comments earlier..so I really dont have anything to add…but remember adjustment is the key to a good marriage but it HAS TO BE BOTH WAYS!

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    • I get a feeling from her letter that the letter-writter regrets not setting the right expectations with her husband from the very beginning. I understand her perspective (been there myself). I agree setting expectations later is more difficult and tricky. But this surely doesn’t mean that it cannot be done now. There is no need to feel scared or guilty about it. Maybe it would have been better if it was done from day 1 or even before you got married…but as the saying goes “better late than never”!

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      • Yep you are right….but again like you say ‘better late than never’ 🙂

        And what I meant was at the start of the marriage was basically in the first few years..or rather before you have kids (if and when you want to have them!) because once the kids come into picture, its a different ball game!

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  34. Dear lady

    It is easy for all of us to advice and comment, we are not the one going through what you are.. So, it is upto you… take a call
    1. do you want to be married or do you want to be happy?
    2. what do you have to do to be happy ? – Have a discussion, or get a 3rd person in during your discussion.. get him to see your pov… make him realise he dint marry a “have been put on earth to satisfy the man i married” woman….
    3. You can stick it out and stay married, but it should come to a point where you hate yourself…
    4. please dont do the mistake many women do- get pregnant… It wont help.. i’ve seen friends do it, and then marriage is gone and they are left holding the baby and responsibility and anger..

    Good luck… take care!!

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  35. I’ve got to say that I’m becoming more and more curious about this “Ananya/Shravan Kumar” entity that everyone keeps referring to. Is s/he a public personality I haven’t heard about yet?

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  36. Here’s a different look at this story. All of those initial incidents – where he tried to get her to wear different clothes at night and at home, and where he kept saying that she did not look sexy enough and how he did not feel interested in her, all those indicate a lack of sexual interest in her. Maybe their sex life was quite bad or non-existent, and this was his rather naïve way to try and fix it. Maybe he was disinclined to consider that perhaps he may have had some sexual issues – whether physiological or emotional. Sexual frustrations are often expressed in other unrelated contexts, people are weird that way.

    Anyway, at this point it does seem as if the woman has nothing to get out of this marriage except discontent and unhappiness. I would suggest that she talk to a friend/family member, get a lawyer involved and try and convince the husband into going for a divorce through mutual consent. Should he not agree to that, things will be a little more complicated. There is emotional abuse and harassment in the marriage, but no physical abuse, so it will be difficult to convince a family court judge that she deserves a divorce. She could just pack her bags and move out. Eventually that might convince the guy to give into the mutual consent divorce. Good luck to the hapless woman.

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    • Nish, I kinda suspected something along the same lines. Does the husband have any sexual problem (or an emotional complex that he isn’t good enough) and his way of hiding it is fingerpointing towards his wife? (like the way juhi chawla’s husband in Teen Diwarein did)

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    • I was SO tempted to say low testosterone (been there done that, seen friends go through the same thing) but thought I might be projecting. Men with that problem keep pointing fingers at the wife, keep coming up with things about the the wife that need to be changed, because they are deathly averse to acknowledging – even to themselves – that the problem lies with them.

      Letter writer – if he’s constantly withholding sex because he’s so upset from all the imaginary crimes you’ve committed, this might be it. Cut your losses and move on. Even if he agrees to treatment (which he won’t), the treatment doesn’t make a whole lot of difference at all.

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      • Did it ever occur to you that problem may very well be with both of you. That you two were not sexually attracted to each other (or at least he was not attracted to you). Contrary to popular belief, men are not up for banging anything moving.,

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  37. Reading you letter, Letter Writer, broke my heart. Here you are, doing everything you can, trying in every way that you can, and yet, you term yourself ‘not a good wife’!
    You say, ‘In fact I want to say go to hell… I need freedom!’ – Maybe you should say it to your husband. That might knock some sense into him. That might make him understand that along with being his wife, you are also an individual who has aspirations, dreams, and a mind of your own. That what he wants is a Stepford wife – not a real wife – a partner in a marriage.

    And of course, if he doesnot understand all this, then you will have to evaluate what steps you need to take to make yourself happy. All the best!

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  38. To break a person’s spirit, one need not act in loud and aggressive ways. It can be done in subtle ways too. This is one of them. Everyday, the man will come up with annoying demands, knowing that it will put the wife to inconvenience.

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    • Exactly.

      Softly-uttered recriminations, reproachful glances, and passive-aggressive manipulation can gradually destroy your self-esteem, and break your spirit as effectively as daily beatings.😦

      I just hope she does not slip into clinical depression after tolerating all this for years together.

      Then the husband will accuse her of being mentally unstable and amp it up further. Like they say, “Heads, I win, tails you lose.”

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  39. I am already feeling tired seeing the way ‘the good wife’ (not ‘not a good wife’) has been doing everything to please the brat of a husband, and he never being satisfied with her efforts. Good wife, I suggest you pack your bags immediately before he ruins you totally. Pack your bags and go somewhere far away from him. Before going don’t forget to tell him you will agree to meet him only when he is ready to accept you as you are. If he agrees to this condition, then it’s up to you to decide if you want to carry forward this marriage. If he does not agree, then continue staying away from him. He does not deserve your partnership and you deserve to live with self respect and peace of mind.

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  40. Your husband wants a very glamourous maid who will work for free and ‘please’ him when he feels like it.
    Sounds harsh, but this is exactly what it looks like from the outside. Put your foot down & ask for a marriage of equality & if you don’t see that coming then you need to remember to do what makes you happy.

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  41. When your husband said that he has done a favor by adorning God with flowers, you should have said him that you are doing a bigggg favor staying with him after all the crap that he is making you do …
    Having said that, I won’t recommend that you walk out of marriage immediately. As many readers have already said, talk to him and try to sort it out.
    Btw, tell him to believe in himself instead of believing in the number of flowers that his mom showers to God on his behalf.

    All the best!

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  42. Dear Wrong about being “Not a good wife”

    Find a quiet spot in your home, go and sit there, close your eyes and say one hundred times, “I am an awesome woman, daughter, wife, sister, friend etc etc etc.” and then believe it.

    Here is something for you to read when you have time.
    http://www.ncdsv.org/images/PowerControlwheelNOSHADING.pdf
    http://www.ncdsv.org/images/EqualitywheelNOSHADING.pdf

    Your husband sounds like a classic emotional abuse, he has slowly and steadily manipulated and controlled you and brainwashed you to the point that you have started to think if something is really wrong with him. He may or may not be physically abusing you but mental and emotional abuse is much worse sometimes and takes years to get over.

    I don’t think he is the kind of person who one can get through too. And to all the people who say outright that she should leave him, while I agree that in a case where the abuser is unwilling to change or even realise what he id doing is wrong the best way is out, but it takes a victim on an average of 7-8 tries before they gather enough courage to leave the abuse and abuser. This could be for a variety of reasons, financial, social pressure, false promises by the abuser of changing and even fear of the abuser.

    Meanwhile, these are some of the things you can do, its called a safety plan in domestic violence lingo. Gather all your important documents ( if you live abroad this could be your passport, visa, work auth etc), try to save some money for yourself without him knowing about it, this is not hiding money from him, but money to help you if you ever find yourself in immediate need of it. keep a small bag of clothes packed and ready like you would for a 24-48 hr trip. I know most friends and especially family are not even remotely helpful in these situations, but if you have a friend who believes and supports you then consider her home as someplace to go immediately if the need ever arises. I know that you may need or not need to do many of the things that I’ve mentioned and this list by any means isn’t exhaustive.

    Also try to get some counselling, I know he may not go with you, but you can go alone, it will help you get a clearer picture of your situation.

    And most importantly, I don’t even know if I should be saying this DO NOT HAVE A CHILD WITH THIS MAN if you haven’t had one yet and if you do don’t try to again. The birth of a child is the happiest thing that ever happens to some people, but you have enough going on already and he may use the child to further control you.

    Peace and strength to you.

    P.S.If any of you readers are psychologists or psychiatrists please tell me that besides being a emotional, mental and verbal abuser, this man is also showing symptoms of serious mental health issues. I have heard men telling their wives that they would have been better off without them or could have gotten more dowry money, better looking wives etc. But i’ve never heard anyone tell his wife that just because she didn’t do puja that day his life is spoilt or he didn’t get things because of how his wife prayed or did not pray like his mother. I went and re-read that part and now I am actually scared for this young lady.

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    • Your husband sounds like a classic emotional abuse, he has slowly and steadily manipulated and controlled you and brainwashed you to the point that you have started to think if something is really wrong with YOURSELF. He may or may not be physically abusing you but mental and emotional abuse is much worse sometimes and takes years to get over.

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  43. This man seems to be a psycho to me! He’s a jerk and one shud do everything possible to get rid of him!

    Sorry for sounding harsh but such men have no right to be a husband!

    P.S Dropped by from Bikramjit’s blog.

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  44. Dear “Not a Good Wife”,

    You have suffered enough and listened to the immature egoist (=your husband) for too long.

    You seem to be a very reasonable, good-hearted person who got used and emotionally abused by a man who is too selfish, too lazy, and too mommy-boy to notice the obvious.

    Dress however you want, pray in whichever way you find appropriate, cook what you enjoy. There is nothing like a “perfect wife”. Being a wife does not mean providing custom-made cheap services. If your husband does not treat you the way a mature, responsible man does (with respect, patience and happiness about this wonderful opportunity to share a life with someone special), then he doesn’t even deserve your efforts.

    He needs a mommy-clone, a porn star and “I’m married!” bumper sticker. As if being married meant changing who you really are and performing rituals for the show.

    I know it’s easier said than done, but you need to get some fresh air. Rediscover your strengths. Set boundaries. Protect individuality. Be the person you truly are, not the one your husband is trying to make.

    All the best!

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  45. Letter Writer,

    I’ve seen men like your husband, and trust me, you’re in no way at fault. And even if you cater to his every petty/unreasonable demand, he’ll not be happy. Someone who believes his mom’s praying helps him get what he wants? He’s seriously got some confidence (and other) issues going on. It can’t be a happy life, living with an insecure person with control issues.

    And do you really want to spend your life married to a person who only thinks about himself, and what he wants? Who manipulates to get his way in the silliest of things? You peace of mind and happiness is more important than saving a marriage at all costs, like some would suggest.

    Trust me, there are better men out there; You don’t have to put up with emotional abuse like you are now, and what’s more, you’ll actually find supportive people who genuinely care for you – cook your meals for you, coax you to go to a movie when you’re down or stressed, etc. The little things matter. The little things make up most of your everyday life. Don’t discount anything that ruins your peace of mind as “little”, and blame yourself for feeling bad about it. You’re not to blame. Your husband has issues.

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  46. Believe me when I say this, letter write, such people cannot be made happy! I have seen this happen with my own parents. Your husband un-cannily resembles my ex-dad!
    The more you change, the more they will tell you to change. There is simply no end to it. They fail to realise that true happiness is found within oneself. It is independent of what others do/do-not do for you. It is all in the mind, this happiness. And not in any action.
    If communication with the husband is not working, then, just do not do all this work. Simple question: If you are doing all this work, what exactly is HE doing? What is his contribution to the marriage, to the household, to your life? It might be easier said than done, but just dont do all this work!! (or it might be easier done than said?😉 ) Just do half of all the housework, cooking, bill pays etc. and thats it! If he asks, tell him that he is an equal player in this marriage, and he has some responsibilities as well. Especially because I gather from the email that both of you are working and contributing to the finances. So it is highly logical that bothshould contribute in the housework too. And if he simply is adamant to not see this basic logic, then you will have to just stop trying to please him and do your own thing. And please, do NOT let him tell you what to wear in the house and while you sleep! jeez!! Uncomfortable clothes are highly irritating and especially when you come back tires from work, all one wants is to slip in comfy clothes and relax! Please do not let him micro-manage you so much! Wear what you feel, and if he complains that you are not making him happy, just say “ok” and continue what you were doing.🙂

    PS: I do hope with all my heart you stop changing yourself any further. All the strength to you!!

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  47. My family life is somewhat similar., from the beginning. But ,by God’s grace ,my sincere continuous prayer to, Lord,and above all,both my mom,and mom-in-law stood by me and used to guide me in everystep. to go my family life smoothly.We should be extremely patient, at the time of difficulties. Think that this is a testing time for you,and start praying.I am hundred percent sure, you will be benefited one day or the other
    Just today when i opened my website to view my e-mails, i received one from my son, who is in U.S.A, asking me to go to the web;-http;//jiddu-krishnamurthi.net/en/flight-of-the-eagle…which i want to share with everybody.

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    • Padma, you make an important point! yes, that is one option to choose – go the spiritual way. And I do think that lot of Indian women in the past & even now have grown spiritually really several notches up in their devotion to their husbands. No sarcasm, I mean it. The husband is considered “Pati parmeshwar” or “Husband is God”.. and they live their live in dedication to the great on earth “Him”. And this works at the spiritual level too, because a devotion of this kind is also kind of meditation and it does lot of good to the evolution of the soul.

      But, the point is why should this option be forced upon. Why this should come to the person as a Hobson’s choice. You end up in a relationship which is guaranteed to be one-way from day-1 ! So, to make peace with your life, you take the help of God/prayers, etc to keep yourself at peace or to make your self grow up spiritually enough so that everyday insults, etc don’t matter to you anymore. You are having serving your “pati parmeshwar” . And you feel good about yourself just being that.

      Yes, but if the prayer is used to ameliorate your state than do it. Just as your thought pattern change you will find the world around you slowly but surely changing.

      I’m amazed at the dedication / devotion my mother still has for my father despite him treating her so shabbily even at this age (50 +)! And when she can’t handle she is sitting before the God doing the “Gayatri mantra” or once in a while weep before me or just absorbs it, but not really do something about it despite us giving here full support to her cause. That kind of psyche for atleast the new generation girl just shouldn’t exists. And they should be able to say (by virtue of their self-reliance and bringing up) that you treat with respect (starting point) and only then we will talk beyond. Period.

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    • Padma ji, you seem to be from an older generation and it is understandable that you did not have any other option to counter this kind of control.

      But please do not advise people to pray and make them believe that problems will go away if they do so.

      Is your life any better today because of prayers? Do people treat you better, did your husband stop controlling you? Ask yourself these questions.

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  48. Hi…

    I was sailing in the same boat as you. My husband expected me to do pooja like his mother, cook like his mother, talk like his mother, walk like his mother and what not. Initially I fell pray for this being a good wife phenomenon and tried to do all that… but the expectations never seemed to end. So, I decided enough was enough.. and have started to be as I like to be.. Anything I do is out of my own wish. Also, I have told him very clearly that if this carries on, I’m going to say him good-bye. After my threatens to leave him, things have gotten better.. (it will never go away completely.. dont have that expectation..) But you can try that.

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  49. Dear Letter Writer,
    I can’t help writing to you. What you have written about is so eerily familiar to me. My husband too is a control freak (to a lesser extent than yours, though) and I am filled with dread thinking about your situation (which is much, much worse than mine). But one thing you said sent shivers down my spine: “Over the last two years, I’ve become subdued and submissive.” I can so identify with that feeling. My dear girl, DON’T! Don’t change yourself to become so submissive. It’ll be of no use. You can’t please such men, no matter what you do. You’ll go on bowing and bowing and one fine day you’ll realise that you’ve lost respect for yourself; that’s the most terrible thing. Stand up for yourself. Don’t believe him when he says you don’t know anything or are no good or such. Men like him take a smart, capable woman, turn her into a order-following zombie thru emotional abuse and then tell her that she’s not smart enough.
    If you don’t have kids, DON’T. Things get much more complicated when they are in the picture. Stop giving in to him, NOW – because the more you do (just for the sake of maintaining peace and sanity in the home) and more your self-esteem will get eroded.Think long and hard whether you can take a lifetime of this, and then decide the course of action.
    All the best to you…Be brave, be strong, girl!

    Like

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