I could not sing after my marriage and I am really sad about it, but women have to ‘adjust’ to see their family happy…

Bhagwad shared a link to this article in Deccan Herald. This article and thousands more like this one are a real indication of what getting married means to millions of Indian women.

How does the society get away with this?

1. By raising women to believe that their only duty and goal in life is to Get Married and Stay Married.

2. By creating Divorce Myths.

Is it surprising that a society which sees giving up their dreams and happiness in the name of ‘adjustment’ as the only possible future for daughters prefers to have sons?

Let me quote from the article,

“…everyone knows someone who is either going through a troubled marriage and considering separation; …Sometimes, for the most frivolous reasons including bizarre ones like TV channels being changed very frequently by the husband!!

Even the government, for a change, seems to be taking the popular path and making life simpler for those seeking to go their separate ways!

Pratima Gupta, an eminent HC advocate and a mother of two, who addresses cases of divorce among others says, “Divorce rates have gone up because women don’t want to ‘adjust’ in a marriage anymore.  The problem is compounded because ‘I, me and myself’ is taking precedence over everything else. Compromise is a big word. If the grounds on which they want a divorce are trivial, I always ask them to reconsider.”

As a woman, Pratima has adjusted her career and home in 18 years of marriage even though the decision didn’t come easy. “For me,” she states emphatically, “its not a compromise. I enjoy taking care of my family and children. It was a conscious decision to work and manage family simultaneously.”

Mamta Saha who left her singing career to take care of her family. “I have been married for 30 years. I could not sing after my marriage and I am really sad about it, but women have to ‘adjust’ to see their family happy and take the decision in the right spirit.”

There are others too for whom the decision to keep ‘self’ on the back burner has not been easy but they have ‘adjusted’ and are still raring to go back to lives of their own – albeit while staying in their marriages. Madhu Mahajan, an entrepreneur who had a thriving career in garment export put it aside to take care of her children. “I was really happy and content in my job. In fact, I was on top of the world but then marriage happened! My husband wanted me to continue working but my mother-in-law had issues and so, I prioritised and adjusted my life to bring up my children. But now that they are grown-up, I want to start working again.”

The key to remaining in a marriage and living your life simultaneously has to be worked out by the woman, and ‘compromise’ or ‘adjust’ needn’t be projected as villains in the everyday play of married life.”

I agree with Bhagwad,

Bhagwad: Does anyone else notice that all the examples in this article involve only the women who have to “adjust” or “compromise”?

Unless the men start compromising their lifestyle as well, no equality is possible. Divorce in this case is a good thing and the rising divorce rates is a sign for hope.

Related posts:

Divorces for trivial reasons?
Response and a Question from the Anonymous Indian Liberated Wife
An email: “Through your blog I want to understand if I have taken the right decision and see what’s the next course of action.”
An email: “But my parents, fearing the society and their reputation begged him to take me back.”
Are Happily Married Daughters a status symbol in India?
When she says she no longer wishes to stay with him, why isn’t her word enough?
Not Perfect Enough for Mr Perfect?

And more on how women are expected to ‘adjust’…

Do you think this video can make Indian parents want to have daughters?
No Jeans For an Indian Daughter In Law
What would you not change for love?
Overheard at a Beauty Parlour
To An Anonymous Daughter In Law
How important is it for a girl to get married?
Feminism has gone to women’s heads. Divorce has become like selling onions.
Can’t end marriage over a sari.
Is marriage an overrated institution?? – Shail
New women in old marriages – Careless Chronicles
Why marry? – Careless Chronicles
How to be a Sanskari Bahu – Careless Chronicles
Why is the divorce rate increasing? – Nita
Why does a woman need a man? – Usha
My Dreams Are More Precious Than Yours?
instead of being happier, women today seem to be leading more stressful lives.

101 thoughts on “I could not sing after my marriage and I am really sad about it, but women have to ‘adjust’ to see their family happy…

  1. I’m currently letting my career take second priority because I just had a baby five months ago. It’s a choice that I made because I thought working away from home would be too stressful for now. So I’m taking up work-from-home arrangements and will continue to do so till I feel ready enough to start an active work life again. But I’m doing this not because somebody asked me to or due to any other compulsions. Indeed, if anyone had dared to suggest that it’s my god-given ‘duty’ to sacrifice what I wanted to do in life, I wouldn’t have taken it lying down. The thing is, women are forced to become martyrs even before they have lived their lives. And then, we’re supposed to buy into the faff that we are ennobled entities who don’t need normal, human pleasures. This is what leads to resentment, frustration, and insecurity in later years.

    When I was pregnant, I was reading this book called Passport to a Healthy Pregnancy by Dr Gita Arjun, a very well-known gynec. In the acknowledgments section of the book, she thanks her MIL for ‘letting’ her practice after marriage. I was bemused by this. Apparently, we have to be grateful towards MILs and husbands for treating us as human beings. Why do women allow others to ‘let’ them do anything at all?

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    • I thank my MIL and mother too – They helped me in getting back to work.. by creating a stress free environment,, and being there for my baby while I was away at work.. But in scenarios when you need to be ‘granted permission’, I believe it only adds to the stress and not make it easier..

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  2. Good post. Let me name at least 3 famous Malayalam actresses who stopped acting after marriage. Karthika, Parvathi, Manju Warrier. Irony of it is the last two had married actors who remains ‘Super Heroes’ even now..
    Another actress Kavya Madhavan had to get out of a bad marriage to act again.
    But I think things are changing. More women are asserting themselves and that is why divorce rate is increasing, a good sign of Women empowerment.

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  3. I think most women who put down ‘ women who do not want to compromise’ are those who have had to compromise the most in the name of tradition. They were led to believe that this was the only way to live ‘respectfully’, that it was a woman’s lot to suffer and adjust, that the diktats of the society and the family just had to be obeyed, and that there was simply no other way to be.

    When they now see a woman making choices they would have loved to make but never dared to, a woman not making undue compromises and adjustments and being none the worse for it, a woman being proactive about her own happiness, well, i guess it just makes them aware that all their compromises were not really worth all that much, after all, makes them aware of all those precious years they lost trying to keep everyone but themselves happy .This sense of lost time breeds frustration and resentment, and they’re only just venting their ire and frustration when they put down the modern, uncompromising woman.

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    • //”I think most women who put down ‘ women who do not want to compromise’ are those who have had to compromise the most in the name of tradition.”//

      There is another aspect too. By doing the ‘putting down” they are elevating themselves in their imagination feeling superior to the non-compromisers.. “See I am better than you coz I follow traditions” sort of thing. This ‘holier than thou’ attitude irks me quite a lot.

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      • Shail, the women I have come across who put down other women have been the ones who had their way all the time…as daughters, sisters and wives.I guess it depends on the person. An insensitive person can belong to any category whether they themselves had to compromise or not. Its just that some people are selfish and mean. They will display these traits wherever they go.

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        • Shailji, I have seen this too..,.While I am not for blindly supporting anything, clearly we can support a woman who is trying to stand up for herself.

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  4. Read this sitting in my Reva, waiting for the wife.
    Will comment later today.
    Am sending this from my Galaxy Note.
    Will this comment appear without WordPress hassles?
    Let’s see.
    Regards
    GV

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  5. I cant say anything about love marriages, but an arranged marriage (as in my case) is about two people who have hardly known each other (not counting the few months between the engagement to marriage) but staying together, trying to things together, each brought up in a different way. If I make rice in the pressure cooker, he makes rice by boiling water. If I cut the kundru horizontal, he cuts it vertical. If I fold the clothes straight, he folds them inside out. (he is lazy!) my point being that a marriage is all about finding the middle path. No one needs to compromise anything. Though I do feel that when two people get married, there is a need to adjust from both ends, I dont think it can be called compromise. If I agree to his folding the clothes inside out, he agrees to my using the pressure cooker to cook rice. A true marriage is never a one sided adjustment. Because when only one person compromises, ill feelings breed and thats the root cause for all troubles. Getting married to an unknown person is pretty scary trust me, for both the spouses, if you then have to give up your basic way of living, I would rather not get married!

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    • A marriage is a marriage..whether arranged by the elders or chosen by oneself. Either one can spring surprises. Only when two people start living together do they start understanding the marriage dynamics.No prediction can be made, though one can get to see the red flags when one gets to interact with the spouse for a long time before marriage.

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      • Wrong.

        Love relationships allow you to see if the differences between two people are acceptable or too great to swallow. You can freely make a decision if you want to stay with that person or not – and that before you get married. And you have plenty of time to really get to know each other before you decide.

        Plus, your parents don’t creep up on you.

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  6. I came here the moment I read that news article on Facebook, knowing you would have put this up for discussion. No one gets out of a marriage because of something frivolous. That is a fact. If a person is using a trivial issue to get out of marriage, it is because that person is not emotionally and mentally ready for marriage. This generation has seen a lot of pressure and atrocity, and yet having had to adjust. That is why adjust has become a bad word. To my mind adjust is just another name for rape – it has the same violence and the same forcible nature. I am all for dilution of laws and making opting out easy.

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  7. I was a working class person before marriage after marriage stay at home beck and call for everyone, maid nurse , the house dog as well life was on hold cannot go anywhere
    After Nanie in law died my Father-in law opened a business for me and not bragging I made the business number 1 in south africa and still running strong. given a chance we women can be better than the men

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  8. Please adjust ! Two words the Indian woman dreads the most !
    The Problem is a woman’s hopes and aspirations don’t stand much of a chance in our male dominated society. Somehow she is always expected to be the epitome of sacrifice. I think there is a little give and take in every relationship. We all make small adjustments and compromises for the people we love – be it friends, family or siblings. But these compromises need to be made willingly and should never be one sided.
    What I don’t understand is why a woman must submerge her own identity to get the so called fulfillment and happiness out of a marriage.
    And a woman who is always sacrificing and adjusting doesn’t really make for a happy fulfilled person does she? If she is not happy herself, how in the name of God is she going to raise a happy family ?

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  9. “Divorce rates have gone up because women don’t want to ‘adjust’ in a marriage anymore”???!!!
    And I thought that a man and a woman would both need to ‘adjust’, share love, respect – and work on their relationship. to keep it alive and functioning… The very meaning of a relationship is lost if you put the onus on just one person involved.

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  10. //”“Divorce rates have gone up because women don’t want to ‘adjust’ in a marriage anymore.”//
    Like hell, YES women don’t want to adjust. Is that so difficult to understand? They have had enough of making adjustments. So if anyone wants divorce rates to come down, let them make some adjustments for a change, like changing the adjustments that women are forced to make in the name of saving marriages.

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    • @Shailji, I am so tempted to use a loudspeaker for that comment. I agree..like I said on G+ women have had it up to here(hand at the neck) with adjusting/compromising/giving in cause we are women. Everything has limits and this is it.

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      • Mysoul, there s a colloquial way of saying in Malayalam, “Kanakkaayi poyi!” which loosely translates to “serves you right” but not exactly. That’s what I want to tell people who say ‘divorce rates are going up because women don’t want to adjust’.
        Yes indeed we don’t want to, not the sort of adjustments expected of us as if by right. Why hasn’t that penetrated more minds as yet is a mystery to me?

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        • shail, ‘kanakkayi poyi’ lol…is ‘as if it matters’ better translation?. Every time an Indian man or women makes tall claims about ‘Our culture is the best, we have almost no divorces unlike in west,our moral values are sky high (yeah right!- kill some more girl children, burn some more brides, sent all the widows to suffer as they are dushakunam), Indians are the most hardworking people etc’, I fail to understand the validity.

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  11. Whether it is saving a marriage or adjusting in a marriage, why is it only a woman’s job? What are the other members in the family doing? Enjoying the benefits due to the adjustments made by that one single person? In such a bleak scenario, wonder what is going to happen to this institution called “marriage”!! There might not be any takers (in the case of women) unless changes are introduced in the mindset.

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    • Even though an arranged marriage works clearly against women more than against men, do you see women rebeling in large numbers against it? Do you see them discouraging their own daughters from entering such a marriage? Does adjusting, compromising and sacrificing become significantly less popular among Indian women nowadays?

      Not really. The nonsense “traditions” thrive on.

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        • True. But together with the increasing divorce rates, the strong opposition to “the modern image of a family” arises. They kinda neutralize each other at some point.

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      • @ EM, from the small discussions I had around me, woman have prejudices coming in the way to encouraging daughter to marry the one they love. Some make the point about how the family will be outsiders if she marries someone out of their own caste/society/economic background etc. So it is a choice between the lesser of two evils – marry within the norms and One person suffer(the woman) or marry out of norm and have the entire family bear the brunt of a fallout.

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      • I dont think women will rebel in large numbers against it. Most wont discourage their daughters from entering into such a marriage cause its choosing the lesser of two evils for them. 1. she will marry within the norm and the only person unhappy is her 2. she will marry out of norm and the entire family could become an outsider to their previous society, so better she suffer than have an entire family suffer…that is the mentality.

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        • Nothing will ever change unless people start breaking the cycle. I don’t see the will in any living generation to be honest.

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      • I don’t believe things are actually going to change that much in the near future.

        As BIW has stated in a previous post, most of India is still far too collectivist to really get the concept of individuals shaping their own destinies the way they want to, independent of traditions, customs and “duties”.
        Of course, we see individual rebellions all the time, and since the economic changes, more people have gained the means to effect these rebellions.

        A broad based movement, though, is completely absent.

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        • I don’t think things will really change in India until more people are confident enough to question society. It’s sad to have to choose between the happiness of yourself and that of your family. But it seems people refuse to see that it is wrong for parents to emotionally blackmail their kids. Divorce rate will probably climb as more people get out of these marriages that should have never happened in the first place.

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      • women dont rebel in large numbers becos we are taught to keep our mouths shut. If our parents dont say it, the ppl around us teach us tht. “she has such a bad temper, i pity her future husband” “she talks too much” etc. When the girl gets married, if she is lucky she gets a husband who is understanding or atleast respects her enough to listen to her point of view. Many women dont find understanding husbands becos they are fed the same non sense about women. So when a woman has to face major issues in her marriage, she may not get the support of her husband. She has two options. She can walk out of the marriage or shut up and bear all the non sense (criticism, taunts, possibly torture). But if woman walks out of marriage she becomes an example to girls of how a woman should not behave. “see she cant shut up so her husband left her”. And girls are told that that is not a good prospect for any “good” girl.

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  12. People forget that all these “women issues” are pretty much related. What is the point of saying that you won’t adjust to anyone, if you end up staying at home cooking dinners for your husband – because as you claim, “you chose to”. The fact is, you didn’t choose to. The society made you believe this is a great “option”.

    If all these women have the guts to admit that their lives somehow ended (or at least took a negative turn) after getting married, why did they get married in the first place? There is no bravery in bringing your own life to a point where it sucks, for whatever reason.

    Just a post back there was this discussion about housekeeping.

    Let me tell you something, as long as women act and behave as the ultimate victims of everything and everyone, making wrong decision first, and then complaining how bad things have turned, nothing will change.

    You can’t be a second class citizen and a home princess at the same time.
    This is very easy. Regardless of societal pressures.

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      • I didn’t say non-working wives are losers. I said that unless they have kids to take care of without much of any help, the decision to stay at home doesn’t look reasonable.

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        • Why not? If a couple decides that one person’s earnings are more than enough to float the boat and the other can take a break, then why not?

          I think the decision to work/ not work are entirely personal and between the couple. The issue is society forcing us one way or another.

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        • I do not believe it is true. Kids and tending after them are not the only goals of a woman’s life. Sure, they are portrayed that way by the collective society. I have myself thought many times to quit my job and stay at home to spend some time on photography. Not for earning money but just because I enjoy doing it. And, no, I do not have kids. Likewise, I am sure each one of us have some thing which we all like to do, and would love doing it by staying at home/not working. Stay at home option can also be quite enjoyable if one makes a conscious effort to do the things one likes to do. Stay at home does not necessarily translate to doing housework all day and looking after kids🙂

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    • //”The fact is, you didn’t choose to. The society made you believe this is a great “option”.”//

      What makes you so sure EM that society made you think it was a ‘great option’? Or do you believe there are no women capable of not being influenced by society? Are you saying that not being a homemaker alone proves conclusively that you have made a choice of your own?

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      • No. You can as well become an engineer or a doctor because people around you decided it is the “best” deal for you.

        My point is, in places where women are brought up to care and provide for themselves, housewife is a derogatory term in itself. You don’t see women making a decision to stay at home (unless they are some religious weirodos or have like 10 children).

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        • I think EM is right. Many women are guilted into staying at home just because they have this supposed “choice”.

          While the decision to work or not is entirely that of the individual, social norms do have a bearing on our decisions.

          Most women can quit work without raising any eyebrows, but very few men can.

          Having said that, it is also important for the SATH spouse to secure their financial future and insist that their contributions have monetary recognition in the marriage.

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  13. After reading this post, I feel I may just have to repeat my comments I made on earlier posts, as I find them all inter-linked and step from the same problem: Women, Status, Society and then Men.
    I stated in my comment that neither man or women needed to marry, despite the society or community looking at marriage as standard practice between the two – one could stay single and yet live in the same society. I further made the point that marriage was an individual choice, or should be, and society should be allowed to accept people living together outside of marriage and for same sex to live together and have the option to be married. On this post, all the above still applies.
    Following on from today’s post, I realise at time that women in a marriage are pretty much controlled, not by their husbands, although at times it seems it is coming from the husband, but by their mother-in-laws. A mother-in-law who may well be married, single, divorced but after all is still a women – so why does one women not get on with another, why doesn’t one understand the other as it’s likely she would have gone through the same phase herself, albeit their relationship is bound by their son? Dealing with society and the role of women in it may be one part, but what about the women on women issues, such as mother-in-law to daughter-in-law?
    I find it hard to believe or slightly confusing why it appears all the pressures are on the women to get married, and that all pressures applied are generated from men. Men too feel pressures in being forced to marry, at times it may be the father but majority of the times it is the mother on both sides (the mother who is a women). So where we like to project the idea that the women are constantly attacked (which I may add is what I’m led to believe by some comments on this blog) it is also worth noting that the attackers are not just men but women too (i.e. mothers, grandmothers, etc).

    Me – The British Asian Blog I would like to hear your opinion on this, please tell me what you think of this,
    https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2010/11/28/a-woman-is-not-a-womans-worst-enemy-patriarchy-is/

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  14. In a healthy marriage, the protagonists jointly make informed compromises out of consideration for their partners, and this consideration is not taken for granted by either.
    In an unhealthy marriage, one protagonists compromises in the name of duty, gender role and tradition, while the other moves on with life as usual.

    The outcomes in the two cases tend to be very different, which is a point that the writer would do well to understand.

    Incidentally, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Ms Gupta in real life. I believe she was serving as a counsel for the Delhi CAT Panel at the time, and I found her pleasant, even if thoroughly conservative in her ideas on the practice of law. If this is the same Pratima Gupta, it seems that her social opinions mirror her professional ones.

    To a legal counsel for an aggrieved spouse, it should never matter whether the reason for a divorce is a “trivial” one. If it is enough for the complainant, it should be enough for everyone else too. No one else has the right to lay judgement on this matter, and if the government is moving towards that, it is all for the good.

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  15. Past is past, Lets teach our children that compromise is both ways not just for women, lets teach our girls to have a backbone and do just what makes them happy. Lets let go of our kids once they turn18 and treat them as adults who can make their own choices, live their own life and most important let us not treat our boys/ as a retirement policy. only then will this issue get resolved.

    Boys /men learn from seeing how their parents behave, society behaves and are heavily influenced by family dynamic, if they see mom sacrificing and dad watching TV and eating, that’s what they will learn.

    As n example, one day my sons’s friends came home, it was a sat and i was unwell or rather just uncomfortable having my time of the month. My sons know that during that time i get cranky ( hey it’s a Pain) and usually my husband is hovering🙂 so these boys come in say hi and tell me they want snacks, the cook is off and i tell my son to make whatever they want and also to make me a hot cup of tea. the other 3 look on in surprise and decide that they’ll all go out instead, which is fine as long as i get my tea!! and i explained that I had my period and was not feeling well. you should have seen the horror on those faces. was it the word? the fact that i spoke it aloud? the sweet kid tells me his mom does all the work even if she’s ill just takes medicine , she never sits even is she’s ill. all for the family!!! WHY? isn’t she human ? and asked me if i wanted a tablet? heck NO i had to enlighten the poor soul that NO i don’t want to drug myself just so the MEN in the family can get fed. it’s not a disease i just needed to rest a while.

    Now this child is not born with such ideas. he sees his mother sacrificing, his sister taking over to help and learns that this is the way of the world. well unfortunately in my home , I’m not the sacrificing kind, my husband has more stamina and can deal with his work and home work . and i have 2 boys who can scrub the floors without breaking a sweat. It’s a learned thing, forget the previous generation, we SHOULD be teaching our sons to do work and treat their wives as they would like to be treated and teach our daughters to be self sufficient and grow a backbone. compromise if it makes you happy don’t give up your dreams for others, do what makes you happy.

    Me – LOVE this comment. Sounds like my family🙂

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    • Exactly what I plan to do with my children. They have to know and do everything a woman and a man has to do, regardless of their gender…no slacking off and expecting one or the other to take over unless there is a really good reason, or they come to a negotiation/compromise and are happy with the result.

      An acquaintance was shocked when I said(I wish I had taken the picture and a slide caliper to measure the distance her jaw fell to), I am teaching my kids to sew a button, do dishes, make their own roti and vacuum the house along with chores that traditionally men do like mowing the lawn, get the plumbing repaired, car cleaning, painting the house etc. while teaching that there is always a place/people they can go to when they cant get something done. We arent all equally adept at doing all things, so its okay to take help, that only increases our humanity. They can say “I dont know how to do this” but they cant say “I wont do this because I am a girl/boy”

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    • practical wisdom! thanks Radha. I am guilty of setting up not so good example for my kids( I hardly sit, work when sick, do all the heavy lifting at home, always chaufferings kids around ). ..making baby steps.. teaching kids do their share of laudry, cleaning- I not pick after them, . but I get this from kids- why dada does not do it?

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      • Thank you thank you. (I,m too lazy to be president). I’m now looking forward to the boys leaving and we resuming our travel and living the good life — second honeymoon

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  16. “Adjust”
    We Indians seem to have found a new definition for this word.
    We Indians also seem to be selective in teaching the meaning of this word.
    We teach only our women, not men. Men don’t need to know what it means.

    I haven’t heard of a single man, who had some musical or sporting or other talent and who gave it up at the altar of marriage.

    I agree, no woman need give up anything for marriage.
    If marriage and this hobby or talent or skill are not compatible, then let marriage wait or even be avoided altogether.

    Forget music, dancing etc. Sometimes even studies are compromised due to marriage.

    I remember my mother telling me her sob story.
    Back in the nineteen forties, she was married off to my father at the tender age of 14, while still a Class IX student in the village school. It had been agreed by my grandparents that she would be allowed to complete her high school education after marriage.You guessed right. My mom was forced to “adjust” by her in-laws.
    Thank God those dark ages are over and women are at least allowed to acquire an education today and “adjustment” requirements have exempted at least basic education.

    My heart goes out to all “adjusters” particularly to those women who have sacrificed their musical talents. I see no reason why marriage and children and house hold duties should interfere with indulging in this passion if the woman is so inclined. I have known some supportive husbands who have actually encouraged such wives. I wish all men could be like this.

    I have also known a rare family which supported an accomplished daughter and accepted her decision to remain unmarried as she was devoted to her profession (A highly qualified gynaecologist, with a roaring practice)

    May their tribe increase.

    Regards
    GV

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    • @GVji, Some men will argue, that they had to adjust by not drinking/smoking/eating tobacco at all or drinking only at home or not spending all their time hanging out with friends or at work…cause their wives didnt like it. Or they have had to change the diaper of their child cause their wife wants them to. Yes, I have heard such complaints in my circle…and they have never failed to amuse me.

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  17. Never understood why one has to completely give up their passions and hobbies after marriage. Adjustment should mean accommodating the other person in your life and making changes to your schedule to accomodate both the other person and your passions. And yes, the adjustment should always happen from both sides.
    It amuses me that how one sided this article is. Everything is for a woman. And someone educated as a lawyer saying things like that! How can a third person decide if a reason for divorce is trivial or not? What might seem trivial to me, might be really serious from the other person’s perspective. I wish people understood that getting a divorce is not an easy decision. A lot of pain, uncertainty and overcoming-the-social-pressure goes into making that one decision.
    Also, we really need to cut each other some slack. Just because some random women are being super-women by managing both careers and home are are being martrys by giving up their singing and other passions, it is really unfair to expect all women to follow that. Maybe it will help if all of us really try hard and be comfortable in our own skin, love ourself with our positives and our negatives. This will ensure we dont succumb to peer pressure and end up doing what we really like doing.

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  18. I think men adjust too. Anyone who is an engaged parent has to pay the cost somewhere else…it is a straight time thing sometimes. That women are more vocal about it

    1. shows how much they have done something they resent; and
    2. might show how much those men who do fear talking about the ‘feminine’ things they do too!

    Obeying mothers-in-law/FILs/BILs/SILs/husbands at the cost of oneself is ripe for disaster…ergo, divorces. High time we listened to ourselves first and figured out what makes us happy.

    Today being home with my kids makes me supremely happy. I know what I can do for them is unmatched by anything anyone else can right now. It may not work in a bit when I think they are perfectly capable/taken care enough for me to go about working. When the whys and hows are mine, then it is a true choice. I honestly can not see why women can’t do this for themselves! They make so many important decisions at work – some much more far reaching than these individual ones. When will we stop ‘letting’ someone dictate our lives instead of us doing that?! Is it that we’re so afraid of conflict that we buckle and short change ourselves?

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  19. The word adjust. How much I hate it. Especially in the given context.

    When I was a newly married bride, my entire husband’s family heaped praises on me saying I had a very “adjustable” nature. I did not find it a compliment at all. I explained to my puzzled husband that they don’t know my likes, dislikes, my passions. But labelling me “adjustable” means they are not really interested to know either, as long as I go with their flow. I am an individual and the phrase “adjustable nature” tells more about their expectation of my interactions with them than about me.

    And what did I do to earn the tag? My husband’s family and mine are very different. I just went with “whatever floats your boat” attitude, but they completely missed the part where I want my boat to float too!

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  20. Am I the only guy around who prefers being single rather than having to “adjust” ? Thanks to being born to some awesome parents, I have upto this point in time been very successful in dating and falling in love with women without ever a word being said about adjustment or compromise. (Yes, I have had more than one girl friend. Yes, I think I can still fall in love)

    I think we as a society are doing it all wrong. Straight from birth, we are being trained both men and women. First in schools, where designated seating areas for genders grill into us that we are different somehow. I am not going to go into details there on how many ways the treatment is different.

    Then college where young minds finally take flight, women are objectified. Teachers are to blame here, like it or not. Come career and the differentials are startling. Starting from the basic pay women get compared to men all the way to how you are treated when you make a point in a team meeting.

    Marriage is kind of the final nail in the coffin, clearly defined roles that makes one wonder how these archaic conventions still stand. Marriage as an institution is outdated. But if you really do have to get married, get used to the idea that its not a free pass to leave a trail of dirt all around your house. Personally I have seen men who are more addicted to cleanliness than women. I know men who cook way way better than some of their counterparts. I also know women who ride bikes and dont care a damn about sleeping next to a guy in another guy friends house. This is who we are, this is who I am. Get used to it or get out of the way.

    (Anyone still wondering why I am still single ?)

    Oh and Happy Vishu , Bisu , Baisakhi etc etc to one and all

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    • All I can say is, people tend to have different outlooks on relationships.

      From the day I graduated and stepped into the real world, I have slid from being a gung-ho, devil-may-care corporate warrior, to being the far more jaded, world-weary person that I see in the mirror today.

      Through most of my twenties, I wasn’t much for long-term relationships (and the adjustment that does tend to go with them). But at somewhere along my journey, there was a kind of inflection point, and the need for companionship overcame the distaste for too much adjustment. At some point, I figured that living a life centered entirely around my career was not for me, even if it was tempered by a never-ending series of meaningless flings. I was looking for something more, and I found it in a long-standing friendship which morphed into a long-term relationship, which morphed into this friend graciously agreeing to marry me, even if only for tax reasons.

      The point is, you can be happy either way. I’m reasonably happy now, and I was reasonably happy back then. You need to know what you want, and once you have that knowledge, you must pursue it.

      I don’t think marriage itself is outdated. Nor do I think it will become outdated in the near future.
      As an institution, marriage is incredibly flexible and can accommodate a truly staggering amount of variation in its fundamental form.
      While the name remains the same, the dynamic within the institution can change enough to be practically unrecognizable to someone who sees things from a vantage point barely two generations old.

      There are a million different kinds of marriages, corresponding to a million different kinds of relationships. The married couple which lives across from us shares a very different kind of relationship from me and my wife. My parents live in a different way from us. My own siblings have very different marriages.

      The name and legal position that you give to a relationship aren’t nearly as important in deciding its dynamic as the protagonists who actually make the relationship work. This is true for all relationships, not just romantic ones.

      People who work on my staff at work share an employer-employee relationship with me. There are also other people in the for who share employer-employee relationships with other people. Yet depending on the kind of people in each team, and the management style of each boss, the experiences that both parties go through may be completely different.

      A person steeped in an archaic worldview will maintain that worldview in every relationship they enter, whatever be their rights and privileges.

      You pretty much said it yourself. Marriage doesn’t make people archaic. Instead, archaic people create archaic marriages.

      In the end, you must shape your own destiny.

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  21. Adjustment. Compromise. Sacrifice. Duty. Why are those words associated with a married woman? I will never get it. Any relationship that involves two individuals needs nourishment from *both sides*. Maybe adjustment is a small part of the mix. But the mix also consists of elements like choice, privilege, rights, happiness, indulgence.that are bestowed on *both* the individuals.

    In India, women consider it to be their duty to weed out every negative element and shove it in their own selves, while the men reap every positive attribute that a marriage offers. Sad.

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    • Exactly. To add insult to injury, we get jokes about “shaadi” being “barbaadi” for men.

      Conventional wisdom insists that marriage benefits women and entraps men.
      Maybe in an alternative universe, certainly not in present-day India.

      Like

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  23. Actually, if the “I gave up things I loved the most to adjust to marriage” is being used to attract people to marry and keep them married, it is pretty poor advertising! Makes marriage sound very unappealing- maybe hey need to work on that message if they want people to commit and marry more. Patriarchal assumptions make their institutions also unappealing.

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  24. How do people still stay in love after adjusting? Doesn’t a part of the relationship die in the process? Aren’t you blaming the people around you in the back of your mind for the rest of your life? Where is love in that?
    Sometimes I feel that our whole generation has been raised by an unhappy generation stuck in adjustments. And I pray that we do not end up like them.

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  25. “Every woman needs a man even if he kills the song inside her” – Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns

    I DISAGREE.

    People who sacrifice their passions and hobbies, are NOT “living happily”, they are merely surviving ! Yes, every woman needs a man and every man needs a woman too, but they ought to understand each other, and this clearly means that one should not compromise with things that define her.. You might feel that this comment is unrealistic/impractical/immature because its by a young unmarried girl..

    But think about it, if a girl can’t imagine her life without her passion when she’s unmarried, why is she forced to leave everything when she gets married, in the name of ‘adjustment’?

    Its justified to leave your job for some years when you have kids, its justified to devote equal time to your family and job.. and yes, these compromises might seem very very small compared to the “happy married life”
    but had there been husbands and in laws who understood that your passions are not just hobbies, they are a part of you, they define you.. Things would have been better, people would have “actually lived happily” rather than merely surviving or saving a marriage for your kids.. If only, people in India realize that a woman makes compromises right from the day she gets married, if only they tried to understand what her dreams and aspirations are, and let her live those, her own way🙂 she would never ask for much, she just requests you not to kill the “song inside her”

    Cheers !

    Like

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