An email: I dont know if i’m right or wrong need somebody to tell me.

Sharing an email. 

Hi,

I was so depressed and was wondering where my life took a u turn. Best years are till college then its all a big mess. I dont know if i’m right or wrong need somebody to tell me. Like hundreds of women I did fall in love and as usual my parents din’t agree. finally an arranged forced marriage which i could’nt accept ended in a divorce in a year. Nearly 7 years i stayed at parents place went through a lot of mental abuse for being a divorcee. Then got married again, my brother felt i was a disturbance in his life, working was out of question for a divorcee without a male companion we women are nothing is what they think. The man i married wanted a doormat, a servant, I tried to accept this, on everyones insistance even had a child. i can no more live with this man, he’s not intrested in the child, refuses to practice, he’s professionally qualified. wants to laze around, his father’s a millionaire, thinks he can live off his dad. I am sick of this relationship. I want to leave him. What should I do, will it affect my child who does not understand the meaning of the word daddy, calls his dad uncle. he will be 4 soon, yet to start school, my mom is also in a difficult relationship. I have no support in my parental side, but I m financially independant. Please advice.

* * *

This email reminded me of,

In childhood a female must be subject to her father, in youth to her husband, when her lord is dead to her sons; a woman must never be free and independent. (Manu IV. 148

And this is the kind of life the 36 Biradari Panchayats, Khap Panchayats, the Acid- throwing Misogynistic gangs in all parts of India (and all those who support these gangs), would like to see Indian women live. A life without any say in what is decided for them.

What advice can the email writer expect from those whose mindsets give silent support to the above mentioned gangs and Saas-Bahu serials?

What would you say to the email writer?

43 thoughts on “An email: I dont know if i’m right or wrong need somebody to tell me.

  1. Leave, while the going is good! If there is financial independence, just get your own flat, and live your life. Forget about family. Make new friends, and life will be just great. And anyway. you owe it to your son.

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      • I disagree. If you are deciding to have a child, then his or her best interests are your concern. Of course, she owes it to herself. But totally disregarding her child in the equation is wrong. He needs to get out of this situation, and fast. Basically what I am saying is that if she wants to be unhappy, it’s her choice, but she has no right to make her son go through that.

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        • You are right, allthough in this particular case, even that choice – to have a child was one undertaken after significant pushing if not outright forcing from the surroundings, even *this* was not something that happened primarily because she wanted it to happen.

          She’s still the childs mother, as such, it is her responsibility, to the same degree it is the responsibility of the father. It sounds as if she’s doing her part of that a hundred times better than the father is, so if anyone should be critiqued, it would be him.

          I agree with you that a mother (or father!) acts immorally if they act egoistically without concern for the children, but I don’t think this is a danger here: this is a woman who always did what others wanted of her, and never once what she wants for herself. (atleast that is the impression from the letter) as such, she could do well to become a bit more egoistical.

          I think the child would be better off with the mother alone than in the current arrangement, so there’s no conflict of interest: she says she wants to leave – and doing so would be good for the child.

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        • I was not specifically targetting the mother of the child, more the comment above which seems to indicate that she owed nothing to her child, but all to herself. And yes, both she and child would be better off away from the sick family.

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  2. I don’t think that you are wrong in wanting to leave your husband. A marriage is a partnership and if you feel that your husband is not up to keeping his end of the deal, it’s time to back off plain and simple.

    Please don’t worry about the child. When you leave your husband and get your act together, your son will have one involved, dedicated and HAPPY parent, rather than having a depressed and sad mother and an uninvolved f and uninterested ather. Your husband can always choose to be in his son’s life if he wants too. The notion that a child needs a mother and father to grow up to be a healthy and happy individual is faulty IMO. What every child needs is an adult, who is loving, protective, involved and cares about the welfare of the child.

    If you have any doubts about leaving, then think of it this way, if the average lifespan of a woman is 75 then you have spent almost half of it( i am guessing your age to be early to mid thirties from your letter) under the control of your parents and husband. It’s time for you to take control of your life back. You don’t owe anything to anyone now.

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  3. Live your own life.Alone, away from your parental family too. Don’t care about what people say. Once you take the plunge, it really doesn’t matter. Trust me.

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  4. I really have no words for parents who do not let adult children chose their own life partner. And further abuse for being a divorcee.
    I would vehemently urge the email writer to LEAVE! If you are not happy, if your husband is nothing but an ‘object’ in the house with no connection to you or your kid, then it is better to leave such an object. There has to be a connection in any relationship, from both sides. You owe it to yourself, this chance to live a happy life. Not to your parents, your well wishers, your son, but only to yourself.

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    • Forgot to add..Leave and stay independently. Not with your parents who obviously do not understand you. Stay all by yourself, if possible in a different city. Make new friends, do what you love doing.

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  5. You’ve suffered enough. A parent who does not care about his/her child is no parent at all. Your parents and brother have already written you off…and they don’t give a crap about your happiness. Your husband seems equally disconnected. So for whom should you continue in a deadend relationship? You owe yourself happiness, and you owe your child a loving home…EVEN IF there is a single parent in the equation. Wanting to be happy is not a crime as many in our society make it out to be.

    Your biggest advantage is your financial independence. Move out. Of course all those who don’t give a damn about you will pounce on you and give you advice and ask you to ‘adjust’ – just steel yourself and go on with your decision.

    Before you move out…get all the logistics in place – where you’ll stay, where you’ll work, child care and so on.

    After you move out, I would also recommend giving yourself time to heal, getting your bearings and making your child feel secure. Children are extremely perceptive…and even if they can’t speak, they can understand if things are not okay between mum and dad. Help him get through with the separation. Develop your own social circle – the support you get from a good set of friends is amazing. I guess what I’m trying to say is even if you find someone compatible in the immediate future, don’t commit to a new relationship just yet. You need to do a lot of unlearning, unconditioning and really discover your strength before you can share your life with someone.

    Above all…learn to love yourself. I think this is something which we are never taught with all this sacrificing bullshit. So start now – love yourself, treat yourself with respect and affection, don’t take yourself, your body, your time, your priorities for granted. The strength that emerges from self-love (even though pompous gurus call it selfishness) is tremendous – it just radiates. And when a person loves oneself – all relationships will be enriching. Because then the wimps who want doormats will not even venture near you – they will find you too intimidating.

    Take care and God bless.

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      • My Era, in the past year or so, I have been immensely moved by your writing — as a divorced woman, I can absolutely relate to your stuggles for meaning and understanding.

        When I read your blog, I feel as if you are echoing my thoughts.

        Since you are in a bad place right now — I want to remind you, that the seat of our experiences is within us and also, that nothing lasts forever, not even the grief and pain of a bad marriage.

        I hope you use your experience to seek lasting inner bliss and joy.

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    • Above all…learn to love yourself. I think this is something which we are never taught with all this sacrificing bullshit. So start now – love yourself, treat yourself with respect and affection, don’t take yourself, your body, your time, your priorities for granted. The strength that emerges from self-love (even though pompous gurus call it selfishness) is tremendous – it just radiates. And when a person loves oneself – all relationships will be enriching. Because then the wimps who want doormats will not even venture near you – they will find you too intimidating.

      Its time We should have a social anthom.
      These lines are good. Anyone up to give it music??

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    • Perfectly put Sumana. When we learn to love ourselves; and take our destiny in our own hands, the universe cooperates with us and helps us along.

      When we sink into negativity, self-doubt and depression, we allow external forces to control our life and our destiny and feel powerless. The reins of our lives should never be handed over to someone else.

      I have realised that joy and misery are absolutely self-created and we can choose to live in absolute joy or absolute misery. So our destiny is really in our own hands.

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  6. Divorce, move out, work hard and get your kid to a school. Hopefully you can do this in a different city far far away from your family forever.

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  7. I just read this in an article and you might find the last line of this paragraph helpful.

    “Parents also have to be clear about their own values. Children watch us closely. If you want your children to be able to stand up for their values, you have to do the same. Parents also have to make sure their own lives are fulfilling. There is no parent more vulnerable to the excesses of overparenting than an unhappy parent. One of the most important things we do for our children is to present them with a version of adult life that is appealing and worth striving for.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/05/opinion/sunday/raising-successful-children.html?pagewanted=2&ref=general&src=me

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  8. I have great respect for divorcees. It is because they ave the courage to stand up for what they want and go with it. You ended up in an unsatisfying relationship again. I’m sure what all of us have to achieve in life is happiness. The choice is yours. Choose what makes you happy IN THE LONGER RUN.

    If I were you, I’d thank God that I’m financially independent and go start a new life with my son. A single parented happy family is way better than living with cramped, unhappy and bickering parents.

    Good luck to you!

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  9. Yes as Fem said above.! If your job allows you, leave for a woman friendly foreign country a place where in a woman is not judged as a single mother and a divorcee.! I can’t imagine you getting strangulated in your husbands house everyday, all for the sake of the society and a family that does not understand you.! I know it is easier said than done, but as a friend I have seen and known and in some cases even helped a few of my girl friends to take such decisions.! The wounds of getting out of an emotionally abusive relationship will heal with time.! But if you choose to continue with a trauma that is killing you in bits and pieces, then it might just be the warning call of a destructive you, that will someday lose out on this fight as a person and as a woman.! As a third person, I agree it is easy to advise but then as a part of growing as a woman I’ve realized one thing.! It is to not trade your dignity for people, relationships, customs, religion and the sick Indian society not structured for us.!

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  10. actually you wil be doing your son a favor by leaving. if you keep living with him despite being unhappy, ur son will also pick up habits from his dad. He will also think he can lazy around and live off family’s money. if you dont want wnat ur son be be like his father then u have to leave. since u r financially independent, i dont see why you can’t be on ur own.

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  11. The biggest relief in your email that I could spot is ‘you are financially independent’. Considering it’s a great support in itself, I don’t see any point in you asking for any advice from anyone. I mean pardon me for sound rude but I just want to put it straight…

    All you need is-to be educated enough to get a job and financial support / independence to make a move…in your case I’m assuming that you are educated and the latter holds true as well…

    so girl, pack your bags, pick your child and move out of the relationship and the city as well…go to a new one..you must have friends around,don’t you? Start afresh and live for yourself and your son..that’s what you should do!

    Now the intricate part of how you should do: Stop reacting for the moment with regards to your husband or anyone else, start looking for jobs and friends who could assist you in making this move, don’t mention this to anyone but just do it! After all doing is more important than stating! Usually making noise in such situation has adverse effects,just my take!

    I think lot of bloggers would also want to pitch in to help on finding you a job / providing you references etc..just an idea you can use maybe…

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  12. Throughout the email, I was wondering if you earn? Do you have money? Because that it what it comes down to finally. I was relieved to see that you are financially stable.
    Chalk out your life. Take a paper and pen and write down what you need to do to start life on a clean slate. Move out and create your world. Your life doesn’t look anything more than a series of mental tortures.
    And do not worry about being divorced twice or not having a male companion in your life. These things do not matter as long as your life is what you want it to be, as long as it is fulfilling in the way you want it to be. You can always take some time before you think of a new relationship. If the guy is good enough for you, he will stick with you.
    And your family is a typical Indian family which makes a martyr out of a woman. Please distance yourself from them and make sure your son is not influenced by anyone in your family. Do not look out for support from people who have not given it earlier.

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  13. The fact that the lady is financially independent is a very positive situation. She can start her life afresh somewhat easily if she moves to a different society, by changing locality, ie .by shifting residence to a different city or even preferably a different state. People are more tolerant to those who are from other societies. Can even maintain the present relationship ( from distance ) if matters can be arranged in that way, which will be beneficial for the son in the future. Have to think and act practically keeping away emotions in such situations

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  14. You are financially independent , great .
    Your mother is also in a disturbed / difficult relationship
    Sit with her and talk to her and then both of you should first file a case against your father and brother for domestic violence . Ask for damages .
    The problem with our system is that woman in general are mentally conditioned in their paternal home and they try to be strong/ retaliate in their husbands home .{ Please mark my words parental home and husbands home because both are NOT A WOMAN’S HOME } .
    If you were mentally harassed / forced / pushed buy your father and brother out of your home { Yes the law says you have an equal right like your brother in your parental inheritance } then u should take a action against them . First file a “divorce” against your own father and brother . Take a compensation from them , take them to task for bringing your life to nuts. Make your mother a party to it . You are young and she is your mother , she needs YOU to stand for her .
    If there has been any physical abuse , please take action against your father and brother .

    U had a failed first marriage , if i just twist the words , you failed in the first marriage because of your troubled past given by your father/ brother . Somewhere you might have taken “mental action ” against them but the target may have been your husband . { I am being just an analyst not being judgemental } . The you came out of the bad circumstances { very few do so u are winner actually } and spent another 7 years with an abusive father and brother and helpless mother . Slowly it was drilled that you need to go to your “home ”
    And second marriage happened but you still failed because u are unable to cope . The reason is that this time the husband they found for you was their clone { your father / brother } so that you can be controlled . He has money , so a comfort zone was also provided to you { like many other woman in india who get married } but u were uncomfortable .
    The reason is you want “YOUR HOME ”
    Which u will get only if you make it yourself .
    I strongly suggest dont divorce , try to set things first right for your mother . If you can take action against your father and brother and make life better for your mother , I am sure your husband and will take a cue and will change for better . he
    I feel its time you understood you are strong and you can help your mother and both of you can try to start a life together

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  15. end the relationship which has no meaning!!! otherwise, it will affect your child mentally and its good that you are financially independent. you have that when many women do not go for divorce of simply money issues. you have every right of living with self-respect and dignity and bring your child in the same manner and teach him same principles.

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  16. Just one thing…. whats the purpose of life if not to be happy? Why spend your life in misery, for what??? You are financially independent, get out of this marriage, take your son, and plan out your new life. You don’t need a man. Hold your head high and do what makes YOU happy. You will be much happier for it.

    Your son cannot benefit from living in the current sick situation, he will grow up with the trauma of living in such an environment if you stay on. Leave for his sake, if not your own.

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  17. First of all hugs to you LW! My advise to you – run! You are financially independent. you have your whole life in front of you. There is no stigma that should be attached to you bcoz you are a divorcee. Do not let people around you make you think that way.Of course, remember that if you move out of this marriage too, there will be a lot of tongues wagging-much more than it probably did the first time.Develop a thick skin and develop a “dont care”attitude. Ultimately its your life and only you can determine what you want to do. Do not, for the fear of society stay back in this abusive relationship.It is detrimental not only to you, but also for your son.
    Be bold and confident, take up a job, irrespective of what anyone in your family says-even if you are otherwise financially independent.It will help you in the healing process.Lastly remember- its one life you have. Your happiness is most important.All the best!!

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  18. I am so happy to have stumbled upon IHM’s blog site. I am sure this lady has got the soundest of advice and solidarity from evolved people here. Dear lady, hope you are able to move on and start life afresh. We are all with you. If you need any other support, you can count on us.

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  19. I do not think your life ever took a turn. From the start, it was treated like someone elses life. First your parents, then your arrange-marriage-husband, and now your current husband. At which point was it *your* life ?

    Yet, you are entirely correct: It *is* your life. You are the person who gets to decide, this is always true in principle, but in practice easier to make true when you are financially independent.

    You have the money. You (obviously!) have the smarts. You have the heart. What function does your parents and husband fulfill in your life ? Are they needed at all ?

    I sincerely think you’d be better of alone. Setting your own goals. Planning your own future, and that of your child according to *your* values and dreams. Not according to someone elses, like today. Your husband wants a servant ? Let him hire one – for his own money – after you leave.

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  20. It’s such an obvious answer to leave him & kick a new life to yourself. You really know the answer & because you are financially independent you need not think about others. You need not think whether you would be able to grow your child with the best of your abilities. Of course, you believe yourself otherwise you haven’t thought of this decision to take on. You needed to know that whether you are going to make a correct step or not & how would this society react with your decision as they were not kind to you till now.
    I would say, believe in your conscience. Even if we were behaving in a strange way, we bloggers wouldn’t be there to support in you your decision, always do what makes you happy. People are there to leave their last word.
    Go & love you life the way you want.
    Be happy & keep smiling always!
    My wishes are with you🙂

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  21. I would be more wary in responding rather than encourage her to take an emotional decision.

    It is not easy to be a single woman in India; much more difficult to be a single mother. But it’s clear that her life is not exactly a bed of roses. So she should choose the option that she thinks she can live with. It’s one thing to have enough money, and a totally different thing to be fending for oneself and a child without any support.

    It’s a known fact that when you leave the prescribed path, a lot of people, friends, “advisers”, etc will desert you. So she should plan her next five years – start talking with the principal of a school where she would like to put her son in, for example. And make sure that her marital status does not become an impediment to enrolling in a good school. She could also begin by joining local clubs, NGOs, etc. so she has people around her in the life ahead.

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    • True Sampoorna. However, as a divorced woman, I also know that people have short memories. My divorce may have set tongues wagging for a few weeks, but then something else happened and the gossips moved to the next delicious scandal.

      People will talk ill of you no matter what your life circumstances. That should not stop you from leading the kind of life you wish to lead.

      Middle-class women have many more options than do women from lower classes. So being a single mother can be a little easier in that respect.

      Socrates said: “The unexamined life is not worth living” and this I take to be a guiding principle in my own life.

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      • You are brave, and kudos for that. But the important thing is to visualize, as pragmatically as possible, what you’re jumping into. My words of advice are based on how I would have thought things out had I been in her shoes. And in a way I think you’re right about being more optimistic than me…

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  22. Once the writer says she is financially independent then isn’t the answer obvious?
    BUT at the same time she should leave him legally. That way she will get not only maintenance for herself and the child, but also would not be harassed by her husband later.

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  23. “We men don’t own women; we owe them. and so much.” – I wrote these lines in pain after seeing and listening to such stories in life. I post that one line on my FB profile countless times. I am just 20 and these incidents/lives strangle my senses as to why men behave as such brutes and beasts.

    If there is any being that deserves freedom, it is the women of this world. The mother gender.

    As for her, she must leave him. Kick him out. Religions and Scriptures are of no use, if the basic morals that we can learn from ‘fallen leaves’ or ‘hurt wings’ aren’t understood first.
    And it is disappointing on part of grownups(parents) when they choose between what they think is good and what actually is good for their daughter.

    Things like these are unacceptable in our country, even as we boast about goddesses and purity and woman equality, we are such hypocrites to say the least. And you know where it all starts? You know where this men behaving like “i own you” attitude towards a woman? During their teenage. Right at 18-19 and i know it because i see what kind of mess boys/men make in the name of love.

    God, women have so many forces acting against them and yet, they hardly go the violent way.

    Maybe i have talked too much..so as for that woman with this problem, she needs to wipe her tears for once and kick that man out and if need be, move away from her parents(i indeed actually am trying to unite a daughter and parent who are no one to me(its all reverse in my life story..the woman loved a drunkard..father said no..she eloped..father’s wrong? asking not to share a life with a drunkard is wrong? NO…the daughter must realize…). so just assume how much loath i am feeling as to ask of you to ‘seperate’ the daughter from her parents)

    And i hope she would have a peaceful life, India, THE GREAT COUNTRY, my country. so funny how my pride for my country at the innocent childhood has grown into a sarcastic one(not completely though).

    And i hope she realizes she must be strong enough not just to keep off the devil each time, but strong enough to hunt it down and put an end to all evil. women!

    i would like you to see this, it was just yesterday that i exploded on facebook after reading a story about a woman being harassed by a caller..
    :https://www.facebook.com/jayanth.el.dolor/posts/340645916022226

    forgive me if anything i said offended you! i never meant to, its just the agony that i daily go through. part because i am a man and part because i know how and in how many ways we hurt the mother gender.

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  24. Pingback: “I am saddened to read that many people here think that a second divorce is the end of the world.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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