“She is barred from accessing Gtalk, YM, FB, twitter… Her calls and messages are checked every day. He does not want unnecessary tensions.”

 Sharing an email. 

Dear IHM,

I am a regular reader of your blog; it’s a really nice platform for married girls to share their views and thoughts on the current situation of different aspects of married life. My Sister who is elder to me by 3 years, needs help about a difficult situation regarding her husband.

My Sister and her husband are married for 6 months, they both are well educated and both belong to moderate families. They live in a separate city quite far from my family. Though my sister is very open-minded, her husband seems to be somehow narrow minded in many ways. Though I have read about such situations but never seen them in real life. Her husband seems to be paranoid and insecure regarding my Sister. He’s very paranoid about everything she does or doesn’t.  It’s just her and her husband, her Parents-In-Law & family stay in another town, but still with just the two of them at home they seem to be having a lot of problems. Her husband is very fussy and whatever she does he thinks she isn’t as responsible and is lazy. My sister is a working lady and goes to work. She wakes up, does the cooking, clean up and then leaves for work, and by the time she finishes her work comes home cooks dinner cleans and sleeps, she is very tired. He helps her around the chores too, but he thinks he is doing a big favor in helping her out and never appreciates her efforts and is always cranky about her way of doing things. All he tells her is that she does not do anything properly, there is no proper planning and blah blah, basically she is not as capable of taking care of the house like his Mother.

One more thing is, he is over-protective and possessive about her.  His idea of marriage is about them always being and doing things together all the time. No personal space allowed for both. He is not got any friends. She is not allowed to go anywhere without him, not even shopping, no meeting friends all by herself. He has asked her to delete all her guy friends` numbers from her phone and not to keep in touch with any of them. When asked why, he says he does not want unnecessary tensions and wants peace at home. She has left them all, but still he doubts if she is in touch with them while at work. He has unnecessary thoughts running in his head about her time spent at work. She is barred from accessing Gtalk, YM, FB, twitter, basically all online social networking sites. Her calls and messages are checked every day. He wants to know each and everything that is happening in her life.

Though he’s a totally different person when he is calm. He has good intentions about her, kids and their future. But he is very short tempered and moody, he reacts to situations instantly without thinking about the consequences. But once he has calmed down he would ask her sorry innumerable times and admits his mistake.

My sister is very confused about these mood swings of his. She has suggested counseling innumerable times but he won’t agree. She loves him a lot and doesn’t want to lose him. She wants help but her husband will not let a third person interfere in their personal matters. My parents tell her that “She being a GIRL, has to adjust first for some time and then he would realize and change. And these are common problems faced by most of the couples in the initial stages of marriage. He is just over possessive about her and so on.” But she feels suffocated in this relationship and is anxious about herself and her future. Is it true that all newly married couples face these kinds of problems initially? Will everything come back to be normal for my sister? Should she (because she is a girl) compromise and listen to him now to avoid all the fights & conflicts and sit & wait for him to change? How can she go about all this? Need suggestions which can help her out.

Regards,

A Helpless Sister

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QN75Od3hJf0

80 thoughts on ““She is barred from accessing Gtalk, YM, FB, twitter… Her calls and messages are checked every day. He does not want unnecessary tensions.”

    • MYTH: these are common problems faced by most of the couples in the initial stages of marriage.
      FACT: not every couple will face these problems it depends on their maturity and emotional investment in the dyad.

      MYTH: GIRL, has to adjust first for some time and then he would realize and change.
      FACT: People don’t change because you want them to change, they change because they want to change and their current behavior is no longer serving them so they change. If their current behavior is not causing them any hardships where is the incentive to change?

      MYTH: She loves him a lot and doesn’t want to lose him.
      FACT: In order to love someone you ought to respect them before you can love them not everyone you respect you ought to love.
      http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/ask-before-marrying/

      She wants help but her husband will not let a third person interfere in their personal matters.
      It serves him to not have anyone question him, he’ll break her spirit and then she’ll be so broken and isolated that she’ll have no more strength to even fight and seek help. He has perfect plans for his future and kids, just she is not included in them.

      he’s a totally different person when he is calm. He has good intentions about her, kids and their future. But he is very short tempered and moody, he reacts to situations instantly without thinking about the consequences. But once he has calmed down he would ask her sorry innumerable times and admits his mistake.
      http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/cycle-of-violence/

      She is barred from accessing Gtalk, YM, FB, twitter, basically all online social networking sites. Her calls and messages are checked every day. He wants to know each and everything that is happening in her life.
      http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/how-abuse-begins/

      http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/your-rights-in-a-relationship/
      Ask your parents to stop feeding into the myths and breaking their daughter’s spirit.

      How you can help your sister?
      http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/how-to-help-an-abused-2/

      Please send these links to your sister and ask her once she is done reading she delete cookies. Right now he is monitoring phone and social networking soon he’ll track surfing history and then it will be counting minutes, how much time it took to reach home from work. More resources are no DG’s blog for free to use.

      Peace,
      Desi Girl

      Like

    • // .. RUN !!!! .. //

      I really do wish the world we lived in would let us do that. Sadly, as it stands, what appear to be simple solutions to tough problems often draw us into unexpected complications.

      And yours was the first post! It tends to color the entire comments section to cursory readers of IHM’s blog, so I’ve decided to sneak a balancing reply at the top of the thread by replying to it.

      I agree with the general opinion of the others – try the middle paths first (though I have a sneaky suspicion that, in this case, things are going to be a bit difficult). We must try and see if we can, at the least, sneak the husband into counseling – through friends or perhaps like what S. R. Iyyangar has suggested further down (again, bumping his reply to the top via quoting):

      // There is a free tele-counselling service by SAHAI in Bangalore which functions from 10 am to 5 pm except Sundays/holidays.Their phone number is 080-25497777. //

      Peace,
      TSCI

      Like

      • I would have to disagree. The husband is not a child that needs to be tricked into eating vegetables, going to counselling, etc. Both the husband and the wife are responsible for making a marriage work. If the husband does not want to do his share, then it is his loss.

        The wife has no obligation to make the husband see the error of his ways especially when the husband is unwilling. She has her happiness and her entire life to think about!

        And about suggesting a middle ground, I do not see a middle ground for violations of personal liberty. Marriage is based on trust and respect. Not little trust and respect – but complete trust and respect. if someone thinks they can curb your social access they are not respecting you or trusting you. We cannot have a solution where the wife will say “OK let me access facebook, gmail you can take away”. It is still disrespectful.

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      • What is happening now is complicated. Once she leaves, life will be simpler. She ought not to put her life in danger by trying to please others in taking a middle path first.

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      • what friends? how do you “sneak” a grown man into counseling? what’s a middle path where abuse is concerned?

        as for colouring the comments, the only reason transcendist is first is because he/she didn’t stop to write essays like the rest of us who also said (albeit indirectly) Run!

        @sci, I’m curious. could you please elaborate why you feel the measures you suggest are necessary?

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      • This reply is vague and confusing. What exactly do you mean by balance? And why should this woman (and I would say the same to a man in an abusive relationship) put balance above their own personal health, safety and well-being?

        This man is not capable of trusting his wife. Without trust how can there be respect? Without respect how can there be love? This relationship is not a marriage…its a lifelong prison sentence.

        I’m really not sure why this guy got married in the first place when he has serious mental health issues, leaving him incapable of making friends or allowing his spouse to have friends and a acquaintances. Why is he worrying about his wife at work? Why is he worried constantly that she’s having an affair? He won’t even let her go shopping by herself. Does this sound like a person capable of a healthy marital relationship. Normal people, even shy and conservative people, have hobbies and friends separate from their spouse. Even shy and conservative people don’t assume that their spouse is having an affair every time their spouse goes shopping or to work. This guy is not normal and is not mentally stable. She has no obligation to wait around until his mental illness results in serious emotional and physical trauma for her or any future children.

        You say “we have to sneak him into counseling”…Who is this “we”?. Because from what I can tell you’re putting the entire onus of making him better on his victim, his spouse. His parents and hers are clearly useless at actually addressing the issue. She has to be her own best advocate, because everyone else is focused on what’s best for themselves and saving face in society. At best she can inform (not ask, inform) him that his behavior is unacceptable and that she is getting counseling (to help sort through these issues and move forward) and that if he chooses not to join her, then this marriage is over. Making suggestions or asking him to get counseling has not worked. This is an educated woman with a job, she has no reason to put up with this type of behavior. She’ll be just fine, and probably better off on her own.

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      • “We must try and see if we can, at the least, sneak the husband into counseling”

        The language used here is ridiculous. ‘We’ must not ‘try’ and do anything ‘we’ don’t want to do.

        Ultimately, it’s up to the sister to decide what she wants to do–even if it is stay with her abuser. But don’t call this a ‘difficult’ or ‘tricky’ situation and call it what it is–a horribly abusive relationship.

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  1. if your sis husband is not ready for counselling , she should go for telephonic counselling or in person if possible at present.And she will come know how to handle.
    I think your parents are not doing their job of talking properly.
    Ofcourse when no one is there for support , she has to support herself and fight for herself and see that hubby is not a maniac , if that is the case..run…

    Like

  2. Your sister is in an abusive relationship–her husband is a classic abuser. It’s not just men who are raised in conservative families that can be abusive, men from moderate and liberal families can be abusive too. The guy sounds like a head case regardless of his family background.

    Is it true that all newly married couples face these kinds of problems initially?

    No. I’m married to an Indian man, I’ve never dealt with this kind of behavior.

    Will everything come back to be normal for my sister?

    Was there ever a normal to begin with? I thought they married 6 months ago, after which she’s turned into his personal maid and he controls her every move? Is that normal? No it isn’t.

    Should she (because she is a girl) compromise and listen to him now to avoid all the fights & conflicts and sit & wait for him to change? How can she go about all this?

    It’s up to her. If she’s willing to accept a life time of unhappiness then yes, she should listen and do everything he says (it’s not a compromise when it’s only one person who’s changing)–even that’s no guarantee that he will not be abusive.

    If she doesn’t want to put up with a life time of unhappiness, then she can walk out and support herself (you say she’s well educated and employed so that shouldn’t be difficult).

    From the situation you’ve described, it sounds to me liked your sister jumped into getting married to this guy without knowing him at all. It’s like looking at a shiny car at a dealership and buying it straight out without test driving it, only to find out it’s a piece of junk that doesn’t work. If I were her, I’d cut my losses since it’s only been 6 months.

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    • Agreed. The danger-signs are flashing all over this. She should get out now, while she still has outside friends, while she still has a job, while she still has self-respect. Staying in this relationship means risking all those things, and that’ll only make it all the more difficult to leave later.

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      • Yea–the best advice any of us can give is ‘get out right now, it’ll be much easier than getting out later.’ But then, I think it’s ultimately the sister’s choice whether she chooses to stay in this relationship.

        The best thing the LW can do is to explain to her sister that the relationship is abusive, abnormal, and does not remotely resemble ‘love.’ That might make the decision to leave a bit easier.

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  3. Dear Helpless sister,
    You are seeking help for her and that shows your concern and bonding. I once knew a friend whose husband forced her to disclose all her passwords and bank PINs etc. so that he could check with whom she was in touch or what transactions she made.
    I believe people with low self-esteem are insecure and do such things to feel a sense of control over their spouse. Sis months is too early to make a lifelong decision I would say, maybe trying to get at the root cause of this problem could help. Was one of his ex or someone close to him in an extra-marital affair? does he suspect your sister or is being made to suspect her of such behaviour?
    but I do not discount what he is doing. She needs to tell him that it is demeaning and disrespectful.

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  4. Oh gosh! If anyone tried that kind of attitude with MY sister, he’d be dead by now. I’ve upfront told any guy that my sister dates that she does have a support system (ME) and he best act like a normal human being and treat her like one too. Though I doubt she needs me to act like a big sister, but she is very young still. But NO, I would simply NOT allow this kind of shit to happen to her.

    Sorry for the rant, but it just annoyed me. Anyway, to come to your problem, tell your sister that she has the right to live her life as she pleases and she need not knuckle down to anyone. Such kind of relationships can turn physically abusive and dangerous at the blink of an eye, so she should consider leaving this guy for her own safety. Pointing out his problems to him only will lead to an acceleration of this abuse.

    I disagree with the poster that six months is too early to make a decision. It’s six months of her life gone. How much more needs to go before it’s considered appropriate to make a decision? The more time she gives, the more she will be alienated from her friends and family, until she loses her spirit, ‘adjusts’ and decides not to make trouble. Find her a lawyer right away. And make sure the lawyer is one who doesn’t counsel against divorce, but will advise her what is best for her, not some flaky moral code.

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    • The email suggests that despite his behaviour the girl is involved in this relationship and also is COMPLYING with his demands.She should STOP this complying immediately and if he doesn’t get the message it is surely time to call quits.

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      • Agreed. There is -no- reason to accept being pushed into a smaller and smaller, more and more restrictive life.

        It’s *NOT* reasonable for a husband to insist that she cut contact with all other friends. The proper response to that is: “I’m married to you, but I’ve got other people as friends. If you’re unwilling to accept that, then our marriage does not have any future.”

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    • “How much more needs to go before it’s considered appropriate to make a decision?”

      I get a feeling that no amount of time will make a difference. This will become ‘normal’ over time, in fact. Only if she shows up beaten black and blue, then the family might change their mind. Otherwise, they sound happy to let her carry on like this.

      Also, LW, “Is it true that all newly married couples face these kinds of problems initially?”, no it isn’t. I am recently married, I know many recently married friends and family. Nope, this is not normal.

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      • I think, Carvaka, that its unfair to compare your recent marriage to that described by the LW. By your own admission, you knew your husband for years before. So, the question asked here really isn’t answered by your reply.

        To the LW, yes, it could be that this is an abusive relationship.

        However, it could also be that the husband has internalized so much of the tripe in our movies that he really believes he’s being romantic/caring. And perhaps, when he sees a different point of view, things will settle down. Of course, that means a third party he holds in high regard letting him know he’s acting like an idiot not a Bollywood hero…

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        • It’s not unfair at all, unless we say that abuse should be seen as ‘normal’ in arranged marriages? Isn’t that also tripe which women are made to internalise and expect, resulting in them staying in awful marriages?

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    • I think the crux of the issue is that the sister still loves the husband.
      As long as she cares for the guy, it’s difficult to see why she would try and cut her losses (though I agree that this is the best option, rather than to spend years trying to ‘change’ him to a somewhat decent person)

      Like

      • Sometimes I wonder if people really understand the meaning of deep love. Of course you can fall very deeply in love with someone after knowing them for a short while. But in most cases, especially in the arranged marriage framework, love takes time. You don’t even know the person you are marrying, nor are you completely sure that you are attracted to them. They just happen to be the socially eligible and willing option.

        I think the sister is more worried about the unknown – divorce. And the stigma she will have to face with a failed relationship on her report card.

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      • Frankly, that’s nonsense. Love requires mutual respect. “Loving” someone who feels entitled to treat you like dirt, and who does, isn’t meaningful. That’s just making excuses. An abusive relationship is abusive no matter what you claim to feel for oneanother. Most abusers also claim to love the people they abuse. But that’s nonsene. If they really did, they would not abuse. It’s as simple as that.

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        • I completely agree with you. I was just reiterating what the OP said. I should have typed it as still “loves”, perhaps?
          Anyway, my point is that “love” is one of the reasons/excuses/justifications people use to delude themselves into accepting behaviour from loved ones that they would never tolerate from someone else.
          It’s all very obvious to us that it’s abuse, but the OP would have us believe that the woman in question wants to save this relationship (which is clearly not worth the trouble) out of “love”.
          The import of that basically means that the first step would involve getting this sister to ‘snap’ out of love. That is a very hard step because it is not really amenable to outside (family member,counsellor) intervention. It must come from within. And it can be very frustrating for people who care for her , to wait for her to realise that she cannot possibly ‘love’ this man.

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        • I don’t care. That’s my point. *even* if you “love” someone, you should leave them if they are abusive. Sure that is sad and difficult and whatnot, but nevertheless, it is what one must do. Precicely the same thing applies if you love someone who has no interest in you. You have no choice but to move on, and look for love elsewhere.

          Movies and cultural narratives that push the “one true love” idea are hugely harmful. In the real world it does not work like that. Instead, there are MANY people who are compatible enough that you could love them. Thus when love is lost, there is always (if you want it) the potential to refind it elsewhere.

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  5. Do you think she could try firmly refusing to share her passwords, and giving up her chats and messages for inspection, and instead of giving up her friends (who could also prove to be her support system), she could discuss his lack of friends (without sounding accusing if possible)?

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  6. Marriage is a partnership based on equality. If one partner is controlling the other person’s life its is not healthy. First you need to validate your sister’s feelings. She is not wrong to feel suffocated. The problem is not with her but her husband. Most parents of the girl put the blame on the girl(yes asking their daughter to tolerate unreasonable behavior is like telling her the problem is with her for not being tolerant of common situation). If she is unhappy she needs to communicate that to her husband LOUD and CLEAR. She can give him options. A list of things she would want differently. If he doesnt agree to that she can DEMAND they go for counseling. If he can can state his unreasonable demands so easily without a thought and she IS taking bullshit from him why cant she tell him assertively that he has no choice but go for counseling? Give him a choice that either he goes for counseling or be ready to call of their marriage. He cant have his cake and eat it too. Tell your sister not to be scared of stirring the hornet’s nest. She should also tell him that since both of them are working they need to divide the chores and he needs to do more than just helping. If he has problem with that he can stay alone and do everything himself. Break his illusion that he is god’s gift to womanhood.

    I really feel sad that ‘educated’ parents have started supporting women(daughters) against physical abuse but when it comes to emotional abuse the response is ‘please adjust’. Why does a man has to physically hit a women before people call it abuse. The talk of emotional abused is hushed with ‘save your marriage, at least he doesn’t hit you.’

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  7. I agree with psharmarao on people with low self esteem & insecure behaving in such a controlling manner to their spouse.
    Often clinical depression can manifest this way.
    I have a former girlfriend who suffers clinical depression that behaves in such a controlling manner towards her new husband – everything he does is wrong, she controls his ‘contacts’ via phone & internet etc.
    To put it simply, people who suffer chronic depression see the world through sh^t colored glasses.
    Untreated depressives often become unreasonably controlling, fearful, insecure, to the point of being abusive as well as irrational.
    Unfortunately depressed persons such as this are also terrified of change and often feel they can’t change. (Despite medication & therapy being shown to be effective in treating depression.)
    In the case of my girlfriend, I attended her wedding in the US.
    I guess she’s decided it is more important to spend $$$ on a fancy wedding & buy things for their new house than to spend $$$ on the meds she used to take & has stopped going to therapy with her psychiatrist for the same reason.
    The change in her behavior since she’s stopped taking meds & going to therapy is unbelievable. She used to be fun, a bit shy & mild mannered.
    Now, oh my god.
    I wish I’d never went to the wedding, the tantrums, the hissy fits, constantly belittling & controlling of her new husband. I was TOLD (not asked) to do her hair & make up for the wedding. At first I thought it was a case of Bridezilla but it just went on & on. When I went to visit them in their new house I was not allowed to touch anything, notes were taped to appliances, fixtures & even the garbage can as to what I could & could not do. I wasn’t even allowed to turn on a light for more than 20 minutes. I left after staying one night in her house.
    Then she started attacking me on FB for not sending a ‘thank you’ note for staying at her house one night. I never got a damned ‘thank you’ note for my wedding gift, doing her hair & make up, hand washing her bridal veil she got a spot on, etc. (This former girlfriend is 39 yrs old mind you.)
    That was it.
    Defriended her after a 15 yr friendship.
    Well, that was a bit of a rant.
    But that’s how bad an untreated depressive can get.

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  8. I’m sure others have given suggestions about how to handle the situation. I’d only recommend that until she can sort these things out and make a decision about whether there is any hope for salvaging the relationship, she should do her best not to get kids in the equation.

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  9. “He has good intentions about her, kids and their future.” He is incredibly abusive towards her. I don’t understand what ‘good intentions’ means ? Good intentions as in, he is not planning to divorce her? So an abused or dead married woman is better than a happy divorced one? These are not good intentions.

    When I read “She is barred from accessing Gtalk, YM, FB, twitter, basically all online social networking sites.”, I assumed this was about a father’s restrictions on a teenager. Not a man’s restrictions on a fully grown, earning woman’s freedom! Who exactly is he to ‘allow’ her to go shopping? Why does she need his permission? Did your family sell her to him?

    “He helps her around the chores too”.. ‘Helping’ with chores in nonsense. Why are the chores primarily her responsibility and he gets to just help? What difference does gender make in chores? He needs to do half the chores, given that he eats half the food and contributes to half the mess. I wouldn’t even acknowledge ‘help’. He’s either doing his share or not.

    “She loves him a lot and doesn’t want to lose him. ” – I am not sure what will make her realise that this is an abusive controlling relationship and not love, but the ‘please adjust’ advice doesn’t help. Your parents are contributing to her misery and possible physical violence in the future. This is not normal for a marriage and it’s not something that will fix itself. This is utterly abusive.

    “Should she (because she is a girl) compromise and listen to him now to avoid all the fights & conflicts and sit & wait for him to change?” – why would you even ask that? I am genuinely curious. What does being a girl have to do with putting up with abuse? Her gender is not relevant. She should seek her own safety and happiness, gender irrelevant.

    She is an equal human being to him. Tell her to stand up for herself and demand equality to get out of this sham marriage. He cannot make rules for her or judge her housework. He is not her boss or owner.

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    • Yea, the should she compromise and listen to him because she’s a girl bit makes me a bit skeptical about this letter writer. If she reads this blog regularly, then she would already know the answer that majority of the readers here would give–and that’s a resounding no.

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    • Oh yes and if you’re thinking ‘you don’t know how it is for women, we have to tell her to adjust,etc etc’, I just wanted to add, I have a sister too (and I am a woman). She is studying at the moment. If a future partner or husband treated her like this, I would do everything in my power to get her out of the abuse and away from the abuser. Any abusive partner of hers will have hell to face from me. And if society wants my sister to suffer abuse because of her gender, IT will have hell from me as well.

      Victims of abuse need support and safety, not pushing them deeper into the abuse.

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    • That was my reaction to. When he doesn’t “allow” this or that, it implies that he alone has the right to decide over her behaviour. But how so ? They are both adult beings, and neither has the right to decide ANYTHING over the other. They can voice their opinions, and their wishes, but not decide.

      The very fact that he thinks he gets to *decide* is a huge warning-sign. And she should definitely not let him decide. Not even compromise on those requests which are completely unreasonable. (and to me, it seems that’s all of them)

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  10. your sister loves her husband, Then tell her to fight him and teach him how to be a good husband. He will come around. These conservative men are possessive.

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    • Excuses for abuse. Excellent.

      “He will come around.” – how do you know? better to respond to how he has been behaving for the last 6 months than some baseless hope of how he might behave 20 years later!

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    • WTF! It’s not her job to teach her husband to behave like a human being! How do you know he’ll come around? You are suggesting she put up with abuse and hope it gets better. This is no different than the usual ‘please adjust’ of her parents.

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    • Marriage is for adults. Children who need to be taught “how to be a good husband” need not enter such relationships.

      LW, Please ask your sister to leave asap. This is not going to end well. And as several others have mentioned, regular men DO NOT behave this way.

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    • which K serial is this advice based on? oh! forgot. All of them! it works pretty well in reel life because that’s the myth they want us to believe. the more unacceptable a husband’s behavior, the more merit there is to be earned by “teaching” him. but

      a) do they learn in this way? newspaper statistics suggest the answer is no

      b) is it a wife’s job to teach? again NO. as far as I’m concerned, if one side violates a contract .-legal, social, religious – by behaving in an abusive manner, the contract is void.

      I’m all for reconciliation and counseling etc but from a distance and after establishing boundaries. maybe even physical distance in form of separate houses if there is even a minute threat to safety.

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    • @SBA. If her husband is only conservative, maybe she could make him change… but the description in the email does seem to fit a person with narcissic disorders, and you can’t really change these people…

      She could fight but at what price ? Living in fear every day and night ?

      However it is very difficult for women to get out of these relationships, and the more you wait the harder it gets, especially when you have children.

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  11. She loves him, she helps him, she cooks for him, she cleans for him, she agrees to give up her friends for him, she agrees to give up her space for him. — excellent.
    Does he love her, Has he given up anything for her? has he cooked for her, cleaned for her, given her space, encouraged her friendship with diverse people.?

    He finds fault, compares her to his mum, so basically he wants a cook cum housekeeper and bed mate and is really worried that this need of his will make her flee — sounds like a smart guy. so in effect he’s taking care of his possesions.

    your parents need to but out of this advise giving mode, your sister needs to get a spine and tell him her needs in this marriage and they need to take it from there. telling each other of their expectations does not mean dumping him or divorce, all it is is sharing one’s feelings, after all if he’s not there even for that what good is he as a husband. what purpose does it serve to be married ot him?

    I can understnad love, sacrifice and joy in a marriage what i dont get is why girls get into a relationship where they gain nothing? you earn, cook, clean , take double responsibility when compared to your single state and dont get mental support or companionship . why even get married? for sex???
    Marriage is a partnership , love, passion, caring and friendship and even if al lthis is not present at al ltimes, atleast one should be present allt he time🙂 only then it’s beautiful.
    this guy is simply an insecure guy who knows he’s not perfect and is worried she’s going to realise she’s better than him and dump him🙂 she should tell him that rarely does that happen in our country we are really patient women who tolerate a loooot of BS just to be married…

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  12. What saddens me is that we have such warped notions of what love is that young girls even feel the need to ask if this is normal. NEWSFLASH: Women are not possessions and don’t become so by virtue of getting married.

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  13. Why does this all sound familiar. Why do we women love men who are possessive and ask us to give up our individuality. What kind of love is this? I thought love is all about letting each other blossom and grow together. And it is a shame that some parents cannot stand up for their daughters and always ask to adjust. I am married from the past 9 years and me and my husband have yet to ask each other for our passwords….I have my life…He has his and we have our life together as well.

    The kind of relationship your sister has with her husband isn’t healthy. Trust us when we say that. It will only get worst..

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  14. Hey LW, you’re going to have to define ‘normal’ and ‘good intentions’.

    If you think the ‘normal’ is how things were around the time of their engagement/betrothal/honeymoon, it’s likely that he was behaving differently since it was the beginning, it’s also likely that looking back you may be able to spot the signs of an abuser from even then.

    As far as ‘good intentions’ are concerned, someone telling you their plans for the future doesn’t necessarily mean they have good intentions. If anything, it’s very alarming that a grown man has so little control over his reactions and is not just impulsive but downright controlling and abusive.

    None of this is normal, it’s certainly not the sort of adjustment period any regular couple goes through and most of all, your sister should not have to put up with any of this just because she is female.

    Could you have her visit you for a few days, without her husband? She needs some space and she needs to be away from the control and abuse she is suffering to realise what ‘normal’ actually means. You could talk to her about what is happening and make her realise she doesn’t have to put up with this, or that it is her fault or responsibility in any way. Give her the time and space she needs to sort herself out in her head. It might also be a good idea for you to speak to your parents and make them understand that they need to be supportive of her and not supportive of the restrictive circumstances she finds herself in.

    And at some point, your sister will have to face up to her husband about his behaviour and fight her own battle. Whether or not the husband changes his ways is something to be seen but the most important thing right now is for your sister to be pulled out of the situation and given as much support as she needs to deal with all this.

    Tell her she isn’t wrong, tell her she has every right to live as she wants to, tell her that a true partner shares equally in chores etc, that control and criticism are not the mark of a good and healthy relationship, tell her that she deserves to live a great life with a partner who respects her, her desires, her space and contributes to her well being, just as she would to his. And keep telling her until she gets it.

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  15. Its unfortunate but there is hope. Hope for better understanding provided the husband agrees for counselling. If he does not want to go in person, they both can have tele-counselling. There is a free tele-counselling service by SAHAI in Bangalore which functions from 10 am to 5 pm except Sundays/holidays.Their phone number is 080-25497777. More details are available on their facebook page-
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sahai-Helpline-91-80-25497777/247442978655084

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      • Their marriage is only 6 months old and it is too early to judge the relationship to be on the rock! She herself has mentioned that when he is cool, repents. Through counselling , his past life has to be ascertained. The counsellor has to hear both side of the case to get in to the root of the problem. No conclusion can be drawn without knowing all the details.

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        • “She herself has mentioned that when he is cool, repents.” – Which is the classic sign of an abuser. I think this is a secondary option if the woman is totally unwilling to leave. She is under no obligation to ascertain his past life or get to the root of the problem. Her main responsibility is to ensure her own safety and happiness ASAP.

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        • I have one for you Sir.

          –his past life has to be ascertained.

          Why? “If” he had messed up bad past [which he obviously is not ready to deal with], does that justify his irrational behavior? And then she should pretend like none of these happened?

          –to get in to the root of the problem

          When an adult man is not willing to work on his behavior though he acknowledges he is wrong [cos he repents] and not ready to do anything about it. Why is it her responsibility to get to it?? Shouldn’t they be in this together?

          Please don’t tell me compromises are part of life. That one has gotten really old.

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  16. Sorry to break ur bubble the situation will never improve and he will never come around…He is a paranoid suspicious man…even if she complies to him 100% his demands will keep on increasing.Today its twitter and FB tomm he will tell her to stop intracting with doodhwala, paperwala or any random guy.
    He is suffering frm a mental disease of chronic suspicion.He needs help its true but in these cases unless the patient is ready even docs cant do much.
    Its just 6 months now….in few years he will force her to quit her job coz he wouldnt like her working with paraya mard.
    She will end up being a jailbird……tell her to run !! else her life will be ruined forever.

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  17. I can empathize with your sister. She wants this relationship to work and ready to put in effort but the problem is her husband not willing to accept “who he is” or for the reason of “Social Stigma” attached to counselling and consulting a psychiatrist in general. The future will be difficult if it continues and it might end up dirty. The sooner she acts on this, the better it is for her and for her husband too.
    It sounds easy to draw a conclusion that he might have some kind of mental illness that no one is even aware of and the sooner he visits counselor the better it is. Good luck.

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  18. Dear LW,
    6 months of living alone with your partner, without family interference (I assume) and the man has shown his true colours. Yes, true colours. If you are controlling, insecure and therefore possessive, it isn´t your wife´s job to ´change´ you and support you and unconditionally love you.

    I´m glad your sister has confided in you and I hope you can be a strong support. Your parents need to be talked to as well – about how this is not ´normal´ in any sense of the word, and how your sister does not have to simply adjust just because.

    To begin with your please ask your your sister to talk to her husband and tell him in no uncertain terms that she will not be sharing her password, bank account details or any such private details. She is married, entitled to her privacy as anybody is, just as he is too.
    They also need to see if he is willing to work for the relation and seek counselling and support from a relationship guide/counsellor.

    Marriages, like any relationship are built on equal partners, mutual love and respect. For each other and each others boundaries, interests, dislikes etc etc. If these things aren´t talked about and agreed upon, then the abusive husband will keep defining the patterns and continue to abuse your sister.

    Step in before its too late. Loveless marriages, marriages without respect, that isn´t an aspiration and shouldn´t be for any self respecting woman. Your sister is educated, is working, this is a fairly new relationship, she has every right to exercise her right to a happy, fulfilling relation. And if not, cut loose ends and move on to achieve that.

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  19. I agree with the opinions posted above. It is difficult to accept that the marriage is not working and the person you married does not respect or trust you. And the social pressure is enormous…But the sooner she gets out of this it is better for her emotional health. Women stick around expecting their husbands to change and become the man they wished for..but that rarely happens! If he loves her truly then he should surely go for counselling and try to overcome his negatives. Else, he does not deserve her!

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  20. LW,
    I am reasonably newly married(3 years) and can distinctly remember the beginning of our relationship 5 years ago. We were long distance during the entire courtship. However, not once did it even occur to my now-husband to ask me for my passwords nor did I ever ask him. We just didn’t think it was our job to be monitoring everything our partner did. Trust is the foundation upon which long lasting relationships stand.

    Your sister’s husband is insecure which makes him not trust his wife. This could be the result of a bad childhood or some undiagnosed mental illness. As a good human being, your sister has suggested counselling, but if he won’t take it, this emotionally abusive relationship will turn into a physically abusive one at the bat of an eyelid. It will take exactly one instance of defiance from your otherwise docile sister to turn your brother in law into a raging abuser. This is a dangerous situation for you to leave her in. A very close friend of mine was in a similar relationship and her sister always knew and did nothing. I can never forgive her sister for not acting.

    Act immediately. If your parents don’t support you, they can go take a hike. Stand by your sister and get her out of this situation immediately if she won’t help herself. All those relatives “concerned” about your marriage prospects being affected because of your sister can go to hell.

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  21. Is walking out of a relationship that easy? It must take a lot of courage to do that right? It would need a lot of moral support from the family and friends.
    But yes,enduring the pains of an abusive relationship is never worth. Especially when the other person involved is not willing to do anything to solve the issue.
    After reading the letter, what I thought was that she should not have complied to his senseless wants from the beginning. If she had refused to give up her friends or her personal space in the first place, he would have at least got a hang of how things would be in the future. But yes, newly marrieds always try to oblige and please each other, and after the initial days ends up with misconceptions about each others.
    And what breaks my heart is the parent’s attitude!! It’s like kids getting married and staying in married is some kind of status symbols for today’s parents , and be it be a happy relationship or not.

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  22. Love is not about control, or possession. It sounds like a domestic violence situation waiting to happen. Tell her to get out NOW, help her get out. That is absolute imprisonment!!!!!!! He just wants an object to control, and if they have kids (especially daughters) he will do the same thing. Too many warning signs already, she needs to get out.

    Un-spammed by indianhomemaker

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  23. This is just another abusive relationship!!! My H was same too.. He first wanted me to “trsut him” and not tell my family stuff and was sweet when he was calm. Being judgemental, mood swings, lack of trust are all signs of abusive behaviour. Your sister should try all possiblities such as counselling, rehab but more often than not it is very difficult to survive with such a person. She and your family should be mentally prepared to call it quits!!

    A Letter of Forgiveness: From an Abused Wife to a Husband
    http://balckwhitegrey.blogspot.in/2013/04/a-letter-of-forgiveness-from-abused.html

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  24. No this isn’t normal between a husband and wife and no, he will not change over time, naturally. Unless he goes to counseling, understands that he has a problem, and actually puts in the work. Someone who cuts her off from friends and every other possible connection with the outside world, constantly monitors her movements and ensures her isolation sounds like a classic abuser. Isolation is one of the cruelest punishments – even hardened criminals in jails beg to be released from solitary confinement. Your sister may not have physical scars (yet) but the emotional trauma of gradually being cut off from the outside world can be devastating. A very smal % of abusers reform – only the ones who are willing to admit and face the truth, and put in the work needed.

    It is not your sister’s mandate to try and change him or turn him into a functioning human being. When we marry, we expect to share our life with another adult, not a kid who needs to grow up, or someone with other serious issues. Sure, sometimes there will be conflicts in marriage, and we work through them. But mutual love and respect are fundamental to the relationship. This does not seem to be the case of a normal marital conflict that can be resolved through communication and understanding.

    I don’t know all the details of your situation so it is hard to advice. However if my sister were in such a situation, I’d help her get away from him while she still has her senses intact. Because when someone becomes a victim of abuse long enough, they will fight hard to stay in the abusive relationship, it gets harder and harder to help them.

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  25. when I read the title of the blog post I thought it was a mother who was worried about restrictions imposed on her daughter by the father…I am shocked to see this was from a husband to a wife.. ‘divorce ‘ is the only word that comes to my mind…

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  26. He’s not going to change his habits. He refuses counseling, your parents (who are no help, I’m sorry to say!) think she should just adjust.
    Whatever feelings of “love” she has will go away and she’ll be left with nothing but fear (yes, fear. This guy, if he’s not already violent, will become violent, cos he’s already showing signs of distrust and resentment towards her and is restricting her movements and freedom) and loathing for this marriage.
    WHY must she delete all her male friends from her life? What sort of justification is it when he says it’s because “he wants peace”?! Why would there NOT be peace if she has friends who are male? How can you control someone like this and still call it a marriage? This isn’t what marriage is meant to be! He’s acting like a jailer, letting her out to go to work only like she’s on parole and everything else is under lock and key!

    Also people, this is just basic common sense. ALWAYS MEET A GUY’S FRIENDS BEFORE YOU MARRY HIM! IF HE DOESN’T *HAVE* FRIENDS, DON’T MARRY HIM COS HE’S MESSED UP IN THE HEAD!!

    Honestly… why did she get married to this guy in the first place?!

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  27. He told her what he wants her to do. She did it.
    Now she must TELL him what she wants, and not give him an option. Give him an ultimatum – “either you come to counselling and treat me like a partner, or leave me because I’m your wife not your servant/mother”

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  28. Also, the issue isn’t about whether he should have her passwords and so on. My husband and I are one of those couples who share everything, and we both have each others’ passwords – email, FB, bank accounts. However, it would never occur to either of us to use them to spy, and rarely do we even use them. The reason we have them is typically when one person is away from a computer and asks the other person to access something – so having passwords is not an issue, it is the controlling, suspicious attitude behind it, which is the problem.

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  29. I was in a similar situation years back. There were no trust issues in my case: but my husband wanted us to spend all our time together (other than study/work hours). He didn’t have any interests outside of work and very few friends, so he didn’t relish the idea of me talking to my friends, spending time with them, etc. when he was around (said I was neglecting him). He was short-tempered and would scream like a lunatic for something trivial. I “adjusted” a lot, and then slowly learnt to assert myself and told him that he was a control freak. Now, things have improved greatly (mainly because we’ve grown older, and I’ve become bolder) and he realizes clearly that I will not tolerate any of this. We also have kids and he’s developed some interests of his own, so that has brought in positive changes. I also had very supportive in-laws (my MIL told me that I should let him know that I could always walk out on him and manage great on my own: that would instill some fear in him).

    My point in writing this is not to advocate that your sister should also stick around and try to teach/change him. But if that is what she wants to do (or at least try doing), then she has to start right away and not wait for years like I did. Plus, it is going to be a long and hard path (and she must not bring kids into this like someone else said). And she must not quit her job. Or she can quit this relationship right now, which is a perfectly fine choice too. I wish her the very best, whatever she chooses.

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  30. Emailer, I’m sorry, but everything about your sister’s situation reeks of emotional and psychological abuse. There can never be any “adjustment” in this situation, at all, ever. He wants her to surrender EVERY single aspect of her life to him, from her friends, her hobbies, to her personal time. I’m quite sure that he is emotionally disturbed and not fit to be in a relationship to begin with, if he is this codependent.

    My advice for your sister, especially given how serious this situation is (and it is quite serious, please don’t ever doubt yourself on this front), would be to leave. HOWEVER, there is a equally serious caveat here. Given the extent to which her husband is controlling, I would, in no way be surprised if he does not go after her if she leaves him. And given how controlling her husband is, I would not be surprised if he goes after her with the intention to “punish” her, and cause severe hurt and injury to her person. Is this perhaps an extreme reaction? True, but he is exhibiting the signs of classic abuse.

    What your sister needs now is two things. One, a strong network of friends, somehow, somewhere. Her husbands wants to shut down every single exit point in her life, and make it so that she has zero options aside from him. Once your sister falls into this line of thinking, there is no demand that he will not make of her, because he knows that she will not leave him–she has nothing else aside from him. Therefore, make sure that your sister has your support, 100%, and make sure that she makes friends. If he has a problem with it, tell her to tell him to stuff it.

    The second thing she needs is to understand that her husband will rarely, if ever, reform. He has already demonstrated that he has no willingness to change when he refused counselling. Yes, she can assert herself, and refuse to bow down to his wishes. If she were to do this, even if he does not reform, he will at the very least learn that she is not somehow he can easily tug around for his own whims and fancies. This realization is the best thing your sister will get out of him. But his core, abusive character will not change in this life time. He will continue to be an abusive control freak. It does not matter how much your sister loves him, or how much she cares for him, or how much effort she wants to put in this relationship. Relationships and marriages work two ways. If one party outright refuses to fix their end of the bargain, there is NOTHING the other party can do to make the partnership work. He will not reform for her, no matter how much she loves him.

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  31. The way I see it, this kind of behaviour is ingrained into the man’s personality. She could try and put her foot down but my gut feel is that the guy will become more insecure and the abuse will go one level higher.

    It is still worth a try if she has any sort of feelings for him (a big IF), otherwise if I were her, I’d cut my losses and get out.

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    • This is actually not typical of Indian men, even though I agree they are prone to abuse. I know many women who are in sad situations but not because their husband thinks they are having an affair with every phone call the take!

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  32. What is this nonsense about love and “complete trust” comprising the marriage that people are talking about here? A marriage is not at all about this stuff. Look why you buy a bicycle, you try and judge it all you can for the purpose you are buying it for i.e., riding it. An arranged marriage is a social and financial arrangement for particular purposes and people look and judge the prospective partners for those qualities; job/financial abilities of the groom, roti and baby making prospects of the bride etc. If people would really be looking for love and trust etc., wouldn’t they first try out if they really love the person and is trust really developing between them. They don’t. All people can’t be so stupid. Hence, they get what they really want.

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  33. Who started this custom of groom and his parents coming to girls place to “see” her . its she who has to migrate so should not she be the one to have the right to go and make a assesment of the house / family she ultimately has to live with . Many indian customs prohibhit the bride to visit her future “home” before marriage

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  34. Pingback: ‘When husbands are jealous, they look so cute, no!?’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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