Sharing an email.
I am a housewife (I don’t like to use this word for myself) and a regular reader of your blog.
I don’t know if you would be able to help me in any way but if you would just read my entire mail with patience and also respond, it would just give me a feeling that there is someone who at least understands me.
I was born and brought up in Delhi/NCR and have decent educational background. My parents never had enough to spend on any kind of luxury not even eating out and during one phase we even struggled to manage two meals a day. But they have been the best parents because they kept us so bonded and taken care of during all ups and downs of life. Me, my siblings and my parents….we all were a so closely attached and knit up that we shared everything with each other. Even in our worst day we could laugh loudly with each other.
My mother has been the pillar of the family. She is traditional and yet open minded. Traditional with culture and family values and open minded about learning new things, adopting modern ways of living and doing things.
I have been a jolly and happy person with very strong positive attitude in life. I have faced some social evils personally that I am not discussing here because I want to forget them (I know it not possible….but I pretend to as long as it not haunting me). I believe in forgiving and forgetting because I feel that keeping things in heart obstructs your way to happiness and all I want in life is happiness. And my happiness is associated with just little things in everyday life that an average girl dream of.
I always believed that only good things happen to good people and so I tried to remain good and I believe that I succeeded in my efforts.
I have never intentionally hurt anyone, if I dont like someone I just keep a good distance from them and never pray bad or bitch about them.
I never had any boyfriend or even a thought of having one because I knew and believed that I will get true love from marriage and that had to be an arranged one as per my family tradition.
So i religiously preserved all my love for my future husband and waited for him to come in my life when it was destined.
As I was in a close knit family I always wanted to have all the relations in my in-laws. (ie. parents-in-law, sister-in law etc.)
Now I am in such a family for last seven years where there are all the relations that I wanted but I don’t feel connected to anyone.
I love my husband and he loves me too….but it seems there is something lacking.
Our likes and dislikes are different, our tastes are different, our perspectives are different.
My in laws are too traditional and follow the rules too rigidly and sometimes stupidly. It seems they are doing something because it has to be done and not necessarily needed to be done.
They do Pooja (worship) like maniacs, when there are guest I dont get to talk to them because I am in the kitchen all the time.
I cant wear what I want…even wearing a Nighty is considered indecent by them. I cant have a friend circle of my own…I cant go out alone…at least not for my personal indulgence.
I dont get to watch TV as my FIL keeps the remote all the time and all he watches in news.
I don’t know if I am making any sense or not but the fact is that the family and nature of people I grew up with and the family and people that I am with now are so different that I am not being able to be at peace in my own home.
My husband is the only male child of his parents and thus it becomes my compulsion to take care of them. They are not independent enough in attitude that they could live on their own. And when I think of leaving them alone and live separately with my husband it give me a guilt felling as I feel it would be the worst thing to do to your parents.
But staying with them, following their style of living, taking care of their likes and dislike, accepting the restrictions on my freedom to do things my way is now driving me crazy. I have lost my confidence completely…I am ruining my physical appearance as I have no interest in taking care of myself and looking good.
I sometimes feel that I am falling into depression as I am loosing interest in everything that I liked…I have no friends…I avoid inviting people at home.
My husband hears me and agrees with the unjust behavior and expectations of his parents but I doubt if he actually understands my dilemma. I don’t want to hurt them and cant even please them. Don’t want to leave them alone and cant even live with them. Its like either they can have a life they want or I can have the life I want….both cant happen together.
My husband says that I should not bother too much about the likes and dislikes of my in-laws and should follow my aspirations. But I feel caught as all the household responsibilities from kitchen to market, from to kid to guests and everything small or big related to the house is done by me with occasional and minimal help from others.
I feel completely caught up and tangled..with no hope and no true happiness.
Sorry for all this blabbering but I still had so much to say.
– An Indian Bahu
“Someone ate without showering, someone didn’t bring mithai! These are trivialities, not social problems.”