Marriage counseling: “You are working, it does not mean you can talk this way.”

Sharing an email from the email writer who asked, “What if I let go the gold and money, not that I am rich, but they won’t give me a divorce easily…”

Dear IHM,

After two missed hearings in court, today we went to court, it was at his place (in another district). The update:

Judge (a lady and I did not find her blaming women): Are you ready for a life together with him?
Me: No ma’m.
Judge: You wish to be separated through divorce?
Me: Yes ma’am.
Judge: Have you filed divorce petition?
Me: No ma’am.

Judge: (to the husband) What is the reason behind your wife’s demand?
The husband: Her arrogance!!!
Judge: Oh!!! So, why do you need an arrogant wife?🙂
The husband: My child is with her.
Judge: So, u need only the child?
The husband: No, I need my wife too if she is willing.
Judge: Okay, you need a counseling, go and fix the date with the counselor.

At the counselor’s it was hell for me (again a lady, but with a different attitude that is what she made me feel ):

Counselor: Can we have a sitting today?
Me: No Ma’am.
Counselor: Why?
Me: I have a 1 year and 7 month old baby at home, need to go at least now, so that I can reach home before 7 in the evening.
Counselor: Okay, then which date do you prefer?
Me: Please fix a date from next month.
Counselor: 6/11/13

Then the husband and his father’s interference.

The husband: I need to go to my workplace tomorrow, so it is better if we have it today.
Counselor : No, she is not willing.
The husband: She is giving excuses, she never attended counseling at women’s commission (as if he had attended every session).
Me: Ma’am, he has been summoned at least 5 times for those sessions, never once did he appear.
Counselor (frustrated, asked me): Are you working dear?
Me: Yes ma’am, I am into IT.
Counselor (her tone changed): You are working, it does not mean you can talk this way.
Me: Surprised!!! What is my fault? what did I say? You have not even listened to what I have to say!!!
Counselor: That is why I told you, we can have the session today itself.
Me: Sorry Ma’am, today I can’t.
Counselor: Why you didn’t bring your kid?
Me: Ma’am, to reach here I started at 4 in the morning, it was raining heavily. How can I bring my kid in this situation?
Counselor (sarcastic): So, nobody is bringing their kids with them, hmmm!!!
Me: Okay ma’am, let me go now, see you on 6/11.

In the midst of this my FIL was interfering and I even had to request her, a third party should not be attending the session.

What do you think? I know this counseling is not going to work, at least it is not going to help me present my case.

In that part of the state, they think DIL should live permanently in her in-laws’ place. The worst part is I can’t stand this pretence and the lies of husband and his relatives. It is giving me a lot of stress, affecting my health also. I contacted one of his cousins who likes me, she told me he is not agreeing to file a mutual petition for divorce. Now, he is after my child. Do you think if I talk to him directly, I can make him come to the point directly? I know I am pestering you a lot nowadays, but I am helpless. That lady’s attitude though mild, did make me sad. Coming from a family where we are subjected to no discrimination, I never expected anything like this will happen to me.

Please don’t publish this, I may be boring your readers🙂

Next morning, in response to my email:

My mom, dad, sis and my cousins all say not to talk to him. He just want to cause trouble, so even if he talk to me, he will never be reasonable. You can publish this mail. Yesterday, I was very much frustrated, today I am feeling better. I am very much happy that I have a very supportive family and also I happened to find your blog🙂

Related Posts:

An email: “He got very aggressive and even started pulling the loosened muscles of my abdomen (post preg) very hard”

“What if I let go the gold and money, not that I am rich, but they won’t give me a divorce easily…”

Indian women and their Easy Wealth.

Remember the Anonymous Confused Wife?

32 thoughts on “Marriage counseling: “You are working, it does not mean you can talk this way.”

  1. I have a question–do you get to choose your counselor or does the state choose one for you? It would not hurt to look into going to another counselor (esp one that has practiced abroad and is relatively young). Also–can you take your lawyer to the counselling session? Perhaps he or she can interrupt any time a legally inappropriate question is asked. (ex, I think asking you to bring your kid into a divorce counselling session that’s between you and your husband is a breach of professional behavior)

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  2. Divorce is very painful but they can’t make you live together with him if you don’t want to. And since you are not asking anything from him but what is yours, there should be no trouble if the receipts from the purchase of the gold are still with you. Just ignore anyone who tries to intimidate you and say you don’t want the man in your life. If you do want to speak with your husband, do it through a lawyer. He has the right to meet his child, so you can maybe work out some kind of schedule where he can spend time with the baby if he wants to. He might be more agreeable to give his consent to the divorce if he thinks he’d be able to meet the baby often.

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    • This woman has been subjected to physical abuse by her husband. (See previous emails). The state/court should NOT ‘counsel’ her along with him. It’s shocking that a violent man like him will not be prosecuted for domestic violence, and will be allowed access to his child.
      I am just horrified. I usually try to be dispassionate but this is too much, even for India.

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      • LW, I believe having a third party present requires the consent of both you and your husband. So if you can, definitely look into getting a different counsellor. I also don’t think your case is appropriate for counselling, considering you don’t want to continue your relationship with him, and rightly so. Why a counselling was ordered in such a case I don’t know, particularly with the history of violence.

        BUT, if he hasn’t been violent in the presence of/towards the child, the child does have a right to access, depending on whether that would be in the best interests of the child. I also have a very visceral response to access when it comes to abuse parents, but its not about the parent, rather, the child has a right to see the father as long as this is safe.

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        • “..its not about the parent, rather, the child has a right to see the father as long as this is safe.”
          Actually, it is about the parent.
          There have been numerous studies demonstrating the effects of a physically abusive parent on a child, effects which persist even if violence is not directed at the child.
          Also, a child in a violent environment is ‘at risk’ anyway- so the appropriate thing to do would be to assume that the child is at risk of experiencing violence, and then proceed with the issue of access, which can be given only when the man can demonstrate that he will not pose a threat.
          Again, this is how it generally happens in developed countries with robust child protection services and DV response agencies.

          In India (with a very resource-strapped/ill-equipped system), the VERY least that can happen is that this woman is granted a quick divorce and full custody- but even that seems to be too much to ask for!

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        • I agree that even exposure to violence is harmful to children, BUT, I clarified that access would only be a feasible solution if it could be ensured that the child would be safe AND if it was proven to be in his or her best interests. That is how most legislation in developed countries also looks at it. It isn’t an automatic NO to access. The judiciary looks at (or is supposed to, anyway) a wide variety of factors before access is granted. But again, it (meaning the decision to grant access) isn’t about the parent (i.e. the parent has no unqualified right to see his child), its about the child – the child has a right to know both its parents, qualified by the condition that spending time with them does not harm him or her. Many jurisdictions also create provisions where the abused parent does not need to come into contact with the abusive parent even if he gets access. I’m not saying access would be appropriate here, but rather that it will be a decision for a judge to make, taking into consideration all the relevant factors.

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        • As for the divorce, here in Canada, there is a minimum waiting period of one year before divorce is finalized, although one could apply for divorce on the ground of abuse, which is quite difficult to prove, and so most people end up just waiting for the one year. As such, I don’t know if a ‘quick’ divorce is possible in India, which may have its own law regarding time. But I agree that LW is being given a hard time unnecessarily. Why she is being forced into counselling when she clearly stated to the judge that she does not want to reconcile is beyond me. And frankly, this counsellor is full of BS – no child would ever be present during these sessions, especially considering the animosity between the parents. You really would not want to expose the child to that.

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      • Well, It seems you making this remark in ignorance of laws in India.

        Honorable Judge is bound by law to order for counselling and moreover you seem to have overlooked the fact that counselling was ordered for both parties involved.

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      • As far as I know she can still file an official complaint under the DV Act for physical and mental harassment.
        It will strengthen her case.
        However, most court appointed counsellors are indifferent and supremely uninterested in doing justice to their job.

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  3. Wow, prejudiced counsellor! Don’t let people intimidate you. They can’t make you live with him. Go to the counselling if u legally have to but stick to your guns. As far as the counsellor’s special sarcastic comments because you work, she seems to have missed that she is a working woman too!

    I would recommend against trying to negotiate with your husband. He might see it as an excuse to push you further for his demands. I think he needs to see that you are gone for good. Really only you can make the call as we don’t know him. Go through your lawyer so you’re safe from any games. Fem’s suggestion of offering a visitation schedule could work. Good luck!

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  4. LW has to go throuh so much trouble for the sessions? Really tough.Starting from home at 4AM,leaving kid,trying to reach home by 7pm,facing unprofessional counsellors….How many sessions until its all over? If husband is making the FIL attend and letting him interfere, then cant LW ask her lawyer to sit theough the sessions too? Cant the venue of the counselling be changed to someplace nearer,so that its more convenient to LW since she has a kid to deal with?
    My heart goes out to LW.
    Be brave dear.Godl6ck.

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  5. Funny is you still think on the lines of “counseling will work or not” instead of “this is just one more formality in order to get things done” which indicate you till think at the back of your heart there are possibilities which could work out though your mind remind you otherwise

    You legal husband and his family are trying to intimidate you, they have their vested interest and want maximum damage to you as everybody knows “a mother cant bear to get separated from her child” and in that exasperation you are prone to commit mistakes like talking to them directly etc.

    Moreover you have not written what your own counselor suggested so far. what was his/her attitude towards you and at the whole picture. Why did not s/he even allowed a third party to be in that space (during your dialogue with family counselor)??

    Your language should be on the lines like :
    “Ma’am I am ready to cooperate fully but what do you think think I should do if my younger kid who needs his mother at home with him”

    Anyway
    Good Luck, you have a tougher road ahead, hold your head high and straight.

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  6. she is a counselor, that does not mean that she can talk to people the way she wants….Can’t a new counselor be requested? I am not v sure of the laws and procedure, but if one decides that she/he does not want to continue in a relation siting domestic violence, do he/she have to go through this counseling? can they just opt out?

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  7. Is the mandatory for couple’s to have counselling before obtaining a divorce in India? Why was counselling ordered? Can you refuse counselling, on the grounds that counselling did not work before?

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  8. How did you get to this counselor? Please ask friends’ recommendations to find a good one. My friends’ parents were brought to the brink of fistfights by an awful counselor. Ever since then, life has been worse for them. You definitely want to go to a counselor who is able to listen to both of you and help you communicate.

    There are losers in every profession.

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  9. I don’t get it why didn’t you file for a divorce petition ?
    And how did the FIL get into the counselling session, this is appalling.
    You don’t owe these people anything.

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  16. My in laws they say they are practical but they don’t allow me to laugh they day girls don’t laugh, they say I cannot share jokes with my husband. Its so difficult to adjust with these orthodox people but still strongly believe they are practical and updated with genre. There are so many things that disturbs. What do you recommend sir. And I hope the identity remains confidential.

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