Response from the 25 yr old Software Engineer, ‘I cannot tell you how much better I feel after seeing my concerns/outrage echoed in everyone’s reactions.’

Response from the 25 yr old Software Engineer who wrote this email: My husband gives me the usual ‘you have not just married me, you have married my family..’ sermon

Dear Indian Homemaker,

 Thank you very much for publishing my email. I read the comments and found them very insightful. If it is possible I would like to have the following published as a reply to my earlier post.

First of all I want to thank everyone for their comments!!… I cannot tell you how much better I feel after seeing my concerns/outrage echoed in everyone’s reactions.

Yes, like a lot of you have mentioned previously my so called sweet spot is actually a very difficult one because I am getting the worst of both worlds i.e deal with the challenges of a modern working woman & be treated like a bahu of the 1950s.  (It looks like a mighty sweet deal for them though L )

And although I have let my DH go scott free in most of the drama and he has taken on the role of a silent spectator, he is a different personality with me and an entirely different one in front of his folks (From what I have read on these blogs this is not an isolated case).

If I were unhappy with him even when we were alone it would be an entirely different matter, but since the problems only occur when his family meddles I was hoping that getting distance from them will help us forge a strong bond … Besides I wasn’t realistically expecting to change years of upbringing immediately.

Some of you have raised questions about why on earth would an independent person agree to such a set up in the first place… Alas, to this I don’t have any easy answers…. I guess I in my naivete imagined that people living abroad for such a long time would have changed with the times as well….. And while I wasn’t expecting a bed of roses, I never thought that inherent freedoms like when I wake up/how I dress would ever be under scrutiny. I like some of the comments about asking the right questions before getting betrothed and I guess we need to create more awareness about this… Its too late for me now, all I want now is to try my best to not ruin my marriage especially not for people who given the laws governing mortality will not factor in the rest of our lives.

I am a non confrontational person and I have no desire to change my MIL/FIL. I think that time could be better spent doing more productive things. I think the best course is to insist on staying separately and see what happens next.

Again, thanks a million for the virtual hugs!!!!

Related Posts:

Response from the email writer accused of betraying her “parents, country and culture by not having an arranged marriage”

The Young Indian Woman’s response.

Remember the Anonymous Confused Wife?

“I had written an email about being a DIL in the joint family, I am happy to share my current state …”

Response and a Question from the Anonymous Indian Liberated Wife

16 thoughts on “Response from the 25 yr old Software Engineer, ‘I cannot tell you how much better I feel after seeing my concerns/outrage echoed in everyone’s reactions.’

  1. All the best. Good to know that you’re standing your ground.
    //I never thought that inherent freedoms like when I wake up/how I dress would ever be under scrutiny// This – It’s hard to understand why some people in our society simply refuse to see things which are so intuitive to us – like freedom and equality. But like you said, we can definitely create awareness about this so that girls are warned.
    I have one advice for you about your husband: If he is being mute and leaving you to deal with this non-sense by yourself, it’s fine. But he should understand that you’ll deal with it in a way which suits you (and he has no say in it) – you might disagree with/ ignore/ refuse to listen and stand your ground with your in-laws even if they think it’s ‘arrogant’/’disrespectful’. Your husband can’t come and speak on ‘their’ behalf to you – I hope you’re getting what I’m saying. If he’s being ‘mute’, he should be so on both the sides. He can’t complain to you and lecture ‘you’ to change for ‘them’, while he’s not supporting ‘you’ when they’re abusing you. It’s better if you communicate this to him clearly – If he can’t stand up for you, at least he shouldn’t disturb you by being a messenger for their demands.

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  2. I like the way you think & you’re absolutely right about creating awareness about the kind of questions to ask before getting married – I suppose this would work for both arranged & love marriages… (Dear IHM, could we have a post on this too?)
    I wish you luck & hope everything works out wonderfully from now on!🙂

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  3. “he is a different personality with me and an entirely different one in front of his folks (From what I have read on these blogs this is not an isolated case)”
    No it is not an isolated case. This is how most Indian men are, too intimidated by parents to be themselves.

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  4. @the LW–hope things work out for the best!

    I don’t know if this info will be useful to you but I grew up in the US and from my experiences, Indian (and other South Asian) families that have lived abroad for generations are far more orthodox than those in India (of the same educational and socio-economic background). I currently live in India with my husband (born and raised in India) and have noticed a massive difference.

    I feel like your husband’s family has really isolated themselves (do they even have friends who are not specifically from their own background?) and is now terrified of any change.

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  5. LW, You cannot change people, but you can definitely define your relationship with people. If someone is toxic to your marriage the way your in laws, limit your relationship with them. Always stay civil because you can never let someone else take away the good person in you, but remain firm. All the best!

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  6. Good luck🙂 Good fences make good neighbors (with family too). Stay separate and you will learn to love each other. I have seen this in my family – everyone goes nuclear after marriage and I have seen a tremendous amount of respect among my parents for my grandparents growing up.
    Stick to your guns about staying separate – something tells me that this is just initial unrest, and once they see that your foot is down, they will back off! It’s like training children or dogs (don’t be offended by the dog analogy- i have more respect for them than for humans and three years of training and rescue work experience) – they will try to push the limits until you say a firm “NO”.

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  7. The things I miss on this blog when I’m busy trying to keep afloat in school. Well, there isn’t much left for me to say that probably hasn’t been covered already. I wish you the best of luck, and I hope that in all the advice you got, that you found something that resonated with you that you can truly put into practice in your life.🙂

    I’m only going to post this little bit here, because there are a lot of comments on that post and I don’t want this to get lost in that. After reading that your MIL didn’t go past the fifth standard in schooling, I have to say, in some ways, I pity her. I know that this doesn’t excuse her behaviour in any way, shape or form, but it explains it in some cases. This is a woman who has probably been yanked around by the whims and fancies of other people for so long. It was only a couple decades ago that she was in the same, relatively powerless position that you’re in now. I think, in her mind, she rationalizes her controlling nature as something that is her “right”, because this is probably the first time in her life that she has been given any sort of control over anything at all. I’m not saying that you should go along with her demands, because we all know that she’s being outrageous. However, I don’t think that a little sympathy, and maybe trying to talk to her about these things would go amiss either. It might work, it might not, but it’s worth a shot.

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  8. Pingback: My story is not an extreme case of abuse or discrimination unlike some stories shared on your blog, but it makes me deeply angry and resentful nonetheless. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  9. Pingback: “My story is not an extreme case of abuse or discrimination unlike some stories shared on your blog, but it makes me deeply angry and resentful nonetheless.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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