“I wish I was more sensible at the age of 22 before eloping and spoiling my life.”

Where would you begin understanding, questioning and challenging when,  

1. Not giving dowry needs to be explained,
2. Violence is not seen as non negotiable,
3. House arresting an adult is seen as an option,
4. Choice marriage is termed as ‘eloping’ (or ladkee ghar se bhaag gayee),
5. Choice marriages and divorce are both seen as bringing shame to the family,
6. Not wanting to live with in laws (only by women) is seen as selfish,
7. But when they live with the in laws, they are blamed for increasing expenses like electricity bills
8.They are expected to earn but not keep, invest, save or spend what they earn.
9.But parents of sons expect a share (or full control) in what the couple earns.

And most importantly, when
10. Caste is an issue for a daughter’s parents, not misogyny in the prospective groom’s family.

How common is this? 

Sharing an email. Bold emphasis mine.

* * *

Good afternoon IHM,

I am a 24 year old girl from India, currently living in the UK with my husband. Earlier last week I searched on Google about ‘Divorce in India’ and landed on your blog. From Last one week I have gone through each and every post written on state of Indian women in India, particularly the ones about daughter-in-laws.
When I was 18, I met my current husband. Like most other Indian parents my mom was very upset as my boyfriend was from different caste and discussed with my brother, maternal uncle and maternal grandfather. My phone was confiscated and was under house arrest for few weeks. I literally begged to let me marry my then boyfriend.
My boyfriends parents came to my house, but I was scared to take any stand. And then they (my current in-laws and husband) kept taunting me that I am incapable of taking any stand. And I must say I was totally blind in love or ignorant, I ignored most of the relationship No’s as recently mentioned by A Twenty Something on your blog.
After four months, I decided to elope and get married. My boyfriend’s father were fully involved in getting us married.  After wedding my husband was immediately sent back to the UK by his brother and father. Meanwhile my family proposed to get us married in the normal way to get society’s approval.
My family asked them about dowry demands and they kept saying no. Despite openly saying no my mother-in law had eye on getting loads of dowry, as she kept suggesting. But never said in front of my father-in-law. He also kept demanding a lohe- ka- tukda (car), but always in humor. As I felt guilty of eloping and getting married and was always against  dowry, I didn’t convey these to my mother. Also my husband seemed supportive of me.
My MIL expected me to do all the house chores, and kept taunting me, insulted my family on certain occasions. I decided to ignore, as everyone told me about her nature. During reception though my mother gave clothes to me and my husband, but nothing which can be termed dowry, as I married against their will. And my mother didn’t liked my in laws also, so she decided to keep that money for any future troubles in my life.
My husband came for two weeks for the receptions. He left and I lived with my in-laws for two more months. During which my MIL taunted me on everything from electricity bills to phone bills blaming me that everything increased since I came to live. I couldn’t watch TV as she watched her daily soaps from morning 9 to evening 5. I couldn’t use internet as that increased their bills. I couldn’t even fill Sudoku or crossword in the newspaper as it was my in laws right (or whatever). I couldn’t go out to meet my friends or invite them over. They were always grumpy. I wasn’t earning then and was busy sorting my passport and VISA.  My MIL taunted my SIL and me saying if she had married both her sons into her community she would have got loads of gold jewellery.
After coming to the UK I was unemployed for 6 months. My in laws have a rule of sons and DILs calling them everyday. Everyday they would ask him about my job (and never me) and kept telling him things like it might be difficult for him to manage alone etc. That never instigated my husband to fight with me. He was always supportive. I got a job. For six month he had complete control of my salary. My in laws always asked him about our financial details and taunted we are earning a lot. My FIL would convert that salary into INR but we were earning and spending it in GBP. My FIL also kept taunting my husband that he at that age has to work and sons are not able to take care, though no one asked him to do so.
Every time I went out and wanted to buy anything for myself my husband would say you spend too much. So after six months I decided I will keep my salary and transfer household expenses and part of joint savings to my husbands account. Though he initially denied and kept saying it will spoil the relationship, I was adamant because his parents have tortured me enough for money, I didn’t wanted to go through that again. He agreed though but may be he got bitter inside and divided savings as well.
When we went to India after a few months, when I was at my mother’s place and he bought land without informing me, on his mother’s name. He also told our financial arrangements to in laws who were upset and I was told that I should give all my salary to him and then he should give me pocket money to meet my expenses.
I was also given advice by my MIL that ‘aurat to dab k rehna chahiye‘ to which my FIL and husband agreed. When I asked my husband why he didn’t involve me in purchase of land he said, “You have divided our finances and made a dividing line in this relation. You shouldn’t be concerned where I spend this money and on whose name.”
I have always told him about my in laws humiliation towards me and my family. And my husband says he cannot say anything to them. After reading your blog I realised he is a Shravan Kumar, and scared to be termed JKG by his parents, who have that mentality.
There are numerous restrictions on the daughter-in laws like, no mehendi on any occasion, calling in-laws daily (otherwise they can go to the extent of insulting and abusing me and my family). Not wearing black and endless orthodox nonsense, not staying long with my mother, my family not doing enough to please in laws etc. My mother hates them so much that she doesn’t even want to talk to them despite living less than a mile away.
From last 3-4 months my relationship with my husband has only gone worse to the extent we both are thinking of Divorce. Despite of differences with my in-laws I never asked my husband to stay away from them or whatever.
I think my husband has got no stand on anything, can’t differentiate between right or wrong and will never take a stand for me even if his parents insult me. But will always be quick to ask me to stop talking to my family if they insult him. His reply on asking why his parents insult my family is when two families get in a relation thoda upar neeche hota hai (some highs and lows can happen). I asked what if yeh thoda neeche (the same lows)  was from my family’s end to which he obviously has no reply.
I am so over this relationship I regret my decision of getting married into this family and also thinking of divorce. My husband has been groomed to treat women like jutis and its deep seated. He sees his father as an ideal who is similar and has been controlling my MIL from many years. My MIL is a bitter and greedy woman and never had cordial relations with anybody except my husband.
I have shared everything with my mother and she supports me. She has always asked me to stay quiet where needed but stand by if something is wrong. I think I have brought shame to her and my family once by eloping. If I divorce than they will have to go through it again. I am also not sure if talking with husband will solve this as he is very rigid about understanding where his parents are wrong. Also he has been brought up with the same chauvinist mentality. I have started hating him for not being able to take a stand. He has never been violent towards me except for once where I made it quite clear if he beat me again I will leave him or call the police.
In your blog I have seen there are many other cases like me. I wish I was more sensible at the age of 22 before eloping and spoiling my life.

Another Confused Wife

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107 thoughts on ““I wish I was more sensible at the age of 22 before eloping and spoiling my life.”

  1. do u really wanna wait till he beats u up again ? I might sound rude but this is your clue to his attitude towards the wedding. and the love that u trusted in before eloping with him. If you think it will trouble your parents if u divorce him, this is be a one time thing. Imagine how much trouble happens to them when they see you in pain every single day.

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  2. You were 22.. You were young .. You made a mistake.. Forget about shame and all.. Pull your socks up and get going .. Get out of the dead relationship and move on with your life…

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  3. “My husband has been groomed to treat women like jutis and its deep seated. He sees his father as an ideal who is similar and has been controlling my MIL from many years. My MIL is a bitter and greedy woman and never had cordial relations with anybody except my husband.”

    There you have it, LW–a man brought up to treat women like jutis will most likely always do so. Unless a man brought up in such a conservative setting actively seeks to change (all the while giving up the privilege that conservatism allows him), then it’s never going to happen.

    I agree with simple girl above–you were really young and you made a mistake. No need to beat yourself up over it for the rest of your life. I say cut your losses and move on. I’m sure, regardless of how conservative and shame fearing your parents are, they’ll still want you to be happy with your life instead turning into a future version of your bitter/greedy MIL.

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  4. There are a few things I think you have not thought through in your bid for divorce.

    1) Do not make the mistake of thinking your parents have your best interests at heart. They just hate your husband and your in-laws and are thus, momentarily supporting you. They not only acted cruelly when they locked you up, but they also acted illegally. It was a criminal act, no more or less. Always keep that in mind and try not to take their help after divorce.

    2) You were young, You made a mistake. It’s okay. You can still say no and back out on your commitment. If you are not happy, don’t be burdened by any other consideration. There is no need to beat yourself up over it.

    3) For all the other stuff you complied with in your own home and in your in-laws’, accept that it was a mistake to have allowed them even one inch and move ahead with the realisation on how to handle people in future. Learn something from your mistake. In future, don’t allow anyone to tell you ANYTHING. Be your own boss.

    4) You have said you have a job. I advise you to do nothing to jeopardise it. You will find a cult within this blog that expects full rights for women without basic earning capacity. Don’t listen to them. Keep working, keep earning, and be realistic.

    5) Don’t allow anyone to tell you what to do with your life. It can be as simple as what to eat or what to wear for a particular occasion. Don’t do it if you don’t want to. Learn to put your foot down. You did quite well with the parting of finances, but it would never have come to that if you had been firm right from the beginning.

    6) Dowry is a crime. Use the fact to your advantage.

    7) It might help if you called yourself a woman instead of a girl. Calling adult women as girls is just one more way of infantilising them and controlling their rights.

    8) Do not feel guilty about eloping. If your parents were better parents, you would not have eloped. A young person needs guidance, not locking up and cruelty. Besides, it’s your right to choose whom you marry, even if it is a jerk. YOUR RIGHT. And now it is also your right to divorce if you find you have made the wrong choice. Again, YOUR RIGHT.

    9) You live in UK. They live in India. What do you think they can do if you don’t speak to them over the phone?! Stop talking to people who disrespect you. It’s simple, really. Stop visiting them. Stop talking about them to your husband. Just pretend they don’t exist in your life and keep doing what you want to do.

    10) Once an abuser, always an abuser. Leave immediately if he has hit you. There is nothing to stay for. It takes time to make the final decision, but as far as I am concerned, your relationship is already over the moment he raised his hand. ONCE IS ONE TIME TOO MANY.

    11) You are 24! You haven’t spoilt your life.

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    • Completely second this entire advice. To stress again, never put your career on the back-burner. Financial independence is never optional: All other choices in life appear only when you are able to sustain yourself through your earnings.

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    • “you will find a cult within this blog that expects full rights for women without basic earning capacity. Don’t listen to them”
      How are rights related to earning capacity? Sure, working/earning are important but those who don’t earn aren’t Second grade human beings!

      l understand that you’re blunt/direct in your statements but please don’t make demeaning statements about people you disagree with. It detracts from the conversation we’re presumably having.

      Of late there’s a popular viewpoint here that’s repeated endlessly. there’s a tendency to see things in black and white. Anyone who disagrees is attacked and put down. There’s less healthy debate and a strong “this is right” stand. All the while the predominant world view is urban, educated Indian (mostly living abroad). Life is not all or nothing. We Need to pick our battles sometimes. We need to compromise. Not everyone has a bold, extroverted, risk seeking nature. We cannot and should not alienate those who are conservative in thought or action. Those who are slow to change. those who are new to the ideas of equal society.

      Some comments are very damaging. They alienate those who need us the most. At this point I’ve gone from commenting several times on each post to once in several posts. I’m sure I’m not alone. I’m requesting you as a long time reader and commenter who loves this blog. Please preserve diversity of opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed. There’s a difference between saying ‘you can support yourself on your own terms if you’re financially independent’ and ‘women without basic earning capacity shouldn’t have access to full rights.’

        Kinda like the people who think those on government assistance should not have the right to vote or have children etc (this is in a North American context).

        Divorced and financially dependent women can be supported by the government of Canada if they’re incapable of earning enough to sustain themselves. Shouldn’t Indian women be allowed the same courtesy? I realize it’s a much poorer country, but saying only those with earning capacity should have access to ‘full rights’ (whatever those are) is so…I don’t know, more right wing than Ronald Reagan.

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        • And when did I say that women shouldn’t have access to full rights? I said that people expect women would be able to get all rights without earning, which hasn’t happened in, well, centuries. Why are they expecting it to happen now? I advised the LW to be realistic and not fall into the trap of sitting and expecting, but to take appropriate action to be in a position to fight for her rights.

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      • Well-said SB. This needed explicit stating. The majority of women who write in do not want to be trailblazers. For many, writing to IHM is probably the most defiant action they’ve ever taken.

        From what I’ve seen in real life, women even thinking of equal rights and respect in marriage is rare. I work with many highly educated women who would never dream of leaving a bad marriage.

        The women who read this blog and write to IHM are to be applauded, because they’ve realized that there IS a problem… even if they may not actively seek to solve the problem.

        Liked by 1 person

    • 9) You live in UK. They live in India. What do you think they can do if you don’t speak to them over the phone?

      Last time when we visited India, one day I couldn’t call my in-laws as I went out with my mother. Later when I called up, he said he wants to talk to my mother and then said to her ‘ Apko sansakaar dene chahaiye apni beti ko. Isko sikhaiye ki in-laws ki izzat kaise karte hain’ and all that. Seeing tears in my mother’s eyes I snatched phone and said-‘ If you have any complaints talk to me’, and he started yelling ‘ tu samajhti kya hai apne aapko…tu inti badi ho gai ki mujhse zubaan ladayegi etc.’ And my husband snatched the phone and said to me- ‘Papa se behes mat karo aur sorry bolo.’

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      • You don’t need to talk to them at all. Like, at all. And your parents don’t need to talk to them either. Simply refuse to engage even if they insult your parents. Your parents can actually take care of themselves – they have committed criminal acts, so they don’t lack courage. Alternatively, change your parents’ numbers and don’t give it to your in-laws. They will have to accept the situation at some point.

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      • You should’ve asked him to apologise right back. I would’ve. They shouldn’t be allowed to think that is acceptable behaviour! I call my parents and in-laws when I want to. I am an adult and no one will tell em how often I ‘should’ call them.

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    • Fem, I held back on giving a thumbs up just because of point 4. Everything else that you have written makes sense, except this ‘you will find a cult within this blog that expects full rights for women without basic earning capacity.’ This statement effectively says that unless you earn money, you should not expect full human rights. That in my book is anti-feminist and just grossly wrong.

      Basic human rights are not conditional upon a person’s financial earnings. They are the foundation of a compassionate and humanitarian society, which sadly is still a utopian dream in today’s world.

      Your statement also severely undermines the tremendous hard work, sweat and toil that stay-at-home wives/mothers put in on a daily basis to raise children, families and to bring stability to society. I read somewhere that if one were to estimate an annual salary for what a stay at home Mom does, that could EASILY be a 6 figure DOLLAR number, even by conservative estimates. Not valuing this contribution of women to society is demeaning to women. It is no different than patriarchal mindsets that try to suppress women’s voices because the women do not get paid monetarily for the work they do.

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      • Absolutely agree that basic human rights of autonomy should not and cannot depend on financial earning capacity. That road leads to slavery.

        I also think that realistically it is easier to claim your rights and fight for them if you have financial earning capacity or savings.

        I can’t speak for fem of course and don’t know if she meant the former or the latter.

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        • ‘I also think that realistically it is easier to claim your rights and fight for them if you have financial earning capacity or savings.’
          Agreed. The power of financial independence cannot be denied.

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        • That’s exactly what I did mean, Carvaka. It is the realistic approach to put yourself in a position to claim your rights. I never said that human rights are only meant for those who have money!

          I am sorry but I really find it disheartening that a section of the commenters here quite openly advocate women not earning and sit around waiting for rights to come their way. It simply has never worked like that. Why should it work now? Women’s financial emancipation (and that does NOT mean getting a substantial pocket money from hubby) is critical to women’s liberation.

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    • Excellent write-up from Fem. Wrt Point 4, it is indeed realistic and practical for women to earn, given the odds that are stacked against them. It gets easier to fight the various battles, to be taken seriously (unfortunately in this world, money is taken seriously, rather than fundamental rights). In principle, however, all people, regardless of their earnings, must have equal rights. I think Fem is pointing out the former, the harsh reality part. There is also the growing up/taking responsibility/being an adult part that is not encouraged in our culture. We have developed ‘learned helplessness’, having been over-protected and controlled throughout our upbringing. I suspect Fem is also referring to this.

      I do agree with others though (and have said this many many times) that compromise is okay, where completely breaking free is not possible. We want the woman’s life to get better. Whether it gets to a 5 or a 7 or 10 depends on her personal situation. But I’d rather help her move up to a 5 than get hung up 0 or 10 (all or nothing). Change takes time, and small steps forward must be encouraged.

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      • I agree completely. I’d say for a woman, not working is a choice that comes with a price.

        Also, both choices are not equivalent.
        It’s counterproductive to women to pretend that work done for money is equivalent to work performed at home.
        Exalt it all you want and attach to it marvellous hypothetical salaries(it’s the one thing both hardcore traditionalists and some feminists do in common), but the truth is that it will NEVER give you the same societal and economic power as paid work.

        You can either wait for the world to change tomorrow, or you can reach out and grab some power for yourself today.

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    • ” You will find a cult within this blog that expects full rights for women without basic earning capacity. ”

      You do realize that there are men who not only get full rights, but also exorbitantly unequal rights, without having basic earning capacity, right?

      It is easier, yes, to assert yourself if you have earning capacity. However (and I say this having read your subsequent comments as well), what you’ve basically said in this point is that a woman who is not earning should not be surprised, and even expect, that people should ill-treat her, and that when she is ill-treated in that manner, standing up for herself and asserting her human rights is futile, because she is not earning and therefore not powerful enough to make that assertion that she is a human being who doesn’t deserve ill-treatment.

      Do you think it’s right, or even okay, to gatekeep who deserves full rights and who doesn’t? Here’s a hint: if you’re a human being, you deserve full human rights, irrespective of what your earning capacity is. LW does not need to be a wage earner in order to not be mistreated in the way that she has been. And to say anything else is bad feminism. Period.

      And also–thank you for basically dismissing what is a legitimate critcism of feminism as a “cult”. Feminism for all women, unless you’re a person who doesn’t have a paycheck. So much for being inclusive.

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      • Read again. I said she has to be realistic and not fall into the trap of thinking that help will come her way. As others have pointed out, financial independence is necessary to obtain these rights. Nowhere have I said that women who don’t earn don’t deserve human rights – merely that it is not easy for them to fight for said basic rights. Please try not to jump down my throat merely for being realistic.

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        • You are very pragmatic Fem, and you have a point. However, should I stop respecting my hubby as he is unemployed ?

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        • Why ask me? It’s your relationship and your decision.

          If however, you decide to be nasty to him, then wouldn’t he find it easier to get out of the situation when he gets a job rather than now when he is unemployed? This wasn’t a critique of unemployed people, you know, so I won’t thank you for deliberately misunderstanding me.

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        • I did not ask you about why you mentioned dowry to be a crime. We all know it is a crime as per the Indian law. I asked you why it should be a crime at all.

          Indian law does not recognize marital rape as rape. So would you then say to husbands that ‘Marital rape is not a crime. Use the fact to your advantage’. Would you ???

          Now do you get my question ?

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        • Seriously, if you need to ask me this, why are you on a feminist page?

          If you do not consider that trading of human beings in the marriage market is against basic human rights, I don’t have much to say to you. It has been proven that both dowry and bride price, ironically two different systems as they could be, actively impinge on the rights of the women. I

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        • Fem,

          So does that imply that adult Indian brides (and even grooms) are no better than cattles who can do nothing except helplessly watch themselves being bought and sold ?

          Trading is possible only if a person allows himself or herself to be traded. Slaves used to be traded after being chained and whipped. Adult humans in today’s world cannot be enslaved and traded.

          How is it impossible to refuse the proposal of someone who demands dowry ? Or to leave someone who demands it after marriage ? That is my question.

          “Seriously, if you need to ask me this, why are you on a feminist page?”

          So you mean to say that someone who is not a feminist or has wrong views regarding social issues should not be visiting a feminist blog ? Isn’t it something like those who oppose Modi should leave India ?

          In fact, I think those who have patriarchal mindsets are the ones who need to visit and read (and should be engaged in debate) on such feminist blogs the most. How do you expect to change the patriarchal society without even allowing such people to access feminist views ?

          And when in a debate or discussion, anger, sarcasm and arrogance do not serve the purpose even if you are on the right side. I’m sure you will understand this later in life.

          I don’t know whether this comment will escape being edited or be published at all since my experience tells that IHM does not like to upset certain commentors here. But if it does get published, please reply to my questions without being upset that I come across as someone dipped in patriarchy. My only aim is to debate a topic.

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      • Well Anil, let’s see…I assume one of the reasons for your statement might be due to concern about false dowry cases.
        1) As per National Crime Records Bureau of India, there have been 41,797 dowry related deaths recorded from 2008 to 2012.
        2) In addition, there have been 470,593 charges of torture and cruelty logged against husband and in-laws during the same period. If we assume that only 10% of this is truly dowry related, that still means that there are an additional 47,000 instances of violence related to dowry.
        3) Apart from this, there were 32,044 SLL (Special & Local Laws) cases reported under the Dowry Prohibition Act. Even we give in to the bogey of false dowry cases and conservatively assume that only 50% of this is true, that still leaves 16,022 SLL dowry cases.
        4) So even conservatively speaking, this comes to more than 104,000 instances of deaths and violence because of dowry in just the last 5 years alone.

        I don’t know about you, but for most people, this kind of dowry-related violence and deaths (even after overcorrecting extensively for false cases) would be reason enough to consider dowry as a crime.

        Your other point might, of course, be about dowry vs alimony. I assume, in this instance, your argument might be that, if women can legally claim alimony and maintenance after a divorce, then why cannot men legally claim dowry at the time of marriage.

        I’m not a legal expert, but I personally feel equating alimony with dowry creates a dishonest, false equivalence.

        1) Alimony is applicable only after divorce. Given that the divorce rate was approximately 1% of marriages in 2008 (I couldn’t get the latest data) and the fact that dowry is demanded in at least 50% of marriages (if not much, much higher), equating alimony and dowry here seems to me to be extremely misleading
        2) Even with the single digit percentage of divorce, not all divorce results in substantial alimony for the wife. While there are definitely cases where you see the judge order alimony that is highly unfair to the husband, in a majority of cases, the judge usually orders the husband to pay 2% to 10% of his salary as alimony. You might feel that even this is too much, but it can hardly be called as widespread exploitation of the husband. I find it laughable to hear MRAs suggest that women marry simply in order to divorce their husband and enjoy alimony. If women do really do that, then the joke’s on them. The alimony they usually get is a pittance compared to what they would have earned had they been allowed to remain gainfully employed after marriage.
        3) Alimony is decided by the judge based on evidence of the relative earnings of the husband and wife. So there is a legal limit set by the judge beyond which the wife cannot demand alimony. Dowry, on the other hand, is subject only on the whims of the husband and his parents. It can be and is usually demanded on an ongoing basis depending on their sense of entitlement.
        4) Last but not the least, given that even in this day and age, most women lose their financial independence after marriage and are left financially destitute in the event of divorce, I believe there is still a strong case for alimony and maintenance. However, there is absolutely no justification for dowry except for greed and entitlement.

        Yes, there are women who misuse dowry laws and their alimony rights. To counter this, we can fight for
        1) Dowry and alimony laws becoming gender neutral. The laws need not be as one-sided as they are today
        2) Putting the burden of proof on the accuser instead of on the accused
        3) Strict punishment in cases where women have been proved to have filed false allegations of dowry or to have misused their alimony rights

        This might be a start to bringing back the laws on to an even keel. Saying that we should legalize dowry is, however, an extremely regressive step. Already India is the 4th worst country for women to live in. I think you are aiming for the 1st spot.

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        • Satish, you completely misunderstood my question.

          I am not referring to any true or false dowry cases. I’m simply asking the question why should dowry be a crime in the first place ? If it is given to the groom’s family by the bride’s family or even if it is given to the bride’s family by the groom’s family, how can it be a crime ?

          All the data you provided must be true. But ANY violence is a crime. Murdering a newly wed bride or burning her to kill her or beating her up are all crimes and should be punishable accordingly.

          Any violence should be and is illegal. But how can dowry be made illegal ? Unless you are assuming that giving or receiving a dowry is itself violent.

          Suppose I invite my colleagues for a party. And I expect them to bring gifts. They all turn up with gifts except one person who does not. I feel enraged and later beat him up for not bringing me a gift. So, should the act of giving and/or receiving gifts be made illegal ? No, but it should be me who should be punished for being violent. Do you get my point ?

          And after all, no one can be FORCED to give a dowry. The people giving dowry do so by their own free will. How can the government force the choice of people to give or receive gifts ? Or for that matter dowry ?

          If a groom’s family demands for dowry, the bride has simply to refuse or even break off the marriage. If the demand is made after marriage, she has the option of divorce. If she is hurt physically by the in-laws, that itself would be a crime. So why make dowry illegal ?

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        • @Sathish:

          My understanding is that dowry law is gender neutral already except for the fact that it does not apply to marriages solemnized under Mohammaden law which seems quite asymmetric.

          That said, when dowry is given to the bride’s family, (usually termed bride-price) the “transaction” ends right then. I do not believe there is even one single case of violence following a bride price demand in India. The bride price practice itself is apparently much more common than we imagine. (Many Thamizh movies do portray a greedy brother hoping to cash in on a sister’ bride price, like in the super-hit Karagaatakkaran).

          @Anil:

          Gifts without precondition are exempt. Yes. Dowry and bride-price survive on this very loophole in India. From my understanding, videographers of wedding videos are sometimes even asked to video the “I won’t accept all these unnecessary gifts” drama during the pre-wedding ceremonies just in case some disgruntled suitor launches a criminal accusation of dowry by noticing jewellery change hands (criminal cases can be launched by anybody, not just the victims, though the legal system in India is lax in this regard).

          Any gift demand as a precondition to a marriage is considered “Dowry” and is a criminal offense just like any advertisement that offers to buy slaves.

          -TSCI

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        • Sorry Anil. I did completely misunderstand your question….that’s 45 minutes of my life I’m not going to get back😦

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        • Satish,

          Well that happens when you don’t know the basis behind the discussion between two people before giving your views. I have done it too in the past, so please don’t blame yourself. If you get to read this comment, please consider that your views, though not in sync with the discussion that was taking place, did actually benefit people who read your comment. So your 45 minutes were rather well utilized.

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      • Exactly. Dowry should not be a crime at all. It is every husband’s prerogative to demand exorbitant sums of money simply because he agreed to marry a woman.

        How tremendously nice of him. How horrible on the part of the wife’s family to deny him this right. He’s agreed to marry your daughter. Now pay up already.

        While we are it at, let’s agree that rape should also not be a crime. “Boys make mistakes”, you know! Why deny them a little “fun”? What else are women for?

        Like

      • From a strictly logical perspective, I don’t believe asking for dowry should be illegal. A person can ask for the moon if they want. The other person has the right to say “no”.

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      • I see what you are saying here. In effect, “if someone demands dowry, do something personally. Why send them to jail for it? Can just break engagement/get divorce instead”.

        I think the point of declaring dowry as a crime was because it was linked to violence.
        In recent years, we have a Domestic Violence bill, under which you can prosecute for spousal abuse, including that related to dowry, so in that sense yes, perhaps the Anti- Dowry law is a bit overlapping and redundant.

        So if dowry related violence is addressed by the DV laws, it only leaves the act of ‘demanding dowry’ to be addressed. Do we want this to be a crime?

        Why asking for dowry should not be a crime-
        Dowry is a social problem, like adultery. Sending someone to jail because they asked for dowry seems a little high-handed, when you could just refuse to marry them. Of course if they were violent/abusive in any way, they could get sent to jail anyway, and punishment would be under different laws.

        Why asking for dowry should be a crime-
        A lot of Hindu civil problems have been legislated as criminal problems. In a way these laws are literally the only defence that women have against society, because often there is no one in their immediate society who will try and enforce equal rights for them.

        I think they are needed for the same reason nuclear weapons are needed- the point is to act as deterrence.
        Meanwhile, what we need to do is to reform the Hindu Marriage Act, and other laws related to Hindu Personal Law to make them fairer to both men and women.

        At some point, Hindu society will catch up to the laws and we can de-criminalise dowry demanding. More urgently we need to decriminalise adultery, and section 377.

        Like

  5. Divorce him, life is too short, you made a mistake, you were young. If he hit you even once, that’s it, game over. Definitely should have called the police, if he is in UK on a work visa that would be devastating and serves right for such chauvinist Indian men with no respect for women.

    On a general note, we should come up with a practical checklist to help detect such spineless JKG before marriage. They all act so sweet and deceptive beforehand as apparent from these emails.

    Like

  6. 1.As what Fem said, do not quit your job.
    2.Talk to your husband about how you are made to feel by him and his family and be frank with him that you would consider walking out of this relationship if this behaviour continues. If he is willing to give it a try (and so do you), then good. Bear in mind, the changes may be slow but steady.
    3.Otherwise, think about moving away from this relationship without jeopardising your job and sanity.
    4.Be independent. Don’t run to your parents and expect them to tell you what to do next.

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  7. Hey,
    As Fem suggested, do everything in your power to keep the job and even move forward in your career. Since you have contemplated on divorce already, and have partially made up your mind about it, just make the final decision and move forward.
    Some practical questions: Is your residency in UK dependent on your husband? Sort those things out silently before you break the news. Prepare your support system where you live, for example a place to live, a friend to count on etc..
    As Fem indicated, your parents might have different interests in helping you, but stick up for yourself.
    Since he does not really mind beating you up, before talking to him about the fact that you are leaving, tell a few people whom you trust. This is to run out and seek shelter, in case you need it.

    Like

    • Yes, my residency is dependent on my husband. He had slapped me once and I was shocked and hurt. He was guilty of doing that and said he will never do that again. I have also informed a friend about my current situation and she’ll be there if I need her.

      Like

      • I did exactly what shallotandginger suggested to you, I was in the same situation like you 3 years ago…Please let me know if I can help you in any way as I live in the UK too..

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      • Then the first thing to do is to speak discreetly to your employer and ask if they will sponsor you for a work permit. If they are not willing to, then you must accept that separating from your husband may well mean leaving the UK.

        In that case, make sure you can sort out a job in India or atleast accomodation in India (I would recommend staying with a friend in a metropolitan city) till you find another job.
        It may be wise to open an account in India and transfer some of your funds there as well.

        (I must admit I’m not sure what you are looking for here. I’m assuming you want to end the relationship and don’t know how/where to initiate a separation)

        Like

      • @Another Confused Wife,

        Please know you are not alone there are numerous women who go through same grind everyday but you are just you and most important person for you.

        DG has been in similar situation on dependent visa and abused. She’ll post more legal details below just start working on them without delay.

        Please understand “It is most dangerous time in a woman’s life when she decides to leave her abuser.” STAY SAFE. Telling one friend is not enough. Document your abuse with a non partisan person. Here is how you can do:

        http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/what-you-can-do/
        These are your rights:
        http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/your-rights-in-a-relationship/

        This is what happened:
        http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/how-abuse-begins/
        He hit you once and felt guilty, take it from us next time he’ll feel less guity and after third time he’ll not feel guilty at all. Why? Read this:
        http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/cycle-of-violence/

        You are on a dependent visa so by law you are not entitled to any public funds call this number National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247

        “If your relationship with a British citizen or someone settled in the UK has broken down because of domestic violence, you may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain (permission to stay in the UK permanently).

        The ‘no recourse to public funds’ policy is a general rule for most people who apply to come to the UK. The policy is based on the principle that people without a permanent right to remain in the UK should not have the same access to benefits as British citizens.

        This allows domestic violence victims to apply for indefinite leave to remain in their own right, if they have been victims of domestic violence during the first 2 years of that relationship.”

        To apply for this program there are many restrictions and limitations it is not easy. So stay calm take one step at a time. Make that call, it is confidential. Erase cookies from you computer every time you do a search related to this matter. If you want you can use pay phone to make this call.

        DG usually suggests couple’s counseling but it only depends on the other partner. So she suggests you attend some kind of counseling. There are more resources on GGTS. To prepare an exit plan and work out details contact DG.

        Peace,
        Desi Girl

        Liked by 1 person

        • DG is right. I know a girl who applied for an indefinite leave to remain because of her marriage breaking due to domestic violence. Email me at celestialrays at gmail dot com if you want the contact number of an agent to assist you with this.

          Like

        • DG, I want to give 7 thumbs-up to your reply! (I couldn’t find a thumbs-up sign unfortunately.. Guess I need to reload the page, but my internet is slow…)
          >> He hit you once and felt guilty, take it from us next time he’ll feel less guity and after third time he’ll not feel guilty at all.

          I can attest to this in a heartbeat!! Sooooo true!!
          That chap probably is already be thinking in his mind that he has been immeasurably generous to have lowered is dignity and stepped down sooo much to soo magnanimously promise not to hit a woman, and that she should be eternally indebted to him for that.
          (sorry for using too many words, but that’s how some thugs think… )

          I bet the second time he beats he will say “Because I promised not to beat you, you lost all your fear & became arrogant & acted like this. Henceforth I’ll never show any lenience to you ever” (The “acted like this” will be so frivolous – ex. delaying a response to his order by just a couple of minutes – that you would never have imagined that it would prompt him to beat you.. So basically, you won’t know when the second blow would fall)

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        • DG, hats off to you for helping out with valuable information. I had also reached out to you long ago as my sister was in an abusive relationship. I always admire the advice you give. Hugs to you DG.

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        • I have spoken to him several times now and he expects me to change my behavior and forget about the past. He thinks I should not stretch the matter but at no point accepts his or his family’s mistakes.
          He is not willing to go to a counselor as he says he is not comfortable discussing our private matters with an outsider. His behavior is changed from last few weeks but not on the aggressive side but is more quiet and caring. I don’t know how to decode the situation. Is that just a trap because he clearly says I ll have to adjust.

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        • @Another confused wife,

          ” I don’t know how to decode the situation. Is that just a trap because he clearly says I ll have to adjust.”

          Didn’t you read this? read it and you’ll be able to decode it. What does it mean “you’ll have to adjust?” Do as I say or else? Abusers are least motivated to seek counseling, it is only court mandate that gets them to therapy and then then there they pick up new tricks to abuse. http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/cycle-of-violence/

          This is lull before the storm. You will ask hundred times what is wrong how can you make him happy, feel better and the response will be no, nothing, or do as I say/adjust. You’ll try to fix one thing and something else will upset him and then there is will be a big blast and I am so sorry, and then silence and blast. There is no way to explain it to just wait and observe see how many times you can take it.

          And this is what is your choice:
          http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2010/07/03/desi-choices-or-else/

          We all live and learn and some wheels we can skip to reinvent but it is a choice we make.
          There are numerous resources on GGTS they are free for anyone to use.

          @Deepa,
          Thank you for your kind remembrance. How is your sister doing. Please drop me a line on GGTS or my email.

          Peace,
          Desi Girl

          Like

  8. Get that divorce and run before a baby complicates your life ! For the future, don’t even entertain in laws asking for your salary ,with future another husband create a joint spending account if you two stay separately otherwise keep your salary to yourself and chip in on need basis.
    For taunts,give back,……if your respect to elders is stopping you then start slow, and straight up ask them to stop taunting your parents,or you.
    Like a broken angry record, tell them to Stop.And then ignore them.Ignoring and not listening to hurtful taunts is very easy.Just ignore ,don’t be nice, just be consistent in your ignoring.Show them that taunting is not making any difference to your decisions.Hurtful abusive people lose their power then.
    Learn to say a loud and clear no. We women are not taught to say no by p as rents,society,other women,…..
    Be prepared for consequences which will follow divorce !

    Like

      • Certainly good to be prepared financially, for one. Stockpile your savings and don’t let your husband touch them, no matter how he tries to emotionally blackmail you.

        Like

    • >> For taunts,give back….. ask them to stop taunting your parents

      Noooooo!!! Better not to make any changes in external behavior. Unless LW is planning to stay back & “repair” her marriage – for which she will have to risk her life/limb – this is not needed at all!! And in fact, it can make things tougher for her.

      What is needed now, as far as I understand, is to prepare a safe cover to run into (which would involve getting an independant VISA or a job & place back in India if she prefers it that way.. etc. Whatever it is, it has to be confirmed & dependable).

      Focus must be building that shelter very silently, and till that is complete, she must NOT make things appear unusual (so far she didn’t give back, so continue the same.. nothing is going to be gained by that for now) & must not trigger off any sudden emergencies, which “giving back” or any other out-of-the-usual action would trigger.
      She is anyway leaving, and after that her in-laws are not going to matter to her at all. So, why try to give them training on how-to-treat-others??
      Asking them not to taunt can be done in the beginning, to try to amicably heal a relationship. She has already done that (She told her FIL “If you have any complaints talk to me [and don’t scold my parents]”) That didn’t change anything. Also, now it is evident that this relationship is beyond healing, so why try again to talk/assert yourself in this marriage which is anyway going to be trashed in a short while?
      Just my 2 cents..:)

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      • @ sara,
        The ‘training’ (as you put it) is not for just this situation ! BTW, we just know LW is ‘thinking’ about divorce, we don’t know how serious she is about it ,most LWs are writing to get feedback and get the drift of what others are thinking.
        Also, lessons learnt in one area of life are largely applicable in many many situations of life….that is if people remember the lessons even iin good times .

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        • Also,asking people stop doing rattling,taunting,or bad behaviour works,especially if one is firm and/or spells out the consequences. And, sometimes you pick battles,ignore, argue,let go,separate yourself from those ppl and situations,.……all these in various measures one has to do With others to survive if primary husband -wife is OK and working.
          But here Lw relationship with her husband is souring,..which she has to sort first.

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      • Dear Confused Wife,
        You should try and focus on building your future (on your own terms) now. Do not dwell in the past. You may have made mistakes but that does not mean you do not deserve a happy life in the future.
        It will be some trouble to make it on your own. But hang in there.
        Please try to gather info about changing the residency first and foremost. This is important because your job is based in the UK. As Fem pointed out, money brings you a confidence that you cannot otherwise have. That is the reality.
        But do not reveal your plan to your husband. I do not know him very well. But from what you have written here,
        (-the fact that he was bitter because you asked to split your bank accounts
        -did not stick up for you when his father was verbally abusing your mother or you.) I presume he is going to behave really childish and difficult. Even abusive.
        I hope you remain strong.

        Like

  9. Stop feeling guilty about choosing your partner (and as IHM emphasises, stop calling it elopement which has a negative ring to it) and insisting on marrying him when your family didnt support you! I wonder if your parents would have felt guilty if they had chosen a guy for you and he/his family turned out to be similar! So why should you feel you are bringing shame? You are 24, you have your life ahead of you – make sure you are financially independent whatever option you choose. Not sure if your husband deserves another chance given his track record but if you do decide to give this relationship one final shot, be firm and refuse to let him handle your salary (you are an adult with a regular job and no one can insist you live on ‘pocket money’) and do no take the taunts/insults from your MIL lying down. Wish you the best!

    Like

    • I’ve seen you around here recently and I have to say I’m so happy to see a man here. It’s not like we women need a man to “fight on our behalf” per se. But it just helps to know that there are men out there who don’t see these issues as “petty ladies problems”.

      Like

      • : ) Have been reading the letters and comments here for over a month (my wife is a regular reader and honestly it was curiosity that first brought me here :)) and it is one of the few sites around where almost all comments are intelligent and sensitive. Plus have strong feelings on these issues as I have a close family member who went through a nightmarish arranged-marriage before we helped her get out of it.

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        • Your wife is lucky to be married to a man like you. Very few Indian men take women’s suffering in marriage seriously.

          A typical Indian man reading the LW’s letter would have advised her to stop being so petty and try to “love” her husband more. As for the violence, most Indians would say, “Men have office problems which ladies just don’t understand. So what if he hits you, he does it out of love!”

          It’s nice to know men like you exist.

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  10. Another thing I forgot to add,……keep working, …..men are so powerful because they have money,property in their name.They seem to not face any social backlash because of that,I think…at least largely.
    Also, post divorce is going to be lonely battle,……most of your married women friends will avoid you like plague.Be prepared to be alone for some years at least till you make new social circle.

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  11. Reminds me of the climax scene of the Bollywood movie Akaash Vani. No mistake (as in mistake not crime) is so big that you will pay the consequence with your life.
    Personally I feel that you shouldn’t depend on your family too much in this phase. They were not perfect either. Whats the assurance that they wont force you to do something in future that you dont want to saying “we have always been there for you. We even helped you divorce at the risk of blackening our face in society. still you are being ungrateful and saying no?”
    Trust me you dont want to face this. You have a job. Please dot quit it. So you havent been in touch with your close friends. No worries. Get in touch with them again.
    So you made a mistake. We all do. And you are rectifying it by walking out of this toxic relationship. But your mistake is NOT a licence for others (including your family) to walk all over you.
    All the best and wishing you all happiness. Hugs, N.

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  12. For God’s sake please leave him. This is the perfect time. You are far too young to go through this BS. And NOBODY deserves this life. Any consequences of leaving him [for eg. society taunting and parents being insulted] are very small in comparison to what you would have to face if you spent all your life with him.

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  13. I will share a story which is very similar to yours…It happened with my best friend..She was a brilliant student in college.Got into a top IT company through campus selection and during her internship fell in love with a guy working in same company.They were frm diff community but her parents didnt hav an objection.They were just concerned about his career and they too didnt like his mother.
    He was only son n a Shravan kumar. She was also just 22 hence didnt think of this as a prob.After marriage everything was fine for few months…then his mother arrived to stay with them then the trouble started…taunting, emotional abuse, pretty much same situation like yours.
    Her hubby didnt support her at all.
    She had worked in UK for a yr before marriage. All her onsite salary was taken by her hubby….
    To cut the long story short one day he hit her…tht woke my frn.
    She took each n every houshold item which was bought by her salary which included pretty much everything…and shifted to a rented accomodation
    Her parents were supportive….she just broke off all ties with him…She said he has insulted me and my parents too….I hav lost all respect for him.How can I remain married to someone I dont respect?
    They eventually divorced….She moved ahead in her career, found a lovng guy who deserved her…She is very happy now.
    Dont waste ur precious youth on these people….U deserve happiness.They r just using u as a cash cow.Are you a single child ?
    Perhaps they had a plan to trap you since u will get inheritance from ur parents afterall.
    Keep ur money in ur control. Dont give a dime to them.

    Like

    • Your friend is lucky she met a loving man the second time around.

      When one is preparing to leave a marriage, it is best that one doesn’t harbor notions of being “rescued” by men in shining armour.

      If LW wishes to leave her marriage, she must do so fully accepting that no paragon of virtue is waiting around the corner.

      This is the hardest lesson my divorce taught me. I’d grown up reading Barbara Cartland novels and have a protective and nurturing father.

      Subconsciously, I kind of expected a man to “rescue” me and make my life complete. It took me many years to become my own Mr Darcy, my own knight in shining armour. To fully accept that I was whole, complete, all by myself.

      This is important for preparing to live alone post-divorce

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      • Bravo Biwo! “Subconsciously, I kind of expected a man to “rescue” me and make my life complete. It took me many years to become my own Mr Darcy, my own knight in shining armour. To fully accept that I was whole, complete, all by myself.”

        It took us years to understand that no knight in shining armor is going to rescue us. The sooner all girls realize this, the better.

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  14. Don’t cut off from parents as some people here seem to be saying,…you may not take their help too much but since they will be helping you now,.to come out of this relationship.try to rebuild relationship with parents. They thought your decision to marry this guy was wrong,… Like you they too have a right to their POV.
    If you can rebuild relationship with your parents,you might have support to rework your life.It always helps to have lot of support.

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    • To rebuild the relationship, the parents have to acknowledge that they made mistakes. If they haven’t done that, then it means they are not really interested in the welfare of the LW.

      They definitely have the right to their own opinions, but it is a crime to lock up another adult human being. They did not have the right to do that. It is actually quite a big deal, and not something that ought to be brushed under the carpet because they are currently offering support for their own ends.

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      • @fem,
        I don’t agree with you at all.The severity of one incident (locking
        her in the house ) I think we can’t judge.From the letter,even after that incident, LW is regularly in touch with her mother..
        she was 18,she knew the guy for only 4 months before eloping with that guy -most parents would be angry……I think it was knee jerk reaction hoping to stop her from taking a wrong step.

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      • Fem is right. The LW’s parents did what was in their own interest, not the LW’s interest. Going back to them will only complicate matters for her. She needs to be away from toxic influences and concentrate on how to navigate her future life.

        Like

    • >>Don’t cut off from parents
      I second this. In most cases, they will have atleast some soft spot somewhere in the corner of their heart for their child. Also, since you are earning & independent and are not a burden to them (mostly parents wouldn’t consider it a burden even if the daughter s not yet employed, but some might), they wouldn’t hurt you, and they’ll be helpful.. and that too when they see someone else beating their child, they’ll most definitely defend & help their child.

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      • Forgive me, but I think you are a little out of touch with reality. The LW has clearly mentioned that her parents actually denied her her basic rights because she was in love. They don’t seem very dependable at all. A lot of parents hurt their daughters, whether they mean to or not is a different thing. And many times, they have literally no idea what is good for the daughter or what would make her happy but force her into a specific course of action without her free consent. Blindly trusting parents because they are parents is not a good idea at all.

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        • In India fear of society is greater than the love people have for their daughters. This fear pushes parents to do things against their own will…like getting their daughter married again, in a hurry, to prevent their image from getting tarnished. Having an unmarried daughter at home is a matter of great shame. And people are uncomfortable answering nosy questions of nosy neighbors.

          I know an instance where a DIL used to be beaten by her MIL. Since the DIL was pregnant, she went to her biological home for her delivery, as per Indian customs. Everything was okay for sometime. But when neighbors saw that the woman was never going to back to her marital home even months after the kid was born, they started asking questions about her. The shame faced mother then started putting pressure on the son in law to take a separate house on rent so as to keep her daughter safe.

          So you see parents don’t do things in the best interest of their daughter. There are others factors that decide their behavior towards their daughter.

          Liked by 1 person

  15. Divorce-
    1. Visa issues for continuing work in the UK – this could cause you to lose your job, could force you back to India
    2. Your husband could blackmail you , so confide in a few friends and be ready to move out.
    3. Even though your mum is talking in support of you now, it is not advisable to depend on your parents post the breakup , so make sure you have enough funds to support yourself and make alternate arrangements for yourself – work and finances.
    4. Think before you take a decision, never regret those after! Good luck.

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  16. There was nothing wrong in what you did. Yes i would have given marriage some time, but that varies with each individual. You found out he didnt have a spine after you lived with him. so…
    Its hard to know a person fully before living with them. and sometimes even after .
    There is nothing to spoil, your life is your own, you made a mistake, realised it so move on.
    Things things and knowledge is not something we are born with, we learn and making mistakes is one learning path. dump him and live your life. nothing is spoilt

    remember nothing ventured nothing gained. he could have turned out to be your soul mate , he didnt so what. it was a 50-50 chance.

    the only issue i have in this is our take as a society to not let men and women, date, mingle and learn what a marriage should be like, what commitment, trust, friendship and love is. you are not to blame. change will happen hopefully before we emotionally stunt our youth. and hopefully the current few breed of greedy, controlling parents will die off ..🙂

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  17. If you don’t leave him now, you might find yourself writing another letter in a few years saying ‘I wish I was more sensible at 24 and had left him when I still could’. Regretting marrying this guy is not a reason to stay, it is a reason to leave! Don’t make the mistake of staying under social pressure.. this ‘society’ will do nothing next time he beats you or treats you like a ‘jutti’. Look after yourself.

    Kudos on getting your financial power back! You know what you have to do for your safety and peace. This situation is thoroughly abusive. Leave now. Stockpile your savings. Get employers to sponsor your visa (if your current ones don’t then find another job, I know many who have done this, completely do-able).

    Liked by 1 person

  18. People do not change easily or permanently! Its rare to find someone who does and your inlaws or husband do not fit the bill. You are only 24. If you want to leave, LEAVE NOW.
    Otherwise you will regret the rest of your life1

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  19. Dear letter writer,

    first of all, stop berating yourself for making your own choice. You were in love, your parents didn’t treat you like an adult and you made a mistake in getting married to the guy instead of taking it slow. That’s it. A mistake. Your life is neither ruined nor do you have to feel guilty and make amends to other people. The only one who really suffered from your mistake are you, so nobody has a right to call you a terrible daughter/ wife/ DIL. Forgive me for putting it so frankly, but your husband and in-laws got some extra cash thanks to you, as well as an unpaid maidservant. They certainly didn’t suffer with you around.

    Your parents might complain about “shame”, but really, let’s face it: did their lives change drastically? Were they pushed around and abused the way you were? Were they forced to sacrifice their comfort because of your marriage? No. They just have to deal with the fact that their daughter didn’t put up with their control freak behaviour. And yes, probably some sneers from the social circles they move in. Big deal! Don’t worry too much about them. Regard your marriage as an experience instead of a complete failure. Next time you will be smarter and firmer. You are smart already, seeing you realized you are being abused and try to change it. Kudos to you, some women never reach this point! Now trust in yourself, keep your job and plan for your future. All the best to you!

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  20. I don’t understand why to blame yourself that much. Pretty much the same situations happen even when parents choose to marry their daughters with someone of their choice. You chose your husband, you couldn’t speak for all his family members and it looks like your MIL is a problem and not only for you, but for SIL as well. Also
    your parents don’t like your in-laws, it means they are on your side, you don’t have to be ashamed. Just follow advices of people gave you here and get divorce. You don’t have children so you will be able to marry without any problem in some time again. Good luck

    Like

  21. I think you are still in a pretty good position to quit and start afresh here. Think of the countless women who are made to bear children and then are in this situation. Also, from what it sounds like I think your parents are supportive. And although you might have to go through countless “I told you so’s” etc, I guess its better than being in this sad sad relationship. Good thing is you are just 24 ! Most people these days don’t even get married till they are 30 ! So you have an entire life ahead of you and going by your past experiences you WILL make wiser choices now. All the best !!

    Like

  22. General Comment: I think it’s useful when people chronicle their stories. I hope that when they are done writing it, as it were, it helps them see for themselves, how things are. The very act of writing it down I think, is extremely courageous as it demonstrates that they accept a situation has gone awry. Denial is always the easier option!

    For this particular situation:
    – The concept of shame: The sooner you realize that your self-respect and peace of mind is more important than societal endorsement, the better. And if you feel ashamed, you will show it. Hold your head high: you made some choices, which didn’t work out. That’s it. People make mistakes. Accept it and move on. Don’t compound your emotional state by adding shame to the list of feelings.
    – Divorce. Prepare for it, financial and emotionally. Financially, keep your job and make a list of your resources. If possible, don’t take money from your parents or give up and stay at home. Personally, prepare mentally for rants, abuse and drama. Carry a pepper spray if you are feeling threatened (they are available at Health and Glow stores in India). Know that divorce in India can take a long time, depending on how cooperative your spouse is. The court also asks that you see a counselor, so you won’t be able to avoid meeting your ex- or his family. This will take a toll.
    – Do you have people outside of family, like cousins or good friends, who are your age, and will support you through this turmoil? Somebody trustworthy, who will put your interests ahead of theirs? If not, then contacting an NGO that helps distressed women, might also be a good idea. An informed perspective from a third-party would hopefully give you more courage.

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  23. It is not eloping at the age of 22 but it is very very common now a days even within arranged marriages and that to within same caste so ur decision is correct …do it ..go ahead for better life partner as u have no children now….no big issue…

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  24. i can relate to every word you have spoken.. my situation was exactly like yours.. more complicated coz the true nature of my husband and inlaws came forward when I was pregnant with my first child.. i tried to make things work since I was already pregnant yet I saw no commitment or willingness to change at my husband’s end and so I left home with just a couple of clothes and my child of 7 months and moved in with a relative who was supportive at the time… i lost all my money, my jewels and properties and belongings.. i only kept my job… my parents are helping me take care of my kid.. i havent applied for divorce coz it only seems like another money drain in India with no positives for the working women…
    please leave before your its too late..
    and yes, find yourself a job and a place to stay in India or UK before you let your husband or anyone even can guess it!

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    • You dont have to take my advice, but i’m giving it anyway ( old age my dear)
      You SHOULD get a divorce. a marriage in your case is a legal contract still hanging around you neck that you need to get rid off.
      You SHOULD get back your jewelry, property and belongings. Its yours and something you were given or bought.
      this is a repeated refrain i hear from many girls going thru this nowadays. you have good reasons to split, and move away but why dont you want whats yours. why not have a clean break. yes it’s painful and expensive ,but was moving away any easier?
      dont sell yourself short. would you earn and give your paycheck to someone else? no then why only this.
      if you dont want your property or jewels ,give it away, but do it on your terms maybe to a needy deserving person?

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  25. If you are really looking for an adivce, then first thing I must have to say you and your husband should first consult some relationship expert, talk to each other. You said you both loved each other once, so give it a last try talk to each other, and if things dont work out then think about divorce. And must have to say the last thing you should do is to consult feminists about your relationship problems, this blog is very feminism heavy. The so called feminists behave as some relationship experts when most of them are themselves loser in this area. There are so many judgemental comments here without even looking at the complete story, I mean without even hearing the side of her husband so many are passing judgements and judging him.

    Seriously, and I am sorry to say this but in your letter there are so many places where it seems like you are playing the constant victim card. Like I said, consult some professional counsellor, they can give better advices to both you and your husband, talk to each other and try to look from each other’s perspective, if there are mistakes from your side too admit it instead of listening to the feminists who just assume that a girl can never be wrong. If it is love like you said your marriage is, then I am sure it will difinitely enlighten you both and will show the correct path🙂

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    • Hmm, that sounds like something only a man would say. So you think she’s playing the victim card? Being physically and mentally abused and having no control over her paycheck doesn’t qualify her for “victim” status?

      What would? Being beaten up so badly she lands in hospital? Being killed in a fit of rage?

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      • Hi

        “Hmm, that sounds like something only a man would say”
        Yes I am a male.

        “So you think she’s playing the victim card?”
        Yes on many of her points it seems to me so.

        “Being physically and mentally abused and having no control over her paycheck doesn’t qualify her for “victim” status?”
        I agree with the ‘physical’ part, her husband shouldn’t have hit her. Rest- mental abuse, paycheck control etc. you cannot pass any judgement without hearing her husband’s side.

        “What would? Being beaten up so badly she lands in hospital? Being killed in a fit of rage?”
        Don’t you think you are taking it too far ? Her husband shouldn’t have hit her, I agree. But to assume such things on his part as if you know him all along without even hearing his side, its just dat typical misandric attitude.

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    • She is already on the correct path, thank you very much. Showing people where they get off with their patriarchal bullshit is the correctest path there ever could be.

      Like

  26. i just don’t know why in first place girls cannot see whom they are marrying? sorry to say but i’ve read many incidents on your blog in which women wrote that they fell in love with a man and after marriage realised what a shit he was. mind my language but i have to say this. i’m 19 and i can only feel sympathy for you. but i just don’t understand why people marry in first instant. next year my cousin is getting married and her in laws have demanded 8 lakh car and a 4 and half lakhs in hard cash. i feel really pissed off b’coz everyone is happy about it. and that boy only earns 18k rupees per month and is a clerk in pnb.

    seeing all this shit i’ve decided that i wont marry ever. b’coz boys tend to be nice when it’s only a timepass relationship but are same ******** assholes when it comes to marriage. i’ll be very happy pursuing my ug programme in law and then will move out of this ****** society and this country to live the kind of life i want. we indian girls and women prove ourselves to be spineless when we succumb to this ******* societal pressure. so go ahead and take divorce for your own good. and life that you can be proud of.
    at last i would say **** SOCIETY!!

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  27. Pingback: What Love Is Not, What It Is, and What It Feels Like | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  28. If marriage was not compulsory, I’m sure many romances would not lead to marriage, but would remain the way they should be….as companionships. What say folks?

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