And here is why women are so helpless in marriage issues and in their martial home.

Sharing an email. 

‘Is this love where you want to follow the society more than your children’s happiness?’

Hi IHM ,

I frequently visitor and replier on your post. Your posts have cleared my thought process a lot and seriously I think a lot on marriage. I have written a very long post.

I am not able to understand, why women are so helpless in marriage issues and in their martial home.

Sometimes I feel that seriously our parents love us or are we also a social responsibility to be completed? I am not a parent neither I am married so I cannot answer this question. But I am daughter and sometimes I really think that they are simply fulfilling their social responsibility.

In my family we are only two sisters and no brother. Never my parents tried for son. But their expectations are no different from us. My friend’s parents also think in similar ways.

Most of the parents educate their daughter because in their peer circle everybody is educating their daughters. Professionally unqualified daughter is a shame to them. They want us to do well in our careers. That’s it. Anything beyond this point is “tum hawa main udne lage ho, ladkyion ko jayda bolna nahi chahye, ladki ho ladki k tarah raho etc” (You have started flying in air. Girls should not talk too much. You are a girl, live like a girl.)

They want their daughter to be earning but not independent. They want the same thing which a parent who has not educated their daughter wants. They always want that we follow what we have been told on phone and no question should be asked. They will make all decisions- what we will do in future, when we will get married, to whom we will get married, the list goes on???

They will export you to another family. There also the same has to continue. They expect that you don’t reply back, never come back to them and be a good daughter. They are ready to cry in your pain if you have married as per their wish (this has been said by my parents and many of my friends parents).They will support you in case a martial problem and what is that support? That they will warn the groom/his family and send you back.

One of my friends is recently married and her husband started complaining within two days of marriage that I was not given watch in marriage, your brother doesn’t respect me, and marriage was so simple. Parents’ reply that this was not discussed during the marriage negotiations, why you are saying this thing. But nobody realizes what the girl is feeling right now. But parents have done their duty they married her, they are sad for her, they are helpless. Maybe one day they will fight with the guy and ask him to treat her properly job done. But how anyone can live with the person who doesn’t respect her and care her?

Another friend she is working was very close to guy from her college. They belonged to same city , so he use to accompany her and care for her during to and fro between college and city. Parents were aware of this and encouraged them to move together. This means that guy was nice and trustworthy. Now when the same guy went and asked parents about their marriage then they are saying that he is not trustworthy and he is a cheat. Isn’t it hypocrisy? Where is love for their daughter? Isn’t it using one person and insulting them when they have served their purpose? They want the daughter to go first way, marry their way, if she is unhappy then she is responsible for it as she is not able to adjust and forget her bf, they want her to laugh on her wedding even if she is feeling dying from inside. Is this parental love?

Another friend went ahead and had a court marriage. They are happy. She is continuing her job in another city and her husband is in another city. No demands from In-Law or husband. From day one she is living her life as she was living in PG. Still her parents are sad because she had an inter caste marriage. Where is love in this case? They are not happy seeing her happy? Isn’t all parental scarifies is a drama? Why they cannot say our daughter is happy, we are proud of her.

Coming to my situation, I too want to marry a person who is out of my community. He is well settled and loves me. I have met his parents and they have said yes without any drama. They encourage my bf to talk to my parents so that they can fix marriage. Now my parents want the same that is situation one. They don’t want to listen to anything. Is this love where you want to follow society more than your children happiness? And since I am living out of home city all the wrath have fallen on my sister. They have restricted her movement, don’t want her to pursue professional education otherwise she will also go out of hand. Is this the love and scarifies they always claim about?

I think its girls’ parent who have left them in such a helpless situation because this is the norm of society. Don’t they keep their daughter dependent so that she doesn’t start making her own decision? Can you tell me where is all this love everybody claim?

Thank You,

In Love

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36 thoughts on “And here is why women are so helpless in marriage issues and in their martial home.

  1. Hi LW,

    You seem to be spot on that there is absolutely no “love” when it comes to parents not letting their kids be independent adults. There is no sacrifice either, because they are following whatever is prescribed by the society for their own appeasement – to fit in, even to the point of them being so selfish as to not care about their own daughter’s happiness.

    I guess the only question for you is, when you know there is no love or concern for your well being when it comes to their objections for your marriage, should you even care about getting their consent? It is unfortunate that they are making your sister’s life harder. Hopefully, you can be her support system and help her become an independent adult like you.

    Like

  2. “Most of the parents educate their daughter because in their peer circle everybody is educating their daughters. Professionally unqualified daughter is a shame to them.”
    So, basically they are still doing what society wants. Hmm, this is why the reasons behind our actions count – we must change for the right reasons, otherwise, the change is futile.
    “They want their daughter to be earning but not independent.”
    Parents are educating them, yes, and “letting” them work, but we have some ways to go in seeing grown daughters as full-fledged adults (not that grown sons are seen as adults but that’s another post). And this is why we see so many earning Indian women still in conflict with in-laws for basic freedoms like wanting to go out.
    “They want the same thing which a parent who has not educated their daughter wants.”
    In Love, this never struck me until you said this – you have captured everything about raising Indian girls in this sentence.

    Like

  3. I thank God I came across this blog. This seems to be the only place where I meet like minded people who feel equally outraged and saddened by the current state of affairs.

    Like

  4. Yes, this is all so true. I have always always felt that it is the girl’s parents who are far more to blame than the boy’s. The boy’s family has everything in their favour – why in the world would they try to change it? In an ideal world things might be different but not in the world we live in. It’s up to the girl’s parents – educate her, never ever tell her that in your sasural you need to do so and so, give her a backbone, tell her that she is in no way inferior to anyone, be proud of her, let her make her own decisions, let her make mistakes and learn from them, but at the same time she should know that there is nothing so bad she can do that will make you stop loving her, make sure the guy she marries (and his family) bloody well deserve her, never believe that your daughter’s happiness is in her husband’s hands – it is her life – she is the only one who can make sure it’s happy, never ever be deferential to her husband or in-laws – treat them with respect and politeness but that’s it, never let her feel that you are at a lower standing because of her – because she is a girl. Make her so awesome and kickass that nobody can put her down. The rest will follow🙂

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  5. Dear Letter Writer,

    I fully agree with your views.

    Your parents belong to a different generation and they think and behave like the generations before theirs by force of centuries of habit. You cannot persuade them to think differently now.

    The generation after your generation is also going to think differently and the previous generation will have no control over them.

    Your generation is caught in between.

    You must decide for yourself which generation’s views you will follow.
    You must decide for yourself if you will allow yourself to be controlled by the previous generation or not, even though you have become an adult.

    If you wish to chart out your own course, you must equip yourself first and be economically independent.
    Otherwise you have no option but to fall in line.
    It is all in your hands.

    Regards
    GV

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    • Same thing my senior in college use to say. They take decision on what they have experienced.

      But the Whole point is that its never going to change until Women Parents respect them as human and believe in her happiness than their caste.

      My mother is today dying to provide DIL to same caste which use to tell her to produce a son.

      Regards
      Letter Writer

      Like

    • Good point GV.
      I think economic independence is a MUST for women in our generation.
      NEVER give it up, not even if the guy asking you to do it is Brad Pitt.

      And this also includes independence in all respects – learn to manage your life on your own.

      Like

  6. What you’re feeling is common to all women who pass through the “marriageable age”. We look up to our parents all our life and for the first time, we see that they’re human beings with their own flaws. They’re not the selfless beings we expect them to be and when their interests and our clash, Gasp! they want to pick their own self interest over ours.

    The question is not about who is right. The question is of conflicting value systems. Our generation has high expectations from marriage and trust me, in a country where “doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, doesn’t beat wife, doesn’t demand dowry after wedding” equals good husband, compatibility and love don’t even feature in the story! People won’t get it. And we have to learn to be ok with that.

    We’re so conditioned to believe the “Ja Simran Ja! Jee le apni zindagi” line from DDLJ that we feel any happiness that doesn’t include parental approval is “fake” or “shallow”. Is it really? That’s a choice only you can make.

    Why women should stop adjusting and fighting their own battles: http://www.simblybored.com/2014/12/our-own-battles/

    Liked by 6 people

      • But is it really about parents self interests?? Totally obvious of children’s mindsets,desires ?? I don’t think so,at least in not all cases !
        The selfish ones are those who do honour killings, manipulate and abuse other people’s daughters who become their dils !
        The ordinary modern parents are caught between generation s ,their mindsets and amount of pressures the society thrusts on parents’ of daughters !

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    • “We’re so conditioned to believe ….. that we feel any happiness that doesn’t include parental approval is “fake” or “shallow”. Is it really? That’s a choice only you can make.”
      So, so true. This is a conflict that almost every Indian child, daughter or son faces. Children first learn the concepts of ‘love’, ‘belonging’ and ‘trust’ from their parents. What to do when they grow up and realize that all along, the ‘love’ was only ‘control’, the ‘belonging’ was really ‘ownership’, and the ‘trust’ was contractual? It is the hardest thing anyone can do – walk away from our only source of security, turn our backs on the only ones we ever trusted. I understand we must do it to keep our own sanity. We must do it without too much anger or bitterness, again for our own sanity.

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      • Walk away from only source of security ? For what ?
        Shaky basis of romantic love before becoming your own person ?
        And why to shun parents for love when they have done everything for you ? Aren’t there any middle grounds ever ?
        Relationship with parents is primary which later affects all our future relationships ! At least that’s what I believe !
        Some people feel more guilt,some less,others none !!

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        • Thrown away to unknown family who is goody goody for few meeting is good. Security that u can never come out of abuse is good and will be sent back to abuser.

          Relationship with parents are primary thats why mails sent to this blog have discussed in detail about it. From your brain you know you are right but it becomes to unshackle the trust you have put in your primary relationship.

          Like

  7. Totally agree with you LW.
    In most middle class families parents are always telling children to listen to them and not get carried away “by the bad influences of your friends”. This refrain is used for arguments on all kinds of things ranging from clothes to what college you want to go to.
    But the sad, ugly truth is that it is often these very same parents who are the biggest victims of peer pressure – blindly valuing society’s opinion over that of the more important people of their life.

    What makes it harder for girls(and boys) to fight back is the continuous reinforcement of the idea that parents ARE always right,elders MUST be respected etc. This, along with a rabid discouragement of anyone who wants to do their own thing – start a business, live alone etc.

    My parents also pretended to be “liberal” in the beginning – “oh of course you can find your own person to get married to.” But when I finally revealed that I have no intention of getting married – love or arranged and also that I may not be heterosexual (the horror!), the usual time-honoured drama started,

    My way of dealing with this is with brute force – when my mom pointed out the advantages of getting married to a guy settled in the US, I asked her why she was so petty,greedy and asking me to commit green card fraud(in front of a bunch of relatives). When she said that my decision to not get married was making her sick and that she didnt want to live anymore, I quietly picked up the kitchen knife and offered to finish the job myself. When my dad tried to point out the advantages of an arranged marriage, I told him that the typical indian man (such as himself) only marries for sex and to get someone to do their household chores.

    If you’re very sure about the guy, I would say go ahead,get married , to hell with your parents.
    At any rate, DO NOT move back in with them in the future,they will most likely make your life miserable. Perhaps once you have the resources, you can help your sister out as well.
    Good luck.

    Like

  8. IHM,
    I noted a number of spelling mistakes in this letter beginning with “martial” instead of “marital” in your title. There are other grammatical and spelling errors too. The letter writer has a number of valid points to make but it is obvious that she does not have the same command over the English language that nearly all your regular commenters have.

    I have not minded this at all. Lack of profiency in English should not be a barrier and this forum should not be debarred to readers whose standards of English are not comparable to those of your regular commenters.

    I am sure that there are a number of readers of your blog, who may have excellent points to make, interesting experiences to relate and share but who might perhaps be over-awed by the excellent standard of English in this forum. They may therefore hesitate to share their stories with us because they are unable to write and express themself effectively in English.

    If they write in their native languages, they can possibly express themself better but they if they do so, they will also be limiting the number of responsive and articulate readers who can understand her particular native language and respond with constructive comments. They may also believe that you will not accept their posting if it is not written in English.

    Here is an offer that I am making with no strings attached.

    If a Hindi speaking reader of your blog, who can write well in Hindi posts his/her writing in Hindi, I am willng to translate it into good English if you send it to me. This will throw open this great and popular blog to a much wider circle of men and women willing to share their experiences.

    Any takers?
    Regards
    GV

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Its not about love ! Our educated modern parents flip once girls grow and become of ‘marriageable’ age ! Being girl’s parents is hard in India !
    They know there is dearth of good men,the more educated the girl the more challenge s she wil face in arranged marriage setup which is prominent in India !
    In your case,your parents will turn around once they lose the insecurity, and apprehension that society thrusts on girls’ parents !
    We live in a society which is male dominated !They know that romantic love alone is not enough for the women to be happy in marriages ! We deserve respect too !
    I think we need to give more credit to our parents ,things are vastly different than our grandparents generation !

    Like

    • “They know there is dearth of good men,the more educated the girl the more challenge s she wil face in arranged marriage setup which is prominent in India!”

      Oh boy have I experienced this first hand! I’ve actually had someone ask me (in an arranged marriage situation) if after I finish my PhD, I will earn more than him because he can’t handle that. Another who told me that he doesn’t want someone who will work 12 hours a day because he wants someone who is educated and works, but also someone who will take care of him, his parents and his future children. I had to ask my parents, why in the world after I’ve spent so many years of my life getting my PhD would I be the homemaker? If I wanted to be a homemaker, I would have chosen it before I did 10+ years of university. If I was fed up of it, I would make the conscious choice to be a homemaker, not because someone EXPECTS me to! And what do I hear from my parents? How their health is being affected my my non-married status, how everyone in India has “given up” on me….because I’m a gone case.

      “We live in a society which is male dominated !They know that romantic love alone is not enough for the women to be happy in marriages ! We deserve respect too !”

      This….all I want is an equal footing and an equal respect in a relationship. I refuse to be in a relationship that starts off with my parents labelled as “ladki wale”. The relationship is first between me and my spouse, then my parents and his parents. That’s it!

      (I apologize for the off topic comment here, but this really struck home)

      Liked by 1 person

  10. If parents insist on marriage, specially arranged marriage.. they better fulfill all demands of groom’s family untill the demands or expectations stop from the other side (which may be ‘never’). Anything else is cruel. They have no right to wash their hands off all reeti riwaz during & post wedding, in the name of unaffordability or any other excuse and let the daughter live with the consequences. They better be prepared to forever keep their heads bowed and do ladkewalon ki khatirdari for rest of their lives. If they are too proud to do that even for the sake of their daughter’s happiness then let their adult daughters decide on if/when/who she will marry. Anything else, and the daughter (sometimes sons too) can be forgiven for doubting their parents’ love for them.
    Not many may agree for using such harsh words for parents but then probably they haven’t gone through that experience and the rage one feels for being cheated like this specially when the girl is highly educated, has been told she is their son but as soon as her education is completed and reaches marriageable age they turn 180 deg & they start behaving as if the same person has become biggest burden on them and they can’t wait to get rid of it… their way!!
    Btw, off topic, why do parents of girls, to brag they dont differentiate between son & daughters or have no problems being parents of only daughters, say to their daughters & to the world that their daughters are their sons or they are like sons to them? What’s wrong in accepting a daughter as a daughter? Never heard it in a Western country where they actually treat them equal!

    Like

  11. U r so right! yes.. but the sad part is, this is true for boys also.. they are educated because they are retirement planning for parents. The reason boys are sent to school and girls dropped out if there is a financial issue is not greater love for boys. it is better retirement planning. and in a way, the girl gets her freedom when she walks out the door with her career or marriage, but on a boy, the burden of “parents” remains for his whole lifetime. If he doesn’t live with them, he is a “joru ka ghulam”. If he doesn’t bear their expenses, he is “cruel” (excuse me, did they tell him while educating him that they have done no retirement planning?) , If he doesn’t join the mother in criticising the wife, he is “sold out to her parents” .

    So, that “selfless parental love” that folks talk about.. I don’t believe in it at all. There is love in a family, for sure. But its not that Utopian selfless love that is written about in books. It is a love based on need. I truly believe that if we acknowledge the reality of that, we will all be a lot more free – parents, from the guilt of not “doing enough” for their children, and children, from being “budhaape ki laathi” in old age. Girls, from feeling that they are cattle being prepared for slaughter.

    So we live with the fact that our parents love us, but that love does not have to mean selflessness. They brought us into the world and therefore are responsible for giving us an education that should make us self reliant. But after that, we are on our own.

    Girls who depend on their parents to stand up for them – don’t. You are an adult. Fight those battles yourself and you will find a new respect in their eyes. And a hitherto unseen fear in the eyes of your in laws. Really. You are the person they should not be messing with.

    I don’t know if I have communicated well..

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Stop obsessing so much on what parents did. As a child, you may face mean parents, mean classmates, mean teachers. When you grow up, you may face a bad boss. Learn to take it on the chin. Be your own man/woman.

    Good luck.

    Like

    • It is always very easy to tell others to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, if you do not live their lives. Most women would ove ot let go, but if you have been brought up to be sweet gentle and to obey everything your parents tell you to- without much personal freedom, it is a little hard to suddenly begin to think for yourself.

      Yes, life is unfair and one has to learn how to live it. But if one is poorly equipped due to reasons of upbringing one cannot “learn to take it”

      Like

  13. I read something about this on a post on another website about arranged marriage experiences, one guy said that there was a woman wanting a degree qualified wife for her son, so he took her to meet a girl he knew that had one. When she met the girl, she asked if the girl was willing to stay home, the girl said no. The guy said “why did you not ask me you were looking for a girl to stay home in the first place? I know of someone!”. So he took her to meet another girl who had a 2 year diploma but was willing to stay at home. But the mom said, “You are not educated enough”. How ironic that the degree is only useful so the “educated” woman can raise “educated” children…who, if they are daughters, will also follow the same path, never using the degree for what it was meant for, only as a “proof” that they are educated and from a good family.

    theindianamericanfeminist.blogspot.com

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  14. Agree with each line of this post. It’s the girl’s parents who raise their daughter to align and conform with patriarchal expectations. The unnatural and unfair rules are drilled into them as ‘sanskaar’ (sometimes in a subtle manner) like the husband’s childhood house is her ‘real’ home, in laws particularly the MIL is the most important person in her life, without her approval her life will somehow collapse, you have to adjust and please each and every member of your husband’s family and then they will treat you well and ‘make you happy’, that a career and self reliance is not important ,its natural to be dependent on your husband etc etc.
    Moreover, they also expect their DIL to have the same idiotic ‘Sanskaars’. Its like a slave exchange is taking place..Give one and receive one in turn. If the DIL turns out to be independent ,they feel cheated like life has meted out a sour deal to them

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  17. I am a blessed girl to have supporting parents who give me all freedom and also insist on values that define a good lifestyle. Brought up in a joint family tradition, I ve seen what it takes to respect each other and still live happy. Following rules but keeping its spirit alive is what I am made to believe. Today I want to come back home ending the clueless struggle with my in laws family in which I repeatedly fail not knowing the real problem. I have no fights or arguments with them and align to everything they say as well, but I am still mistreated by all of them.
    And I am most welcome by mom for the reason that the value or spirit of my relationship is already lost. Because for a problem to be solved it must be let known. But, does the society we live in know what this means? Will it be an easy battle for my mom for she is already being questioned on my life plans post come back which is awful. So, I still resort to go back and keep trying until the end. That’s what my mom did years ago and I am contended with the fact I have great parents and a place to be back at least.

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