“When my first pay check came, my MIL made a huge drama about how I am not informing them about my finances…”

One reason why education for girl children became acceptable in traditional Indian families is that having an income improved a paraya dhan’s marriage prospects – because like Prem’s family in Dum laga ke haisha, many Indian families started believing that dulhan ji dahej hai (The bride is the dowry).

If a daughter’s self reliance was the goal then Indian women would not be prevented from choosing careers that might make it difficult for them to serve the in laws and spouse, and they would not be pressurised to stop working if the in laws wanted that. And they would be encouraged to save and invest. And they would not be forced to go back and adjust when they are unhappy.

But the idea that the in laws own whatever the daughter in law earns is only an indication of the general sense of entitlement that the ladke wale have. She is expected to have been raised to accept complete control, sometimes including her relationship with her husband, and generally what she eats, drinks, when she sleeps or wakes up, what she wears, and even whether or not she needs to see a doctor.

Sharing an email.  

Hi!

Let me start with my story… I want a guidance and direction.

I have been married for more than a year and it was an arranged marriage. I was staying with my husband FIL, MIL and younger SIL. After two days of the wedding my MIL told me that they were facing a lot of financial problems.

Before marriage I was told that my FIL lost his job and then my MIL had taken care of the family by picking a job. Slowly I learned that the job she was referring to was that of a Maid. (I do not have any problems with any kind of jobs but it was shocking to me as a completely different picture had been portrayed to me).

I also came to know about the Loan which was taken up by my husband and family, they have a habit of taking loans very often. The property they showed as theirs was in the name of my FIL’s sister (FIL and his sister do not get along).

I was very naïve and accepted it as my fortune and offered all the support to the family. I joined back to work immediately. My husband was giving all his salary to his mom who runs the house. She made it very clear that the family has no savings and the salary earned by my husband is spent completely. I decided that I will put my salary in savings for our future which was also agreed by my husband. When my first pay check (after marriage) came, my MIL made a huge drama about how I am not informing them about my finances and only speaking to my husband!! She also cried and banged her head saying she is so helpless because her husband never earned and her DIL is not giving her a respect.

I am earning about 20K and she straightaway asked me to give about 10K to her for every month. My husband also told me to do so and I agreed.

One day she asked me how much I was saving because she wanted some more money for a festival and when I told her that it was in a fixed policy she made an even bigger drama. [Reminded me of – An email from a Mother in law.]

My SIL is suffering form seizures and she is a college drop out. My MIL  has never allowed my Husband or his Sister to take any decisions on their own. My FIL lives in a shell (He is treated worst than a dog by SIL and MIL). Both MIL and SIL have anger issues and they get into a fit of rage whenever something does not go as per their wishes. MIL is also very manipulative and is full of cheap talks. My husband is typical momma’s boy, who has never seen the outside world. He has no guts and he has always been reminded of how his mom has raised him with so many difficulties.

I have always been a positive girl who truly believes that happiness and peace are the most important things in the life and I could not find both in their house.

My MIL did not allow me to cook or do any work on my own, I can do something only when she orders. E.g. If I start washing dishes in the morning then she will tell me to stop that as she has some other work scheduled in the kitchen at that time. But on other days, she will shout at me and will ask me to wash vessels at the same time every morning.

She has always accused me of various things: That I have separated her son from her; that I complain about them to my husband and demand for a separate house; that I lie to her; that I don’t share anything with her about my family; whenever I used to be late from office she questions me about my whereabouts; and I had seen my FIL following me in the morning time as well as hiding behind a bus-stop, to follow me coming back home in the evening time.

I was really tired of all the accusations, lies and me living like a paying guest in their house. All my stuff was always checked in my absence, I was not allowed to keep my cell phone with me once I was home and it was checked daily by my MIL.

I did not talk much to my husband as well, because whenever I have told him something innocently he has told it to his mom and she has twisted it and used it against me. She believes that the whole world is against her and it revolves around herself and her daughter. Even if someone laughs within a half kilometre radius of her, she is sure that they are laughing at her or her daughter or her son.

Finally I decided I have had enough and left the house. I came back to my parents’ place. My father spoke to her… she said sorry… my father said that he will send me back. I pleaded but he did not listen. I left the next day for office and searched for a new accommodation, my father called me back saying he won’t send me back. Now it has been two months since I am at my parents’ place. My uncles and father are now forcing me to go back. They are using every manipulation and emotional blackmailing. They are saying that if I don’t go back then I will be blamed and it will bring shame to the their family.

I am really scared to go back and I can not live in their house. My father is only worried about his social status. I would rather live alone than live in that hell.

Related Posts:

Only when raising ideal daughters in law is not their goal, would Indian parents be able enjoy having and bringing up girl children.

Some basic questions on joint family finances and daughters in law.

An email. Aren’t the sons supposed to have their own family lives?

Reply from the Indian mother in law.

A daughter in law’s legal rights in her in law’s house are the same as her husband’s rights. Whatever is his, is hers.

“Now I just think of marriage as contract to go serve some stranger family. He made it clear that I could have ended in a much worse situation.”

Should women be given a share in residential property of the husband, including inherited and inheritable property?

When a newly married Indian woman gives up her career, what else does she give up?

Should couples’ assets be treated as joint property?

Unmana – On women and financial freedom.

Richa – Lady let the man handle your finances.

Were Indian Women Better Off As Homemakers?

Never! I don’t want his money! 

– Preethi  (Women’s Web)

Cabinet clears bill: Equal rights in Marital property, Easier divorce.

“My wife often rakes up property issues, or rues the expenses on my father’s ill-health.”

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

Daughter-in-law should not be treated as domestic help, says Supreme Court

An email: “indian daughter in-law is servant?”

“I will never live in a joint family, it has its roots in patriarchy and benefits only men.”

Dulhan hi dahej hai

79 thoughts on ““When my first pay check came, my MIL made a huge drama about how I am not informing them about my finances…”

  1. Though I haven’t watched Dum Laga ke Haisha but what I have heard from people feels like you should take a cue and execute it. Sone ka anda dene wali murgi ya doodharoo gaye?

    Why is it that it is men who have problem with a married daughter or sister coming home and not the mother and sisters? In a post I mentioned a friend’s father would have preferred her dead than come home when her husband abandoned her. My own dad said, “you are married you should be recovering in your sasural. You made your bed (it was a love marriage) you should lie in it.” It was my mother who put her foot and said, “she made a mistake that doesn’t mean she has to die for it.”

    Men no matter how they are related to you are basically a band of brothers their loyalty lies with their gender not you, a woman. They preserve and ruin each other’s honor women are just pawns in their honor game.

    Desis are so scared of ilzaam (blame) they’ll do anything to prevent it rather read it they’ll do anything to take responsibility for their actions. You girl stay strong.

    Here are few resources you’ll find useful. Read carefully to learn what is being done to you.
    Stay strong, where ever you are contact the local NGO that works with women if you know none so go to family court in your city and get the list. Talk to them about your situation. The needs to be recorded for your safety. Tell them what your dad and uncles are up to.
    Please know, when a woman decides to leave her abuser(s) that is the most dangerous time as the abuser(s) feel they are losing control on her. You are out rightly challenging your father’s authority according to him and he can feel he has a legitimate right to set you straight by physically hitting you. DO NOT FORGET THIS POSSIBILITY. It has happened and continues to happen.

    Emotional Blackmail
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2009/10/16/emotional-blackmail/
    Emotional Abuse
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/emotional-abuse/
    Abused: What you can do
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/what-you-can-do/
    Your Rights in a Relationship
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/your-rights-in-a-relationship/
    Assertiveness: Learn to Say No
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/assertiveness-learn-to-say-no/
    Desi in-Laws Waging a Psychological Warfare Against Bahus
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2009/11/28/desi-in-laws-wedging-a-psychological-warfare-against-bahus/
    Desi Parenting: Raising Devoted Sons
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/desi-parenting-raising-devoted-sons/
    Desi Sons: Victims of Their Mothers
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/desi-sons-victims-of-their-mothers/
    Desi Sisters: Nemesis of Brothers
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/desi-sisters-nemesis-of-brothers/
    Desi Women’s Friendships: Explore the Dynamics
    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/633/

    You have lots of support here and lots of information. Stay strong.
    Peace,
    Desi Girl

    Like

  2. No Indian woman will be surprised upon reading your story, but we will all feel extremely disappointed at the state of affairs in our households. Emotional bullying, verbal and non-verbal abuse, passive aggressive behaviour is a norm and is very acceptable in our society. That’s how we treat everyone! The only time we don’t treat others like that is when we’re dealing with those above us in the food chain – our boss, our parents, our brothers, our relatives and of course our husband. The first step is to recognise this abuse because that in itself is a huge challenge when such abuse is veiled under tradition, culture, society norms etc. And you have recognised it. It is not right and it does not feel right.
    Do what your heart says and do what you’ll look back and be proud of. Your husband will not miraculously grow a spine and your MIL will not miraculously develop a conscience. It won’t happen because they have no motivation to make it happen.
    Your life, your choice. It’s a hard choice because neither alternative is better than the other. But in making these hard choices we find ourselves, we find our own values, we find what we’re willing to give up for the values we stand behind. It’s a hard choice but it is the right choice for you.
    Good luck to you. Stand tall and stay proud.

    Like

    • //It’s a hard choice because neither alternative is better than the other…//

      I think going through abuse, remaining dependent, handing over her hard earned money to someone who has no value for her happiness and has no respect for her, living a life where there is very little chance of finding joy – and this for people who are clearly not even honest or caring – that is the saddest and the hardest choice.

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      • Absolutely. It’s unfortunate but true. Because a life outside the current setup can be equally challenging and difficult and that thought wavers one’s judgement and we continue to rationalize others bad behaviour and put up with atrocities. And that makes an obvious choice a hard choice.

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  3. I just want to tell you one thing…you get to live this life only once….and you deserve to be happy….society, parents, husband, in laws etc comes second…what do you want? You can’t live with those joker….move on…it might be hard at first, but I am sure you will find a way….Don’t submit to emotional abuse, cause it won’t stop at just that…..God bless

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Dear LW, I support you. If I were you, I would have done exactly what you did. Your family (post-marriage) is not your family in actual terms. They are not your well-wishers, they do not love you. They need you, each one for their own goals and agenda and interests. You will be better off alone indeed. Stay strong and stay focused. Love yourself even more for the strength within. I don’t think any of us here is surprised to know about what all happened. I am sure most of us have seen or gone through something like this at some level or the other. We all identify with you. We all would like to see you follow your own path that is far, far, away from a life within such a family. I speak for the community here, I hope that is okay. You already know what you want. We can give you no more than our spirit and our support, but of that, you have it entirely.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If your parents are forcing, please move out.
    Earning 20k, you can sustain yourself.
    Stop giving any money to your in-laws.
    Decide whether you want to continue your relationship with your husband –
    if no – speak to a lawyer and get things sorted,
    if yes, move out, live separately, if possible far off from your in laws.
    If you need to support your in laws financially then check both your income and decide accordingly and together…

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  6. //She is expected to have been raised to accept complete control, sometimes including her relationship with her husband, and generally what she eats, drinks, when she sleeps or wakes up, what she wears, and even whether or not she needs to see a doctor.//
    Check, every single one of them. Sometimes I marvel how I managed to reach where I am.

    Like

  7. First and foremost its not your responsibility to maintain peace and harmony in home. It should be joint effort. So come out of the guilt that you are responsible for the mess.

    Second: Never give your salary ,saving or any money to other. I have seen women in my family learning this lesson very hard. Parents or husband will cajole you in handing over the money but don’t fall in trap ever.

    Third: Is it possible for you to live independently and safely then please move out. If not then persuade your mother for support or threaten them with suicide or physical limb loss. It will not be long term but it will buy you sometime so that you can get a new job at new place.

    Fourth: Try to be clam and strong. Don’t move back to In-Laws because if you go back to them they will know that you can be brought back.

    In case if you are really feed up then try for divorce there is no point to be associated with people with whom you don’t want to live.

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  8. U have already done the right thing by moving out from the toxic environment. Families can find it very tough to understand ur situation. It seems like ur relationship with ur own family is dependent on ur relationship with ur sasural, but with time it gets better. I think they are under tremendous stress too , cos they are genuinely worried and scared for u and they have the additional responsibility of “setting right ur life”. WIth time they understand in their own way. My parents did too and although they havent completely processed and accepted my broken marriage, we are in a better place now. It is tough no doubt but give it time.
    Good Luck to you🙂

    Regards,
    Danita.

    The New Indian Dahej (Dowry) : Bahu with a Big Fat Paycheck
    http://balckwhitegrey.blogspot.in/2013/07/the-new-indian-dahej-dowry-bahu-with.html

    Like

    • She moved out of one toxic environment and into another. Her parents house isnt any more of a healthy environment than her inlaws. On this blog a woman’s inlaws are the scapegoat for all the patriarchy in India.

      Women will post emails about the horrible inlaws and usually her own parents dont sound any better but its always the inlaws fault.

      It starts in a woman’s home where she is raised to be timid and submissive. But in India people have this blind love and devotion to their parents even if they are awful. I just don’t get. My mom loves her parents who are awful and don’t give a shit about her or her sisters just the brother. They manipulate and use the daughters including my mother and they all still love them and wont say a word against them. My grandmother’s father was a alcoholic who beat her and she wont hear a bad word against him and says he was a great man.

      I’m not married so I don’t have any cruel inlaws but I do not have a great relationship with my parents. They have done things that I can never forgive them for. They were not supportive and did not have my best interests and happiness at heart. They were very controlling and suffocating and did some very horrible things to me.

      Women in India think that if their parents didn’t abort them and gave them an education parents that means they were so liberal and loved them very much and ignore everything else. What about all the little things that add up and negatively effect your life. For example,
      1. Little girls expected to help around the house and do chores while their brothers sit and play video games and have food brought to them
      2. Boys are allowed to roam outside at all hours unquestioned while women are practically prisoners in the home. I remember being a teenager and how everything would result in a huge fight when I wanted to do normal things like go to school dances, the movies, the mall with friends while my brother was free to go as he pleased
      3.Parents that control how you dress- My own father called me a whore once for what I wore
      4. I’ve heard about women in India who work and hand over their entire pay cheque to their parents

      It starts in the home where parents control what their daughter wears, where she goes, how her money is spent, every aspect of her life etc and then this control continues in the inlaws house.

      Anyways that was a really long reply but what I’m trying to say is her parent’s house is also a really toxic place to be right now. They don’t seem supportive and don’t have her best interests at heart.

      Liked by 8 people

      • “But in India people have this blind love and devotion to their parents even if they are awful.”
        It has never fail to astound me, this blind love for parents who are awful. The letter writer needs to move away from her parents too.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Move where? Prove everyone right that a woman with her own money is a family breaker? The slogan will be She broke her marriage and now she is even braking her parents’ home. There is so much bad rep against working women and women who demand basic rights and dignity that the gate keepers of society make sure she is demonized and isolated so that no other woman can follow the suit.
          I was just laughing with another friend, “an alcoholic and womanizer father becomes great once dead.” Oh, we don’t talk bad about the dead.
          We desis see things in black and white while we live all our lives in grey…
          https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/a-desi-dad-human-to-the-core/
          Peace,
          Desi Girl

          Like

      • When I began reading your comment, I gritted my teeth because I thought you were yet another angry male who blamed feminism for everything.

        As I read on, I realised that you had articulated something that I often wonder about, which is women’s willingness to put up with disrespectful behaviour from people who “love” them.

        Most Indian parents have very conditional love for their children. It’s not the kind that one sees in Queen. Indian Daughters are never raised as children, they are raised as “paraya dhan”.

        How can you love somebody when you don’t consider them your own? Since parents cannot expect much from daughters, they invest less love and emotion in them. Consequently, most Indian women have sever self-esteem issues, are hungry for love and cannot differentiate between love and manipulation.

        Thanks for writing that comment. Hugs!🙂

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        • I was trying to understand what you meant by that so I reread my reply. The first 2 paragraphs totally seemed like i was some angry man and you totally must have thought i was going to be going in a completely different direction with that comment. It made me laugh. Trust me I am as hardcore a feminist as the come.

          But it totally supports my point. Women see their inlaws as the enemy never their own parents who are just as awful. You were suprised when you realized I was a actually a woman bashing my own parents.

          Its pretty much considered blasphamey in India to bash your own parents. How dare I right? I must be an ungrateful bitch after everything my parents and have done for. Thats how the conversation goes when talking about children estranged from their parents in India. The parents could never be in the wrong.

          Im not married so I dont have any experience there. But women on this blog really focus on the sexism from their inlaws. And Im not denying thats a real problem that many women face. I would never want to dismass any woman’s struggle. But i wish we could examine the sexism we have faced from our own parents. No matter how wonderful they may have been i doubt that they you all didnt experience any sexism whatsoever.

          But its much more difficult to examine the sexism in your own home and from your own parents.
          Because you might hace to acknowlege that their love for you wasnt pure or very conditional.

          I know that if my inlaws mistreat me I wont stand for it. I didnt tolerate it from my parents Im sure as hell not going to tolerate it from them. But it will be different because i will be angry but I’ll be able to walk away and forget them. Its not that easy when its your parents.

          I have a strained relationship with my parents. The two people who are supposed to love me the most. They are my flesh and blood. Its not so easy to simply walk away. It hurts me deeply. It breaks my heart. A parent child relationship is considered sacred in all cultures. But I have to accept and live with the fact that my parents dont love me unconditionally. I have been treated horribly by people who are supposed to love me the most. I feel broken. It affects my life in so many ways. Im a very closed off and guarded person.

          I would love to hear from other woman about injustices they have faced at home and from their own parents. Because its not only inlaws that hurt women but their very own parents.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Anonymous,

          I am so sorry for your pain and I completely agree with you. But I feel that perhaps these women are already taking a huge step in discussing their in-laws objectively. They can’t even bear to criticise their husbands. It’s going to be far more difficult to criticise their parents. If they criticise everyone, they would suddenly be all alone in the world, because, of course, forming close friendships with other men or women is discouraged in many cases. You have to be exceptionally strong to deal with that.

          Like

        • Replying to Anon at 9.36 am.

          Yes, you are right. IHM’s blog has had a few men trolling, in the past. Ananya comes to mind — angry that the status quo was being openly questioned here.

          I don’t see them here anymore, but I thought the male trolls had returned. I thought that you were one.

          I’ve really lucked out in the parent department — my own parents have stood by me even when extended family and friends have judged and disapproved of my divorces.

          One of the reasons why I could spot abusive behaviour from my ex-in-laws was because I knew what loving behaviour looked like. My parents have their flaws, but I have always felt deeply loved, deeply valued.

          I had their support and unconditional love; so it gave me the strenght to leave not one, but two unequal marriages.

          I can understand what you must have gone through. Growing up, I had friends whose parents loved them less, valued them less, just because they were daughters.

          My husband has a strained relationship with his mother — he could finally cut the apron strings only after we married. I think many parents cannot relate to their children when they become adults.

          They are stuck in a time warp — unable to understand that the child they raised is a full-grown adult. The renegotiation that should ideally happen when children become adults never happens in Indian families.

          Hugs to you, for what you have endured and overcome.

          Like

      • Excellent comment! So true – first off, parents are just people. There are good and bad people, so it follows there are good and bad parents (regardless of culture). On top of that, the paraya dhan concept for daughters and the insurance policy concept for sons makes the “love” some Indian parents shove down their children’s throats, so conditional and agenda driven, it disintegrates into selfishness.

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        • I agree and I think the motivation for marriage and family itself lies in the feelings of gaining security either through increase in sheer numbers or assets ,whatever. People come together when there is pooling in of assets else there is no meaning to their bonding. Children are born and raised for additions to the parental unit. Earlier too girls were always an asset to a family , we all would have heard of strong marital ties that help a person find their way in society, boys would be there too to further the family interests through marriage or carrying on wealth generation and safeguarding activities. Today it is just that women are also allowed to partake in wealth generation and safeguard. What is incentive for parents to raise children otherwise? Why to create an unnecessary halo self sacrificing unconditionalness , around them. Most abuse probably is because of deep sense of insecurity, If that is fulfilled or asuaged probably things will be better. Perhaps there is need to learn the right ways to respond, how much to hear and how much to let go… Standing up in society on own in front of bosses, nosey neigbours, watchmen, vendors … every step will require the same life coping skills.

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      • Just know you are not alone, you are not the first one and you are not the last one in this desi family game. Parents raise kids with an agenda not because it is a right thing to raise them right. It is not just gender they discriminate against but even among same gender siblings. A smarter, fairer, obedient sister is preferred while the brother who is out going makes a big buck gets the bigger bacon from the hearth.
        https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/desi-parenting-raising-confused-daughters/
        Peace,
        DG

        Like

        • DG, this is so true about differentiating between siblings. My maternal grandmother hates my mother and loves my aunt so all through their growing up years my mother was never cared for similar to her sister. My mother was married off to the first person who came i.e. my dad while my aunt was not married till she was 29 as she was doing her CA. Even later, my grandmother always insulted my mother and father and always cared extra for my aunt and uncle. But once they became old it was my mother who looked after them and even till today my grandmother stays with us. My aunt barely visits her once a month that too on a weekend for half an hour and my uncle does not even talk to my grandmother. But even till today my grandmother cooks a feast if my aunt says she is coming and makes a big fuss about my uncle whereas my parents are not even given basic respect. I always fight with my mother as to why she tolerates all this nonsense and my mother says that it’s her duty. I just don’t get it at all and I also don’t believe that mother’s love BS that is dished out always to people. Ultimately parents are also people and like there are good and bad people there are good and bad parents, how can a bad person with bad values and thoughts become a good parent?
          Fortunately my father is a very good man and my parents really have a good marriage, he has always ensured that all her needs and wishes are fulfilled and has taken care of my mom’s parents also but still my mom craves for my grandmother’s love and affection and no amount of talking from me or my father has helped her. I am glad that despite all her baggage she was able to give a good life to me and my brother and did not deprive us of anything.

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      • “I would love to hear from other woman about injustices they have faced at home and from their own parents.”

        Anonymous, if you are interested, I think my sister would love to speak to you. She has completely cut off relations with our parents since last year. It has been a painful and wrenching year for her, but she’s convinced she made the right decision. From your comments here it seems like you’re in the same boat? Message me at nandini DOT seshadri AT gmail if you’re interested in chatting sometime.

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        • Replying here since nesting is ended

          @LW: All support to you – please do not feel like you are doing anything wrong here – no matter how much people are pressuring you. If your father is abusive, do not communicate much with him. Keep some standard scripts which might help – “I am not required to take that kind of abuse” / “I am sorry you feel like it will affect your honor, but this is my life and happiness at stake”. If they are that invested in the marriage – why did they not do the due diligence before hand? While that sounds like a sad thing to fling in his face, he has as much responsibility for this as anyone!
          Please see if you can move out, preferably with a new job to a new city. You appear to be well able to take care of yourself financially, and finding new friends and a circle may be difficult, but is better than having all abuse and no financial security.

          @Fem: That IS the reason why other friendships and relationships are discouraged. If you find support elsewhere – where does the unspoken threat of “If you go against us you will have noone in the world” go? All narcissistic people – parents, in-laws and friends have this problem. They need you to be isolated, otherwise you have somewhere to run to from the abuse and may see through their claims of loving you😦

          @Neha: “unable to understand that the child they raised is a full-grown adult” I used to wonder if this was the case – but it appears to be at a pretty subconscious level. The sense of control over you is not to be given up, so whether you are an adult or not does not matter. You are an adult when they need you to do stuff that adults can do. They are older than you and know better when they need you to do other stuff. Being an adult or otherwise gives you no decision powers that go against them and You can’t win.

          @ Anonn: Another classic case – Read about the concept of Daughters of Narcissists and Golden child if you haven’t already. Your mother has been carefully groomed over the years. Unfortunately what is beaten into us at young ages is impossible to get out of. While it is considered such a stigma, see if seeing a therapist will help your mother. At least it may help her emotional pain which I am sure she suffers from. All the best to her!

          Like

  9. I think you deserve a life, and this is not it. If I were you, I’d leave all of this behind – the spineless husband, the abusive in-laws, and the insensitive parents – you don’t anyone anything. Leave. Now.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Oh my god! What a toxic and abusive situation. Look you cannot change others. You did the right thing moving out.
    – Don’t stay with your family because clearly they don’t give and shit and want you to move out.
    – Keep your money, ask friends fro help and move out alone.
    – Ask your husband if he wants to move out with you. If not, his choice.
    – No more giving money away like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It breaks my heart every single time to read this. Emotional blackmail and manipulation for the so called ‘izzath’ in society. It is upsetting because this doesn’t surprise any one. Most women ( and men) go through this and it is considered a respectable thing to do. I have always doubted the proverb that is told to us that parents always wish well for their children. I seriously haven’t seen parents who keep the happiness of their children above their status in society. Move out if you can. Do it as soon as possible. It might be hard but stay strong. No one should be allowed to manipulate you into doing something that brings you suffering!

    Like

  12. You have made all the right decisions so far. I agree with GGTS when she says that men are a band of brothers, even if they are related to you. I would suggest you move out right now and find a place of your own to live. Considering how much you are earning, it will not be impossible. You also seem to have some savings in your name.

    I also suggest that you file for divorce. Don’t involve your family in this as they will only try to stop you. Find some friends who will support you and discuss the matter with them, if you feel like brainstorming. Avoid family like plague until they accept your decision. Sadly, with Indian families, this is the only way to retain self-respect.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I have always been the girl who obeyed all elderly people. Even while getting married i did not question much or did not demand much info from husband as i believed that my father must have done a full back ground check about this family & he will select only best for me.

    My mom & dad were never a conservative & raised me on equal terms as my brother.It was more shocking to see my father’s behaviour on this whole scenario. He said that every girl goes through the same in early period of her marriage. Almost all d girls of my age are married but i havent seen them suffering like i was. I know that small problems are always their when people are coming together from different backgrounds, but what this family put me through was sheer nonsense. I use to be so scared to go back in that house..my hands use to shiver while doing any work. My heart beat was always incresed when i was around them. I use to breath a sigh of relief when i use to step out for office. I never took a single leave in the whole year, how much ever sick i was, i preffered to go to office wherein atleast i could stay with peace.
    I tried to put up with all the crap, all accusation, said sorry for the mistakes i did not make but nothing helped. There was no respect With lot of research i found out that lot of her & her daughter’s traits are matching with that of narcissist. The only advised i could find was to run away from them as far as possible.
    His relatives are calling me & shouting that i spoiled their beloved child’s life. My husband himself is behaving as if he is a victim. My family says what is d fault of my husband in all this ? I mean really… ? He is an adult but his only existance in this world is to please his mom & make sure she does not get angered by any of his actions.. We were not even allowed to sleep together & could only sleep together when MIL wished so ! How can they imagine & want me to spend my life with a person like him..
    Thank u for all the sugeestions.. it helps to know that any person in sound mind will do the same thing what i did.. I will move out soon & find a better place to live in.

    Need lot of prayers..

    Liked by 3 people

    • Your parents are no better than your in laws. Would someone who really loves you want to hurt you deliberately? If you earn 20k a month, you surely can afford to move out of your parents’ home? Please do that asap. Cease contact with your own family is they cannot respect your autonomy and show basic decency towards you. Living with your parents is not freedom. Once you do that, make the separation legal. File for divorce and fight for it if that’s what it takes. You don’t have children now so you don’t have that mess to sort out.

      Like

    • First off, let me commend you on having the guts to do what you have done so far. It takes a lot to stand your ground.

      Continue doing the same, don’t compromise. Be wise with the money, spend it only the way you want. Not sure which city you live in, but i think its possible to find a PG/room sharing setup and also save up some money every month out of that 20k.

      Harsh as it sounds, I don’t think your family is bothered about YOUR wellbeing, they only care about their prestige. Do what’s right for you and I really think you can leave this behind and move on to a better future.

      Like

    • I am praying for you. Be strong, stay strong! You are doing the right thing by moving out of your in-law’s and parent’s homes. Believe in yourself, love yourself and do what makes you happy! I wish the very best for you!

      Like

    • Hugs, LW! You have made the right decision. Please continue your plans to move out and get a divorce ASAP. It is your life, the sooner you begin living it on your terms, the happier you will be.

      Do not question your actions for a single minute no matter how strong the pressure is. Check in back with IHM if you ever feel like your resolve is weakening (but you seem like a strong lady :-)) and we will help you see just how right you are.

      Good luck!

      Like

    • Hugs to you, I am sending lots if prayers and positive vibes your way dear girl. My sister went through the exact same experience, which is why my, I can feel your pain. My sister’s MIL used to ask her to not close their bedroom door. This was when they were newly weds. She had that much control on them.

      Like

    • Please know that you are brave ! Your mil is manipulative, frustrated woman and she is your husband’s responsibility not yours !
      When it comes to money,do not trust anyone !
      Even in future always keep your stash where nobody can touch it and which is your saving ,your support !
      Best of luck !

      Like

    • Truly a difficult situation to be in, but you’ve made the right call here. The other commentators have made some very good points. The only other point I’d like to add is that sooner than later make your separation from your husband legal – as in get a divorce. Only then will you be truly free. Good luck with everything. This is a difficult phase for you but in some time you’ll be happy again! God bless!

      Like

  14. I remember that older email. I remember I got sucked into a fairly long-winded discussion on that older thread about how my favourite activity of lying on the couch eating chips and reading late into the night construed “boorish” behaviour.:-/

    For what it’s worth, at least this MIL seems less hypocritical and is upfront about her expectations making the choice kind of self-evident… I get so emotional reading these letters. I understand that the women writing in have to accept *some* responsibility for the situation they’re in but for most part most women are pushed into such terrible situations just by virtue of being nice people who genuinely trust the system they’re born into.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “most women are pushed into such terrible situations just by virtue of being nice people who genuinely trust the system they’re born into.”

      Most women are told that marriage is their destiny, no matter what. They are also told that it is THEIR job to make a marriage work, no matter what.

      Most times, life after marriage is an unpleasant shock to most women. They become “that” woman, the woman with the nasty in-laws, the spineless husband and find that there are no real solutions.

      Society expects ONLY the woman to sacrifice, compromise and adjust. Given these facts, how fair is it to blame the woman for her predicament, especially given the level of obfuscation and concealing of important information that are a part of all arranged marriages?

      Like

      • I agree to everything except the last line ” concealing of important information that are a part of all arranged marriages” . I think that a lot of concealing of information and this whole thing that the ” girl will adjust” happens in love marriages too. We have umpteen examples on this blog itself to prove that. So I generalizing and saying that all arranged marriages are like this only is like saying all love marriages are happy marriages which is not the exactly the case.
        The bottom line is it’s a marriage and there is no guarantee of the outcome, so it’s better to look at each case and assess it accordingly.

        Like

        • Most love marriages are just arranged marriages where the partners choose each other, but everything else is still arranged by the family.

          Like

        • I agree that information can possibly be concealed in a love marriage too — however, it is much more difficult to do so.

          All marriages come with the “Caveat Emptor” warning. That said, it’s rather difficult to conceal your true nature from your boyfriend/girlfriend of say, five years.

          The sort of “love marriages” discussed on this blog are not really “love marriages”; in that the couple hasn’t really taken the time and effort to know the other person well, understand what makes them tick.

          It’s one thing to meet sombody for half an hour over coffee once or twice, and quite another to marry someone because you’ve seen them at their best/worst for over 2-3 years.

          Like

  15. You are an adult, you dont need daddy permission for anything. Support would be nice but then so would winning the lottery. Somethings are simply not possible.
    You took the right step.
    Keep going forward.
    Your husband is the problem here. If he doesnt understand the situation at home then from my point of view, it’s one of 2 things, low EQ – not able to understand or worse, doesnt want to rock the boat – aka prefers to be mummys child. In that case you are not wed to a adult, he’s adult in body only.

    Your MIL whatever be her nature is not upto you. She can be nice, cruel,bad, good whatever, her house her rules. You can only take yourself out if you dont accept the rules . Your husband can go with you in which case there is chance of salvage a bit, but from te looks of things you are better off without him, do you really want to raise a child ????
    As for parents again they took care of you till you were an adult, after that they are what they are, all kinds exist, the good, the ba and the ugly. such is life.

    Like

  16. Horrendous!
    I really can not imagine what amount of stress you went through and still going through. Worst is when your husband do not support you and behaves like a puppet. Please, please, please dont listen to your father and uncle’s BS. Its YOUR life not theirs. Do what makes you happy and stress-free. Your MIL and her son might manipulate you in getting you pregnent too so that you wont be able to leave at all, please be careful.Dont bring up child in this toxic environment. You are earning and can live your life independently without the support of your parents or in-laws. Even if your father force you to go back to your ILs, this time make sure you live your life on your terms, not on their terms.
    Be the leader and take the command of your life in your hand. Dont let anyone ruin your life.

    Like

  17. Dear email writer,
    I had been going through a similar situation. I had left my job to move to another city to be with my husband. I got into such a depression that I lost all confidence and will to find a job and got sucked into negativity. The only way I could carry on was by imersing myself in art and created and got a childrens book published. Infact it got released after I moved out. Yes I moved out. And I didnt even have a job when I moved out. I knew I could look for a job only when I move out not because they stopped me but to be in right frame of mind to face interviews with confidence. Though my family finally sounded supportive but I still made a concious decision to live alone n in a different city too because I felt the need to be alone to heal myself. I deliberately didnt look for a job for a month as I wanted to get myself in the right frame of mind. And now I have a job and I live in a rented 1BHK. Ibhave friends, do art whenever I want and finally feel at peace. I look at my book and marvel at my own strength that even in that toxic environment I could create something. So I would suggest you move out and be away from nosy relatives. My prayers are with you. And I think we should catch up 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Purple Sheep, First of all, I really admire you for having the courage to live alone after moving out of your marital home. Being divorced myself, I understand the immense courage and strength such an act requires.

      Most people think that it’s easy to break up a marriage — actually, the reverse is true. It’s easy to slowly fester in an unhappy marriage. It’s much, much more difficult to walk out and build a new life for oneself.

      Very few Indian women possess that sort of courage and conviction. The majority complain and gripe about neglectful husbands and nasty in-laws, but don’t really look for solutions.

      I don’t mean to intrude, but did you face any unpleasantness from landlords when you rented apartments as a single woman?

      I ask because I moved out of my parents’ house after my divorce, but faced a lot of hostility when I rented an apartment as a single woman.

      Like

      • Neha,

        I am a single woman in Mumbai, and yes, there is a lot of hostility to single people in general. A lot of people don’t want to rent to singles because of course, all we’ll do is have sex, drink and show up naked outside. *rolls eyes* It’s extremely annoying, and is actually illegal, but its’s rampant.

        I must say that women have it better than single men, though. They are actually outright banned from many building societies, while women are still considered.

        Like

      • Neha its so true that its not cakewalk to walk out of a marriage as I have heard from and corrected a lot of people. We tend to make a comfort zone(doesnt really mean its comfortable in a pleasant way) and are scared to step out of that because of the fear of unknown. I did that for three years. Besides that I was looking for validation from somewhere for the emotional abuse I was going through. Infact it took me a long time to even know that I was depressed. Even now I have phazes of self doubt and then I read other people’s experinces for validation. I don’t know when I’ll be healed completely but I am on the right direction. Something inside me tells me that. I started with baby steps before I took the final leap of faith and now again I am taking small steps for my own healing. Reading this blog is one of them. Maybe I’ll write a post on my situation. Fortunately I did not face any problem to rent a place because I did not announce that I am seperating. I did this after reading others experince on this blog. But yes the landlords are nosy and do try to swindle me. But I dont have major issues. I am looking for a new place as I had taken this place in a hurry and compromised on ventilation. Will tell you about my experince while looking for a new place. But I am not much under pressure now. Neha thanks a lot for reaching out to me. Belive me it means a LOT to me.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Please Do Not Go!!! If your husband comes back and assures you that he will make sure that you both will live away from his parents, then, think about it, check for evidence (I am all about evidence), then, move in to the separate accommodation. Your story is exactly like my sister’s. Only difference is that her in-laws are very wealthy, yet, they took away all her salary for 4 years, it came up to around 13 lakhs. She is very well qualified and worked as an investment banker for a reputed international financial firm. Yet, she could not say No. Finally, she quit the job as she realized that there was no point of working for 10-12 hours every day and not enjoy even a penny. She took up a job as a lecturer and was making Rs. 8000 a month teaching under privileged kids. Her husband tried to take that too. When she refused, he physically assaulted her. We registered a police complaint, her husband and MIL were threatened by the police to mend their ways, my sister took back the complaint. The policeman subtly told my MIL that it would not do her any good to spend her later years in a jail, it was not worth it. He asked her to just let her son and DIL sort out their differences and not to interfere. My sister’s husband was also threatened, the police man told him in the same subtle manner but with menacing look that it would not look if an educated person with a Phd to boot and a very good job at an international company had a jail stamp. His future would be ruined forever. He asked him calmly if it was all worth it? He said one phone call to his company about his police case, that is what it took to damage his future.

    After all this drama, my sister went back to live with her in-laws because of her toddler, she didn’t want to disrupt her daughter’s life. I never supported this move of hers, my parents too didn’t. But hey, who am I to control her life? I can only advise her. The good thing is that, now, my sister has become like Maa Kaali. She changed her job, has a great job in a very good company, makes almost 2 lakhs per month. She doesn’t give a penny to her in-laws or her husband. She gives back so badly that her in-laws have shut up. Sorry for taking up this space. Just had to share..

    Like

    • Dear Deepa

      I understand now sister gives back to her inlaws and now her inlaws do not mess with her. But is it worth it? and she went back for her toddler? Do you think its postitive atmosphere at home when toddler sees her mommy giving it back to in-laws and sees her mommy living in constant stress of retaliating and negativity all around. I dont think its worth at all. Where is the love amidst all this non-sense? Love between your sister and her husband.
      I can never support going back to toxic in-laws for the sake of kids. Your sister should move out with her husband, her in-laws are wealthy and do not need financial support. Its totally not worth it.

      Like

      • FS,
        Unconditional support means not setting conditions and letting the person make their own choices good or bad and let them learn their lessons. If you set conditions on your support then you are no better than the abuser because he/she is also doing the same. The abuser too is claiming love and well being of the incumbent.
        https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/how-to-talk-to-an-abused-daughter/
        Peace,
        DG

        Like

      • I fully agree with everything that you stated here FS, but, when somebody (that somebody being my own sister) has decided and stands by their decision there is very little you can do to force them to abide by what you think as the right thing to do.
        I am still there for her if she needs me for anything.

        Liked by 1 person

        • @Deepa : Thats true….but the most important thing is yours and your family support for your sister. No matter what decision she takes, you will always be there for her. My cousin had pleasent manners and was very polite before she got married, but her bitter in-laws and everyday kich-kich has made her rude and insolent and totally replusive person….now none of us like to talk to her at all because all she talks is rubbish and always sound aggressive. She used to be polite and happy-go-lucky, but years of fighting and arguing with her mother in law and little support from her husband has made her rude, impolite and agrressive.
          This personality change from a happy and tolerant person to rude and aggressive is what scares me. Its totally not worth it. Its hard to maintain sanity all the time amidst hostile atmosphere at home, my cousin clearly lost her sanity. But if your sister can sustain her real self, then kudos to her courage. Please invite her to read this blog, so that she can gain more power.

          May God bless her with lot of courage and love

          Love
          FS

          Like

      • Yes DG, you remembered🙂. Thank you for all your support. I feel that you have been with me supporting me on this throughout without being with me in person.
        Love you!!

        Like

    • The sad thing is that most Indian men would call your sister “a monster” for daring to use the law against her husband and in-laws.

      Most people would assume that she had made a fake complaint because she wanted “revenge”.

      I know so many people who think Indian women file false dowry complaints and unecessarily involve the police to settle “petty scores” with the husband’s family.

      No matter how husbands and in-laws behave, the woman is always blamed for fighting back and for asserting her rights. The ideal Indian Woman is somebody who quietly, and smilingly tolerates disrespect and abuse from her in-laws, like Nirupa Roy in old Hindi films.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I live in a joint family with a very dominating MIL. Though my husband is supportive, but voice has to be raised about what is acceptable and what is not. Taking all the pain silently is wrong. Set your priorities and convey your message politely.
    And if the relationship is burning you down and you see no scope of reconciliation, move out.

    Like

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  21. Honey, I couldn’t believe this… I’m so sorry for you – being attacked from both sides.. **hugs**
    And, your intuition is right. You’ll have to move away from your house (unfortunately, as of now this includes your parent’s house too.. though it *might* change later)
    BUT, please take these precautions, very carefully:

    1) You must gather some supportive, understanding friends around you. Please find genuine people in your workplace – people you have moved with for long enough, who are refined, and who are NOT the viciously jealous or gossiping types.
    Because, it can be extremely difficult to swim through this situation all alone.

    1-b) Probably if one/more of such friends are themselves staying in a paying guest accommodation, or are sharing a house, you can join them. Talk to them and plan.

    2) But before that, STOP giving away your money to anyone.
    2-b) If you have a joint account or something with your husband or brother or dad or anyone, stop putting money into it & try to take out what you put in it already, and move it to your exclusive account.

    3) You might have already done this, but take care of your personal documents (passport, PANcard, *ACADEMIC certificates*, other identifying documents, *BANK cards/chq books* etc) & keep them safe with you (in a locker in office, if it is reliable).
    Hopefully they are not in your husband’s house now. Believe me, men can get much more ruthless than you can think of.

    I wouldn’t recommend you to join your husband. He clearly has joined in lying & in cheating you (both before & after marriage). DON’T make the mistake of thinking that he’ll become good once your MIL is not there or that only your MIL is brainwashing him/holding him under spell, and that he is otherwise good. He’ll be much worse if he is away from her.
    Since your mom’s heart is on your side, you may have some solace in this storm.
    God be with you.

    Like

      • Thanks Krith🙂
        Yeah, true, taking care of all out survival-stuff (ID, debit cards, certificates, our gold etc) and having supportive people in place will help avoid complications in future.

        Like

  22. You are very courageous women and glad you took the right step. Your time, life is well worth than dealing with those losers. Same situation like yours, one of my friend suffered and still is, I see no value in holding onto such status quo.
    You will never know how any one reacts when the situation presents itself.
    Parents, I realized at the end of the day, every human being is by self, everyone does what works for them. So for parents, it’s the society and what others will say? Emotional blackmailing, crying is their weapon. Do not give in. It is your life and you need to make choices that work best for you. It is ok, if you falter..but it was your decision and you can always move forward.
    They are basically insecure about unknown future. They will come around.
    Stick to your decision and stay strong through the storm. As long as you stand up for yourself, no one can and will put you down.
    Best wishes!

    Like

  23. Its your life .. Only you know what you are going through . All of us have different tolerance limits, and we all should know when we cant take any more. Its upto you to listen to your inner voice now !

    Like

    • Me too! When I was going through a tough time, I felt comforted just by reading the comments here. No need to compromise, no need to obey, no need to accept ‘limits’ on my freedom to choose. The internet overall probably saved my life!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Me too and I just found this blog a few days ago unfortunately! I have a lot to catch up. I really much can relate and perhaps we all can come together to make India a much better and prosper like most countries in the world.

        Like

  24. First of all, the fact that you left your husband and in-laws- IT IS one of the biggest praiseworthy and courageous thing that you did -which 99 % married Indian women in troubled marriages do not have either the guts or the vision to do. So, from here -you can go anywhere you want to. You took the SINGLE MOST courageous and important step. SO do not change your mind now. Your life would be MUCH BETTER than saving a marriage which 99% women are already doing and suffering but have not been able to reach where you are today. I congratulate you for your bold decision. Believe me, your life would be much better without these people.

    Like

  25. Pingback: “I am tempted to ask- does she mean girls who have no brothers should send money to their parents as well?” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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