An email: “He told my MIL that he doesn’t like me. I knew he was depressed so I tried to console him.”

Please note the difference between the support/response that a married Indian son and a married Indian daughter get from their families.

One set of parents wants their child to Stay Married no matter what (they expect nothing more), while the other expects to control their child’s life, and marriage (and possibly finances).

Traditional patriarchal norms justify, romanticise and facilitate abuse,  and make it difficult for abuse victims to notice that they are being abused. 

Not surprisingly, Indian women seem to believe they need to Stay Married much more than Indian men do. And more men seem to feel they need to control their wives, no matter how unhappy it makes them, and their relationship as a couple.

Sharing an email. 

Dear IHM,

I’m desperately in need of guidance with the issues I have in my marriage and this is my story:

I got married almost a year ago and my husband works in USA. So after my marriage I spent only a week with my MIL but a week was more than enough for her to create problems. There were issues with dowry, my attitude, customs which my parents didn’t follow, etc etc. Me and my husband didn’t even go on our honeymoon because my MIL wanted us to spend time with her. There were too many issues already and not wanting to create new problems I asked my husband to cancel our honeymoon plan. In that one week, she called my parents daily complaining that I didn’t explain to her about the weight of each piece of jewellery which my parents gave me. Also, she expected me to leave my jewellery in their house [From an Anonymous DIL, Wife and Daughter.] and tried to communicate it to me in a political way (which I didn’t understand as politics is never my area of expertise ).

She instructed my parents that whenever we leave to USA/come back to India we have to go/come from their house (Airport is a 30 minute drive from my parents’ house and my In Laws’ place is a three hour drive) and I can be at my parents’ house only for a few days.  A lot more added up and there was too much tension when we finally left for USA. My MIL lies a lot and it’s so frequent that 1 out of 10 of her statements would be a lie. Anyone can easily find out that she is lying but my husband justified that that’s how his mother is and she won’t change. He helped a lot by supporting me emotionally so I was happy that he atleast understood the problem.

After we came to USA, we started our own life and things were good at the beginning. We had our arguments and fights but we worked on it and were happy. We talk to our MIL in Skype once a week. Initially my husband was a little angry with her saying that she created so many problems for unnecessary reasons. She tackled him by saying that she is facing medical issues and that she has gone through so much trouble to raise him. Eventually my husband started talking to her. She used to find fault with whatever I do, the food I prepared, the dress I wore, the way I spoke. Nothing was good enough for her son. After three months into my marriage, my husband went through a minor surgery in his leg. On the first day after his surgery, we skyped to my MIL and the first statement which she said looking at me was that I should comb my hair, dress well, wash my face and be fresh all the time. For God’s sake, it was11 pm and I had admitted my husband in the hospital that morning and there was so much work that had to be done before I brought him home. Also, this is not a TV serial to wear all jewels and make up even when I sleep. My husband’s immediate response was to tell me that his mom is right. My MIL wouldn’t have known how much work I did from the morning but I expected my husband to know better. I took care of him very well but the following days became a nightmare.

He became very demanding asking me to follow whatever he commands and I felt like I was walking on egg shells. I thought that going through the surgery was stressful for him and I did whatever he asked me to do. My MIL was talking to my husband daily since he was at home. On the first day when he spoke to my MIL he told her that she had found him a really good wife but just two days later he told my MIL that he doesn’t like me. I knew he was depressed so I tried to console him but my MIL used this as an opportunity and started slandering me. I was sitting next to my husband in front our laptop and she started shouting at me saying that I didn’t know how great she was and used this time to tell me how my parents didn’t give dowry as her son so much worthy, how I didn’t give my jewels to her and told my husband that she will make sure I behave appropriately. My husband demanded me to apologize to her and I did that too but I’m not sure why I apologized. My MIL used to give ideas to my husband about what food to eat and I had to follow the schedule.Once I didn’t have enough ingredients to cook a particular food which my MIL suggested and so I was asked by my husband to walk to the store in October’s cold night. That was the final straw and I couldn’t take more than that. I called my parents and cried explaining the situation. They couldn’t help me much other than consoling me. All these drama continued for few weeks.

My husband resumed his work and situation became little better. My MIL gave lots of ideas to my husband saying that she wakes up early in the morning and does so much work at home. This led to my husband insisting I do the same. Every evening my husband comes from office and starts questioning me on what I did the whole day and even if he finds a small mistake he would start scolding me saying I’m idle at home. He expects me to be a perfectionist so I cook perfect meals, clean and wash but he never stops complaining. My MIL insists on coming to USA saying that she wants to stay with us for awhile and would teach me how to take care of the family. So whenever my husband finds a fault with me, he would say that if MIL is with us she would teach me everything. I feel alone and depressed. I keep myself busy by involving in painting and volunteering in a few organisations but my husband always commented that there is no point in all that because I failed to impress my MIL and him.

Now I’m facing new problems. Even if we have a little argument my husband goes on without talking for weeks. Whenever I tried to convince him he asked me to promise that I would be 100% obedient to him. It felt weird when he asked me of such a thing. My mom is also a working woman so she had a totally different attitude towards life. She insisted I be independent and had always told me that I should think and decide on my own. My husband’s concept of 100% obedience makes me feel oppressed. To solve the immediate crisis, I said yes to him but not even in my dreams I expected him to implement it. He gives me orders for even washing clothes, cleaning the house etc etc . He told me straightaway that he doesn’t want me to give any suggestions for him and wants whatever he expects to be done. He finds fault even in the smallest of chores I do and I’m not supposed to voice my opinion about anything. I tried my best to do whatever he says and I clean everything I could get my hands on. But he never stopped complaining and says that I’m not an ideal wife. He often says that he doesn’t like me anymore. He eats the food I prepare, uses the dresses I wash but he doesn’t talk to me. I find this is a recurring pattern nowadays. He doesn’t talk for weeks together and not talking to one another is very common in their family. My MIL doesn’t talk to any of her sisters, brothers and she doesn’t talk to her IL’s family also. Also, she dominates my FIL totally and he is treated like trash.She gives ideas to my SIL also and their family is facing similar issues. I tried talking to my husband saying that we can solve our differences only by communicating it to each other but he says that there is nothing to talk about and his expectation is for me to do whatever he commands.

I don’t know how to handle all the lies my MIL says and my husband’s reaction to it. Please share your views and suggest how do I handle this situation.

Related Post:

Recognizing Emotional Abuse

The Men in Our Lives

The interference of parents in the married life of their daughters…

Please watch Queen. Feels like our country is finally changing.

From an Anonymous DIL, Wife and Daughter.

To an Anonymous DIL

An email: My principal fear is my wife is not going to be able to love my parents as much as I do.

“I thought the situation will improve but now my husband started behaving like a remote-controlled device of his mother.”

Is it possible to make a man see his wife as a partner, if he has been socially conditioned to see her as someone who is supposed to obey and serve him?

An email from a Newly Wed Wife. “Now they don’t like me.”

An email: “just for a few days of fights and torture in a month, how can I leave this life?”

“A Hindu woman derives immense pleasure in sacrifice for her husband. The white man will never ever understand this.”

Please watch Dum Laga Ke Haisha – where a man is asked to Please adjust and save his marriage.

Simple methods, recommended to anybody else, coping with any other kind of abuse, are forbidden to Indian daughters in law. Forbidden by whom?

“I am trying to make a list of soooooooo many advantages a girl can have if she is born in a Western family as compared to being born in india.”

‘Daughters growing older, their egos becoming bigger, their attitudes and behavior becoming more boorish..’

“I am glad that my parents never thought of raising us as ‘future daughters-in-law’.”

Are Happily Married Daughters a status symbol in India?

“He has decided that we will stop trying to have a child now as he wants things to improve between his mother and I.”

I could not sing after my marriage and I am really sad about it, but women have to ‘adjust’ to see their family happy…

An email: “But my parents, fearing the society and their reputation begged him to take me back.”

74 thoughts on “An email: “He told my MIL that he doesn’t like me. I knew he was depressed so I tried to console him.”

  1. Seems like your hubby has turned into a typical mumma’s boy.Exactly same scenario happned with my frn.They were a happy couple till MIL started her drama.My frn tried to be reasonable unfortunately things had gone really bad n she refused to out up with his tantrums.They divorced within 2 years of marriage.
    I wont suggest going for a divorce straight away.Tell him your concerns n try to work out on it IF he is willing to co operate.Go for a marriage counselling.
    Dont even think of bringing a child in this toxic env.That would make things worse.
    Dont be a doormat.If you feel his demands are unreasonable refuse outright !
    Let him sulk all alone.Once he realises that his tactics are not gonna work he will mellow down.

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  2. From the letter I think the LW does not work, she is a house wife completely dependant on the husband.
    Dear LW,
    Your husband is busy claiming his male privilege now along with his mother.
    He knows you are vulnerable and is abusing you left, right and center.
    It takes quite sometime to know what a person is.
    Your husband is an abuser. a classic and a perfect one at that.
    That you agreed to his whims and fancies has emboldened him further.
    He is treating you as a slave and not as an equal partner.
    I am really really really worried about your safety.
    Please be careful, have the phone with always and keep 911 in speed dial.
    Please do not ever think that he is going to change.
    It is the reality and accept it.
    Please know that life does not end and you can definitely get out of this situation and have a good life.
    Please know that it is not worth tolerating such suffering at any cost.
    Please move out.
    Things will not be easy and you might not have any support from your own parents and friends and the society at large.
    But please be sure things would eventually get better and you would be happy and safe away from the monster and his family.
    You can find ample example of this in this forum and around the world through the internet,
    Those real stories about real people like you and me and the stories show hope.
    Is it possible that you have some support in the places you go out and volunteer ?
    Is it possible that you can get some therapy there ?
    If yes, please access it ASAP.
    Is it possible to get some legal help to how to get out of this mess?
    Please find these options around the net and try and access those.
    When you see that it is possible to have some legal support please decide how to divorce him and to move back to the country.
    Please move out at any cost, specially before the MIL lands here. Then the abuse will be doubled.
    Please write here often and do not lose hope.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Is it that your parents are not being being supportive, wanting you to adjust , or are they hesitant because they dont want to influence you and need you to make your own decision , and voice it out ? Whatever it is, its you who needs to decide how much you can or cannot take. No one else can do it for you !

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  4. I think your main issue is your husband, who seems to have changed dramatically from the initial days where you say that he “emotionally supported you”.
    Your best option would be to have marriage counselling.

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  5. Emotional Abuse at its best and those inflicting it are closest to you. In our culture, we are not even equipped to identify it. We write it off as cultural, traditional problems when all it is – is abuse of power and authority. Girls with financial independence won’t solve it, girls with financial and emotional independence is the only way out.

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  6. I don’t know what the other side of story is and based on your story I don’t he needs a wife. He needs a house maid or a robot maybe. One of these days, I was talking to a colleague of mine and he said ‘You are treated like shit because you allow yourself to be treated like that’. So true. He said it to me on some other context.

    Why do you not do nothing to help the situation? You nod your head to everything that your husband says and he feels that it is the right thing to do as there is no resistance from your side. The day you make it clear that you are not a robot, and just tell him / MIL to treat you properly is the day they will start taking you seriously. Gather enough proof of whatever phone calls, conversations, texts or anything and if they carry on with the same treatment even after you warn them, the police station in US must not be far from your place. And since it isn’t India, you are 80% sure at least that you will get some justice.

    I would suggest you get a strong and act on it🙂 Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

    • So sorry to hear your condition.

      My question to you is why are you tolerating his abuse? Why do you even let your MIL abuse you? You both are equal partners in a marriage and you are not a doormat! Are you afraid of moving out due to societal pressure? Or do you still have a small part of you that your husband will change back to the supportive person he was initially? By the looks of it he looks completely abusive and brain washed. Is it worth spending your life being treated like a doormat clinging on to the hope that your husband might go back to how he was?

      This reminds me of the movie ‘Fiddler on the roof’. In the movie the residents of a small Jewish ghetto in Russia are told they have 24 hours to leave their village. They would lose everything :their homes, possessions, traditions-their community. It seemed like the greatest catastrophe of their lives. But little did they realize this was a blessing in disguise. Because they left Russia they escaped future pogroms and beatings by Cossacks. They missed Stalin’s purges, Gulags and religious persecution. They missed Hitler’s march in to Russia and mass exterminations of Jewish people.

      In your situation, you might not embrace the idea of walking out because your parents might not be supportive, you will be harassed by the society. But look at how much you have to gain by walking out. You can be a strong independent, happy woman in control of your life. Like the Jewish peasants take courage to move away from something abusive. Though it might seem hard, it is definitely better than what you are facing currently.

      Here are a few things you should start doing immediately:

      1. Get in to therapy if possible. Like a wounded body, a wounded mind also needs medicine and solace.
      2. Try to get in touch with organizations who can help you in anyway , whether to find a job or get back home .
      3. Are you on a dependent visa ? If yes, try finding work back in India. Better try in cities away from your parents and in-laws. Your parents definitely might try and talk you out of moving out of marriage. Be strong !
      4. Try to stay in touch with your well meaning friends who bring the best in you and are there for you. Meet with them and try to get away from the toxic environment .
      5. Believe in yourself. Love yourself. You do not have to keep pleasing your husband and MIL. The more you try to please them the more they try to torture you.
      6. May be you can share your resume here . People who read this blog might try to help if they know of openings . Though it might be harder in USA if you are on a depend any visa . But it must not be so hard in India.
      7. Don’t be a victim to either your husbands passive aggressive behavior or your MIL’s aggressive behavior. You don’t owe them explanations . Think of them as Cindrella’s evil step-sisters who are abusing you and move away for them pronto!

      Please write back in case you need help.

      Our strong wishes and prayers for your happy life. God bless!

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      • Oh. And I have an uncle who fits your MIL’s profile exactly ! He mentally abused me throughout my childhood. Until recently even the thought of him would evoke painful tears in my eyes.

        He is a pathological liar who wants to feel superior by making others feel inferior. He even admitted that he used to intimidate his students at the university by teaching them topics that are more advanced than their current stage just to make them feel stupid and feel superior in front of them!!

        And the same aspect with the greed part . He derives immense satisfaction milking out favors from everyone. He goes to a petrol bunk and tells his co pass anger that he forgot his wallet just so that he doesn’t have to pay for the gas. So even if you give your MIL all the money in the world she still won’t try to hurt you .

        Such people are narcissists and they feel they are in control by putting others down. So please don’t give in to anymore abuse.

        I was able to come to terms with his abuse only after therapy. My therapist pointed out to me that even as a 12 year old child, I stood up to him, when my own parents would not stand up for me. And that as he said is what I should remember . That I did not allow myself to be treated like a doormat though it meant going through a lot with no support from anyone .

        Please move ! Don’t be their punching bag !

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      • Oh! And you asked about what you do about your MILs lies and your husband’s reaction to it. Trust me, there is nothing you can do to change them! However what you can do is choose not to be their punching bag.

        This is from my own experience. I have an uncle who fits your MIL’s profile to the T. He mentally abused me ever since I was 12. It was so excruciatingly painful that until recently after more than a decade , just the mention of his name was enough to being tears to my eyes. My own parents turned a blind eye to my depression and abuse. They even went to the extent of calling me spoilt and supported him saying that he is preparing me for my future life at my in-laws place to be submissive DIL (read a worthless doormat!). So please do not expect either your husband or your parents to confront your MIL. Only you can stand up for yourself.

        Like your MIL my uncle is a pathological liar. He feels in control of the situation when he compulsively lies to build his self esteem and to undermine others. The only way he feels superior is by putting others down! He himself admitted that he deliberately teaches his students at the university concepts that are at a much advanced level , only to make the feel inadequate and break their spirit and in turn feel superior about himself.

        He is an excellent scholar and earns in high 6 digits outside India. But like your MIL his compulsion to take money from others is insatiable. He drives to a petrol bunk and claims to have forgotten his wallet, just so that others can pay. This makes him feel that others are in control and their meekness is his power. So even if your parents give all the riches they have to your MIL, she is never going to start treating you with any respect!

        The person who helped me was my wonderful therapist. He pointed out to me that even at an age of 12 I stood up to him and never let him treat me like a doormat, despite his constant attempts to belittle me, despite the fact that even my parents did not come to my aid. So it is really a lose-lose situation with such abusers. You try to stand up to them, they are motivated to bully you more. You try to be their punching bag and they still abuse you even more. So the best thing for you to really distance yourself from them and have self-respect.

        You are nothing to your MIL than a person whom she can mistreat. I doubt she got her son married only to get a grand child and a free slave.

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    • Is it not shameful for us to thank our luck that we are not in our own country and feel more secure about being delivered justice in a foreign country. Its just so sad that its true to the T. Speaks volumes about the broken judicial we have in our country.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Definitely yes. It’s indeed shameful and I don’t quote it there as a proud statement. But then in dowry cases and harassment of women cases, India is also quite blind and strict.

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      • It’s not just our judicial system — our society is broken.

        Harassment of daughters-in-law and wives is a common cultural theme in our socirty. No Indian is really shocked to hear such stories as the LW’s because they are so very common.

        We all know women who are harassed by their in-laws and husbands, sometimes we are that woman.

        What does it say about our humanity if harassment in marriage is taken to be the norm, and not the exception? If abusive behaviour becomes the accepted norm, as it is for wives and DILs, then what sort of cultural values do we really have?

        Shouldn’t treating a wife or daughter-in-law well be the default setting? In India, the reverse is often the case.

        Abuse begets abuse, and you create a society where injustice is more common than justice, abuse is more common than compassion, exploitation more common than fairness and a system where the strong always dominate and exploit the vulnerable and the defenceless.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. This is out and out abuse. Please note that your husband is choosing (he is an adults for god’s sake) to abuse you along his mother.

    I have very low tolerance for such bullshit and i definitely would not have recommended saying yes, agreeing and putting up with their shit and hoping things would get better. That sets the expectation and shows the abuser that you can be bullied. Later on, if you refuse, people are so used to you being a doormat that they cannot reconcile and more emotional drama will ensue.

    Anyways, for now, I would recommend –
    – Telling your husband calmly that he and his mother are being abusive – emotionally an manipulative and that you will not put up with it and he has to stop.
    – Research domestic abuse helplines and look at your options.
    – Keep your passport and money + jewelry with you before you talk.
    – If it does not stop with immediate effect, please walk out. If you remain in this marriage, you will lose your confidence and become a shell of who you were over time. The longer you stay, the harder it becomes to get out and you will start justifying to yourself that you will leave after this and after that and look at sunk costs.
    – Go back to India, stay with family or relative or friends whoever is supportive of your decision and get a job and be self reliant.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree with most of what you have said. But if she does not have parental support, then she should desist returning to India if possible. Otherwise, she will just face more unwanted advice and will just go right back to the abuser because of lack of emotional support, and worse, subtle or outright nagging to return back. She can return (if she wants to) once she has left the man for good and gained some confidence.

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      • Agree with all the advice here. Was curious if someone here might know how US immigration works in such cases? When the abuse survivor is on a dependent visa which was obtained due to the relationship with the abuser.

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      • True. I would always recommend staying abroad because the societal pressure is way lesser but that would depend on the social circles you move with. Even abroad people can create a more traditional society than back in India.

        On the other hand, if she cannot get a visa or a job as they take time to get through, no point staying in a an abusive situation till you are broken till your stay abroad gets sorted out.

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        • This is the crux of it. Not having the right to work due to visa restrictions makes women on dependent visas in the US more prone to abuse. It’s not easy because you can’t just go and work in McDonalds. If you are an immigrant, you need a graduate degree for most jobs that tend to be full time and higher on the skill level requirements and preferably in technology (because they are willing to sponsor you for H-1). Unfortunately H-4 visa holders are not permitted to take up part time jobs – at least were not, until recently. Now, they’re opening up this avenue but it remains to be seen how this will work out.

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      • Staying in the US may not be legally possible if he files for divorce or in general initiates separation proceedings. She should try and contact an immigration attorney who works pro bono and get their advice before deciding to stay back. The last thing she needs is to end up illegal.

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  8. This is emotional abuse, nothing less. I think you need to sit your husband down and tell him you have had enough. Tell him that you will stop all interaction with his mother, starting TODAY. He may talk to her if he pleases, but if he lets her cause trouble in your marriage, you will not stand for it anymore.

    Are you qualified/in a position to work? Can you find work where you are? Can you join a masters degree which will help you get a job more easily there? Are your parents supportive? If staying on there is not an option, can you find work back in India – whether or not you decide to live with your parents? Is there anything you can do to gain some financial independence? If yes, please do it, now.

    Actually, the best person to answer your questions is YOU. How much are you willing to put up with? What would make you happiest – bearing all this abuse, putting your foot down and telling your husband/MIL to behave, or leaving? You have to pick the one that works for you. All 3 have consequences. None of the 3 are easy and all will entail some loss or the other, but you will have to make a choice from these three options – I don’t see any other option. (At present, you are choosing the first option, but that can change if you want it to).

    There’s so much more to life than choosing to stay with an un-supportive husband and abusive in laws. But only if you can be brave enough to command the respect and freedom you deserve. You are allowing them to treat you this way. Why? Ask yourself.

    Anyone who makes you consistently miserable, in my honest opinion, is worth walking away from right now.

    All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Was your husband a slave driver in another life? Do not leave him just like that. Threaten him with police action. Go for divorce with maximum financial damage you can cause to him.

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  10. LW
    U are in a country which has its rules against family abuse , wife abuse , child abuse . You are not in India where you will have to run from pillar to post to lodge a FIR . Go to the nearest police office there and lodge a complain , get him arrested for emotional and physical abuse .

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    • Only if she is a US citizen. People on non-immigrant visas do not receive the same level of protection awarded to US citizens.

      Also, if she gets him arrested, he may retailiate by cutting her off all financial support and revoking her visa.

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  11. You are being abused. Please understand that your husband is not a nice man, and he is not being influenced by his mother. He is not being forced to treat you in this manner! There is no gun held to his head. He is doing all this because he feels entitled and he has realised he can walk all over you and you will lie down on the ground, making it easier for him to do so. Here’s what you can do to help yourself:

    1. Get a job. You seem to spend your free time in hobbies and volunteering, and while they are good, a job is essential. You need to be financially independent. This will also give you confidence to move ahead in life and leave these losers behind.

    2. Since you live in USA, talk to some organisations that can help you. There are plenty of shelters for women in your situation. Get their addresses and phone numbers and store them in a safe place where you can get them if you ever have to make a quick exit.

    3. Put some money aside for making a quick escape. If you are kept short by your husband and have none of your own money, borrow some from your parents and stash it away. You can’t make it far without money, so this is essential.

    4. Accept that the relationship is over. Once your husband starts enforcing slavery rules in the relationship, it can never go back to normal. This is about the worst thing that you can do to another human being. Even murder is forgivable, but not this.

    5. Get some self respect. Stop saying yes to everything these people say. Say no, and walk off. Don’t obey your husband. If he does not talk to you, even better. You are being spared orders and fights and humiliation. It gives you a chance to work out your escape plan.

    6. Your parents don’t seem bothered about your ultimate fate. I would suggest asking them clearly if they would stand by you or not. If they hem and haw, as I suspect they are going to, forget them. Your mother may have been talking about your being independent, but if she just consoled you when you cried about your humiliation, then she probably didn’t mean it anyway. Or she would not have sent you off without a job to the other side of the world with a stranger. Her priorities are clear enough. Fish around for friends who can help you gain back your confidence and your life. Friends are the new family anyway.

    Good luck with everything! And remember, the most difficult step is the first one. After that, everything becomes easier.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I don’t understand how parents just ship away their daughters across the world to live with ( and usually be dependent financially on) a stranger.

      Its just such a vulnerable position for a woman. Its one thing to go own your own for school or work but to go fully dependent on someone else for both the visa and money/shelter is such a precarious position.

      These women usually have no legal right to be in the country without their husband, don’t have a job, no money, no friends or family support.

      Basically making them easy prey to abuse.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, as weird as it may sound all girls do this, just that in some cases they come with someone they loved and in some cases they come with stranger or strange husband’s like this LW..
        I am saying this now coz one of my friend’s from school is undergoing trouble. She is highly educated, worked in a very very reputed organization in Delhi and left everything behind for a man she loved for 5 years, got married, quit her job and followed him abroad and now is jobless, the man she loved now says that expenses have increased and so she should cut down on expenses since she is not earning, though her situation is not as bad as this LW, but still it’s bad..
        I just do not understand that why do girls leave behind their everything and agree to go with a man, whether known or unknown? Why do they voluntarily sign up to be dependents in some random foreign country?
        I refused to get married to anyone outside my city as I had a good job there, when my husband after two years of our wedding said that he wanted to go abroad, I told him that I cannot go till I get a job and so we both left India only after I also found employment.. It took 2 years for us to move out of India, but I am happy as I have a job and am not dependent on him. Until girl understand that they must never ever leave financial independence for anything in this world, these kind of issues will be there.

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      • NRI grooms are highly sought after, and parents often pay huge dowries so their daughters can live in the West.

        A major reason is that most parents think that their daughters will have more equal marriages overseas. Life is India is like living in a fishbowl, everyone is in each others’ pockets.

        Newly wed couples often have very little space or cultural sanction to build an egalitarian marriage.

        Many parents assume that a man who lives in the West would be more liberal than men in India. They assume that life in a liberal and prosperous society would make it easier for their daughters to retain autonomy after marriage.

        It’s commonly believed that women enjoy greater protection and freedom in the West. Most parents are completely unaware of the complexities of visa regulations and immigration law.

        Most of my aunts who followed their spouses to the US in the sixties and seventies led relatively happy and stable lives, far away from the presence of dominating in-laws.

        When my ex-husband got a job in the US,my parents naturally assumed that a Green Card would be easy to come by, as it was in the 60s and 70. They did not realise that immigration laws and rules had changed considerably since then.

        Also, it’s often a roll of the dice. Not all NRI men are emotionally abusive and controlling. It’s a complex mix of prevailing circumstances, the personality of the man, the personality of the wife and how much support she receives from her family.

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        • I don’t think parents look for NRI grooms because they hope for equal marriages for their daughters. I think its got to be something more than that.

          I live in Toronto and an Indian woman was murdered by her father-in-law here. Her parents had apparently paid a huge dowry to the NRI groom. This man also lived with his parents. Indian parents seem eager to find NRI grooms even those that live with their parents. So its not that they are trying to save their daughter from domineering in-laws.

          Anyway, this poor woman had no support system in her new country. NO friends and family of her own. She was being abused and then murdered by her father-in-law. This however, didn’t deter the parents from finding another NRI groom for their younger daughter.

          You can read the story here
          http://www.torontosun.com/news/columnists/michele_mandel/2009/01/11/7985746-sun.html

          http://thelangarhall.com/punjabi/she-was-the-ticket-to-a-better-life/

          He admitted to killing her and said he did because she was cheating on his son. The Canadian public was outraged. He was lying, she wasnt cheating but even if she was, that doesn’t give him right to murder her. He’s serving a life sentence in prison.

          This also makes me think of the my ex-boyfriend’s sister in law. She married his brother who was a complete stranger. He came from Italy for the wedding and returned. She joined him later when she got her visa. He’s living in Rome for work. He has family and friends there as well. She has no legal right to work. Has no family and friends there. The friends she does have are mutual friends through her husband. She doesn’t know Italian. Doesn’t have a driver’s licence because you need to know Italian to be able to take the test. She is completely dependent on him for everything. The only time she can leave the house is when she goes with him because of the language barrier and no driver’s licence. No family and friends. No job, no licence etc. She lucked out and is in a happy marriage. But I cant even imagine being in such a vulnerable position.

          Like

    • Love your responses, Fem:). They are so organized and coherent. I am sure they have been really helpful to each LW.

      I hope I can meet you once in this lifetime, if that’s OK with you:) I am sure it will be a very enriching experience for me:)

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Your husband thinks you’re his slave. Promising to be 100% obedient, OMG…
    I am not Indian so I guess there are many things that I cannot understand about Indian marriage, although I am married to an Indian.
    You are in the US, and you can find support over there. The situation is clearly unbearable for you, and it looks like you want to escape this marriage. You can start planning now. There will be local associations ready to help you, women shelters, etc… I fond this for a start: http://gnws.org/
    In the meanwhile, I’d say try and be as “perfect” as you can at home, so that your husband will have little ground to abuse you. That is, if you have no strength to fight him. If you feel strong enough, by all means tell him what you think – but from what you wrote, it seems that you just want to avoid fighting.
    You said that you are involve in charity. Make friends there, talk about your situation, see if a trusted person can help you.
    Unfortunately I don’t know much about visa issue – I guess you are on a spouse visa, which, if I understand well, doesn’t allow you to work. Having your own ressources is super important. So, you must find a way to earn money or get your own savings from India, if you have any.
    Last decision to make, staying in the US or going back to India. I know leaving your spouse is not very popular in India, there is a lot of stigma attached to this… especially for women. So maybe it is easier for you to stay in the US, but again you will have to work out how to stay there and under what kind of visa.
    I wish you a lot of strength.

    Like

    • Many of your points above make sense but this one here literally makes my hair stand on the edge: ” I’d say try and be as “perfect” as you can at home, so that your husband will have little ground to abuse you.” NO! Big, fat no! I’m sure you mean well but with this sentence you put the pressure right back on the poor woman. It’s exactly the thought trap that many abuse victims are caught in: “If I was more perfect he would not abuse me. Read: it’s all my fault.” It is NOT. This guy is an abuser. He chooses to abuse. HE is at fault, not his wife.
      I have lived with a depressed abuser for a while and believe me, with the amount of charm and loveliness I tried to deflect her abuse with I could have brought peace to the Middle East. What did it help? Nothing! These people abuse because it makes them feel powerful and less shitty about themselves. He will abuse her even if she is perfect for the flimsiest reason. Let’s say his boss gave him a hard time. What will this guy do to feel all powerful again? Take it out on his wife. Do you think it will help her to be all perfect when he is determined to take it out on her? Trust me, it won’t. So dear letter writer, stick to the other advice above but by all means do NOT put yourself under more pressure to please this abuser! It will not work. Instead preserve your strength for yourself and get out as quickly as possible.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. I understand how you’re feeling about all this, but you will need to set emotion and Indian values aside and think long and hard about your marriage.

    If your MIL hadn’t been in the picture, would this be an equal marriage? For example, if both of you work, do both of you have an equal share of responsibilities at home? Would your opinion count when it comes to important decisions? Would you both share mutual trust and respect instead of one person taking the other for granted? Would he treat you differently?

    If your answers to these questions is yes, I’d recommend marital counseling.
    If not, you shouldn’t be in such a relationship anyway.

    Like

  14. Just quit and be strong. Do not listen to your parents and give-in to their emotional blackmail. It will be tough to start off but like someone mentioned earlier about the Russian farmers, this decision will be your blessing in disguise. It’s much better to be a divorcee than to lead a false and unhappy miserable life.

    Like

  15. He sounds horrible and he’s teeating you like a child. Is he threatening to become violent? If he’s not, try to assert yourself by refusing to do what he wants. Have you explained the situation to your parents properly? If they are truly liberal they would insists that you come back.

    Like

  16. I don’t understand why such mothers want to get their son’s married when they feel that no girl would be able to take care of him/cook for him as she does. Why not keep such sons to themselves and spare a girl her life. Why do such sons want to get married in the first place? They have their mother for everything. So, they need another woman – is it just for sex? to pop out babies?

    They don’t know how to behave. They don’t know how to be responsible. They don’t know how to treat a woman. They don’t know what having a backbone is. Why can’t such men just hide behind their mothers, study, work and just go back home to their mothers. Why do they even need a life of their own??

    Coming to you Letter Writer, please stop taking this abuse and behavior from your husband. There is no need to be tactful and be soft and coy anymore. Please call him out on his behavior, on how he treats you, on how he blindly trusts whatever his mother says, on how he abuses you, on how he wants just a puppet, even on how he himself does not know whether he loves you or not. I feel you can go ahead and even threaten him that you will not hesitate to call 911 and go to the police is this continues. Give him an ultimatum and ask him whether the wants a life with you or not. If you are willing to give him one last chance, tell him that both of you can forget everything that has happened and that your are willing to start afresh, only on the promise that he will treat you as his wife and give you equal respect. Tell him that you will email his office and tarnish his image in front of his employers that he is an abusive person. Tell him that you will send a mail to all your relatives that this is what he and mother have been doing and have been spoiling your life.

    Make it very clear to him that you will not tolerate his mother remote controlling both your lives and that you will not give in anymore to his mothers so called advises and threats. Tell him very clearly that you both have come here to make a life for yourselves, so all decisions should be made by both of you.

    If he does not agree to any of this and still continues to abuse you, please take care of all your belongings, complain against him to the authorities there in the USA and try to get back safe to India. There is no point in living with such men who don’t know how to treat their wife.

    Please develop your strength and its time you took things into your own hands. If this marriage goes down the drain, please do not think it is the end of your life. It may actually be the beginning of a good life ahead for you. If your parents are truly independent themselves and brought you up that way, they should be able to understand your problems and stand by and support you. If they do not and place the society more important than you, then they have never truly loved you in the first place.

    Please do confide in some good trusted friends and also ensure that they have got your back if things turn ugly. All the best and do not lose your strength.

    Like

  17. It seems to me that the LW is a very passive woman and she does not even have the guts to say to her husband that she wants to walk out of the marriage, forget about taking that step for herself. She also does not seem to understand the gravity of the situation, either she is too naive or too unaware of the ways of the world. Anyway, dear LW, when are you taking your next trip to India (with /without your husband ) ? Surely, your hubby will be visiting his mommy soon. So, come back to India, either with hubby or alone , then go to your parents home, tell them about your situation ( even if they do not support you ) and from there do not ever go back to your husband’s home. Why ? Because lady, with this kind of a set-up that you are currently enduring, you will NEVER learn what SELF-ESTEEM is. You need to be single again, learn about self esteem from a scratch. A new job or a new life might teach you that. And don’t go for a 2nd marriage too soon before learning about what self-esteem is.
    I will not advise you to fix the current situation or save your marriage because it will mean that you alone will have to do ALL THE ADJUSTMENTS while they will never learn a lesson, even if your hubby marries the 2nd time.
    There is still time for you to move out, so do it as soon as possible. Weird family,weird rules but what about you ? You want to tolerate these weirdness for your whole life ? Isn’t there something better to do ? Write back to us to tell us when you have finally broken free.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Seriously why educated women put this kind of behavior. Why you can not assert your right.

    Try to gather evidence against your husband and MIL. There would be plenty of it. Tell your husband and MIL that you are not going to do anything as per their order and if they will try to humiliate you then you will call 911 in US and file a 498A in India.

    In case if you want to save your marriage then stop convincing and stop taking order from your husband that he needs to change. Even he should understand importance of his marriage in his life. If he come back then you can think that it may work otherwise you are done.

    Like

    • Ditto.

      Its hard for me to imagine how submissive attitude works in favor of women. Submission of rights and happiness can never work, it ll never save a marriage, it wont make anyone happy…..all it will bring is stress and abuse.
      This LW is trying to make their marriage work by listening to every crap her husband demands. She is not asserting her rights. She needs to make him understand whats important to her.

      Like

  19. Are you over the age of 21 ? If so you are an adult. You need to let him know.
    There is no slavery in USA as far as i know, you are not his bonded slave. You need to let him know.
    Get a job. and leave him.
    I hate to say this but for a lot of men indian and otherwise money is everything, the person who holds the purse strings controls everything. If your husband were to pay a cook, cleaner and caretaker to his standards his paycheck would probably not suffice, so in effect you are making as much as him ( money saved is money earned logic) ,however that logic seems to bypass most patriatchial men, they are a bit dumb too. so no point teaching him at this stage, he’s an adult and unfortunately you didnt get a good pick.
    so get a job and get your god given rights as a human back.
    If he disagrees file for divorce. Its not easy but you have one life only, being and going thru divorce is going to be the same if not much easier than the life you are living.
    You also need to tell your MIL to zip it if she ever talks to you.

    Like

  20. Dear LW

    What I gather from your email is that your husband doesn’t have the backbone and doesn’t think on his own. Initially he listened to you, so he was nice to you, then he started talking to his mom everyday and his mon poisoned his ears, he started abusing you. Such husband will always be pain in the ass. Your MIL is a greedy woman and when her demands were not full-filled, she started taking it out on you through your husband. All you have to do is STOP complying to his demands. And what obediance is he talking about? Does he think he is a master and you are a slave?.
    All you are doing right now is to let him think in even more stronger ways that yes, he is the master and you are his slave. Its your life, your happiness which is at stake. What is stopping you to fight for your happiness? Tell him marriage is all about giving respect to each other and not behave like a Master or Slave. If he doesn’t understand and makes you go through hell again, then such marriage is not worth saving.
    What is actually more troubling is that first year of marriage was good, right? and then all issues started happening between you. Usually all this happens in the initial 1-2 years of marriage…it takes 1-2 years for men to understand that their mother is irrational and insecure of another men. But in your case, initial year was good and now it has started happening. This is a warning sign.
    Take a stand for yourself, dont be a doormat. Tell him this is his last chance to save your marriage and if he is not ready to improve the relationship then he doesn’t deserve you.
    And You deserve much better

    Love
    FS

    Like

  21. Dear LW,

    I see you asking for our views but what do you think about your situation? Are you willing to stay with him or do you want out? He is abusing you. I would suggest that you stand up to him and let him know that you can call the police against him. Calling 911 WILL bring the police to your door, and your husband will have to explain his abusive behavior to them. How would that look to his employer and to the neighbors? That should make him see reason.

    Also, are you on a dependent visa? Are you able to work/drive a car in the US? Do you have any friends/relatives in the US (you said you volunteer)? Please try and keep some money, your jewelry and passport/immigration papers with you, without letting your husband know of this. Also see

    http://dayahouston.org/faqs.php

    Abuse and violence against women on dependent visas/immigrant women is well-known in the South-Asian community and many organizations can help you. Not sure which city you are in, but here’s a list with numbers :

    http://dayahouston.org/resources.php

    Try and call an organization – they will understand your situation. Be safe. Do stand up to your husband and let him know that he cannot abuse you, but do it safely.

    Like

  22. Have you read MIL and DIL posts on this blog ?
    Your story is similar to some other recent posts by other sufferers you will get idea how to deal with this shit !
    Have you told your husband how cruel,oppressive he his ! I mean in loud and clear words ! Did you tell him he is treating you like a maid and you will leave the house and marriage if he doesn’t shape up!
    He comes across as a silly man ,……you need to be firm and threaten him,stop cooking,stop washing his clothes ! Sometimes such weak men shape up when all comforts are pulled away !
    And finally do you even like him ?? He doesn’t like you maybe he is driving you away !!if you don’t really like him,good riddance !!

    Like

  23. He told his mother he doesn’t like you. What if you’ve started disliking him too? Has he ever considered that option?

    Every relationship assumes a certain dynamic where the two people start getting comfortable in roles and assumptions about the other. Shake that up. To your husband and your MIL, you are the scapegoat and they get to feel omnipotent by seeing how far they can push you.

    You’re like the TV to them. They flip channels on the remote and the TV shows them the program they want to see. One day you say “Enough. I won’t be showing you what you expect to see.” And they are bewildered. They don’t expect the TV to have a mind or a heart. Guess what? Sucks to be them. You do have a mind and a heart.

    They are bullies who don’t see you as a human being, just as an outlet for their sadistic entertainment. The longer you put up with this, the worse the terms of engagement will get for you. Their expectations are being recalibrated each day. Tomorrow, he’ll go with a glove examining if there’s dust on the top shelf of the closet. Then he may strike you. Then he may do something else. Don’t wait for it to get worse.

    Refuse to accommodate their demands. He is married to his mommy. They are a unit, you are the outsider who conveniently doubles as maid and sex partner. You owe these people nothing. Refuse to serve them. Do your own cooking and laundry and talk to the most shark-like attorney you can find in your area. The initial consultation is usually free. Then give him two visiting cards. One for a lawyer, one for a counsellor. And ask him which one he prefers.

    Or just contact your old employer or some friends in India and try to get a job again. Your beautiful life does not belong to these abusers.

    Like

  24. Dear LW,
    Please be very careful and watch out for your safety, especially, if you think he might get violent. If you suspect that he might get violent, call the abuse hotline and tell them you could potentially face domestic violence.
    If you think he is not violent, recognize that you are being emotionally abused, and there is no way to stay in this marriage without losing your sanity. UNLESS he is willing to recognize the abuse too and stop it.
    Do you think he can acknowledge and recognize that he is inflicting abuse on you? Only you can make this call. If the answer is YES or MAYBE, ask him to go to marital counseling with you.

    If he is willing to go to counseling and is willing to put an end to the abuse and starts treating you as a human being (and not a slave), then you have something to work with.

    If the above is not possible, or having tried the above, if it fails –
    – Call the abuse hotline and seek their help to ensure your safety and your rights. http://www.thehotline.org/
    – Prepare to file for divorce. Here is a website that answers some questions on divorce for people with H-4 visas. I’m not a lawyer and this is not legal advice but it looks like if you get divorced, your legal status in the US ends, so you need to get legally separated, apply for a legal status before the divorce is finalized (if you want to continue staying in the country). http://www.hooyou.com/divorce/faq.html
    – Your options would be to stay in the country and find a job or return to India.
    – If you’d like to stay in the country and assuming you have the status requirements in place, finding a job is the next challenge
    – I don’t know what your visa status is – if you are on a H-1 dependent visa, they are just beginning to open up employment options for such people but it’s new territory and no one knows exactly how things will pan out, how much the quota is, and what restrictions will be imposed. Here is an article that gives you some info reg this –
    http://lawandborder.com/h-4-spouses-waiting-for-employment-authorization-rule/

    With all the complications of legal status and employment for H-4 visas, it might be simpler to go back to India (in case of divorce), stay with your parents (at least temporarily), find a job, then move out (if they are not being supportive). You are no doubt in a tough situation. Being in a foreign country, dependent on an abusive spouse, with no emotional or practical supports, and laws that make it hard to find work, is extremely stressful. Please find your inner strength, gather your wits, make a plan, talk to a friend or family member, brainstorm some ideas. You need to ensure your sanity and survival. All the best and hugs.

    Like

  25. Dear LW, you know it already that this guys is not fit to be a husband. Such people do not change, so please stop wasting your time for him and his mother. Your life is at stake here. If your close friend or beloved sister were in your shoes what advice would you have given her? You surely wouldn’t let her go through hell like this. So take control. Pack your bags, collect your rightful valuables and move out. But not before lodging an official police complaint – that guy must not unpunished for his behavior.

    Best of luck, the first step is the most difficult one. I am sure you will find it in you to rise above this abuse.

    Like

    • Off topic(and idiotic) comment but still…
      Do you know the meaning of feminism? Or are you one of those people who think gender equality is “western” and has no place in India?

      “she loves coding, creative writing, organising and participating in hackathons, traveling and tasting good food”

      how many traditional families would let their daughter do all that? Or even say that she likes doing that?

      Liked by 1 person

  26. I feel the need to emphasize that husbands are adults. They have their own brains. Please stop blaming your MILs and SILs for every jackass act your husband does. Even if he listens to your evil MIL, he is still choosing to listen to her and follow up. Not like he is listening to everything the wife says and following her instructions.

    Wives are perpetuating the same patriarchy when you give more leeway to men than to the women for similar actions.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly..
      I constantly amazed at how women have such minuscule expectation from their husbands..
      All the shit the husband does is attributed to him being brainwashed by his mother..
      When will we realise that he is an adult who is choosing in a sound mind to abuse another adult(his wife in this case) …

      Like

    • This!
      Brainwashed or not, every mentally competent adult SHOULD have an inner moral compass to distinguish between right and wrong.

      Like

  27. I have a very different perspective on this matter, because I was an H4 wife who was summarily abandoned by her husband in the US, and could do zilch because of visa constrainsts.

    LW, you haven’t told us what your visa status is — is it dependent on your husband’s visa status? Are you on an H4 visa?

    Do you know whether your husband has a Green Card application under process? If he does, do you know what stage it is at? If he has filed for a GC, has he added your name to the I-485?

    My advice to you would vary depending on what your visa status is. I suspect that you are on an H4 visa, which is why your husband is entirely unafraid of legal measures.

    I was in the US betweeen 2001 and 2006, so do not know whether restrictions on H-4 visa holders have been eased or not.

    Back then, H-4 visa holders could not apply for a social security number, were legally prohibited from working, and were not eligible for coverage under VAWA programmes(funded under the Violence Against Women Act).

    Therefore, they could not be admitted to state-funded domestic violence shelters and were not eligible for legal and other aid under VAWA-funded programmes.

    If you are an H4 visa holder, you may not be able to seek legal redressal, because you are ineligble for it under a non-immigrant visa. You may call the police, and may even get a restraining order and seek other legal measures.

    HOWEVER, your visa status is entirely dependent on his — he could choose not to renew your H4 visa as my ex-husband did. He could choose to have your dependent visa revoked as he is your sponsor.

    If that happens, you will be forced to return to India. Even if you do file for divorce in the US, you will not be eligible for legal aid and will have to finance the prohibitive legal costs — they can run into thousands of dollars.

    Most US courts do not award much protection to H-4 visa holders, because they are non-citizens and considered to be non-immigrant aliens.

    If you are an H-4 visa holder, you may not even have independent credit history and will therefore be unable to even apply for a bank account, a phone connection, or independently rent an apartment.

    Do you have an independent credit card? Do you have a driver’s licencse? If not, persuade your husband, by hook or by crook, to help you get a driver’s permit, and build sufficient credit history so you can successfully apply for a credit card.

    If you are on an H-4 visa, understand that you are in a precarious position. You do not have a social security number, nor viable credit history, nor eligibility for a job, so you CANNOT live independently.

    If your husband revokes your H4 visa, you will have to leave the US in 30 days or you will be out of status and will run the risk of deportation.

    I would suggest that you do the following if you are on H-4 visa:

    1) Get a driver’s license.
    2) Start applying for a graduate degree. Most schools in the US would consider you to be a resident, since you have lived in a particular state for over a year. You are eligible for in-state tuition at a state university, which is extremely nominal.
    3) Do your utmost to get admitted to a graduate program in a field of study that would get you a job. The US economy and visa regulations being what they are, computer science or engineering would be your best bet.
    4) If all else, approach a domestic violence counselling service in your area. Manavi is very active in the tri-state area. Their website is: http://manavi.org/

    I know that it would be extremely difficult to convince your husband to help you to apply for graduate school. Yet I think that it’s far easier to live as a divorced woman in the US than in India.

    It may be unpalatable advice, but I would suggest that you stay in the marriage for a few years until you have the skills and strength to live alone in the US.

    If you can somehow survive for the next 2-3 years; finish graduate school and get a job, you will be well and truly on the path to independence. It’s easier to rebuild your life as a single, divorced woman in the US, than it is in India.

    You will face the same challenges in India, coupled with social exclusion, stigma and blame. It’s not worth it.

    Please, please call Manavi at any rate. They have trained counsellors who can offer advice and emotional support. They even run a domestic violence shelter and safe house for women who fear for their lives.

    The Manavi hotline number is: +1732-435-1414.

    All the very best, and hugs!

    Like

    • Your comment is an absolute gold mine of useful advice! I’m strongly thinking of publishing a handbook – “Pitfalls for married women living in the US” with information like this. It’ll be a whole lot more useful than those idiotic “how to be a good wife” and “how to win over your man” books.

      Like

    • Thanks, all. I really appreciate your kind words. I wish women would think long and hard before moving to the US on an H4 visa.

      I can understand the allure of the Great American Dream, but it’s much better to live on your own terms, with your own money.

      It makes no sense to place yourself in a postion of completer dependence and vulnerability and hope against hope that your husband won’t use it against you.

      I undersand the immense social pressure women face to follow their husbands to the ends of the world, giving up successful careers in the bargain.

      I get it. I did it myself and now know that such leaps of faith are foolhardy. Never, ever will I place myself in a situation of complete dependence on a man — the risks outweigh the benefits.

      @Anita: Perhaps we should caution Indian women that marriage to NRIs comes with a statutory warning, just like cigarettes.

      I’d say that women should only move overseas if they are permitted to be economically independent and can find employment.

      I’ve just become very cynica about marriage in India — it most cases, it’s litte more than an exercise of power and entitlement; it’s exploitative and confining.

      I see very few Indian marriages that are truly based on mutual respect, a genuine regard for each other’s well-being, a commitment to fairness and the happiness of both spouses.

      I hope to see a day when marriage is no longer mandatory for Indian women, when it’s one choice amongst many others, rather than the ONLY goal of a woman’s life.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Okay I read all the comments and most of the commenters believe an adult can’t be brainwashed. But an adult can be brainwashed too, can be emotionally blackmailed. It is not just about growing in age, it is also about growing mentally.

    Now LW, as I can understand from your email that you don’t have a job, the first thing you should do is to get a job instead of packing your bag. Get a job, ANY job. Save some money.

    I don’t know if you can forgive your husband after all he has done, but if you can, then while you are working n collecting yourself some money, work on improving your relationship with husband, for few months see if things change. When you get enough money to support yourself, put your foot down. Tell him clearly, you wont be his puppet any more, if he can’t let you have equal rights in the marriage, then you will leave.

    It may bring back his lost mind at place that you will seriously leave him and he get ready to have an equal marriage. Then you clearly tell him your terms and don’t leave the job still.

    But let us talk about other aspect, if he is still the same, then get out of your suffocating marriage, take the flight if you don’t have US greencard or can’t enroll your self in further studies there, come here live separately.

    See if your parents are not supportive, you can’t pack your bag straight away and go, you need to plan it coz you are not earning. Plan it well.

    My mother was abusive but the day i started earning n she got know i wont stay here a day if she tries to dominate me, she stopped her this behavior, but i couldn’t forgive her. So please plan it and also decide if you can forgive your husband if he changes, if you think you can’t, you don’t even need to try improving anything. Just keep doing what you are doing and keep saving your money and get out of it when you have enough.

    Like

    • I think the way people treat you when they perceive you as weak is a true indication of their innermost feelings. Your point about deciding if forgiveness is even possible makes a lot of sense.

      Like

  29. Dear LW,

    If you have made it to my comment, you should have got the general drift – leave your husband. The questions are: how? And when?

    You will have to be pragmatic and clinical while you figure this out. Hope these pointers are helpful

    #1. Money : get enough cash, yes cash, in hand to buy a one way ticket home. You should also try to have enough for 3 months stay in US or India. You may have to be devious about getting it if your husband controls the accounts and such. But start putting it together, even if they are small amounts

    #2 keep your passport safely, in your hands at all times. That’s to allow you to leave when you want, and prevent its possession by your husband as a threat.

    #3 prepare an exit bag. Couple of clothes, toothbrush etc. again in case you need to leave in hurry, you should not have to think about what to carry.

    # 4 identify a “safe” house, in India and US, where you can stay, no questions asked. If you are not sure of your parents support, get a friend on board. Don’t worry about what people will think. You would be surprised with how much people will be willing to help, if only you ask.

    # 5 don’t allow your mind to wander about what-if situations: what if he says sorry, what if I cant get a divorce, what if I can never have children. All useless. Respect yourself sister.

    My very best wishes.

    Like

  30. I’d just like to add a few things here that I have read about leaving an abusive relationship. Sometimes, if you stand up to the abuser, they may become more abusive and even violent. So before doing that, I would recommend having addresses n phone numbers of a few women’s shelters and your passport and other belongings ready to leave the house immediately when you need to. Also, I would recommend secretly putting away things in a drawer or a section of closet (passport n immigration documents, money, jewelry n a couple of pair of clothes). If your husband suspects that you want to leave, he may make it harder for you and withhold your passport, so please try to secure that asap. You could even give it to a close friend you can trust at the place you volunteer.

    Like

  31. I’d just like to add a few things here that I have read about leaving an abusive relationship. Sometimes, if you stand up to the abuser, they may become more abusive and even violent. So before doing that, I would recommend having addresses n phone numbers of a few women’s shelters and your passport and other belongings ready to leave the house immediately when you need to. Also, I would recommend secretly putting away things in a drawer or a section of closet (passport n immigration documents, money, jewelry n a couple of pair of clothes). If your husband suspects that you want to leave, he may make it harder for you and withhold your passport, so please try to secure that asap. You could even give it to a close friend you can trust at the place you volunteer.

    Like

  32. Pingback: 15 lines from ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  33. Such a pity indeed … Why is it that in our society a daughter-in-law/wife is told to adjust.. whatever come by? Cant their be a relationship towards mutual understanding? Why cant we ever guide our children towards this???

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