An email: “You have almost saved my marriage, in a weird way.”

Sharing an email. 

EVERY PASSING DAY MAKES A LIFE. EVERYDAY ABUSE RUINS LIFE.

Hi, 

You have almost saved my marriage, in a weird way. I thought I was the only one fighting it off everyday but when I read these stories I feel at least consoled but sad too . Domestic Violence has too many traits, it always does not have to be physically abusive. It could be as bad without it .

The email continues: 

Dear IHM,

Marital issues are sometimes so tricky, there are times that we really can’t pinpoint whose mistake it is. I really don’t know if I say that to console myself or to console others. I have been married for 8 months and No it has not been a smooth ride to shift from a nuclear family in to a joint family. To shift from a family that is broad minded, to a family that thinks it is ‘broad minded’.

A very typical arranged marriage was fixed to a really nice guy, I said yes after meeting him and talking for a few minutes (mistake 1) , why I said Yes – other than him being a nice and a humble guy, what really stood out was that he gave his family a better life than they already had. He made a house with a little help from his father. The family had too many financial issues and he pulled them out of it at quite a young age. I was of the thought that if this man could do so much then may be we could be together and make a better life and a beautiful living for us (mistake 2).

In our community girls are not allowed to see the boy’s house till marriage, the parents check that out. I was told that it was not all that fancy but the family was really nice (mistake 3 ). We got engaged soon and 5 months after that we got married.

I knew that there was going to be a change but never knew that the change would be so drastic.

My husband was really sick and diagnosed with dengue a week before marriage, and a series of other major accidents and occasions (that could be avoidable with some common sense) happened. I was blamed for all this by my MIL, she would do all this only if I was alone.

Our first festival together, where traditionally the couple sits together, I was asked to sit separately in a different room with others and not with my husband. The first time I wanted to go home, I was told to get married to someone from my City if I had to go home. When my parents came home to pick me they were embarrassed in front of many people by my in laws. My FIL said that he never knew that I was going home and I had not asked him. My father was insulted in front of many people. I had, infact, spoken to everyone in the house that I was going for a few days, less than a week actually.

Anything that I prepared for my husband my MIL would say he will not like that, as its not according to his taste. My FIL is of the mentality that a woman once married is the property of the in laws family and they have more rights over her, her parents are not that important in her life anymore. All this even when his own daughter and son in law and grandson stay upstairs. I belong to a well off family compared to my in laws and I might have lived a slightly better lifestyle earlier, I was asked to forget that life and that living as I have to adjust here. This is going to be my life hereafter. A women is supposed to be like that. I was not allowed to meet my friends unless I get a permission from everyone. Infact I was asked to not make plans with my friends.

I am a spiritual person and not overly religious, I was asked to be more religious keep fasts for my husband, to keep going to temples as much as possible.

All this went on and the only reply I got from my husband was ‘IGNORE’. All this ignoring piled up when I once replied back to my FIL for yelling at me. He was screaming at me because I had not had lunch that day. He constanly calls my mother and complains to her and tells her not to inform me that. This time when he yelled at me my mountain of ignoring shook off and I replied back. It went on to a situation where I spoke to a man in a raised voice, women should not be talking like that.

I had severe panic attacks and felt suicidal after this, every time I saw my FIL I would have attacks, I am also working and while going back home I would have those attacks. Had to be taken to the psychiatrist after this. It somehow worked, he asked to speak out to my in laws and I would have to face my fear.

My husband supported me here (consoled me ), but could not let go off the fact that his parents were right and he could not let go of them. His father had shifted upstairs because I had panic attacks around him, he could not let go of that too. That was a big change my FIL did for me apparently.

My parents came down to meet me and tackle the situation.

I spoke out that day and my parents were also there. My parents clearly told them that they are very much a part of my life and not going to go away because I am married off. They don’t like my mom too because my mom spoke to my father in law in a certain ‘manner’ , even if she is a women.

The environment has changed but in a different way my MIL still finds ways to suppress me. A constant comparison is done between me and many (her amazing daughter). She has not stopped reminding me of the fact that she is the one that has to see all the pain in her son’s life. Her son’s life has become a mess and he has so much tension. The difference is that now she never directly talks to me about all this but a constant nagging.

My Husband’s take on this is to look at the positive side and well he still does not think there is much of a problem and of course his parents are well wishers. There are a few moments that are really nice too  I cant say that it’s like this 24 hours. Me and my husband if left with each other are perfectly fine.

However on an everyday basis it pulls me down I feel claustrophobic in his house, It does not feel like home. What do I do?

Please help me out here, I would like to know about what are things I need to know to deal with this.

How do I Convince my husband he is married and we need our space without interference. He has told me to be patient, but it’s frustrating everyday.

Thank You

16 thoughts on “An email: “You have almost saved my marriage, in a weird way.”

  1. My heart goes out to you. Its not easy to live in joint family set up for a newly wed. Girls usually have this rosy dreams about joint family that they are one big happy family as shown in soap operas…but its nothing like that. Lets be honest…you made a mistake by marrying into one.

    Now, to deal with your situation….first and most important is be bold and upfront. Respect is earned and not commanded. if your in-laws treat you with disrespect, shout and scream, tell them you wont take shit from anyone and they need to mind their manners. If they cant speak properly to you, you will stop communicating with them totally.

    Second, convince your husband to move out, if he doesn’t get convinced then ask convince him to build a separate kitchen for you since your in-laws have moved to second floor, build separate kitchen and washrooms . They dont mess with you, you dont mess with them and let them mind their own business. If your husband is not even ready for this, then I am sorry, but he’s not worth ruining your health and life.

    Third, if no amount of convincing helps, then please move out. Your mental health is more important than your marriage and so-called respect in society. If you are not happy, your husband wont be happy, bringing child into the world when parents are struggling with mental breakdowns and panic attacks, is definitely a mistake. Think about it and take a stand now.
    It’ll be difficult initially but will be good for long run

    Love
    FS

    Like

  2. Same problem different language. Last post also had same problem . I guess IHM blog should be referred by all women before marrying. Thank God I found this before my marriage.

    I am not married so maybe I don’t understand the dynamics still my 2 cents.

    1. First convince yourself: Convince yourself that you are human and you have all rights to live your life. Your husband does not care for your well being otherwise he would have shifted. Having panic attack is a severe form of emotional reaction and still anybody denies this then he/she damn care about them.

    2. Stop convincing: Stop convincing your husband. No convincing is going to make him understand your situation. Try to be aloof and see whether he notices it or not. If he loves you then he will come and talk to you. You have to take a tough stand on your relationship with your husband and his willingness to workout things.

    3. Stop following: Don’t follow any rule. Let their be tension and fights. All family member are responsible for family peace. Again convince yourself that all member have to contribute in family.

    4. Support system: Make friends and nurture your friendship. Go out without asking for permission. This will help you in coping with your situation.

    Be tough and show your toughness. If you will bend back then your husband and In-Laws will force you to bend more.

    Sorry to say but from your letter I didn’t got any feeling that your husband has any emotional connect with you.

    Like

  3. Dear LW, I have no answers, only questions.

    Patient to what end? For how long? What is the change/transformation that is taking place that you are being patient for the end result? Who benefits most as long as you are “patient”? Who suffers the most? Is anyone else being patient? Is anyone making an effort to understand the cause of all the friction? Is there an end goal that the family has in mind?

    What is expected of you? Who has expectations from you? Why? Can you meet these expectations? What is the price of meeting them? What is the reward?

    What are your needs? What are your hopes? What are your aspirations? Who understands them? What do you need to feel happy and fulfilled?

    I can hazard answers to all the questions and sadly, even without knowing you, many of them might be right too. But I don’t think that’s the point at all. What *you* think is most important. Please give yourself what it takes to figure it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 1. First and foremost, worry about YOURSELF and NOT your MARRIAGE. I can imagine the tremendous amount of stress you must have been under to have panic attacks. Make your peace of mind and your own health your main priorities. In laws will bitch and husbands will groan, but at the fag end of life, the only person who truly,fully,understands you is yourself. Please be kind to yourself.

    2. Take yoga,meditation, sports, music – as many or as few things as you need to FULLY EXPRESS YOURSELF. Journal, write or talk to a friend. Come to terms with your likes and dislikes. If you think you have made a mistake with this marriage, accept it and forgive yourself. Laugh a bit everyday.

    3.Start having an actual relationship with your husband. Tell him what you like about him and what you don’t like. Share problems, feelings, frustrations.Get him to do the same.Spend time outside the house together.
    If at any point of time you feel like this person is not what who you want to be with, PLEASE consider divorce. If however you are sure that this who you want to be with…

    4. Tell him CLEARLY that though you understand the love he has for his parents, you are NOT a doormat for them to puke all over. Tell him that either they try to get along or you both move out.

    5. Express the same to your in laws. Speak up. Repeat. On and on, until people realise that you CANNOT be shut up.

    6. Lastly, accept in your heart that you cannot be a doormat. You cannot adjust. Panic attacks are always connected to a state of mind. Your subconscious is telling you that you are deeply unhappy with the way you are being treated. Take comfort in your parents if they support you.
    Focus on being true to yourself, and happiness in all else will follow.

    I sincerely wish you the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My advice is a little different from what you have received so far…
    Your in laws exert power over you with their words. If you live with them or move out, this will not change. If you live separately, you may see them less but they will still affect you. You need to stop allowing their words to have power over you. If your MIL says your food doesn’t taste good, don’t let that hurt your feelings and tell her to start cooking if she wants it per her taste. If she compares you to her daughter, just let her keep talking or tell her to stop. At the end of the day, it’s really essential that you stop allowing other people’s words to affect you. Don’t allow them to have this power over you. And live the way you want to live. If you want to go meet your friends, go meet your friends. If they say, you need permission, just say no I’m not asking you for permission. Rules only apply if there’s a person willing to accept the rules. You are your own person and you don’t have to follow their rules. Also, I’d say you should leave your husband out of this. He does not have the ability to make them change.

    All our advice differ. At the end of the day, you have to decide what works for you. Just remember to treat yourself with respect and expect the same from others.

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  6. First of all LW, so sorry to hear what you are going through .

    Ask yourself if you would like to continue in this toxic environment. Are you really benifiting from staying at a place where your health has deteriorated so much? Do you want to start a family and hope to nurture your children in an environment where you are constantly abused?

    Here are my 2 cents:

    1. First of all you and your husband should behave as one unit. This is absolutely essential. Your relationship with each other is primary, everything else is secondary. So whatever decisions you communicate to your in-laws, communicate it as both your decision. You shouldn’t be the only ‘bad guy’ who is doing the talking. It’s absolutely essential your husband lets your in-laws know that you are an unit and he won’t tolerate you being abused.

    2. Your financial independence is a huge plus for you! Don’t ever give up your job no matter what. Keep your income separately. Keep some back up cash, jewelry ready should any situation arise.

    3. Unlike what your in-laws suggest, please do not stop meeting your friends. In fact this is when you need to keep well-meaning friends closer . Meet up with friends with whom you have common interests and actively pursue what makes you happy. Explore all positive facets of life and pursue hobbies which make you feel alive-anything from watching a movie to bungee jumping, whatever makes you happy.

    4. Take your husband to couple’s counseling. He needs to understand what you are going through is abuse. And being your life partner it is his responsibility to be there for you!

    5. It is best if you move out. If your husband disagrees just remind him that you have left behind your loving parents too. Just because he has the Y chromosome , does not make him any special. You are equals!

    6. Be brave. Even if you move out your in-laws might still try to harass you. Bullies tend to harass more when they feel they have lost control! Make it clear in no uncertain terms that they can’t bully you !

    If your husband still doesn’t support you, ask yourself if he is worth throwing your mental peace and health!

    All the best:). Hope you get out of this abuse. Wishing you a blissful , abuse-free life ahead .

    Like

  7. Your husband wants you to IGNORE your insults to you and your parents? Do exactly that.

    Ask him exclusively to deal with his parents. ‘Cos you will ignore them. Don’t interact with or respond to them. And make plans to move out of that house. Why would you want to be around someone who gives you panic attacks?

    You’re married to a spineless abuser by proxy who throws you under the bus so that he can be a good widdle boy to his parents. He is not ready to be a husband or a father. I’m sure he wouldn’t ignore any insults to his parents, but he’s okay with them insulting you and your parents.

    Tell your husband that he can move out with you if he likes, or you are going alone. Seriously, get out of there before you go insane.

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  8. I ask only this, OP:
    If nothing changes, how long are you willing to live like this?
    Let it all be awkward and tense and horrible and let your *** MIL cry her MIL tears and shout and guilt trip. Dump it right back on her about how she’s failing at being a mother in law. Let your husband fume. They made it that way, they can carry it, you stop carrying the burden of all the awkward tense horribleness. You’re unhappy as hell, let them be unhappy. My parents are traditional people, and both sets of grandparents were too (my surviving grandpa lives with my uncle and his wife and their children, and prior to that lived with my great grandparents), but nobody dared with this nonsense of “You don’t have a birth family anymore.”

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  9. Dear LW,

    I totally can understand your situation as I was in a similar situation a couple of months back except that we were enagaged and going to be married.
    My ex-fiance was a very jealous and possessive man and expected me to report everything to him, he would sometimes stalk me to work and demanded my password to check my mails etc. He would do this all very lovingly and the stupid girl that I was I believed him and gave him my details also. However one day I was feeling very stifled and suffocated in the relationship and my mother just asked me if anything was wrong and that’s it I vented out everything and she was horrified. She immediately called up they guy’s home and said that all this was unacceptable behaviour and then started the screaming – his sister and he and his family. Omg that was the day my engagement broke and I was so depressed all these days, I was angry with my mother that she called them and that’s why it broke etc…But today as I am typing this comment I realize that I am one lucky girl. My mother took such a timely action that it saved me from further troubles.
    LW, I am sorry to say this, but how can a man be “really nice” when he cannot stop your suffering? What is this consoling that he is doing? Is that all you want in your life? I mean what is the positive side in this entire thing? I cannot even identify one positive aspect in this relationship. Please think things through and take a decision.
    IHM, I cannot thank you enough for your blog. After reading your blog, I went and hugged my mom as all these months I did even talk to her or my dad because I held them responsible. Thank you for giving me back my family and sanity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is really awesome that your mother stood up for you and you learned that in turn! Others can learn from you too. Isn’t it silly how we sometimes take longer to decide which clothes to buy for the wedding than to decide whether to get married to the person in question?

      Like

    • You are very, very lucky to have such an awesome and courageous mother.

      In all my years on IHM’s blog (nine and counting), I haven’t heard of a mother intervening and coming to her daughter’s rescue.

      I hope that you have a wonderful life, with or without a man.🙂

      Like

  10. Dear LW,

    I feel your pain.

    My first marriage went south. My MIL was extremely bitchy; she was the evil mastermind who plotted enough schemes to qualify us being in a saas bahu saga. My husband was a wonderful man who really loved me, saw through her bullshit, and consoled me each time stuff happened. He’d tell me, constantly, “if WE can’t change in your twenties, what makes you think she will change in her sixties? WE just need to understand that, and life will be simpler for all of us.” He was even willing to move out, but I realized that distance would only reduce the frequency of incidents, and not really change anything.

    The true problem was even though he knew his mother was in the wrong, he just didn’t have the courage to confront her. THAT wouldn’t change after we moved out. I asked him to change, and he couldn’t, so I left.

    I’m now married to a man who has said spine. He is as committed as I am to making our relationship work. If his mother says something she shouldn’t, he’s be the first one to speak out. Politely, but assertively. Similarly, he and my parents don’t get along, and I do my bit to tell my parents when they’re in the wrong.

    And therefore, my advice to you is this – in a marriage that doesn’t work, the real issue is the lack of a solid bond between husband and wife. Parents and their expectations are only peripheral – these are issues you can live with, if you have a partner who supports you when you’re right.

    So find out how committed your husband truly is to you, and only if he truly sees you as an equal and is willing to fight for that should you be in this marriage. Otherwise, pack your bags and leave.

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  11. In my opinion, no relationship is worth it, if it makes you live in conditions that are emotionally or physically abusive. And a relationship is a two-way affair. The spouse has as much a role in making it work- to your advantage as you do to theirs. where you give all the way, you are not in a relationship but a convenient arrangement- the other person’s convenience.
    Also, a marital relationship is distinct from the relationship that one has with one’s parents. So, if the latter is coming in the way of the latter for the husband, he needs to evaluate what that means. Ultimately it is his choice to decide what he wants- a relationship with his spouse as an adult. Or one where his life is dictated by his parents because they did him the honor of birthing him.
    The Lw should not try to salvage what is not there. She should instead try to hold on to her life and dignity and get out asap. There is no patience where there is no respect.

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