Relationship with mother-in-law (an email)

A letter from a reader – I’ve asked the LW if I can share her letter as so many women find themselves in this situation and the discussion could be helpful to many women if it happened here – the LW agreed to share –

As you read the below, ask yourself:

  • what was my experience and how do/did I deal with it
  • what can I suggest to the LW that could be helpful
  • what are some things we should be doing as friends and family of someone in this situation
Dear Priya,
I like reading your blog and your posts on IHM’s blog. I have found myself nodding to almost everything you write and have found strength in your words to listen to my inner voice, to be assertive in order to keep myself happy and content.
I’m a 34 year old woman living outside India with my husband and 4 year old son. I had a very difficult childhood growing up in a sort-of broken household with a non-existent father who emotionally abused my mother every chance he got. My mother( who got married young without much skill or education but a sharp brain) stood her ground and put up with him to give me and my 2 sisters and one brother the best education she could(I’m now in a position to financially support her and help her start a small scale business all because of her stubbornness to not let her girls end up like her).
I got married to a wonderful man who is nothing like my father and has helped me a lot in letting go of the bitterness I have bottled up in my heart.
However I’ve had a very tough time integrating into my husband’s (very educated and status conscious) family following my marriage and have had conflicts with my mother in-law on more than few occasions in my 9 years of being married. She was against her very intelligent son getting married to me at such a young age (we were both 24 and just out of college with our first jobs) without going for higher studies as she had planned. I understand her disappointment but the taunts that we were subjected to went for far too long. I don’t look back to my marriage or my short stay at my husband’s place with any fondness.
Fortunately my husband got a better job offer outside India and we moved out. After struggling for two years we found our footing and got better off financially and things improved considerably between me and them.
This year when my brother-in-law was about to get married in a ‘proper arranged marriage'(unlike ours) to a bride of respectable profession ( read doctor) I voiced out some of the glaringly obvious double standards at display which again took our relationship back to square one. Having learned to be more assertive of my choices over the years, I spoke to them at length and cleared misunderstandings and brought things from the past to a closure (or so I thought). I kept in touch with them and helped them with the wedding prep, had them come over and stay with us for sometime all happy and merry.
I found out that I am pregnant recently and my mother-in-law started giving me well-intentioned but unsolicited advices about how to go about it. I told her very politely how I think I should be left to deal with it as it is not my first time going through the experience. She has been giving me the silent treatment ever since. I tried reaching out to her once but got no response. I would be lying if I said it doesn’t hurt me because it does as I thought we had reached a place where we could have genuine conversations.
I wanted this relationship to work for the sake of my husband who is a great son-in-law himself and my son to whom they are wonderful grandparents. But now the efforts are weighing me down. I’m having some trouble at work and have the additional pressure of this pregnancy plus my regular life that I don’t have the energy to deal with my mother-in-law anymore. Is giving up on this relationship the right thing to do? I would want my children to have grandparents and my husband to continue to have good relationship with his family. I just don’t want to be the only one putting in all the efforts anymore.
Best regards,
A
Repeating questions from above
  • what was my experience and how do/did I deal with it
  • what can I suggest to the LW that could be helpful
  • what are some things we should be doing as friends and family of someone in this situation
  • please share any other relevant thoughts not covered under the questions
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A Guest Post by an Anonymous Indian Family Vamp.

Dear IHM,

Just saw this comment in one of your blogs:

“People think that girls in love marriages do not pay due respect to in laws. My cousin had a love marriage in Jain’s and she is living a great life.(Our family is liberal). She was a non vegetarian and Kayastha by caste. She is an IITian but knows and has accepted every element of Jainism now (by choice). Her In laws boast about her in their community. Her daadi in law does’nt go anywhere without her. She is an ideal Bahu and loved by all.”

 I am sure the writer did not really intend to offend; I can understand that growing up in largely patriarchal and sexist social conditioning changes one’s perception of normalcy.

Anyway, I couldn’t resist commenting. “Love marriage” or “arranged marriage” hardly affects the life of a woman after marriage (read after honeymoon). Results can be quite surprising.

I had a “love marriage”. Incidentally, my ILs also had a “love marriage”. More interestingly, my MIL’s parents had a “love marriage” too. So, the concept of “love marriage” wasn’t alien to the family and since my ILs themselves did it, they were a lot more accepting of me than they would rather be.

Now, many people would think my ILs are a liberal sort. No. They found my “love marriage” normal because they did it themselves. For all other things, they are as much a typical orthodox patriarchal family.

As for crossing heavens, my MIL is touted as the ideal DIL. She did B.Com. and a degree in music in a major city and lived a somewhat modern life (by the standards of her time). After marriage, she immediately got pregnant (my husband). She was hardly 21 or something. To this date, my grand MIL proudly proclaims (especially to irk me and make me retort and stir things up) that her DIL had just one period after marriage. Interestingly, my MIL was so madly in love and crazy about getting married (thanks to my FIL who is extremely manipulative and can easily convince people), she didn’t even bother to collect her degree certificate. Some achievement (sarcasm alert)!

I think from my previous post, it is evident that she has been suffering from domestic abuse and domination for about 30 years now. She is also severely Diabetic. Anyway, she is extremely timid, subservient and submissive and has sacrificed her happiness, job, health, freedom, and peace of mind and what not for this family.

Now, my ILs are quite impressed and they have a “good opinion on love marriage” because a DIL who came in through “love marriage” was the perfect DIL whom nobody could have found even through “arranged marriage”. In fact, she is considered the best of the three DILs there are (my FIL has two brothers).

In contrast, the youngest DIL, who hated their double standards and domination (like me), openly rebelled and seceded from the joint family. She was brought into the family through an “arranged marriage”. In contrast to MIL, she was from a village and had probably only done her matriculation or something. She insisted that she wanted to study. ILs nodded and got her married. After the marriage, they told her to get pregnant immediately and that she can study later. This, the pressures of a joint family, my typical villainous grand MIL, the abusive men of the household, the restrictions and everything and my FIL’s drinking habits (even on her marriage my FIL was inebriated to the point of going into a coma) drove her to openly rebel. She tried every trick in the book and aborted twice. Finally, they pressurized her so much, she had to relent and finally had two kids. But, she was so bitter by now, she managed to convince her husband and separated from the joint family. Then she did her 12th, BA, MA and now, she is doing her PhD.

This woman, who was “arranged married” by the entire joint family that “selected” her on her “girl-seeing” ceremony, is now the family vamp and all DILs after her (including me) are not-so-subtly warned of the consequences of defying this family. In fact, when I got married, my ILs even warned me to be careful of her (as if she were kidnapping me for ransom) as she would “poison” my mind. My husband has mixed feelings towards her; he knows in his heart that she was right, but being a product of patriarchy, is unable to openly acknowledge or support it.

Anyway, today, I am vamp number two (yay!). Number two because I did not actually openly fight like she did, but I did my share of convincing and peacefully moved out, leaving no quotable evidence in my wake. Vamp, I am, because “I split the family and separated the child from his parents” (as if I was automatically orphaned the moment the thaali came round my neck) even though my ILs still don’t have proof that it was my intention.

My husband, though the main orchestrator of this evil secession plan, is also secretly worried about my reputation. However he is getting more and more relaxed with the comparatively liberal and non-patriarchal living in our new house, albeit slowly.

Three women, two vamps, one “arranged married”.

Now, let’s compare what really happens to the children of women who “cross heavens” and the children of family vamps.

When I compare my MIL’s family and Vamp no. 1’s family, the latter is clearly happier, more well-adjusted and peaceful. Their kids are a lot happier, freer, less frustrated and more comfortable with their parents than my husband and BIL were at that age. In fact, vamp’s daughter recently spoke on a public forum. Her father is thinking of enrolling her for journalism, as that is what she wants to do (despite the fact that she has a “good score” and can actually do engineering or medicine). She is bold, outspoken and is the only kid in the family who is openly not on speaking terms with FIL and grand MIL.

My husband, in contrast, was prohibited from joining a medical college (even after passing the coveted medical entrance) by his controlling and emotional-blackmailing parents. He was put in a random college and course chosen by FIL.

In fact, when he joined, he did not even know what his course was about.

It didn’t stop after he successfully finished his graduation and got a job. He got selected in Infosys with a very good salary to which FIL objected and forced him to abandon.

He finally got a job in a **** company. But being extravagant and alcoholic at that, FIL forced him to send his salary home with hardly anything left for his personal expenses. Please note that my husband was working and living in an expensive city. To manage this, hubby often went hungry. But the family cared a hoot, as this was what eldest sons were supposed to do.

What hubby went through in name of tradition is so horrible to even hear, it brings tears to my eyes even today.

I believe that arranged or love married, only strong, stable and brave women can have well-adjusted and happy families (if they choose to). The rest merely pretend. Scratch the family’s pleasant exterior, and you find it all rotten.

Sincerely,

Family Vamp Number Two

Related Posts:

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

An email from a Happily Married Indian Daughter in law…

To an Anonymous DIL

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

“I am betraying my parents, country and culture by not having an arranged marriage, people are talking, younger sisters not getting married.”

Sharing an email.

Hi there,
I can’t believe I am writing to you but I guess when you think the only way out it to kill yourself then you must make sure that you have checked all avenues before blaming yourself to be source of all pain (and therefore concluding that eliminating yourself is the only solution).

I am a female, 31 and (for my sins) single. I have been living in UK for 11 years. I studied in UK and now have a good job, circle of friends, my own flat and I am about to start studying for a second masters degree this year. My family lives in India (in one of the two big metro cities). I have not taken a single penny from my family since I have left India, in fact I have helped them when they needed it. We are three sisters and a brother ( I am the eldest).

My parents have made my life miserable for the last 6-7 years about getting married. My parents want me to marry a Brahmin Indian guy selected by them in an arrange marriage fashion (their source for guys is the TOI and HT matrimonial sections). I don’t believe in arrange marriage.

I was in an on and off relationship with a British Asian guy for 4.5 years. We broke up when I was 29 because of his commitment phobia (he is 37 now).  I partly blame them for my only ever relationship not working out. Even while I was with him, they kept asking me to meet the people they were selecting because my ex was one caste lower and therefore not acceptable to them. I wanted to please them (was too scared to let them down because they have taught us that if one upsets ones parents then one leads a horrible life and gets sent to hell by God) , was weak and was not feeling secure in my own relationship either, so I kept meeting other men they were suggesting on the side. I didn’t remotely like single one of them.

Parents have visited me once in UK (my sisters have been here a couple of times) but that makes them qualified (they think) to choose a suitable guy for me.  I, who has resided here for 11 years and made all the adult life decisions alone, am not qualified to choose my own life partner.

I thought if I tell them that I will no longer meet guys they are suggesting, then all this will stop. So I did that a year ago. But they did not listen. Recently they still insisted that I speak with another guy. I spoke with him reluctantly on the phone. As expected he was not my type, so I refused to see him. My mother has not spoken to me since because I did not meet the guy and said no after a phone conversation.

The emotional blackmail is relentless: younger sisters not getting married because of me, dad’s age (he believes he is very old at 65 and can die any moment), I am betraying my parents, country and culture by not having an arrange marriage, I am the cause of everyone’s illness, I am selfish, I don’t care about anyone as I am use to being on my own and living an independent life, how can I be happy if I am not married,  “ladki haath se nikal gayi” when you left India, I trusted you but you betrayed us, you are ungrateful for everything we have done for you, people are talking all kinds of crap about you….the list of what I am apparently doing wrong by not having an arrange marriage is endless.

Dad today also said that I should give up everything in UK and come back to India. I asked him why do you want that and he said “So that we can marry you and show the world that you married a guys of our choice. There is nothing wrong with that, is there?” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! It was as if a devil had taken over my dad! This has been the last straw for me.

I am tired of this now. I cannot think of a way out of this. I feel alone as I am ashamed to confide in people in the UK that my parents are forcing me to get married. I think that if I die then all this will die with me and they will not be upset anymore. Help me please. Is there anything I can do to change this.

Thanks.

Related Posts:

“Only thing I can can think of now is to take a spoon of boiling oil and put on my cheeks. I will see then who marries a girl with a burnt face”

What Khaps need is a strictly implemented law against Forced Marriages.

Four kinds of marriages in modern India. Which ones would you ban?

Parents should choose the boy for a girl aged below 21, as it is they who bear the brunt of an unsuccessful marriage – Karnataka HC

Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation.

How illegal bans on Valentine’s day and birthday parties are connected with dowry deaths and sex selection.

Are these the eight reasons you would give in support of Arranged Marriages?

Early and arranged marriages within the community prevent social ills.

A marriage arranged by the parents is better because they have experience.

“I need suggestions – these girls are ruining their lives with their stupid ideas about love.”

Why is abuse by parents taken so lightly by Indians?

Indian family values are good for Indian daughters?

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

Marriages are sold to Indian women in a glossy cover…?

An email from An Adult Male of India : “Every single family sitting or phone call will eventually lead to….”

Sharing an email from An Adult Male of India.

Dear IHM

I am an adult male of India.

Family background is moderate as parents are govt. servant and we have been nuclear family since 1986. I am an engineer by profession having typical life style in Delhi. Parents stay in home town. I have a younger (6years) brother, who is studying as of now.

My mother has been fierce and open rebel against societal stereotypes in many things which she could understand and comprehend as stereotype as much as I have seen her though my father is a product of patriarchal system and stereotype which he pretend not to be so as far as it does not hurt his own interests. You have to imagine what kind of battleground home can become in with these two personalities in same room.

Because of studies and work I had to leave home town a long back (~11year) and since inception of my comprehending abilities I have been an introvert person who don’t interrupt anybody as far as it does not intrude in my space but at the same time have very strong but logical view point at his own.

I have made my own decisions so far which I intend to continue till death and everything was hunky-dory till a year back. In last one year my folks have started showing a pressure on me (including my brother – surprisingly) to get married. Every single family sitting or phone call will eventually lead to a holy grail – my marriage.

I tried to tell them to mind their own business in every possible way – love, reasoning, compassionately, fight and what not. They agree at that point of time but later on like weeds it comes again.

I asked her/them why they are doing this and in reply I get answer like,

1. Societal pressure(?) – I asked her that when she be rebel all her life whats wrong now which silence her and to en extent father and brother too but then again.. like a weed.. comes again
2. There is a right age to get married
3. Other people my age have kids by now
4. Why I don’t want to get married

There is cross fire every time and after that a deathly silence.

I love my family beyond doubts but this is become burden I just cant keep saying same thing all the time and ruin my time and their too. Its damaging my relation with them. It damaging family in whole.

I fail to understand why cant they leave this to me to make this decision too?  What is the way out?

On the other hand, I don’t know why one should get married. I don’t know what to say when I am asked why am I not getting married. Its like I don’t know.

I meet ladies and I have many friends but at the end of day I don’t see that understanding part in them. Ladies are interested in getting settle down living in one city whole life and babies etc. Well that not my cut. I don’t know what is settling down.

The thought of settling in one city with a family with kids makes me restless. I want to travel. I travel a lot for personal and professional reasons. My idea is when I am on my death bed my passport should have every damn country’s stamp on it. I want to make money for that. I am having a business acumen in me and keep trying. I am happy with my self professionally but if come back to ladies. I don’t know why it is difficult to just live and let live.

So far my family were source of my energy but now they are sucking my energy like anything. I feel tired after talking to them. I don’t feel like talking to them.

Is there any way out of this?

Cheers,
An Adult Male of India

Related Posts:

An email: “I have absolutely decided that I will not marry her, but I am wondering if I made the right choice.”

An email: I am 18 year old male from a traditional (read:backward) Indian family.

An email from an Indian Husband… and a Good Indian Son.

An email: “I have absolutely decided that I will not marry her, but I am wondering if I made the right choice.”

An email: “Is it safe to assume he loved his culture and tradition more than me?”

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

An email: Is it fair for parents to say that their happiness depends on who their kids marry?

So what does marriage mean to traditional and conservative Indians?

“I am the glue in their marriage. They have come to have a largely perfunctory relationship without me.”

Early and arranged marriages within the community prevent social ills.

An email: “I have absolutely decided that I will not marry her, but I am wondering if I made the right choice.”

Sharing an email.
Hello, IHM.
Most of the people who write to you seem to be women, but I hope you will be able to offer some advice to me as well! (I’m male)
Okay, before I begin my story, some background. I am a 29 year old Delhiite, and an investment banker by profession. My family is a large one, and is fairly traditional, but I have spent several years abroad, and for good or worse, do consider myself a bit more liberal than the average Indian. I’ve done reasonably well in my career so far and currently hold what people would call a ‘plush’ job in the NCR.
As you may imagine, as I crossed 25, my family started hankering me (with increasing intensity) to think about marriage. I resisted all attempts for about three years. Last year, though, I finally gave in, and agreed to have a look at some of the eligible ‘matches’ my family had received.
After a couple of unsuccessful ‘dates’ (I’m not sure what I would call them, really), I hit the jackpot. This woman – I’ll call her Tara – was a fellow banker who also lived and worked in the NCR. We spent about five months getting to know each other. I was skeptical at first, but I was eventually bowled over not just by the fact that she was great looking, but also because she was the sort of confident, vivacious, smart and yet kind individual that I always wanted as a life partner. We shared many of the same goals, we shared similar values and we also had similar thoughts on things like religion and parenting. In short, I thought Tara was more or less my best shot at finding ‘the one’, and to the extent that anyone can do so in five months, I think I genuinely fell in love with her. Our parents were quite happy, and we arranged to have a June engagement.
That was the good part. Now comes the dilemma.They say love blinds you to many things. I was blinded too, but as time passed, it became more and more obvious to me that all was not well on her side. It manifested as small things which I initially chalked to the initial awkwardness (but which were more than that in actuality). She would seem extremely stressed, and even resentful at times. Her moods would change suddenly. One moment, we would be talking quite normally, the next, she would simply explode over some triviality (e.g me tipping the waiter too much).

On my first – and only – attempt at any kind of physical contact (just physical, not even sexual), she completely froze, and her body tensed up like a wound spring.

Of course, I immediately let go, and to my surprise, she began crying and left without a word. I did not talk about it later, thinking that it was obviously a sensitive subject, and hoping that she would come round to it when she felt comfortable. She never did.

She completely broke down on several occasions, for no apparent reason whatsoever and did not respond when I asked her what was wrong.
These things started happening with increasing regularity, and before long, I began suspecting that something was very wrong.
It was only in the last couple of weeks that — after much prodding and cajoling — she shared the truth with me. Her story was involved and complicated, but the long and short of it was that she was basically being emotionally blackmailed into this relationship by her own parents, in many ways. For example, her mother suffers from multiple health issues, and the ‘stress’ that Tara caused by not getting married according to her parents’ wishes was supposedly aggravating these issues. She also has a younger brother, who evidently cannot get married until she does. The parents have expressed a wish to see their grandkids before they die, and her father threatened to consume rat poison on at least one occasion.
The pressure was obviously incredible.
Many heart-to-heart discussions followed, but the bottom line which came out was that while she honestly did not want to get married at this point, she did like me, and would thus marry me as a sort of ‘best-compromise-available’ solution, if I was willing (basically a known devil v. the devil unknown scenario).
Faced with this situation, I unequivocally refused. I told her she needed to get out of the trap she was in, live her own life, and find her own speed. I reasoned that I couldn’t marry someone who didn’t want to be married at all, as doing so would make both our lives miserable. I made this argument in many ways, at many times, and told her we could be friends etc.She did not accept this, and told me that I wasn’t doing her any favors but in fact only making things worse, because she’d now have to marry some other guy that her parents chose for her, who might not be very suitable. She told me that I should take some time to think about it.

As you may have guessed, I am now double-guessing myself. I have absolutely decided that I will not marry her, but I am wondering if I made the right choice. Would we have been better off if I had chosen otherwise? Is she right in saying that I am actually leaving her worse off than before? I have been feeling a little guilty for having been part of this whole blackmail, and not seeing the signs earlier on. There is also a sense of betrayal — this was a woman I loved (I think) and I thought we had something great going on, but in the end, it all turned out to be a charade.
I am conflicted and confused.
Your perspective on this issue would be greatly appreciated. At the very least, it would help me clear my mind on the subject. Hopefully, I will also learn some valuable lessons for the future.
Awaiting your reply.

Conflicted Banker

She doesn’t feel any attraction or liking or even friendliness for the guy. No ‘Connection’.

Sharing an email.
Dear IHM,

I’m mailing you with a lot of confusion in my mind and i hope to find a way through you,your blog and everyone’s advice based on their experiences with arranged marriage.
To cut a long story short, these are the pointers :
– My sister is 29 yrs old (30 in a few months), she stays with my parents, is well-qualified and has a job of her own. We are 2 sisters and we are proud of our parents the way they have brought us up. There has never been the feeling that there is no boy/son in the family.
– After long yrs of trial and errors finally there is this match. The boy’s family came, saw, and approved and the engagement was done in a day’s time.
– All is fine with the boy’s family and the boy himself is well-qualified and broad-minded.
– The problem is he is not ‘good-looking’ and most importantly my sister doesn’t feel free with him.
That may be understandable in an arranged marriage and so she has given her best efforts like talking to him, getting to know him etc. But even after 2 months now she doesn’t feel any attraction or liking or even friendliness for the guy. No ‘Connection’.
Now everyone in the family (joint family) is happy. Dates have been final and halls booked. Both families happy. The boy happy. But THE GIRL IS NOT HAPPY.
I believe that no one lives your life and in a marriage its important for both of them to feel some common ground and connected in some way. Mine is a love marriage. Though I don’t know how much difference that makes to ‘Marriage’ in itself because love or arranged it is the understanding and trust and friendship that is most vital.
Now my sister has shared her concerns with me. And all I want is her to be happy.
Please tell me what should be done in such a situation when everyone is happy and into the marriage except the girl.
She is not able to cope with his looks or his nature. The boy has a leg-pulling type jovial nature and his every response has a taunting undertone to it.
My sister feels tensed to talk to him. She feels ‘suffocated’ in this match.
She is not able to reach him/communicate to him/ be free with him. The boy on the other hand is very happy to have a beautiful wife but is concerned that he hasn’t seen any change in her wrt closeness or proximity.
He expects a kiss where as my sister can’t even think of spending time with him. That is the situation.
The concerns are :
The family is too much involved now. The boy is attached too.
If my sister backs out now :
– it would hurt the guy ( when she voiced her concerns in a subtle way he asked why did u get engaged then; but actually that was a quick decision bcz the boy had to move out and also every1 thought they would gel up well with time. Everyone did EXCEPT HER.)
– the family’s reputation is at stake. But we are mostly worried for our parents. With younger cousins getting married off and the probability of finding a right partner for my sister seeming less day by day.
– My sister is like she has been trying to give this relationship her best thinking that this is her only option and shaadi karni hi hai to kisise se bhi sahi.
( Lifestyle wise: my sister is veg and the boy non-veg. The boy drinks/smokes and my sister can’t even stand the smell of it)
Inspite of all this she has been trying to gel with the boy/ find a connection but she doesn’t feel anything for him.
I just want to know is this reason enough to call off a marriage ?
What should I advise her ?
Go ahead inspite of ur wishes, and give it some more time ( maybe get divorced after a year if things don’t work out ??? that’s really an option ??? ) for the sake  of the family. (Everyone is happy and satisfied and convinced about the match)
Or forget about everything else and take your stand and be prepared to face your life on your own. (maybe the chances of never getting married at all. I understand marriage doesn’t define someone’s life but there are obviously certain level of happiness and fulfillment that comes along with it and especially when the girl is keen on getting married. She wants to and dreams of having a sweet little happy family of her own like any other girl.)
Honestly, the second option feels right but is easier said than done.
Please help me help her. For me her happiness is most important.
Are such feelings common in arranged marriage and hence should we overlook it thinking that all would be fine after marriage etc etc. or should we respect her feelings and let her enter the uncertain world again where she may have to live her whole life alone.
I’m sure given our society,for a boy it doesn’t even take so much of a thought.
Thanks IHM and everyone who has taken time to read this and help us out. Thanks a lot.
Wishing you all love, light and peace.

The kind of man no woman should marry. What common sense has to offer.

What could have made  a well read newspaper (The New Indian Express, Kochi) publish an article like this (by Dr Titus Sankaramangalam)?

[Link shared by Anil Singhal]

Do you think any woman, who has a real choice, would want to marry a man who could write or approve of this article?

1. Why exactly does the author think, do people get married? It seems for men to have sex and intelligent children.

2. He doesn’t seem to realise that it takes two to make babies. (Very scientific)

3. He claims, “Very old men should marry only very young girls. (Older men even otherwise have a preference for very young girls)… ”

4. He claims the ‘omega three fatty acids on women’s thighs’ creates  intelligent children. He needs to read, ‘Older dads linked to rise in genetic disorder?’ [Older dads linked to rise in genetic disorder?]

5. He is obsessed with women’s bodies, but he doesn’t seem to have heard of ‘mutual attraction’. He doesn’t seem to be aware that one partner finding the other attractive is not enough.

Let me share some gems.

How to choose a bride? What science has to offer?

First commandment: The girl should have an hour-glass figure.

An hour-glass figure means that your child will also be intelligent because the girl will have enough omega three fatty acids on her thighs for the child’s brain development during pregnancy.

Second commandment:

The girl should be at least three years younger than the  boy.

Older boys should have even younger girls-the age difference should be at least  six years. Very old men should marry only very young girls. (Older men even otherwise have a preference for very young girls. The cut off line should be 25 years…

Third commandment: Go for a girl with only average looks…

Fourth commandment: Look for symmetry…. Large breasts are no good unless they are of the same size and shape…

Sixth commandment: A small chin and nose will add an infantile look and make a girl cute and adorable…

Seventh commandment: Skin and hair. I am not a racist when I say this, but go for a fair girl–a fair smooth skin to be exact. Even among

black tribes who have never seen a white man or woman, the preference for lighter skin exists…

Eighth commandment: The girl should be shorter than you…

Ninth commandment: She should be more intelligent than you…

Tenth commandment: If you want the girl to be pretty, look at her lips from the side…

Aren’t these the kind of men who disapprove of love marriages, coeducational institutions, Valentine’s day celebrations, Pub and Mall Culture, choice-mariages, working women, divorce, inter caste marriages etc – because if young women started choosing their own partners, who would marry them?

Why bother to react to such articles? Because, atleast some people seem impressed:

Fantastic Article! Our predecessors has drafted few rules like the bride to be younger than bridegroom, height etc, now you know it is not myth? no use in firing the author. Though No body will have all the 10, since everybody will not have everything, i still feel that this is true.

Related Posts:

Weird, funny facts about Misogynists.

“Girls, are you taking revenge on us ?”

How Not To Choose A Bride

An email: The wedding cards are distributed and the family izzat is involved…

Sharing an email…

Hello IHM

Maybe you don’t know me but I count you as a friend since I think of the IHM and the readers of this blog as family.
Today I write to u as I am in desperate need of some advice, …my gut feeling has been veering towards you. The thing is I am stuck in a rut… please please hear me out, and give me your valuable suggestions, because I write to you with a lot of hope…
I was in a relationship for more than two years, my parents just did not approve of him but he is everything that I dream of in a guy, and much beyond that too. He is the sole earning member in the family of 6 and is going through financial issues. Even though it does not affect me it was a problem for my parents. It was a very rough phase, in the meanwhile a rishta was proposed through some common relatives. It made my family very happy and I said yes, the rokka was fixed and the guy came down to India to spend time with me.
It was all ok, and I thought with time we will fall in love, even when he was here we were short of things to talk about and did have a few unpleasant incidents… something seems missing… we have had uncomfortable silences between us and lack of communication… I have tried speaking to him, but unable to explain that the magic is missing, and how I want us to talk and work on the relationship.
Now the wedding is around the corner (next month), and I seem to develop cold feet, I am absolutely blank… I don’t seem to be in the right frame of mind to commit to somebody for life, as i feel i will not be able to do justice to both of us…
I don’t know what to do… whether to follow my heart say no to the wedding and go after love or get married to somebody with a secure future… the wedding cards are distributed and the family izzat involved… please suggest something as soon as possible, I don’t know why but I wanted to speak to u… hope you understand.
Lots of love,
Second email:
…. yes I am a career woman… it is all my mistake, I thought I would develop feelings for him. but it does not happen mechanically. I need to talk to my parents strongly. Even though I have been talking to them, they think prayers would work. My voice is not being heard and that is what I don’t like.

The boy is question is a nice person, the respect is there from both sides but unfortunately we both are individuals in our own rights but don’t seem to fit nicely together. as in this is not how I want my marriage to be – lonely.
My parents are educated liberal people but are acting strange 😦
IHM do you think parents should fight with the world if their daughter says her heart was not in this marriage?

An email from an Indian father: I want to place on record my own story as a warning to anyone…

Sharing an email from a father of an Indian daughter.

Dear Indian Homemaker,

After stumbling upon your blog accidentally, I read with interest your post created on May 10, countering the so-called advantages of arranged marriage.
Although I have been happily married for nearly thirty years now, I have seen my own daughter suffer terribly in the arranged marriage system. While some might say that it is our culture, and love marriages are a Western import, I want to place on record my own story as a warning to anyone who might be considering the idea of simply going along with what everyone is saying, and isn’t following his or her own heart just because he doesn’t want ill to be spoken of his family in society. It is painful for me to write this, but I thought that I must use the internet forum to let people know how the system works.
I am retired with two daughters and a son.
It is my older daughter who has gone through hell on account of this horrible system of in-laws and dowry, and it is her that I want to write about.
About three years ago, my daughter graduated with her masters degree. She has always been extremely hard-working and being from a top college, she secured a well-paying job. Like any father, I was very proud of her and was happy that she was on-track to do very well in life without any help from me at all. The only thing left was to find a good groom for her, we thought, and after that she would be completely settled.
As my daughter had not selected any boy herself, the search began. We went all out. We published ads in papers, asked family friends, looked on matrimonial websites. Eventually, we found a boy, in the same city where my daughter worked a that time. He was from a good, well-settled family which owned a chain of businesses. He was well-spoken, confident and seemed quite modern in his ideas. We were forthright about my daughter being career-oriented and told the boy’s family categorically that she would not leave her job after marriage. We were assured that it was not a problem as the other daughter-in-law was also working and most of the housework was done by maids in any case.
My daughter, docile as always, simply went along and said okay to the proposal after only a few visits.
Within one month, the marriage was finalized and the ceremony was held in 2010.
At this point, we made the mistake of paying out a hefty dowry. It sounds very naive now, but I am being candid with you; I thought this might making things a little easier for our daughter . How could I have known what monstrous characters these people were hiding behind their smiles and laughter?
From the moment my daughter entered the house, these people began plotting to get more. At first, they were nice and gentle, but soon they began to show their true colours. It started with small hints, then moved on to broad hints, taunts, fights and finally, physical assaults.
I had no idea all this was going on. My daughter never told me; I used to call up every week and she told me that all was fine. Then one day, she said that she did not want me to call her anymore. She gave absolutely no reason for this request. It was completely out of character, and I was a little hurt, but reluctantly agreed. In Jun 2011, on her wedding anniversary, to my utter shock, the ceremony was held without us even being invited! By then, I had come to the conclusion that something was definitely very wrong.
I made a surprise visit to my son-in-law’s place. I told their family that I was there on business and had decided to pay them a visit. What I saw at their place made my blood boil over. My confident, beautiful daughter was treated like she was little more than a servant. When I entered, she was rudely told to get some tea, and the same people who had been so bubbly and smiley treated me as if I was a social inferior. I called out to my daughter, refused the tea, and simply stated that I was taking her out to lunch. They tried to protest, but I ignored them. It was only in the car that the whole story came out.
I have already told you the broad incidents, I won’t bore you with gory details. This fiend who called himself a husband not only hit my daughter, but he actually forced himself on her sexually. Imagine! My daughter, who I have NEVER hit till date. My daughter, who I brought up as the apple of my eye. How could this man have the gall to lay his dirty hands on her? How dare this rapist, this creature of filth, force her to bow to his perverted whims and fancies? The poor girl was so traumatized that she could not even cry! It was like talking to a shell, a dry husk of a person. It broke my heart to hear her speak like that.
I took her back to her marital home, told her to pack all essential documents and objects in a bag and come back with me immediately. The boy’s family created a scene of course, but at this time, I was so angry that I did not even look at them, let alone respond to their nonsense.
To cut a long story short, I got my daughter home and helped her file divorce papers and supplementary charges against the boy’s family. Although this terrible chapter is over, I am committed to personally ensuring that this man goes to jail, and isn’t just let off with a fine. I will make sure that he faces the consequences of his sins.
The points raised by the newspaper article (discussed in that post) seem so very shallow to me! It was written by someone who has no idea of ground reality and is floating in the dreams of a yesterday that does not exist.
Let me consider each point:
1. in a negotiated marriage, family support is a given.
What decent parent would not support their own child?
And if this parent does not want to support a daughter who had a love marriage, would he support her if her arranged marriage ran into trouble? What is the guarantee?
2.  If the marriage demands the girl to stay with her in-laws, it is more likely that they will make her feel comfortable as they have already ‘approved’ of her.
As you can judge from my story, the ‘approval’ is only skin-deep. There is no guarantee that these in-laws will ‘approve’ afterwards too. And because enough time is not usually provided, who knows what the in-laws are actually like? Serial killers can also seem very pleasant under normal circumstances, but they will show their true colours only after a certain time.
3. The process … involves understanding each other’s cultural interests apart from individual views and opinions about life in general.
Complete rubbish. The process only involves ticking off certain features, as if one was buying a car. This is not a feature of arranged marriage at all.

4.  Unlike a love marriage where financial security of the groom is not always a priority, in an arranged marriage, it is imperative that the bride’s family ensure that their would-be son-in-law is career-oriented and has a steady flow of income.
If financial security is not a priority for the couple, then how is it important in any case? If it is a priority, then the couple will ensure it.
5.  Each day is a surprise wherein the couple learn about the nitty gritty of the relationship and also take an effort to nurture it.

But are all surprises pleasant? Some things should not be a surprise. There are things that one must know well about one’s husband beforehand.

6. Once the alliance is arranged, the boy and girl are officially allowed to meet and know more about each other
I do not understand what this means. Are the girl and boy not allowed to meet otherwise? If not, then how will they get married in any case?

7. Ever heard of Swayamvar, an ancient Indian practice of choosing a husband from among a list of suitors?
Do all ‘Swayamvars’ turn out blissfully?

8. Since both the parties are way too involved in finding the right match and also the actual activity of marriage, it takes the load off the bride-to-be and gives her time to get comfortable in her new surroundings.
I can only laugh at this, seeing how things have gone with my own daughter.

I hope I’ve not made this overly long. I really wanted to share it, and I hope your find it useful.
Regards,
Related posts:
The burden of Honor. – By Moonbeam

Are these the eight reasons you would give in support of Arranged Marriages?

Link and email shared by Swarup Biswas.

Hi IHM,
The reason I’m writing you is that all my life I’ve noticed what epic failures (among other things) most arranged marriages are but how little the mainstream media does to discourage this generally bigoted practice.

I just read this picture article at iDiva which is referenced by TOI’s main page and cannot believe what they were thinking when they painted such a utopian image of arranged marriages.

Judging by their articles and choice of topics I believe most iDiva readers are impressionable young women who might be misguided by this miscarriage of journalistic ethics with disastrous consequences. It contains statements such as ‘In most arranged marriages, the in-laws become a support system for the new bride and help her get accustomed with her new life’ amongst many other such unsubstantiated claims. Personally I detest the propagation of this outdated and archaic system that treats women like some commodity. I just thought I’d bring it to your notice.

Link: http://idiva.com/photogallery-relationships/8-reasons-to-have-an-arranged-marriage/12492/1

The eight reasons that the article above gives for having an arranged marriage are,

1. …And in a negotiated marriage, family support is a given.

2. If the marriage demands the girl to stay with her in-laws, it is more likely that they will make her feel comfortable as they have already ‘approved’ of her.

3. The process … involves understanding each other’s cultural interests apart from individual views and opinions about life in general.

4. Financial Security: Unlike a love marriage where financial security of the groom is not always a priority, in an arranged marriage, it is imperative that the bride’s family ensure that their would-be son-in-law is career-oriented and has a steady flow of income.

5. Mystery element: Each day is a surprise wherein the couple learn about the nitty gritty of the relationship and also take an effort to nurture it.

6. Dating opportunity: Once the alliance is arranged, the boy and girl are officially allowed to meet and know more about each other.

7. Spoilt for choice:  Ever heard of Swayamvar, an ancient Indian practice of choosing a husband from among a list of suitors?

8. In-laws syndrome: Since both the parties are way too involved in finding the right match and also the actual activity of marriage, it takes the load off the bride-to-be and gives her time to get comfortable in her new surroundings.

Edited to add: Kiran Manral shared this link on twitter, a ninth reason given, very commonly, to have an arranged marriage.
Divorce rate high in love marriages: HC

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