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

Sharing an email. 

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

Hi IHM ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank You,

In Love

Related Posts:

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.”

When she says she no longer wishes to stay with him, why isn’t her word enough?

“I don’t want such education… I want no career… I want to be loved.”

An email from a Happily Married Indian Daughter in law…

How would you react if you knew your son (or daughter) felt this way?

“Can you people help me on this? I only want to convince my parents that is all.”

Teenage Pregnancies – not our culture…

Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation.

“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.”

“I don’t see the point of forcing parents to give birth to unwanted girl children.”

40% of rape charges were filed by parents of girls who had eloped consensually with a boy

When a daughter refuses to go back…


An email: ‘My MIL called up my aunt and my mother and told them that our family has raised horrible daughters.’

Sharing an email. Is it possible for something like this to happen without atleast some amount of social and cultural sanction? 

Also, do you think such Patriarchal controls could survive without women being pressurised to Get Married and Stay Married?

Dear IHM,

I wrote to you a couple of months ago [July 4, 2014] about how my in laws were not talking to me, because I wanted to visit my mother for my father’s death ceremony. Since then, my MIL called up my aunt and my mother and told them that our family has raised horrible daughters and that we are arrogant girls who think we are “birlas”. She pulled in my sister too, claiming that she had had an abortion (probably a miscarriage… I do not know… she never wanted to share). I do not have a biological child, and I wonder what she was hinting at. I am really hurt and am at odds. How do I react/ what do I do? Can you please publish this on the forum?

And, this message in a comment from July 4, 2014,

My story is similar… I had emailed IHM, but I guess I could not wait. I have been married to a very nice guy for the past seven years. We recently adopted a nine-month old baby and life has been just awesome. I lost my father quite some time ago and was really attached to him. A couple of days ago, my mother told me his death ceremony was coming up. So I planned to go to my place ( in another city, where my in-laws live too ). My in-laws stay on another end of the city, so I would not be able to visit them this time, with the baby in tow. They created a huge scene, saying I was disrespectful and that I was not following the “rites”. I really want to spend time with my mother this time, especially on a day that makes her sad, but my in-laws are acting as if I am committing a crime. Even earlier, my MIL has complained about the one or two days I would spend with my mother when we visited them. She has threatened suicide now and has even told my husband that he’s going to my mother’s place (he’s there only to drop me off, after that, he’s back for he’s busy with work) because my mother lent us money towards construction of our new home. The husband is very angry at this accusation (we have supported them through their joblessness/ money crises) and refuses to speak to them. I don’t want to either, for I really want to be with my family this time and that too after nearly 4 years.

Am I justified in not wanting to apologise (I wasn’t rude to them, I just told them plainly what I wanted to do)


This 27 year old woman could not be forcibly married off or silenced or shamed.

I see this news as a positive story.

The young woman had a job. She valued her self reliance and was in a position to refuse to give up a job that her brother (and I am sure many others) did not consider ‘suitable’ for her.

And she was in a position to refuse to submit to a semi-forced marriage.


One Question: Do you think we need a law that bans Forced or Semi Forced Marriages? And another that makes seeking opportunities for Self Reliance a legal  right…  but since that is a fundamental right, maybe a law that  legally forbids preventing other adults from seeking lawful opportunities to make themselves self reliant.

Because, what use are the rights to Equality or Freedom without the power to fight for them? And that power can only come from Self Reliance.

What if this brother had not done something as obviously unacceptable as this? What if he had threatened her with some other more popular (and acceptable) means of controlling – like social boycott or shaming?

Her hair will grow back and now that the case is public, it will be seen as a warning by other ‘brothers’ who harboured similar ideas.

Link shared by Abhishek Oza

Man ‘attacks’ sister’s hair for refusing to marry his pal


BANGALORE: A 27-year-old woman who refused to marry the man chosen by her younger brother was in for a shock: her sibling punished her by forcibly daubing hair-removing cream on her head and leaving her with a partially bald pate.

Santosh was also upset with his sister for working in a bar. Jayanti, who was earlier working as a bartender in Mumbai, had moved to Bangalore a few months ago to take care of her family. She alleged that Santosh never stuck to one job and hardly took care of their parents.

How do some TOI and Navbharat Times commentators view this news?

We continue to excuse the use of silencing of victims to deceive those who might condemn or provide/find support.

Who does this Silence empower?

Comment: It is their business and public has no right to know that, unless the family relents.

Not just Domestic Violence by husbands, but all violence by family members is excused as a ‘Personal Matter’.

Comment: भाई बहन का निजी मामला है (it’s a personal matter between the brother and the sister) Link

And here – Is this even relevant?

Comment: लड़की भी कोई अच्छा काम नही कर रही थी (the girl was not doing exactly a nice job) Link

This is a possibility,

Comment:… इस लड़की के भई ने अपने उस दोस्त से कुछ पैसा लिया होगा तभी वो जबरदस्ती कर रहा था की वो शाद्दी कर ले … (Maybe he had accepted money from the friend that is why he was trying ot force her to marry him.) Link

Shame, honor, freedom and controls are all linked.

Comment: What a shame young girls working at bar for living and our businessmen, politicians and officers earning in lacs n crores. On the top such brothers with no responsibility and barberic nature’

What I found shameful is that the brother thought he could control where she worked and who she should marry.

Related Posts:

Letting an outsider see or comment upon our imperfections is washing dirty linen in public?

By lodging a complaint the girl would get undue publicity and that would adversely affect her marriage prospect.

Dad knifes girl for speaking to lover

How many women would dare to say this?

“Girls need to be little bit aware of the consequences. Men – will enjoy …”

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

“10 years ago, the girl would have been counselled on how to change her dress sense for the boy, how to do as he says.”

So where did I see this happy Indian bride …and her delighted daughter?

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

“I have to seek permission for visiting parents. My phone bill has to be reasonable. My expenses nominal. And my desires non-existent.”

Sharing an email.

“I am very frustrated and need some independence for my own. Be it financial or decision making. I don’t like anyone micro-managing my life at each stage.”


First of all, thanks for all the efforts that you do in your blog. At least, one solace that the likes of us find is that we are not alone. What we are going through is not completely unheard of. Would it be selfish of me to wish that others also go through this?? I don’t know. But as they say, a known devil is better and bla bla bla.
Before you draw any conclusions, I am not some abla bechari naari of yester years troubled by in-laws for either dowry or physical abuse. But does that mean my life is easy? No.
Adjusting in a new environment is always difficult. Given that, is why is that adjustment demanded like they have a birth-right over me coz they gave birth to a male off spring??
Ok. Without further confusion. I am a lawyer, married to a lawyer. Both working for reputed law firms. We love each other. But we are completely different in out thoughts, opinions and preferences, which I failed to evaluate before commiting a “yes” to his proposal. (Which, I later came to know, was only after approval from his mom. In my mind, that proposal lost some value after knowing that if his mom had denied, he would have gladly moved on)
I grew up in an atmosphere where my mom had the then-usual MIL troubles and since dad supported my mother big time, always being a shoulder for tears and a spokesperson for her benefits, I never understood a situation where a husband can be a mommas boy. My dad was opposite. He would support my mom always. Having a daughter made him so, I guess. Dad never interfered in household expenses. Mom had a free reign, except the big spendings, the decisions for which were taken jointly, by all of us. My opinion also mattered. Something that I took for granted until marriage happened. I had a say in what car to buy, what new property to invest in, what color should be the curtains and whether we need a new washing machine or not.
As I grew up, I was given some authority over my pocket money. I could spend as I want, as long as I reported what I spent for. Once I completed college and took up job, I was only advised. Never forced. I could spend however I want, without informing my parents, except for big expenses, which was still a joint decision.
My husband grew up in a atmosphere which was the same, except that he was taught to agree to what his parents decide. He could spend only after asking permission, whether eating out with friends or buying a shirt or going for a movie. If the answer is no, no further arguments. Somewhat (?!) autocratic, which continues till today. He doesnt eat out before calling his mommy and seeking her permission. Doesnt plan a outing with friends without seeking permission. If denied, no further arguments. He is proud of the fact that he does not have friends, or he does not need friends. That he is the shravan kumar of modern India.
I read a question put up by a MIL in your blog and the response she gave later [link], where they accepted that their DIL should have a choice on what to spend, on whom to spend. After all, its her salary. I must accept that I was green with envy that the MIL understood and accepted her DIL, and was in fact proud of her DIL.
In our case, we both surrender our full salaries to FIL. He takes care of them, invests them, gives to MIL for household expenses. And we are left with some “pocket money” to spend on fuel and stuff. I thought it was initial insecurity which will iron itself out with time, but I was wrong.
I have to seek permission for visiting parents. My phone bill has to be reasonable. My expenses nominal. And my desires non-existant. The decision maker for the home is MIL. The decision maker for big spendings is FIL. I am a non-party to any discussions, only a spectator at times. I cannot buy one book for myself without going through the approval route. I have to “inform” them that I talk to my parents regularly because apparently, and to my surprise / shock, a good DIL gradually decreases her contact with her parents and considers them distant relatives. A good DIL knows how dangerous it is to be in constant touch with her mother, because girls mothers know very well how to fuel her brain and cause tensions in the house of in-laws. A good DIL does not spend on her parents / siblings.
In time, I am expected to be a clone of MIL. I should cook as she cooks, I should live as she lives, I should not spend on clothes / parlours / hobbies (hobbies for a girl is a taboo). I should not desire to eat at good restaurants. I should preserve the gifts that I get for my children to use. I should live on clothes gifted by others. And if my parents express a desire to give me something, I should consult MIL on what gift should I ask for. I should not buy anything for the house, without opinion of MIL, for she knows best.
Once we have kid, I should hand my kid over to MIL for upbringing because she has this complete flawless way of bringing up. Since I love my DH, it means I am fine with her uprbinging. My parents should not have any say in the upbringing of their grand-child. They should fall at the feet of my PIL for giving their daughter a good husband, good home, best PIL in the world.
No rights. No responsibilities. And be happy with it.
How is one supposed to deal with this autocratic, almost Hitlerish, behavior? Please help.
P.S. Oh did I mention that if I have a preference for girl child, I am a gender biased person. Whereas if my in-laws are planning a ceremony for birth of a grandson, they are just dreaming??? Or that any reference to yet unborn child is always made by the term “our grandson” or “your son”??? Or that my mother in law was very gracious on occasion of birth of a girl child to her SIL by telling her “its ok.” and supporting her???
* * *
Can you also add that I am damn scared. I dont know why that should be but I was brought up to be a non-confrontational, especially with elders. I hate conflicts and friction within families. But the fact that neither the MIL who was once a DIL (and who does not live with her aging MIL) does not understand the stupidity of heaving these so-called traditional values on another woman nor the fact that my husband is completely smitten by his mom’s sacrifices in bringing him up all alone without the support of her own MIL, whereas she is so gracious as to allow me her constant support (read: constant presence).
He does not look at it as double standards. But in fact is proud that his mother is with us all the time to support us and help us.
Yes, she is a big help. (She cooks for us and I have to merely help her and go to work. She keeps the kitchen stocked.) But no, I do not need the help. Because with that help comes a heap of conditions which I am not prepared to fulfill. With each passing day, the resentment in me increases manifolds. And everytime, I attempt to take over the responsibility of managing the kitchen, I am subtly made aware that it is her kitchen, so her way. Since I am not a bargain queen and cannot manage to bring 80 Rs. onions at 65 Rs., I am not good enough to run the house, yet.
I cannot turn down this help without a big, really big conflict in the home, because she is used to doing things her way since she got married. She has never stayed with her MIL and hence, it has always been a “territorial” matter for her, if I may put so. She gets very insecure due to reasons best known to her and though, not even once, I have either dis-obeyed her or raised my voice or talked back or voiced my opinions and accepted everything without a word, I am being labelled “under the influence of my mom”. WHY? What has my mom got to do with anything?
There have been instances where my parents have been pulled in discussions (in their absence) and have been called ‘asanskari’ for several reasons ranging from lesser gifts for the damaad or “interrupting” the normal way of life of their home by trying to advise the damaad. Husband also does not like my parents advising him on any matters and I have become a sort of prize of the game. The players being my parents and my husband, with complete disregard for my wishes whatsoever.
I dont want to question her intentions. But I am very frustrated and need some independence for my own. Be it financial or decision making. I dont like anyone micro-managing my life at each stage.
Thanks a lot.
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It’s not about hot hot chappaties.

Somewhere in the blogosphere …

The topic of discussion : Some women make hot chappaties for their family and finally eat alone only when everybody else has eaten.

The comment: But, if a woman loves to give “garam garam roti” to her husband and kids without any compulsion, straight or oblique, then we should not snatch her joy by being judgmental in a superior sort of way. It is not what you do but why you do what you do that is important. / Did I say there is anything wrong in the whole family eating together? It is something to be cherished…but if someone follows a different way, without compulsion ..

Why this bothers me:

1. We all know how much real choice do Indian women have in most matters, so let’s not even talk of no compulsion, oblique or straight.
Is it really okay for a woman to have cold chappaties after the family has eaten ?
Why should one family member ignore their own comforts?
Does she feel this will make her more likable ?

2. It also means that the girl who does not stand in the kitchen making hot chapatties for her family and is perhaps a little less willing to suffer for them, is not as good …

3. But most of all it shows that the men and the children in that family feel no compunction in allowing this sacrifice. Why don’t the sons, the daughters, the husbands and the in laws put their foot down and refuse to let her eat alone?

Obviously she believes that they can enjoy a meal without her?
What in their attitude made her believe that they will not mind her eating alone, after they have all eaten?

The Comment:we should not be judgmental and disturb the harmony that exists.

The biggest myth is this harmony. There is no harmony here, or else we will not have anonymous blogs, emails and comments from wives, daughters in law and girls who hate this system and all that it stands for.

The Comment: At the same time, positive education is needed to ensure that discrimination based on gender, that which is in the mind, is eradicated.

Reminds me of our politicians “I condemn the dastardly acts of terrorists/violence against innocent citizens…We will /not tolerate /make sure this never happens again …
Read the next sentence!

Comment: Frankly, I feel that this thing about “equality” is being stretched too far in some cases.

How does equality NOT get stretched too far? By accepting a little equality and an occasional inequality?
As in we will allow a daughter in law to visit her parents but only twice a year…?

As in we will allow the first child to be a baby girl, but second daughters not allowed?
Or as in we will permit you to work but we will not help with house work?

The comment continues : Why should it mean only doing what men do?

How many women has this commenter seen trying to do what men do?
And what do only men do that women mustn’t?
Play football? Have careers? Be independent? Drive? Wear jeans?
Enjoy a late night outing? Be self reliant? Have fun with friends?
Refuse to live in a joint family? Love her own parents even after she is married?
Or just wish to sit and eat with the rest of the family 😦

I know of real women, brought up with this sort of conditioning, who are actually annoyed that men do not have to undergo labour pains and go through nine months of pregnancy…why should the woman alone suffer, is the argument.

When I had nausea during the first trimester of my pregnancy we were at a party and this bachelor (from Haryana btw) said “All these problems happen only to city girls, in my village women go back to working in the fields soon after the baby is born.
I did not ask (always think of it later) what the Pregnancy related mortality rate in Haryanawas, but today we know why with this attitude, has Haryana got the worst girl:boy ratio in the country.

So please understand why women say such stuff. I am sure I would have loved it if this guy whose face and name I don’t remember, was given one day of my nausea.

I know you will find it silly, but try telling that to them and they will say that this discrimination exists because God is a male!

You mean, you know for sure that God has a gender!!?
Sita, Durga, Laxmi are male?
Who created a male God? Who decided that God is male?
You will never hear me say any such thing because my God is gender less 🙂

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Stay Hungry. Stay Oppressed. – There and Their

Can a Veetodu Maapilai rightfully ask for the 4th coffee of the day or whatever he wants in his in-laws’ house? 

An email from a DIL living in a Joint Family: Should I adjust or should I leave?