An email: My problem is quite common, but that does not make it any easier to handle.

Sharing an email.
Hi IHM,

My problem is quite common, but that does not make it any easier to handle.

 My  in-laws have constantly been finding faults with me all through my married life. We live abroad now but that does not stop them. After we had a baby things have gotten worse. The worst thing is my husband now believes that i am rude to his parents [which is not true by any stretch of imagination] and blames me for his bad relationship with them. I am highly stressed due to these fights with my husband. Divorce is not an option at all, I do not want to go through it for many reasons. But I feel all the love is lost between me and my husband and we are merely living together for the sake of it. I really wish we could sit and resolve it. but every time we sit and talk, he starts shouting about my faults and the discussion goes nowhere. I am not a saint, but in the recent times, I have been trying hard to keep peace at home. Can you please suggest a solution to this?
Thanks
Frustrated.
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An email from an anonymous Indian Liberated Wife.

It’s amazing how it is believed that women are divorcing more easily today, when they seem to be doing everything possible to avoid divorce. I am sharing an email from Anonymous Liberated Wife.

Do you think anonymous Liberated Wife should walk out of this marriage?

We married for love. I had had a failed relationship and had promised myself that I will never let anyone treat me like that again, when I love next, I will be standing on my own two feet, not leaning on an arm that can slip away anytime.

He wasn’t romantic at all, hated being seen in public with me, but in private, he couldn’t live without me, and well, he was steady, and very reliable. He may not make me happy, but he will always be there for me and he truly cared for me. and he was a very good friend. He had seen the worst in me and still loved me.

His mother did not like the match. neither did my father. There was colossal parental pressure, but we persisted. The engagement day was spent crying because my dad was warning me off the alliance in some very strong terms. The wedding was months away. They were not easy months.

We realized that distance will kill this relationship, we needed to be together. So, I gave up my job and moved to his city, because we could not make anything happen in my city for his job.

The wedding itself was a disaster. it was not how he wanted it or how I wanted it. Everything was done the way his mother wanted the marriage of her “only child”. My parents could not bear the expenses, and they had to take a loan. I didn’t want that at all. my mother had to pawn her set to buy my wedding jewelry. I can’t forgive myself for that. To his credit, there was no dowry, and he has not allowed his parents to accept ANY gifts at all, in all these years, from my parents. The pressure has been from my parents, who want to give, and both of us have steadfastly refused. The wedding expenses was the only thing he could not put his foot down on.

The happiness in my marriage lasted less than a month, then we had our first fight. The alienation was complete by the first anniversary. The first two years were spent trying – you don’t have a sense of dress, you can’t keep home, you don’t cook well enough, you are not physically appealing at all… there was very little physical intimacy, once every few months, because I wasn’t good-looking enough. I could not call him during office hours because it disturbed his work. Nothing I cooked was right. If I spent 1000 rupees on myself, I heard about my extravagance for a few days at least. If his parents asked for a few lakhs, it was to be given, no questions asked.

I had an ectopic surgery. I remember going alone for the scan, though we expected the news of our child being miscarried. I did not want him around. I was ready to sign on my own indemnity papers and go into the OT. The hospital would have none of it. So he was called and he took some time deciding. What was his mode of decision-making? Calling up his mother in another city. Then she called up a doctor, and only after that doctor in the third city said that an emergency surgery is needed, did he agree to sign the papers for the surgery.

My friend stayed with him during my surgery. She vouches, to this day, to his grief and his ongoing repetition – I don’t care if we never have a child again, I just want her safe. But within two weeks, he was shouting at me for not getting up enough, for not helping with the housework, and for needing help to even get up from the bed. We went for a follow up appointment and the doctor had to tell him that after this big a surgery, I will need help getting up for at least a month.I was supposed to be in my room after he came home. If I went out, it disturbed his TV viewing and I was to be shouted at.

Alcohol had always been frequent, and now it became regular – every single night. I couldn’t take the silence and the grief of having lost my first baby any more. I took up a job in another city and left him. Then, he started missing me a lot and calling me home. I was having none of it.

We got together exactly once, and I conceived that time. I came home. I had always wanted to be a stay at home mother. In the 4th month of pregnancy, he told me that I will have to work, no matter what, because he will not feed me, even for a day. I separated our accounts that same week, and refused to let him see my accounts or investments thereafter.

His alcohol and anger issues were so big that I had to lock my room in the night to avoid getting physically hurt in the night. That was the only time he came close to hitting me, but he “pushed” me 5-6 times. I was pregnant and scared stiff of losing this child too… so I would come in and lock the door. [Updated: Liberated Wife emailed to say that was the only time when she feared violence.]

Since the child’s birth 5 years ago, he has slept in another room. We have had no physical intimacy at all. He refuses to give a reason. when I do press him, it is, “I don’t like your attitude any more. you have become too aggressive for my taste.” All of me aches for another child, but we cannot have another child, because he won’t do anything and will not go through IVF also. I also don’t want another child because I want to work and stay financially independent. All this, and the hormonal imbalance, leaves me with acute depression. I am on medication for anti depression and for hormonal imbalance, but he doesn’t know anything about this.

He talks to me, but I feel like he is only talking to a wall. He only wants someone to listen to his office problems and his health concerns. He doesn’t really care what happens to me. He complains that earlier, I wouldn’t talk to you and you had a problem, now I talk to you and you don’t talk to me at all.

And finally, why am I not separated already?

Because we are co-parents and because my child needs a father. I don’t have a husband, but the child has a father. And a reasonably decent one at that.

And the truth is, I really do feel a lot of affection for him… he is a very nice guy.

Here is what is good about the relationship:

1. Financially, he is very secure. He pays for all household expenses and the child’s upkeep. I pay for all my personal expenses, holidays that I take alone, or with my child, (he doesnt like holidays, we dont take any holidays together, and I cant remember our last holiday together that was not to his parents house), for my clothes and my own investments.

2. He has always given me complete independence. My work involves meeting with a lot of people at any time of day or night, and he has never given me the suspicion thingie.

3. He shares housekeeping and babysitting to some degree. For the first 2 years, he didn’t even acknowledge he had a child. Now, he shares the responsibility to some degree.

4. In some strange way, I get the sense of loving him, in spite of all this.

– Liberated Wife

What do you think? Do you think Liberated Wife is justified in thinking she has a problem?

Related Posts:
1. An email from a daughter whose mother endured everything because she did not want to ruin her daughters’ lives.
2. An email from an anonymous Confused Wife.

Tell me IHM/ your readers where do I stand in all this?

An email from, ‘I know it but I don’t know it‘. 
IHM,

I am regular reader of your blog and love the exchange of opinions and open discussions. I am writing you about a problem I am facing and want to know if there is anybody else in the world who can relate to this. Please help.

I married the man of my choice this April. His job involves a lot of travel and we have shifted base 8 times within 30 days of our marriage. Unfortunately, we are now at a place so different from our earlier cities/small towns that it is taking time to adapt, not to mention the hideous/extreme weather (perspiring at 7 a.m). This place doesn’t even have basic facilities like milk parlour etc. It is a notch better than a village. My Husband fell very sick and was almost hospitalized. With the help of my father, we shifted him back to my hometown for treatment (the doctor here wrongly diagnosed & infection increased). It took him 10 days to recover. Now he’s fit and fine.

Last week, we decided to visit his mother since she could not visit her sick son because she herself is 75yrs. The age gap between MIL and me is 50yrs. The night we landed at his place, she did not even look at me let alone speak to me. My instinct told me something was wrong but I left it at that. The next morning, all the pent up helplessness and anger in my MIL came out in waves and she uttered words I am unable to forget. I had gone home “alone within 15 days of my marriage” regd certain bank formalities and had to stay back for 3 days. This did not go down well with MIL and therefore she very easily blamed me for her son’s ill health. She told me that I had ran away from that place leaving her poor son at the mercy of street food and unboiled water. She told me I was causing disrespect to her late husband by not wearing bindi and bangles at home. Every human on earth would wonder “why my MIL had chosen such a DIL“, it seems. As if I had begged her to get her son married to me.

She lectured me about how husbands have to be taken care of like flowers and how she had sacrificed her life for her husband. She very conveniently forgot who had nursed her precious son back to good health. She is unable to understand why her son cleans used plates, brings water for me, makes tea and enjoys if I join him for a game of cricket with his guy friends. She has already concluded that I am punishing her darling son with “household work”.

Her darling son in all this drama is politely but firmly telling his mother that whatever she’s speaking is hurting him. He’s telling her that it is impossible to expect so much from a new family member without giving neither time nor breathing space. His mother thinks I have brainwashed her precious son to utter such words. It angers her when he speaks. She takes out that anger on me. I tried reasoning with her but she just doesn’t even make the effort of lending me a hearing ear! She either folds her hands and begs me to stop or continuously prays at the million God photos to be by her side! She calls me arrogant because I wanted an open discussion. Infact, I was willing to give this relationship a chance, if atleast that could create a path for conversation.

They are religious and I am an Atheist. I married knowing fully well my position and discussing this topic to death with my husband. Sometimes, I am unable to believe that such an MIL could bring up such a gentleman. My husband is their adopted son and only son. I understand her loneliness, her age, the way she was brought up, her past with her husband…everything. I am doing everything on my behalf to atleast have a decent conversation (including wearing bindi/bangles/salwar kameez– if this can atleast be a conversation starter). I was brought up very liberally and wearing shorts at home was no biggie! But the first time I went to her home, I made the “mistake” of wearing pyjamas and that has etched itself in her mind.

She is unable to go beyond my physical appearance. This is causing a lot of bitterness between us. I think one sided effort is a waste of time. Abusing me for who I am is in itself a mistake. Expecting me to listen to her tantrums and sit by my husband’s feet all day is torture! What amuses me is when her own son is asking her to stop and calm down, it seems to anger her!

I am dreading my future with her and their annual family get-togethers twice each year. Fortunately, we are staying apart and that will keep me sane. But I have a feeling that there is every chance of her insulting me and my appearance in public. Please keep in mind my MIL is 75 yrs of age, orthodox, has an adopted only son, is a widow and brainwashed to the core. She lives for people’s praises. She wants the whole world to know that she’s not at fault for anything. I have already warned my husband of my fears and he says he’ll stand by my side. But imagine, 25 elders & their power over 2 youngsters like us!

Before we left for our new home, we “fell to her feet for blessings” (this ritual is compulsory in their family. The elders even ask youngsters to fall to their feet if we forget!!!). As I got up and looked at her, she had eyes only for her son and palms only on his head. Hubby was oblivious to all this!

I am fed up of being blamed for things that run only in her head…things that have never happened. The final straw was her wishing aloud to her son that she wanted to commit suicide because she’s unable to cope with the “change”!!!!!!!!

( What change I am asking you?!?! It is me who is forced to change!)

The thought of her Wanting to commit suicide has her son distraught. He cried uncontrollably unable to understand what brought this on!

Tell me IHM/ your readers where do I stand in all this?

Thanks in advance

I know it but I don’t know it- Plz Help!

‘Tell me if I’m right to feel the way I do.’

I am sharing an email I received yesterday.

“I guess, my second email to you : -) Maybe sometimes, its easier to type things out to a stranger than to people very close to you, maybe because they will convince you otherwise, or because you don’t want to see them hurt …

Tell me this –

What do you see in this scenario – and tell me if I’m right to feel the way I do … to onlookers, life seems perfect, why doesn’t it to me?

There is this woman, a global manager at one of the largest media companies of the world, earning almost a lakh a month. She has an exec MBA degree from the IIM, has travelled the globe and knows more than one foreign language.

She is a new mother, a wife for just over 2 years. Her baby is the apple of her eye.
Despite the salary, she preferred doing the household chores herself – and right up to the 9th month of pregnancy, wasn’t shy of getting down on all fours to mop her home or clean the toilets. It’s her home after all.

With the baby, things get hectic, she has a nanny to take care of the baby, works from home when she wants to, has an office car pick her and drop her back. Cooks breakfast, lunch and dinner before leaving at 9 am. She gets back at 10 pm to her baby.

Her husband is a chartered accountant, earns just a little lesser than her, but never holds that against her. He knows she is good at what she does, and encourages her to work.

Three of the four weekends are spent socializing, and whatever is remaining of the weekends is scheduled for cleaning all the nooks and crannies of the home. They rarely fight, even if they do, she asks for a morning hug the day after and the world is pacified.

Her mom in law and she had never had a heated argument or even a proper exchange beyond her agreeing to everything her mom in law says.

Is this really perfect?

If yes, why am I not happy the way everyone expects me to be?

Ultimately, when one day, I come home from work, all hungry and tired, waiting to gobble up some food, I find that there is nothing available, because everyone has already eaten. “It was after all, my mistake to not anticipate how much dinner to cook in the morning wasn’t it?”

Why does someone who earns a lakh a month be reduced to scrounging for stale bread at 1am?

I can go on and on and blame several people in that circumstance – the mom in law, for not having enough pity to just put some rice on to the cooker, the husband for not getting something when he saw the empty vessels, or hell, maybe for not giving me a ring to say dinner isn’t available – I could have grabbed a Mac on the way back, but I really do want to know – is this common place? Is this the way it is?

And yes, very sorrowfully, I’m sure we (dad and me) did this to mom too (though she was a home maker) but she never let us know, she didn’t let it bother her – “After all, beta, you are my family aren’t you?

Why is it that it bothers me? Why can’t I just let it go?”

I would like to know what the readers think.

The Blogger’s Spouse

Shail calls him Lord and Master

Roop calls him Pati

Solilo’s is The Other half

Mad Mamma’s The Other Adult

IHM never settled for a name…

Unmana calls him The Guy,

Chandni’s spouse is called The Boy

Ritu calls him her Ex 🙂

Dipali’s is the Senior Resident… SRE

Aneela’s is G’man

Hitchwriter claims he’s made her a star!

What bigger honor for a blogger’s husband or wife,

Than to know that they are a part of our blogging life

Cricket was never a bore,

But IHM loves IPL much more

Ever since she’s created a blog…

The husband is never accused of being a remote hog!

Please rhyme your comments 😉 if possible!!



All’s well that ends well.

55 WORDS FICTION

1


How The Green Eyed Monster Died

My black eyes avoided Devi’s tearful brown ones.

Why are women so jealous? I wasn’t divorcing her dammit!

My friend, the wimp, passed her his handkerchief. He was a comfort, dropping in everyday…

I was right.

Women need babies to keep them occupied. All her tears disappeared when she saw our blue eyed twins.

2


Betrayal of the B.

My black eyes avoided Sally’s brown ones.

I looked straight ahead and drove. She snuggled closer. This wasn’t going to be easy.

We were on a lonely highway now. I stopped, opened the door, pushed her out and before I could change my mind, drove away.

I could see her running after the car.

Barking.

3

When Harriet Met Sally

My black eyes had been avoiding Harriet’s tearful brown ones. I didn’t want to drive with blurry eyes. We missed her mom.

Then we saw her running on the highway. Was she mad!? Harriet screamed. I hadn’t hit her, but we stopped.

The vet gave her tranquilizers. She’ll be fine.

Harriet already is.