An email: “Even after marriage, he shows absolutely zero interest in me. It’s been SEVEN years.”

Sharing an anonymous email. 

“I even asked my husband if he was maybe gay, in which case I just won’t tell anyone about it…”


Dear IHM,

I’m in a very unhappy state and so confused with what to do..

I have been married for 7 years (known my husband 2 years before that when we “dated”)… while we were dating, nothing sexual happened between us (not even a kiss, no heart racing stuff)… while I didn’t give it much thought then, now I feel I should have!

Even after marriage, he shows absolutely zero interest in me. It’s been SEVEN years and through these years, I have fought, cried, reasoned out, explained myself, allowed him to be the way he wants… basically everything that I could do.

I have told him openly I miss the “sex”, not as a physical activity but more as an emotional one.

I have told him I’m okay with doing anything and that he needs to feel comfortable and rest assured I won’t judge him incase he has weird tastes (I was thinking “fetish” or “role play”).

I even asked him if he was maybe gay, in which case I just won’t tell anyone about it, we would work on the  pregnancy thing through alternatives.

But he just doesn’t give me the input I need. There is zero cooperation from his side.

He keeps saying there is no problem (evidently there is!)… and he says “we will do this week”, “we will have sex next week” etc

And SEVEN years have passed already.

I’m am  at an extremely depressed stage. I do not know what to do.

I cry randomly, I feel sad… and I’m crying as I type this.
I’m scared that I’m getting into depression without me even realising it!

And I feel so worthless through it all. I feel like there is no one really for me (my parents are no more) and many a times I have thought about divorce.

Few things…

1. 98% he’s not gay (saw some porn details on his mobile history. Regular porn, no fetish types or gay types)
2. I’m extremely hygienic and smell good
3. Our environment is sex friendly
4. I’m a good looker and quite attractive (not to sound vain, but wanted to clear certain basic questions that might pop up)

Can you PLEASE do a topic on this, I feel like I need to see things from a fresher perspective..

Thanks a ton!

Related Posts:

Can a woman marry and change an uninterested (in marrying her) man into a responsible, loving husband?

And what would have happened if this man had declared that he was gay and hence would not marry a woman?

Denying sex to spouse on first night ground for marriage annulment: Delhi high court

A comment- ‘Reverse the gender, and it is marital rape.’Depriving wife of sex is cruelty, Mumbai court rules

Refusal to have sex during honeymoon is not cruelty: Bombay high courtQuestion about Sexuality in Indian Arranged Marriages

Romanticizing innocence, chastity and related taboos for women.

“There is so little conversation about a woman’s desire for sex that a lot of people simply assume it doesn’t exist.”

A tag: But when a woman sees a hot man, nothing happens in her brain?

Gird Your Loins – Aarti Sethi, Kafila

“Porn is a discourse about sex and works like an educator about sex and gender.”

An email: Also this is a genuine question and not a pornographic mail.

Girls morally bound not to have sex before marriage, says fast track court judge

‘I’m now thoroughly convinced that the entire concept of virginity is used to control female sexuality.

Here’s why I think the society should not obsess over a woman’s virginity.


An email: “I am 32, Going through a very messy divorce…”

Can there be freedom without Self reliance?

No amount of Save the Girl Child slogans will change the skewed gender ratio (and all that leads to it) unless all Indian children are provided opportunities to grow into self reliant adults who are free to choose who, when and if they marry or divorce. Without self reliance, women will continue to be pressurised to save abusive marriages and Indian divorce rate. 

Sharing an email.


I am 32, Going through a very messy divorce. I do not have any qualifications as such and I am looking forward to pursue a course that will make me financially independent. Anything from 6 months to a year that will help me get my confidence back and step into the world. what are the major avenues after such a distress where women are welcome?

Related Posts:

An email: “I cannot stay in this marriage for society anymore. But I’m so so scared of what people will say.”

Should women be given a share in residential property of the husband, including inherited and inheritable property?

When a newly married Indian woman gives up her career, what else does she give up?

Can dowry ensure happiness and security for a girl?

Can dowry be compared to inheritance?

What about girls who are not very academic? Must they be condemned to forced marriages?

“Her husband has told her she can leave if she wishes, she does not have a steady income of her own.”

My father says study but not without your FIL’s permission.”

A comment: One more thing, had I been financially independent I would have never got married.

15 lines from ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’.

Let me just share some dialogues (roughly translated/in my own words) from Dil dharakne do and you decide what you think of the movie.

1. ‘Does he beat you? Is he a miser? Does he stop you from shopping? No?! Then what do you mean you want divorce?’ [Rahul Bose is the ‘he’ here, and the entitled look on his face, when this is being said, makes the movie a must-watch]

2. ‘There has never been a divorce in this family and there never will be.’

3. ‘What have we done to you that you are punishing us like this? Do you want me to fall at your feet? Let me cut my wrists with this knife…’ (picks a butter knife)

4. ‘How times have changed he heh… when we were young we women could never speak like this in front of our elders he he he…’ [The effect is the exact opposite of Saas Bahu serials]

5. ‘What you write about is so depressing, why do you exaggerate so much? Can’t you find something positive to write about? Like, look at us, in the previous generations women did not work, but I have allowed my wife to work!’

(The response is amongst the things that make the movie worth watching.)

6. ‘You are offended because I insulted your husband? But he was insulting you… doesn’t that count?’

7. ‘She is married, now she is a **** (husband’s surname). Now his home is her home, his family is her family.’

8. ‘I am on top of the world, god has been kind. There is only one thing I want now – dear daughter please give us a grandchild.’

9. ‘What do you mean you are not sure you want to marry her? The business (that’s floundering and can be salvaged with this marriage) is not just our business, you are our only son, it’s your business too.’

10. ‘Who is that girl with him?’

11. ‘You want a divorce? What will our friends say?’

12. ‘Every marriage has problems. The easier way out is divorce. That’s not the right path. The difficult path is the right path.’

13. ‘There is no place for you in this house if you divorce him.’

14. ‘There is no place for you in this house if you don’t marry her.’

15. ‘I don’t want to hear about this.’ (But don’t you dare do what you were about to suggest you might)

And here are some points the movie made:

1. Financial independence and success does not automatically give women the confidence (or mindset) to expect to be treated as an equal, to object to misogyny, or to walk out of unhappy relationships.

Why PepsiCo CEO Indra K. Nooyi Can’t Have It All

2. Parents don’t always know, and/or even want the best for their children.

3. No divorce does not mean happy marriages.

4. Many women stay married because they have nowhere else to go. Women also stay married because they are pressurised to stay married.

5. ‘Get Married Stay Married and bear male children’ is viewed as the main goal for every Indian woman.

6. Daughters are viewed as Liabilities, or Paraya Dhan.

7. Sons are viewed as precious – but only because they are Assets, to be controlled for parents’ benefits (dowry, obedient and/or rich daughter in law, family business etc).

8. Creating a good impression on ‘everybody’ is more important for many Indians, than happiness of loved ones.

9. A son spending a night with a young woman is not the same as a daughter spending a night with a young man. One set of parents smiles proudly.

10. I am sure this movie succeeded in making atleast some conservative viewers look at Successful Divorces as a Happy Endings. (Queen managed to do the same thing with broken engagements)

Related Posts:

Eleven questions the family elders ask women in unhappy marriages.

Are Happily Married Daughters a status symbol in India?

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

Please watch ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’ 🙂

Piku in Patriarchy.

Shuddh Desi Romance : When Getting Married and Staying Married is not an Indian woman’s life purpose.

‘Both families arrived at a compromise and she decided to continue to live with her gay husband.’

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

Recognizing Emotional Abuse – Priya

Why do men NOT have to choose between being a CEO and a father, but women have to make this choice.

Pretty brides who respect elders and identify themselves with their husband’s families.

Catch all the dialogue promos of Dil Dhadakne Do here

‘Both families arrived at a compromise and she decided to continue to live with her gay husband.’

Indian parents’ need to win (by any means) the approval of the ‘people’ in their social circle – relatives, friends, neighbours and acquaintances is a social evil at the root of many other social evils.

It leads to dishonesty, hypocrisy, abuse, control and social crimes, including – 

Semi forced arranged marriages (mainly because of the concept of a ‘marriageable age’ for women and the expectation from women to provide male heirs);

Getting a daughter ‘married-off’ to someone the peer group approves of (or is envious of), leading to willingness to give dowry and raising the daughter to be a future daughter in law, and male child preference;

Viewing of Happily Married Daughters as status symbols, leading to forcing them to Get Married Stay Married or die trying.  

Perhaps the worst of all is the parents’ refusal to support their children, often, when they need them the most. 

Sharing an email by Karishma V.P. 


You must have already read the news of the suicide of the AIIMS doctor because her husband was gay. What I did not know, until I read this article (link below) was that his homosexuality was discovered two years ago. She informed her family and both families arrived at a compromise where she decided to accept the fact and continue to live with him. Now after her suicide her parents are filing a case against him.

The fact that a young, educated, financially independent professional woman would choose to continue living with a man who is gay, that her family would encourage or support her decision instead of guiding her to end the marriage right away, shows a great deal about Indian society and its attitudes towards women and marriage even now. The fact that his family was not ready to accept him and he didn’t have the guts to come out of the closet is one thing. The fact that she didn’t value herself more and her family didn’t have the common sense to get her to walk out when she did not is another. Knowing that her family knew this more than 2 years ago makes me feel that they should also be booked for her suicide if the husband is being booked.

To what extent will we go to keep up appearances of marriage in Indian society?

Thanks and regards,

Karishma V.P.

Related Posts:

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

Can a woman marry and change an uninterested (in marrying her) man into a responsible, loving husband?

 If someone dislocated your jaw…

“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.”

When a daughter refuses to go back…

हमारी बेटी संस्कारवान है और मंत्री बनने के बावजूद पति के पांव की जूती ही है।

Are Happily Married Daughters a status symbol in India?

Please watch Queen, what kind of future was Rani being offered? 

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

Marriage Vs Live in Relationships : Twelve points to note.

Section 377:

And what would have happened if this man had declared that he was gay and hence would not marry a woman?

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

“Homosexuality is criminal offence, Supreme Court rules.”

“If I was born somewhere else, sometime later, in a more liberal family, in a more equal world…”

‘It’s true that every girl has to leave her own family and get along with a new family.’

Sharing a comment by Cultural Amalgamation in response to this post – An email from a Happily Married Indian Daughter in law.

Cultural Amalgamation: All the above replies reflect the current Young Gen society where the rate of separation with better half is more than that of bonding with love and affection as earlier times.

IHM:  Did the women in the earlier times have the option of separating without being boycotted, stigmatised or honor killed? Only if both the partners had the option of separating and they still chose to stay together, can we comment on the earlier ‘rate of separation’.

Cultural Amalgamation: Being individually separate and gardening your identities isn’t all life is about. Its just a notion begun by some liberal women and followed as a trend by the rest like the fashion sale at stores!


IHM: And being denied education and self reliance and being married off to live with strangers is what life is about? 

The concept of marriage is not well identified with everyone. The Love marriages husbands have no choice for they already have landed in soup. So they leave their parents behaving like cowards. Arrange marriages also have girls who have radical views. Google-ing such articles and hoping to change minds with family-dismantling views is really a disappointing and a pathetic situation for the present youth to be in.


IHM: Why is the children (only male children) moving out of the house (only if are married, because moving out for work is acceptable) a dismantling of family?  

Someday the gals who talk about liberty are going to be in their mother-in-laws shoes and they would realize when their Son moves out of house with some girl who he likes and doesn’t even know if he loves for the duration a quarter of the entire love and affection showered by his parents who always have been looking after his well being.

IHM: We really need to recognise that parental love for sons (And for daughters, because we seem to forget that Indian daughters have parents too.) is not the same as the love that couples have for each other. The spouse is a partner, not a parent. The spouse’s job is not to ‘look after’ the partner. 

Parents raise their children to become independent adults and teaching him (or her) to look after their own well being is a parent’s biggest responsibility. 

Somehow we seem to think that male children are required to somehow repay the love that the parents have showered on them. The girl children are expected to repay it too – with life long obedience to patriarchal rules. 

Cultural Amalgamation: Its true that every girl has to leave her own family and get along with a new family.

IHM: This idea is the reason why Indian parents pray, fast and sex-select for male children. Patrilocality favours the parens of male children.

It also keeps women and girl children in dependence, without which ‘has to get along with a new family’ would be difficult to enforce. 

Cultural Amalgamation: It is difficult to absorb but then it is equally difficult for the other side (family) too.

IHM: When it is ‘equally difficult’ for both the sides, then why do we hear misogynists fighting for Patriarchy, and Patrilocality?

Is it surprising that many women today prefer less difficult choices? 

Cultural Amalgamation: In modern days not all families have mother in laws/father in laws as showcased (cruel/orthodox) in classical drama movies.

IHM: If they are not orthodox they probably understand that modern young women (and men) should have the right to choose who they marry, where they live, what they wear, how they spend or save their money etc.

Cultural Amalgamation: Its all about beginning a new life and being absorbed and getting absorbed.

IHM: How do women benefit from being ‘absorbed’ in a new family?

They don’t.

Infact it makes them ‘paraya dhan’ in their own parents’ homes. We know the system has not worked, but many of us still wish to preserve it.

Cultural Amalgamation: It is an opportunity for every woman to help prosper her husband’s family and its also equally a responsibility that every family (parents) takes care of the daughter in law as they would do if she were their daughter.

IHM: Because daughters are viewed as those who help the husband’s family prosper, they remain unwanted by the parents. Since (traditionally) the daughters have not been permitted to prosper themselves, they remain dependent. 

“Her husband has told her she can leave if she wishes, she does not have a steady income of her own.”

Sharing an email. What do you think are her options? Does the husband seem to value their marriage? 

And this explains what Supreme Court meant by, “No impression should be given that she can be thrown out of her matrimonial home at any time,” a bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra said.”

Edited to add: This email is written by the wife’s friend.

I was just wondering if you would have any link that outlines the legal rights of a wife.  The wife has a young daughter is in a quandary – her mil has come to visit indefinitely, appears to be demented “as and when convenient”, husband refuses to send her back and has told wife she can leave if she wishes.


The wife does not have a steady income of her own, although she does get something off and on.  No joint accounts.  He hits her whenever he “gets irritated” and openly declares that he can hit her if she irritates him.

No qualms.  She is refusing to go to the police yet, as she is not financially sound and is not sure what her rights would be if she went in for a divorce.


She is worried about the future of her child.  Normally a very outspoken, strong woman, she seems to be totally broken and unable to think straight.  She does not have any familial support and she does not believe that the women’s cells would really help (going by what she reads on the net).


They have been married for almost 7 years now.  She says they were fine earlier on, it was only after the mother in law appeared on the scene that all this started.  Their’s is an inter-community marriage and the mil has appeared onto the scene only in recent times.

Related Posts:

A daughter in law’s legal rights in her in law’s house are the same as her husband’s rights. Whatever is his, is hers.

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

When a newly married Indian woman gives up her career, what else does she give up?

How can the society ensure that marriage (and homemaking) does not result in women becoming financially dependent on their husbands?

An email from an anonymous Confused Wife.

“His parents had already found a girl from his community who they feel is ‘perfect’ for him.”

From the modern, Indian woman to Shravan Kumar.

“When wives become too possesive of her husbands and do not want the affection to be shared with their near and dear…”

Should couples’ assets be treated as joint property?

Can you be equal if you are not allowed to make equal contribution?

Paraya dhan and her limited rights.

My wife will inherit my family’s property, her brothers too will share their property with their respective wives.

Haryana panchayat cuts off married girls from parents’ property

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

“My wife often rakes up property issues, or rues the expenses on my father’s ill-health.”

But it’s not just financial dependence,

An email from an anonymous Indian Liberated Wife.

The father threw the baby on the ground and tried to strangle her with his legs: No case registered.

“The police let Arjuna, who runs a snack cart, go after a stern warning.”

A stern warning. 

Three days after the delivery, a mother (22), in a nation that claims to worship mothers, was fighting to save a baby’s life in her own house. [And this is not a rare case, will link.] Nobody is grateful, nobody appreciates what she has been through, her health, her womb, her body, and even her baby, don’t belong to her. She is seen as a liability by the family, the spouse and the society. Such is the power of patriarchal brain washing.

[A thought: What if she was empowered enough to just stopped doing whatever she is not doing anyway? Stopped having and raising babies unless assured, legally, that she won’t have to pay with her self reliance, rights and freedoms; stopped running a home that she doesn’t legally own (atleast partly); refused to make getting and staying married her goal, and still have legal assurance that she won’t have to pay for Getting ad Staying Married with self reliance and freedom?]

No wonder the Supreme Court pointed out, ‘a feeling of emotional numbness in society‘ [link]. Does this mother wonder why she must tolerate this? Does she see this as abuse, when every ‘respected’ tradition, custom, family value, movie, TV serials, mythology, her own family and community, and even some law makers and law enforcers, are going all out to reinforce, subtly or directly, the same cruel and shockingly unjust social laws? Does she compare herself to the other parent (this man) who bore no labour pains, no health risks, no blame for giving birth to a girl child, has all the rights on the baby and the mother; and now he is getting away with attempt to kill the baby?

If this is how he attacked a three day old baby, how did he treat the mother? How does a mother, or any parent, benefit from such horribly patriarchal values, culture, customs and traditions? 

Does such violence come out of nowhere, or is it a result of a deep rooted conviction that he could get away with it? (And he did). Are all Indian men and women who hate girl children and even those who abort them, and those who demand dowry and male children, capable of such brutality? Such is the power of Patriarchy and Custom that the police, the relatives, even the mother has been persuaded that somehow it is okay for this man (dangerously violent) to be out of prison.  They tell themselves that he attempted to kill the baby because he didn’t know how he was going to arrange for her dowry. That he, a helpless and burdened poor Protector and Provider, didn’t know that there was a 50% chance that the baby would be a girl baby. That he didn’t attack the baby because he knew he had that option. That it’s okay for half the Indian population to be let loose to be helplessly provoked into doing things that hurt other people. That these attackers are actually the victims. 

Such is the power of patriarchal norms.

Taking actions that require common sense here would threaten traditional patriarchal norms, it would mean supporting the mother and the child in becoming self reliant. Self reliant mothers and wives would not risk their children’s lives to make their marriages work. That’s against Indian Family Value number one: Paraya Dhan must Get Married and Stay Married.

Will this baby recover from this attack? If she does, then what kind of life will she live? I wish there was more information about how she is coping.

Father tries to kill 3-day-old girl. No case registered Mother withdrew complaint under pressure from relatives.

VIJAYAWADA: In a shocking incident, a man tried to kill his three-day-old baby girl at Wynchpet here on Saturday. As he did not want a girl child in his family, the father threw the baby on the ground and tried to strangle her with his legs. Hearing the infant’s cries her mother rushed in and shouted for help. The neighbours who gathered in strength thwarted the man’s attempts to kill the baby and thrashed him before alerting the police. The baby was injured on her neck and was admitted to government hospital in the city. The police, however, did not register a case against the accused identified as P Arjuna, who runs a snacks cart, after his wife Lakshmi withdrew the complaint under pressure from relatives.

Lakshmi had given birth to a baby girl three days ago much to the chagrin of P Arjuna. He had been quarrelling with his wife ever since the birth of the girl. The quarrel turned violent when he threw the baby on the floor and tried to kill her. The neighbours rushed the infant to the government general hospital and alerted the police. The police visited the spot and took Arjuna into custody. But police did not register a case against the accused as his wife withdrew the complaint under pressure from relatives. The police let Arjuna, who runs a snack cart, go after a stern warning.

An acquaintance once pointed out, “But these women are used to all this.” Can poverty, hunger and violence get someone used to torture? Have ‘they got used to it’ and or have those-not-going-through-it-at-the-moment got desensitised to it?

Related Posts:

Mere consent to conjugal rights does not mean consent to give birth to a child for her husband.

How are mothers treated in Indian culture?

Society benefits immensely from childbearing, childrearing, and caregiving work that currently goes unpaid.

How can the society ensure that marriage (and homemaking) does not result in women becoming financially dependent on their husbands?

Of Housewives, Beggars and Prostitutes.

An email: “My in laws want me to stay here with them while my husband works in another city.”

Sharing an email.


I have been a lurker at your blog and find the discussions useful. I hope you will also put my case on your blog.
I had an arranged marriage around 4 years ago. Within a year after that I had a daughter. Both myself and my husband are doctors. My husband used to live with his parents. After 3 – 4 months my husband had to move to another place for his super specialization. As a result I had to stay with his parents for this duration of three years as I was also working temporarily in a government university. My father in law dominates his family and his sons are unable to stand against him.
Even though my parents are living in the same town at a distance of 4 km away from my husband’s  house I am unable to meet them. I come to meet my parents in daytime taking time out of work. So its been more than six months that my parents have not seen their grand daughter.
What I find the most frustrating  and painful is that at my work place I  make decisions that could result in the life or death of a patient but in my personal life  has little control over my own self and hence little autonomy of my own. I am psychologically under pressure
My husband is otherwise ok to me but does not respect my family. So far the past 3 years there has been zero interaction between my in laws and my family.
All decisions affecting me and my child are taken by my father in law. My family has not been invited to be the part of any celebration – like my child’s birthday or my husband’s completion of super specialization. My in laws do not want me to go and live with my husband. They want me to stay here with them while my husband works in another city.
Should I continue to compromise hoping things get better in the future or go for some other mode of action? I fear they will take my child away from me if i go for some legal action. His family is financially much more powerful and has political connections also.
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