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

Sharing an email. 



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

The email continues: 

Dear IHM,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank You


‘I am not really sure why is it the duty of a new bride to adjust no matter what you feel?’

Sharing an email.
I’ve come across your site 2 days ago and wondered why I had never googled about the plight of Indian Brides before. It’s wonderful to know that lots of people are sharing their experiences and feelings and know that you are not alone in what you feel.
I am hoping that you post my story as I have not yet reached an end or a new beginning.
I am 30 years old, married for 3 years to a wonderful man who I had been seeing for 9 years and living in a joint family. I was born in India but brought up in the middleeast so I was fairly liberal and knew exactly what I wanted in life. I completed my Masters abroad after completing my Bachelors in India ( which is where I met my hubby) He completed his Masters too from the same Uni. We both got good jobs with fairly decent salaries, but my hubby was unhappy having to work for someone else and he missed home. So he set up his own business back home and which is now going very well. I on the other hand worked abroad a little while longer and decided to give it up as the next thing on the cards was marriage. It was terrifying and exciting at the same time. Yes it would be a change, something new, which could not be predicted but hey sometimes change is good and a part of life.
We did have the talk before me moving back- actually me just telling him that I would not be suited to living in a joint family and I would rather we get our own place but somehow that was not acceptable as my in-laws live in the center of a metropolitan city and space was no issue. They expected us to move in with them and my husband doesn’t like to hurt them in any way. He could hurt me telling me that I should adjust. I am not really sure why is it the duty of a new bride to adjust no matter what you feel?
There were always little things – like my marriage for instance. Make note it was a love-cum-arranged marriage so it would seem they shouldn’t be any problems. However, every little ritual or circumstance was a struggle. Most things you can compromise but it’s your wedding day, supposedly the most important day of your life,- a new beginning and when you are forced to undergo things you don’t like or are uncomfortable with in the name of tradition and culture it sort of scares me now as to what sort of life was I agreeing into.
Don’t get me wrong my PILs are not horrible people they just worry too much about society and what they would think if they didn’t do something “the proper way”. So I did get married and moved in with my in-laws and their second son. (My husband is the eldest which makes me the eldest bahu).
Married life isn’t so bad. I mostly get to live the way I want because I choose not to heed every advice or good and proper thing that needs to be done now that I am married. My MIL is a very sweet and understanding lady but she is set in her own ways,does every thing that she can for her family and never complains. When I mean everything, it means everything, cooking, cleaning, sorting, arranging – everything other than actually feeding them! She herself says she spoon feeds them! God forbid if her sons need to do any work when she or I’m around.
I mentioned earlier I’m liberal. I think everyone must help in household work it is not the “duty” of only women in the house. Though my husband used to help out when we lived abroad (for a couple of months after we got married) at his parents’ house he is king. Meaning what so many other working DILs complain about. Both of them work but husband can come back and relax but the wife is expected to cook and clean even though she is equally tired. My MIL actually believes that to cook and serve your family is a duty from GOD! Seriously, this is 2014 for Godsakes! My FIL is also generally a nice man but he is very picky about what he eats and complains almost everyday that the food is not tasty, concluding that its not been fried in oil enough. If I wanted to make something I like it was always opposed saying so and so would not like it. My husband likes the food I like. So I make our food separately now – with less oil. Family traditions must be followed – no questions asked. Nothing should be done differently – there is only “one correct way”. I come from a different background and we did things differently but I can adjust to that as well. I have OCD. I like things to be in a certain way, extra clean and not to make a mess. Whereas everyone at my home is generally messy, don’t really care if it is messy and ignore it. I can’t ignore it. Seeing a mess makes me want to clean it and I hate cleaning! My MIL does clean after making a huge mess which in my mind is a waste of time and energy.
However, the main problem is after 3 years I still feel feel like a guest in my own home and I just have a room( like an other post I read on your blog recently). I try to be silent on things I do not agree with and have to obey blindly, but I feel I’m losing myself somewhere in this whole situation. There has never been any major argument or issue with my in-laws. but I fight almost everyday with my husband. All these issues seem petty to him. He says that I should not care about them too much, they are not life changing and it’s been three years you should have changed how you feel and adjusted by now. So is it my fault for “failing to adjust”?
I’ve always wanted to live on my own with my husband and my little family, make my own decisions even if it is what to have for dinner. The loss of freedom after living on my own for 11 years to this is what I can’t define in words. It makes me very unhappy and therefore the arguments with my husband.
I am not sure what to do as my husband refuses to talk about it as it always leads to an argument ending in telling me that I’m unreasonable to want what I want.
Am I being unreasonable and selfish to not want to live with his parents?
Sure Joint families can be great with regards to child support and child care and values but I am 30 and I have a dream of a certain kind of life. Life is too short I think to waste on things that make you unhappy. Again am I being selfish to want to be happy?
His parents expect us to stay with them. No one asks me what I want. My husband does like to be around people because he grew up in a joint family. I only want a place of my own to have the freedom one comes to expect in a marriage. It can be close to our in-laws. So he can visit anytime or they can visit anytime.
I am really at breaking point and do not know what to do or who to talk to. My husband refuses to listen. I can’t really talk to my in-laws. They would not understand why I am being the rebel when they treat me quite well. They would be hurt, generally view it negatively and worry about what the society would think. Somewhere inside I think like that too and worry I might upset them if I do tell them what I want.

But is this any way to live? Go about life like your in-laws and ending up like them? I definitely don’t want to end up like my MIL, my mom or my aunt who are basically housewives who have to put their family’s happiness before their own. I do not want to lose myself.

You can call me Maha.

And then I saw this on twitter this morning. IHM

Related Posts:

An email from a Happily Married Indian Daughter in law…

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

“My in-laws don’t hate me at all. But ‘love’ isn’t about all this. ‘Love’ is about letting your loved one ‘live’.”

“My Mother in law is very patient towards all the doings of the Males in the family.”

Display of respect to those in power, in Indian culture.

“In my bubble marriages are the stuff of feminist dreams!”

Sharing a guest post by The starry eyed feminist!

Of Men, Marriages and Musings


In my bubble marriages are the stuff of feminist dreams! It is an equal partnership, with mutual respect and some good old fashioned love. And then as I sat sipping on some freshly brewed coffee, browsing through the news, I found this.

Do you see what I see?

Here are some quotes from happily married couples and how they (read she) made it work!

“First 2 years of my married life were the toughest since I came from a nuclear family and got married into the joint family. It is extremely hard to keep each and every family member happy. But after 6 months, slowly and gradually I learnt to adjust, mostly by sacrificing my own wishes. You can’t prioritise your individual needs when thinking of your family,”

Adjustments are small alterations. Sacrificing one’s wishes and ignoring your individual needs- that is abuse! Are we too dreamy eyed when we adjust and expect to be adjusted to?

“My father was in the Army. Living a disciplined life, we always ate at the dining table and had fixed timings for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The scenario was very different in his house. Believe it or not, it took me three years to change my taste and timings according to his family. It takes lot of patience to live with person who is brought up with different habits, morals and rules. But I am thankful to him, as he helped me a lot to adjust according to his family.”

And yet another “happily” married wife thanking the husband for helping her adjust “according to his family”. I wonder if the family made any adjustments to accommodate her? Is the family open to making adjustments at all? Were they passive aggressive ( as in many cases) about their morals,habits and rules or did they grow on her organically?

“After marriage, my husband went back to the US and I had to stay in India for a while to get all my documents– passport, identity cards, signatures and bank accounts– under my new name. I felt like it is my re-birth,” 

We need to constantly re-invent ,rethink and revive ourselves – BY CHOICE. Re-birth is an overhaul. Did she give up on who she was? Does she still have the same interests and outlook? Or is the “adjustment” drastic enough to qualify as rebirth?

“She is barred from accessing Gtalk, YM, FB, twitter… Her calls and messages are checked every day. He does not want unnecessary tensions.”

 Sharing an email. 

Dear IHM,

I am a regular reader of your blog; it’s a really nice platform for married girls to share their views and thoughts on the current situation of different aspects of married life. My Sister who is elder to me by 3 years, needs help about a difficult situation regarding her husband.

My Sister and her husband are married for 6 months, they both are well educated and both belong to moderate families. They live in a separate city quite far from my family. Though my sister is very open-minded, her husband seems to be somehow narrow minded in many ways. Though I have read about such situations but never seen them in real life. Her husband seems to be paranoid and insecure regarding my Sister. He’s very paranoid about everything she does or doesn’t.  It’s just her and her husband, her Parents-In-Law & family stay in another town, but still with just the two of them at home they seem to be having a lot of problems. Her husband is very fussy and whatever she does he thinks she isn’t as responsible and is lazy. My sister is a working lady and goes to work. She wakes up, does the cooking, clean up and then leaves for work, and by the time she finishes her work comes home cooks dinner cleans and sleeps, she is very tired. He helps her around the chores too, but he thinks he is doing a big favor in helping her out and never appreciates her efforts and is always cranky about her way of doing things. All he tells her is that she does not do anything properly, there is no proper planning and blah blah, basically she is not as capable of taking care of the house like his Mother.

One more thing is, he is over-protective and possessive about her.  His idea of marriage is about them always being and doing things together all the time. No personal space allowed for both. He is not got any friends. She is not allowed to go anywhere without him, not even shopping, no meeting friends all by herself. He has asked her to delete all her guy friends` numbers from her phone and not to keep in touch with any of them. When asked why, he says he does not want unnecessary tensions and wants peace at home. She has left them all, but still he doubts if she is in touch with them while at work. He has unnecessary thoughts running in his head about her time spent at work. She is barred from accessing Gtalk, YM, FB, twitter, basically all online social networking sites. Her calls and messages are checked every day. He wants to know each and everything that is happening in her life.

Though he’s a totally different person when he is calm. He has good intentions about her, kids and their future. But he is very short tempered and moody, he reacts to situations instantly without thinking about the consequences. But once he has calmed down he would ask her sorry innumerable times and admits his mistake.

My sister is very confused about these mood swings of his. She has suggested counseling innumerable times but he won’t agree. She loves him a lot and doesn’t want to lose him. She wants help but her husband will not let a third person interfere in their personal matters. My parents tell her that “She being a GIRL, has to adjust first for some time and then he would realize and change. And these are common problems faced by most of the couples in the initial stages of marriage. He is just over possessive about her and so on.” But she feels suffocated in this relationship and is anxious about herself and her future. Is it true that all newly married couples face these kinds of problems initially? Will everything come back to be normal for my sister? Should she (because she is a girl) compromise and listen to him now to avoid all the fights & conflicts and sit & wait for him to change? How can she go about all this? Need suggestions which can help her out.


A Helpless Sister

Related Posts:

To an Anonymous DIL

An email: “When I met my husband, the first impression I had was that he was a male-chauvinist”

An email: “He got very aggressive and even started pulling the loosened muscles of my abdomen (post preg) very hard”

Ramblings of a henpecked husband? A comment.

An email: I was a person who thought Indian husbands will (and can) dominate their wives and there is nothing unnatural in that.

“The sense of entitlement that’s hard-wired into every male child in an Indian household”

An update: “My friend is having the baby because her mother absolutely refused to support her decision to abort.”

An email: An Old fashioned boy friend and a Liberal girl friend.

An email: He did not want me to be “more” educated than he was.

I only get jealous because I love you


Your rights in a Relationship

An email: An Old fashioned boy friend and a Liberal girl friend.

Is your relationship healthy?

An email: What worries me is, will we be able to find guys who have a similar thinking process?

“Someone ate without showering, someone didn’t bring mithai! These are trivialities, not social problems.”

This is how we trivialise, invalidate and sometimes even silence the voices that attempt to share the ‘mundane everyday quarrels’ that control women’s choices (or worse). The reason why these ‘trivialities’ are a social problem is that these issues are expected to solve without being questioned, challenged, discussed or ignored, by Please adjusting of less than 50% of the population. These ‘complaints’ will stop being too trivial or petty when women can afford to ignore them or deal with them the way the rest of the population does – without risking allegations of disrespect, and without being asked to rise above them by those who are not expected to share the task of dealing with the same issues (except by asking the women to Please Adjust)

IHM, I think you are being dragged these days into the absolutely most mundane, everyday quarrels people get into in their families. Someone ate without showering, someone didn’t bring mithai. Tomorrow someone will complain about who got to watch their favorite TV show and that one time someone put too much salt in the food…

These are trivialities, not social problems.

I think you are better than this and your blog is better than this. Indian feminists deserve better.

When filial devotion proves useful, it becomes hard to control.’

From Rabindranath Tagore’s Gora, here’s what the father of a daughter experienced: 

“This (proposal) is my good fortune, my glory!” he (the prospective groom) cried.

I asked him about money (dowry). He at once covered his ears and said: “Forgive me, but please don’t mention such things.”

“Very well,” I said, “I shall discuss these matters with your father.” I went to his father as well, and found a big difference between father and son. The father didn’t block his ears at the mention of money, not at all. Rather, he started saying such things, I almost had to stop my own ears.

The son, too, I found to be extremely devoted to his father in these matters—regards his father as absolute divinity—so it will be no use asking him to mediate. This time liquidating my company assets will not suffice. Anyway, you too must discuss a few things with Abinash. A word of encouragement from you …’ ‘That will not reduce the sum of money to be paid,’ Gora interrupted. ‘I know that. When filial devotion proves useful, it becomes hard to control.’

The same rule applies to some of these ‘mundane, everyday quarrels’.

You’re going to be with your in-laws for only a few days in a year so why can’t you live the way they want and keep every one happy?

Sharing an email.


Sorry if the post is too long and seems random. I was emotionally overwhelmed and in too much of a hurry to pen them else my head would have bursted.

I came across your blog and have been a frequent reader since then. And really this helped me question the assumptions and mindsets of the society.

I questioned on issues of gender inequality but considered it okay if somebody is expected to dress as “married woman”, or to have kids, and similar other things. Well thanks to you that I was prompted to read from other places as well and  value an individual’s freedom and opinion.

I am a highly educated, working woman of 25 and planning to get married next year to my boyfriend. As my boyfriend is of a different caste, I had a hard time convincing my parents. They have agreed reluctantly.

Though my mother treats me and my brother equally… now she has started me giving advises on how to behave at sasuraal…. get up early in morning, take  a bath, wear a saree, do puja, behave nicely with everyone and cook/do all those things they require.

I question her that she is expecting me to do these things and definitely she will expect her DIL to do same. For this she replies that you or any-other-girl-these-day is going to be with their in-laws with only for few days/weeks in a year so why can’t you live the way they want and keep every one happy.

I initially perceived that my In-laws are understanding so I could be myself. I wanted to have a dialogue or discussion with them over every thing — wearing a saree, putting a sindoor or say at what time to get up.  And my intention was to develop a healthy relationship in this way so that they know and accept me for what I am. (Considering that I haven’t met them so far ). All of my friends who have similar backgrounds and got married recently advised me against this. They “compromise” when they are with their in-laws and they feel its good to keep them happy. The mere fact that they crib to me about some or other bullshit traditions proves that their rendezvous with in-laws are not happy ones.

As a working woman The only time I will get to spend with my in-laws place will be during festival breaks or such.  And I am expected by one and all to be an ideal bahu at that time and “not create any scenes” by my “unnecessary feminist ideas” as they won’t serve any purpose. Its not that I can’t fake an ideal bahu for few days but I won’t be happy doing this and would never be able to love and accept my in-laws as my family. ( On a side note as of now I don’t feel part of either families. I am “parayi” for my parents and I am not able to accept my in-laws). When I talk to my boy friend about these things he agrees that my points are valid (for eg. I can be disrespectful with a foot long ghoonghat so respect lies in how I behave rather than how I dress and similar arguments). But he does not argue with his mother any-more. (Remember  his parents feel that they have done a huge favour by agreeing to an inter-caste marriage and to an extent I feel that my boyfriend believes in it as well).  He wants me to adjust for few days and behave in my ways with my kids. I want to behave with my kids in a way which is suited at that time. Time changes and so does context. If I argue with my mother-in-law it will cause a fight with my bf which I don’t want to for simple emotional reasons.  I think that my bf wants to avoid any confrontations and to have a “normal” undisturbed life.

I am really confused what to do. I can do drama for few days if thatz the solution. I know it seems an easy way out but trust me its not easy to please everyone when you are not happy yourself. I will be dreading those bi-annual in-laws visits which will be no fun for me. I will be forced fancy dress participant-cum-beautiful-cum itni padhi likhi par sanskari bahu-and other such tags which are considered praises. On the other hand I wonder whom I going to argue or discuss with. Will it be a case of “bhains k aage been bajaye aur bhains khadi paguraye“?

Thanks & Love,

Not sure if ready to be a itni padhi likhi par sanskari bahu

Related Posts:

‘His family seems a bit traditional type.I googled “how to behave with in laws after marriage in India.’

Eleven questions the family elders ask women in unhappy marriages.

An email from an anonymous Confused Wife.

The invisible family member in the saas-bahu post.

Hey IHM, I love your blog. But all the horrible news is making me a misanthrope…

Response from Anon Super-wife.

No Jeans For Indian Daughters in Law.

The danger signs and what’s non negotiable.

When married Indian women strive to look unmarried.

The JKG: Joru Ka Gulaam

No Gajar Ka Halwa for an Indian Daughter in law?

Of how men’s masculinities are connected to their wives taking their names.

It’s not about hot hot chappaties.

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

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

Kyonkee Husbands bhi kabhi Sons the.

I could not sing after my marriage and I am really sad about it, but women have to ‘adjust’ to see their family happy…

A woman is not a woman’s worst enemy. Patriarchy is.

Display of respect to those in power, in Indian culture.

Does loving someone mean we should ‘improve’ them?

Ten more ways to be better wives and daughters in law.

How much does your happiness depend on what your family and friends wear?

“Ask your father if he has never beaten your mother!” Please adjust.

“You have to adjust….”  Karnataka high court told a victim of domestic violence.

I don’t quite understand this. Don’t we have a laws that makes Domestic violence and cruelty a crime?

“Ask your father if he has never beaten your mother!”

So do most Indian fathers beat their wives? And somehow that is not only acceptable, but can also be used as an example for their daughters and sons in law to follow.

“I know you have undergone pain. But that is nothing in front of what you undergo as a woman.”

What is this even supposed to mean? What is it that women undergo that makes Domestic Violence seem like ‘nothing’?

Women suffer in all marriages.

Is the 28 year old wife supposed to believe this? And even if she does believe that many other Indian marriages are miserable, why should she see that a a reason to be unhappy too?

Link shared by Harjot Kaur.

HC judge tells abused wife to ‘adjust’

Women suffer in all marriages.

You are married with two children and know what it means to suffer as a woman. Why are you still talking about his beatings? I know you have undergone pain. But that is nothing in front of what you undergo as a woman. I have not undergone such pain. But madam (Justice BS Indrakala) has.”

The court asked the woman if her parents were present, at which her father walked up to the bench. The judge remarked, “Ask your father if he has never beaten your mother!” When the woman’s advocate produced photographs showing her swollen face, the court said, “You have to adjust.

There is nothing in your case to argue on merits. Have you read about actor Darshan. He spent 30 days in jail after beating his wife. But they are living
together now.”

The case was to be heard again in the afternoon, but was adjourned to a later date.

Related Posts:

Are His Judgements Justified? – Tvaraj

Be a wife like Sita, wear a sari but don’t get abducted.

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

An email from a daughter whose mother endured everything because she did not want to ruin her daughters’ lives.

I could not sing after my marriage and I am really sad about it, but women have to ‘adjust’ to see their family happy…

Bhagwad shared a link to this article in Deccan Herald. This article and thousands more like this one are a real indication of what getting married means to millions of Indian women.

How does the society get away with this?

1. By raising women to believe that their only duty and goal in life is to Get Married and Stay Married.

2. By creating Divorce Myths.

Is it surprising that a society which sees giving up their dreams and happiness in the name of ‘adjustment’ as the only possible future for daughters prefers to have sons?

Let me quote from the article,

“…everyone knows someone who is either going through a troubled marriage and considering separation; …Sometimes, for the most frivolous reasons including bizarre ones like TV channels being changed very frequently by the husband!!

Even the government, for a change, seems to be taking the popular path and making life simpler for those seeking to go their separate ways!

Pratima Gupta, an eminent HC advocate and a mother of two, who addresses cases of divorce among others says, “Divorce rates have gone up because women don’t want to ‘adjust’ in a marriage anymore.  The problem is compounded because ‘I, me and myself’ is taking precedence over everything else. Compromise is a big word. If the grounds on which they want a divorce are trivial, I always ask them to reconsider.”

As a woman, Pratima has adjusted her career and home in 18 years of marriage even though the decision didn’t come easy. “For me,” she states emphatically, “its not a compromise. I enjoy taking care of my family and children. It was a conscious decision to work and manage family simultaneously.”

Mamta Saha who left her singing career to take care of her family. “I have been married for 30 years. I could not sing after my marriage and I am really sad about it, but women have to ‘adjust’ to see their family happy and take the decision in the right spirit.”

There are others too for whom the decision to keep ‘self’ on the back burner has not been easy but they have ‘adjusted’ and are still raring to go back to lives of their own – albeit while staying in their marriages. Madhu Mahajan, an entrepreneur who had a thriving career in garment export put it aside to take care of her children. “I was really happy and content in my job. In fact, I was on top of the world but then marriage happened! My husband wanted me to continue working but my mother-in-law had issues and so, I prioritised and adjusted my life to bring up my children. But now that they are grown-up, I want to start working again.”

The key to remaining in a marriage and living your life simultaneously has to be worked out by the woman, and ‘compromise’ or ‘adjust’ needn’t be projected as villains in the everyday play of married life.”

I agree with Bhagwad,

Bhagwad: Does anyone else notice that all the examples in this article involve only the women who have to “adjust” or “compromise”?

Unless the men start compromising their lifestyle as well, no equality is possible. Divorce in this case is a good thing and the rising divorce rates is a sign for hope.

Related posts:

Divorces for trivial reasons?
Response and a Question from the Anonymous Indian Liberated Wife
An email: “Through your blog I want to understand if I have taken the right decision and see what’s the next course of action.”
An email: “But my parents, fearing the society and their reputation begged him to take me back.”
Are Happily Married Daughters a status symbol in India?
When she says she no longer wishes to stay with him, why isn’t her word enough?
Not Perfect Enough for Mr Perfect?

And more on how women are expected to ‘adjust’…

Do you think this video can make Indian parents want to have daughters?
No Jeans For an Indian Daughter In Law
What would you not change for love?
Overheard at a Beauty Parlour
To An Anonymous Daughter In Law
How important is it for a girl to get married?
Feminism has gone to women’s heads. Divorce has become like selling onions.
Can’t end marriage over a sari.
Is marriage an overrated institution?? – Shail
New women in old marriages – Careless Chronicles
Why marry? – Careless Chronicles
How to be a Sanskari Bahu – Careless Chronicles
Why is the divorce rate increasing? – Nita
Why does a woman need a man? – Usha
My Dreams Are More Precious Than Yours?
instead of being happier, women today seem to be leading more stressful lives.

An email: What worries me is, will we be able to find guys who have a similar thinking process?

An email from a young Indian woman who has seen her parents respect each other as equal partners.

I wanted to share an incidence with you and also what it means in the future, for young Indian women (and men). However, at the outset I would like to clear out something since it features my late maternal grandmother prominently. I loved her immensely and she did too. I know I was destined to spend time with her just a month before her demise, because she genuinely wanted to meet me.

My father since childhood always stressed that girls and boys are equal, each are unique and there are no grounds for differentiation between them. That’s why I have grown up questioning the status quo.

My mother ( C ), including her are 3 sisters ( A, B, C ) and two brothers( D, E ), in order of their ages. Now my B mashi got married before my mother, and within a year she had a daughter. A year later my mother had me. And my nani cried when she heard it, because “Ek aur beti” (‘0ne more girl child’). I learnt about this fact as a kid, and it hit me hard because honestly my nani loved me. When I went over to her place she would get all my favorite foods and would do anything I asked for.

Now my D mama has a son. The ONLY son of the family. So naturally he is spoilt. And my nani would zealously guard his things, from us sisters.

Once during holidays ( around class 6th-7th) when the whole clan was there, my E mama (Maternal uncle) came from Calcutta with goodies. Turned out it was a pencil box for my cousin sister and me,  and a video game for my brother. And my anger knew no bounds. THAT day I fought with everybody, broke the pencil box. it just hurt so badly.

And I shouted at my nani and my mama, because my mom had told me that when they were kids, nani would save better portions of non-vegetarian curries for my mamas.

Nobody forgot that day.

Neither did my nani, and after that day she wouldn’t dare anger me, yes she loved me and I think, after that respected me and I do know for a fact that she loved me the most. It’s difficult to change the viewpoints of old people, but overtime, yes I accepted her and forgave her. So yeah, rebel since I was a child… 😀

Coming back to the present, a few days ago, this couple came over to our place. they have two sons, one aged thirty, the other thirty-five. Mind you they are well off enough, you would think they would be modern, but NO. They were lamenting the fact how its tough to find girls for their sons, girls have become demanding, girls are spoilt, they don’t adjust etc.

This set me thinking.

As much as we may like to think we are moving forward. I don’t think so. The matrimonial section is a glaring example. What does this mean for girls like me, who ARE demanding and choosy and have every right to be? I know people will say whatever they have to, tez hain (the girls are over-smart) and etc. I am not concerned about them.

What worries me is,  will we be able to find guys like us, who have a similar thinking process?

My father would wash my diapers and got me ready for school etc. My mom hardly ever did all that. But then men like that are far and few in between.

And I do feel companionship is important, yes I would like to get married in future. BUT what if there aren’t any guys like THAT?

How do you deal with a situation like that?

Or can one live alone?

I just feel that somehow I WILL have to adjust and make compromises. and is a GUY SO IMPORTANT??

So what hope do Indian women who have grown up in families where they are respected as equals, have of finding men who think like them?

Related posts:

A detailed check list of conditions from modern young women of marriageable age.

Is your relationship healthy?

Marrying out of caste, Divorce, and Nuclear Families are Social Problems or solutions to Social Evils?

GV emailed one of the responses (on their Yahoo group) to the story in the last post, “Girls, are you taking revenge on us ?”
I know many Indians will agree with the solution offered here, which amounted to, “Ladies this is a domestic matter, resolve it. Please adjust.”
My comments in red.
“Dear all,
Anybody who works offshore will have to leave behind his wife at the mercy of his sister and mother. So basically, it is the ladies/girls who are troubling the girl and this is where the problem begins.
There is nothing wrong with the male member he has his job on one side, his wife and parents on the other side.
If anybody is suggesting that the boy should altogether leave his family and go to live alone with his wife (which is what every girl wants these days) imagine the plight of the poor mother who has brought up the child and the only earning member in the family. Sorry, this is what is happening and the girls’ parents are more than happy to detach the son from the mother without realising such things can happen in their own family if they have a son.
[IHM: And those who have only daughters must cut all ties with her after she is married,  why didn’t they try prenatal tests until they had a son?]

We are all pondering the right way to solve this social problem.

The ladies are mainly responsible. [Since male family members are not held responsible for picking/monitoring of phone calls, visiting relatives, elder care, child care, housework etc] I can request ladies to come out with a workable solution so that both sides are happy and Ladies alone can solve this issue.

The reality is the girls are getting well qualified and join good organization as a Software Engineer and similar jobs and they suddenly become economically independent.
[And so they have a choice and a voice.]
So good old days the same mother who used to be proud of their sons becoming engineers and doctors are now happy with the girls becoming engineers and doctors.
Moreover, with the ratio of girl child becoming low at an alarming rate (who should be blamed for this ? I am not willing to make a guess !!!) [Please make a guess, it might help you see the root of the problem.]
It is more number of boys chasing less number of girls and more number of less educated boys chasing less number of highly educated girls.
With the economic independence making her the decision maker of the family (reluctant father agrees to his daughters’ whims and fancies) and they end up marrying out of caste and religion.
[IHM:Economic independence in sons and daughters is viewed differently?]
I would not venture out to say that these marriages work very well, etc. as the truth says a different story. The number of divorce cases gone up by almost 33 per cent in the past few years. [IHM: I wish the lives of Sweety and Neha Chikkara had been saved by such successful divorces. They both had arranged marriages, with parental approval.]
1. There are less number of girls and more number of boys of marriageable age.
2. Girls are getting educated and boys are getting less educated.
3. More boys are getting married out of caste and religion.
4. More number of girls similarly getting married out of caste and religion.
5. The number of girls/boys who are of marriageable ages, still cling on to sub caste, astrological matching of horoscopes, etc., by the time it becomes too much for the girls/boys to wait and they surely and steadily start looking for other matches outside the caste and religion.
It is a clear case of our community getting decimated slowly and surely. As I see it, apparently there is no immediate solution to this problem and we will be very soon like Parsis – an endangered species.”
[Would that be a good thing or bad?]