More on adjustments, compromises, and a woman’s life.. Post 9

Commenting on Iya’s and Roop’s posts made me realize that there was so much more that I wanted to say on this topic…

Last year, someone we know got married. She was barely 22, not financially independent. The worst part was that she was getting married to an extremely conservative family, who lived in the same village as her parents. This also meant that she would not be allowed to drive her scooter(which she did before marriage) or wear anything apart from a sari even when she visited her parents. We had tried dissuading her parents and convincing them to let her get an education, and gain financial independence. But to no avail. They wanted the ‘responsibility’ out of the way. They wanted to get her ‘married off’ so that nobody accused them of ‘keeping an unmarried daughter at home’. Β They believed that a daughter has no place in her parents place.

Not even a year down the line, she is back at her parents place. She has been verbally/mentally abused badly by the husband. He wants ‘money’ to shut his mouth. Things have got so bad that, she even tried to commit suicide a few times. Finally she is now back at home. Her parents are supportive of her, but they are still trying to see if a ‘samjhauta’ can be reached. I can’t help wonder what ‘samjhauta’? What compromise can be reached when the husband is not even concerned about her. When all he is bothered about is money.

Last year, I had met her when we were in India. She was newly married, and had a few concerns at that time. Β I heard her mother/aunts explain to her that we, women cannot expect everything to go our way. We have to compromise, adjust. Don’t have high expectations. Just learn to be a ‘good daughter-in-law’ and everything will be all right. Having known her, I know that she is a sweet person, soft spoken, and someone who generally toes the line. Not someone who will try to make a fuss out of nothing. Knowing this, if she is unhappy, surely, someone should be listening to her rather than pretend that everything will be alright if she ‘adjusts’.

I can’t comprehend the huge rush to get her back in her marital home. What if her in-laws decide to make her life worse for going and talking to her parents about what she faced? Why, why do people think that an abusive husband is not a big deal? Isn’t it better for her to get out of an abusive marriage now, before she has children and gets even more trapped in an unhappy life?

Clearly, nothing matters apart from the perception that the daughter is married. What is of utmost importance, is that an unmarried daughter is not at home, so god forbid, if the married daughter comes home. Lets find the quickest way to send her back. Lets talk about adjustments, compromises, whatever, Β lets just get her back where she belongs. After all, she is the paraya dhan. So what if her next suicide attempt is successful. All that matters is that she is in her marital home. Nothing else, apparently, matters.

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35 thoughts on “More on adjustments, compromises, and a woman’s life.. Post 9

    • Agree with you on this, as you read I have a similar problem going on with someone i know and this was one thing i told her Thank god you are not pregnant..

      I agree! That would have complicated things so much more!

      I dont know what is the matter with people , OK the man is bad and he is greedy and everything , but what are the WOMEN in the household doing, surly the guys mother is a WOMAN and she knows the problems faced, probably she faced when she came to the house hold.. why does she not say anything .

      I think the social conditioning is such that women don’t even realise what they are doing to another woman.

      Sad sad situation that you have mentioned God knows how things will improve.. its not just that , Some GOOD educated MEN and Families who are otherwise Very good families, respected families , Have these problems.. I dont understand that.

      Social strata, economic strata – nothing matters. Sadly the mindset is the same.. throughout..

      i was writing a post and this is part of that post ..
      strange are the ways …

      Waiting to read it, Bikram.

  1. I remember i read a post by IHM on how a married daughter was a status symbol..

    That certainly seems to be true 😦

    Sadly our society really believes in that. a unhappy daughter in her in laws home is better than one in her parents home. Sad very sad..Solution lies in changing mind sets and that will only happen through education and financial independence.

    You know, I have seen this attitude even among educated people – highly educated people at that!

  2. Ridiculous! I so feel there shud hv been some magic wand that cud put an end to such things 😦 Ppl r just nt learning their lessons 😦

  3. These things are happening in families full of educated people too! Daughter is always paraaya dhan. Parents are just worried about what the outsiders will comment if their daughter came back home. Education doesn’t come into this.

    I know! Education should, but does not seem to make any difference.

    I know a lady who is in education line. She is already readying her engineer daughter to ‘adjust’ once she got married because she did the same thing! ‘There is no other go, we have to adjust’, she says. The daughter is scared of marriage now! The mother has given her permission to marry to a person of her choice, but once she is married, she has to ‘adjust’, esp. if she has a child. So, education is not helping the mother or daughter, here.

    It feels so sad to see examples like this. Makes me wonder what is the point if educated, independent women still think like this?

    As you say, ladki is always ‘paraaya dhan’ in our country, Smitha!

  4. Most parents have invested a lot of time and money in ‘settling’ a daughter and would do anything to ensure she stays ‘settled’, or dies trying to stay settled. If and only if women (and their families) see more to their lives than Getting and Staying Married, can this change.

    • ‘If and only if women (and their families) see more to their lives than Getting and Staying Married, can this change.’ – Absolutely! I wish people like this would read yourblog, IHM.

  5. This is truly disheartening 😦 There are too many such cases happening…

    That is what is mind boggling.. That there are so many such cases happening.

    These parents don’t realise what they are making their daughters undergo. Being married and staying married no matter what the consequences is so important for them that the right reasons really don’t matter for them..

    I know.. I wish they worried about the right reasons more! If only parents helped their daughter get married to the right guy, rather than the first guy.

    I really feel for the poor girl… is there any way you could help her?

    I am trying, but there is not much we can do from here – if the parents themselves don’t understand that their daughter life is at stake here, far more important than ‘family honour’.

      • I know! That must be the worst bit. How can a woman, brought up with such ideas, have the courage to break the mould? Esp when all she can see is everybody giving examples of others who have ‘lived through worse’..

  6. It’s so sad… 😦
    I see that kind of mentality and talk even here in the US… I always thought that time and distance away from abusive in-laws will make things alright.. but the thoughts are so badly ingrained in their heads that they HAVE to adjust, they HAVE to compromise… and of course give up all that they stand for!! All this for a “happy and peaceful” marriage!

    I know, Pix! Nothing really changes. I have met plenty of people living in cities who are so totally regressive, while some who live in villages, but are progressive- but that is much rarer, sadly.

    Why marry at all? It’s so so sad… that a woman is only recognised if she is married and her parents status is decided if and only if their daughter is married.. sigh!

    I know! It is so incredibly sad, isn’t it? That ‘married’ status changes everything.

  7. OMG That is so sad.. why are we (Indian society) so hell bent on getting kids settled? And settled means marriage!!! If only we would give our children some time to really grow up and ‘live’ on their own terms, they would be such strong individuals.

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  9. It’s very common isn’t it? And that’s what makes this even worse. Almost every second woman goes through this and I doubt that’s an exaggeration. I’m dreading my trip to India next month because of the whole status thing about women needing to be married and parents needing to complete that ‘responsibility’. My parents will probably push for it but it’s other people who are worse and will constantly ask questions about me being 27 and not wanting to ‘settle down’. The thing is, it’s not just people my parents or grandparents generation. I have some friends (women) from school who are married and who insist I should get married soon because apparently I need a husband to take care of me when I’m sick. (Yes a good friend actually said that to me last time I visited and didn’t respond to my logical arguments of me being able to take an ambulance in the worst-case scenario to get to the hospital)On the plus side, I don’t have to put up with it living here but I don’t look forward to trips to India.

  10. Unless parents realize the best thing that they can do for their daughters is getting them a good eductation and seeing to it that they are capable of standing on their own two feet, there will be no end to situations like this. As a part of the curriculum, it should be drilled into the psyche of our girl children that getting married is not the ultimate thing in their life.

    Absolutely! Only then can things begin to change!

    And don’t think it is just umarried girls that people harp on, it is boys too πŸ™‚ Being the eldest sister (and thereby taking mother’s place if she is no more), I have been getting it from all and sundry for not getting my 30-year old brother married!!

    I know! The whole society will be bothered if someone is not married. What is the hurry? Why can’t they let the individuals decide for themselves? This whole obsession to get young people married off early is the root of all these troubles.

  11. So agree with all that you have said, Smits and am as saddened as you by this whole attitude of ‘adjusting in your marital home, come what may’ :(. My heart goes out to that poor girl who must have had to go through so much and now with her parents still trying to go in for a samjhauta, how helpless and dejected she must be feeling. I hope she gathers enough courage to stand up and tell her parents that ‘enough is enough’. I hope she makes them realize she is far better off leading a life of an independent woman who can take care of herself than leading a life of misery dependent on her husband and in-laws.

    Great post!

      • Yes, exactly! You remembered, Deeps! Yes, it is her, and she is now back at her parents place.. I just hope she has the courage to decide for herself. But it is not really easy for her because she has been brought up in such an environment, you know. The only hope for her is for her parents to understand what her life would be far better if she can be independent, and to let her get out of this marriage, before it is too late.

  12. How sad the situation…Does Being married means being a slave to someone else who can treat u as he desires. Unfortunately, this is more widespread and happening all around. It has become such a common and normal way of life that we dont even realise. Makes me wonder when would – social pressures shaping our decisions – end.

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  14. This is our problem…we refuse to listen to our own daughter and ask them to adjust to somebody…Why cant we stand up for our children ???

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