I want to ask you: “Why do you hate your daughters so much?”
Why we, daughters, have to struggle for love, care, and affection throughout our lives? Why at every step do you remind us that we are not one of your own?
Born to a well-educated middle-class family, I always believed that the label – Paraya Dhan – is used by less-educated or less-well-to-do families. The modern and educated Indians believe that their daughters are equal to their sons. But, this belief took a great hit, when I got married.
I realized how my fate was no different from many married Indian women – who were raised like little princesses and post-marriage turned into an outsider by their own parents.
For those, who are treated with love, care, and respect by their in-laws and their parents still treat her like their own daughter, I want to tell them – “You’re very lucky!”
But if you don’t – then, I want to tell you that you are not alone. You may have undergone a similar pain that I have gone through multiple times. I call it the pain of being an outsider! The pain of being lonely! The pain of standing alone for yourself when no one else will!
When I was getting married, my parents told me how lucky I am that I will get another set of the family! How I will be blessed by two sets of parents.
But sadly, I was left with none.
Within a year of marriage, I stumbled over a heart-breaking and the ugliest realization of my life.
While my in-laws never accepted me as one of their own, my own parents started believing that my husband’s house was my house now.
It was just a matter of time how the place – that I used to call my home – where my suggestions mattered for the minutest decisions – felt hardly any need to involve me in any critical family decisions now. But why would they – I was an outsider now!
And, the place that I was trying to make my own – was never ready to accept me. From time to time, it was reminded to me how – it wasn’t my parent’s house – how it was my husband’s house or my in-laws’ place.
I tried really hard to make it my own. But with every attempt of making this place my own, I was told – I was an outsider who was married into this family and was expected to only accept and compromise.
I always wonder how helpless all those daughters might feel – whose world turns upside down due to mental torture by the husband, or too much involvement of other people in their married life. Where should they go?
Can she feel confident that she could go back to her parents’ house and be welcomed with open arms – without any judgments or comments? Will she be told to go back to adjust, to compromise and to suffer. Because in the end – “Beta, husband’s house is your own house” or “Adjust for the sake of kids’ and your future and security!”
Or, can she just complain to her in-laws that their son is not treating her well? Will they listen to her agony? Will they support her against their own son? Do they ever?
Her own parents tell her to adjust and her in-laws tell her that she must have provoked their son.
With no one to take stand for her, our society does a great job of treating a married woman as an outsider. No one understands her pain as she suffers all alone.
Before blaming her husband or in-laws for her pain, I have a humble request for you to take an honest look at how you treat your daughter after marriage.
While her husband and in-laws may not accept her, why you abandon her after marriage. Stop treating her like ‘Paraya Dhan’ ,as if she was born as an asset to be donated to others.
Stop treating your daughter as an outsider after marriage. Stop treating her like she isn’t a part of your family anymore.
To all Parents-in-law,
If you want her to treat you like her parents then please make a start by treating her as your daughter first.
Please remember she left everything behind to be with your son and be a part of your family. She never wants to steal your son from you, she just wants to be accepted as your own.
Before you blame her for the things she did or didn’t do; for the things she said or she didn’t, take an honest look at how you have treated her vis-à-vis how you want your own daughter to be treated.
And to all the married women, who could relate to the pain of being an outsider,
I know what you are going through and I know it’s not easy.
Even if you feel like you don’t have anybody, it is important to know that you have the strongest supporter in your own self. Stand for yourself, don’t give up on your support system. Find people who make you feel wanted.
It’s very important to be a part of a tribe that understands your pain and gives you a feeling of belongingness.
Remember, how people treat you, it tells a lot about them. And, it doesn’t tell anything about you!
A humble request to our readers:
IFORHER’s Open letters series capture articles contributed by our community members’ with the objective to share their deepest feelings with the community. If you can relate to them, please don’t forget to drop a message for the writer.
And if you don’t please don’t judge them. We all go through different struggles in life. Just because we don’t have that struggle doesn’t mean their struggle isn’t real.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of IforHer. The authors are responsible for any omissions or errors. And, IforHer does not assume any liability or responsibility for them.