As a girl, I was raised as an equal by my parents and always thought that there is no gender gap. But this thought was short-lived as things turned upside down after marriage.
Like many modern Indian girls, I was raised to believe that I am no less than a boy. Even though my parents belonged to a small town, they never differentiated between me and my brother.
Doesn’t matter whether it was about school or college, they spent equally on my education as that of my brother. But, hardly I knew this sense of gender equality was short-lived – and things will take an unfortunate turn after my marriage.
We met in an MBA college and within 6 months of being together, we were sure that we wanted to spend our life together. My husband is one of the most supportive husbands that one could ever hope for.
As my husband’s parents were 70+, I could imagine why he always wanted them to stay with us. And, I was totally fine to live with them as one happy family.
But before committing to my husband, I made a wrongful assumption that his parents would be equally supportive as him.
Soon after my marriage, I realized just love for their son wasn’t enough for my in-laws. They wanted much more to accept me as a part of their family. Heartbroken, I realized they wanted an educated maid rather than a daughter-in-law.
After trying really hard to adjust, here’s what I want to tell them through this open letter.
After marriage, I was expecting to get a new family. But, all I got was a set of rules to follow and a constant feeling that I am lesser than your son.
It is heartbreaking how our office may treat us with the same respect as we earn equally and have the same levels, you won’t leave a chance to treat me less. It shocks and amuses me how you believe that your son works hard and slogs all-day and turn a blind eye to the fact that I work equally hard.
On multiple occasions, you have told me that your son slogs all-day for family, but so do I!
Though your son and I studied from the same college, it is heartbreaking how you assume that he is equipped to make all the decisions at home, while I shouldn’t even hold any opinion.
My parents invested all their hard-earned money on my education, to make sure that I turn out to be a strong independent woman. But, rather than appreciating my education or the skills, you were worried about how my cooking skills weren’t up to the mark.
All you did was show me how being a daughter-in-law is equal to being a maid, while I am as capable as your son and not less than him in any aspect.
And, when it comes to adjustment – be it with you or your son, why you always expect that it is my duty to compromise and adjust. You never leave a chance to make me feel like an outsider.
After all this you expect me to respect you? Respect cannot be forced; it has to be earned.
It breaks my heart when you blame me for treating you differently from my parents. The truth is if you can’t treat me like your own daughter, how could you even expect me to treat you like my own parents.
My parents feel proud of me being successful at work, while you will never mention it because you are worried about how it may overshadow your son’s success.
I always wanted to treat you like my own parents, and take care of you just like I do for my very own family. Hardly I knew, I won’t be a daughter for you but a mere puppet, who is expected to do household chores without a complaint.
With your continuous unfair treatment, I have reached a point where I have trained myself to be stronger, peaceful, and calmer. I have trained myself not to be bothered by what you expect or say!
Though somewhere deep in my heart, I still believe there would be a day when you would accept me as your own; when you will respect and love me like your own son; when you will be proud of me. And, I will wait for that day – the day when I won’t be an outsider anymore!
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 I for Her. Authors are responsible for any omissions or errors. And, IforHer does not assume any liability or responsibility for them.