“Mummy, I feel like a failure. I can’t handle the pressure of this marriage. How much ever I do, Rohit and his parents don’t appreciate it. Whenever I speak up my mind, Rohit snubs me. He says just because I am educated that doesn’t mean I know things more than his parents!
Whenever his parents say hurtful things to me, I speak up! Rather than taking a stand for me, he asks me to be quiet! He tells me how even if his parents are wrong, I have no right to talk back at them! They are elders and they can say things that they want to say! After working for 12 hours in the office, he expects me to cook food for his parents! His parents don’t even talk to me properly. Sometimes, I feel they just needed a maid and cook, who earns additional money!
I am so lost mummy! Neither I am able to keep Rohit and his family happy, nor am able to perform well at the office. I feel like a failure – I am a bad wife, a bad daughter-in-law and a bad employee!
I am sorry Mummy I failed you and papa! I couldn’t become a good wife or a daughter-in-law. Believe me, I try to stay quiet most of the time, but there are times when I just couldn’t. I feel so helpless in those moments. I know if I say something, there would be a huge drama and people would say things that I won’t like! But, then, for the sake of my values and my undying desire to take a stand for the right things, I say things that Rahul and his family see as an insult!
With every passing day, my self-confidence is shattering down. I am not able to focus at work. I keep thinking may it is my fault that I don’t know how to keep others happy! Maybe it’s my fault that I am too touchy! Maybe I am too reactive!”
My mother was listening to me patiently over the phone. And then she suddenly said: “No, Shreya. It isn’t your fault! A spineless man like Rohit can’t handle a strong and independent woman like you! It’s not your fault, it’s his! Why he wanted to marry a strong and independent woman when he wanted her to live like a meek speechless creature! Why he married at all when he just wanted to have a maid and cook?
I don’t understand, why you are blaming yourself, Beta! You are a strong and independent woman. We didn’t raise you to be weak and meek. We didn’t raise you to suffer in silence. We didn’t raise you to bear the insults. We raise you to stand for yourself and fight for your dignity. Obviously, you should adjust. But there is a difference between making adjustments and suffering the abuse!
Tell Rohit, you won’t suffer the abuse anymore. Take a stand for yourself. And, if you are not treated well, please come back. Beta, remember, home is where respect is! Without respect, there is no love; there is no relationship and there is no marriage!
And, remember, you have always made us proud. You have never failed us. And, we know you will never fail us in future. But, if you chose to suffer the abuse for the sake of marriage, then you will definitely fail us!
And, for the last time, it isn’t your fault that you want love, care and respect! It’s his fault that he couldn’t stand to protect your dignity!”
While many women struggle in marriage for their dignity, I wish every daughter gets a mother like my mom, who knows that nothing comes above dignity and respect; who has the courage to tell her daughter to come back home if she isn’t treated well; who teaches her daughter – Home is where the respect is!