“Rohit, how could mummy insult my father like that. How could she say such mean things about my father!”
“Riya, she was angry. She didn’t mean it. It’s a small thing. Let it go! Itni chotti chotti bataon ko dil se nahin laga saktey!”
But, this wasn’t the first time that my husband refused to acknowledge his parents’ abusive behavior. This wasn’t the first time, he labeled the toxic behavior of his family as small things – choti choti baatein!
When his sister taunted me for going to meet my parents, when his mother nagged about my lifestyle, when his father scolded me to leave my job, when his family insulted my parents, every time, my husband had just one thing to say: Leave it! It’s such a small thing! Ignore it! They didn’t mean to! Let it go!
Rather than standing for me, my husband asked me to blind myself to his family’s toxic behavior. Initially, for the sake of my marriage, I did that too! I ignored their judgmental comments, their emotional abuse, the gaslighting – all to maintain peace in my marriage!
But, I was so stupid! I believed my husband. I assumed that things will get better as time will pass. They will accept me as a part of their family and start giving me the respect that I deserved!
Believe me, for almost 2 years, I kept treating them with love, care and respect even after getting hatred, shame and blame! I thought soon the day will come when I will get the right place in that family!
But I was so wrong! Neither the things that his family said were small things nor things were going to be normal anytime! When my husband told me to ignore such things, what he meant was – “Aadat Dal Lo” (Get used to the toxic behavior)!
When my husband mentioned it’s a small thing, he meant was – “Don’t make a big fuss about it. I can’t take a stand against my family! They are the way they are! It’s better you accept such things as a part of life, rather than taking it to your heart. Because it will keep happening!”
But, I am not the only one. I have seen so many Indian men normalizing their parents’ abusive behavior and labeling it as a small thing! Because of which, many of us, spend most of our life accepting the abuse in name of tradition and values. We are told that we have a problem of taking things to our heart, we have a problem of being too emotional, we make issues out of thin air. But, sadly the reality is that we are asked to suffer the abuse for the sake of happy marriage; we are asked to suffer the abuse because our husbands don’t have guts to point out their family’s abusive behavior!
It is heartbreaking how even in 21st century, Indian men are so spineless that they ask their wives to either ignore the abuse. Asking someone to ignore, is the same as asking the person to suffer abuse in silence without raising any concerns or voice.
Dear Indian Men, We are living in 21st century and still you don’t have courage to stand against your abusive family behaviors. Could you please stop labeling your family’s toxic misbehavior as small things (chotti baat)! Could you please stop asking us to ignore the abuse, just because you are spineless to raise your voice against the ill-treatment?
Dear Indian Men, please grow up! Stop being a coward! Stand for your wife! It is a high time you become the husband your wife deserves!