My wife, Ritu and I paid a hefty price for being in love. Especially her. We went through the worst phase because we chose to marry against the wishes of my family.
My mother, father and sister made me feel like a culprit for marrying the woman of my dreams. Rather than being happy for me, they made sure that they keep blaming me for getting married against their wishes. But, even that was fine.
But, what wasn’t fine was labelling my wife as the wrong woman. Doesn’t matter how much she tried to please them, they would find issues to shame and insult her.
With the hope that things will get better with time, I asked Ritu to keep making adjustments and compromises. That was the biggest mistake of my life. Because I assumed that my family would eventually see the good in her and accept her and our marriage.
But hardly I knew, on my journey to seek acceptance from my parents, I would be on verge of losing Ritu – the woman who left everything for me!
While making endless compromises, Ritu started getting giving up. She was not ready to compromise and adjust with my family anymore. She wasn’t ready to let go of the words they said or actions they did. While I knew what she was going through was unfair, I wanted her to understand that my parents weren’t bad humans. But, she gave up her desire to please them anymore; She gave up her desire to make things right with my parents; She started complaining about things that she would have ignored in the past; She just didn’t want to work on her relationship with my parents anymore.
And rather than supporting her, I became frustrated and angry with her. I was so annoyed because I felt rather than working to seek approval from my parents, she wanted me to stay away from them.
There were times when I felt maybe marrying her was a mistake because she might have been a good lover but she failed to a good wife and daughter-in-law.
I was angry that she was not on good terms with my parents, with my sister and with my larger family. I was sad as she hardly spoke to them and when she did, it felt she didn’t respect them anymore. But sadly before blaming her, I needed to introspect and realize that what I put Ritu through was not only soul thrashing but also unfair.
But, while I was holding my wife accountable to the highest standard of behaviour, I rarely confronted my parents and sister for their misbehaviour.
While I blamed Ritu for not respecting my family, I blinded myself to how my family treated her. From their constant taunts and hurtful words, Ritu tried really hard to give them respect. But, every time she made an attempt to make things work, she was shamed, insulted and abused for ruining their life.
While I kept pushing Ritu for making the efforts to seek acceptance from my family, I forgot that my family was also supposed to make efforts to accept her. My family, at any cost, just wanted Ritu to pay the price of choosing to marry me.
I kept questioning Ritu for her lack of commitment to be part of the family. But I hardly questioned my parents and my sister, who left no chance to make Ritu feel like an outsider.
After making Ritu suffer for almost 4 years and seeking counselling, I realized that I was pushing Ritu to make all the adjustments and that I was unfair to her.
I knew what my family was putting Ritu through was heartbreaking. But still, I was asking Ritu to accept and adjust. And, the reason was very simple – I was choosing to be a good son. I thought because Ritu was my wife, I can tell her to adjust and compromise; but not others.
But, not anymore! I realized that I can’t fight for my family when they are putting my wife through hell; when they are making my wife pay for the price of falling in love with me. I felt accountable for what my wife was going through.
So I decided to take a fair stand on the whole situation. Rather than just asking my wife to change, I realized I need to speak with my family to do the same. I needed to stand for my wife’s self-respect when my family unfairly stomps over it. I needed to make my family realize why it is important for them to accept Ritu, and give her the respect that she deserves.
The Bottom Line:
It’s not ONLY our wives’ duty to make everyone happy; It’s not ONLY our wives’ duty to accept our family as their own; It’s not ONLY our wives’ duty to prioritize other needs over their own. It’s our families’ duty too!
Lastly, in no marriage our wives’ need to fight for their respect, dignity and happiness. It’s their RIGHT and our duty to make sure they are respected and happy!