Husband: “I am not available for the weekend. I am going to my parents’ place. I know I went away last weekend too. But, I guess they need me!” Me: “Ok, Rahul. I have some office work to complete this weekend. Post which, I will go to my parents too. I would stay there for a day as it’s Mummy’s birthday!”
[Another incident] Husband: “Sorry. I have to stay with my parents for a day more as they miss me being around. How are you feeling now? Me: I am a bit unwell. But, that’s not a problem. I went to the doctor and I called up mother. She is going to stay with me.”
My 2 years of marriage were a real roller-coaster. My in-laws, who only accepted me as their son’s wife under his pressure choose not to respect me. After 6 months of an abusive marriage, my in-laws not only humiliated me, but also asked me to leave their home as they felt insulted by my presence.
While my husband and I moved out of the house on his parents’ demands, my husband still blamed me for the separation. He stopped talking to me properly and started spending more time with his parents than he would spend with me.
I won’t lie. But, early days were really tough. My husband would constantly ignore me and it would bother me. He would punish me with his silent treatment and I would go crazy. I would blame myself for my marriage falling apart.
Even after knowing the fact that his family never accepted me, he would blame me for separating him from his family.
Whenever I would try to make an attempt to share how his ill-treatment was making me feel lonely and depressed, he would tell me to adjust or stop expecting too much from him! I adjusted. I cried. I shouted. I fought. But, nothing made him treat me like his partner.
The worst thing in any marriage is to be the only one who is trying to make it work.
Like many other women, I compromised and adjusted to a level that I gave up on my self-respect and pride. But, after doing so much, when Rahul yelled at me for demanding too much from him, I just gave up! How asking for love and respect from your partner can be too much? How trying to feel connected with your husband can be too much? How asking your life partner to pitch in to make the marriage works could be too much!
On that day, I realized that I can’t make my marriage work if my husband doesn’t want to. And, whatever I do, he would never realize my value till he wants to. So, from that day, I stopped asking for his attention. I stopped crying. Rather than making my marriage work, I started working on myself and my confidence.
Why should I accept the emotional abuse in name of adjustment?
Why should I be the only one working on my marriage? Why should I be made to feel guilty for things I wasn’t responsible for? Why should I be blamed for breaking the family when the reality is that the family broke me and my marriage? Why should I accept a status lower than everyone else just because I was a daughter-in-law, whom they didn’t pick for their son! Why should I keep fighting for my husband’s attention? Why should I keep feeling worthless and useless just because my husband and his family refuse to treat me the way I deserve?
It is heart-breaking how spineless men don’t mind ignoring their wives for the sake of pleasing their parents’ shallow egos. It is sad how men blame their wives for their parents’ abuse. It is sad how they keep expecting their wives to suffer the abuse in silence just because they don’t have the guts to stand to their abusive parents!
After struggling for two years, I finally decided not to run after my husband for his attention. Just because my husband doesn’t care about me or our marriage, I decided not to let it break or shatter me. My husband’s love or his attention wasn’t the yardstick to measure my self-worth.
I realized that like many other, I deserve to be loved and cared for. But, if my husband couldn’t recognize his duty towards me, I am not going to let that be the end of my life; I won’t spend the rest of my life waiting for him to see my value. The changed attitude left my husband shocked. All the self-love and the strength in me, made me the person I was before my marriage. I stopped asking for love and attention. I stopped crying and started loving myself.
Dear Women suffering at the hands of toxic families, Remember you don’t deserve any of the toxicity. Don’t measure your self-worth because of your toxic family and their patterns. Work on yourself. Build your strength. Because, sometimes, the best revenge is to heal and move forward!