“Why she had to argue with us in front of your uncle? What does she want to show to the world that we don’t know anything; that we are idiots? She has no respect for us. But, can you please ask her not to show it to the world that she has no respect for elders!”
My mother-in-law made sure my husband gets clear instructions on what his wife can do or can’t do; what I can speak or can’t speak.
And, this whole havoc was created because my mother-in-law mentioned how the uncle’s daughter should give up the job after marriage as her husband earns well. I disagreed and spoke my mind on why women need to keep working because of much-needed financial independence.
With no intention to insult my mother-in-law, I told uncle what I would have told any father, who would have asked his daughter to leave her job.
But my well-intended message hurt many fragile egos.
In order to relay my mother-in-law’s message, my husband said:
“Why would you do it? Mummy was talking to Mama. Why you have to contradict her in front of Mama?”
“S, I had no intention to hurt mummy, but do you think what I said was wrong?”
“No, your views were right. But there was no need to say it to Mummy in front of Mama. Why to argue with her in front of outsiders?”
While I was trying hard to make my husband understand that there was nothing rude about what I said, he was adamant that I shouldn’t have said to mummy in front of her brother as she got offended.
But, this wasn’t my only encounter with my husband’s attempt to make me feel lesser to manage his family’s fragile ego.
“Why she keeps telling us how things were done in her home? She came to our home, now why she couldn’t just adjust to our ways? Why she keeps telling us that whatever we do is the wrong way and hers is right way!”
“She doesn’t respect anyone. Why does she not listen to her sister in law? She is elder to her and knows how a women need to follow certain rules. But Bahu Rani ko toh kissi ki nahin suni”
Every time my progressive thoughts hurt their fragile egos, my husband’s immediate reaction is why would I do so? Why would I say so?
Even if he agrees with my thought process, he wants me to shut up and agree with the regressive thought process for the sake of the elders’ respect and peace in the house.
But, this isn’t just my story. There are many husbands who expect their wives to keep their brains shut and do what’s being told to her. Even if that brings her discomfort, unhappiness, and loneliness. So, here I am writing on behalf of all wives, who have been asked to bow down for other’s ego:
Why do you love to save people’s ego so much that you ask your wife to give up on her self-respect and pride?
When would you stop taking your wives for granted? When would you stop asking her to change so that other’s egos are satisfied? While marriage is an equal partnership, when will you treat her as equal? When would you stop asking her for favors to change herself to keep people happy?
Marriage is a relationship of equal, not a FAVOR she has to return.
Why you force only her to change; only her to listen; only her to fit in. Why she has to bear the burden of other’s egos and manage it at all costs.
Why everyone in your family can speak their mind, but she can’t?
While you, your parents, your sister can be themselves because this is their home. But your wife can’t. The moment she starts being herself, it starts upsetting other’s egos! WHY? Isn’t it’s her home too?
Why almost everyone’s ego is attached to how much your wife can change or how much can she do things that she ideally doesn’t want to.
You got married to her to make her your soul mate but, now you are ready to sacrifice her for vulnerable egos?
She became your wife, hoping that she would be your equal partner.
While she sacrifices her happiness for yours, you traded her’s for other’s frivolous egos. While she stands for your respect and dignity, you expect her to bow down to other’s demands.
In case this letter makes you wonder, are you treating your wife right? Are you giving her the life, family, and marriage that she deserves? Then my letter has served the purpose!
Dear husbands, rather than trading your wives’ happiness for frivolous egos; let them live life on their own terms! Because that’s what they deserve.