“Roshni, you don’t have to be adamant. If Rohit is asking you to apologize to his parents, then do it Beta! Your stubbornness is not good for your marriage!”, my mother tells me as I told her why Rohit and I haven’t spoken from past 2 weeks.
“But, mummy, I am not wrong! His mother called me names! She called me characterless. She told me how I wear objectionable dresses and entice men! Mummy, I am not being stubborn. It’s the matter of my self-respect!”
“Beta, she is elder to you! She might have said all that in anger. If you go and apologize, she will understand and she will forget everything!”
“But, mummy why should I apologize to her! I don’t want her to forget what she said! Rather, I want her to realize what she said was utter non-sense and disgusting! Just because she is elder to me, doesn’t give her a right to abuse me; to insult me! And, all this for what? Because I bought myself a birthday gift without asking her!”
“Beta, you are right! But, many times, women need to please other’s ego, even if that means it hurts our own self-respect! This incident can harm your marriage forever and you may never get the love from Rohit that you always hoped for!”
“Mummy, love without respect doesn’t mean anything! How he was silently standing as his mother called me names, showed how much he loves me! Mummy, I won’t sacrifice my self-respect for anyone’s ego! I just know I am not wrong! I didn’t do anything to deserve such a horrible treatment!”
“Aajkal ki educated ladkiyon ki yahi problem hai – compromise and adjustments nahin karti! You do what you want to do beta! I told you what I think is right!”
“Yes, mummy, today women refuse to make endless compromises and adjustments! They stand for themselves and their rights! They respect others, but demand respect too!”, I told my mother and we ended our phone call!
It is heartbreaking how parents, who encourage their daughter to be educated so that she can be independent before marriage, want her to bow down to any unfair expectations of her husband and her in-laws for the sake of marriage! It is their fear that our husband and in-laws smell! It is their fear that gives our in-laws the ability to mistreat us or insult us!
I wish times come when every parent, who has worked really hard to educate the daughter, stands by her when she takes a stand for herself. Rather than telling her to please shallow egos, they tell her to not compromise on self-respect; Rather than telling her to bow down to her husband and in-laws’ unrealistic expectations, they tell her to hold her head high! Rather than blaming her courage & determination for standing for herself; they stand by her!
P.S. After standing alone for myself for a month, my husband took his first step to mend our relationship. He apologized for whatever happened and gave me assurance that it wouldn’t happen again. As I write this letter, I wish courage and strength to all women, who are struggling alone for love and self-respect in their marriage! I wish them luck and hope they will soon get the love and respect that they deserve!
Dear Woman, please stand for yourself. Even if that means you need to stand alone! Because if we won’t stand for ourselves, then who will! If not now, then when?