The most difficult thing for any parent is to see their children in pain. It feels as if someone has pierced parents’ heart with thousand small needles. Every time my daughter called her mother to tell how she was being ill-treated by her own husband, my blood boils. We raised our daughters to be strong and independent, we made them learn the value of relationships and commitment. But, my heart pains when their commitment to the relationship is seen as their weakness; when their desire to make a relationship work is manipulated, and they are put through so much harassment and abuse.
My daughter had a love marriage with his college senior. Being progressive parents, we hardly had any issue with her decision to get married to the person of her choice. We just wanted her to be happy. But, we felt heartbroken when the man she loved so much couldn’t protect her from her abusive parents; we felt sad when he asked her to blindly accept his family’s unfair demands in the name of tradition. From forcing her to become a mother to shaming her to leave her job, our daughter was put through a lot.
For almost 5 years, we kept our mouths shut. We stayed quiet because we felt that probably the couple needs some time to adjust to their marriage. But, with every passing moment, we felt that our silence was seen as a sign of weakness; our desire to see our daughter happily married was perceived as our acceptance of our daughter’s abuse!
It broke my heart how being a father of a daughter himself, my son-in-law could put my daughter under so much stress and pressure. My son-in-law was forcing my daughter to give up on her dreams, desires, and dignity so that he could keep his parents happy! So, one day I just couldn’t take it anymore. I called up my son-in-law and broke my five-year-long silence for my daughter’s happiness.
“Rahul, being a father yourself, I hope you understand how does it feel to see your kid in pain. We got Riya married because we assumed that you will keep her happy more than we ever could. But, beta, we are so heartbroken to see how you are letting Riya struggle in this marriage alone. How you are making her sacrifice her job, her dreams?”
“But, papa, everyone needs to make compromises or adjustments after marriage. Especially after having our daughter we need to make compromises for sake of her!”
“Yes, Rahul you need to. But those compromises and adjustments can’t be forced on someone. And, you can’t just expect one person to make all the sacrifices and compromises for the sake of the happiness of the family! Why just Riya needs to sacrifice her dreams and happiness to make sure you, your daughter, and your parents are happy? Why just one person carries the burden of happiness of the whole family? Why is she the one, who has to always adjust for your parents’ happiness or your happiness? Why is there no one who is ready to adjust for her happiness?”
“Papa, everyone adjusts. But being a wife, mother, and daughter-in-law, she has to make more adjustments for others’ happiness.”
“If it is so fair then why being a husband, father, and son-in-law, you don’t make those sacrifices too? Why only my daughter was forced to sacrifice her career! Why only my daughter was forced to bear your parents’ abusive behavior! Why only my daughter was expected to give up on her life just to be a good wife, good mother, and good daughter-in-law! Rahul, your wife is someone’s daughter too! Stop treating her as if she doesn’t have anyone to stand for her. Being a father yourself, I just wish you realize how much my heart pains when I hear my daughter sobbing over the call! ”
Don’t know whether it was his fatherly emotions or the guilt of his own daughter being mistreated or his humanity awakening, Rahul found his hidden courage to stand for my daughter. He made sure that his wife isn’t the only one making adjustments or compromises. Rather than asking her to make compromises or adjustments, he started asking the whole family to pitch in.
Dear Men, I know many times for being a good son, we tend to ask our wives to compromise or adjust. But remember after marriage, we are not only a son but also a husband. So, rather than just asking your wife to sacrifice for your family, make sure you also sacrifice for her. Be a good husband first, and then expect her to be a good wife, good daughter-in-law, and good mother!