“Sheetal, Why don’t you lose some weight? You will look so much better!”
“Sheetal, You can cook this better. Why don’t you follow my recipe? It would taste way better and we like it that way!”
“Why do you sleep so late. it’s good to sleep early and get up early in the morning.”
“Why do you laugh so loud? Why don’t you talk softly? Girls are supposed to talk softly!”
“Why do you wear red lipstick? It makes you look uncultured!” Why do you wear dresses? Wear Indian suits and sarees. They look good on you?”
“Why do you work so late? Your time should be dedicated to your husband and family! That’s what good wife and good daughters-in-law do!”
In the last 4 years of marriage, there have been countless times when I was told what I need to change about myself; what isn’t good in me; what my parents didn’t teach me; how I wasn’t raised to be a sanskaari woman; how I could be a better person; a better wife; a better daughter-in-law!
It is heartbreaking how even after sacrificing so much for marriage, I am hardly accepted as the person I am. And, whenever I shared how sad and disgusting I was about people finding flaws in me, my mother would say –
“Marriages are like that. You will get better with time. You will change and so would they!”
Very disappointed in her response, I wonder how marriage turns out to be so different than what we expect. Refusing to give into negative voices, here is my message for the families who just can’t stop finding flaws in daughter-in-law and want them to change:
Marriage is a bond of love; It’s not a training camp for women! Stop finding flaws in us! Stop blaming our parents for not raising us to your expectation! We were not born to serve you or our husbands! Stop insulting us for not being good enough for you and your family! We have our own desires and dreams! We have made so much sacrifice for this marriage – we left our family; our childhood home – just to be part of your family. Rather than accepting us, you keep stomping our pride under your feet.
We married for love; not to be trained to be a better cook, a better maid, a better wife, a better daughter-in-law! We accepted you with all your flaws, then why can’t you? Stop making an endless list of our flaws and making us feel less about ourselves. We married to become a part of your family and family never pulls each other down. It rather encourages you, inspires you, and accepts you for being who you are! We have accepted you as a family; when would you?
For the last time, women don’t get married to enroll themselves in a correction center. We marry for love, affection, and care! And if you can’t love us, don’t get your sons married and ruin our lives by making us feel less!