“Abhinav, don’t share everything with her. She will tell her parents. This is our family thing and I don’t want outsiders to know what is happening in our family. Be careful what you tell her. I don’t want to risk our family name and let the world know our inner matters.” I overheard my mother-in-law telling my husband as I was making tea for them in the kitchen.
When I entered the room, suddenly everyone got quiet and presumed that I didn’t hear anything. They changed the topic to make me feel that nothing happened.
Sadly, it wasn’t the first time that things were hidden from me; it wasn’t the first time that my husband was told not to share family matters with me. And, every time it happens, it kills a part of me as it makes me come to the terms of the ugly truth I never wanted to believe –
The ugly truth that I left my whole world behind to be part of my husband’s world and even after 4 years of happy marriage I was still an outsider. An outsider who is expected to treat others as her own family but shouldn’t expect others to treat her like their own!
Like many married women, I am neither part of my parents’ life anymore, nor my husbands’. I am that outsider who is expected to be there for everybody. But when I need someone, there is no one!
Even a well-educated and successful man like my husband failed to accept me as a part of his life. Though within the four walls of our room, he may tell me how much he loves me and how his life is incomplete without me; in front of the family he treats me like an outsider. He is okay to hide things from me because it is a family matter and I am not part of this family.
The sad part is I am not only treated as an outsider in my marital home, but also if I give my attention to my parents, even that is not acceptable by in-laws. Their patriarchal mindset is neither we will treat her like our family nor we let her treat her parents as her own family! Basically, she should live a lonely life because she chose to marry our son!
My Journey Of Losing Myself & Then Finding Myself Again
I was broken inside by these double standards. I left my whole world behind to be part of their family. While I was treating them no less than my parents, I wanted to be treated like their daughter and son too. While I was showering them with love, respect, and care, they never even tried to accept me as part of theirs.
A part of me was broken as a wife. Because while my husband will tell me how much he loves me, I knew he was keeping secrets from me. While for me he was my soul mate, for him I was still an outsider.
With all those secrets, I felt the same pain as one feels after being cheated in the relationship. With constant unbearable emotional pain and stress, my productivity at work started getting impacted; my relationship with my husband started getting worse. I would cry, fight and feel irritated all the time. But, no one cared to help me.
But after a while, I realized I need to be my own hero. I joined the therapy session because I was losing myself and my confidence to the negativity around me. I wanted to be happy and strong again.
My therapist helped me to gather the courage and strength to fight my battle. I started focusing on myself rather than getting affected by the toxic chatters of people around me. Rather than crying and hurting myself, I started taking a stand for myself. I started handling my emotions better to make myself my priority. I told myself the world might be treating me like an outsider but I don’t have to treat my own self as an outsider. And, within some time, I started loving myself once again.
Now, I am so much in love with myself that it doesn’t bother me how my husband or his family sees me. When I see myself. I see a hero!
As I start living my life on my own terms, I just want to ask all the loving husbands just one thing –
Why treat your wife as an outsider and expect her to leave behind her whole world to be part of yours? Why treat her as an outsider and still tell her that she is your life partner; your soul mate? Why treat her as an outsider and still expect her to give you her 100%?
P.S. To all the women struggling to build a life of dignity, please don’t give up! Fight for yourself! Because if you don’t, then who will?