“Home” – One word that warms our heart on the coldest of days; the one word that gives you the courage to fight the toughest circumstances; the one word that captures the feeling of being loved and belonging!
Home – a place where you are accepted with all your flaws; a place where people can’t see you sad; a place where you have people who don’t judge; a place where people stand by you even if the whole world is fighting against you!
While I was blessed to had a place call my home, sadly my wife did not. And, it took me 5 years of marriage to realize that it was my fault.
Like many husbands, I thought my home was my wife’s home too. Sadly, it was the biggest lie that I ever believed in.
My wife left her family and home to join mine and in this process, she lost every place that she could have called home. It took me five years to realize that it wasn’t my wife who hasn’t accepted my home as hers, rather it was my family who hasn’t accepted her as their own.
I was so wrong in assuming that she was the troublemaker; that she was the one who was indulging in useless arguments and picking up fights with my family; that she was the one who had the problem in respecting my parents and my sister!
After struggling in an unhappy marriage, my wife & I sought help from an expert. And, throughout the journey with the expert, I realized how I failed as a husband but my wife didn’t. These sessions made me realize how I was blinded to the pain and misery of my wife; how I was blaming her for everything whereas my family and I were a huge part of the problem.
But, before I share what I understood I want to make it clear that I love my wife equally as I love my parents. They are both my family. For the sake of the happiness of everyone, I felt it was very important for me to break my silence and take an action. And, here is what I understood:
1. Before expecting my wife to be a good wife, I needed to become a good husband. I needed to be sure that she feels loved and respected!
2. I needed to make my parents understand that my wife is an important part of my life and they needed to accept her as part of our own family!
3. As a family, we needed to understand that respect is a two-way street. If we can’t give respect to each other then we can’t demand it too!
4. I had to understand that I wasn’t only responsible for my parents’ happiness and honor, but also for my wife’s!
5. As a family of five, we needed to understand that rather than blaming each other, we needed to stand together as a family against the whole world!
6. I had to understand that my wife wasn’t breaking my family, rather she was trying really hard to create her own place in this family.
7. It was sad how as a family, we forgot to include my wife in part of our rituals. Even after 5 years of marriage, we still made her feel like an outsider! Though we wanted her to treat us like her top priority, but for us she was at the bottom of the priority list!
8. My parents needed to stop seeing my wife as a competition and threat or vice versa. I realized that it was happening because both were feeling insecure and unloved because I wasn’t able to comfort either one of them!
9. We needed to stop expecting just my wife to make all adjustments in the house. We needed to stop assuming that she will do things as we expect her to! Because she is an individual who has her own individuality.
10. And finally: Not just my family but I also need to understand that she isn’t any less than me. She may be earning less or she may be less educated than me, but in this marriage, she deserves to be treated equally. If I can’t treat her as my equal partner, I don’t deserve her!
As I am trying hard to break old habits and learn new, I wish every man realizes that we can’t make the same mistakes of ill-treating our wives as our earlier generations. Times have changed and so should we! Everyone deserves a life of dignity and respect!
P.S. Dear Wife, I know I may have blamed you for failing to be a good wife. But here’s the reality: You didn’t fail. I did! And, I promise I will make things right! Because you deserve better!