Many Indian parents strive hard to raise strong and independent daughters. They make sure they raise them to be financially independent; to be well-educated! But, while many may think the financial independence will make their daughter’s husband and in-laws respect her, value her more; the reality of many financially independent daughters are quite different.
Recently, one of our community members wrote to us about how she was raised to be independent and strong. How her parents always taught her that dignity and love go hand in hand. And when she got married, she realized how her financial independence would rather bring so much trauma and harassment.
While sharing her heart-breaking story of greedy in-laws and spineless husband, she mentioned:
“I was constantly asked by my would-be husband for all the investments I have made. I thought it was just a regular question and I didn’t pay much attention to it. When our marriage got finalized, I was earning more than my husband and I still do.
I already told my husband and in-laws before marriage that I was pretty ambitious and would want to strive for professional success while living a purposeful personal life. It neither bothered my husband nor my in-laws. Infact, they were very happy.
Until our marriage, my husband was quite loving towards me and did many sweet things. But, everything changed the day I went to his home after marriage. Suddenly, he started asking me to bring in all my documents related to my finances, investments and salary.
He never told me why he wanted those documents and, kept forcing me to give him all my documents and salary. When, in the month of May, I went to my parents house to stay for a few days, I didn’t know how my marriage is going to turn upside down. I was unaware how greedy people could be.
My father-in-law called me and said – “Only come home if you are ready to handover all your documents, put my son’s name as nominee in all your investments – LICs, Bank Account and other investment. Make sure you give your salary to us. And, if you won’t do it, don’t come home.”
I was dumbfounded and couldn’t understand what was happening. I instantly called my CA and he told me that it isn’t a normal case. My husband was saying that they wanted to buy a bungalow and probably wanted to take my documents to get a loan behind my back.
Post which, a family gathering happened and it was decided that from now on-wards I would take care of my own expenses and my husband would take care of his and his parents. But, whenever I would spend my own money on myself, my greedy in-laws and spineless husband would curse me and say – “Why am I wasting my money? Afterall, it’s their son’s money. He has the right over it!”
And, since then began the journey of un-ending mental torture, from name-calling, to telling me that I do not need to visit my parents when they aren’t well. When my in-laws realized they couldn’t break me, they started shaming my parents.
My father in law told me,“You wait and watch how I will shame your father in front of the whole society; how I will shatter your family honor if you don’t give us your documents and salary”. Sadly, my mother in law, even after being a woman, shamed, insulted and emotionally abused me. When a woman doesn’t take a stand for woman, what could you expect from men?
And, then one fine day, I realized how I deserved to be treated better. I deserved to be respected; I deserved to be loved; I deserved to be treated like a human. So finally, I called up my parents and told them that this time when I visit them, I would not go back to my sasural.
Unlike many, I was fortunate that I was blessed by supportive parents and family. It has been 3 months and my parents have never forced me to go back. I switched a job and grew professionally with a better opportunity.
Sadly, my in laws are roaming around and telling everyone that my parents aren’t sending me back. But, I want to let the world know how they left no chance to break me; how they left no chance to shame me; how they treated me nothing more than an ATM for their greedy needs!
I am still waiting if my spineless husband would ever understand how his greedy parents tore our marriage apart; How his lack of courage broke our marriage and ripped us of a beautiful future that we could have had together; I hope one day he will grow a spine and stand for himself.
I am not sure whether my marriage will be saved or not. But, one thing is for sure, I am not returning back to toxic in-laws’ house, who punished me for being financially independent.
Sharing finances isn’t an issue. Control is. It is quite disgusting how my in-laws used the tools of abuse, blackmailing, deceive, cheating and harassment to make sure they control my finances and every financial decision. While I strive hard to earn money, they want to take this money and enjoy themselves. They didn’t treat me like a daughter-in-law, they treated me like a bonded labour, who earns for them.
I am proud of myself that I took a stand for myself and my dignity. While I look forward for a better future, I wish no girl suffers at the hands of greedy in-laws and spineless husband. I hope my story will give courage to more women to take a stand for themselves and move out of toxic marriage because we deserve better!”