“Riya, what’s the point of your education if you don’t know how to take care of your in-laws! What’s the point of your MBA degree if you don’t know how to respect your elders! You might be a senior official in office, but here you are a wife and a daughter-in-law. You can’t answer back your elders just because you don’t like what they say to you!”, my husband told me rudely after I told my in-laws that like their son, I also go to work. I also get tired. Like they don’t expect their son to come back home and cook, similarly they shouldn’t expect me to cook food after a hectic day at work.
But, even after being insulted in front of the whole family. I refuse to stay silent. Because one thing that I couldn’t accept was the inequality prevalent in our house. I realized that if I don’t confront my husband, he would never make an attempt to change. And, accepting that inequality for the rest of my life would leave me lifeless. Because one thing that my parents taught me was love comes with respect and equality. If you don’t treat each other equal then it’s not love.
So, after some time, when we were alone in the room, I confronted my husband. I asked him how he could expect me to cook for the whole family after working for 14 hours in the office. I told him that I spend equal time at the office as he does. Then why just me – who is expected to come back home and cook for others? And, before I was about to say anything else, my husband intervened and said:
“Obviously, Riya you can’t cook for everyone. Do you think I am a child? I don’t understand. But, I can’t take your side in front of my parents. It’s always better to take their side otherwise they will feel left out. They will feel that I chose you over them! They will feel I have cheated them after they have done so much for me! See, how they treat Bhaiya because he takes Bhabhi side! I don’t want them to shame me as a son as they shame Bhaiya!”
At that moment, what my husband said shook me. My husband wasn’t fair at all. Rather, he had this pathetic strategy to insult me in front of his family to please them. After all, I was the only one, whom they perceived as an outsider. He used me as a pawn to show his parents how much he cared for them! How much better he was than his brother – who doesn’t shy away from telling them to be fair to his wife!
“But, then what about me, Sumit? Is it fine to insult me in front of the whole family just to please their egos? Is it fine to insult me to win the “best son trophy” award?”
The mere realization of how shallow and spineless my husband was broke me. It broke me how my husband felt it was okay to insult me for his idiotic beliefs. How he showed all the courage to stand for his parents even knowing they were wrong left me disgusted and disappointed.
But, sadly, my husband isn’t the only man who finds it is okay to insult his wife to please others! My husband isn’t the only one who uses his wife like a puppet to win the best son trophy! I wonder is it how we raise our sons or our tendency to make our kids feel as if they own us – the reason why some men turn into such sh*tty husbands! While my husband and I are still working on our relationship as equality for me is non-negotiable, I hope our generation would do better jobs at raising sons – who would turn into blissful life partners rather than spineless husbands!