It is heart-breaking how our society expects a woman to leave everything aside and make her husband the priority from the day the alliance has been accepted. She receives unsolicited advice from distant relatives, family & friends – about how she has to build her life around her husband!
My life wasn’t any different. The day, Rahul and I got engaged, my relatives, family, and to-be in-laws, all started asking me to make adjustments and compromises for Rahul. They left no chance to tell me that I need to make sure that my husband is my priority.
“Beta, doston ko chodo ab! Now, your Husband should be Everything!” “Neha, stop focusing so much on office and work. When you were single, it was fine. Now, you are about to get married. Make sure you give more attention to Rahul. After all, he is your husband!” “Beta, don’t worry about your parents. They will manage. You just make sure Rahul and his family are happy!”
Not just that – I was told to make changes in everything from my clothes to friends to eating habits to make sure I am completely aligned to my husband’s taste. While I was told to lose my individuality, my husband was enjoying life as usual.
But, things got ugly when the same people, who told me to make Rahul my priority, suddenly told me it is okay if Rahul treats me secondary to his family!
People, who were quick to make an endless list of changes that I had to make for my Rahul, now were shamelessly telling me:
“Beta, every good man love and respect his parents more than his wife. The wife should be okay with it. Because his parents have done so much for him. And, how could you forget that you came later into his life than his parents? His parents have more right over him than you!”
It is obvious how our society holds double standards about marriages. The rules of love, respect, and dignity are different for husband and wife!
While the husband deserves his wife’s love and respect, the wife needs to learn to live without them.
While the husband needs to be the wife’s priority, the wife needs to accept to be treated secondary!
While the husband has first right over his wife; the wife has the last right over her husband!
It is heart-breaking how women are expected to bear the burden of marriage without receiving much in return. And, the ones who refuse to bear the burden become victims of patriarchal society. They are called names. Their families are insulted for not teaching their daughters how to be sanskaari!
Like many women, I also felt cheated by the institution of marriage. Though society will tell us how men and women are equal in marriage, but is that so? Though they will tell us how both husband and wife have to make sacrifices to make marriage work, but do we? Do we sacrifice equally? Why does the weight of successful marriage rest only on the shoulder of women while men enjoy life as usual?
Often, we hear people blame the woman for her failed marriage. They will blame her for not making adjustments with the husband and his family; They will blame her for being too rigid and refusing to make compromises; Her fight for self-respect and pride is equated with ego and her attempt to stand for herself is seen as an insult to elders!
Dear Hypocrite Society, stop holding double standards for men and women! Stop telling women that they need to make endless compromises to make the marriage work! Stop telling women that they should make husband their everything while husbands are told to love them only after their parents and family!
As 21st-century women, we don’t believe in only giving love and respect; but also seeking the same. We refuse to make someone our priority when we are just an option to them!