Here’s an open letter shared by one of our community members on how we raise our daughters to give everything to their marriage. But when it comes to our sons, we forget to teach them to be responsible for their wives’ respect and honor.
When I married my husband SK two years back, I never ever imagined that I would go through the similar issues that my mom had faced in her marriage – the issue of respect. I couldn’t even explain how lonely I felt on multiple occasions in my husband’s home.
Though this marriage was truly out of our choice, I was heartbroken when after marriage, my husband refused to support me to fend my honor, dignity, and respect. It was heartbreaking how I was expected to follow the regressive rules irrespective of how I felt about them.
There were hardly any days when I wasn’t criticized or taunted. Somedays, it would be my dressing style or how late I woke up or my missing the morning ritual to touch their feet or my words – the reasons were enough to remind me how I wasn’t good enough and needs to be changed.
“Why do you wear western dresses? Why not wear Indian traditional dresses?”
“Why do you get up so late? Wives should get up before husbands!”
“Why do you talk so loud? Why did you tell this to your mother?”
Like many Indian wives, I struggled hard to be accepted by my new family. But sadly, this constant reminder of labeling me as not good enough was choking me from inside.
This treatment was definitely breaking me. But what hit me harder was the lack of my husband’s support in this situation.
Every time, I would gather the courage to confront him and tell him how this house doesn’t feel my own, he would tell me to be more patient and give it some time. Whenever I tell him that I don’t like to be treated the way I was, he would tell me it was between you women, so handle it own your own. He wouldn’t shy away from saying it aloud that:
“This Isn’t My Responsibility. You Should Resolve These Issues Among Yourselves.”
In times, when I would feel hurt, sad, and lonely, I would open up to him about my feelings. Without even giving my feelings a thought, I would declare that I won’t be able to help me with my mood. I need to learn how to be happy in my new home.
It was heartbreaking when he came back from an official trip with a gift for me. His family commented and made him guilty of bringing a gift for me while forgetting everyone else. He apologized to everyone. At that moment, I felt heartbroken. I broke because he felt guilty for giving me the happiness that as a wife I deserve. How could he feel apologetic about something that he should be proud of.
Why he hesitates to take a stand for our relationship has bothered me for a very long time!
Isn’t it is his responsibility to safeguard me and my honor as I would safeguard his?
Why only I should be the one told to adjust or compromise?
While I am trying to cope up with the struggle, I hope my husband would soon realize that my well-being is his duty as his well-being is mine.
When I would go to any stretch to safeguard his happiness and honor, he should too. Hope one day, he would realize that the fights or the arguments that I have been pulled into are because I married him.
Hope one day, he would understand the immense pressure I have been put under to fit in his world. The days, when I am cornered or taunted to not be good enough, I wonder when would you understand that being married doesn’t mean I deserve this treatment.
With so many changes and the heavy baggage of expectations, some days are so painful to bear. I hope, one day, he would realize it’s his responsibility to fight for my honor as it is mine.
But I am not the only woman who is struggling in her marriage because of my husband’s lack of support.
I have seen so many women around me who are left alone to fight for their honor and dignity in the marriage.
Though our society has clearly charted out the expectations of a wife, it is heartbreaking how our men still struggle to understand what it means to be a husband. While a woman is told to give everything to her marriage, the husband struggles to understand that he is also responsible for his wife’s happiness, dreams, and respect.