"I had a love marriage… but now I regret it"
"Here was my husband, on my honeymoon calling his mother every 2-3 hours."
Mine is that classic story, the stuff dreams are made of. We were college sweethearts. I saw him at a university fest, he was a year senior. Our eyes met, sparks flew and he asked me out on a coffee date. We were friends first, then lovers and eventually inseparable.
By the time both of us finished college and got our first jobs we were so dying to spend our lives together that we decided to marry young. And oh yes, there was the usual family drama involved too.
My parents were unsure his more apprehensive but we beat the odds and here we were standing on the altar, all set to start our new lives.
A life we had been dreaming about for five long years. We believed we were in heaven, until, well, the honeymoon period started. Yes, you read it right. On my honeymoon itself, I began noticing certain aspects of my husband’s personality that I hadn’t ever seen before.
I realized that my husband was a bit too clingy to his mother. Because he was told by her to keep on informing of his whereabouts as she would be worried about his safety, here was my husband, on my honeymoon calling his mother every 2-3 hours.
I am not exaggerating but on my honeymoon, everything that we did first began with that mandatory call to the mother.
‘Mummy we are going to eat lunch now;’ Mummy we are going to see the waterfall now;’ Mummy we are going to make love now;’ okay the last one did not happen (thank God! Else I suspect mummyji would have decided to intervene on my honeymoon and drag me out ASAP)
I was amused but did not quite gather why that was happening. The pattern continued, even after we were back. Though we were in another city, mummyji would call every day and talk to my husband for hours.
And no, before you thought that I am being that bitchy new bahu who wants to drive the in-laws away as soon as she arrived, let me give you the sample of what many conversations sounded like.
Mummyji: ‘Hello beta, you sound so weak are you not having proper food. I understand that your wife must not know how to make good food but just bear with her. When I will come I will make you a lot of your favourite dishes.”
Husband: 'No mummy I am eating well but yes I would love to have your delicacies.’
Mummyji: ‘Hello beta, your in-laws didn’t even have the courtesy of calling your dad and congratulating because your bua’s daughter just got married. If the parents do not respect us, what would they have taught their daughter?'
Husband: ‘Oh, don’t worry mummy, I will ask Aarti (yes, that’s me) to call them up instead.’
Every time my mother-in-law visited us, which was once every two-three months she would spend hours lecturing my husband on how my house is not properly kept. She would keep any interaction with me limited, reserved mostly for throwing taunts.
Things like, “Since you are working girl you have found no time to learn how to manage a household.” “Your parents must be so proud that you managed to convince my son to get married to you.”
The pattern continued and went beyond just harmless matters. When she learned that we were buying another car this time for me. She threw a fit saying how it’s a waste of hard earned money. My dear husband did not have the guts to inform them that this hard earned money was actually his wife’s.
So, to cut a long story short, while on the exterior there is nothing wrong with my marriage. I mean pesky in-laws is hardly even news in India but well; it is my husband’s meek attitude that has led me to lose all respect for him.
When I was in the hospital crying with labour pain and needed him to hold my hand, he was busy calling his mum to keep her informed. When we bought our first house instead of taking a moment to sit back with me and relish this achievement he was busy booking a ticket for my in-laws to come and see the house.
My in-laws show no affection towards my children and me and hardly ever enquire about them. Nobody from his family ever wishes me on my birthdays or important occasions but he is the first one to call them up.
All through this relationship while he has never himself done anything grossly wrong for me, he has been unable to stand up for me. He has failed to get me that place and respect in his family that a daughter-in-law deserves. I am ignored from most family matters.
His father even has the guts to ask me to go to other room so that he can discuss important things with my son. My husband just smiles and winks at me to comply and I am left feeling like a servant.
It’s not that I haven’t complained to my husband but he has always shrugged off saying that these are harmless things. Well, yes, it may be harmless in the sense that my in-laws are not coming and assaulting me but wrong doings should be noted only when they become extreme?
Is not accepting a new member of the family not a form of torture? Is ridiculing your son’s wife’s skills for years a way to form bonds? Is insulting your daughter-in-law's parents at every given chance, not harassment? Well, my husband doesn’t think so and that’s exactly the reason I regret getting married to him.
When we got married, especially because it was a love marriage, I expected him not only to get me accepted by his family but also to get me the place and respect I deserved.
He has grossly failed to do any of this. If it was an arranged match I would have still understood but a man who promised me the world and made tall claims can’t even get me respect within the four walls of his home. If this is what love marriage gives you then well, I would have been better off without it.
Disclaimer: Full name of the writer has not been revealed on request
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