"My educated husband expects gifts from my family... on every occasion"
Anuradha Gupta, a school teacher in Delhi shares with The Indus Parent readers a relationship dilemma she is facing.
I wouldn’t say that I sensed it happening from the time of my marriage only because in our community giving a lot of dowry to the bride is a done thing. People from the boy’s side even explicitly talking about their demands too are considered so normal that no one ever bats an eyelid.
So when I came to my in-laws house I came along with a lot of new gifts for everyone. The first year of my marriage my parents showered by in laws with more gifts on every occasion and the tradition still continues. Although I must admit that the gifts have become less costly and slightly less frequent.
And this is where the problem is. My husband who comes from a well to-do family and is a professionally educated engineer expects my parents to gift him and his parents on every festival.
Last Diwali when my parents sent a few boxes of mithai and clothes for kids he mentioned it to me more than a few times that now he has become a purana damaad and that’s why he wasn’t even sent a kurta pyjama for him.
For the past two years even before a festival arrives be begins saying: let’s see what your parents are sending this time. A few weeks ago when I told him to buy a new pair of shoes, he remarked Rakhi is around the corner tell your parents to send me money for shoes too and not just ghevar that will give us diabetes.
It was harsh and I cried that night. It is so embarrassing to admit to anyone that my husband is so greedy despite us being financially comfortable.
My in-laws live in a different city and whenever they are in town my parents invite them for dinner. My husband asks me to tell my mother to buy the choicest sari for my mother-in-law to gift her. This is something that I am guilty of doing in the past to please my husband.
I have talked to my husband about it...
I have a few times even slipped a Rs 1000 note in my mothers’ hand while telling her to do this secretly as I realize that post my dads retirement their means are limited. It’s not that I haven’t talked to my husband about this. I have told him that it is extremely shameful to be expecting gifts like kids but he says that it’s a tradition and everyone does it. Since he doesn’t have a sister my in-laws are conveniently saved from following this life long tradition.
Sometimes this habit of my husband has led to embarrassing situations. Last time just before his birthday when my mother asked him on the phone what he wants from them as a gift. He said: “Humey toh laga aap janamdin mein bhi mithai se kaam chala dengi.”
It was a joke that hurt deeply. My parents now realize his expectations and like typical Indian parents tell me not to confront him but this is frankly getting out of my hands.
I have tried to reason it out with him that my parents are aging and we should not expect things from them. He says, “We are not asking but if they are happy giving us why should we say no?”
I am very ashamed to share this with any of my friends and relatives and that’s why asking all you sisters out their to offer me advice.
(*Anuradha Gupta narrated her story to Zofeen Maqsood)