I've been in love for 12 long years and been married for the last two years. I don't know why there is such a big void still in my life. My husband's family never respected me for who I am. Since the day I got married, all his mother wanted to know was how much gold her daughter-in -law brought with her.
My family was asked for gold and other gifts for the son and his younger sister as a 'token of love' for letting me marry their boy.
It was always about materialistic things and amidst all of this, the man I loved for a decade stood silently. Not a word came out of his mouth. When I confronted him, he told me that such things were managed by the elders of the house and there was no need for me to "overreact". In fact he told me it would be an insult if I didn't get all the things my family was asked for.
We had known his family since forever and that made it even harder for us to understand this horrible behaviour. As a single mother, my mom did everything they asked for, which involved spending 15 lacs of her savings. This included buying furniture for my new house! As my mom and in-laws stay in the same city, whenever I wanted to visit my mom's house, it was mandatory for me to first visit my in-laws to satisfy their egos. Only then could I go see my mother. At times if I didn't do that, I got a call from my husband asking if I visited his parents.
On the flip side, he never took my permission when he visited his hometown to see his parents. And I never complained.
His father being an alcoholic talks about everything in the world sitting next to me, he doesn't care about who is at home or who is listening. He sleeps and drinks all day, and still has a respectable position in the society, I haven't even tried to tarnish it. There is always a fight in the house about something or the other.
There is no love and mutual respect for each other in this family, my husband being the eldest thinks he is the sole responsible person for the whole family. Am I not responsible for my family the same way?
Instead, I'm always told to please his irresponsible parents while abandoning mine.
The whole family has a lot of things to talk about and they discuss it privately, when I am not around. When I ask my husband about it, he says it's not related to me or him and I shouldn't bother. If they didn't want to involve me in their family matters, why did his mother lie to me saying,
"This is your family now, you will stay here only"?
When my mother-in-law got married, she used to stay at her mother's home all the time and enjoyed every bit of her leisure time. Shouldn't the same rule apply to me? I am questioned when I wear jeans and t-shirt. I am told to wear a sari at all times. It's obviously not the most comfortable attire to wear all day everyday.
One day I broke my silence and told her — "It is our life and we both decide what to wear, eat, drink, and where to stay" and she's got no rights to question my dignity or respect.
Since that day we haven't spoken with each other but I know that she is instigating my husband against me. At times he argues with me saying that his mother is right and I just don't care about her. Now I'm just giving time to my relationship. I don't want the 12 years to go a waste but that doesn't mean I will wash my hands off my self-esteem.
This story was submitted by Meghana.