They Controlled His Life And My Husband Still Picked His Family Over Us

Anonymous Anonymous in Your Story on 2 April, 2018

Dear mother-in-law and sister-in-law, thank you very much for helping me discover the true essence of life. And that is happiness, which goes beyond the self-imposed boundaries that we draw for ourselves.

We equate happiness and marriage but several times that does not hold true.

Those who find marital happiness are blessed. But there are many who are not as lucky.

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I had a typical arranged marriage into a family that seemed educated and sweet. My husband and I are highly qualified with good jobs. He lived in a joint family with his parents and a sister who stayed with them along with her child.

We were told that she had been through a bad marriage. She had a job but it was not very well paying. The sweetest thing in that house is her daughter whom I still adore a lot.

Right from the wedding ceremonies, I felt that my mother-in-law had complete control over my husband.

I ignored these early signs considering it as normal Indian ‘mother-in-law’ behaviour. However, within the first few days of marriage, I discovered that my husband was totally controlled by his mom and sister. They manipulated him not through dominance but emotional blackmail.

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I felt like a complete outsider in my marital home.

I had no say in anything, not even matters related to my husband. We never discussed or shared things. I felt that my husband did not require me in his life because he was sustaining well and would sustain even if I did not exist. He never stood by me or said a word against his family.

In his pursuit of being a good son, he compromised on being a good husband.

I am not going to get into the minute details of each incident because I feel that such things happen in every household in bigger or smaller proportions. My mother-in-law always portrayed my sister-in-law in a good light while I was the bad one. Every now and then I was made to realize that my sister-in-law did the housework and my contribution was negligible.

Even after doing the housework and taking financial responsibility for the house, I was never treated like a family member.
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They say if a couple sustains through the initial years, they survive the marriage. But I guess I was not that lucky. We had frequent fights where my mother-in-law and sister-in-law would interfere and portray me as the villain.

After a few years, I had a baby but my situation did not change.

It felt like a game of Star Wars where each person wanted control over my husband.

Everyone had a selfish motive. My mother-in-law did not want to lose her son and earn brownie points for her daughter. My sister-in-law could not see me happy, given her own predicament, which in retrospect is a normal human tendency.

I was on the other side, trying to get hold of something that was never mine.

After one such war, I decided to quit. I was told that I had no right to say anything because it was not my house. It jolted me back to reality. I realized that the house, which I swept in the morning, where I cooked, for which I bought groceries from my hard-earned money was never mine.

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This whole drama was going nowhere and no one was happy. So I simply moved out with my child. I stayed alone for a while. I told my hubby that he was free to come and stay with us or at least visit us a few times a week for the sake of our lovely child. Though I never expected him to leave his old parents or shrug off responsibilities.

I just wanted a few hours of his time every week, which belonged to my child and me, a time where I didn’t want to compete with anyone else.

I wanted to stay in a house that I could call mine without anyone’s permission, a home where peace existed. But I guess it was too much to expect from someone who did not want to let go of his mother’s lap and sister’s pallu.

I respect the role of these women in his life. But in the given situation, my role was reduced to that of a doormat.

After moving out, I was at peace. I smiled, made friends and I was actually happy. I found happiness in the little things of life.

I do have my moments of tears and despair but I can be happy and my child can smile.
Editor's Note:

A woman leaves everything to accept her husband's family and home. But when she is treated like an outsider, not respected by the family members and not supported by her own husband, what should she do? Should she continue to suffer every day or take a step towards finding happiness? Share this story if you support this woman and her decision.