in-laws dowry unhappy marriage husband and wife domestic abuse

Just Because You Didn't Set Me On Fire Doesn't Mean You Didn't Torture Me

( words)
*For representational purpose only.


I was married at the age of 23. Though I was young, I was mature. I am a lawyer and fortunately continued my studies even after marriage.

My problems started from the moment I got engaged. My mother-in-law wanted me to wear her choice of clothes on my engagement, which I did because it didn’t seem like a big deal. But it didn't end there.

I never thought that her demands would cost me my marriage and her dominant and filthy behavior would become the reason why I am separated from my husband today.

During my wedding, my father-in-law played smartly by hiring his friend as the caterer and took a percentage of the money while forcing us to pay the whole amount.

Apparently, the whole samaj is of the opinion that he has another half-wife whom he wanted to marry but couldn't because of family pressure. So, he made her his sister in front of the world!

That woman interfered with my life and family as if she were the head of the family. Yet, my husband, father-in-law and even mother-in-law never stopped her. She went to the extent of telling my relative that I had aborted my child!

During the 2 and a half years of being married, I was expected to behave like a daughter-in-law but these people could not even behave like humans!

I was not allowed to wear what I wanted even though they knew the kind of family I came from. My father is a chartered accountant, an intelligent and thoughtful man who never thought that his daughter would have to face such restrictions.

He paid 15 lakh for my wedding, which was just a big show off! My father-in-law had asked for 25 lakh but when my father and I objected, he defended himself saying that he was joking!

That didn't stop them from insulting my parents at every opportunity.

My father-in-law refused to step into my house after the engagement because of his big fat ego. But my husband thought it was fine.

I was not allowed to call my brothers home when I wanted because it was my sasural. And my husband was ok with that as well. They didn't allow me to meet my parents on my birthday because I was married and had to be in my sasural and my husband never said anything.

When I told him the same thing on his birthday, suggesting that we go out and celebrate, he refused. He said, "I want to be home with my family.” Is it not legitimate for a girl to visit her parents on her birthday? Does marriage take away that right!?

A husband can choose his parents over his wife, but if the wife does the same, the husband gets angry.

Every time I’ve tried to say something to my husband, his only response was, “This is how the world is and how history was written. The lords started these norms and we are just following them." And I keep thinking, is this really true?

There are gods who are women. Do they agree with such illegitimate demands and harassment?

I was a struggling lawyer during the initial days of my marriage. I was earning only Rs. 8000. But to earn that money, I had to slog my ass as I had just started working and no new law graduate was paid more than that.

So, my father-in-law would always laugh at me and taunt me saying, "My peon earns more than you, stop working and take care of your house!" My husband never supported me on this nor did he stop his father who kept insulting me.

But today, I've shut them up by becoming a Sr. Legal Executive in a reputed company, earning three times the amount that my father-in-law could ever imagine.

I am a good cook but my mother-in-law could never digest it. The first time that I cooked something on my own, she got offended and shouted at me saying, "You are new here. You cannot cook anything without asking me. It will take you another 5 years to do things as per your own will in this house. Till then, you have to do as I say!”

I was shocked at her behaviour but when I told my husband, he thought that his mother was right.

My mother-in-law thought that a girl cannot handle a house and work together, but I did.

She always harassed me, but lately, after I started working in a corporate, earning more than they thought of, her harassment increased. I had to get up at 6 in the morning, prepare food for everyone and then leave for work. Not once did she offer to help me or say that she would do the cooking.

She knew that I had to leave for office at 8.30 but at exactly 8.20, she'd come up with some work, right in front of my husband. I would not be able to do it because of the time restraint but my husband never said anything to her.

I have one question for every guy - why do you get married when you don’t have the capacity to stop your mothers from doing wrong? And to every guy’s mother - why do you get your sons married if you can’t let him and his wife live their life?

A mother has one puppet - her son. But a mother-in-law gets a daughter-in-law as a puppet for herself and the family.

I'd like to say this to all the mothers-in-law, fathers-in-law and husbands:

Just because you did not set me on fire after asking for dowry or did not slap me or because you did not throw me out of your house, does not mean that you haven’t harassed, tortured and hurt me.

Today when I have left you and your house, your son is asking me to come back, but he is not ready to take another house so that I can live happily.

He is not ready to give our marriage a chance by moving out of his parents’ home nor is he ready to divorce me.

The maika says, "Beti paraya dhan hai." The sasural says, "Bahu tu nayi hai, ye tera sasural hai, ghar nahi." So where is a girl supposed to go?

Hence, today, I am asking my husband for my own house; a house where no one can tell me what to do or not to do.

And if he can’t give me that, then please divorce me so that I can make my own home.

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