Confession Marriage daughter-in-law patriarchy in-laws fairy tale

I Thought I Had A Dreamy Marriage With The 'Perfect Gentleman' But I Wish I Had Said ‘NO’ Then

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*For representational purpose only.

Fairy tales are intriguing and means the world to girls who grow up sketching a dream boy who would replicate their favorite character. A princess to my parents, I had waited patiently for that perfect man to step in and sweep me off my feet. And, he did come, cheerful, compassionate and a picture-perfect gentleman I had always fantasized of. We shared our moments of joy and sorrow, discussed our future path and the will to support our parents mutually.

Despite the little tiffs and banters on demanding some ‘ME’ time, everything seemed flawless and surreal with him around and before long marriage happened to seal our bond. Today, I wish I had gathered some strength to say a 'NO'.

A welcome change awaited me post the nuptial bond and I admit it was quite adverse to what I had perceived. My mother-in-law’s absurd behaviour each time we planned an outing left me clueless. I would have still endured all this had my partner been a strong support. Sadly, for him I was nothing but an ATM machine that reeled out money and otherwise a maid to cater to household chores. I was gifted with abusive rants for rolling out unshaped rotis and imperfections in cleaning washrooms. Even the sari to be worn to any family function would be picked up by my mother-in-law with my husband being the chauffeur, driving her through my wardrobe. He found some pleasure in having me act like a puppet, nodding at anything and everything dictated to me.

It took me a while to figure out that I was meant to be an ideal wife and daughter-in-law, requesting for permissions to lift a vessel or do things of my choice. To make things worse, my sister-in-law stepped in to preach masculinity to my guy and how wives should be controlled by their male counterparts. Apparently, this is how idyllic educated women were supposed to be and my incompetence was too much for my in-laws to bear.

Professionally sound, I aspired to live a prosperous life with my partner, take care of my parents and put away a few cents for the hay days. But here was a startling revelation, once married you are to forget you ever had a family and your money is only meant to satisfy the endless needs of your husband’s clan with no questions on where his money was. I did try asking in the initial period only to be mocked and said, “My money is for my mom and you are nowhere in the frame”. I didn’t know how to react to this statement, and hence, just gaped at him in shock.

Well, I really don’t blame anyone but my husband for all the happiness in my life. A hypocrite and spineless person, having mature discussions with one who was far from behaving like a MAN leave alone a GENTLEMAN, is pointless. My agony opens up two choices, either live with the person I have taken vows with and go through all his family has to offer or step out for my self-respect to live a life of dignity. And, I choose to follow the latter.

As a last note to my husband and in-laws, I would say that you’ve done nothing exceptional to win a girl like me. On the contrary, you’ve ruined my life, staining it with ill memories that shall haunt me for a lifetime and in the bargain ruin your son’s life as well.

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