Desi in-Laws Waging a Psychological Warfare Against Bahus

28 Nov

Desi in-Laws Waging a Psychological Warfare Against Bahus

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Last week I was talking to an old friend she sounded quite depressed and negative. I probed her and asked her what was making her so unhappy. She ceded it was the same old in-laws problems, manipulations, making snide remarks about her family, her upbringing, incessant complaining about how she lives her life, constant bickering and all the regular stuff. Her spouse dwindles from indifference to blaming her for all that was ailing his side of the family. He insists he isn’t expecting too much all he asks of her is to keep peace in the family. Call his parents once a week, not to talk back to them when they visit them or when she visits them. Was it really too much to ask? In ideal conditions may be not but here was an ongoing psychological warfare.

 Snide Remarks as Psychological Warfare

 

A psychological warfare is a war of the mind to defeat the enemy’s will to fight. It is a planned use of communications to influence human attitudes and behavior, to create in target groups behavior, emotions, and attitudes that support the attainment of dominant group’s objectives. Early in the marriage the berating comments regarding the quality of the wedding feast and the quantity of gifts given to a woman by her natal family at various occasions began. The gifts given to her by her natal family are thoroughly screened and denigrated in a way that makes her feel inadequate and ashamed. These comments were intended to humiliate her and put her on the defensive over every conceivable matter. The whole process of constant humiliation is aimed to demoralize a woman.  As in the psychological warfare a dominant group uses subtle persuasion than direct physical force by relying on logic, fear, desire or mental factors to promote specific emotions and behaviors. The aggressors employ similar tactics. As the breakdown of a woman’s marriage is the worst disaster imaginable, and that her life has no value of meaning outside marriage. Her feeling of vulnerability makes her desperately desire to somehow to carve a place for herself in her in-laws house, how ever, dreading the terms she must accept.  The never ending snide remarks, make her feel perpetually insecure, as she never knows which occasion may be used to demean and threaten her further. 

The premium placed on the preservation of marriage forces women to become a hostage in their marriage. Her parents would rather see her dead than return to them after a marital discord so she is expected to listen to this trash talk and not protest; remain silent. Her silence further irks the perpetrators of berating remarks, often mother-in-law and sisters-in-law play more mind games. Like instigating her husband how she has talked back or has been disrespectful. Their aim is to rupture her only intimate ally in the family. She is doomed either way if she remains silence she is taunted for being a snob and if she protests she is further tortured and her natal family is blamed for her faulty upbringing. The ideal of generational reverence is thrown on her face “ma-baap ne kya yahi sikhaya hai (Is this what your parents taught you),” “badon ki izaat karma nahin aata (She has no respect for elders),””Gamandi hai, apane aap ko kya samajhati hai (She is proudy and thinks of herself highly)” etc. Every thing ultimately turns to disrespect and insult her side of the family. If she tries to seek help from outside she is chided in the name of “ghar ki izzat” (family honor), “ghar ki baat” (private family matter), it is exactly how psychological operations are employed to generate pride and unity for desired incumbents.

 

This psychological warfare is part of a strategy to make women except a subordinate position within the family and feel grateful for being allowed to survive at all in the marital home. The retaining of the daughter-in-law into total subordination is an essential part of her transition from the natal to the marital home. But practically she remains a baharwali (outsider) until her death. She attains a permanent membership after a ‘shradh’ (offerings to the dead) is performed in her name.

 

The man’s family feels they are entitled to a compensation for their investment in his education and upbringing. They fear his wife may prevent him from doing so where as the reality is if he has a family he’ll have his own expenses. This insecurity of parents in many families takes the form of extracting dowry. But families where financial dependence on the sons is not a question still employ these tactics to subordinate the new bride. Why? The answer would be there is a peculiar taste of having power over another person. Sahota (2004) in her research found even when there were no mentionable assets to transfer women desired to be mothers of sons because they wanted to have the pleasure of becoming a ‘saas’ (mother-in-law). One woman conceded “Daughter-in-law will come and I’ll rule. When MIL’s have a daughter-in-law, she enjoys. This goes on like this (284).” The primary purpose of this violence is to degrade and victimize a woman so that she retains a desperate fear of disobeying the powerful.

 The economic dependence and social stigma are a major cause for most maltreated wives being unable to live on their own and being compelled to return to their husbands. What about those who are highly educated professionals? If they question these oppressive behaviors their education and ability to earn is blamed. They are told they are the “bad” women who are not only disrespectful of elders but also have no family values; they are selfish, they want is their freedom and most of all want their husbands to denounce their families. These are hurtful untrue allegations. These allegations attain extremely painful dimensions when our spouses join the band wagon and start blaming and accusing us. All we want is an end to this psychological torture. 

How does one address the issue of constant emotional abuse at the hands of ones in-laws? The notions of respect and keeping peace at all costs do not go along with personal integrity and respect for self.

 In all Indian communities the organized propaganda against modern, educated and employed women as lacking in traditional values and their desire for personal freedom works over time. Thanks to the Ekta Kapur, bollywood and its sister regional woods in propagating myths of selfish modern woman who wants the old parents-in-laws out on the street. Our personal realities do not match those projections we work triple shift- taking care of children, working on full time job and being our husband’s personal cheer leader.

Role of Sons/Husbands

The role of men in this form of familial abuse is questionable. Often they absolve themselves by saying “it is between women,” “I know what she is doing is wrong but you have to understand she is my mother, you should respect her.” Is it that simple? Even the aggrieved wives absolve them of any responsibility by saying “We do not have any personal issues it is just his mother and sister that bother me.” This is a tell tale sign of an abused where they try to protect the secondary abuser and minimize the abuse. Abused women forget that MIL and SIL are his relatives, he has a history with them he knows them inside out, and it is his duty to protect you from their attacks. Standing by his wife does not challenge his loyalties to them. Each one has a special and irreplaceable place in his life. If he has to take sides and prove his allegiance to his parents then there is definitely something wrong in his relationship with them. No matter how hard you try, you cannot fix it because it is their relationship. If you decided to remove your self from this situation the allegations made by your detractors come true so you lose and your spouse turns against you. If it were another setting professional, market place, acquaintances one would walk out and disassociate themselves from such toxic climate. But a married woman is a hostage and a captive so she cannot walkout of the situation on her own unless someone offers help.

 Seeking Help

Most of women do not want to bother their parents with their personal travesties because they are taught to believe marital home is a woman’s actual home; to preserve it’s honor is her duty. Such occurrences are so common that all women know someone who is undergoing similar torture thus they believe it is common and their situation is not extra ordinary. Also they are humiliated and ashamed to accept that they are being tortured. Those of who have had so called ‘Love Marriages’ are further at loss because they feel they made their bed and now they have to lie on it.

Only when it becomes unbearable or extreme physical violence from the spouse ensues a woman actively seeks help. Families use all possible forms of persuasion and intervention by relatives, community elders to reinstate the daughters in the marital home. But if she has no parental support, no house of her own, and is not turning an income substantial enough to support herself and her children with dignity, she cannot exercise this option after sometime her natal family too will start blaming her or accept it as her fate.

 

Returning to Parents:

Once a woman is married her parents want her to visit them as a guest and do not want to participate much in her life. If she is happily settled she is respected if her marriage is in crisis her status in natal family also dwindles. The stigma attached to a divorced or widowed woman fears the natal families more than their daughters’ endangered life. Even she fears that she will be a burden on her brothers and in whose homes she’ll be more humiliated and unwanted than in her husband’s. Often parents will try to reinstate her back in her husband’s home irrespective of her fears of violence. They often make an excuse that ‘society’ does not allow divorced women to exist in peace. In fact, the so-called society is usually no more than a woman’s own family.

 

Single Living:

Even if a woman can afford to pay a higher rent the hostility of landlords towards, single or divorced women is such that only an exceptionally lucky woman will find a place. There are hardly any support systems are available to her outside of her marriage and the family. The safe and cost effective childcare is one of them. If her parents will monitor her children they’ll expect to scrutinize her personal life as if she was once again a teenager.

 Friends:

Most women are not allowed to socialize independently and build solid friendships, either before or after marriage. It is usually fathers and brothers who prevent women to have friendships of their own in the name of family honor and status. Most married women are compelled to socialize in their husband’s circles. So when they decide to walkout they lose those friends. Female colleagues can usually provide only as much support as their families permit. Usually, a woman’s friendship with a divorcee is looked down upon and virtually discouraged. If she seeks support from her male colleagues it is minimal and will provoke censure and scandal. Women should build autonomous alliances, and adult social life of their own, from which to draw emotional sustenance and support rather than only be the shadows of their husbands. 

What do Women Want?

Women want this persistent psychological warfare against them to stop. They want time out, a right to remove themselves from toxic environments until permanent peace is restored. Women do not want to break families more so when they have children they prefer staying for their sake.

If all else fail they have to leave for their sanity and survival they still want to be in the company of their husbands. This also puts them in a morally ‘right’ position in the eyes of their families and the world. They are seen as dutiful rather than defiant wives. Their desire to return to their husband is heavily influenced by all these pressures they faces in their parental homes, and by a lifetime of conditioning to believe that they belongs in their husband’s home.

 The question we face is being “morally right” more important than being happy? Please leave comments; in the next post we’ll discuss claiming our happiness in the times of psychological warfare.

Read How to Deal With the In-Laws

 Reference:

Sahota, Simarjeet. “The Social Correlates of Induced Abortion in Jaipur, Rajasthan: Phenomenological Study Gender and Reproductive Rights.” Diss. U of Rajasthan, 2004.

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31 Responses to “Desi in-Laws Waging a Psychological Warfare Against Bahus”

  1. luv June 27, 2012 at p06 #

    Omg! I feel like you are telling my story in this article. I would never have guessed that this is a time-tested abuse pattern on the part of the in-laws to force the daughter in law to give up her right to her own life and remain submissive. If I had known they were so orthodox, I would never have married into this family. Up until today, I live in fear of their snide put-me-downs and the cause of their perpetual dissatisfaction in life. We are equally good looking, educated people from much cultured families. Have they no conscience? No shame??

    Like this

  2. Kat Stevens March 31, 2012 at p03 #

    I am an Indo Canadian woman married to an Indo Canadian. I have to agree that a husband who is well aware of emotional abuse and who is content to stand by and allow it to happen is just as guilty as the abuser. I know because I have endured this for a good decade and a half now.

    @Kat Stevens,
    Welcome to GGTS, a safe space.

    Decade and a half is a long time so what is the plan now?
    Are you or Mr. non interference going to do anything about it?
    Guess he is not going to any thing about it coz’ it serves him not to interfere.
    Below are links may be they can help.

    Please share this message of hope with anyone who may benefit.
    Peace,
    Desi Girl

    https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/dealing-with-in-laws/
    http://www.southasianfamilies.com/

    Like this

  3. inc August 26, 2010 at p08 #

    Hi , girls guide to survival,

    there was cruicial quiery on a website , I took some part of this blog to make a person understand.
    I didnt know how to send you a message , hence I am writing here.
    Thanks,
    inc

    @inc,
    Welcome to GGTS, a safe space.
    Could you please give the name of the website you are refering to. In order to quote any material from GGTS due credit is expected. You can comminicate with desi girl on girlsguidetosurvival@gmail.com
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Please share this message of hope with anyone who may benefit.
    Peace,

    Desi Girl

    Like this

  4. Varsha August 5, 2010 at p08 #

    Desigirl,really appreciate your no-nonsense approach to these persistent problems which no one wants to discuss and everyone turns a blind eye to..

    Like this

  5. Indian Homemaker June 10, 2010 at p06 #

    You are doing a great job by blogging about these issues objectively. I wish we had a system of support for women. I know of one woman who was so upset she went and sat on her terrace, alone, till late at night (during Delhi winters), but nobody came to look for her, to see where she was or if she was fine. Her husband also used to tell her, “She is so old, she can’t change at this age, there’s no harm in saying sorry to her. She has suffered all our life for us, this will give her some happiness…” She says, for a while she continued to apologise for being told she was too dark, that her husband’ sisters were smarter, that her father had spoiled her, that she couldn’t cook, that she was a bad mother… at the time, in a corner of my mind I felt, she could have ignored it all, because these were only words – but I realise now how demeaning it must have been. It was mental torture.

    Thank You Malavika and IINZ :)

    Like this

  6. Indian in NZ June 9, 2010 at p06 #

    My comment disappeared !

    In short, just said that I blogghopped here from IHM’s blog. Liked your post a lot..never realised when I was going through it that it is a technique employed by ILs to break your spirit right at the begining of your life in your marital home.

    Is it just me who found Mr Baruah’s comment offensive ? He not only thinks that what you and IHM blogged about is ‘rare’ rather than ‘norm’, he is even comparing the content of what you have blogged or what most of the women go through in real life to entertainment ( daily soap) ! Guess he must be living in a different world…

    Like this

    • Durlov Baruah June 9, 2010 at p06 #

      Hi IIN,

      I have frankly blamed my feeling to my lack of imagination. I cant help it if I have not experienced dowry and saasu ma politics.

      I have done a thorough study with as many as 42 women of varying age and I have found that things are not that bad.

      Somehow IHM manages to accumulate all bloggers of similar thinking, experience and disposition. So while in her blog, it seems that the whole population of women is going through hell.

      I appreciate IHM for representing a specific set of women but I dont agree with her on most of the things.

      The norm is definitely not this.

      We are losing our family (team) skills by being in nuclear families. And conjugal fights are increasing because of that. Tell me, when husband and wife can fight, why would saah and bahu not fight? Thats natural…

      Secondly, I cant understand why are you guys in NZ when India needs your talent. It is an illusion that NZ and Oz are better than India.

      Like this

      • Malvika June 9, 2010 at p06 #

        I am glad that you are not a desi woman who had to face the dowry and saasu ma politics. Good for you.

        I am also glad that the 42 women in your thorough study stated things are not that bad. So this means things are bad but the degree varies according to different people.

        It is exactly like a wife confronts her verbally abusive husband for his behavior towards her and he in turn replies “aren’t you happy that I don’t come home drunk and hit you like the neighbor does.” Just be happy things are not that bad. He tries to justify and minimize his bad behavior like wise you are saying things are not that bad just few women are making big hue and cry about it. The question is why are things bad for women at all?

        “Somehow IHM manages to accumulate all bloggers of similar thinking, experience and disposition. So while in her blog, it seems that the whole population of women is going through hell.”
        You are very right I guess IHM has some kind of jaadu mantar or comment magnet that attracts all these bloggeres and non bloggers to comment on her posts. Looking at your and DG’s indiblogger ranking I highly recommend you guys seek some guidance from IHM.

        Secondly, I am asking you WHO DIED AND LEFT YOU INCHARGE TO JUDGE OTHERS.” What do you know about INZ or other expartriats and their lives circumstances. Who are you to tell anyone what they should be doing. Its not your business what others are doing with their life, you do your best. If you could keep your wife and mother happy at the same time womamkind will be proud of you.

        Like this

      • girlsguidetosurvival June 9, 2010 at p06 #

        I’ll extend what Malvika is saying:

        It is exactly like saying things are not that bad Laxmanpur Bathe was just an odd incident, in everyday life dalits are making merry. Look they even have reservation in government jobs. Let’s forget that how many of these jobs are lying vacant due to lack of qualified candidates. Why didn’t dalits qualify? Because majority were busy tilling the fields of upper caste as bonded labor and only a lucky few could go to school and see the face of a college.

        It is exactly like saying things are not that bad young men just make passes at college going women or slap thier buts, at least they are not raping them. Things could be worse.

        It is exactly like saying prostitution is not that bad as it keeps the evil off the roads or ordinary women will not be safe on the streets.

        It is exactly like many women have painless and cramp free menstrual cycles and numerous others report dysmenorrhea in varying degree. Now based on the experiences of the first group the pain and discomfort of the later group was discredited for centuries. It was often said it isn’t that bad only these women have poor threshold for pain. Later scientific research proved it was not in the head but in the prostaglandins and gonadotropins.

        Peace,

        Desi Girl

        Like this

      • Richa June 9, 2010 at p06 #

        An Indian man commenting on a woman’s situation in Indian society! No wonder everything looks rosy from up there.

        42 women to represent 495,000,000 women! We now know that at least 42 out of 495,000,000 women in India are happy. Oh, BTW, which demographic/specific set of women did you target?

        There is a reason why IHM or any such blog attracts so many women to agree with her. They all have either suffered or have seen someone close to them suffer in similar situations. These blogs simply bring out that pain, which we, women, usually like to bury somewhere, instead of parading it around for you to see.

        The reason why the joint families are breaking up and there are more conjugal fights, is not because we no longer have “team” skills but because women have started to question their second class treatment, the master-slave relationships with in-laws and the husband. all they want is to be treated equally.

        For example:
        The in-laws and husband, are often, heard telling others how much “freedom” they give their DIL/wife. But doesn’t being a citizen of free India automatically entitle this woman to all those freedoms? Who are they to give or take away her freedom? Why do they insist on treating DILs and wives as their slaves whose freedom, whose life decisions are in their hands?

        In our society, women are given duties and responsibilities and yet no rights or liberties. Men, on the other hand, gets both. Any life altering decision are always made by men. women, may or may not be consulted on subject matter. And yet, the responsibility of making that life altering decision work always falls on women. Is that fair? Really?

        Like this

      • anne June 20, 2012 at p06 #

        If you have not experienced it. Please spare us your opinion too.

        @anne,
        Welcome to GGTS, a safe space.

        Even before approving your comment DG knew who it was directed to. The person made it to Aamir Khan’s Sataymev Jayate.

        Please share this message of hope with anyone who may benefit.
        Peace,
        Desi Girl

        Like this

    • girlsguidetosurvival June 9, 2010 at p06 #

      Indian in NZ,

      Welcome to GGTs, a safe space.

      I hope you remember the saying commonly heard in Des “initially the first few years of marriage are difficult and there after it becomes a smooth ride.” Yes, it becomes a smooth ride because the woman’s spirit has been broken and she has accepted the ways of the dominant party and has learned how to survive and make her peace. Did she have a choice? I guess not because the premium placed on remaining married is so high that even her own parents and siblings selectively support her.

      Please don’t be offended by Mr. Baruah’s comment. Rather we should be happy that in his world our misery is entertaining. Isn’t it a good use of our misery that at least it is amusing someone.

      He is doing his best given his knowledge, resources and circumstances so we cannot expect more from him. That is his truth and if he thinks that is the only truth then let him enjoy it.

      Please check this out https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/401/

      Peace,

      Desi Girl

      Like this

    • Durlov Baruah June 10, 2010 at p06 #

      OK peace! Throwing my white sqeaky clean towel into the ring! I washed it myself. ;)

      You know, the day I returned from my engagement, what was the first comment I got after a few formal congratulations. “Dude, thats not a engagement ring, that suffer-ing” With that statement and by being engaged, I entered into this cycle of wife bashing. I was completely taken aback and in a few days began seriously wondering, why these people have got married in the first place?

      The reason I quoted this experience was to just prove that there are enough guys (looks almost like a majority) who think things are bad for a man in a marriage. This is sort of an answer to Malabika’s statement about “why are things bad for women at all?”

      Life is unfair and things are bad for everyone, if you look at it that way.

      Today if I start a blog dealing with ‘Man’s suffering because of his marriage’, and provided I am writer of IHM or Desi Girl’s callibre, believe me, I can have a good follower base… with all kinds of jingoist comments against wives, ..

      We all know that relationships are difficult. Why do we say, “Shaadi ka laddoo jo khaye… “, “Shaadi Barbadi” etc etc along with the hazaar jokes about marriage? Similarly we have thousands of jokes around Saas, Bahu? Also, I had this “one room philosophy” which basically meant that the best of friends will also fight the moment they stay under one roof, irrespective of gender.

      The point what I feel very strongly is that we should not fan this fire by giving one sided point of views. We are educated resourceful guys having a balanced view on life. Can we survive by rebelling against the other gender or our mothers (own or in-law) from a norm point of view?

      These kinds of propagation is delaying marriagable age, breaking families, increasing divorces, confusing kids, and leaving our parents support-less. Today relationships are becoming more & more difficult… Our patience and perseverance are at an all time low. I feel, we are not propagating the right attitude and spirit by such venom-filled posts against a custom without giving an alternative worth the salt.

      And nuclear individualistic lifestyle is definitely not the alternative. Even economically, nuclear family is disastrous. It eats away national savings without the motivation to save for the family.

      Do we want to have homes for elders like we have in US, or like we have creche today in Mumbai? I do not want to leave my kid in a creche even it means reducing my income to half. Do you want the abortion rates that we have in US? Do you want ‘Juno’s’ to be omni-present in our society?

      Have you read ‘its not about the bike’ by Armstrong? He didnt know his father and his mother was 18 years old when he was born.. Imagine why he cycles everyday for hours… He used his frustrations in a productive way.

      We may not. Our sons may not.

      Have you guys read, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray and Love and then Commitment? She is the apostle of individualism and nuclear family. Just read how confused she was from the age of 17. How she was handling relationships? How she had to resort to medications? Luckily, she is a gifted writer and had the intelligence and the money to live through her crisis (and earn from it also).

      We may not. Our daughters may not.

      We have to devise a way to live with our families in a constructive way. We have to be team players, family men and women.

      Cheers everyone. Peace.

      We are in the same boat, brothers and sisters.
      May God bless.

      Like this

      • LEONA July 4, 2012 at p07 #

        Same abortion rates as in US?? That’s hilarious….India is already killing female children just because they are female! SHAME! What a great example of “family values” this female infanticide…
        By the way, stop forming your beliefs about North American life/family life by what you see on TV. Everything on tv is sensationalized/fiction. Should non-Indians base their opinions of India/Indians based on what they see in Bollywood movies? You used a stupid movie like eat, pray love as an example of how “bad” nuclear families are?
        Get a clue… your comments/arguments are ridiculous.

        @LEONA,
        Welcome to GGTS, a safe space.
        Why doesn’t it surprise DG who this comment is directed to?
        Please share this message of hope with anyone who may benefit.
        Peace,
        Desi Girl

        Like this

  7. Durlov Baruah June 8, 2010 at p06 #

    Great post. No doubt. Insightful and Incisive.

    My opinion on the content is of a similarity that I find to daily soaps.

    Its my fault of my lack of imagination perhaps, that I didnt experience dowry, and pressure of comparative gifting when I had got married. Till date I have not stayed in a joint family after marriage (which I am soon going to). So I cant relate to the complicated psychological warefare that you have so beautifully narrated.

    If you read my latest post http://bit.ly/djw8pj, I have spoken to many women for the past 6 months to understand their take on joint family.. and all those discussions dont let me generalise what you are saying.

    But I do agree that there would a set of women who would completely relate to what you are saying. It definitely happens.

    Like this

  8. shail June 7, 2010 at p06 #

    “This is a tell tale sign of an abused where they try to protect the secondary abuser and minimize the abuse.”
    I agree. A husband who sees what his mother (his family) is doing to his wife but prefers to ignore it as ‘woman’s matters’ is nothing but a secondary abuser. Period. And sadly we women don’t realise that and try to find a silver lining by saying, we don’t have problem with ‘him’ but only his family. But in reality, more than the in-laws who wage psychological warfare, what affects a woman more deeply, though she white-washes it,is her husband’s inability to stand up for her and be a partner in the true sense.
    Many of the MILs and SILs are experts in showing a different face to the man. But I am sure the man is not such a fool as not to know the reality and yet pretends and says that ‘his mother/sister would never say or do anything like that’ which is a convenient way of deluding/saving himself. If men ‘grew up’ to face facts, half the problems would vanish.

    Like this

  9. Indian Homemaker June 7, 2010 at p06 #

    //Such occurrences are so common that all women know someone who is undergoing similar torture thus they believe it is common and their situation is not extra ordinary.//

    This is so true! And still we have some who think these are rare cases and ‘ghar ki baat’ and women just like to bad mouth their in laws. :|

    Like this

  10. Indian Homemaker June 7, 2010 at p06 #

    //They often make an excuse that ‘society’ does not allow divorced women to exist in peace. In fact, the so-called society is usually no more than a woman’s own family.//

    I agree!! And I agree with and loved this entire post, and the others I read. I feel this is a great place for women. Going back to reading some more…

    Like this

  11. desibahu April 29, 2010 at p04 #

    No I don’t got no preservance or will. If the situation around me hadn’t changed, consider me and my kids to have degenerated to the levels of my in-laws. I really do believe it’s a cycle. And once you live with people who are like this, their evil behavior becomes normalized as in a normal way of living and being. Imagine only staying at home. No tv(my choice). No freinds. Your mom who calls daily is basically a monster. It truly hurts to say this, I love my mom, but that’s a fact. Your husband takes every word of your MIL as a true as the word of God or a fact from the Encyclopedia. He does not believe you. And yor MIL and bhabhi are clever enough to behave differently in front of him and hide it good. He looks up to his bhabhi as a Godess who can do no evil. He can not stand you saying anything about her. So when you are stuck with nowhere to go and nothing to do, except try to be accepted by such people, what’s gonna happen to you? Degeneration. And ofcourse such people will never be pleased no matter what you do. My husband has actually for the first time apologized for everything that he has done to me in the past. Except the bhabhi part kinda. He doesn’t get it. That’s ok I guess. He is really trying to correct himself. Bhabhi and MIL are in Pakistan. I am enjoying life. I go out whenever I want and wherever when my husband is at work. He knows of course and doesn’t mind.
    My son has diareah and vomitting since early morning today. Plus ofcourse it’s a busy life with little ones, so I need around two weeks to get the draft to you. PEACE.

    Like this

    • girlsguidetosurvival April 29, 2010 at p04 #

      Please take your time. First things first. See if you can volunteer at your children’s school or local library so that you meet new people. You are always welcome at GGTS. May be you can even chat at the gmail account just create one.

      Enjoy your time and work on bonding with your spouse.

      Desi Girl

      Like this

  12. desibahu April 22, 2010 at p04 #

    where can i find the next post?

    Like this

    • girlsguidetosurvival April 22, 2010 at p04 #

      Hey There,

      Long time no see. How have you been? The next post… I am sorry I never created one on the said topic rather drifted into another direction. May be together we can create one. Though I have the draft ready but how about you contributing too. Please email me if you wish to contribute.

      Peace,

      Desi Girl

      Like this

      • desibahu April 27, 2010 at p04 #

        Hi. I am doing good. How are you?-the lady who has helped me understand the complex world of my in-laws. What’s your email adress? Peace.

        Like this

    • girlsguidetosurvival April 27, 2010 at p04 #

      Hey Desi Bahu,

      Good to hear that you are doing good. I am doing good too. I guess we exchanged emails earlier. Any way it is the same email girlsguidetosurvival@gmail.com .

      Peace,

      Desi Girl

      Like this

      • desibahu April 28, 2010 at p04 #

        My kids are sleeping….and I emailed you…but my email is like me… slowwwwwwwwww. I don’t know if it’s the internet connection or what, but it’s still in the process of “sending”…if it ever gets to you eventually. I do love the idea of contributng, but I don’t know much about this topic. I couldn’t help myself, or any other girl, learn how to cope during psychological warfare from in-laws. “Claiming my happiness in the times of psychological warfare” was a fail. A huge fail. I really don’t know where to research/ learn about such topics except for here. To understand and learn how to deal with my mother, I researched the internet, got books from the library, and then was prepared for almost any storm comming from her side of the hemisphere. But her problem was more of a psychological one. And if Milky Chai reads this, please try researching “personality disorders”. That might help you with your MIL problems, as she seems like a case of one. gotta go . PEACE.

        Like this

        • girlsguidetosurvival April 28, 2010 at p04 #

          Desi Bahu,

          It is not a failure, look you survived it and you are here. Your perseverance and will to out live that torture proves that it was not a failure. May be you can write about what a desi woman goes through during these psychological warfares. Here are some pointers:
          1. What happens to her health both emotionally and physically.

          2. How it impacts her relationship with her spouse, children, friends and her natal family.

          3. How her spouse, children, friends and natal family treat her if her marriage is not good.

          4. What you think you should have done differently that would have lessened your misery.

          5. Now when you know new information about abuse what advice would yopu give other women in similar situation.

          Just email me the draft and I’ll help edit it. Remember your story is important it needs to be told so that other women know they are not alone in suffering. Looking forward to read your story.

          Desi Girl

          Like this

  13. Bhanu Prasad December 21, 2009 at p12 #

    Indian culture, with its strong collectivist ethos, is always a road block to individual liberty. Strangely, the question that is thrown at me every other day is “Why are you not married yet?”.

    As per the rules of our culture, boy becomes a man, only after he starts providing for the family. In essence, for both male and female, running after individual liberty is impractical in India. Better to run off to west for that. But what would you prefer: A secure life with restrictions in between your kith and kin in India or alone in an apartment on the 100th floor of a building in London. I have experienced both and prefer the former.

    Like this

    • girlsguidetosurvival December 21, 2009 at p12 #

      Every relationship and social station comes with responsibilities and duties. If we all follow our responsibilities with kindness and compassion towards one another there will be no problem. Here the question is not about restrictions. The question here is about abuse, berating another person for frivelous reasons, “your parents didn’t do X, they did Y. You are disloyal because you are a bahu an outsider and on and on… you know the list. What justification would you give for a mother-in-law insisting on going on honeymoon with the new couple even if she is sleeping in the next room don’t they need time to bond in their new relationship. What collectivity you see in when DIL is responsible for cooking, cleaning and other chores along with her job outside the home where as a healthy SIL sits watching TV. Remember this bahu works because the family needs the money to save for SIL’s wedding.

      Running after individual liberty is not impractical in India but is impractical every where. Life without kindness and compassion for others and the environment we live in to me is like insulting the creator. What would I prefer? A place where I am loved and respected, where I can love and cherish the gifts of other humans without the fear of judgment; where I do not have to spend a minute on thinking why he/she did that to me and how should I protect myself from these attacks.

      When does a person become an adult or graduate from boy/girl hood to man/woman hood, legally at eighteen, subjectively it is up to them and significant people in their life.

      “Why are you not married yet?” Is none of my business. I hope you have a befitting reply to all those who ask you this question. I am glad you made your choice of residence, good for you.

      Like this

  14. Paula's Naaniji December 14, 2009 at p12 #

    If a woman’s in-laws want to poke their noses in every aspect of her life, she should start talking with them openly about the sex life she has with their precious beta. That will shut them up real fast!!!

    Like this

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Kafila

media | politics | dissent

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मेरे विचारो का

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Own your relationships. Don't let them own you.

A Desi Girl's Guide to Relationship Survival

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