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I am a well educated, good looking girl from an upper middle class society in a tier 2 city who got into an arranged marriage as love did not happen till my late twenties.
The grooms family were relatives of my father’s friend , so we did not get into a proper bgc. The guy was a single child of his parents, they were well educated and well off, they showed a very liberal picture and pretended to be very affectionate.
Soon after the ceremony, it was the boys birthday the next day, so I had ordered a cake (worth rs 500) in the same hotel where my wedding took place, the guys family denied to taste it or pay for it as I had not taken permission from my then mother in law. My father cleared all bills of the wedding including their stay, food , even the cake.
- I learnt my husband gives his entire salary to his mother and even his credit card messages go to his mothers mobile. He never paid for any of my petty expenses. Since I had entered the marriage, I wanted to be positive and not mind their stingy attitude ( I had done my MBA from XLRI and was earning well before marriage, had to quit my job to relocate with my husband and in laws), I thought I will anyway join somewhere and fulfill my own needs. I never expected any financial help from him anyway.
- Right after marriage to my surprise I was asked to stay in a room with a single cot and cupboard which my husband was using, so I used to sleep on the floor and live out of my bag as my in laws did not have time to do up the house. Even though I had money and I really needed proper furniture, the mother in law had to find time to approve the furniture which never happened. She used to plan the days for her son, even though I had quit my job and had planned a gap before joining the next job , I could never spend a day with my husband.
- My mother in law was always around my husband and would never allow us personal space as she was too possessive about him. She even cut short our already short honeymoon pretending she was unwell.
- Thankfully I had secured a new job within the first month of marriage in the new city. Initially I faced indirect remarks regarding them having to bear my food and recidential expenses (it was their own house, not rented) , I suggested to share the expenses but they wanted my entire salary to be transferred to my mother in law. This was the first thing I objected as I had been financially independent for 7 years and this step would have made me dependent on the mother in law even for the smallest decisions just like her son was.
- The household help was asked to leave and I was expected to take care of all the chores as ‘I was the woman of the house’ . But I had no rights. I had not managed these things before which was clearly communicated to them prior to marriage and they were fine with it then, but post marriage, they were constantly pointing mistakes, passed sarcastic remarks, used to taunt and sometimes humiliate in front of guests for minor mistakes in cooking/serving food etc. I used to cook dinner inspite of being tired from work and all the traveling. At times they would ask me to make some desert after dinner , at times they would keep my food aside and order in even before tasting the food saying they were not fond of the dish.
- The guy used to regularly check my phone, I never doubted his actions and had nothing to hide, he shared my location without my knowledge with his mother and himself. They used to question even when I spoke with my own family. They asked me to cut my roots to be able to grow new roots there. Due to the constant pressure in all directions at my in laws place it was impossible for me to maintain any contact with any of my friends, I used to immediately rush home after work, even tried Mumbai local trains to reach faster, being an outsider it’s difficult.
- I started getting very depressed as I failed to understand why these people were so unfair to me inspite of me trying so hard to meet their expectations. The mother and son used to hold secret meetings behind locked doors , within a family, this was strange for me. Finally they put immense pressure on me to quit my job on the pretext of not managing the household work well. I resisted as that was my only respite from the suffocating environment where you need permission from the mother in law to even breathe.
- My husband and his mother used to do everything together, even did not allow anyone else besides each other in car or the dining table, they were codependent partners. The only person my husband cared about was his mother, not even his father who was too old and financially dependent on his wife. They just needed a puppet for a daughter in law who would be completely dependent on them for all her needs and carry out their orders. I was not taken to a doctor even one time I was running 104 fever and left to recover naturally.
All this happened within 2 months of marriage. Though I had not informed any of this to my parents as even I could not understand anything clearly and they would have been tensed. But my in laws called them to Mumbai to talk to them and pressurize me to quit my job. They expected being from a small town they would agree to anything to save the marriage. My father being very progressive and supportive immediately took me out of their house and was decided on ending such a marriage as he did not trust their intentions anymore. My in laws kept all my Jewellery, clothes, cosmetics etc but that was our least concern. They used to scheme and lie at the drop of a hat. I took few months to come out of the shock and filed for a divorce, it took 1.5 years and lot of mud fight to end a 2 month long marriage. I still face the social stigma as a divorcee but at least I breathe free air, laugh , talk , travel like before. Have my family and close friends with me. I feel fortunate to have come out of that hell so fast.