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June 28, 2010

My maidservant’s daughter got married to her own bhuvas (father’s sister) son (it is allowed in their community)

Ever one was happy as the girl was very attached to the aunt and the aunt also used to shower her love, gifts, affection on her brother’s daughter

The husband (cousin) was also much closed to the girl (first cousins of the same age)

Everyone was very happy as there was no fear of entering into a relation with strangers.

After few months news started filtering from all quarters that the girl was being ill treated, beaten, insulted and tortured by the hands of her husband and inlaws

Later on we came to know that she was physically abused without any reason, her mother in law used to order her around, treat her like servant even the husband used to slap her without any reason.

The girl was also very surprised at this behavior as she was a typical Indian bahu who never used to raise her voice, used to do all household work, never used to shirk from doing any sort of work, and was respectful towards everyone in the family.

In general there was no reason for any complaint. Even there were no demands of dowry. So there was no reason for the humiliation that was being inflicted upon the girl.

In another case a young couple after a happy, mutually satisfying, compatible live in relation of 5-6 years finally decides to get married but just after few months of official marriage they realize that they are not meant for each other, they are not compatible and thus heads for divorce.

what could be the reason for both the relations going Kaput  in both the relations?

What went wrong in the relation which was mutually gratifying to both the sides ?

Did the personality traits of the parties involved changed after entering into a formal relation?

I feel that in both the cases it was the relation and the societal expectations from a particular relation and not the individual themselves which was responsible for the disputes.

In the first case it could be the stereotyped role assigned to a relation— a typical mother in law or husband should be dominating, should keep the daughter in law/wife under her/his thumb, should not let her take over the responsibility of the household.

The husband complained,” now that I am the  husband I expect certain respect, certain obedience and submissiveness from my wife. I am no more her brother who used to pamper her”

In our society as soon as the daughter in laws comes home the well meaning relatives start instigating the MIL, “now your days are over, get ready to let go your son to the outsider, your son will not listen to you at all, you have to take the back seat now the daughter in law will take over the house hold responsibility etc “so the seeds of disharmony and distrust are sowed at the time of marriage only.

Similarly the husband suddenly realizes that HE IS THE MAN, THE SUPERIOR, THE DOMINATING ONE in the relation and he can order around, kick around and treat his wife as he wants”

So may be in the first case the love of aunt or cousin brother was superseded by the ego of a mother in law and husband and the desire to assert their dominance and authority

Also in the other case till the couple was in a relation without any formal name given to it they were happy but as soon as a formal tag of an official relation was attached to the relation the level of expectations and demands must have changed thus the disputes.

Why do we expect certain types of roles and behavior from certain relations? Why should a mother in law be dominating, assertive and authoritative or why should the husband always expect submissiveness from his wife .

Why is certain behavior expected from the some relations?

Why can’t a mother in law be a loving one or a husband more like a friend rather than being THE HUSBAND, the better of two in the married life?

why can’t a woman who is a loving mother to her children, a loving aunt to her nephews, nieces suddenly transforms into a vicious mother in law ever ready to degrade her daughter in law

or why can’t a man remain a loving and caring person towards his wife the way he was before the marriage ? why does he has to assert his authority over the wife?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 28, 2010 6:13 pm

    The problem in Indian society seems to that MIL realses that her son now is her DIL’s husband first and her son after.
    This is the explosive situation.This is the result of a weak husband, a strong hold of the “elders” over the children
    It is time, social values have to cahnge

  2. June 28, 2010 7:06 pm

    In our society a ‘Bahu’ is hardly accepted as a family member and mostly they are treated as outsider. Unless this mindset changes, nothing is going to change.

  3. Neha permalink
    June 28, 2010 10:56 pm

    the problem is the society…the way children are brought up..
    what they see while growing up and the upbringing results in such behavior…

    also … the norm that an ideal daughter in law should remain quite to all atrocities…never raise her voice… all these things should be cleared from the face of the society.

    everyone must be taught to stand for their rights

    human rights 🙂

  4. June 29, 2010 12:23 pm

    The society has to share the blame, we have stereotyped the nature of relations. It has become a normal talk or almost accepted norm that MILs and DILs can’t get along, Husbs are meant to be the superior of the partners … unless the society changes its outlook, there will be instances like this. The thought is ingrained right from childhood and when the person dons the role it gets awakened…

  5. June 29, 2010 2:12 pm

    I second every line of yours Anju.
    I have a friend… she was knowing this boy from sometime back, till then he was very nice and understanding to her.
    but once there parents started to talk about their marriage, he started expecting her to be answerable to him for everything.

    its just the mindset… we should unlearn that first.

  6. November 23, 2011 1:54 pm

    Society and some bull shit…There are separate laws for women and men, separate rules for husband and wife,separate rules for DILs and daughters,…Bahu becomes an instrument to be blamed on (whoever does the mistake) and well obedient bahu is the one who keeps mum when she is blamed..I wonder when people will learn to treat bahus as humans first…
    Have you heard Balanced Life is whena balanced wife comes? Pls have a read –

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