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I don't know what to do. I have been married for 3 and a half year but we separated after 8 months only. I did not leave but some unknown conversation at his house resulted in my husband failing to pick me up from my parents house as he agreed he would when I went to stay over for a night. That was when this whole nightmare got even worse and I we ended up separated.

My married life started on a positive, and I was very happy. My husband literally was the man of my dreams and we got along on every level, I really coudln't have asked maharaj for more. I used to go to visit his family, was close with his mum... I felt so blessed and lucky! But, within weeks of being married and living in the house, I was introduced to a different side of this dream. My mother in law began to chip away at me, ordering me, whispering digs in my ear, putting me down, making disrespectful remarks towards my parents, putting restrictions on what I could and could not do (e.g. I wasn't allowed to sit with my husband at weddings, i was told never to allow my husband into the kitchen to help me etc, I was banned from seeing my parents for 2 months at a time because she felt I didn't love her like I did my own mother, wanting me to quit my job etc). The turn itself was enough to mess with one mind.

Within weeks, in my in laws house I felt bullied, the remarks and digs were constant and always "dropped" in the middle of a conversation and then continued as if nothing was said. It was mind toying as I didn't know if she was being serious or not because she would change back her hugging and smiling routine straight after so it felt impossible to go back and ask what she meant. But it would play on me and I was really scared about doing wrong, as there was always something she didn't like and I would certainly be told off, again behind closed doors if I failed to follow her latest order. If I tried to talk to her, she would tell me I am being rude and I have not been taught properly by my parents. I began crying all the time but thought I could deal with it... its just words right? I didn't tell my husband initially as my side of it seemed so petty when explaining individual scenarios. But collectively and living it daily, i felt suffocated and bullied.

Feeling very alone in this house, I became withdrawn and decided to keep my distance from my mother in law thinking if I engaged in less conversations with her, she would have less opportunity to something hurtful to me. But this was the big mistake I made. On the face of it, she would kiss me, hug me, stroke my face in front of everyone and keep asking what is wrong and why I am so sad... she would ask infront of the whole family. Behind closed doors, she would continue digging into me. I couldn't cope, it was too much to unfold just weeks after moving into my in laws house, I couldn't understand anything. Little did I know, that in addition to all of this, my mother in law as telling everyone else in the house "her story" of how I was not integrating in the house and despite how much she loves me, that she felt I did not like her and I was being rude to her. They all saw me a the trouble maker who didn't like their mum/wife... and that included my husband. By the time I realised this was happening, everyone was already on her side. I was the one who was displaying all my emotions, being withdrawn, crying and always "having a face on me" I was told. She on the other hand had shown how she kissed me, hugged me, stroked my face out of concern, so everyone believed her every word... I became the bad daughter in law who was causing trouble so that she could take their son and leave the house.

My husband initally showed support and said we would move, when he saw me having nightmares, hallucinations and panic attacks in the night. But when it came to taking action, he could not do it. This grew a huge wedge between us and our relationship disintergrated into something that was very spiteful and toxic. I told him everything and that I couldn't cope, that I wanted to move out and that our relationship was failing day by day. We had to do something and get out of this toxic situation. A few weeks after, I was confronted by the whole family, my husband on their side, he had told them I wanted to move out. I was read my rights and told by my father in law that no-one was moving anymore, my mother in law talked about her "chaa" not being fulfilled and my husband stood tall with them and told me we are not moving for at least a year and I needed to deal with it. This is when my world fell apart. He would be nice to me alone and comfort me but then in front of them he would be the typical punjabi husband, and me the obedient punjabi house trained wife and show me no support, compassion or solidarity. I let him do this because I had no one else and when he was being nice with me, I couldn't help but grasp it with both arms.

I was in a bad state, constantly crying and I honestly wish for my life to end... it was the ardaas I did to maharaj on a daily basis. I even wanted to take my own life as I did not know how to get out this, I was so unhappy. I used to pray for maharaj to get me out and had no value left for my life. I left myself go. Eventually, my health even started to go downhill. I was a real mess. Things just went from worse to worse and the once so loving happy relationship I had with my husband, became a volatile and abusive relationship of insults and name calling. We became unrecognisable to the couple that were so happily in love before we got married. He would now swear at me and force me to do things to please his family to show them I was listening and conforming. I began to resent him. We started counselling but he told his parents and they put an end to that and summoned us not to go. He only did as his parents told him, and unfortunately most of their decisions caused our marriage to break down even more.

That is just skimming the surface of my story. In the 3 years that I have been home, my family have been my rock. They have supported me, helped me rebuild my strength, inner confidence and helped me to understand and heal the wounds. I had a year of counselling reconnected with sikhi, WIth maharajs kirpa, the biggest blessing in this whole nightmare is that my sikhi path is stronger than ever and with the support and bent kirpa of maharaj, I feel like I can deal with anything, as it is all in his hukam and I know my guru is always with me.

This is my dilemma now... me and my husband have never stopped loving each other. Behind closed doors he has kept in contact with me for these 3 years and we both want to make it work. I have gone from hating his family and wanting nothing to do with them to agreeing to speak to them at family functions, to then agreeing to maybe go and see them sometimes, then to agreeing for them to come to our house as they wish, then to agreeing to see them regularly, then agreeing to forget everything and just start a fresh and integrate myself with them, go around regularly, make an effort etc. I am happy to forget the past, be compassionate to all parties and give 110% to him and his family but I have asked that we get our own home so that I can have relief from the situation and also so that we can re-build our foundation too, the marriage and our relationship is the key component here.

My problem is, that despite agreeing to these increasing demands over the three years, my husband is now saying this is not good enough and if my promise to maharaj and our anand karaj really means so much to me, then to save this marriage, I have to come back and live in his parents house again. He is now refusing for us to buy a place of our own, despite how scared I feel. I have told how I felt, explained the bullying and my reason why I dont't think it will be beeficial but also how scared I am but he says there is no other choice and this is his condition. I feel black mailed by him because he is using my sikhi as a weakness for him to take advantage of. Should I go back and live at his parents house, take what comes from them and accept it all as maharaj's hukam? Or should I stand up for myself and refuse to be black mailed into something that clearly has broken me before and put my health and sanity into serious compromises? I don't want to break my promise to maharaj but I also worry about the worry I will be putting my family through...

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Sometimes you must do what is right for you, not for others. I have gone through the same delima as a male. My parents were always on her side. I was always the wrong one. We went to specialists. The musunderstanding that both my parents and my ex had were quite touching to me. After 4.5 years I left. I live alone, I live in a place on the second floor where I have two rooms one is setup if one day I wish to have Guru Granth Sahib jee with me. If I feel lonely I do my best to do paath with volumes of Guru Sahib jee or I play tabla and or Vaja. I personally would not recommend that you keep living with your parents. Today you are their child but tommorrow you will be an outsider. Mothers and brothers wife will turn against you. Don't make yourself a burden on your parents.

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Are you truly torn between the two alternatives or do you have a gut instinct that leans one way? As a third alternative, is it possible for the family to have a home that is joint but has separate living spaces within the home?

I'm sorry to say but a husband who would swear at you and force you to do things is not normal disagreement in a relationship. How does one "force" a spouse? Through threats spoken or not i suppose. Perhaps it's 'normal' in crude upbringings. But both those things are dysfunctional and a warning sign. I would be concerned even if you lived independently. Perhaps even more concerned. Did you address with him, the swearing and forcing you to do things?

He must take responsibility with responding to his parents as well. But that is in addition to the manner in which he treats you. The parent situation is not an excuse for his swearing and forcing you to do things. That is his doing alone.

Tell him to go for counselling with you and address all these things there. If this is truly important to him, he will go. Don't make any commitment or promises. Try to minimize crying, being sad etc. What you describe is not your fault. You are not defined through your marriage. If you want a successful marriage, you might actually increase your chances by politely and calmly putting limits to being walked on. You must compromise, but not too much.

Three years is a long time for turmoil and it's possible that people will change their approach. You can also control how much the mom-in-law can do by having thicker skin. It can be difficult at first. However, an oppressor continues to oppress when they see it is effective. If you decide it is not oppressive, but misguided, you defeat the oppressor. Ignore rude comments. If it makes you angry, take responsibility and work on yourself. If you are asked to do something, do what is reasonable with love. Resist and refuse what is not reasonable with love.

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Guest singhajaag

Major alert here**do not move back into your inlaws** you need your own place** people do not change easily** you will regret moving back in* if your husband moves out with you then he is worth it. * Guruji will guide you* there is no harm in protecting you sanity* indian inlaws no matter how good will phycologically mess u up so that even ur off spring will suffer*** ive been through this in a similar way***** only diff is that i am the husband and i made my wife go thru this. It is true i did not know what my wife was goin thru. I admjt i forced her to do so much for my parents. I jus cudnt understand or see from her side. I was oblivious to how much my fam manipulated me but also emotionally abused my wife. I started to realise over a long time very suttle things.. After three years i chose to try the move out after my wife was a emotional wreck.we r al gursikhs yet our fam didnt do gursikh attitudes. My parents did the whole izzat thing and the whole chaaa excuse but it was blackmail to highest extent . But they never ever tried to resolve the issues. Once i moved out i realised how bad things were. It was best thing ever. We stil havent got bk t normal but slowly putin our lives back. My parents apreciate her more than ever

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Guest live free

Don't go back. I left my abusive family and am so much better off for it. Do what makes you happy, be good. There will always be troublemakers but they are on their own journey and if they are bad souls, that's their own journey and their own problem, not yours.

Forget about them and their crap- sometimes people try and trap you so they can harrass you, but if you remain grounded and free, they'll see it and eventually accept it,

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Guest Surinder Kaur

Oh dear, another typical Asian dysfunctional family story where the collateral damage is something which would have potentially been a beautiful loving long lasting relationship. To some people this may be a simple issue about right and wrong. However, this poor girl is faced with a dilemma much deeper and complex than this.

It sounds like you are torn between what is expected of you in Sikhi, the obvious love you still have for your husband, the long term effects of a separation and divorce in our culture on a woman and what is expected of you as a daughter in law and wife. As a recently divorced unbaptized Sikh woman ( you can read my journey on Sikhnet.com under Affairs and marriage - Surinder Kaur) I can only advise you to think very carefully about the potential vulnerable position you could be putting yourself in by returning to the same situation you left 3 years ago. Something has to change in order for there to be a positive progress in this situation and it needs to be on your terms not your husbands as you are the one who was unhappy. Your husband will do what he can for you if he sincerely loves you and respects you. Divorce is no walk in the park for anyone and should not be a decision taken lightly, marriages have to be worked at every single day to survive but sometimes there are no other alternatives and you have to bring things to an end even if you still love your husband.

When will our culture allow married couples to live separately and build on their relationships without interference? Keeping a marriage strong and healthy is difficult enough without external pressures.

I hope Waheguru blesses you with the strength to make the right decision for you and your future.

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  • 2 months later...

Be smart about it!. You don't have kids, you can work on yourself and find a better spouse God willing

Yes you want to keep your vows, but at what cost?

And what kind of love is this anyways? He loves you behind closed doors but when it comes to showing his love by respecting you and standing up for you, then it falls apart.

He abandoned you, what kind of husband doesn't pick his wife up

They are dysfunctional and his mother seems like a sociopath. Someone who wants to manipulate and control. Her own marriage is probably a failure

You have the responsibility of being a mother. Is this the man? Is this the family? Is that the kind of enviornment? And if you're not there how will you provide for your child in all aspects.

Think about yourself and your kids. Forget them

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Guest view from husband

You should only go back if your husband is willing to provide a home for you.without the inlaws.

Bottom line is he needs to pull his finger out rather than continue to feed his parents egos.

Really my advice was going to be to move on and forget about him. Hes had 3 years. The issue isnt you but your husband and his family. However if you both wa t to make it work then he needs to sort things out.

I can be very sure the inlaws wont change (they might pretend infront of the world to get you into their hell hole of a home). You should never have to live wirh them if you do then be sure to accept the issues you have done. Nothing will change for you.

If your husband doesnt provide a home to you away from his parents then you need to end the relationship.

im not saying every couple needs to move on but this clearly isnt a healthy home for you and also will add to probs when you have kids . Its going to be a very emotional abusive life. This life is so much more precious. I know becos i spent best part of 30 years with emotionally abusive parents who were very high in society and presented themselves as perfect to the world. (Im male)

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