Facts about marriages with no demand for dowry #3

Please read part-1 & part-2 before continuing.

There is a custom where the newly wed couple is invited by the relatives to their homes. It’s meant to help the bride get a chance to know her new family better. On all those occasions, I was forced to have a loud make-up (very deep tone of blusher on my cheeks, dark lipstick, a big bindi, and bangles just short of the elbow, etc.) and keep a pallu covering the forehead.

I am an educated girl who knew how to dress well, but all this was way beyond my comfortable liking. The result, my MIL would herself do the final touch-up before we went anywhere and my opposition would be dealt with angry notes by my husband. While at the relatives place, my husband would make sure to stay at least ten feet away from me. According to him, sitting with his wife would make his family pronounce him a ‘joru ka gulam’.

I wasn’t allowed to talk to my parents and when I did it had to be on the land-line. My MIL or FIL would overhear the conversation from the phone instrument in other room. I was aware of this fact so I never tried to tell my parents anything while on phone. Though my parents did get doubtful the way I used to avoid answering any direct question about my well-being or how everyone treated me and the like.

Then came the time when I moved to my new home with all my belongings (sarees, gold,etc.). The issue of bringing gold along didn’t end at that, but instead, my husband had made it a staple topic of argument everytime he was in a bad mood. The first weekend after he resumed his work overseas, we fought for nearly the whole evening and I cried the whole night. It took me a long while to settle in this new place. The reason being, my husband didn’t like me wearing any kind of Indian clothes, ever utter even a single word in Hindi while not at home and order for non-Indian food at all times (according to the food ordered by people in our company). The same man who wanted me to wear a saree all the time I was in India, changed the minute he stepped on foreign soil.

Slowly and gradually the real motives behind this marriage started coming to fore. This didn’t happen all of a sudden, neither was I ever beaten or abused in any other form, but there was slow poisoning in form of emotional blackmailing that was totally intended to brainwash me. It was a big project and my husband being the key player had many tactics at hand to slowly prepare me to accomplish his mission.

I won’t get into too many details, but I’ll first tell you all that he did before I actually learnt about the secret plan. We both are well-educated and were in jobs that brought home a good sum of money. To be honest, affording anything that money could buy wasn’t a problem with that kind of salary. But my husband is one of the stingiest misers born on the face of this earth. He won’t let me spend a cent against his liking. He wouldn’t let me shop on my own (on the pretext, he doesn’t like me working too hard).

I had slowly grown used to have items taken off the grocery trolley (by him) before reaching the checkout just cause my husband wouldn’t agree to buy anything he didn’t want to see/eat. He would literally hold my hand while picking up things from aisles to keep our bills in control. You’d think the outcome should be our bank accounts should be overflowing with money; right? WRONG!!

Then where was the money going? It was constantly being transferred to my FIL’s bank account. I didn’t mind his sending money home, but sending money home at the cost of keeping all my basic necessities at bay wasn’t acceptable. But he wasn’t ready to hear a word against it. The same energy and emotion with which we used to fight for the jewelry I had brought along, we now fought over the money that was constantly being drained from my bank account.

The other big issue was for everything that I would want to buy, my husband would sweetly nudge me to ask my parents to buy it from India and send it across. I flatly refused to co-operate or do as he would lovingly try to push me into. He had many secret weapons to succeed in his missions ( that did not require my co-operation) and they soon became operational.

Like every couple, we too had dreams of buying our home one day, have kids and live a peaceful, content life. We actually started saving money for our home and our baby’s future, which I later learnt was all spent on buying jewelry for my MIL and two sis-in-laws while I was struggling for my life in India.

Things got very bad in the due course of time. My parents sent in thousands of dollars to satisfy the never-ending-needs-of-their-son-in-law. Besides all this mess about money, that involved creating an artificial crisis of money in front of my parents (in my absence) and extracting money from them in one form or the other. My husband was double-crossing me and my parents over the years, a fact that I saw and learnt about only recently.

On the other hand, in India, my in-laws would make my parents give in gifts on the pretext of one occasion or ritual or the other. The most ridiculous aspect of it being, they (my in-laws) believed in all festivities and rituals that involved receiving gifts, etc. but not in any that meant giving something to their daughter-in-law. The same was true for my husband. He’d quote we are Indians when he was talking to my parents, but he’d soon change and tell me not to believe in Indian beliefs if it meant spending money in any form.

The biggest motive behind marrying me came to fore very late in my marriage, but when it did, I took the big decision to move out for good. When checking for the backgrounds (before marriage) my in-laws had come across a very interesting match (mine) whose parents had a ery interesting amount of ancestral property. To get it all transferred in their son’s name asap (as soon as possible) was the sole aim why all this drama was going on.

My husband was the key player, who took many steps to achieve this goal. But failed cause of lack of one BIG virtue.

Patience.

He would have almost succeeded in his motives, had he treated me well, had he been respectful to my parents, had he had the basic human values of treating his wife with love and respect.

I had smelled something fishy right in the start, but kept quiet in hope of things getting better someday soon. I did commit a lot of mistakes, like any other human being. But eventually succeeded in finding out what was the big hidden intention. When things gradually started falling in place, a very scary, distorted, ugly image arose.

Something that shook everyone who have been closely associated with me.

It’s a big mess. Agreed. But, I strongly believe, every problem has a solution and I am determined to find one for my life’s problems too.

“The important thing about a problem is not its solution, but the strength we gain in finding the solution”

The song on my mind:

35 thoughts on “Facts about marriages with no demand for dowry #3

  1. Every chapter you are unfolding here,literally creating a full family visuals in my mind, I can see your MIL putting up final make up touch on your face,your hubby refusing to buy something and all…the way you narrate the situations is really great…Lady u have real guts, I keep on saying this again and again bcoz with every post of ur’s I’m coming across the strong lady with strong will power keep it up 🙂 you are my favorite strong lady sweetie!!!!!!

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  2. Far out! Even though I am so very cynical, I still am astounded that such people exist! I’m so glad you got out when you did and didn’t have to put up with any more DV in the form of emotional abuse and withholding of finances. I was saying to my partner yesterday about how here in Aus in abusive relationships, the woman generally has to contend with one person abusing them….in India, the woman has to contend with the whole bloody family abusing them!

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  3. I am just wondering how did you tolerate them for such long time, I can never imagine some one dressing me up even for a day, after all we are adults and we know what is good and bad for us rt? A newly wed husband would be always trying to get as close as his wife, but looks like your husband didn’t have such interest..I can’t believe that he stopped you from getting groceries, this is totally ridiculous..What ever you said is very true, if there is a problem there would be a resolution to it as well.. I am sure in this process you would be a strong successful human being. After all you and Pari deserve much better life style than what you had..

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  4. What I can safely conclude now is: all Jellyfishes (or lets say devils in jellyfish disguises) and their families are clones of one another!
    http://mandooka.wordpress.com/2011/11/26/the-awakening/
    Desi men like your ex are all too common, I see, even in the country that I live in now. In fact I have come across such types more often in Videsh than in Desh. Earlier I used to wonder why such men who have such undying loyalty to their families just not stay single and continue buying stuff and giving money to their families for as long as they are alive or earning. It would be so much simpler and also save many a girl from a life of unhappiness! Over the time I have also understood their motives: Marry a woman with the potential to bring in money.. and lo and behold, you are assured of twice the steady supply of money, than you could ever have as a single earner, in order to fill up the bottomless coffer of those greedy pigs who beget sons solely for that purpose!

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  5. Once again, I could have almost written this. From the MIL dressing me up (aka whitewashing me) and criticizing my clothing choices (v. modest btw), to the ex sending my money home to his family.

    So glad you got out! Your unhappy days are behind you now. Things can only get better from now on! 🙂

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  6. It wasn’t a marriage, it was a nightmare. I am so glad you’re out of it now! I hope writing all this is therapy for you…I hope this helps you put it all in perspective and makes you move on even faster. I pray for that.

    Hugs,
    Nilu

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  7. wow.. I’m proud of your patience and courage. I cannot imagine how difficult those time would have been and how relieved you must be now. I’ve always believed that good things happen to good people.. so stay tuned! the worst is behind you 🙂
    Hugs!

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  8. You know, one of my closest friends had gone through the same torments in the initial weeks of her marriage. She was not allowed to make calls to parents, abused, beaten black and blue. But she somehow communicated all this to her parents. They immediately brought her back home and applied for a legal separation within a fortnight of her marriage. Now she is happily married with a guy who was also a divorcee.

    Era, you have lots of patience and strength to have lived with this for so many years keeping your hope alive that they would change. But I’m relieved that you have finally moved out. I’m sure this decision of yours was the best thing to happen for Pari. She is away from the shadows of such greedy devils who only love Money!

    Lottsa luv to the two of you.

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  9. Literally holding your hands not letting you buy the basic stuff!! And your MIL putting the make up? And what’s wrong in being called joru ka ghulam?? You told that you did make a lot mistakes in the starting before realising all this. At that time, you wouldn’t have expected things to happen this way! You might have had that 1% hope that your husband might start supporting you from tomorrow! That’s the hope we all women live with! But Glad you came out of that gutter! Salutes to your bold decision!! {hugs to you}

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  10. Read all the three parts, and I was fuming all the time. I sure am glad you got out of the toxic situation in time and that your daughter is growing up in a healthy, loving environment, away from those evil souls.
    I admire your courage and fortitude in dealing with it all. Hugs ME.

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  11. Omg.! hopped in from Indian homemaker.! Thank god you moved out.! The ghastly description of events was sickening me.! YOU’RE COURAGEOUS! You really are.! For I could have never imagined to live in sucha kinda marriage, might have contemplated something very absurdly erratic.! Bravo.! To your courage.!

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  12. Wow, what a riveting story! I am absolutely boiling over with rage! What a selfish family… I just can’t even imagine it…! I’ve met so many Indians who are happily married (by arraigned marriage) but I guess not all of them are like that. I can understand why you took so long to get out of that abuse, since you thought it would get better. But I’m glad you got away when you did!

    I don’t have time to read all of your blog right now, but I definitely will come back to explore more. I’m so sorry this had to happen to you. I just don’t understand how anyone can be that selfish.

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