#FeministMondays | Women, Realize Your Worth. Please.

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Marriage is perhaps a word too short compared to the importance it actually carries in a couple’s life. It is a bond which if nurtured carefully is a boon. But if not it could well be a bond that suffocates you throughout life. Too often marriages end at weddings turning into a one-sided responsibility devoid of love.

 

Now, I’m all for marriage, one which treats both the husband and wife equally. In the interest of full disclosure, I must add that history is not my strong point but certain aspects of marriage as advocated in the Indian society are not for me. For example, I don’t believe in the philosophy of the husband being the all-important entity in a marriage and thereby the family. For me, it’s equality in all aspect and understanding that makes for a great marriage. When I speak about equality, I don’t mean how much money a spouse earns. No. For me, it has to do with how the husband and wife treat each other and how they are treated by each other’s families. Unfortunately, there are still some marriages in this present day modern India based on a bogus and archaic belief system that places the husband on a pedestal with no regards to the wife!

 

Too often marriages end at weddings turning into a one-sided responsibility devoid of love.… Click To Tweet

 

About 6 years back I had written about a man who wanted a wife only as a caretaker for his parents. I called him the anpad (uneducated) techie at that time. And looks like there are more like him around. A sad, sad fact but what is even worse is that women toil to put up with such nonsense. Of course, I don’t intend to judge them but I just wish they didn’t put up with it. Such men don’t change. Never.

 

For the husband who believes his wife is meant to be doing everything from household to office work, taking care of children to his parents, I suggest some soul searching perhaps? And to the woman who keeps doing it, compromising either for the sake of the love or because apparently, this is how it is supposed to be, know your threshold, please.

 

My dear woman, marriage is not supposed to be an institution where you concede everything, even your self-respect. No! While love is important, I don’t think it’s your sole responsibility to maintain the relationship. Please don’t do this to yourself. I know it is drilled in our minds that marriage is a sacred institution and we must do everything in our capacity to save it. But do remember that a marriage in which you get no respect or where you get occasional respect is also no marriage at all.

 

Emotional abuse is a reality in many marriages. It can be anything from not standing by your partner when it comes to your parents or even health. It can be a husband feigning work or fatigue to prevent having discussions or spending time with the family. Not being there when your partner and children need you the most. Or, something as basic as refusing to do any chores at home and using anger as a means for that.

 

To all those women who compromise every day in a marriage like that, either to avoid conflict or to save their men from “stress“, I wish you read through this. And maybe, just maybe, it will help you someday?

 

  1. Your husband is not the one who runs your home, you both do.
  2. The onus of your relationship is not only on you but on him too.
  3. Respect his parents certainly, but to run all the errands for them while your husband enjoys his life is not right. Responsibility in a marriage has to be shared!
  4. You are not an unpaid maid to his parents. And if he says you have to cook, clean and wash their clothes every day or else he will rebuke you, he doesn’t deserve your love or respect.
  5. If he’s not there with you when you need him the most, then there’s no point of him being there with you at any other time.
  6. Fall in love but don’t lose your self-respect in the bargain.
  7. The moment he asserts that everything in your home happens at his approval, you should know what he thinks of you.
  8. Your children are your collective responsibility not only yours while he goes on with his life.
  9. Recognise the emotional abuse.

 

There is so much more I want to say. But the intention is only to implore that don’t sacrifice so much. A relationship which makes you cry and compromise on a daily basis while your man doesn’t budge an inch is to me not a relationship you need to fight for. Realise your worth, please!

 

Recognise the emotional abuse in a marriage and do something about it.

 

I know not all husbands are like this. So, please spare me the lecture. But there are some who are exactly like that, uncommitted to the relationship and assuming they are superior. So, this post is for those women in their lives, women who do so much but do not get appreciated or loved. I also know there are husbands who suffer at the hands of their wives, I’m sure someone will write about them too. I have written this post so that someone somewhere might perhaps gain the courage to make a positive change in life after reading this.

 

Remember, if you are not happy in a relationship or a marriage, it’s because it probably isn’t so. Pack up and leave.

 

What do you think?

 

This was initially posted in 2015.

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This post is part of the #FeministMondays series (previously called #IAmAFeminist series) on the blog. Inspired by a TEDx talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – We Should All Be Feminists, I intend to talk about the need for feminism through my posts, posts on my experience and observation as a female. I intend to talk about issues concerning women.

Join me and let’s work towards a world of gender parity. Remember, each voice counts. Tell me your story.

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16 thoughts on “#FeministMondays | Women, Realize Your Worth. Please.

  1. I came from a culture where it was accepted to beat your wife, and, as a child, I would hear the older men talking about it. My father taught me it was wrong, and that I deserved respect. I owe a lot to him. We women still have such a long way to go. You said it well!

  2. I think both men and women often have a skewed notion of what marriage is. While it’s easy to blame society, I wonder why some people are ready to accept change in some areas and not in this one. There’s huge need for more honest discussion on marriage and less excitement on weddings!

  3. That was a very motivating post, Nabanita! I so hope that someone out there gets some courage after reading it and rethinks her decisions.
    You are so right. There are scores of men out there who think they are the masters of their universe and without their approval their wives are not even supposed to breathe. I pity such women who have to put up with such dictatorship. We really don’t know the reasons they have to live in such dire conditions. Let’s just hope that with time, these women find some courage to be assertive, or even walk out of relationships that threaten to stifle them and their identity!

  4. I think it is good to have a thorough understanding of the beliefs of your partner and what marriage means to them regardless of their sex. Hopefully by this honest discussions there may be way to compromise if there are some differences or realise that actually the compromise is too big and the essence of you will be lost if you stay with the person. So what I really mean is communication and then decisions are to be held and then a huge amount of hope. No one should live under any sort of fear or oppression.
    Mainy
    #mg

  5. Oh, my dear Naba- I was in this…. To be honest… It brings tears to my eyes. .. I hope more will find the courage to leave … to save themselves… … The safest place you should have on earth should always be the safest… Thanks for sharing my sweet friend…

  6. Completely agree with you! Marriage should be a partnership — both partners treating each other with respect and both partners sharing the load at home. It’s important though to clarify these issues before marriage because I do think some women have the false belief that men will change or they can ‘train’ them. The reality is that it will not change and therefore, the values must be similar to begin with.

    Home is where the heart is

  7. This post is totally from the heart and so very true as well. Unfortunately, I know of many women who due to conditioning, circumstances or societal pressures put up with such husbands. Some do not have the support of their parents or enough financial muscle to quit. Having kids may add to the complications as well. What to say? It is pretty grim.

  8. Every word you’ve written is true, Nabanita. The equality of marriage doesn’t depend upon financial equality, but rather upon both spouses seeing themselves as equal partners in upholding the relationship. I also agree that it is important to establish boundaries and clear the air before tying the knot, so that expectations are clear on either side.

  9. My husband is my equal, we love an respect each other. But I was in an abusive relationship in the past, emotionally and physically so I know clearly how a good relationship feels and looks and how a bad one feels and looks. I lost my self respect, I was isolated from friends and family, but I eventually got the courage to escape. Well I escaped physically but I struggled for a long time to feel safe again and to forgive myself for ever thinking I loved that person. I never thought I would be in an abusive relationship, but I did end up in one. Self respect and love is so important and it took me a long time to find that. But now I am strong and my husband is amazing, my life is safe. A great post my friend xx #mg

  10. Strong message, Nabanita. I would tend to think both have to try hard to make it work..if it’s one sided, that’s where you call it quits (but after trying for a decent time).

  11. What you have said makes so much sense, Naba. Marriage is definitely a partnership. Truth be said, there are still people in our society who consider men as the head of the family. The concept needs to change. Both the husband and wife need to run the family together. There is no greater success than that.

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