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Stuck And Have To Learn To Stand Up For Myself, Please Help..

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by MindVoice, Oct 14, 2018.

  1. MindVoice

    MindVoice Silver IL'ite

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    Hi again!
    This was my kinda-long story, and I am still stuck in the same rut. Tried to escape, but after a lot of confusion and drama and what not, and heartfelt renditions of "things will be different", I put myself back in my hell.
    Oh yeah, there was improvement - great, heart warming, encouraging improvement.. More communication, more involvement, more affection, no more silent treatments... I really thought things were changing...until in-laws came back...
    And bam! poof! the newly-improved version was gone - not in a day, but quick decay - a matter of days to couple of weeks.

    So.
    I know my position now.
    I am here seeking advice on how to be assertive. I have major issues standing up for myself. I am not able to figure out how to do it myself, and do not have access to a counselor. Please help me and guide me, and excuse me if you have to tell me the obvious.

    I want to know what would be the appropriate way to respond to not-too-bad in-laws but a totally cut-off husband (no reason whatsoever, he just spends every free moment with his parents to my exclusion)..

    • I feel isolated, because nothing is discussed or shared with me. I am not involved in anything, no decision-making big or small. He will discuss with them and decide. We moved some time back, and it is his parents and him that do all the setting up of the (not-so-)new place. They will decide weekend plans. They will decide shopping plans. They will even decide the grocery list (which however I have to make sure nothing is missed 'coz then I'm the hopelessly inefficient one (not said but implied), why didn't you say etc)..
    • Feeling unimportant and like unpaid help who exists to just do their bidding to suit their needs. It's not about the work (and frankly, I don't have spine enough to tell them to just do it themselves)... I am asking how I should carry myself when this is how they treat me.. I keep hurting about them treating me like this, and tend to get passive aggressive, but am pulling myself up nowadays and trying to be assertive. But am clueless. Where do I draw my limits? My whole day goes running around them and their needs and I find it irritating.
    There are more issues...everyday dealings.. don't want to overwhelm in first post.. I guess this has become more of an 'intro' post.. but none of my issues are unique, and quite common.. so please share your suggestions and counsel.
     
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  2. Deborah

    Deborah Gold IL'ite

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    OP- do your in laws every 6 months and stay back for 6 months ?

    I don't see why you need your husband's cooperation and communication with him to take qualifying exams in US. Your child is old enough that you can manage to get some time for studying.You just need to inform your H that you'd taking so n so exam and then just go do it . Let him and your in laws do all the planning . That means more time to you.
    If you tried to break free of this marriage once and couldn't ( of course , it isn't so easy ) , you should think about having a career in US now . And why won't he file for EAD for you ? You haven't mentioned any specific reason other than him giving silent treatment . Your child will ( or must already have, you haven't mentioned) start preschool soon . You will have more time . Start working on your career .A dependent life on H4 is the worst , I am in the same boat as you.
    As far as silent treatments and diplomacy and hypocrisy of in laws is concerned , just ignore it. Don't let that get to you.You still seem to be looking for emotional gratification from your H. Try to live without it. Let him be the ideal beta.
    However, you need to have some financial rights like having a credit card of your own or liberty to spend a little money as and when required. If he is restricting you in this, then please know that this is financial abuse and you can take legal steps. Although it's tricky because of H4 visa , but don't let them treat you like a maid .
     
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  3. Rakhii

    Rakhii Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    OP I am sorry to see you go through this. It must be so hard being an outsider in the same home. I know how exhausting these silent treatments are. I used to get them from hubby from time to time until 2 years ago. I will share with you what worked for me; I have faith that this will work for you. I am not sure what others will feel when they look at this but rest assured, I am sharing this with you as it helped me tremendously and it will turn your life around. Please humor me and read the whole post.

    You will get respect once you start respecting yourself. It is that simple. We all deserve respect but unfortunately some of us have to fight for it. Within us we have the means to overcome any suffering at any given point of time. This is the fundamental philosophy of Buddhism. I am a practising Hindu and in my lowest point, I took refuge in what is called a Lotus Sutra, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. Like a lotus that blooms mightily above the muddy water it grows in, you have the capacity within you to bloom among the rut you right now find yourself in. You need to believe in you before they give you what you want. I am also a very big believer in making things go your way. Like, you WILL for things to happen and they indeed do happen. It doesn’t happen today or tomorrow but in time, it will happen.

    When I started chanting the Daimoku Chant (Nam Myoho Renge Kyo), I didn’t have any agenda in my mind. I simply started chanting it. I consciously chanted it throughout the day whenever my mind permits; like in shower, during cooking, cleaning, changing bums etc. After a month or so, I started chanting that while telling myself that I worthy of this life, that I am important (to myself…not just hubby/ kids etc). My existence matters. Like a butterfly effect (look this up if you are not familiar with this), my actions have a strong impact over the world. In about a few months’ time, I believed completely that I am worthy of respect. We all know we deserve it but like I said, we don’t fully understand what it means. It takes conscious effort from our end to understand the essence of this.

    Do this. I promise you that you will start believing in yourself. You need to be strong before you can rope your husband in and you will be strong when you believe that you indeed are strong. PM me if you want.

    ONCE you address this fundamental issue within yourself, you will have the means/courage to face them. I honestly would not attempt to repair anything with inlaws. It takes too much effort and frankly, they simply are a second priority. Even your husband and your kid are a second priority. They are a part of your life; a very big part, yes but that’s about it…just a part. YOU are your life. Always remember Tat Tvam Asi. You Are That. You are that important. You need to believe this, until you are ready to believe in yourself, I will do that believing part on your behalf.

    Don’t get it to any arguments until you figure this conflict within you. Addressing the root cause will help you deal with issues once and for all.

    I do have suggestion on how to give back for grocery list control issues etc but its like applying a band-aid to a war wound that needs surgery. One day you will snap out of this slumber, just like it. When that day comes, there is no turning back.

    Initially I kept chanting saying that I want things to be “normal”. After a month I realised that its not what I want. What I wanted was for a “new” normal where there is respect, trust, love and companionship. When you do acknowledge this message, I do have a few more tips…I hope you dint get me wrong. I didn’t mean to preach you. I just shared with you what worked for me. Now, there are no more silent treatments at home. He knows…Yours will too. I promise you this. Follow the chant.
     
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  4. Deborah

    Deborah Gold IL'ite

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    @Rakhii - Hi. I know about Nam Myoho Renge Kyo and went to a few meets too . But no one there ( even at the intro meet) explained it as well as you have done .Honestly , I was chanting (as you said ) with the agenda to make things normal but soon , went astray coz I feel I didn't understand the full meaning behind it. The way you have put it down is definitely makes more sense . Can you please tell me more about it if you have time and of course ,if you don't mind ? I am not going to any meets any more as the schedule doesn't allow for it but I would love to keep chanting.I want some guidance into this direction , that's all.
    Sorry for hijacking OP's thread .
     
  5. Rakhii

    Rakhii Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    @Deborah
    Literally translating this may help in understanding the essence of the chant.

    Nam: respect/ Devotion
    Myo: Unseen/ enlightened
    Ho: law
    Ren: lotus plant
    Ge: flower
    Kyo: sutra/ teaching

    What is says is that, while being respectful and devoted to one’s self (ourselves), you have the potential to unfold the unknown mysteries and enlighten yourself; even though you are admits the rut of life, just like a lotus flower that blooms regardless of its physical circumstance.

    By chanting this, you are “consciously” making an attempt to say that you recognize that there is potential in you to overcome any problem.

    This doesn’t happen overnight. It takes several months; basically there is no time frame. It depends on you how long it takes to slowly start realising that within you, you hold the power to the universe. Please don’t give up. Keep chanting it every day. Even now I chant this. This is exactly what even Hindu scriptures say too. Tat Tvam Asi. You are one with God. Basically this means that what you think as God is what exists within you. You are one with God. You are God. So you do possess the power; you just don’t see it yet. There is nothing out there that is supernatural that already doesn’t exist within you. Awaken that force and you will find the tools in you to make yourself happy.

    You are not oblivious to the suffering around you. You still go through stress from hubby and inlaws. Go through this but also know that you are strong and you WILL get through this.

    Happiness and peace are so contagious Deborah. Its impossible to stay mad at someone for too long when their tantrums have 0 effect on us. We find people throwing tantrums because they see that it has an effect on us. Once it has no effect on us, they have no reason to be rude to us. But you cannot fake that its not having an impact on us. Human mind is very powerful. Your aura will be completely different when you truly don’t let petty things bother you.

    He is upset with you? Fine. He is not someone who defines you. He is muddy water. He and inlaws are throwing mud on you; but you are the mighty Lotus. The mud will not stick to you; it slides and falls right back into them. That is how powerful you are. Through your suffering comes your awakening to your true self.

    But it all starts with you believing that you are the Lotus; that’s where the chant comes into picture. There is honestly no place you need to be. Even when peeing you can still consciously chant this.

    When mine first started noticing the change in me, I think he was confused more than anything. We only have one life. We must do everything to protect the temple in us, the soul. You can always ask more questions. I am telling you, this turned my life around.
     
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  6. Deborah

    Deborah Gold IL'ite

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    Thank you so much @Rakhii . You explain it so very good. All the practicing people I met just said chant this, you will see a change . So it seemed to me like a carrot- stick phenomenon - I do this and I get something , all the while not understanding the very essence of it. I will continue this keeping in mind what you have elaborated . Thanks !!
     
  7. Rakhii

    Rakhii Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    @Deborah
    Did you know, more often than not, we don’t fully utilise our brain? Only a part of our brain is always actively working. See if there is a Labyrinth near your location. I accidentally chanced upon this and this concept is so amazing. Look it up to see how it works. Its basically a circular pathway. Its kind of like a maze but you will not get lost; there are no dead-ends. When you reach the middle, you can rest there for a bit and turn back and return.

    There is only one way, so you can subconsciously know that you will not get lost. The reason why I said is, when you walk that geometrically measured labyrinth, you activate one section of your brain. When you turn around (change direction), the other side of the brain is activated. So when you walk in one direction, you think about the problem. When you walk back, you think about the solution. Basically let the mind do its work when its fully activated to its potential. It is known to work in a lot of people (including me).

    About 2 years ago, my best friend was 7 month pregnant. She conceived after 13 years and 4 IVFs later. I helped setup nursery, get the baby cloths ready etc etc. baby shower is also done. Then she suddenly went into preterm labor and the baby was born. He lived for 7 mins. This was also around the time when I was also deeply traumatised. Things didn’t make sense.
    I walked and walked...When I was researching about this Daimoku chant, I read about this labyrinth. Walking it steadily also helps. It’s a lucky coincidence that I have one close by to work; I usually go there during lunch.

    Like we believe, you have all the answers; you just need to find them.
     
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  8. MindVoice

    MindVoice Silver IL'ite

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    I am so relieved to see your replies! I was thinking probably my issue/request was so silly that no answer was coming from anyone..

    @Deborah : answering your questions..
    yes. 4months definitely +/- 2 months when they go visiting etc.

    Hmmmm.. because 1. he holds the pursestrings 2. It is impossible for me to stay full time in the house and take of my kid and study. I need his support to find time to prepare. I can manage 1-2 hours per day on my own, but my needs are almost like a full-time job..

    He has finally agreed to - and there goes Trump rescinding EADs.:crybaby2: Is there any point in applying for one any more?

    I am :relieved: Trying to do that.. Its tough.. I don't mind him being ideal beta, but can't handle not being treated the wife.

    You are right about financial abuse. Frankly, I feel it was more than just financial - and I didn't even realise what was going until other ILites woke me up..

    I must explain. When we went to India, there were some 'talks'. Some nice ones, some uncomfortable-and-unacceptable-for-him ones. Among ourselves, as well as gentle talks by my father to him, and finally a grand meltdown in front of his parents and mine where I told him on his face all my issues with my situation and how I was unhappy with him. This happened as my parents tried to get them to let me stay in India for a bit longer (and stay on until I could make up my mind, but that was not mentioned, obviously) and they blankly refused as expected, saying he couldn't be without his child. (So I am expendable, except that he needs me there too to take care of his child, and cook and keep house for him?!)
    He promised to change things. And he did, after we came back. Less financial restrictions, he was more supportive, more willing, would talk, no silent treatments - yeah, you read that right, NO silent treatments.. We fought, yes, but we patched up too.. I said what I felt and it felt like we were moving forward, figuring out each other.
    On the other hand, despite all this efforts, he still prioritised his needs. He had decided to move, and chose to do it now, though I was worried about the timing - I felt our priority should be me getting started on my career front.. He agreed, and said that he will not bother me in any way... What eventually happened was that while he went about working on the move, I had to sit at home and take care of my child 24x7. And at her age, and with her temperament and toddler issues, it was - is - impossible to study seriously (ie >1-2 hours in a day - and even those come at great sacrifice... <5hrs sleep etc)

    Anyway. All this, and then his parents came. It was back to square one in a couple of weeks.

    I could not start my child in daycare as I'd wanted to until after they came because of trivial and silly reasons. And she is still not settled, and just getting used to the whole thing.
    I had wanted to just get out of the house for a few hours everyday - would preserve my sanity, help me further my goals etc, but that was -is - not to be. I am stuck as the house help. MIL does quite a bit - but it does not give me any free time whatsoever.
    I want to be independent. It is not possible.

    Earlier, I wouldn't even be able to take my child for an evening stroll by myself, without MIL. Who wouldn't feel like going on most days! This time I was let to.
    This time I am opening my mouth to ask him to buy me some small stuff (5-15$ range, genuine needs - not yet progressed to whatever). It is difficult to ask because it feels like begging; and when even such tiny things are refused under whatever pretext, it is humiliating.. So I had stopped asking. But now, I am asking again, telling myself, let him refuse it, I will then have proof of financial abuse... And till now, I have got what I asked for (3 things). Which isn't how it used to be.
    So even now, while he is conveniently disregarding me, he is being cautious so I wont point fingers at him again.. ?
    I am thinking of utilising it to my full advantage, but I am not canny enough to implement it on my own. How should I do this??
     
  9. MindVoice

    MindVoice Silver IL'ite

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    @Rakhii Your advice resonates with me at multiple levels. I am extremely grateful to you for taking the pains and the time to write with so much concern and involvement. Thank you thank you! I have heard about the daimoku chant earlier, did some superficial research too but didn't look at it further.. Your words though have gone straight to my heart. And it is more than just about the chant..
    Personally, while there are issues regarding my husband and in-laws, I am not able to shrug of my role in worsening my plight. Escaping is still an option though not any time soon - at least not until in laws leave, and then I must think about it (and I feel weary thinking about it all over again..all the preparations needed etc... I just brought back a whole suitcase of sentimentally important child's stuff that I'd intended to have with me once I went to India). But before that.. before I run away again.. I want to stand up. I don't want to leave crying or weak. If I must walk out, I want to walk out with my head held high.
    In fact, that was the whole reason why I chose to come back - I decided to fight it out, one last time, for the sake of my child's future. I can't help feeling that if I become bold, things might be different. And even if they aren't, I can still leave then - as a bold person, not a doormat.
    I have been thinking a lot about what you said. Yes, I must become strong myself first, and that's what I've been trying to do, and been clueless how to..


    I realise that I am angry and frustrated. And that I'm not really blaming myself - I don't feel I am unworthy or deserve this. I have also realised that I am too high on empathy and unfortunately, a people pleaser.
    I know I am being wronged, it irks me, and I am fine to get vocal about it too...Where I fall apart is in the response to their behaviour. Instead of drawing a line, and responding appropriately, I always buckle. I be nice even if stiff. I do things for them even if I act aloof. I talk, I respond, I show respect. Even when he ignores me. Typical of people-pleasers. And most of the times, it comes out before I can steel myself to be firm. This is wrong.
    For example - just an example : H will ask his mom about grocery list even when I'm standing just next to him. His mom will reply. Something would be missed.
    I should just keep quiet and not bother na?
    No, I tell the walls sternly that something is over.. :facepalm: Or send a text message of a full list that I had already made.
    I did manage to keep quiet once. And then MIL said sternly you should say. Even that I can shrug off. But after that the cold shoulder by husband especially, and to a lesser extent MIL... and bad environ... I buckle.
    Don't ask me why. I have no idea why I need them to be okay. I get stressed and very anxious if I feel something may upset them. I know their pulse now, and because I get so anxious, I am letting myself be emotionally manipulated.
    Here, it is totally my fault.
    I don't know what it is, need for validation, conflict-avoidance..? What ? I don't know. My parents and siblings are puzzled as to why I bother about their reactions...
    I know I should get over this... How?????????????????
     
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  10. MindVoice

    MindVoice Silver IL'ite

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    Love this post, it's a wonderful lesson.
     
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