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Issue with my spouse

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by newmom1, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. newmom1

    newmom1 New IL'ite

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    Hi Ladies,

    I have been married for 6 years and I have a 4 month old daughter. I have a problem like all married ladies do. But in this case my husband is not in my side. My husband loves me a lot and he took care of me when I was pregnant and during delivery was also he was too supportive as we had no-one to help us during that time but whenever it comes to in-laws he is very rigid on that issue. Like my FIL always talk ill of my parents over phone (as we live in US) and also when I visit to their place in India. Many of times even my husband know about this but he never react and all always warn me to remain silent and not to argue/reply against them. As I am a very calm and silent kind of person even I dont reply to them too but I expected at least my husband will fight for me but that never happened till now. Also I have four SILs all are married and they also keep taunting me whenever we call. My husband also know how they speak with me but every time my husband calls them, he forces me to talk to them which I don't like, but I cant say "NO" as I don't want to hurt my husband or you can say I am not able to say no. Though they insult me like anything, my husband says they are elders dont mind their words. My situation is neither I can revert them back nor my husband speaks for me. Whenever his sister has a small issue he always interferes and tries to resolve from here talking over phone for long. But dont realize even I am the eldest daughter of the family and I cant take any responsibility for my family. I never spoke to my parents regarding this as they think their son-in-law is great and keeps me happy. I dont want to hurt my parents by talking all this as they have 2 more responsibilities(my two unmarried sisters). Many of the time I even thought of leaving him but I cant do so because of our culture, society and thinking of my parents and sisters.On one side he is very close to his parents, sisters, brother-in-laws and calls them very week with a long long talk (sometimes even one hour at a time) and forces me to talk whereas on the other side he hardly speaks to my parents or sisters. when I ask to speak with them he says you call on weekdays thats why I could not talk, but when I used to call on weekends he used to act as if he is disinterested. This has been happening from the day of our marriage and ours is a arranged marriage. After 6 years when I spoke to him on this issue in a cool mood, he denied everything and said if I have assumed that he dont speak to my parents when you call then ok let it be. We alwys have a big fight whenever we talk on this issue and he always warn me to call my father and ask if they have trained me like this and at that moment I beg him not to call as it make my father upset. My mother passed away few years back and I dont want to give my father more tension. Its always me who had to compromise.

    One big thing is all my husband's earnings is in the hands of my FIL and in his name. My husband is the only son and he thinks his father will manage the money wisely. whereas what I have heard from some reliable sources and even my MIL says he misuses the money and gives to some of his faithful people which never comes back. My hubby doesn't keep track of the money and where its deposited and when it will be matured. I tried to convince my husband that he should keep track of the money and it should ne transfered to his name and whenever my hubby asks his father to consolidate all the money and keep it one place my FIL doesnt listen and again deposit in his own wish and his own name. my hubby says what can i do if he doesnt listen i cant fight with him for this. my hubby never realize that it may create problem sometimes and now even we have a kid and we have to look for her future too. Dont know how he will realize the things. All these years I have been doing what he likes, what he wants me to do, I never did anything against his wish, even I never bought a dress against his wish.

    Because of all these things I am not able to concentrate on anything, making my married life worse and even I cant rely on my husband for my problems thats reason I am very scared of him, never discuss if I have any problems, I feel so lonely and left out these days. Because I have no-one to discuss about such issues. I badly need someone to advice and speak whats in my heart.

    Please suggest what should I do to make him realize my problems and convince him that what he is doing is wrong. His immediate family comes first and my parents also deserve some respect. Please help me with your expert suggestions. I badly need it!!!

    I am so sorry for the long post.
     
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  2. SoaringSpirit

    SoaringSpirit Silver IL'ite

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    Dear newmom1,

    I understand your disappointments from your husband.

    But let me ask you one thing first, why do you think your husband is not on your side? What is it that will prove to you that he is on your side? Think about it and come up with a reason why you think so and what will it take for him to prove his loyalty to you.

    Now coming to your issues. I think what you really need to do to better your situation in all the areas you mentioned, is to make just one simple but huge change in your current way of thinking – be responsible for what happens to you. Stop being completely silent and doing exactly what your husband tells you to do. Please stop victimizing yourself first.

    As adults we are fully responsible for what we give and what we get in life. You are expecting your husband to fight your battles. This is not going to help you. These are your battles and unless you fight them, you cannot expect your husband to help you. Remember, he will, if at all, only support you. No one can ever fight anyone else’s battles be it husband, parents, or anyone else.

    So change this basic thinking. Your self-respect, your sanity, your positive frame of mind, your happiness – all of this is your responsibility. Don’t shrug it off on someone else. You will never be happy if you leave it up to someone else (hubby in this case) to get it for you.

    If your in-laws are passing negative remarks, express your displeasure to them directly or put them on the spot and ask them directly but nicely why they think so about you? No need to get into an argument or a fight with them. Ask them nicely why they think like that about you. Don’t involve your husband. Don’t complain to him about it either. Just handle it on your own.

    In my opinion, not talking at all to your in-laws and SILs is not a good idea unless the situation has gone to an extreme. These are life long relationships and you should preserve them. You don’t have to drive yourself insane or take everything lying down. But you don’t have to break the ties either. Nothing wrong in talking a few sentences to them. Just keep it minimal if it drives you crazy. Sometimes ask them pointed questions about their bad remarks, other times let it go. Strike a balance. Don’t go to either extremes of keeping totally silent or being so upset that you just break the communication.

    As for taking care of your parents, has your husband ever stopped you from doing what you want to do for your parents? If you feel like doing something for them, then go ahead and do it. When he sees you doing things he may join you or he may not. It does not matter. What really matters is that you do what is needed for your parents. As their daughter you must do it rather than expecting your husband to step into your shoes and do it. As for not talking to your parents, just hand him the phone when you want him to talk to them. Has he ever refused? Don’t expect him to show interest in talking to your parents. Just make him do it if it is important to you. Also, in my opinion there is no need to give your husband so much importance that you ask him to talk to your parents every single time. Just ignore him a few times and have a nice chat with your parents.

    Be a living example of the behavior you expect from him. He will do more than he does now if you lead him by example. Take charge, take the initiative and you will see how positively things change.

    As for the money part, why don’t you explore how you can start saving for your kid? Then, in consultation with your husband open a 529 account, an investment account etc. Remember that it is much more easy to get someone to listen to you if you provide ideas/solutions on how the issue can be tackled rather than simply talking about the issue. So arm yourself with some practical ideas on how the money can be invested other than just giving it to your FIL and then talk to your husband about it.

    You say that he loves you a lot. So all you need to do is take charge of things and do them. Don’t be dependent on him for things you can easily do. Don’t get bogged down by details of how much he does for your parents compared to how much you do for his etc. You do what is right and appropriate for everyone involved. What he does or does not do should not matter much if you do all the things that you can do.

    If you do your part, of fighting your own battles and not depending on him for things you can do then you will see that whether he does something or not will not have much of an impact on you. There will be minor disappointments but nothing to the scale of how disappointed you feel right now.

    Our biggest flaw is in not taking responsibility for what happens to us. Once we realize that what happens to us is what we “let” happen to us, we will be free from all these delusions about how our life is unhappy because husband, or mil or SIL did or did not do something.

    Our life is what we make out of it. The credit, the blame, the victories, the losses are all ours to keep to rejoice or to learn from.

    Good luck and march ahead!
    SS


     
  3. Aarushi

    Aarushi Platinum IL'ite

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    Woo-hoo SS!! Wonderfully written and very, very true.:)

    I'd just like to add my concern her for the newmom1 that if your husband loves you, his love is not going to decrease just because you decide to start communicating with him. What bothers me is that though you are saying he loves you a lot, yet you are scared of telling him your thoughts...Love is not the my way or the highway street...

    About talking with your MIL or SIL's, have you tried the speaker phone? So that you and your hubby can both hear what they are saying? If somebody taunts or ridicules you, you don't have to keep listening to it. Walk away...

    You are in a way enabling these people by keeping quiet and not letting them know how you are feeling. For example you say that your hubby "forces" you to talk to your SIL's. However you also say that you have never said "No" because you don't want to hurt him. Now how would your husband know that you really don't want to talk this time if you don't tell him??

    Yes, he might be hurt for a while, but the bigger picture is that you are protecting yourself from hurt. And that is a good thing, isn't it??!!

    Please stand up for yourself. People will treat you with as much respect or disrespect as you are willing to be treated. So try to speak up more and communicate more with others about your feelings.

    take care,
    Aarushi
     
  4. Shilpa77

    Shilpa77 Senior IL'ite

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    Dear newmom1,

    SS has given you a good analysis report.

    Few years back i had a neighbour, who was newly married. I got to see every phase of her wedded life.

    A very nice husband, no complaints, except the fact that both were not ready for any post-marriage surprises.

    3 months passed by and she led the best life ever. Very husband oirented, did everything as per his wish, made him happy everytime, He made calls to his family every week - talking for an hour, she enjoyed speaking to them too but expected same sort of approah to wards her parents too. but she ended up speaking during the weekdays since he was not inclined or interested. She thought, may he needed more time to get used to her parents. 2 years went by and still the same and by this time she had put on so much weight, seemed to have no interest in life, hit depression. Reason is that she was too submissive, gave up everything hoping for the better, but only lost. The husband got a project in the same place where his sister lived and was there all 4 weeks in a month, Since they lived in different part of the country , he would fly over the weekend and effectively stayed 4 days in a month with wife & child. The wife was ignored by the husband , the SIL was happy that her brother was with her and had a sadistic pleasure in making calls to the wife saying that he will be staying with them.

    He was a more lively person when staying with his sister. The SIL was so proud that he is so attached to his family and not the wife. It went to the extent of him having his wedding anniversary dinner with his sister and family not his wife.

    She felt so useless!!

    All this poor girl underwent was stress and depression, he had no time for her or the baby. No social life, no communication with her parents.

    She finally decided the only of thing that would help her out of depression and a way to win his attention and "interest in her" back was to join the workforce, she was ready to do any kind of part-time job for the sake of the baby.

    Finally found a job in a bank , not great pay but a great relief, her attention was diverted from him, she stopped looking for him, thinking about him 24 hrs . She put the baby in a day care , it was hard decision but she had to do it

    When i meet her today, i see her as more confident and optimistic person and a wife -oreinted husband.

    She won her way through the battle.

    newmom1, since you sounded very depressed, I thought this story of my neighbour would really feed some confidence in you!

    S
     
  5. Traveller

    Traveller Gold IL'ite

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    Dear SS, You're a real blessing to this forum. What a clear thinking and neat way of putting things down. I must say I learnt a few lessons for my own issues reading this post and feel much better. Latha
     
  6. newmom1

    newmom1 New IL'ite

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    Thanks SS for your well-written inspiring message. It really encouraged me to take some decision and fight the battle myself, though it needs some courage but I will definitely give it a try. SS, why I am saying that my hubby is on my side is because he never say that my inlaws are doing wrong with saying such things and hurting me. He always says that his parents are not like typical inlaws, they are very nice whereas when it comes to his sisters inlaws he say that they are bad people and they tortured my sisters like anything and you are lucky that you got such nice inlaws like my parents. But the fact is, my in-laws are like chameleons they behave differently when my husband is around and differently when I am alone. Even if I say to my hubby that he are like that he never believes.

    Thanks Aarushi for your nice suggestions. Aarushi, we always speak on a speaker phone while talking to in-laws and he know about their comments very well, he just says they are kidding, dont mind their words. As far as communicating to my husband, its not helping as never accepts his fault but always tries to convince me that its my mistake. Though I know it was not my mistake I always keep mum as I dont want a big big fight.

    Thanks for sharing the story of your friend. Definitely, I will look for a job which will make me financially independent and divert my mind from such things.

    Thanks for all your wonderful suggestions ladies. I really appreciate your quick response. Now I got some moral boosting from your replies. Kudos to you all!!!

    I have another question for which I need your suggestion. I want to attend my sister's marriage which is in april but my husband is against it as he says baby may not tolerate the summer heat and may fall ill. Also he is saying in the marriage atmosphere I maynot be able to take care of the baby. But I know I can take care of the baby. He is trying to blackmail emotionally that if something happens its totally my responsibility and he wont spare me. What should I do now, I badly want to attend the marriage as no elder ladies are there in my family except me and my father wants to see my daughter. Please help me with some positive suggestions !!
     
  7. SoaringSpirit

    SoaringSpirit Silver IL'ite

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    Thanks so much traveller! That's very nice of you to say such generous words of appreciation. I really am touched.

    I am so glad that my suggestions helped you some.

    Thanks once again.
    SS

     
  8. SoaringSpirit

    SoaringSpirit Silver IL'ite

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    Dear newmom1,

    I completely understand your pain about how your husband does not see what you see in your in-laws.

    But to tell you the truth, your husband is not an anomaly. There are probably only a handful or less men who will openly agree that their parents could be wrong, especially in front of their wife. I am not going to venture into whether it is right or wrong. But, I will tell you what I think about it.

    First, I think that some times (not all times) men know that their parents are not being reasonable. However, they will not say it openly neither will they agree to it if you bring it up. After years of being married they may slowly loosen up and some times admit it. But even then it will probably be just a little bit.

    Second and most important thing, to me it is not extremely important whether husband says it aloud or not that his parents behaved unreasonably with me. I make that call! J
    If someone is treating you a certain way, you are the best judge of their behavior towards you. You are the best person to know how it makes you feel and what vibes you get from the person. Openly and sincerely listen to your husband’s point of view. But unless you feel convinced about it from your heart, take his statement with a grain of salt. Listen to his views but keep yours too. There is no great need to seek your husband’s “seal of approval” on your point of view. It does not matter much whether he gives the nod or not because ultimately you have to fight your own battle. Of course, who wouldn’t like a supporter? But reality is not always what you want. So just accept it.

    Do remember one thing though, that sometimes it helps giving people the benefit of doubt. So sometimes take your in-laws comments lightly. Don’t take them to heart all the time. Just make light of it, let it pass in jest or some times comment to them about it in fun. But, if in the end, you are so convinced that they are always mean to you then that’s fine too. It is your judgment after all. Don’t expect your husband to agree with your judgment.

    As for attending your sister’s wedding, start out by being rational. Calmly sit down with him to discuss this matter. Ask him his exact concerns and let him do the talking. After listening to all his concerns, start addressing them one by one.

    My suggestion to you will be to do the talking in a calm and cool way. Keeping your cool is very important. Don’t end up in a fight or get emotional. Nor keep quiet just because you are scared to speak up. I know this will probably take you a lot of practice, but hey, there is a first time for everything.

    Don’t get agitated that he does not understand your point of view. The focus of your discussion is not to get him to understand your point of view but to get the discussion to the point where he knows that you are very determined to attend your sister’s wedding and you will attend it unless there is a pressing reason not to.

    Tell him that while you understand his concern as the father, he should understand that as the mother you are equally concerned about your child’s wellbeing. You are not going to put your kid's health at risk just for the sake of making a trip there. If he says it will be hot there, yes, it will be hot but you will try your best to keep your kid safe from the heat. Every season comes with its side effects. Rainy season in India is unsafe due to many viruses/fevers going around, in winter the weather is cold and homes normally do not have heaters to help ease the cold etc. So no big deal about this one season. Tell him that you take care of the kid on a daily basis here, why does he think you will not be able to do it there? Tell him CONFIDENTLY that you can do everything that needs to be done for the kid’s wellbeing. So he should stop worrying.

    He almost seems to be threatening you that if the kid falls sick he is going to get back at you. This is not done. But don’t react angrily. It will not help you. Instead just tell him that it is very childish of him to say this. Anything can happen to anyone at any place. Your kid can fall sick here too. Just like you do here, you will do your best in taking care of your kid when you are in India too. And in spite of all the caring, just like the kid could fall sick over here, so could he over there in India too. So tell him that you are not going to hold anyone responsible if at all your kid falls sick over there. Just say it in a few sentences and stop there. Your tone should be confident and that of making a statement rather than a mild and approval seeking one. Let him argue and fight, you should just keep quiet after saying what you had to say and don’t budge from your point.

    I would’ve understood your husband's insistence about not going during summer if you were making just a causal trip to India. In which case, I agree that you could’ve gone in Dec when the weather is much better. But you want to go there for your sisters wedding, so he should keep that perspective. Unfortunately he is not doing it. So don’t be scared, think about answers to his questions and with a cool but resolute mind talk to him about it.

    I can assure you that once you start speaking up, no matter how nicely you may do it, it will ruffle his feathers. There will be fights at home and he will be unhappy with the change. He is gotten used to you being quiet all the time and doing things as per his wishes even when it is unreasonable. But there is no other or better way to break this precedence that you have set. You have to do it and be ready for some unpleasantness between the two of you for some time. It is ok. Once he sees that you are not going to go back to your old timid self, he will start coming around.

    One very important thing you should remember is to not lose the perspective of why you are being firm. It is not to oppose him or pick a fight with him in everything he says or does. It is to assert yourself and to stand up against unreasonable behavior. Also, no need to stand up for every unreasonable behavior either. Pick only the ones that are important and that affect you the most. Fight only those battles that are worthy. The others are better left. Sometimes, let him have his way too.

    Marriage is a fine and constant balancing act. One has to keep making sure that the scale does not tilt completely one way – neither our way nor his way. So keep balancing and fine-tuning. If there was no work in marriage then there would not be much to learn from either and also some part of the fun would be lost too! So just take it like that. Don’t worry yourself and spoil your mental peace over it. You’ll be just fine.

    Best wishes!
    SS
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2008
  9. CarpeDiem

    CarpeDiem Senior IL'ite

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    :bowdownSS - Your replies leave me speechless - such fine clarity of thought and expression! I guess you should surely take up counseling as a full-time job if ever you are bored of your s/w one :).......

    Newmom1 - hopefully you are able to pass through this hurdle and emerge victoriously. Wanting to go to your sister's marriage and also have your father see your child is not at all an unreasonable wish! Just deal with the whole situation tactfully with the pointers suggested by SS and don't allow yourself to lose your cool. Good Luck!
     
  10. SoaringSpirit

    SoaringSpirit Silver IL'ite

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    Thanks CarpeDiem! Not sure how much I will be able to convince people verbally if I turn into a counselor :)

    But thanks for your confidence in my abilities buddy!
    SS

     

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