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Undo dowry

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by sruthi1981, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. sruthi1981

    sruthi1981 Junior IL'ite

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    This is about my husband. I cannot see him suffer and feel inferior. Please help me with suggestions.

    There was dowry in my marriage. I must say that neither my husband nor in-laws are greedy to milk money out of the bride party. Let me brief on their character. Husband would never take or use money that has come to him for free (in his words, without any hard work). He believes that such money could harm us. Also, he does not like if when some stranger walks right out with the money that old parents have saved all their lives, just because he is a son-in-law. These facts about my husband might rise a question, “why did he accept dowry then?”, yes I shall come to that in a bit.

    My mother-in-law is a weak person. She cannot take decisions and is driven by others.
    We are well off than my husbands family, though his father is of high designation. All children are equipped with high educational qualifications and are capable of looking after themselves. Other than these, they have no property or savings as such. He and his siblings were raised very well. Her reasons for accepting dowry,

    1) They are poor and she can do anything to keep my husband happy. She thinks with money a person would get respect (my husband says such people’s “respect” is not worthy to be shown on him). She’s saving dowry amount for our future.
    2) As per my husband, it was her who taught him not to expect any money for free. But due to their financial situations now and the people (who once were nice to them, when they were sound financially), she started thinking, money is what people need. No matter how honest you are, does not help. She says, what do we have being honest and charitable all our lives.
    3) She is of old school of thought like, people will talk ill about the groom, if there is no dowry involved and worried that my husband would be looked down upon. 1<SUP>st</SUP> and 2<SUP>nd</SUP> reasons being primary motivating factors.
    4) She being meek, other people have indulged in all these discussions and finalized the things.

    My husband:
    1) He never expects such money, now that it is past; he till date has not touched that money, and says they are just white papers to him.
    2) Prior to marriage, he never had thought of these things. He is always looked upon by everybody as a kid and will not be taken seriously. All he thought prior to marriage (in his crude way), was about how many years he has been holding it (***). And nothing else was on his mind.
    3) He wants to give that money back. He doesn’t know how to start this. He is worried that, he has never talked about anything serious at home, all his siblings dote on him, for them he is just like one of their kids, so you can imagine. He feels embarrassed to do these ‘big talks’, but his conscience never lets him be at peace until he returns the amount back. He cant talk to them (so they could help in returning the amount) directly, he fears nothing would be like before once he does that. I am sure, for his sake and happiness sake; they will do whatever he wants. But yes, they think he does not know the world.
    4) I never complained that dowry was taken or anything, I have no issues what so ever. But its him, cannot see him in trouble. He wants to get rid of the money. He once abandoned this idea of confronting and wanted to donate that money. I was not happy with that, atleast if it were given back to my parents, it would help them in their old age. Would there be a chance that I might be thought upon as the root cause for this?

    Please help me help him out of this. He even has a lengthy six paged email drafted in his mail box abou this directed to his siblings seeking their help, contemplating whther or not to send for nearly months now. I know he will not send it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
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  2. asuitablegirl

    asuitablegirl Gold IL'ite

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    If he is feeling so guilty (which I would too if I were in his shoes), you could tell him that if and when your parents need help, he can offer to help them at that time. That way your parents aren't left stranded due to his taking dowry, and he isn't left feeling guilty due to them giving dowry.

    If he feels the need to make his intentions known RIGHT NOW, he might try apologizing to your parents for taking the dowry and assure them that if they are ever in a financial predicament due to lack of money, he will use that money to rectify their situation. Just the act of saying sorry and offering to use the money for their benefit may ease your dh's conscience. Probably your parents will tell him not to worry about it and that itself could make him feel better.

    If those two ideas aren't suitable to him, remind him that you can't go back in the past and change what happened. What's done is done. Instead, both of you could make a vow to never accept dowry for your son, or never to give dowry for your daughter.

    It's horrible to walk through life feeling guilty or having regrets. I hope your dh is able to find a solution to his problem. Good luck to both of you!!
     
  3. Visu2k

    Visu2k Gold IL'ite

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    If your husband didn't use the money till now, I don't see a reason why he should be unhappy about it. Whatever happened, happened in the past. There is no point in not refusing at the right time and regretting having accepted, in the wrong time! He should either return the money or keep that in some safe investment and return to your parents at an opportune moment.

    At this point of time, I think he or you should have no reason for being guilty as you have not made use of that money. There is no point in even involving his family in all this for the unnecessary hassle it would cause (they may even think that you are prompting all this). He can have a one on one talk with your parents and tell them that he is against this right from day one and would want to return it now or at any time they would want it. If they refuse you may either keep it in some safe investment to see if they would accept it at any other time and if not keep it invested for your childrens' future. No point in raking this matter up with everyone in the family!
     
  4. iamsudha

    iamsudha Senior IL'ite

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    I think your hubby can write a Note to your parents (his in laws) quietly for the amount in question and pay it off as he can. His people need not know about this and he doesn't need to talk big to his folks and his conscience should be clear.

    Obviously you need to convince your parents about keeping this quiet and help the SIL feel good about himself. I think they will very quietly give the Note back to you any way, knowing the way the Indian parents work to sabotage the kids' plans :)

    Good luck!
     
  5. SreeSri

    SreeSri Gold IL'ite

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    May be something closure, but my situation is not AS STRONGER AS your husband's but here is how I did manage the situation:

    I didnt take any single dime of money from my in-laws at any time so far.
    But there was an indirect way that they have spent for our wedding. Since we dont have time and people to conduct the wedding at our house, I requested my FIL to do that. So, effectively he has spent some money for OUR wedding, in this way I guess I forced him to spend money, now lets name it as DOWRY :) just for the argument purpose

    I too felt that I might have spent the money at least half(but prefer to spend all my own money). But past is past, what shall I do now?
    So, I used to find an opportunity to lend money for their family and emergency times.I gave huge amount of money (as loan) when there was a significant accident in their family, this money was not fully paid back to me, but I didnt pressure them to pay me back(since I am not gonna die if they dont re-pay me). Also I have spent good amount of money for my wife's brother to get him to USA and settling down here. I felt that its a good way of REPAYING them by using the same money but for a more valuable cause(my BIL is making good life here now).
    So, dear OP, the heavyness of OPM (Other People Money) must be left at the heart and must be paid back from the SAME heart, there are many options and opportunitites to relieve that pain from the heart, in a nice and useful way)
    Now, Coming to the conclusion, If my in-laws are not going to pay me back the loan, I am gonna consider that its the amount that they might have spent for my DW's Engineering study.. than I am more free :). As of today, If I run the numbers, I might have spent at least 4 times for my in-laws to the amount that they might have spent for our wedding :) but they are our family too.
     
  6. sruthi1981

    sruthi1981 Junior IL'ite

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    :thankyou2: ASG, Visu, Sudha (iamsudha), SreeSri.

    Thanks for all your replies. He has not used the money, but why worries. I see no point too, but his mind is restless. He says, whether we use it or not, some one else's money IS with us for no reason. Not that its on the top of his head and eating him away. But he definetely is feeling bad and it keeps running in the background of his mind. He feels this is cheating. And he is a fraud and is feeling very inferior. ASG you're correct, it is hard to live life with these feelings, so i want to help him.

    Past is past. Before marriage, he has not even for single moment thought about all these, he felt elders will take care of everything and did'nt think about dowry and all. Later after marriage and after things settled down and we are on our own, thats when he thought about these things. Yes he did a mistake by not acting matured. Had he known or had someone told him about this prior to marriage he would have said a strict NO. And his folks would have listened to him.

    he came up with some ideas that are mentioned here. this was what discussed.

    1) Handing a cheque to my parents without anybody knowing it. He very much wanted to do this (except for the italicised part), all hassel free. But he does not have that kind of money yet (8L). So ruled out. I was not in favor of this because, it would be like cheating his parents and if at all they come to know about this, then it would cause unnecessary tensions.

    2) He intends to use the same money on my parents, if ever a need arises. Like for any medical issues or anything. Money is fixed deposited in the bank. This is for sure.

    3) ASG, he wants to tell it, but he is worried what my parents would feel about his's. He feels that it would portray a very unstable picture of the family, by everybody not being on the same page. Ofocurse, i told it to my parents and they said thats for their satisfaction and dont want money back, but they felt happy (he does not want me to tell them yet, but i did).

    4) You are right Visu, i am worried inwardly that they might think am prompting all this. i have to be careful.

    He might not like the idea of paying my parents without his parents knowing it. He wants it to be transparent. How can he tell them without they getting an idea that,
    a) He is supporting and in favor of my family
    b) I am prompting all this ( for this, i thought i would break the news to them by myself and tell them i am not interested but he is not listening to me try if he you can change his mind).
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  7. Visu2k

    Visu2k Gold IL'ite

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    Thinking otherwise, even though such a situation is awful still it would sound better than your PILs thinking that you are doing this because your parents felt so or because they had a financial need and asking you to get money from your DH indirectly.

    So keeping all these things in mind, I am thinking to contradict my earlier stance. I think, it is better for your DH to make it clear to your PILs that it is his own decision and that is not feeling ethical about this whole issue. If anyone asks you, you just direct them to ask your husband as it is his own thought.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  8. sruthi1981

    sruthi1981 Junior IL'ite

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    hi everybody. thanks for all the replies.
    My husband has not sent his 6 page long email, but has spoken to his parent about this issue. Mother-in-law, said we could return the amount after the fixed deposit matures(we cannot take the money out now as it is locked). She said it would look awkward, but still if it makes him(myhusband), happy she said lets return it. They do not thinking i am the one behind this.

    Would this imply, we do not respect our mother-in-law or would this look like she does not have a say in things?
     

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