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A letter from a mother to a future daughter, telling her how she can have an equal marriage and be her own person.
Dear future daughter,
So you married a man who is loving and caring, who provides for you and takes care of your kids. All he wants from you is love and support. But who makes the decisions in the house?
Last week, for instance, when you were at the dealer, looking for a car, did he even consider the color you selected, or did he have a color in mind already? How about that apartment you are saving up for? He bought it because the strong selling point for him was that he could convert the entire living room into a mini theater. Your opinion about the kitchen was all he asked!
The patriarchal Indian society has always believed that a woman’s opinions are limited, so much so that women are always in the lead in kitchen mixie ads, whereas men are in the lead in sports car ads. Occasionally when a woman is put in the lead role for a Scooty ad, the tagline can’t be anything but “Why should boys have all the fun?” as if Scooty is starting a revolution by “allowing” girls to have some fun!
Hasn’t it always been a man’s job to decide which school the kids should go to and handle finances (even when the woman earns), while the woman decides what to feed her kids and what groceries to buy for the week? But don’t just blame the man. Women are brought up this way too and taught that they cannot make decisions on their own. The dads at home are always making decisions for their daughters, that is, until they get them married to husbands who can make their decisions for them. How many girls in India are comfortable living a single life, or living as a single mom? The single life scares them.
So, my dear, tell me, does your husband let himself be influenced by you? When you fight, who gives in first? You don’t have to be the devoted wife who makes her husband happy at all times. You don’t have to give in to his wishes in order to please him. Why is it assumed that he is the one who has to be pleased, even in the bedroom?
He has that power over you, simply because you gave it to him and did not set boundaries early enough. Every time, he got mad at you, and stonewalled you, you gave in. Every time you disagreed over something and he refused to speak to you, you agreed to do things his way, so that you both stop fighting and so that you can be temporarily happy again. Every time he went against his word, you accepted him.
How about you stand up for yourself and say that you don’t want to own the task of doing dishes? Starting today, treat him as an equal partner in every aspect of life. This also means that you need to let him serve ice cream as dinner for your kids, let him learn from his mistakes and let him have power over domestic work. So next time, when your son asks if he can buy him that red truck that he has been asking for, please don’t say “Ask daddy, and you can have it if he says yes!”
If you want him to stop taking you for granted, don’t let go of the small things. Set ultimatums against his unacceptable behavior and follow through. Learn to be OK with him not speaking to you for a while! It is time to let go of the devoted wife tag and gain your respect back.
Your future mom
Image source: shutterstock
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