Anupama writes a letter to her 18-years old daughter. Read what she has to say.
A wife’s role in a marriage is always supportive, even in a good marriage. Why so? I would like to do things that make me happy, too!
I am a ‘happily married’ young Indian woman just like a lot of you out there. My husband is liberal, we tend to share workloads at home and things are pretty fine between us. But I slowly start thinking about the so called ‘fairness’ of it all. Overthinking, am I?
We were colleagues in the same office and dated for two and a half years before we got married. A few months post marriage, we left Kolkata as he got an offer in Delhi. I stayed put with the organization as they had a branch in Delhi as well. However, I was relieved that I too had the chance to finally look for another job. Yes, you can blame me for sticking to a job I hated for almost four years because I met HIM there and didn’t want to ‘lose’ him. I sound so desperate, right?
In my defence, I’d had my fair share of relationships and was above 30 and was frankly tired of dating. Yes, I wanted to settle down. Also, he is a genuinely nice person. So, I didn’t want to do something that would break the equilibrium in our relationship. Also, I had my excuses, you know. He had always had his eyes fixed on the fact that he wanted to work in aviation. I, on the other hand, had not yet found my passion. I was working in business research but wanted to do finance. But that’s a much wider field than aviation so I thought that why not wait for a while till he found his dream job and I then I can find mine while supporting him.
After finally changing jobs and working for over a year in finance (and maintaining my personal blog simultaneously), I realized that I’d finally found my passion. And it was Creative Writing. I love to write. Whenever I don’t find clarity in my mind, whenever I want to voice an opinion, or whenever an incident or inspiration begs me to spin it into a story, I just write it down. I find writing cathartic.
But I’ve caused a ‘slight inconvenience’ in our marital life in the process. See, so far I was the ‘supportive’ partner who would let her man take the lead role. But now I wanted to play the lead role in my story. I wanted to be a writer. Like, not only write in my free time but also take it up as a profession. I wanted a break from my work. My husband explained how that’d be a problem to run the family given the fact that other than groceries, etc. we have to travel and we have a few pets as well. Fair enough, I thought.
And anyway, writing is such a subjective thing. What if I never become an established author? The insecurity will be too much to bear so I decided to work and write in my free time.
Now comes another problem, being the career driven person, my husband wants to move abroad for his job. I don’t want to leave my financial independence and accompany him. Moreover, since my work offers me the flexibility I want to work from a remote corner of India where I’m surrounded by nature. I have the money to afford a rented accommodation in one of the small hill towns. I can work and write and lead a life of spiritual pursuit. I love to mediate and practice Buddhism.
He looks at me with that look that makes me feel guilty. “So, you’ll not live with me?”
“This is just a possibility in case you move abroad.” I say.
This has not happened yet but I understand how he might not be happy with this outcome. This also makes me question whether he gives much importance to my dreams. For example, if I want to take a course in writing he says we should be better off saving for that International holiday. I need to read books, a lot of them in fact. Firstly, because I’m a voracious reader and secondly because I want to be a writer and reading is the best way to learn.
Sometimes, I also feel like indulging in a bit of cosmetics. Mind you, I pay for all the household expenses equally and only after everything is paid for, do I do a bit of ‘shopping for myself’.
He’d subtly hint as to how he doesn’t indulge in any such pursuits.
When I wish to learn Zumba or take a foreign language class, he’d say how our annual international trips are more important.
“But we can roam around in India within our budget and I can still pursue things that are of my interest. There are so many beautiful places here!” I exclaim.
“Oh it’s not the same thing.” He pulls a long face.
Mind you, he never forces his ideas on me. But in his passive aggressive manner he says things that makes me feel incredibly guilty to spend money on myself or on furthering my dreams of writing.
I just want to ask a few things.
What is the role, we women play in marriages? Are we always expected to be the supportive partner who will nurture their husbands’ lives and help them with their success?
What if I don’t want to be just a woman behind a man’s success? Why is my success secondary to his success?
What if I too want to come to the forefront and be a Success myself?
Am I being too selfish when I think like this?
Can’t I choose my own life just because I am with a nice man in a ‘happy marriage’?
Don’t I have a say in the path I wish to choose for myself INDEPENDENT of what my partner does?
Some people might call these frivolous problems but this article was not meant for you guys. Sorry for wasting your time. For the rest of the readers, though I am in a healthy relationship I want to do things that make me happy. Am I wrong in thinking that way? I will be glad to know what you people think.
Image source: watching the sunset together by Shutterstock.
Spiritual Butterfly you have NOT wasted anyone’s time by voicing your thoughts. On the contrary you have only expressed, very astutely and with great clarity- the very real emotional roller coaster many married women and mothers face on the matter of adjusting to life after marriage. Even if not in the exactly same way as you, countless women have practised being satisfied with whatever life deals out and going with the flow of happenings- always keeping ourselves available and ready to make sacrifices, adjust, adapt and move on whenever required. On the one hand it is a noble path indeed. One that real martyrs and those who prefer to pose as martyrs take. While all these sacrifices keep the family and marriage unit secure for society to boast about as sanskari and traditional and superior Indian values; on the other hand there is a hint of exploitation and victimhood that we must recognise and rise above. We need to really look within and understand ourselves and our motivations for doing what we do. If we are doing these things against our will, we must try to stop being exploited and manipulated. But if we are doing it voluntarily, maybe we need to understand why, even more. Is it because we don’t have the will to stop playing the victim OR is it for the likely praise that we are perfect and amazing- in which case we are doing it for the pleasure of getting approval from the spouse or society. Is that so important to us and why? Or can we work out a way where in marriage and parenting dreams and plans can be made with mutual agreement and compromise and thus both can have a win-win outcome. After all everyone’s dreams or wishes should have equal weight and importance and these must be allowed to grow and blossom to fruition, so each and everyone feels fulfilled.
It’s like you have voiced my thoughts, and absolutely there is nothing wrong in thinking about what you want
Girl…..just take that plunge and do your thang! You are absolutely correct in doing it. Everybody needs soul enriching things more than vain materialistic pleasures. You need it as a woman. You need it more as a human
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