Why Do Men Get Annoyed When We Express Our Care?

I had received an article request some time back from a girl who wanted me to write about little things that women do, to express their care and affection for their husbands / boyfriends, which ends up annoying them.

Although she is married, I have expanded the scope here to include other romantic relationships too.

It took me a long time to write this, because I had no idea how to conclude the post. Starting it is easy. I can list the many  things we all may do for our significant other:

  1. Calling or texting to check if he has reached, left from work
  2. Calling or texting to check if he had lunch at work
  3. Sending good morning / goodnight messages
  4. Asking about his health repeatedly when he is unwell
  5. Expecting the same from him, and feeling upset when it does not happen

Now, doing the above is not only considered annoying by some men, but also being possessive, and not giving him space. Expecting the above is considered a ‘need to pamper her like a princess’.

I have tried to read articles about how men and women think and behave differently. For instance, men can keep aspects of their life in different compartments. Quoting from an article:

 We (men) like tools fitted just for a specific job and enjoy concrete delineations between activities: exercise happens at the gym, lounging happens at home, worship happens at church, work happens at the office, etc. Women on the other hand tend to mix information together: relationships, emotions, knowledge, past experiences, all come together to render a conclusion.

Women like to share their problems, and are more expressive than men. For example, a woman may be stressed about an assignment at work. She may tell her boyfriend / husband about her meetings, and how hesitant she is of her performance. The man at this point will try to provide her with a solution. (She may not be looking for a solution, she just wants him to listen). She may or may not apply his solution, but she will keep him informed of all the developments.  This may involve not applying his solution, yet continuing to complain about the problem. A man at this point may get annoyed and even feel completely useless, as he does not know what she wants him to do. Some may be more mature than others. A man who is not too mature will make it an ego issue that she did not take his advice well, as a direct attack on his capabilities to fix things for her.

On the other hand, a man who is busy / preoccupied with work may not share anything in particular with a woman. He would just appear distant to her, and resort to his man cave. The woman would then torture herself with a lot of thoughts – has he lost interest in her, is he seeing someone else? A confrontation would make things worse, as he would get further annoyed and defensive.

Also, women tend to give a lot priority to relationships. Even when a woman is on vacation / girls’ night out away from her husband / boyfriend, she would still call and text him at the usual times, following the usual routine she may have set. A man on vacation / office trip / boys night out may end up not communicating at all! He does not even feel the need to explain anything because it is obvious that he has been away.

But, irrespective of how different men and women may be, is there any excuse to get annoyed, and express anger, when a woman is just trying to take care of the man she loves? How many  other people in the world care about us anyway – parents, siblings, grandparents, a couple of best friends?

How many people will call and ask me if I reached home safely from a party? Maybe one person would whom I saw last.  But who would do it constantly, everyday?

Does it hurt to appreciate the person who does that?  Let us not take people for granted!! We never know how life would turn out to be. And unfortunately, we may realize the hard way, that people who care for us are rare to find and precious to keep!

The above may be a generalization, and I am aware that this may differ for every individual, and every couple.  This article was written as a response to a situation shared by a female reader, based on her personal experience. Any contrary thoughts, or suggestions are most welcome as comments.  

 

 

Arranged! Before society deem us apart…

Sometime in 2002-2003

I was in junior high school in the United States. The English literature class was going on. I do not remember the exact context, but the teacher was asking for the “Reasons why people get married.”

The creative class was coming up with all kinds of reasons – procreation, money, security, pregnancy among others. One guy said “for love” which was followed by a mocking “Aww!” in chorus. One girl said, “Pressure.”
The teacher’s eyes brightened, as this seemed the most interesting and novel reason so far.

That’s right.” She said. “In medieval times, some people were forced to get married.. Sadly, it is still happening in some parts of the world. It is called arranged marriages.”

I was completely offended. I wanted to raise my hand and correct her. No. Arranged marriages are not forced…. My parents, uncle, aunts, cousins are happily married. All arranged.

But I did not have the courage to speak up. I was afraid everybody would make fun of my accent, or even worse, my thoughts.

After the class ended, I brought up the topic with one of my classmates who was of Indian origin. She was the closest to a “friend” to me. She ensured to tell everybody that she was born and brought up there and was “one of them”. Although, her looks gave away her roots. She never seemed too pleased when I tried to associate herself with India. This time was no exception.

“Arranged marriages are ******. How can you marry a stranger?”

I tried to explain to her that all my relatives had arranged marriages. They are happy. Ultimately, marriage is about committing to each other and making it work. Every marriage is a risk no matter how long you have known each other. I also brought up the low divorce rate in India as a testimony to our wonderful marriages.

“Well, you don’t even belong to our generation.
” She snapped.

In my defense, I was only thirteen.

Cut to 2015.

I am now a writer. I am having a discussion with one of my closest friends (also a writer) on how arranged marriages have ruined our society. Our personal experiences, and that of many close to us have completely transformed our fundamentals. We are together working on an article titled, “Why arranged marriages should be banned in India?”

We ask some men who are in their late 30s, early 40s. They got married early in life, when their personalities had not even evolved fully (in their own words). Their wives are of their parents’ choice, who take care of the family well. But, they badly regret their decision. They were too young to know what they wanted then. Over the years, they have realized that they don’t have much intellectual compatibility with their spouse. (They don’t mind discussing other compatibilities / lack of it but we restrict the conversation. This is from the men’s point of view, I am sure their wives would have their side of the story. Or maybe they are too busy taking care of their kids and in-laws to give their views on marriage to random women…).

Some excerpts from the draft of our article:

1. Arranged marriages promote the archaic caste system. One of the main reasons parents want to arrange their children’s match is to ensure that they marry someone from a similar culture background – caste, community, language.

2. Arranged marriages do not leave any time for people to date and get to know each other. Some arranged marriages may work. But is that logic enough to do something as illogical as marrying somebody you barely know?

3. Do arranged marriages actually work or people stay in them because they are stuck and have nowhere to go to? The reasons these marriages work may be the same for which they happened in the first place – social / family pressure.

We even thought that just like dowry, there should be stringent laws that punish people who arrange marriages.

At this point we realized maybe we should not publish this article…

Present day

Dating is on rise in India like never before. In my previous office, I hardly knew anybody who had an arranged marriage. On the other hand, there are others who want a love marriage, but cannot find anybody. Or their relationships don’t work out and they get tired of trying.

Relationships not working out or not finding anybody is nothing shameful. Rather, something natural and universal. I remember the episode from Friends, where Rachael turns 30. She is already depressed because she is getting old and still single. To add to it, Chandler gives her a card calling her grandma. She then decides that all she needs is a plan, and comes up with a reverse calculation:

“I should have the first one (kid) by the time I’m 35.
Which gives me five years.
If I want a kid when I’m 35, I don’t have to get pregnant until I’m 34.
Which gives Prada four years to start making maternity clothes.
But I want to be married for a year before I get pregnant.
I don’t have to get married until I’m 33.
That’s three whole years.
Wait a minute, though.
I’ll need a year and a half to plan the wedding.
And I’d like to know the guy for a year, year and a half before we get engaged.
Which means I need to meet the guy by the time I’m 30.”

We Indians take this calculation pretty seriously. While Rachael had calculated the age where she wants her first child to be 35, we probably take it at 25. And the countdown begins…

The other view – in support of arranged marriages

Why wait for something that may or may not happen when we can arrange our destiny? What if it gets “too late”? Too late meaning inability to have kids. What if there would be a dearth of single people in the opposite gender as we age – so we may lose out on that precious chance of finding any companion. Plus, who will remain single in India after a certain age? Only people with previous marriages?

So, in order to prevent such a “disaster” in the lives of their loved ones, well-wishers arrange their matches. Compatibility, attraction (What’s that got to do with marriage?) are theoretical concepts that anyway fade with time. It is all about compromise, right?

(PS: I do not support this view)!

Dating and arranged marriages

Modern India seems to be enjoying both sides. People are dating. If it doesn’t work out, there is always have a “back-up” option.

Dating is complicated to begin with. We don’t know where it is going. But in India, to add to the uncertainty of the relationship working out is the possibility of the boyfriend / girlfriend conveniently getting into an arranged marriage the moment clashes / boredom creeps in.

A man may allegedly dump his girlfriend to marry someone who is a more appropriate “caregiver” fit to his family, caste and language compatible. A woman may find an arranged match who may be better suited to make her more secure financially. These are ofcourse stereotypes. Sometimes, people just don’t have the heart to go through the pain of another break-up so they just give up on the thought of “looking out” completely. They want to make sure this time around marriage happens. Either way, modern day arranged marriages do involve some amount of dating, and getting to know the person. A lot of them are facilitated through matrimonial websites.

Can I really judge them, in the age of dating apps?

How do people in other parts of the world survive without well-meaning family members, distant relatives and neighbors finding them a match?

If as a culture we were into dating (and not arranged marriages), wouldn’t we end up finding someone or another? Or atleast continue to look? If only there was no make-believe time bomb ticking away…

I don’t really have a conclusion to this post. I did not publish my original article “Why should arranged marriages be banned in India”, as I felt it was too prejudiced, and offensive to most people I know. Plus, if something is working for someone, do I have a right to judge?

I just wonder sometimes, how our society would be without it..

Where we are not told that we will end up alone and miserable, if we don’t marry ASAP..

Where we could date, with no age barriers and judgment…

Where companionship is not about producing healthy children together…

Where we are given time to really figure out what we want from our lives…

The legend of the frustrated, old, spinster / divorcee

This is going to be a confused post.

Even before you start reading, I would like to apologize that I have started writing, but I do not have my thoughts organized under one subject. Basically, this post is about women’s views on other women, their choices and lifestyles.

1. Widows are humans and have needs

I stumbled upon an article recently. A widow with a grown up son writes about how she has “needs”. She says that she may choose not to remarry for various reasons but does that necessarily mean that she does not have any desires also?

I absolutely loved her brave and honest article. At first, I thought that it would be some anonymous post, by an author who is hiding her identity and yet talking about empowerment. But no, it was from a real person – a courageous woman who said what so many would not have guts to say. If we have more people like her, maybe our society will change.

Another woman’s views on widows having needs

I also started reading the comments on the article. One lady commented the following:

“Yes its ok to have physical intimacy but With a willing partner for a widow taking due care it doesn’t destroy any home if the wife comes to know of that. I have a widow doctor friend who had same needs but she has broken three homes of her male colleagues by having extra marital affairs……

I have strong views on infidelity. It is completely unacceptable. I would never get into an “affair” with a married man. Nevertheless, I would like to say this to the lady who has commented:

The widowed woman did not break the homes of her three male colleagues. She was not having an extra marital affair. She was single. (No I do not support what she did). But the point is, it is the MAN who was married, who made the choice to cheat on his wife and sabotage his relationship. So, stop blaming the other woman!

Her second comment was as follows:

“……If sex was destined to be there in the life of this writer, God will send her a partner who will marry her, else there r so many risks involved in having that With multiple partners or unknown men.”

Her views reminded me of an episode of the TV series, Balika Vadhu. Sugna (one of the characters in the serial) had become a widow at a young age. Her Dadisaa (grandmother) was forcing cruel and inhuman rituals on her. When Sugna’s parents pleaded her to have mercy on the poor girl, the grandmother said that this was her fate…If God wanted her to be happy, he would not have taken away her husband. God destined to make her a widow, it is not like she (Dadisaa) was making this happen.

Sadly, a lot of regressive, controlling people feel that they have a right on somebody’s life as if they are carrying out God’s plan. No, God did not want her to be unhappy. People did!! Ordinary mortals who like to control other people’s lives!

2. The frustrated old spinster / divorcee

The other day, my friend was telling me that I must get married. She said that women who remain unmarried / divorced / grow into “frustrated, old, spinsters”. She gave me an example of her neighbor, a 55-year-old female professor who is always angry.

This is not the first time that I have heard stories about the “frustrated, single, old woman.” These legends are passed down by other woman. Personally, I see a lot of married women, and women with toddlers who seem very irritable all the time. I see them tired, exhausted, and perpetually yelling. Nobody says things like “Married women are so frustrated. Women with little children are always yelling.”

We accept that as normal human beings, they have a right to be angry sometimes. They have justified, valid reasons for their emotions. But single women? Their very existence probably makes them angry!!

3. I don’t want to be unmarried by the time I am your age

Last week, in office a young girl (21-22) year old joined our table (group of women in late 20s). I don’t remember how the conversation started about age, but she randomly mentioned how none of us are married despite being much older than her. One of my colleagues laughed and said thanks for reminding us. The young girl went on to say that she would get married in the next couple of years because she does not want to be “like us” – old and married.

I asked her why does she feel so. Is marriage an achievement? She said yes. My other colleagues then told her that I am a writer and that she would probably get featured in my next article!! This made her guarded and she quickly changed her statement. But the damage was done…

FYI this young woman has no professional qualification, nor does she intend to opt for further studies. Yet, she felt that it is okay to insult women who are much more well educated, and successful than her because they are still unmarried!

I ended the conversation saying that I don’t know what is the future of the country, if this is how young girls think.

Moral of the story

I really wish that the society would stop being so unkind to women who are widowed, unmarried, divorced – single for whatever reason. For some, it is their choice. For others, it may be circumstances. Either way, it is nobody’s business to judge her. Yes, she may be angry sometimes. Because she is human. Not because she does not have a permanent man in her life. Please don’t judge her lifestyle – whether it is her drinking, smoking or “affairs”. Yes, judge her smoking out of concern for her health, not as a benchmark of her morals and character. The alleged, immoral “affair” also takes two people. Don’t just blame her.

And lastly, life changes constantly. I want to ask the women who are so judgmental of these single women, what if they (God forbid) are ever on this side? Can they imagine their life in such a situation?

Please stop spreading the legend of the angry, frustrated, single, old woman. It is as stale, absurd and regressive as the witch tales!

Husbands are a liability for working women

A married, working mother of two has asked me to write an article on how husbands have become more of a liability for working women. Based on her experience, and that of most married women she knows, she has sent me a list of ways in which her life and her husband’s life has changed after marriage. I have tabulated her list below.

Even before you read this, my apologies to the good husbands / fathers out there. I personally know a lot of men who share all the responsibilities. So please do not get offended by this. It does not apply to you. For parents of such men, you have done a good job raising your son right. And finally to the wives of these husbands, I am happy for you!

Now for all the men who are described as below, please read this and be considerate to your poor wives!

[table id=1 /]

I had ended this article here originally. But seeing the comments on Facebook, I thought I need to write more in order to make it balanced.

I know that not all men / women are the way described in the table. This was based on the reader’s experience. The problem lies with the expectations of the gender roles in India. I would like to share the experience of a close friend of mine who was struggling in her new marriage, managing home and office simultaneously. She was being judged by her in-laws, her husband being absolutely insensitive to the pressures she was facing. Her husband’s salary was now being spent exclusively on the home loan that he had taken before marriage. Her salary was spent on paying for rent, and every other household expense. She would come back home to a grumpy husband and in-laws who felt she focused “too much” on her job and did not take care of their needs. Her mother-in-law told her that she is being “allowed” to work for her “social life”, that does not mean she can neglect the household work.

The girl went to a counselor, to seek some help in saving her marriage. She told the counselor that it is unfair that both the husband and wife are sharing the finances and only she is expected to do the household work. Sharing the the exact conversation that took place between the girl and the therapist.

“Why do you work?”

“For my financial independence.”

“So, if you were a millionaire, you would not work?”

“I would probably still work, because I like to. For my own confidence, intellectual stimulation etc.”

“So you are working for yourself basically. Your mothers, grandmothers did not work. It was their primary responsibility to take care of the household. Your husband and in-laws are allowing you to work, for your own enjoyment. The least you owe them is to ensure that their needs are taken care of. You can work as long as you take care of the house and them. I am also a working woman. If my husband wants food at 3 am, I get up and cook for him. From where did you get the idea, that if you work in office for your ego, he should also work in the house?”

And this was a certified therapist who does marriage counselling!! We can only imagine the mentality of an average household. A woman who works is made to feel guilty or grateful. A man who does household work or takes care of the child is applauded for “helping”. It is because of this inequality, that I feel compelled to share these articles.

I only feel resentment towards my in-laws and husband. There is no love left..

A distraught reader has shared her story. Although this article is inspired by her e-mail, I have written it in first person, and it includes my personal views.

I had a love marriage. We both belonged to different castes. I really liked him. I thought since he likes me enough to convince his parents for the marriage, he would support me all my life.

Some things went wrong here and there in the wedding, as we did not know the rituals of the other caste well. This caused constant disapproval and taunts from my in-laws who ensured that my family and I were made to feel worthless about the incompetency of organizing a wedding. Whether it is a love marriage or an arranged marriage, a newly married couple is trying to adjust to each other. Living with a person is difficult, and we were just getting started to get used to each other’s likes, dislikes and lifestyle. I wish people understood this, and left us alone instead of sabotaging our relationship from Day 1.

Nobody likes to hear things against their family. If somebody in school, college, office, streets spoke ill of my family I would have felt like punching them, and shut them up. But this is marriage, and I am a woman. So, what I must do instead is smile at them, remain quiet, polite and calm, serve them, take care of every need of theirs and not show any sign of discomfort and complaint. My parents are ignored and insulted as per the likes of my in-laws. My husband never calls my parents, unless I force him to although my life revolves around taking care of his parents.

I follow a daughter-in-law manual customized by my mother-in-law. It includes getting up at a certain time, cooking to the tastes of different individuals, praying to a certain idol, washing hair on a certain day and any other ritual which they may consider necessary for survival. Yes, I say survival because if I deviate from any of the above, it may result in threats to terminate the marriage!!

My husband is currently working in another city. Should I take up a job in that city and move with him, or continue living in my hometown are all decisions that are taken by my in-laws. It feels awful to be continuously controlled by somebody else. When I try to say something, I am shamed for being disrespectful, rebellious, for overreacting and being too sensitive.

My in-laws and husband are not happy with me. They feel that I talk to my mother much too frequently and that I have not truly considered them my own. I wish my husband understood that for me to feel included in his family, I must first feel included in his life. And that will not happen unless he shows some support and affection towards me.

Ever since I was little, I was told that getting married is important from my security. That a girl cannot live her life alone in this big bad world, and she needs someone to protect her. I guess I am secure, I live with people, so no outsider can come inside the house and attack me. As secure as a bird in a cage, or a criminal in jail.

But what is my crime? No matter how much I try I am told that I am a miserable failure. If my parents treated my husband the way his parents treat me, he would have never seen their faces again. But, here I am being ill-treated yet running after all of them and struggling to make everything right. But they are what’s wrong, so nothing will ever change.

I only feel resentment towards my husband and in-laws. There is no love left.

If Grandma could choose

My story that won ‘Muse of the Month’ on Women’s Web:

The cue for this month was from the movie Queen, in which Kangana’s reel granny tells her that instead staying back in the hotel and watching TV and feeling bad for herself, she should go out and meet people, go sight-seeing…who knows she might find someone interesting too!

Read more:

I never promised to marry you!

It was a regular night at Hard Rock Café. Ashish and Rehan were hanging out. Every Friday these two would catch up here (except ofcourse when they were with their girlfriends). Ashish had been dating Sanaya for the past 10 months.

She was a single mother with a nine-year-old daughter.

“So where is Sanaya this weekend
,” asked Rehan.

“She is travelling to Delhi for a wedding.
” Said Ashish.

“Oh, so no action this weekend!”
winked Rehan. “When are you telling her about Avanti?”

“I will now, once she is back”.

“Hahha, hope she doesn’t get clingy and start blackmailing you,”

“Nah, I never promised to marry her! If she expected something more, her fault!”

For the first time, Ashish’s life was going perfect. He was settled in his career, and had just been promoted to Senior Project Manager. Ashish was always the geek in school and college. He envied other guys as they went out with the hottest girls with the shortest clothes in the biggest cars.

It took him a decade since then, but here he was living the dream! A good house, a good car and a girlfriend his friends drooled at. Somebody has said it right, women are like wine, they get better with age. At 41, Sanaya had the body to die for. Ashish had joined the gym to get in shape to impress women. But how did he get lucky enough to woo the gym owner, the most sought after Sanaya Sarin, his friends still wonder?

Ashish’s parents were visiting from Dhanbad. He must get married by the end of this year, his mother had announced. He was turning 32, high time. Ashish had told his mother he wanted a girl who is fluent in English and well-educated but not career minded. She should be able to bend as and when required for family. Avanti was perfect. Fair and slim, 23 year old with a degree in sociology. Avanti and Ashish had been talking on the phone for over two months. When he had met her in Dhanbad along with her family, he knew she was the one. Young, innocent, pretty, traditional small town girl just the way he liked. Always marry a girl who is much younger, so you can mold her your way, his mother would say.

The Roka had been fixed for November. It was still three months away! Ashish had been showering Avanti with presents. He loved pampering her. Avanti never confessed her love for him, though. Must be shy, he thought. Unlike these confused, Westernized city girls with no values!

Back in Bangalore, Sanaya had been hounding him with her phone calls and texts.

“Please Ashish, come back. I really love you!”

Ashish had never promised to marry her. Where did she get the idea that this would be something long term? All women are the same, he thought. He did not want things to end so nasty with Sanaya but she was behaving like a needy psycho now.

“I am not the first man in your life, anyway so don’t tell me you can’t handle this!”’
He texted back after some more ugly exchange of messages.

Sanaya was eating up so much of his time and energy that he did not even get time to buy an outfit for the Roka. He selected a blue sherwani, Avanti’s favourite colour. He also bought a necklace for her.

Finally, it was the big day. Even though it was not such a big function, some of his friends had still made to Dhanbad. Ashish was looking just like Hrithik Roshan, his mother said. His friends were already drunk and dancing. Avanti’s family was late much to their surprise. The girl’s side is supposed to host, how can they arrive after the groom?

Avanti was not picking up her phone. She must be still at the parlour. Ashish’s father got a call following which there was a lot of commotion. Ashish’s mother almost collapsed. What the hell was going on, did something happen to Avanti?

“Beta, Avanti has eloped with her boyfriend!”

________________________________________________________________________________
Three weeks had passed. Ashish was back to Bangalore. To say that he was shocked was an understatement. How could she? He was so good to her… If she did not want to marry him, why did she talk to him, meet him, and agree for the Roka? She was playing with his feelings all this time. He was heartbroken and humiliated.

He had been wanting to contact her, but had restrained himself. But today as he saw her whatsapp DP, smiling as if nothing had happened, he could not hold himself back.

“You, bitch!” he typed and pressed send.

He kept waiting to see when the ticks would turn blue but she did not come online. He does not remember when he passed out, the drinks were too much.

Next day at work, there was a flash on his phone. Whatsapp message from Avanti:

“Mind your language, you idiot.
And FYI, I never promised to marry you!”

Ashish was fuming. Look at the nerve this woman had! Another notification came. What else does she want to say?

It was a message from Sanaya.

“You are such a loser! I deserve better.

Why there was nothing holy about this matrimony

This is a true story although names have been changed.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

How much is your budget? asked Mr. Prakash.

I can arrange for 4 wedding functions, expenditure on arrangements 30 lakh, additionally I would give jewelry to my daughter worth 15 lakhs, replied Mr. Kashyap.

Mr. Prakash: Okay. We are very liberal people. We don’t believe in dowry. We just want grand wedding functions. After all, we have some status in society.

Mr. Kashyap: Yes, ofcourse, it is our pleasure and pride.

Mr. Prakash: You could give 6-8 lakhs cash also, or a car. After all it is for your own daughter. We are not those dowry types. We don’t want anything….

This was the first meeting between Mr. Prakash, father of Akash and Mr. Kashyap, father of Kriya. Six months later, Akash and Kriya were married.

Akash and Kriya were the youngest in their family and had been spoilt badly. Kriya had to move cities and change jobs to join him but Akash and his family were brutally insensitive to the what she was going through. While Kriya was trying to transform herself to a good homemaker, and manage a new job in a new city, Akash was too oblivious to her struggles. He wanted a good looking, presentable, intellectually stimulating and earning partner (the exact opposite of what his mother) who should behave and treat him like his mother.

A man like Akash had never had a long- term relationship in life and was not capable of being in a marriage. But the advantage of arranged marriages is that everybody ends up getting married! Even people who would not even survive an entire date.

Akash was the youngest brother who at an age close to 30 was showered with money from his elder brothers and parents and in return he used to obey everything they said. Kriya practically got married to a 14 year old man-child. The wife of Akash was also expected to an obedient servant who would pay her salary to her in-laws for providing her services. Her mother in law could have been a caricature like the evil, exaggerated ones they show in television. But she was not fictional. She was very much real, and unfortunately the dictator of Kriya’s life.

Akash and Kriya never got along. Akash along with his parents and brothers abused her verbally throughout on her failure to be a the ideal bahu (doormat).

Kriya was not the subservient kinds and was vocal about what she felt was right. Akash who was initially verbally and emotionally abusive soon became physically abusive too. His family did not care about Kriya but they were afraid that Kriya and her family could file a case of dowry and domestic violence against them at any time.

The family thought of a plan. They went out of their way to send their useless, good for nothing Akash to do Masters in the US, hiding the plan from Kriya until the last minute. The first part of the two-fold plan was to leave Kriya all alone for a year and a half as a punishment. Second part was that if the couple gets settled in the US, Kriya who would have been miserable and alone for a year would become financially dependent, away from her family and friends’ support system and therefore would break down and be easily controlled.

Kriya asked for a mutual consent divorce immediately. She did not file any criminal cases because Akash and his family had threatened to prolong the divorce process. She did not take a penny of alimony. While she was taking this step, people warned her that marriages are made in heaven. Once she is married, no matter what she has to make things work out. There is no other option. And how will becoming a divorcee help her anyway? She thankfully did not listen to anyone and was strong with her decision.

Kriya is divorced now. She is happy after getting rid of the garbage from her life.

Kriya’s marriage was not made in heaven. It was made by a Mr. Kashyap and Mr. Prakash whose conversation started with “How much is your budget.” Mr. Prakash for whom his son was an investment, and his greed was a privilege he was not interested in forgoing. Mr. Kashyap was following tradition and was mentally prepared for this moment since 25 years ago when the doctor had announced “It’s a girl.”

Kriya got no alimony. Yes all the men who cry about women getting alimony, please increase your general knowledge. Hindu marriage act does not grant any automatic alimony. Cases have to be filed, and litigation goes on for years if there is no agreement between parties. A lot of women choose to walk out with zero alimony because they don’t want to prolong the litigation. They don’t care about money, and are just happy to get their life back.

Abusive men and their families can go to any extent and their life revolves around planning things to torture the victim and yet keep themselves secure legally. Please get out of such relationships immediately. It is not worth even though society may tell you that once married, you should “adjust”. You can choose to remarry or stay single, your choice. But why let yourself be treated this way and put up with such horrible people who don’t deserve you?

Self-love is the most underrated love. We are never taught about it. It is something we learn when we live with people who are beneath humanity. We may not punish them legally. We don’t know if karma works or if God will ever punish them. But what we can do, is not punish ourselves.