This is why I don't "BOND" with my husbands' family
21 Oct 2017
The worst impact on me was the time I was expected to "Bond" with my husband's family especially in presence of my husband.
The discussion was never about how my life was, how my work went. Forget that it was not even about my husband's work. It was always about a pre-agenda to make us feel awkward and uncomfortable or speak out their own insecurities.
So discussion would always start with "Oh so you guys went out for dinner".
Where did you go? If I would say just nearby...Then the response would be Ohh then what took you so long? Did you go somewhere else too?". Then husband would interject saying that ohh no where, we just strolled sometimes in the market. It would have been glad and fine if the discussion ended there.
But no, next thing to follow was "We were waiting for you. We too exist... Not just you son, but you too Mohini, we need you". Now that is what I call manipulative. We work all day and even on weekends, we keep busy at home.
This dinner date come in like one month and we did not have to feel guilty about it. But now we do.
Next, the topic moves to children. It suddenly comes to me "When are you planning Mohini. You must plan now. You know how this is our last desire". I want to say back that I have desires from my own self and why corner me, why not ask your son too?
He is equally responsible for having or not having kids, for wanting or not wanting kids.
And so I say "mummy ask VISHAL".
Even before he says anything, mummy jumps the gun saying "He is only following you beta. Your career will get affected according to you hence he is just doing this for happiness otherwise Vishal loves kids. He bonds so well with kids. Poor Vishal, he is waiting for you to get ready".
Vishal says "No mom it is not like that. We are not ready yet"
Mom intervenes "Leave it, I know how you feel inside. I am your mother. I know what you want" and bam there goes the entire argument down the dump.
But no one sees how humiliated, singled out and selfish I am made to feel in that one sentence. And before I can even get upset with what was just discussed, another disparaging topic comes up.
The sister in law brings in a discussion, how grand parents love is the key. Now a days children don't love their mothers. Since they have no time for the kids. It all falls back on grand parents. A woman must take a break and raise her child on her own. She should not bother her grand parents.
I could not control. So I had to barge in the hypocrisy. To this I said "Isn't it that grand parents have wishes for kids. If parents or if the woman wants to have career, why force her to have kids and then make her forcibly quit her work too especially when she is not ready?".
With no valid argument, she says but women have to have kids in time or else they regret this later.
Well my head already spinning, I just want the bonding to end because it feels more like binding session. But not yet, its not over.
The next mother in law asks "Why did you contribiute 10K less to household this time"
Vishal flusters and responds "Mom, I had some personal work. I will contribute 20k extra next time"
She asks "What personal? Your home and your home's needs are not personal for you any more"
Sister in law says "Well, mom, no married man considers his whole home as personal". Don't you know what Geetanjali did?
Amidst all these, I am wondering now who is this "imaginary Geetika" and what she did that ensures my husband and I feel guilty?
She adds "Geetanjali took Arjun away from his mother. Poor mother is without money and her son"
To this mom in law adds "Ohh no Arjun was a very good boy. He must have been forced to do so. Such are women these days. They seperate the families.
I again could not resist interjecting while I saw Vishal trying to look too hard int the TV so as to hide his "guilt" or having to speak anything.
I said "That is wrong. Is Arjun a baby? He must be a grown adult. If he moved out and if he wants to spend on his wife and kids, thats his choice. Right or wrong, the blame lies with him. Geetanjali at best could only be an influencer.
Sister in law says, you don't know. She used to cry after the child birth. Whole day seeking sympathy. She would lock herself and even threaten to kill. Such a Drama!
I got furious and I retorted saying "this sounds more like post pregnancy depression than anything else.
Mom in law says "Depression never happened in our generation. This is all a creation of these young women to seek sympathy"
And I see Vishal ignoring this all the while. So these two women hate their own gender so much that they see everything wrong in them?
And then as the discussion I thought was over, mom in law goes back to Vishal.
Where did the money go?I am just asking. I know its your money and I may not have the right to know.
Vishal feeling horribly guilty and cornered says "not at all mom. I bought a mac for Mohini"
Sister in law's face turns red "But mac doesn't come in 10k"
Yes , I had savings. Said my Husband
My mom in law, now completely unable to handle it diplomatically or get imaginary stories of friends, says "well this is first my money. Maa ka pehla haq hota hai. Even if you had to buy, you could have asked me. Mohini is just like jyoti"
Sis in law jumps and says "Yes even if you wanted to buy it for me, I wouldn't have hide it from mom. That is wrong"
I wanted to cry and scream and yell and say , GOD DAMN, I am his wife. His earnings and my earnings are each other's first. We need not seek permission.
I just wanted one of the many "interrogating" sessions to end as I could not tolerate the manipulation any more, the feeling of making guilty any more and Vishal's indifference to the non sense anymore.
Such bonding distraught the complete meaning of what family time means. Who can feel like a family in this environment?
As a couple if you are made to almost feel apolgetic for spending time together or money on each other or if there is a direct question raised to your choice for child or work, how can you enjoy and feel happy living in such an environment?
I was so choked with this that I started remaining inside my room. But then that meant fights between me and my husband and more manipulation.
I had started feeling choked.
My time at home used to make me so angry and hopeless that my time at work too went around thinking the same shit and also fearing for evening time in that house.
I was not able to manage my own boundaries. The sister in law and mother in law had intruded my rational thinking and become more part of my being than my life and my work. It was then when I started IWill therapy as I had seen myself breaking down in hopelessness and anger.
I am loving it. I am being assertive, confident and a person who cares less about what others think of me. I still give but I don't expect and that is liberating.
If your bonding sessions are like the one I described above, better have therapy sessions and protect your sanity. You work and you have a life ahead of you. Don't let yourself burn out and don't allow this to mess up your life and your couple life.
When I spoke openly and honestly about this to Vishal, he too opened up that he finds the home environment toxic now and it was never so gossipy and finger pointing when he was growing up.
He seemed to like when we bond with friends and even my parents.... I am not feeding him anything. Its his honest observation and he is sensing it.
Families give security and family time means fun, laughter and shared joy. Until some in-laws keep it competitive, everything will remain unsettled and unhappy. PERIOD
Asta La vista