“When a boy and a girl decide to get married, they don’t just marry each other. They marry one another’s family also”. The moment these words left my father in laws mouth he did not leave me speechless, he left me filled with remorse and panic.
What had I managed to get myself into. This was definitely not part of the deal when my husband and I were married. In fact I remember quite clearly our marriage vows:
[Groom’s name], do you take [Bride’s name] to be your wedded wife, to live together in marriage? Do you promise to love her, comfort her, honor and keep her for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, and forsaking all others, be faithful only to her, for as long as you both shall live?
Surely “forsaking all others” is not merely limited to adultery. Personally I feel it encompasses all those outside of the marriage, including family and friends as well. To me marriage is intended to unite two individuals shifting one another’s loyalties to their partners, rather than their parents.
When my father in law has a point to make there is absolutely no possibility of a civil conversation. He yells and speaks over you cutting you off any time you try to get your point across.
He made himself quite clear. He said that because of my husband’s culture that I have no choice but to accept his beliefs, regardless of what my cultural beliefs are.
I retreated to the kitchen. There was no point in trying to argue with a person who couldn’t care less about my perspective. Besides, there were four young children present, witnessing me being abused by this hysterical old man. Their young minds should not have to try make sense of what was going on.
It’s embarrassing to be abused in front of children. It’s harder still when those children are your own. No child ever wants to see the the woman who gave birth to them being hurt. And a child, no matter how young, can always understand when their mother is being tormented and harassed.
My husband followed me into the kitchen. I steadied myself on the kitchen bench top as though the words I was about to say to him were going to leave my mouth with such force that they would send me flying backwards.
“I want a divorce” left my lips with complete control. “If I am expected to include your parents in our marriage, then I need a divorce”.
He assured me that I do not have to obey his father’s demands. And promised that the situation was going to get better. I really wanted to believe that, even though I know it isn’t very likely.
I believe the problem is in each individuals concept of marriage. It doesn’t really matter what our ideal of marriage is, just as long as it matches with our partner’s ideal so that you both have a understanding and respect for each others expectations.
When I married my husband, “forsaking all others” included my parents. Of course I love and care for them deeply, however my loyalties shifted from them, to my husband. Which is something that my parents respect and support.
I never would have thought that I would be at war with my in laws over my husband’s loyalty.
Posted by someonesmother, 19th February 2014