Can a wife refuse to spare her earnings for husband’s family?
A woman follower asked like this (Name hidden):
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Please hide my details. My story is long but i will try to cut this short. It is easy to fight someone verbally or if they do unkind things. But in my case my husband and his parents are very manipulative. They will be so nice on your face and will make sure you do things the way they want only later you will realize that they used you. Continously playing mind games. This is my husband’s second marriage and mine first. I got married to him and came to US. When we got married they never demanded for anything but they did not even spend a single penny in the marriage. Extremely miser family, they arrived at the marriage like guest. According to them guys side do not contribute for marriage expense. Secondly after marriage my husband started taking account of my assets, i refused to give him much information. When i moved to US through my company, he demanded to have his name on my salary account, i refused that. Since that day everything changed. His behavior changed, according to his mother a marriage can work only when the finances are combined and i don’t believe that. He treated me like a servant for a year. He was disrespectful to my family. Since my mother wears hearing aid, he would call her deaf. That stopped after i had to fight back. My father passed away long back, so it is only my sister and my mother in my family. According to him now my mother is not my responsibility, and now his family is my responsibility and since his mom is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis i should be completely in her service. He has disrespected my mom several times and his mother has supported him instead of teaching him the right things. They buy lottery tickets with the hope of becoming rich instantly. They try luck in casinos hoping to earn a jackpot. very very greedy about money. There are several instances where i have considered them my own family and he and his parents have done and said things that were totally disrespectful. His mother has also checked my bags, the next day my husband asked me where is all the gold your mother gave you and i told him it is none of his business. His parents have made several statements indirectly to tell me how a girl should be given money, gold during marriage, how indian men dont do house work, it is womens responsibility and if it is written in my destiny to serve his mother then thats what i will be doing all my life. When i question the intent of their statements, i am told it was said in a positive way but i am a very negative person and i have emotional problems since my dad passed away early on and then i also have adjustment disorder. All this has been blamed on me. I left the house for 1.5 months because i could not stand this negativity any more. Most of the time his mother would make my husband say things to me .. convey message to me and i know that these words cannot be my husband’s. I feel they are hiding something from me, they are a well to do family but still they are mentally harassing me for money. And an important note, my husband earned more than me but still the demand was that because i got married and came to the US because of him, i should be contributing money towards the house expenses. I don’t get this, is marriage all about money? at least i felt it is for this family. Now his parents are planning to move permanently to the US. Should i stay or leave this person. because i know there will be another series of negativity thrown at me. Did i do the right thing by leaving this house? I felt bad but there was a constant mental fight and draining of my energy, i chanted hare krishna on my beads and asked krishna for directions, the only way i could see would give this family a strong message is by leaving the house. also please note: i have never said a disrespectful word to his parents but i did tell my husband later how they made me feel which of course he denied saying i am very negative. I feel he got married to me one for the money and second to serve his mother. My husband is a complete mumma boy, he sees the world through her eyes only. His family portrays such a lovely image to the world that no one will ever know what’s going on the inside. I was told he divorced his first wife as she disrespected his mother, he paid her approx 25k dollars to settle the divorce. And my husband tells me he cannot and will never divorce me as then he will have to pay me so if i want to leave i can mutually sign papers and go. What should i do?
I need to be very balanced in replying this question that has many dimensions to consider. You may be worried to read a few lines of my suggestions, but, it is inevitable.
The marriage means, mixing everything – boy and girl, boy’s family and girl’s family, boy’s rights and girl’s rights, boy’s earnings and girl’s earnings.
This is the real expectations in a marriage. Let me explain how.
As per Indian tradition, when a girl marries a boy, she belongs to the generation of the husband. She can visit the family of her parents, take part in all goods and bads in that family. She can get the share of assets from her parents after their demise. But, she is the member of husband’s family now. She comes from her house to the parents’ house and help them. In case her parents have no care takers, she should take care of them in their old age as declared by the Indian Supreme Court.
However, she must do these things as a member of her husband’s family.
As per Indian tradition, a girl is given as Kanniha dhaan (gift) to a boy. She becomes the sole right of that husband. Even her parents can’t have rights in her until the husband is keeping his wife with dignity with full rights. When the girl is in any threat in her husband’s house, her parents can involve and get her back to save her. Though this is bitter for some to hear, it is the reality.
This system worked normally until the girls starting to go to jobs. Now a days, they too are earning. So, they have financial independence. Hence such problems occur in many families.
But, since the girl becomes the important member of husband’s family as the co-runner of that family, all she holds are meant for their husband’s family also. Both the husband and wife should not have the claims of the other’s belongings, but, the wife and husband should naturally share their resources and run their family. This is the logic.
However, as per the Supreme Court’s judgement and also as the basic humanity, a husband is entitled to take care of the parents of the wife in their inability and old age.
No courts have said that the wife should not give her earnings to her husband or his family members. Because, it is the basic expectation as a husband and wife.
When a boy accepts a wife, he MUST protect her with the dignity till she dies. Even if the husband dies, his family members will take care of her. So, the welfare of wife rests with the husband and his family.
If a girl is a house wife, she spares her full attention for her husband’s family. When she goes to the job and earn, the husband sacrifices his time and services of his wife for the sake of additional earning through wife. Since he too cooperates with her to go to the job and earn, the wife is expected to spare her earnings for the husband and his family.
At the same time, whenever her parents or brothers are seriously in need of money, the wife can help her parents after discussing with her husband. A normal husband who is in resonance with his wife will agree for that. Even in my family, my sisters have supported for the marriages of their younger sisters, with the permission of their husbands. They happily agreed for that.
This is the tradition backed by humanity.
In your case, there are problems in both your side and his side, I think.
You and he have been happy until he demands your salary. That means, he is not a rascal to waste your earnings. He may like to use your earning for YOUR family with husband and his parents. But, you do not like to spare your earnings to the husband. In general terms, no husband will accept such a decision and their basic understanding itself will come to a disputed state. If a wife refuses to spare her earnings for husband, he will refuse to cooperate with her to go to the job instead of taking care of the family. Isn’t it? Why should he send you to the job if he does not get even a single dollar of benefits? He will think like this that is understandable from his side as a husband who is responsible for your welfare.
Totally refusing to spare your earnings to husband is wrong on your side. You could have done one thing. You and he could have discussed about how to use your earnings. You could have come to a decision of saving a certain part for your children, some portion to the EMIs, some portion to the running of family. For doing this, you and your husband could have opened a joint account in a bank and deposit the amount. Both of you could have decided to use those funds only for useful expenditure. You could have convinced him that he should support if you make any monetary assistance to your parents.
All these things should be done THROUGH MUTUAL AND CORDIAL DISCUSSSIONS ONLY. Speaking the rights or rules will not help in the smooth running of family. If you have separate bank account for savings alone with the consent of husband and save a PART of your earning for your family’s future, that can be understood.
On their part, they (husband and his parents) have been normal till this issue arose. When you refused to spare your salary, they changed your image and ill treated you as done by normal parents seen everywhere. They should have convinced you treating you as their daughter and make you understand the reality of the life as a husband and wife. They did not do that, it seems.
So, unless you and your husband sit and discuss about how to use your earnings, this issue will not end amicably. If you still refuse to spare your earnings and if you do not need a husband at all, you can proceed with the separation process. But, it can be solved through frank discussions keeping both your and husband’s hearts wide. Are you ready to do this?
A wife is expected to support her husband’s family even financially if she is allowed to go to the job. This is the system. If you can spare atleast a part of your earnings for them, this issue will end amicably.
I suggest you to give up your ego and make a try with a frank discussion.
This has to be decided by you.
Hope this gives some light to you. All the best.