How should a devotee wife live with the people who do not respect her?
A woman devotee(Name hidden) asked like this:
“Hare Krishna Prabhuji. Please hide my details if posting this on the site. I’m typing a very long message please forgive me for that. Prabhuji whatever I’m typing is my personal life problem but I know you are the messenger of Krishna so only you can help me when all the doors are closed to me. 4 years ago I got married. It was an arrange marriage. within one month everything was arranged. Before marriage I and my husband met once and then marriage happened. Before the marriage there was no demand of dowry from my husband side and he happily agrees of continuing my job after marriage. But after marriage everything was changed. My husband family says that giving dowry is a tradition and if the boy don’t demand also the girl’s family had to provide it. They told me that they got ashamed in front of their relatives and now because of which my husband don’t accept me as a wife. We live together in same house for years but like a Stranger. Afterwards my father gave all the thing which was demanded as dowry but still my husband not ready to accept me as a wife. We don’t have any relation. My husband says that I’m ugly, not good looking, I’m not the way he want his wife to be and he doesn’t like me. He will never accept me as his wife in future too. He is not ready to give divorce to me even because I look after and take care of his old mother. I bath his mother, wear clothes, comb her hair, give her oil massage daily and even clean her urine and stool. I manage to follow all my duties as a wife. I left my job because of this. I do all the household work , take care of his house, his parents and other family members, cook food thinking that one day all this will change my husband’s mind and heart but in vein. I was Vaishnava before marriage but my in-laws are ‘Shaviya’, so I happily worshiped both Shiv and Krishna. Initially I managed to cook food without onion and garlic but my in-laws don’t like it so I stopped. Now I only offer milk and fruits to Krishna. I’m not allowed to go anywhere, not getting to read bhagwath too. But I manage to keep ekadashi and chant mahamantra but only one round that too with many difficulties. My husband and his family don’t like my worshipping to Krishna. Prabhuji after my marriage also I m dependent on my for financial help and need. My husband provides me 3 times meal and shelter. All my savings I spent on my husband’s family members for buying gift to them. I thought at least they will be happy with me and they will try to help me out but this step is also of no use. Everybody goes out for weekend and holidays with my husband, even he buys gifts for them but not a single member of the family feel pity on me and bothers for me that there lives a human being at home too. Prabhuji I don’t believe in divorce as in Hindu there is no mantra for breaking a marriage and just signing on paper will never break a marriage. I still believe that situation will change one day. Prabhuji what should I do now after years nothing had changed only I’m changed. I’m getting frustrated. I started behaving like them. I’m giving back answer to them which I don’t like at all because I know my Krishna is getting hurt for my such behavior. Sometimes I blame my Krishna for all this which I don’t like at all. I don’t know why I had started behaving like this. Sometimes I feel like fighting for my rights but sometimes I feel what use of it is? Please provide a solution for this what should I do? Whether I should keep quiet and wait for the things to change or fight for rights or other step like suicide. Please help.”
Your long message shows that the husband and his family are dominated with ego and they are taking advantage of you being a wife and in law.
They got all the dowry and things but still not satisfied. They get your services like a servant, but, not giving due respect to you.
This is a clear case of silent domestic violence without physical violence.
In this situation, I can advice for separation, but, you have written that you don’t like to part them.
So, you need to consider the positive aspects in this relation keeping your unwillingness to part them:
(1) You have a shelter and food. This is the basic requirement for everyone. So, you need to satisfy yourself with this.
(2) You need to bear the pains of service to others since taking care of elderly people in husband’s house is also a duty for a wife. The problem for you is that others may not share your load of work. If you bear this, you can run the days performing your duty as a duty for an elderly person.
(3) Ill treated by in laws and husband without getting satisfied with your dowry and other things can be borne by you until they do not go for physical violence. Just hear their words through an ear and let them pass through the other ear. Only if you take them serious, their words will affect you.
(4) Usually, such ill treatments will come down once the children grow in age and your husband and in laws advance in age. So, wait patiently for the peaceful life or less problematic life in future.
(5) Already, you have spent four years with them and have learnt to live in such an atmosphere. So, continue it patiently.
(6) As far as no relations with the husband is concerned, both of you should freely talk and discuss frankly. Do not load the talks about the responsibities you have. Just speak with care on his career and health and the need for a child for the family. To achieve this, try to make cordial relations with a senior in law and request her/ him to talk to your husband about this matter of having a child.
(7) In case it is not possible, take your husband to a counsellor and get him counselled. To take him there, you need to create a cordial atmosphere between you and your husband.
(8) Not having relations with wife is also a kind of violence and refusal of her rights. Since you like to remain there, you need to achieve this through frank discussion and involvement of seniors.
(9) Stop responding to their accusing words that may strain the relations further and may not give space for cordiality in future. Learn to bear their words and allow them through another ear. No other way.
(10) Suicide is a blunder and it will give a ghost body that is 100 times more torturous than the present situation. So, never do that and lead your life chanting and reading about Krishna. You can do atleast your devotion to Krishna from that house that will reduce your pains in due course of time and give the mercy of Krishna in this life. Also pray to Krishna to extend peace for you. So, forget about these pains and get peace in reading about Krishna and chanting. You can go near to Krishna faster when your personal life is not that much healthy. If you enjoy all comforts, you can’t think of Krishna. So, consider this as an opportunity to think of Krishna and live for Krishna in this life. Life after suicide will be without shelter, food, water, etc., and you will have live a starving life hanging on the walls of the buildings. This is horrible. So, such words like SUICIDE should not come from the mouth of anyone who is intelligent.
Hope this helps you. Let Krishna relieves your pains as early as possible.