6 Things You Can Do When Your Husband Chooses Family Over You
By: Kratika Tue, 24 Jan 2023 3:59:22
This is a reality many married women face in India. You could be living with your husband’s family or you could be living in a separate residence but when your husband chooses his family over you then it’s a constant battle that you have to keep fighting in your life. In Indian families, the son is expected to prioritize his parents and siblings even after he is married and has his own family. So most often what happens is the husband keeps fulfilling the financial and psychological needs of his family and the wife and his own children are often asked to compromise.
In many cases, it has also happened that a husband has relocated his entire family abroad because his parents wanted him to stay near them. As his wife, you could have been devastated by this decision but your husband chooses his family over you and tells you, looking after his family is his duty and you have to accept that since you are married to him. But instead of festering and fighting with him, you could think of taking some steps so that he could balance his own family and your aspirations as well.
# Accept your husband’s strong relationship with his mom
They could be working or they could be homemakers but it is a fact that the Indian mothers’ life revolves around children. Unlike when in the UK or US where mothers often stop to have a drink after work before heading home, you would always see an Indian mom rushing home from work to help her child with homework or toss up delicacies for them. And as well all know, Indian mothers do not let go of their sons even after marriage.
# Chalk out travel plans
It could be that your in-laws and his siblings are always included in your family travel plans. This could get really annoying because this is one of the tell-tale signs your husband puts his family first. Besides having a family holiday does not mean having the elderly with you all the time. And for them, you have been giving that zip-lining and bungee jumping holidays a miss. But what to do if your mother-in-law tags along everywhere?
Tell your husband that if you are traveling twice a year let one be with his family and the other one be with his wife and kids. You can work on a budget accordingly and make a list of the activities you would want to do. Tell your husband to ask his parents to choose one destination and the second holiday destination will be your choice. You will not get to crib then that your husband chooses his family over you and he will be satisfied by doing his bit for his side of the family.
# Work out a budget
If you see that most of your husband’s income is given away to his parents for the upkeep of their home and you are left struggling with the finances at the end of the month, then it becomes really frustrating. What to do when your husband is too attached to his family and considers it his responsibility to fulfill their needs and desires?
Sit with your husband and work out a budget as to how much should go to your husband’s family and how much should be kept for your own. Tell him while you will ensure that you are not overshooting the budget, he has to ensure his parents are doing the same. That way your husband does not get to choose his family over you.
# In case of emergencies
Has your husband been constantly visiting his cousin in the hospital after work because she is recovering from an accident? And you are struggling with your children’s studies and could do with some help from him in Maths. Or does he rush to help his little sister with every little crisis she may have, leaving you grappling with the feeling “my husband always chooses his sister over me”.
Make him sit down and explain to him that while it’s wonderful that he feels that his cousin needs him in the hospital and he visits her every day or that he’s there for his sister but he could also feel for his son and help him out with Maths. So it could be an alternative day arrangement. One day he visits the hospital, the other day Maths with a son.
# Cut down on relative visits
Does your home feel like a Dharamsala where relatives walk in without even calling and expect you to leave everything and make tea and snacks for them the moment they show their face? This is a reality in many homes in India and wives are expected to entertain relatives because the husband is choosing his family over his wife. Most of the time he is not realizing the pressures he is putting on his wife by having an entourage of relatives always at home.
Tell him to have the weekends for such visits. If you are living with the in-laws you cannot really restrict relative visits because the elderly people are usually free to entertain guests. Then make it very clear to your relatives without being rude that you have work to do when they are dropping in so if you remain confined to your room, they should not hold it against you. Create your own boundaries, your husband will start realizing what is possible and what is not possible.
# Work on some ‘me’ time
If you are living with your in-laws, it might happen that your husband comes back home and heads straight to his parents’ room and comes out of there only after an hour or two? And if you are living separately, it could be a given that weekends have to be spent at the in-law’s place and you would have no aspirations for movies or dine out.
Perhaps, whatever free time he does get between work and other responsibilities, he spends it hanging out with his friends. You are not entirely wrong, if you’re convinced, “My husband puts his friends and family before me.” Tell your husband that you have no issues visiting your in-laws but if it could be made an alternative week affair then as a couple you could have some me-time.