Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Killing Dreams - Is this an abuse too?

I wanted to write a post on women violence and incidents I've heard off but then I got to know about a colleague yesterday afternoon which got me thinking on these lines - do read below and let me know what you all think too...

I have a young colleague - she's about 23/24 and she has been working for about 3 years now. An only daughter with 2 brothers she is well educated,pampered and given wings to fly... She has built dreams to be a career woman - sees herself where she wants to be 10 years from now - be her own person and in a top position in an organisation, dreams of giving her parents the best health care available, buy her own home her own car... All dreams that any self confident person would think of. She has slowly and surely built confidence in her abilities with the higher management, has been vocal about wanting to travel for long term onsite assignments and her VISA processing had begun when I first met her about 6 months back.Infact, when I first met her - that was what I really appreciated - here was a girl who knew where she was, where she wanted to go - what she wanted from her life and was working really hard to get there.

Today, she is crying - her dreams and aspirations are all but gone down the drain...Why? Here is the story:

About 5 months back, she announced that she was engaged to be married in July. When we asked her about what happened to her dreams of onsite assignment she said everyone was aware of it and had 'agreed' to her pursuing that dream even after marriage. Everyone - her parents, her in-laws and her fiance'. She was sooo happy that her plans were appreciated. Initially she had even refused to get married until her onsite assignment was completed. But then like all parents of girls there was some emotional drama and push for her to consider marriage and her parents promised that they would keep the other party informed about her onsite opportunity. And on their part - they had. The would-be MIL and the fiance' were all for it. They agreed that he would get married and go back to the US where he worked while she stayed here until the VISA processing got completed, would go onsite (Canada) and they would visit often until she could move permanently to US once her onsite assignment was done - which would be another year at most...

The wedding happened, she got a dependent Visa, and he went back, she continued to be here and commute between here and her in-laws/parents places over the weekends. Her Canadian VISA and work permit came too about a couple of weeks back and then the troubles began.

As it stands today, her MIL did not want her to go onsite on work. She wanted her to join the son immediately and start their 'married-life' from now. The fiance turned husband she was so confident about now says do whatever my mom tells you - come and start life with me here - I want you here... Her own parents say - do whatever the MIL and husband say - your married life is more important than your career... Quit and join your husband. Its good for you...

It would've probably been easy to join the husband for someone like me - really - because I'm not really so career oriented - I do the best I can at work... but for that girl - her career is her dream, her identity, her passion - so she is having a hard time now...She has tried convincing her husband that it will work out - its a matter of 1 more year.. their bond of marriage is yet to start and its a matter of time before they are together... but it doesn't seem to be working...

Here are my thoughts:
1. The same dreams and aspirations - if it were the man - would've been appreciated and all support given to him - so why should this girl's dreams be crushed now?
2. If this is what they wanted - why didn't they make it clear on day 1? She would've refused the proposal (she had before for the same reasons) and not gotten into this mess...
3. Who is to be blamed here? I'm a nobody to ask where it all started - but where ever it all started - shouldn't the husband and her parents who had made promises support her desire to go onsite? She is not doing anything wrong - is she? Why don't they consider the heartache they are causing this girl by changing  their decision now?
4. Why should that girl's decision be changed and manipulated now by other's desires and decisions?
5. Would the husband quit and join her where ever she is? - Why not? Why should she be the one compromising?
6.She has worked hard and fought harder to get this opportunity - now after everything is set and she is due to travel in a couple of weeks, if she backs-off - what happens to her impression and good-will in the office? Will she not loose face big-time?
7. Now what is the girl to do - kill her own dreams of a good career,quit and join the husband? What of her own life then? Someone else said - if she compromises now, she will always have it on her mind for the rest of her life- and I agree - its a shattered dream...

How many men have followed their dreams of travelling and either left their wife and kids here or the whole family has shifted along with the men - to fulfil the man's dream? The woman quits her job and follows the man to take care of him/his kids and family...

How many men have you seen doing it for their wife? Again and again and again - the woman in the relationship has to "let go" and compromise...

I'm not angry, I'm just very sad. Sad for the situation that girl is today and no matter what she decides she has to go through a lot of heartache...  


  1. I blog hopped from RM's. You write very well and make things really interesting.
    I sometimes wonder why it is girls who have to compromise. I am thinking of doing a post on similar lines. Will invite you once i do the post.

  2. Thats so sad rey RS...I dont have answers to your Qs I seriously dont :( its so depressing to even read this

  3. What a sad way to start a marriage. I could understand the husband persuading her to come right away because he misses her but 'listen to my mother' would have had me seeing red. I suppose she will feel obliged to give in because she can't walk out on her marriage before it's even started but I would say very clearly to my husband - and I don't think anyone else need to be involved in this conversation - "You have shown me that you don't care for my aspirations or respect me enough to keep your promises to me. I am going to resent you for this for the rest of our life together so you better be prepared for that."

  4. @Sumana-Thank you for visiting here :-) And I am just hopping onto your space now...

    @RM - I have no answers rey and I can only wish her all the best... :-( Sad...

    @Bride - Yes!The trust and the confidence in the partner is broken even before it is established-no matter what decision she takes she can never trust her partner 100% now... and that disheartens me...

  5. This is sad. I have seen similar incidents. Shockingly I have seen people telling a dozen of lies before marriage (even about their edu qualification). Why cant they find a girl(or boy) according to their 'needs'. Why do they have to give false hopes?

    I have seen people who say "Let the marriage happen then everything will be under our control, till then lets just nod our heads"

    Its really scary to marry a stranger.

  6. It doesn't make me sad just like we are banging our collective heads on a nice thick immovable wall

  7. Congrats on winning IHM's blog contest :) :)

  8. I have to write a whole post to answer your questions!

    But thats quite sad, what happened to her. Do you know what she decided to do?

  9. A big hug to your friend/colleague, RS!

    It is really really sad and worrying that such people are 'educated' enough to make others' (that too, wife's) life miserable. Like you said, the bigger question is why did they accept initially and later back-trot on their commitments.

  10. That is so so sad, indeed. The saddest thing is that so many women have the same story. Promises of 'allowing' them to continue their education, conveniently forgotten once the wedding is over.. And some people even have the cheek to say things like, 'Oh she will be fine once she has a baby'.

    It is so sad to hear how a woman's dreams have no value at all - if it is not based around her 'family' or their wishes.. How does the husband expect her to just give up everything she wanted - especially when he was aware of her wishes - in the first place.

  11. I know a certain SRK who did it. It was very brave and selfless of him to do that. I admire him for that. Pls convey this msg to him.

  12. Which ever way this goes there will be hurt feelings for sure now. If she goes to the US to be with her husband she will forever have a 'what if' in her mind. And if she does not and go to Canada instead she will have stepped on the ego of her in-laws and husband.

    Such a sad situation :|

  13. @Summerscript: Thanks! Thats the point-if they had told her initially she would've backed off first only na...Now they've broken that resolve also.

    @CR - Waiting for your post. And I am not that close to ask her what she has decided. I will jsut wait and watch.. :-(

    @S&S - Yeah, why did they agree in the first place then :-( thats the worst part.Knowing her dreams and trying to kill it now.

    @smitha - I agree, everything for the woman has to be 'allowed' - even if she goes onsite now it will be like "Oh! we ALLOWED her to go"-like they are such wonderful in-laws. Bah!

    @Comfy - Yes, what ever happens now, its not going to be a 100% happy situation-she will be losing something either way...

    @NR - :-D And I respect the SRK more for that - That is what is a perfect partnership-isnt it?I will ensure he reads this comment :-)

  14. I wanna write - 'A certain KB also did it :( ' .. but she had no choice of course... Anyways, I think in this age, to ask his newly married wife to blindly follow what MIL says is silly.. and it speaks a lot about the kind of guy.. sigh...

  15. 'Compromise' is usually the unspoken and understood part of the deal called 'marriage'. The dreams and ambitions have to be kept aside or else the girl doesn't fit in the picture of the 'ideal bahu'.

    Thanks for this post, RS. It raised the 'not so obvious' aspect of abuse that a woman faces.

  16. @Kaavya-For a certain KB - it was something she WANTED to do - not FORCED to do... And that makes a lot of difference in the marriage partnership...Giving it up willingly when your priorities are with your family is different from being forced to give up a long standing dream of a career without even knowing if she will ever get a chance for a career... :-(

  17. (Can you please put the badge code for VAWAM on this post! You can download it from our blog)

  18. I can completely empathise with this young lady.

    I was still completing my education when I got married, and it was agreed that I would. My in-laws and husband (arranged marriage) were from another town. After marriage, I stayed back at my parents' place. When I did finally go to stay in my marital home, I was actively discouraged from working. My husband never left a single opportunity to taunt me with his belief that I did not leave my education to move into their house because I did not want to, infact, he believed that I was interested in oher men. In fact I was told that if I worked outside I would have affairs. He looked at any interaction that I had with any other man very suspiciously.

    Sorry for offloading.

  19. vawawareness - Thank you for acknowledging that this is an issue too. Have put up the badge.

    @ anon - Im so sorry that your dreams are not acknowledged :-( I have another friend of mine like that too...

  20. RS - there is no doubt that this is abuse too.. an abuse of trust. After you tie the knot the marriage equation becomes so strong for the guy and his parents - our society treats it so. Some of my thoughts on such marriages where a girl is forced to destroy her dreams and stay at http://goingagainstthetide.blogspot.com/2011/11/making-sense-of-society-approved.html