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Losing myself after marriage- due to restrictions from in- laws

Community Member
I got married a couple of years back and ever since I have never felt the same way I used to feel when I was unmarried. I live with my parents-in laws. Due to the Indian culture, we are expected to stay with parents to help them in their old age. See I would not have a problem with that only if they were not so controlling. I am expected to dress a certain way, can not wear dresses (show my legs), I cannot cut or open my hair (I used to love my hair open, I felt so confident and free). I feel guilty every time I leave the house in a pony tail/ braid and open it up afterwards when I am out of their sight. I feel so trapped in this family/ house. I am expected to behave a certain way, boys get more lee-way, girls can not do certain things boys can do. My husband is supportive however, at the end of the day he is their son as well. I am beginning to regret this marriage and this kills me because I do love my husband very much. I just wish I had control of my own life and the decisions I make. I want to wake up whenever I want to wake up, I want to leave my bed unmade, I want to eat whatever I want to eat, I want to dress the way I used to dress, I want to leave my hair open at home, I want to lay on the couch for hours and not feel guilty. I feel like a child in this house, who's life has been taken over. I have absolutely no freedom of my own thoughts, speech, choices. I want to leave the house but my husband does not want to leave his parents. I feel so stupid, my husband had warned me his parents were a bit old-fashioned, I never gave it a second thought I was so lost in love, I left my family, friends, country only to feel so stuck in this marriage a few years later. I just want to. be. free. I don't know what to do. Please help.
3 Replies 3

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Priya C

I'll start by referring to Quirky and my posts to you in your previous thread:

Forums / Relationship and family issues / I feel stuck in my marriage, want to divorce my husband because of in-laws.

From the sound of it there seems to be an impasse, your husband wants to stay, you need to go, or at least have living conditions radically changed. simply being told that the in-laws were 'old fashioned' does not fairly set out the implications to someone without experience.

I have a fear that in time you will come to resent your husband as his priorities seem to put you last.

The only two options that come to mind are either leave, which would be sad, or both of you live elsewhere, but close enough to keep an eye on the in-laws.

Perhaps if you were to take a holiday back to your family it might help bring home the gravity of the situation to all concerned - do you think that might be possible?


Community Member

Hi Priya,

I feel for you. Your situation sucks. What I would be setting are boundaries. You are not beholden to them, only your husband. And I think you need to stand up for yourself and make this clear to your in-laws. If you don’t feel like you could, discuss it with your husband and consider moving out/looking for houses near your in-laws. Every relationship needs healthy boundaries, and it’s up to you to set it, or it will be set by others for you. Hope this helps, wish you the very best in feeling yourself again.

Jellicle Cat x

Community Member

Hi there. This happens in other countries too. I've met conservative European and Middle eastern people.

When you meet your in-laws you can do things differently and when you are by yourself, you can do things your way. Is this a possibility? Can you work this out with your husband? I wish you all the best in your married life.