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I am in a Toxic marriage with a dim future


India198
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I am a British Indian and married to a Indian girl for the last 7 years. It was a arranged marriage and in the last 7 years we've had a turmoil relationship. She doesn't agree with my feelings towards my parents and sister. She is self confessed selfish, always thinking about the pennies in the bank and of her well being. My parents have always tried to make her feel like their own daughter but because my sister exists, she has never been able to overcome her existence? I am stuck in the middle trying to create a harmony between both the parties but so far been failing. The issues we had in the first year of our marriage has always lingered been us no matter how hard I try to resolve it. She has no responsibilities towards my parents, they are self sufficient in their own way. She loves making new friends and somehow trusts them more than both me or my family. I think the main reason for this is because she feels free of life burdens around them. I try my best to facilitate all her needs and what not but she still feels unsatisfied? I think am coming to a point where I need to make a decision whether to get external help like couple therapy or divorce to keep us both sane :(. We have been to a couple therapy in the 4th year of marriage but didn't pursue it further. I am confused which direction to proceed in?

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Well, after 7 years, I'd certainly give couples therapy another go, depending. And this time give it a lengthier time.

But is she worth this effort? Does she care for you when you're sick? Does she ever do anything to benefit you to make your life easier? Does she contribute her fair share of finances and chores within the household? I don't know what you mean by pennies in the bank and her own well-being. Maybe you can expand on that. Do you live with your parents?

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OK, first question is do you actually love this woman? I know your marriage was arranged but in some cases people grow to love each other in arranged marriages or at least grow fond of each other. You've actually given this seven years, which is a pretty long time. If the marriage isn't working then I'm not sure if it can actually get any better after all this time. You could try couples' counselling again but if you don't love each other then I'm not sure you can do much. Do you have kids? Would your parents be angry at you if you divorced?

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8 hours ago, India198 said:

I am a British Indian and married to a Indian girl for the last 7 years. It was a arranged marriage and in the last 7 years we've had a turmoil relationship. She doesn't agree with my feelings towards my parents and sister. She is self confessed selfish, always thinking about the pennies in the bank and of her well being. My parents have always tried to make her feel like their own daughter but because my sister exists, she has never been able to overcome her existence? I am stuck in the middle trying to create a harmony between both the parties but so far been failing. The issues we had in the first year of our marriage has always lingered been us no matter how hard I try to resolve it. She has no responsibilities towards my parents, they are self sufficient in their own way. She loves making new friends and somehow trusts them more than both me or my family. I think the main reason for this is because she feels free of life burdens around them. I try my best to facilitate all her needs and what not but she still feels unsatisfied? I think am coming to a point where I need to make a decision whether to get external help like couple therapy or divorce to keep us both sane :(. We have been to a couple therapy in the 4th year of marriage but didn't pursue it further. I am confused which direction to proceed in?

What is the issue with your sister? There seems to be some disagreement between the two of them. 

It also sounds like she's looking out for herself because she doesn't trust your family, regardless of what you think or say. To be realistic, you're going to view your family in a positive and supportive way even though she may be treated as a second class citizen in the same home. 

Do your parents, your sister, your wife and you all live under the same roof?

Couple's therapy may work if both individuals are invested in the marriage or see a possibility of reconciling differences. 

Edited by Rose Mosse
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Sounds to me she doesn't want a traditional Indian marriage where family is all one, living together, saving money together, dinners together, etc. 

So I suggest you figure out a compromise...something you both can live with. It's not going to ever be perfect but more tolerable. Go to counseling. 

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I have a different perspective on this so just take my advice with a grain of salt. I know that a lot of people will probably be upset at my response but I don’t care.

Oftentimes when I see certain behaviors from partners, I feel inclined to believe that these behaviors are a reflection of what is tolerated. 

One way to course correct your partners behavior is to pull alway when their behavior is negative and reward behavior which is positive. Of course not everyone is flexible and the way parents raise their kids has a lot to do with how their children will behave. This is especially true if the child was spoiled, sometimes it can be a hopeless endeavor if one either doesn’t know how to “discipline” or “motivate” their behavior properly.

These types of people will go from relationship to relationship wondering why everyone they date behaves this way towards them. Women that find themselves in abusive relationships or men who allow women to walk all over them.

Ideally, you should seek help first yourself in order to set proper boundaries. Then the burden will be on her end, to decide if she wants to be with someone who has set rules for the relationship. 

Of course there’s always the possibility that after 7 years it’s too late. And she has already lost respect towards you and your family. In that situation it’s probably best to walk away.

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I have a question that I have always wanted to ask.

Since there are arranged marriages like in this case are there arranged divorces?

Parents push their children into a marriage they think is a good idea but when it goes horribly like yours has do they get together and decide to help it through divorce?

  Therapy will only work if both people really want to make things better but it sounds like your wife does what she wants, acts like she wants and only cares about herself.  That is not a description of someone that wants to be a partner in a marriage.

  Dragging her to couples counseling may help you prepare yourself for a divorce as it will show you that this marriage was a bad fit from the start.

  Lost

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OP, from your post I did not quite exactly understand what your problem with your wife is, other than she does not mesh well with your parents and sister. While I appreciate that this aspect is very important in the Indian culture, and you very much wish that your wife acts like a loving daughter in law, well you should understand that it is your wife's right to not like your parents and your sister. 

You should not be trying to force her to blend with the family. If your wife preffers her friendships, then let her socialise with her friends. Stop putting pressure on her to behave a certain way, because you like it that way. She has free will too.

Are theare cheating, violence, financial fraud that blemish your marriage? If not, then it is not so bad.

I presume you live separately from your parents. If not, please move out from your parents' house. Co-habitation wih in-laws is always a source of problems, and it is not your wife's fault. It is the nature of the dynamics, like they say in my country: one kitchen  becomes a battle field when you put two women in it. And if you live with your parents, then there are not two, but three women in that kitchen: your wife, your mother and your sister. It is too much, of course that cats' fights will ensue. The best thing you can do to improve your marriage, is to move out from your parents' house (if you still live there) and let your wife be the queen of her own kitchen. You might be surprised how this will change her behavior. To be honest I difficultly stand my own mother when she stays with me for several months (I have been living abroad for many years). She turns up side down the order in my house and I cannot find anything in their place in the cupboards; it takes months to restore my preferences in the kitchen after she leaves. 

If you already live separately, when you visit your parents, quit inviting your wife with you. You cannot force her, please show some flexibility. I would not lable your wife as selfish, she is probably strong willed and independent and does not like to be told with whom to socialise. Respect that. 

By the way, out of curiocity: did you two have had a compatibility horoscope calculated before the marriage? I know that this is rampant in India for an astrologer to advise on the compatibility of a couple, because obviously in arranged marriages people do not date, so they leave the compatibility assessment in the hands of astrologers. Sometimes these estimations are stunningly accurate. Perhaps worth checking the mahadasha period you and your wife are currently running and how it affects you.

So, in a nutshell, my advice would be:

1) move out from your parents' house if you still live there;

2) do not insist in your wife visiting your parents, or interacting with them. Respect her independent will. Having a wife with a strong character is a wonderful thing, if you know how to respect her;

3) do not side with your parents and sister. Once you get married, your alliance is with your spouse, not with your parents. Perhaps your wife feels abandonned and "betrayed" that you have taken the side of your parents and you place all the blame on her. I am pretty sure that your parents and sister also contribute to the conflict. When there is a relationship problem, it is never the fault of only one party. Everybody in the conflict shares the responsibility for it.

Edited by East4
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On 1/14/2022 at 5:47 AM, India198 said:

. She loves making new friends and somehow trusts them more than both me or my family. I think the main reason for this is because she feels free of life burdens around them.

She doesn't have to agree with your family or even like them. All she has to do is respect them and your relationship with them.

When you are married you finances should stay in the marriage and you two should focus on that.

You seem excessively attached to, influenced by and controlled by your family. 

Why can't your wife have friends? Do you live with your parents? What do you mean by "life's burdens"?  

Why now after 7 years is this bothering you? Why do your mother and sister complain about your wife to you this much.?

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On 1/14/2022 at 3:43 PM, Andrina said:

Well, after 7 years, I'd certainly give couples therapy another go, depending. And this time give it a lengthier time.

But is she worth this effort? Does she care for you when you're sick? Does she ever do anything to benefit you to make your life easier? Does she contribute her fair share of finances and chores within the household? I don't know what you mean by pennies in the bank and her own well-being. Maybe you can expand on that. Do you live with your parents?

Thanks for your reply

> Does she care for you when you're sick?
Does upto a certain extent. 

>Does she ever do anything to benefit you to make your life easier?
Nope.

> Does she contribute her fair share of finances and chores within the household?
She does yes.

>I don't know what you mean by pennies in the bank and her own well-being.
Meaning she is very money minded. She doesn't like it when the balance starts to fluctuate. 

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On 1/14/2022 at 5:08 PM, Tinydance said:

OK, first question is do you actually love this woman? I know your marriage was arranged but in some cases people grow to love each other in arranged marriages or at least grow fond of each other. You've actually given this seven years, which is a pretty long time. If the marriage isn't working then I'm not sure if it can actually get any better after all this time. You could try couples' counselling again but if you don't love each other then I'm not sure you can do much. Do you have kids? Would your parents be angry at you if you divorced?

>first question is do you actually love this woman?
Because of all the turmoil, arguments about my parents and her own insecurities I am not if I do love her or not? 😐 We've had our ups and down, been on lovely holidays and enjoyed dinning at great restaurant's. However, in the end it always boils down to my side of family. She is very insecure and doesn't trust them one bit. Either it be living with them or spending money. She has over the years taken a massive dislike over my father. 

Yeah 7 years have been long, however out of 7 years we have lived 5 years away from my parents in a different city. However, now my parents have moved to the same city and will be living near us as they are getting old and want to live near me as would any other parent want. 

> Do you have kids?
Nope.

>Would your parents be angry at you if you divorced?
They don't want me to divorce my wife as they feel if me and wife love each other and live happily then they are happy to except a life where they don't expect much from my wife. However, for some reason with everything going around it's only me who thinks about a divorce and not my wife? 

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On 1/14/2022 at 7:45 PM, Rose Mosse said:

What is the issue with your sister? There seems to be some disagreement between the two of them. 

It also sounds like she's looking out for herself because she doesn't trust your family, regardless of what you think or say. To be realistic, you're going to view your family in a positive and supportive way even though she may be treated as a second class citizen in the same home. 

Do your parents, your sister, your wife and you all live under the same roof?

Couple's therapy may work if both individuals are invested in the marriage or see a possibility of reconciling differences. 

I think you've 'hit the nail in the head' right there. From the beginning she came into this marriage with lots of insecurities, doubts and complex. She has always been defensive and never seen herself as a part of the whole family. 

She never gelled in well with my father, as he is somewhat mildly orthodox in nature and always stresses about ethical and family values. She has never in 7 years made any of us feel that she poses family values.

>What is the issue with your sister? There seems to be some disagreement between the two of them. 
Again my sister and her never gelled either from beginning. My wife has always felt insecure and complex when she is around. However, if they are talking on phone they seem fine. However in flesh I can see my wife's behaviour unpleasant, unnatural and rude. It shoes actually shows in her face that she is very uncomfortable around her and they way my sister carry's her attire. 

>Couple's therapy may work if both individuals are invested in the marriage or see a possibility of reconciling differences. 
I have always pushed for counselling / therapy as she never feels the need for one?

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15 minutes ago, India198 said:

>first question is do you actually love this woman?
Because of all the turmoil, arguments about my parents and her own insecurities I am not if I do love her or not? 😐 We've had our ups and down, been on lovely holidays and enjoyed dinning at great restaurant's. However, in the end it always boils down to my side of family. She is very insecure and doesn't trust them one bit. Either it be living with them or spending money. She has over the years taken a massive dislike over my father. 

Yeah 7 years have been long, however out of 7 years we have lived 5 years away from my parents in a different city. However, now my parents have moved to the same city and will be living near us as they are getting old and want to live near me as would any other parent want. 

> Do you have kids?
Nope.

>Would your parents be angry at you if you divorced?
They don't want me to divorce my wife as they feel if me and wife love each other and live happily then they are happy to except a life where they don't expect much from my wife. However, for some reason with everything going around it's only me who thinks about a divorce and not my wife? 

OK thank you for answering and giving more information about your marriage. I'm actually originally from Eastern Europe but have lived in Australia since childhood so I have very Western ideas about relationships and marriage. I'm just trying to relate to being Indian and the way marriage is viewed in your culture and the role family plays in marriage relationships.

I understand that this was an arranged marriage as I assume was wanted by your parents? Did your parents suggest your wife because they actually liked her as a person? Or was there some other reason, e.g. her parents were pushing for it or you were older or having trouble finding a wife? I'm just wondering if your parents originally wanted to match you with your wife did they get along well originally? What do you think is happening or has happened to cause your wife and your parents not get along?

What I noticed in your post is you said you're not sure if you love your wife and you're thinking about divorce. I'm thinking that's not really a good sign. Your answer really should have been: "Yes I do love my wife". If you're thinking all these things, sounds like you're not happy? You said your parents will be fine with your wife if YOU want to persist with the marriage. I think be honest in that maybe it's actually you who is not sure?

 

Edited by Tinydance
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On 1/14/2022 at 10:46 PM, smackie9 said:

Sounds to me she doesn't want a traditional Indian marriage where family is all one, living together, saving money together, dinners together, etc. 

So I suggest you figure out a compromise...something you both can live with. It's not going to ever be perfect but more tolerable. Go to counseling. 

I highly agree with you on this as I have felt the same about her. However this makes me sad as she voids of family values and it's how I have been brought up. 

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On 1/15/2022 at 4:15 AM, catfeeder said:

Why not ask her which she'd prefer? If she'd prefer divorce, it makes no sense to waste your time and money on counseling.

She never conforms to which one she'd prefer? She has always told me, if I am not happy then go for divorce but I feel she thinks I will never go for it.

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On 1/15/2022 at 4:37 AM, junebug123 said:

I have a different perspective on this so just take my advice with a grain of salt. I know that a lot of people will probably be upset at my response but I don’t care.

Oftentimes when I see certain behaviors from partners, I feel inclined to believe that these behaviors are a reflection of what is tolerated. 

One way to course correct your partners behavior is to pull alway when their behavior is negative and reward behavior which is positive. Of course not everyone is flexible and the way parents raise their kids has a lot to do with how their children will behave. This is especially true if the child was spoiled, sometimes it can be a hopeless endeavor if one either doesn’t know how to “discipline” or “motivate” their behavior properly.

These types of people will go from relationship to relationship wondering why everyone they date behaves this way towards them. Women that find themselves in abusive relationships or men who allow women to walk all over them.

Ideally, you should seek help first yourself in order to set proper boundaries. Then the burden will be on her end, to decide if she wants to be with someone who has set rules for the relationship. 

Of course there’s always the possibility that after 7 years it’s too late. And she has already lost respect towards you and your family. In that situation it’s probably best to walk away.

thank you for your advice and I will think about it. 

>Of course there’s always the possibility that after 7 years it’s too late. And she has already lost respect towards you and your family. In that situation it’s probably best to walk away.

I am highly certain she has lost respect towards my family.

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1 minute ago, India198 said:

thank you for your advice and I will think about it. 

>Of course there’s always the possibility that after 7 years it’s too late. And she has already lost respect towards you and your family. In that situation it’s probably best to walk away.

I am highly certain she has lost respect towards my family.

What do you think are your future goals in a marriage? Do you want kids or no?

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On 1/15/2022 at 5:53 AM, lostandhurt said:

I have a question that I have always wanted to ask.

Since there are arranged marriages like in this case are there arranged divorces?

Parents push their children into a marriage they think is a good idea but when it goes horribly like yours has do they get together and decide to help it through divorce?

  Therapy will only work if both people really want to make things better but it sounds like your wife does what she wants, acts like she wants and only cares about herself.  That is not a description of someone that wants to be a partner in a marriage.

  Dragging her to couples counseling may help you prepare yourself for a divorce as it will show you that this marriage was a bad fit from the start.

  Lost

>Dragging her to couples counseling may help you prepare yourself for a divorce as it will show you that this marriage was a bad fit from the start.

I think it is the only I will get my answers.

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On 1/15/2022 at 8:56 AM, Spawn said:

do you have kids together? if you are living together with everybody from beginning have you thought about looking at a separate pad for you and your wife like maybe nearby to your parents home?

No kids and we live separately, however my parents have recently moved near us so they can be near me.

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15 minutes ago, Tinydance said:

OK thank you for answering and giving more information about your marriage. I'm actually originally from Eastern Europe but have lived in Australia since childhood so I have very Western ideas about relationships and marriage. I'm just trying to relate to being Indian and the way marriage is viewed in your culture and the role family plays in marriage relationships.

I understand that this was an arranged marriage as I assume was wanted by your parents? Did your parents suggest your wife because they actually liked her as a person? Or was there some other reason, e.g. her parents were pushing for it or you were older or having trouble finding a wife? I'm just wondering if your parents originally wanted to match you with your wife did they get along well originally? What do you think is happening or has happened to cause your wife and your parents not get along?

What I noticed in your post is you said you're not sure if you love your wife and you're thinking about divorce. I'm thinking that's not really a good sign. Your answer really should have been: "Yes I do love my wife". If you're thinking all these things, sounds like you're not happy? You said your parents will be wife with your wife if YOU want to persist with the marriage. I think be honest in that maybe it's actually you who is not sure?

 

It was a modern arranged marriage where by her parents came across a matrimonial advertisement my father had put in the local newspaper. Both our fathers clicked over the phone and rest is history. I travelled to India with my father and we met up her family. At the time she was happy with the arrangement and say 'Yes' to go ahead with the marriage. I got to spend a week and a half with her while I was in India and then for the next 6 months chatted with her over the phone before our actual marriage. During the 6 months over phone and SMS's I figured out she loved her social life and enjoyed going out with friends perhaps every second weekend. 

Since moving to UK, I did notice she felt alot trapped in the family and bursting to make new friends. However, she never made any efforts in getting to know my family more. Initially we were a joint family for few months before moving out but once we moved out she never hardly wanted to make any effort towards coming closer to my family. 

Honestly speaking with so much happening, I have mixed feelings towards her. I love my family and feel a sense of responsibility towards them. But at the same time I am upset that my wife doesn't feel part of the family. It makes me frustrating when she gels so well with her friends, family and relatives. However when it comes to my family her behaviour is very different. 

I grew up in India and lived there till I was 16 before moving to UK. I was always brought up to adhere family values and love one another. And my wife coming from similar background makes me wonder why she ended up so negative about my family? 

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6 hours ago, India198 said:

I am highly certain she has lost respect towards my family.

Yes. Because you side with them against her.

If your parents move near you again it will be just as horrible as when you lived with them.

You and they will gang up on her, treat her as an outcast and criticize everything about her.

You're not a good husband. You're a son who still has the umbilical cord attached.

The few times you acted like a married couple, you were happy.

Then you and your family gang up on her again and start making demands.

Get divorced. You're both miserable. Let your sister take care of your parents in their old age. 

Edited by Wiseman2
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