Today morning I received an email from a blog reader who shares her story...
I am an Indian girl and in our custom during marriage husband changes the first name of the girl he gets married to, so that he can call his wife with the name of his choice with love. Usually all husbands do it during the marriage. But mine was an exception. I always wished of it as I decided to get married or even before i can say. Soon after I got engaged i expressed this wish of mine to my fiancé and he too had agreed. I told him that I wont legally change my first name on paper and documents but he can give me a new name with love so that i can share it with my friends and family.
He did agree to this yet on the wedding day when the priest asked my husband what's her new name?, I was waiting eagerly to know what my new love name is going to be.. even before he could say something my mother in law bursted out loudly " We are not changing her name, let it be the same".
I was deeply hurt as this was something I had privately shared with my husband and had agreed to be called by the new name only didn't want it to be changed on papers. After all for 24 years I have been addressed by that name How can I just give it up??
I felt sad that he didn't respect my feelings and had shared it with his mother who bluntly made a mockery of it on our Wedding day. I was scared was this the life I am going to lead from now on? I didn't know what to expect from then on.
After the wedding I did relocate to a new city in a new state in India where I was finding it extremely difficult to get a job with my bachelors degree. The profession I desired needed a masters degree. I had mentioned my interest in further studies to my husband before marriage and he had happily agreed.
During the early days of my marriage I was constantly bothered by my in laws to start working, they just wanted me to work and earn money irrespective of whether I would like that kind of a job or not.
Thats was frustrating..yet I didn't loose my cool. Because I was taught as a married women there would always be things that I need to compromise and marriages are all about ADJUSTMENTS, COMPROMISES and SACRIFICES, mostly expected from Women !
I now started preparing for the masters entrance exam, all my energy was now diverted into studying but yes deep now I felt sad, This was not the life I was expecting. Let me tell you a bit about myself I am a lady of patience, I have worked before marriage for 2 years and have done extremely well, I have a deep sense of passion towards art and a good painter. My silence is not my weakness its my strength to try and make things work out.
It was just 5 months since we were married and I was visiting my parents, my father was sick. When I got a call from the university where my entrance exam results were accepted and they gave me the specific dates for the personal interview round. It was in another city, 8 hours drive from my native and 1 hour drive from my husbands place. I thought it was practical to go the university directly and prepare for my interview but all my documents were at my husbands place. I called my husband and asked him to bring in all my documents to the university. To my shock, he said he cannot come this ended up in a huge fight and he then threatened me to come right away to his place else he would DIVORCE me.
I left my sick father who needed care after his operation alone, as my mother was not allowed any more leaves from her office after she had already taken a long leave. I am their only child and felt helpless but had to go to see my unreasonable husband.
In a few days, I did work it out with him and cracked my interview now arised the question of paying my university fees. The amount was not a huge as i had secured a merit seat, it was approximately a little more than his one month salary. I had spent my savings on the wedding and didn't really want to ask my parents. I had expected my husband to pay for it but alas he said lets take an education loan. I was ready. My in laws were visiting us and that evening when he bought the cheque home, I was shocked to see that my second name was changed. Yes I had retained my maiden surname, I had not yet decided to change it and my husbands behavior was in no way helping me to decide what to do.
I refused to sign my name with my husbands surname and that minute my in laws pounced on me and this time from mental harassment it became physical. My in laws and their son made it clear I could get the loan amount only if I changed my maiden name.
This is just a peek in my marriage, there is a new drama everyday and the intensity keeps growing.. I am so tired of it.
I don't want to leave him even though that means peace and happiness. I just wished to retain my identity while being married to my husband.. Is that too much to ask for??
Is it mandatory to change my maiden name and am I a bad wife?? If i choose not to??