Her marriage is barely a year old. She seems to have married into a family where only women of the family are respected and allowed to express viewpoints and opinions. Women who have come in through marriage are not accorded this privilege. She is upset at this discrimination. And since her husband is not really encouraging her participation in family affairs, she feels humiliated.
I encouraged her to see how the family values have been ingrained in him and it will take time for him to see otherwise. She needs to make her place in his life, she will have to work on it. The family seems to have rigid and old fashioned views. And they expect the ladies who are married into the family to follow them. Without understanding why some statements are issued, taking offense is making her stressed.
Yes, those views are old fashioned, and she can attack them only subtly. Not all, she will cause a revolution. Here what needs to be seen is how many of these old fashioned views are interfering with her life, how many are causing her discomfort and how many are really upsetting her. A mere bother can be overlooked. Learning to live and let live. But if some views and outlook are causing sufficient upsets, then she also has to either discuss this with her husband and/or look for creative ways to tackle them.
Her husband’s family seems to be a very close knit family. There will be positives as well as negatives here. If she is not being included in the inner circle, that is negative. But if the closeness provides a sense of security and belonging, then it is positive. If you are not used to such closeness, it is not reason enough to want to change it.
In this day and age, if a lady is not allowed the freedom to go out on her own, given financial independence, then it will irk the lady. That too when she has been used to earning and handling her own finances. This lady has given up her job and now wonders if that was a good move.
I encouraged her to give herself and her relationship time. Changes will occur, maybe not at her pace. But one needs to realize changing a person is not easy. Unless he wants to change. You need to first analyze what values, expectations are important to you. How can you get them honored and fulfilled in your relationship? You will have to be really creative and imaginative. And patient if you wish to continue in the relationship and make it work for you.
It is going to be an uphill task for her, she has no support in her marital home.
Why does a person not understand his/her spouse’s need for respect? Why is it so difficult to automatically respect a person? And why does no consideration of any kind arise for the spouse? Once the relationship has started, each partner needs to make his/her spouse comfortable. Especially when a wife comes to her husband’s home. He is her point of contact, he is the reason she is there. So he needs to look out for her needs and wants, till she forms a comfortable relationship with other members of his family. Similarly, she needs to look out for her husband in her family.
When such basic considerations do not exist, it is difficult for a relationship to be meaningful. A life partner will be one, when the want is created. If a partner has to fight for his/her basic identity, then withdrawal and apathy will set in. And it can lead to the relationship disintegrating. That could be such a tragedy.