First is about a father who’s professionally qualified daughter died unnatural death few months after her marriage. She was in her early 20s or so. He is my wife’s cousin. He was in knickers when we got married almost 41 years ago. Though we did not have very close contact but met once or twice a year. I had attended his marriage as well as of his daughter. She is supposed to have committed suicide as claimed by her in-laws. It was after her death that we learnt that she was harassed by her husband and his mother. They had even lied about his business etc. She had told her parents about it and had even shown bruises she suffered but her father told her to adjust and settle down. They did not share this sad situation with anyone. It was only after she was no more that they lodged complaint with police. I have shared this here almost a year ago stating that had he spoken about it when she was alive, a young life could have been saved. This is one extreme of behavior for the sake of family honour in the eyes of society.
The second father is a self confessed strict person in who’s presence no one can utter anything which he disapproves. His daughter had once told that he used to slap her till she was 14 or 15 years old. While in college she got into relationship with a boy without her father’s knowledge. When she started working she told her father about it and expressed desire to marry that boy. He not only refused but also gave her scolding so harshly that she did not have courage to speak about it again. Then he got her married off few months later. Her would be in-laws told her before marriage that they were not looking for a daughter in law but member of family as they would all be living together. They also told her that she had full right to refuse if she did not like their son or did not wish to live together. She had told them that she was willing without any problems. Even the boy she was married to told her a number of times whenever they met before marriage that he being the only son, as his sister was married and living with her family, he would like his parents to stay with him. She had accepted this without any arguments. But after marriage she had a lot of differences with him on small issues and her father used to be with her whenever she called him. She left for her parents’ house a number of times after quarreling with her husband on some small issue and her father not only let her be there but also never made efforts to contact her husband or his parents about what the issue was. Her in- laws had offered to live separately but her husband would not hear of that and even she outwardly told them that she had no problems with them but with husband only. They were blessed with child after almost 2 years of marriage. Her moving to her parents’ house frequently and staying with them for long periods is spoiling not only their married life but causing a lot of unhappiness for her in-laws as well as her child. It seems that main issue is that she wants her husband to follow whatever her father says which he does not as he feels that to be interference in their personal life which his own parents never do. Now this is the other extreme behavior of a father.
This makes me wonder why can parents not look for their daughters to settle down safely and happily after marriage instead of worrying about false prestige in the eyes of society or to satisfy their own jumbo ego. When our daughter was married, I had told her that though we would be there for her but she has to make her place in her new family with love and respect. I am proud that she has not let us down, though they had their own share of fights and all which they resolved at their own.