In a reverse trend of sorts, women want to stay at home after marriage. And the husbands don’t seem too happy with the trend
They say marriages are made in heaven — well this can hardly be disputed, considering the grand scale of weddings. But what happens next? Compatibility, it turns out, isn’t something that comes as part of the ‘made in heaven’ package. You have to work towards it.
And this is no ordinary word. Compatibility can mean anything from understanding each other (personally and professionally), respecting each other for who he/she is, to even ‘adjusting’.
Adjusting — that’s the key word here. And in a marriage, this word usually conjures up images of a woman giving up her dreams and aspirations. Remember the time, when women would want to work post marriage, but the husband and the family would quash the request with ‘women don’t work after marriage, they need to take care of home’ dialogue?
Now, the exact opposite is happening. Women now want to give up their careers, and sit at home to enjoy a laid-back life and ‘give more time to their marriage’. And this idea has the husbands breaking into a sweat. It has become such an issue that some young couples are even on the verge of separating, just because the wife, (who the husband thought was ambitious), wants to stop working after marriage.
“This classmate of mine from engineering got placed in a good company, and last year, she tied the knot. Not wanting a simple temple wedding, she took a huge loan for the marriage expenses. And post the wedding, she wanted to take a break. But when she spoke to her husband about giving up her job, he flatly refused because of the loan pressure. In the end, she was forced to work,” says Rasika Bhalerao, an entrepreneur.
Monetary issues (as the above instance points out), though a major part, seem to be a secondary issue. The main worry for the men though is — what will she do with all the time? ‘God! She sure is going to turn to nagging’ — that’s something one of the to-be husbands told us, when his fiancee announced her wish to quit her job post tying the knot with him.
“It may sound funny, but it’s not! I am dreading what she will be up to with all the time in the world. Ok, I know the money I earn is going to be blown up. Even if I try to be cool about it, this is not going to help our relationship. What can I expect when I get home after work? Ok no. It wouldn’t be about my expectations — rather, it will be about her expectations from me when I return home after work. She will have had all the time to plan her expectations from me throughout the day. That’s not something I would want my marriage to become. I think it should be of equals and about equals. Only then can there be proper understanding,” he says, requesting anonymity.
Consultant psychiatrist Dr Sona Kakkar, who specialises in marital therapy, confirms that this trend of women quitting jobs after wedlock is on the rise and is upsetting husbands. “Around five to six young couples come to me every month with this problem, and they say it’s ‘wrecking havoc in their marital life’. I wouldn’t agree with the monetary part of the issue (husbands wanting wives to work to bring some money home), but I do agree that husbands have a problem with this trend because that leaves the wives with too much time and in turn, their expectation from the relationship/marriage increases manifold — something men can’t handle very easily,” the doctor says.
“I had a young couple visit me recently with the same issue. The two had met at their workplace and fallen in love. The husband told me that the girl’s interest, not only in her career but also in his was what drew him to her. They got married, and then, the axe fell. The girl quit her job, saying she wanted to give more time to the marriage and him. The husband found this difficult to handle and told me he never imagined her as a ‘domesticated’ woman! He said he had found her ambitious and hence, compatible. But post marriage, everything about her changed. She turned clingy and expected a lot of his time once he was back from work,” Dr Kakkar shares.
The case took an ugly turn when the couple decided to separate, since the wife began to feel that her husband had “no time” for her. The husband, in turn, thought “she had turned too domesticated” for his liking.
“That’s when they came to me. I counselled them and explained that they’re two different individuals, who need to learn to respect each other’s priorities. Thankfully, they reconciled. In general, I think men like to have their own space, have a routine, a structure. And they expect their partners to have the same, so there is mutual understanding as well as personal space,” she concludes.