Thursday, April 28 2016, 01:27:19
  • fatasstic
  • fatasstic
  • She Says

Ayushi Agarwal

JWB Blogger

#SheSays: I Am Forced To Believe In God Because Of My Mother-In-Law

  • JWB Post
  •  April 23, 2016


This woman from Jaipur has a different take on religion and God, but she is forced to abandon them in order to make her mother-in-law happy. She is turning into a person she’s not, which is taking a toll on her personal life as well. She is stuck. Can you help her?

Censored is no joke. Censored is that part of JWB which enables a woman to reveal that hidden, sacred part of herself which society has been successful in tarnishing. It is a platform which empowers women to open up, share, and inspire thousands of our readers worldwide without facing the evil ire of societal condemnation.


I am a married, 26-year-old Interior designer, who is losing to herself to religion.

Three years ago, I met the man of my dreams (let’s call him ‘T’) while working on an Interior project, and fell head over heels in love with him.  I could have never even imagined that the rooms I had been designing would one day house my own belongings!

Those six months passed by in a blur, courtesy of late-nights, exhausted mornings, fast approaching deadlines, coffee dates, a ton of stolen glances and cheesy emails ricocheting back and forth between me and T. One year down the line, he popped the question, and I happily agreed to become Mrs. T.

T and I had our share of similarities, which majorly included our belief towards the divine entity, going around by the name of God. No, we aren’t atheists. We believe that it is possible that the universe as we know it has been created by a divine power, but beckoning that power every day in the form of prayers and bhajans held no logical inference for us. It has always seemed to me that everybody is busy buttering God, so as to convince Him to shower them with wealth, prosperity, and happiness; things which humans themselves are responsible for.

But, T had already warned me beforehand that this ideology won’t work with his mother. To her, God was sacred and magical. Every morning she would wake up at 5 am and go to the temple. A strict vegetarian, her life was nothing but an endless series of fasts and prayers.

My mother-in-law’s choice of devoting her life to God wasn’t going to deter me from having a happy married life. She voluntarily wanted to lead this kind of life, and that’s what mattered to me. Every human must be guided by what makes them happy.

Contentment was my religion.

I knew nothing about the intricacies of T’s religion, and T’s mother knew about it. Even after that, she accepted me as her daughter-in-law, for which I was extremely grateful.

As soon as my married life started gaining momentum, my mother-in-law started asking me to accompany her to her daily rituals. Out of respect for her beliefs and the fact that she whole-heartedly accepted me as a family member, I started doing whatever she wanted me to do. After all, I was a newly-wed, and there were certain things expected of me, which included sacrificing my love for eggs and chicken.

I was forced to tag along with my mother-in-law to the temple every day and pray to a God I didn’t believe in. But, what irked me the most was the fact that T was never asked to do the same. She would say, “Boys cannot be controlled! Which is why women need to keep the faith alive.”

I got the biggest shock of my life when my mother-in-law suggested that I should start going to “Dharam classes,” which would help me get better acquainted with their religion. I was expected to read old scriptures and listen to the teachings for 2 hours every day.

“It is good for the soul, beta,” she would say.

On top of that, whenever I buy something nice for myself, she would not hesitate to show her disdain towards material things. According to her, it was all ‘moh-maya’, and it would benefit me in my after-life if started living a simpler life. Slowly, I started letting go of my pretty things to make her happy.  I stopped applying make-up and wore only plain sarees.

The more I started embracing her way of life, the more I lost myself.

But, things would again take a turn for the worse during those 5 days of the month. I am not allowed to enter the kitchen, or even sit on the same surface as my mother-in-law. There is a special ‘plastic chair’ reserved for me for these 5 days, and I am supposed to sit on that only.  As if my vaginal cramps weren’t enough to hurt me!  Every member of the house automatically gets to know about the fact that I am on my period. Menstruating is no longer my private body function. It is put on full display, which ensures I would never do anything which could offend her precious ‘God.’

I had always believed that the concept of God has been created to provide comfort and support to those sailing on the rough tides of life. It helps them believe that someone is looking after them, and renders them optimistic towards life. Isn’t God is supposed to help you, instead of scaring you?

When it started getting too much, I asked T to help me make his mother understand about the notions that I truly believed in. I believed in doing good, in Karma, in destiny, in the power of optimism, and things alike.  I did not believe that keeping yourself hungry held the power to please the Gods, or that going to ‘satsangs’ and ‘kirtans’ could help you attain Nirvana.

When did kindness and gratitude get replaced by prayers and fasts?

But, instead of helping me, T blatantly told me: “I already told you about my mother’s beliefs before we got married. I can’t help you here! You won’t die if you spent a little time at the temple with my mother. It’ll be like a bonding session for you both, and she’ll even start liking you more! Marriage all about making compromises.”

It wasn’t long before she started infusing her religious beliefs into our vacation plans. I wanted to visit Santorini for the summer, and she wanted all of us to go to Shikarji. And, we did.

T & I have stopped going out for dinners because I am not supposed to eat anything after the sun sets. Nothing is fun anymore.

Little by little, our personal life has started getting obstructed by religion.

I remain frustrated every day due to the abundance of God in my life, which has started hampering my creative instincts. My perpetual headache and irritation have started destroying the bond shared by T & I as well.

It is not even about God anymore. It’s about forcing to accept somebody’s else’s beliefs, even when you don’t agree with them. I have to force myself to accept something which I cannot even digest. Why does everybody in your family have to believe in what you believe in? Why can’t we just be good human beings, live life the way we wish to, and return to Mother Earth when our time comes?

Why can’t we just accept each other’s choices and be okay with them?

I can’t keep pretending anymore. I feel like I’m living a lie.

So, should I keep letting my mother-in-law’s beliefs rule my life, or should I make my own rules even if it means upsetting everyone beyond repair?

Contact us for your story


Leave a Comment

  • JWB along with the brand Jewel Saga bring you a selfie contest inspired by the campaign AidToMaid.