need help for useless wife

nicehubbyJuly 25, 2006


I am a Indian (Asian) guy. I got married since 5 years by arranged marriage. Then we came to US. Since her first day, she refused to do anything. I had to do her unpacking the bags. I felt thats OK, she is new here. But it just continued since then.

Our house is dirtier than the road. She cooks and thats all she does. Even if we have to make some call to fix something in the house, I need to keep reminding her few times before she actually calls. She reuses utensils without washing for cooking for 1 to 2 days.

Sometimes she is very nice. She even gives me glass of water in my hands. Sometime she is so bad that she fights that I did not took out the lunch bag from my office bag. Sometimes she takes so much care of me, I regret that I ever thought bad about her.

But she does nothing for whole day. She do not take responsibilities at all. I earn and do all the house and yard work.

She do not like me calling my parents or brother/sister. But she want all the time to talk to her parents and sister. I tried to tell these problems to her parents. But they are the most useless and hopeless people. They are not at all concerned about their daughter.

Because of all our fights she was looking for ashrams in India so that she can run away. When I told this to her parents, they did not react. They are the worst people I ever came across in my life. They are basically not ready to listen. They says it's not our daughter's problem. After marriage she is my responsibility. I should accept all her faults. I should ignore all the small things.

She aborted our first child because she wanted to prepare for GRE and do her masters. But since 5 years no progress. Now she is pregnent again after lots of efforts and medications for 2/3 years. So now instead of concentrating on baby/pregnancy she started preparing for GRE again.

I don't care whether I love her or not. All I want is she behaving properly with me or divorce from her. Now because she is pregnent, for everything she scares me that if you do that it will affect my pregnancy.

I have no idea what I should do in this situation. I am really unhappy with my mariage. I am ready to forgive and forget and continue marriage if she takes responsibilities and behave with my parents. She is scared of divorce but I think now she knows that I am very soft guy and won't give divorce easily.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You and your wife need to see a marriage counselor immediately. If your wife refuses to go, you need to go alone. Counseling can help you cope with the problems you are having and possibly show you ways to deal with your wife's behaviour. If you cannot afford a counselor your local United Way may be able to put you in touch with an agency that will charge based on income. My only question is - Why in the world would you want to bring an innocent baby into this situation??

Good luck and let us know how things work out.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 9:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with Pris, now is the WORST time to have a baby, but there is not much you can do about it now. Marriage counselling could help both of you, it's worth a shot, at least go for the baby's sake. Does your wife work at all? She sounds like she might be depressed. Is there any way you could hire someone to clean your house, even once, to get you back to square one? What do your parents think? Unfortunately (and I say this with respect for your backgrounds) this is why I think arranged marriages are not a very good idea. You obviously had no idea what you were getting into, and now you don't have much of a choice. Good luck, and call a counselor!!!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 10:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Do you have friends as a couple here in the US? Where my husband works there are many fine people who came from India to work for the company. They have a network or support system to help new arrivals accommodate to the region. Also, the co-workers are very welcoming, asking for both parts of a couple to attend parties and other functions (including a gaming night that includes Texas Draw Poker).

While going to counseling is a great idea, having a friend locally to talk to is also helpful. Maybe being in the situation where she is invited to a friends home, and in turn be expected to invite them to your home would make her realize that more is needed to be done around the home.

A question for you, not knowing much about you or your wife -- are you considered to be on the same "social" level back in India? I do know that it isn't 'supposed' to matter anymore, yet I also know that to some it does. Just like here in the US, to some people (not being supportive of the idea, just acknowledging it) race, class or religion makes a difference. If there is anything related to this problem in your relationship, you need to have a frank discussion with her about why the arrangement was accepted! After all, in accepting the marriage, she ACCEPTED you.

Best of luck, I wish you well


    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 11:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Medications given to encourage pregnancy can cause emotional behavior, and you say your wife was taking these for 2 to 3 years. Your wife's moodiness and depression may also be worse now because of the changes in her body's hormones during pregnancy.

After your baby comes there will be much less time and energy for housework, plus more clothes and dishes to wash, so you need to prepare yourselves.

Two things that can help a lot:

Consider investing in a dishwasher -- they are cheap now and save a lot of time and energy. After you get used to using it, you won't know how you survived without it.

Consider getting a cleaning service to come in once every two weeks to do the heavy cleaning -- floors, kitchen, bathroom -- it's cheaper now than it used to be and worth the money you budget to pay for it.

I'm sure you've noticed that life is much different here than in your home country. I have a good friend from India and she tells me about the high standards of home cleanliness in her country, and the stigma they attached to having a messy house. (My house would be the subject of much criticism there, believe me!)

You may want to try to relax and lower your standards a little bit, and trust me, most families here with a middle-class income do have dishwashing machines and cleaning services.

I agree that counseling by a third party outside of your family and circle of friends could give objective, helpful advice.

And I also want to tell you that some fellows wouldn't refer to a wife who does the cooking and is having their baby as "useless." Please, that alone should earn her the dishwasher and cleaning service, if you ask me!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 1:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's hard to know where you are coming from without knowing your culture. Perhaps your wife was use to having everyone else do things (had a lot of hired helped) for her and expects the same now. Or, maybe she was against the arranged marriage but had no way out. Did she seem happy to marry you? Maybe she didn't want to move - Was she given a choice or was it discussed with her?

It does sound like she is depressed and very unhappy with her life. I would ask a medical doctor to try to treat her depression (although that may be hard now that she is pregnant).

I think that your not caring if there is love or not in the relationship could be a big problem. I would be depressed too if my husband only saw me as a housekeeper and only cared if I 'behaved properly'. Neither of you should settle for less. Maybe if there was love in the relationship, the rest would follow.

Since the pregnancy is already here maybe you could grasp onto it with hope and it could bring some much needed love into your relationship. A lot of people are disappointed with their spouses and have expectations that they have not lived up to. Try to use the pregnancy as an opportunity to become closer. Think positive and treat your wife with the respect you would treat you own mother (even if you don't think it is earned). This will probably be a very hard time for everyone involved but a baby is always a blessing, IMHO! So, congratulations! I hope everything turns out well.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 2:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks a lot for all your perspectives, openions and wishes. I appreciate it from bottom of my heart.

First of all I do not treat my wife as housekeeper at all and I hate people who do that. I even had fights with my friends when they treat their wifes that way. I feel I am the house keeper, who earns money and does house keeping and yard work and everything. E.g. even to pay bill just by going online and clicking few places here and there, she don't do. She is house wife. I am ready to switch places. I feel that every relationship is based on give and take. I feel my wife should contribute atleast 30% of work if not 50%. When one of her relative came to our house I got up 4.00am and cooked for them. Tell me if she stays at home, shouldn't she had do it a day before? She was sleeping and I was cooking. Is it fair marriage if one person does 10% and other does 90%?

We do have a dishwasher. I been telling her that I taste/smell soap when I eat/drink, I think dishwasher is not working properly, she was unaffected. Then last month I observed water in it and the utensils on the top shelf were not getting cleaned up. When I showed this to her, she never saw that. It happens consistently. I searched a ph# and asked her to call to fix it. Shouldn't she be calling and getting it fixed, if I am busy in doing something? I considered about cleaning service, but is that the end of problem? The thing is I expect 30% of contribution from her in some form.

I am depressed too. So is marriage only my responsibility? Should I be doing all the work, when she is housewife? She don't want to be housewife. So I motivate her to go to college. I even took her to institues where she can do her masters without GRE. We are ready to pay for it. But she want to hide behind GRE and not do anything.

Her parents also say that may be she is depressed. But the fact is she don't want to do anything since beginning. She is forced to cook because she eats only spicy and testy food. But if she is not in good mood or if she has to cook only for me, then test will be horrible. She cooks only dishes which she likes. But I don't mind this.

I think the same way about preg medication. I do know that it affects the mood swings, but mediacations were temporary and not strong because problem was in her tubes. Which we had to work by surgery.

With her permission we decided to talk to our friend couple. They started counselling us sometimes together sometimes separately. But no effect. Finally they gave up saying she don't do anything what they ask her to. She lies that she does but when they talk to us together, all her lies comes out.

My parents have some idea about the fights, but they tell me that if you think you have understanding then do that. Ignore and try to accomodate her. They understand my pain but they don't want divorce. But now we stopped telling them because I think if she starts behaving nicely then why spoil her impression. Building the spoiled impression might be tough.

When we go to our friends place, she looks at the place, but it does not affect her. If I get impressed by the way they kept their place, then she gets so angry about them that we had to stop going or keeping contacts with them.

Arranged marriages are usually in the same social status. We never had lots of servents back in India.

As you all suggested, I need to talk to her about counselor, I am not sure how will she react. I think I won't mind expenses, all I want is our lives back.

I really wanted baby, but I see all the fights, I was against it. But when I introduced the word divorce, her mom told her to have a baby so I will never divorce her. Then her mom started telling that people are asking that it's been 5 yrs and how come they don't have baby yet? Is there problem. So she emotionally blackmailed her. Then her mom promised me that situation will be totally different once we have a baby.

But during pregnancy I don't want to tell her mom that now itself she don't care about pregnancy. But it will make the situation worst with my wife and will affect baby. So I will have to wait.

I referred to her useless because it's more work for me. She is having baby because her mom wants to. She do not do anything. She won't talk to my parents/brothers/sisters nicely. But she want me to talk to her parents nicely. She checks every word I say and tells me that I should have used this word instead while talking to her parents.

About marriage, yes I did ask her few times. Also I asked her parents if she is willng to go to US. They also chose me, so she knew that she will have to come here. After enguagement I took so much care that I even told my friends in US to call and tolk to them so that they will feel better. I made sure that her parents feel confertable about sending her this far. Even after coming here we used to communicate. Why would I have done this if I would have not loved her? There are many things which I did, and don't want to bring here, which would prove I love her.

I think only a person who goes through it understands what it is.

Thaks a lot again for listening to me.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 7:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Forgot to mention that we have a fast friend (couple) stays next to us. Also some of our neighbors come out in the evining and some women go together for shopping or just out. I asked my wife many time to go to their houses or go out or even take a walk. She never does any of these things.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 9:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"Then her mom promised me that situation will be totally different once we have a baby."

I have to make a comment on this. Yes, the situation will be totally different once you have a baby. It will be much harder. As the mother of two, I know what I am talking about. You will both have less time, more stress, and since she already sounds depressed, I would be very worried about post partum depression.... the time for counselling is now. Get your relationship repaired (if you can) before the baby comes. Maybe you could even find a couselor from India that understands your background. Hopefully she will be able to see the joy in her life once the baby comes, but that doesn't always happen. What does she do with her time all day if she is home by herself??? What are her interests and goals in life? A counselor could help her get some perspective on her life, and feelings. Do you ever try complimenting her to build up her self esteem? It sounds like you are dealing with a lot, and it is not your fault. But if you want things to change, it sounds like you are going to be the one that gets the ball rolling. Let us know how you are doing.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 9:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I also wonder what she does with her time. When I ask her, she don't like to reply because that sounds like I am master and she is slave. So I stopped asking her.
She has no intersts other than music (singing) and her masters degree. I even gave her numbers for music classes where she can learn singing. But she is not active, so she don't do anything.
When we talked about having vegetable garden. She sounded enthusiastic. So I explained how we can have organic vegetables. So for her I spent two weekends to dig out, layed organic soil and stuff. Asked he to put seeds in small glasses. She poured all of them even after explaining 10 times how to do that. And thats it. She thinks she spends too much time in watering them. Now she don't do anything.
I will start looking for counselors with Indian background. Thanks for advise.
Her parents are going to visit in December, to help during pregnancy. May be that will help or worsten the situation. They lie a lot. She lies too, but she knows nothing hides from my eyes. And I hate lies the most. So she is bit consicious for lying. But once her parents visit, either it will improve or become worst.
GOD should gives us light and show the path and may be courage to walk on the path HE shows. May be HE is showing the light already, we are not able to see that.
I kind of belive that whatever happens, happens for good. So lets see what really happens.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 11:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am really sorry you are having tough time.

I know what situation you are in because I have met Indians who come to Australia to work. I am Aussie and I am married to an Indian, so we meet other Indians from time to time. Often these people have had a arranged marriages. I have often felt very depressed for the women in these situations, because I feel it is difficult for them to leave their country, and often they are very subserviant, and not used to saying what they are feeling, and asking for help.

I have also been to India, so I know what it is like over there, and I know what it is like in a developed country.

I can imagine it must be really hard to move from one to the other, and I can see the stark differences between the wonderful community life, and rich culture, family support etc, and the stark life of a developed culture, with pristine homes, and a consumer society.

So I guess what I am trying to point out...maybe your wife is finding it hard to cope with the change in her life. Does she really know what she is supposed to do and act like ? Maybe it is all really foreign to her.

My husband, although we have a good life, often points out the differences in the culture of India and Australia.

I think things will work out for have received some good advice fromt his forum, and you seem like a good caring person.

Sometimes I think we expect people to act and see things the way we do. But there is another side to situations, that should be taken into account.

Having her parents in the house might change her behaviour.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 9:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

From what you have said here, you seem to be a nice guy. I also come from that part of the world, not necessarily from India, and know the culture very well. I have many Indian friends and like Popi said, I sometimes feel sorry looking at the state of the women in such marriages. But from what you have told us here, you seem to be a different. You seem to have given enough space for your wife to express herself and also seem to have taken different measures to help her and make herself feel better.
Let me tell you, how we can contribute in our marriage depends a lot on how we conduct our individual lives. Your wife seems to be doing nothing to enrich her individual life and hence she does not bring anything to your marriage. You said that you have encouraged her to go meet other people or go shopping or on a walk with them and also take singing lesson. But you said she does not take the steps to do these things. It is a clear indication that your wife is depresses. You need to seek a counselor and your wife needs to be honest to herself and open up and tell the doctor what she genuinely feels. Give her the confidence to open up, tell her that you will be there to listen and support her on whatever she might say. You might be hurt by what she has to say but being hurt for a short time and getting over it is better than being hurt for ever. Ask her what is bothering her. Or best, tell her that you would like to talk to about your marriage at a certain time (for example in the evening). Sit down and start asking her what is it that is bothering her. Ask her what she wants in life and what she expects from you. And then ask her to listen to what you have to say. Tell her what bothers you. Tell her that you want to make your marriage better and that there are certain things that could improve it. Be strong, tell her that you love her and want to make things better but if she is not willing to make any efforts you might just part ways. This might scare her and she might be more willing to work things out. You need to be strong and need to think for yourself too. If is not your entire job to make your wife's life enriching and to make her feel good all the time. I have tried this in my relationship and it has back-fired. I tried to please my partner all the time even if it meant me doing things and compromising on things that made be unhappy. I did all this to keep her from going away. And very soon I was so miserable that I wanted her to actually go away.
So good luck to you and your wife and please seek a counselor's help as soon as possible.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 10:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks Popi and ppoy. The situations because of which you felt depression about Indian women no more exists. That was very old. Now women are equally educated as men and education makes all the difference. Now they have right and way to express themselves. I feel good that my wife can express herself. But she lost the ability to listen and work on it.
I tried many times talking to her by holding her hands. Even I brought the topic of divorce, it scared her for a while, but she did not took any steps to work on that. And as I see she been always like that. That surprises me, how can that be because of depression?
Really I need to be bold and take steps now, but I cann't. I don't know why.
Her parents wants to come here. I thought for dilevery and for help after that. But it doesn't seems that way. Yesterday her father was dictating me that he can come from April to July, where as delivery is in Jan. He is showing off in his town that he is coming here. He is telling us that he is coming for helping for delivery. He is coming on my money. And above all he is dectating his terms.
And it doesn't stop there, my wife is fighting with me that I should keep saying, please come, please come. I sent him documents for visa, discussing plans with travel agents and now whats remaining. Is it fair to fight even after that. I did say please come even after he dictated his terms.
Yes I need to be bold.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 11:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

YOur life seems to get more complicated every day.

Perhaps when you say you need to be do need to be more assertive.

People seem to put unreasonable requests on your shoulders.

Make decisions about what you want to do, and stick to it. Make statements starting with "I".

Perhaps it might be better if they do come in April, does it really make any difference? When it all boils down to and your wife need to care for your child, and those early months are a learning time. Peace and quiet, take each day as it comes.

I dont agree with you when you say "the situations because of which you felt depression about Indian women no more exits"...I met an Indian girl last year, she was tertiary educated, arranged marriage, new immigarant...she was very subserviant, and unable to speak...she has gone on to have a baby...and finding it difficult. I dont know her very well.

Remember to think of the 'big picture"....try not to get weighed down with trivial arguments.

Happiness, health, security, and your child are your priorities.

Sorry if I sound like I am preaching.

Good luck with it all.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 11:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm sorry, but I can't find any sympathy for your wife at all. My husband and I work full time and we both spend a few hours every other weekend to clean the house thoroughly and never hired a cleaning service (we tried, but they didn't do as good a job as we could so why waste money and be aggravated?). I still have to do most of the daily household chores on top of that (cooking, cleaning, etc). There's no such thing as free meal, so if you don't work for it outside the house, you do it inside the house.

Seems to me your wife is having a great difficulty of letting go of the past and adjusting to her new 'home'. I know in India most families have servants to do house chores such as laundry, cooking, cleaning, ironing, etc.. so this may be the reason why she's not too eager to do those things herself. You said she talks all the time to her family but is not willing to start a new friendship here, this is another sign of her not being able to adjust to her new place comfortably because she's too busy clinging to the past and the people in her home country.

I know this because I also emigrated to the US almost a decade ago and I still remember the emotional difficulties I went through to start a new life from scratch without having the support system that you've relied on almost all your life in your home country.

The way I see it, until she learns to stop calling India as 'home' and learns to accept this new country as her present and future home, she'll never get over it and will continue to be unhappy and - as you say it - 'useless'.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 4:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Have been reluctant to respond due to unfamiliarity with the cultural issues described. However, I don't know of any culture wherein near-total non-participation in household/life tasks is considered admirable. Seems to me that you have a monstrous problem. Leaving the wife-issue behind for a a husband, householder, and normal mature adult I would straighten out her father in a matter of minutes. I don't know why you allow yourself to be treated by him in the manner you've described.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 11:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's time to think about the option of divorce. Sometimes it just doesn't work my friend. Regardless of culture, country, ethnicity or gender everyone has a place or role to play. I tend to be old fashion in my views so I have a bit more conservative and traditional idea of who's place is where. regardless of the view a persons place is still the reality. Failure for an individual to take on their responsibility and step up to their role, either chosen or assigned, is a sign of immaturity and just a refusal to grow up. Everyone deserves to live a life where they are happy to wake up. If you can't then you need to move on. If she can't then maybe you need to move on for her. Chances are that it would be the best course of action for both of you. No promises though, unfortunately nothing is guaranteed.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 1:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This post is FIVE YEARS old... your advice to way too late!


    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 11:35AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
hausband say bad words after he gives me gift!
hi, I appreciate any suggestions. We are married for...
Fed up and frustrated
I feel very frustrated and fed up with my marriage....
My wife says she loves me but should I believe her?
Hi. I know my situation might seem odd but here goes......
Intimacy Issues
My wife and I married at the age of 16, we were pregnant...
Husband treats me like crap! How do i stop it?
My Husband and I have been married for almost 5 years....
Sponsored Products
Align Upholstered Armchair in Charcoal
$329.00 | LexMod
4'' White Float Ornament
$9.99 | zulily
Fangio Lighting Lamps # 60 in. English Bronze Adjustable Metal Swing Arm Floor
Home Depot
Greenington | Orchid 6 Drawer Dresser
Baxton Studio Palfrey Round Ottoman - 531-BEIGE-OTTO
$341.99 | Hayneedle
MILANO-VS30-BK-VE 30'' Solid Birch Veneeer Bath Vanity
$870.00 | Blue Bath
Paris Bohemian Sofa Bed
Waverunner Sofa Set in Green
$1,499.00 | LexMod
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™