I have been married to the daughter of my father's cousin for 1+ years. My father has a very friendly relationship with this cousin. Following are my observations about my wife's and her parents' behavior right from marriage and my opinions about the same:
- Both parties contributed 50% to our marriage expenses (marriages in India are quite an expensive affair). I found nothing wrong with this.
- However, I was expecting them to help me for 50% or at least something while setting up our house. My elder brother got support for air conditioning, refrigerator, and TV. I got absolutely nothing. I was like ok... experience with my brother might have given me unrealistic expectations.
- While planning the honeymoon, my wife contributed nothing. She said she used to give all her salary to her mother which she used during the marriage. So she had no savings left in her account after 4-5 years of work experience (though her salary is not much, INR 14000).
- After marriage, she asked whether she should pay my parents 5000 INR for household expenditures. Out of courtesy/care, I said that's not needed as I already used to pay my parents (we live in a joint family and my parents take care of household work). After some days, she asked whether she can pay 5000 INR to her family. I asked her not to as I was really starting to feel financially exploited due to the first three points.
- Now she has adopted a new behavior pattern. She goes to her parent's house every alternate weekend and takes care of some expenditure which goes unaccounted as she does not have to actually transfer money from her account to her parents' account. But many times from conversation, I get an idea of how much she might have paid for different things while she is at her parent's house, like for Uber / Ola, for outings, etc.
- Recently her father got a serious illness. So to help them out, she gave all her (40000+ INR) money she saved after marriage to her parent. In addition, I also gave them money (50000+), though not directly. During 4-5 months of her father's diagnosis, my wife used to ask for a lot of money for different things (like 2000 INR for going to a distant temple to pray for her father's health). I did not get this money back and don't know if I will. Before giving all this money, she said she will pay me back. But I didn't get it yet.
I am basically exhausted due to the feeling of being financially exploited. How should I fix it? I thought I should let her pay 5000 INR to her parents monthly and make her not to go to their house every alternate weekend. But I doubt whether she will agree to that as that would require her to accept that she goes to her parents' house mainly to support financially. And even if she agrees, I believe she will still monetarily support her parents whenever she will go to her parents' house in addition to the monthly payment. I know it all sounds like me being financially close-minded, but I want to keep it fair.
I have some other points, like during shopping, she needs me badly and many times she has no money left for her own shopping. I used to feel where all her salary goes.