I have been married for 8 years now. Medically both of us are not fit to reproduce, however, I am always at the receiving end of taunts from my in-laws. I have had a word with my husband to try and reason with his parents but it doesn't seem to work. I want to adopt a child but my in-laws are against this and so is my husband. I can't do this on my own as I am financially dependent on my husband. What should I do?
You are right, you cannot do this on your own specially if you are not financially independent. I really hope that achieving independence is something you are willing to explore before having a child. It is a great long-term goal to have and it will make you feel much more resourceful and autonomous, with or without the child. If having a child is more important than your independence right now, you will definitely need support.
So how to transform you from foes into friends? Understand where they are coming from with empathy. Your husband and the in laws are behaving badly because they feel upset and guilty about him not being physically fit too. Blaming and taunting someone else is always easier that acknowledging our own issues. Talk to the guilt and shame underneath their taunting. Introduce them to someone who has faced a similar challenge and have them explain that not been able to have a child is normal. Many people go through it and it doesn’t make them any less in the eyes of society or the gods.
Dig into their value system and have someone they trust and relate to have the same conversation. They will be more willing to concede to someone they share a cultural similarity with. If all this fails, seriously reconsider having children. Bringing a child in this environment would be unfair even if you had been financially independent. The taunting would continue and most likely be directed towards your child too.
(The writer is an Intimacy & Relationship Coach and an Independent People and Culture Specialist focusing on relationships, sexuality, youth and social media in South Asia. Have a query? Send it on fpjcandidcorner@gmail)