Reply To: In the same situation again

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Dear D,

First of all, lets all calm down and not take such a despondent view of your marriage. All marriages go through ups and downs, especially around the time of major illness. Yours does not seem to be any different. So just take a deep breath and let it out with all the anger, disappointment and resentment. There is nothing in your wife’s attitude to show that she is considering Sec.498A case against you. A woman who wants to charge her husband with Sec.498A does not request him to leave her house. She calls the police and throws him out.

You probably are right about her medical condition , which coupled with your medical state has aggravated and caused avoidable tension in your relationship.

You are the adopted father of your daughter. I don’t know how old she is, but I presume from the years mentioned that both your children are around or older than 12 years of age. So no court is going to give your wife sole custody of your daughter without giving you visitations. Your position vis a vis your daughter is exactly the same as her father as you have legally adopted her. As her mother had consented to the adoption, please rest assured that you can not be legally locked out of her life. And kids of this age are smarter than we give them credit for. A daughter who has grown up with you is not going to give up the only dad she knows. So relax.

Lets tackle your fears about Sec.498A for a bit. The procedure is this. Any woman who approaches a CAW cell (Crime against women cell) with a complaint of dowry harassment against her husband and her in-laws is directed to appear for reconciliation hearings with her husband. Her husband is issued summons for the same. If the reconciliation proceedings fail to sort out their differences ( minimum 3 hearings are a must ) only then is the complaint considered for registration of FIR.

In your case, it would be most difficult for your wife to convince any policeman that the man who has adopted and bought up her fatherless daughter is harassing her for dowry. So please chill. Take another deep breath and let it out slowly. Stop looking for ghosts where none may exist.

What you both desperately need is to visit a marriage counsellor. Differences over tough times are probably driving both of you apart. And sleeping in different rooms never saved any marriage either. Give it a another shot. Go to a marriage counsellor fast. The option for breaking and getting divorced will always be there. Sometimes going to a marriage counsellor helps to sort out differences and sometimes it helps to pave the way to a civilized divorce. In any case, it is a win-win situation.

Sorry, if all I can offer is sensible homely advise and you were looking for charged up legal advise about how to beat a Sec.498A rap. I can give you that advise too, but my sincere opinion is that you don’t need and god willing, will never need such advise. But you can cross those bridges when you come to them. At this moment all you need is to talk dispassionately, clearly and most importantly lovingly ( something I suspect you both haven’t done for a long time ). In time, you both will cool down enough to figure out what is important to you both, the ghosts of your pasts ( your ex-wife and her ex-husband’s friends ) or the present that you both are throwing away in a pique of resentment.

I hope I have been of a little help to you. Call me if you ever wish to talk and clear your mind.

warm regards

sanjay mehra