My Wife is My Life Companion

My Wife is My Life Companion

Publication info

Nivedita Shahi

It was difficult for Suneeta to adjust in her In-laws house even after 5 year of her marriage.  She had a 4 year old baby, and her role was very restricted at her in-laws’ home. Her entire day was devoted for house hold chores and taking care of in-laws. Her husband usually came home at late night, and they hardly had anything to share. They almost never talked.

When Suneeta got pregnant for second time, something changed for the couple. Suneeta joined  a mother’s group with support from a community health worker (organized with the help of CARE). Her husband Dharmendra became part of a young men group formed by CARE India. In the MG meetings Suneeta learns about safe behavior/ practices during pregnancy, delivery & post-delivery and neo-natal care. As part of the young men’s group, Dharmendra was amazed to learn about his role in her wife’s pregnancy. In the different sessions, he learned about care during pregnancy, delivery and post-delivery and neo-natal care.

He came to know that during pregnancy lot of changes happens in women body.  He understood that his wife needed not only medical check-ups, but she also need an emotional support. After that he gradually started taking care of Suneeta’s health.  He started coming home early, and he and Suneeta started eating meals together, which they had never done before.   Now Suneeta and Dharmendra have a healthy and friendly relationship.

Suneeta is in her 6 month of pregnancy and she is very happy with this change in her husband’s behavior. She mentioned, “Now I feel I am in my own home where I never feel alone.” Suneeta’s life isn’t the only one that has changed. Dharmendra also feels better and more He now thinks of his wife as a companion and partner.  He can share his everything with his wife, and can listen to her and take care of her.

I never realized that my wife can be my life companion -Dharmendra

The work with Suneeta and Dharmendra is part of Join My Village Maternal Health program, with the generous support of General Mills and Merck.  JMV helps the government service providers facilitate the mother’s group meetings that discussed about maternal and neo natal health and also issues of women’s empowerment. At the same time men’s groups were organized by partner staff in the same villages that sought to engage husbands of newly wed women and pregnant women.

About the Author:  Nivedita Shahi works with CARE's Join My Village Maternal Health project as a Field Coordinator in India.



Suneeta and her son at a mothers' group meeting.