Hi guys. I am a non-amritdhari sikh woman. I used to cut my hair a lot before I met my husband who is amritdhari. When I met him we both instantly connected because we had similar values - both vegetarian, never had alcohol, didn't party and were close to family and believed in Waheguru. The only thing is that he was always more into sikhi than me. But he never asked me to change anything about myself besides stop eating eggs- which I did. So things got serious pretty fast, we fell in LOVE and I met his family who was really traditional, conservative and every member was an amrit dhari sikh. They even had the GGSJ in their house. Initially I felt like I am way too different, his fam is way more strict than mine in terms of religion and that I didn't fit in. I told my husband at the time and he said DW once they get to know you they will love you.
BUT they were so closed off for even getting to know who I was until I accepted their terms and conditions to stop cutting my hair. This was hard for me because I feel pressure from society and am personally really insecure about how I look and I want to look pretty. I want to feel pretty and that involves me wearing make up/cutting hair/doing eyebrows/shaving.....but to please his family I agreed. My husband also said you can cut it a bit but not a noticeable length and just don't let his parents find out. I agreed out of fear to this promise. And I always felt it was wrong for them to impose their views on me, but I also understood that I was not their "ideal daughter-in-law" who was amrit dhari, knew how to read punjabi and do kirtan. I continued growing my hair long until we got married, but always trimmed it a bit.
And let me tell you I was 21 when I agreed to start keeping my hair. I got married when I was 24 and now I just turned 25. it has been 6 months since we have been married and we moved away from home because of my husbands job. I don't live with my in-laws.
Recently I wanted to change my hair around. It has grown so long and it bothers me, its not comfortable for me to leave out or tie up, I just didn't feel pretty. Then my mother in law sent me a family video of relatives celebrating Lohri. That's when it clicked in my brain...when I saw all those relatives with hair cuts/highlights and really expressing themselves however they wanted to be, I decided that I AM GOING TO STOP PPL PLEASING. I told my husband that I am tired of all of this, I want his family to accept me for me. I know hair is a big deal to them but they should not define me based on my hair length. I just felt like everyone in this life is free to live on their own terms. Even his parents used to eat meat before they DECIDED to become amritdhari sikhs. IT WAS THEIR CHOICE. Why is that I do not have the freedom to make my own choice in this relationship????
My husband and I had a huge argument because I wanted to cut my hair and also highlight it. My family, mom, sisters - they all colour/cut their hair. His extended fam can also do the same. Why am I SO POLICED on this topic. I just don't understand why they can treat me this way. My husband got so mad at me and said that you are going against your word that you gave to my family. And i told him even you knew that I didn't willingly want to make that promise, I felt pressured to otherwise I would never have been able to see him. And he is the one who told me to just leave his family in the dark about me trimming my hair.
Either way, I have been really angry at him for not supporting me and his family for being so superficial. I am a kind person. Hair is not all that Sikhi is. Connecting to Waheguru is personal and every person should have the right to decide how they want to practice their religion. If I don't feel connected when I am keeping my hair and am simply keeping it out of fear so people accept me.....that is not a good reason.
Just today I highlighted and got my hair cut. My husband is super angry with me. I feel like if he is being so close-minded about this I feel like his parents are going to disown me. He should understand me and how I was raised. The family and background I come from. It's so hard feeling like people will disown you if you change something about yourself. I just want to live like a free woman.
Before I got married my family was strict in other ways (going out/hanging with friends/travelling) and they would say when you get married then do whatever you want.
Now I am married and have to do whatever my husband and his family want.
I just feel so trapped. Any advice? Did I do the right thing? I feel like I did because it makes me feel more confident in my own appearance and I want the freedom to make my own choices. If I decide to do something I want it to be based off of authenticity, not because someone forced/pressured me.
I appreciate all your thoughts.