steroidsFor many women, the decision to work or stay at home with their children is a monumental one racked with guilt and all sorts of dilemmas. Wars between the two camps slamming one another for their choices don't help women feel any better. As stressful as it all is, however, at least most of us don't have a husband like Dalwara Singh who drugged his wife so she would become ugly and stay home.

According to a story in The Telegraph, the British man regularly ground up steroids and put them in her dinner so that she would suffer the unpleasant side effects such as weight gain, hair on her face and back, and itchy spots covering her body. His motive: So she, his wife of 17 years, would be too embarrassed to leave the house, give up her job, and would then be at home to take care of him and their two children.

The woman's attorney said, “He wanted to stop her from going out for walks, because he wanted her to be at home to cook for him and look after the children."

Unbelievable, and what a potentially dangerous way to get your wife to do what you want her to do. While I think spouses should absolutely have a say in whether a woman stays home or works, it ultimately has to be the woman's decision because otherwise no one will be happy. Trying to force a mother to choose one or the other isn't only sexist, but damaging to an entire family.

While few face a spouse as violent about his wishes as this woman, I know plenty of women who feel enormous pressure from a spouse to stay home or work, when that's not really what they want to do, or feel they should do, especially when their children are young (Singh's were 15 and 16, which makes it even more bizarre). I feel fortunate I'm not one of them, and my husband has always left the decision entirely up to me. After reading this story, however, if I start growing hair on my face, I may suspect he's changed his mind.

As for Singh, he's clearly a disturbed and selfish guy, who I'm glad got caught (his daughter busted him after she heard him grinding up the pills). Unfortunately, the lout escaped jail time with a suspended sentence and just some probation. That seems pretty minor for such a serious crime. Perhaps the best punishment, however, is that he's now moved out of the family home and has to do everything, including cooking, for himself.

Do you feel pressured by your spouse to work or stay at home?


Image via epSos.de/Flickr