I Wasn't Allowed To Speak With My Husband Before Marriage: This Is How I Paid For It

Anonymous Anonymous in Single Women Bad Women on 12 December, 2016

Most middle-class families still train their daughters to become the model and a good wife. Why am I not surprised? This is why. 

My parents were responsible for how educated and professionally proficient I am today. I swear, it's not my fault and had I known how you pay for being an educated woman in this society, I would've definitely considered alternatives. Unsurprisingly, even my 'modern parents' couldn’t help giving into the your-life-is-incomplete-until-you’re-married’ concept. 

For the uninformed, let me tell you how the arranged marriage market works these days.

It's not easy, you know. Families have a long list of ‘requirements’ – the prospective bride should be well-educated, beautiful, FAIR, slim. Although I noticed a lack in people wanting a career-oriented wife, I did come across families that did not want a woman in the family who could support herself. Who was not dependent enough for their 'independent son'. After a period of no takers for an over-qualified wife, I was finally ACCEPTED by a family.

The guy’s mother was adamant on keeping all the talks with my husband saved till afterwards. I reluctantly agreed thinking they still believed in the old ways. My husband was very supportive of my career but there was something he was really NOT into. In our room, in our bed, he was not interested in getting physical with me.

I convinced myself that it could be because of our different work shifts, but we did have the weekends to ourselves. The fact that my husband did not want to touch me stressed me out and his apathy towards this made everything worse. By now, I had suspected an affair, but my mind kept wandering off to thoughts more compelling.

I feared he was gay. And as f***ed up as it may sound, I wanted him to be having sex with another woman rather than a man.

I wanted to talk to my in-laws since my husband wasn’t being helpful, but I knew my mother-in-law would just share some words of wisdom.

"Aurat mooh band karke rahegi toh hi shaadi shuda zindagi hoti hai."

I don’t know what came over my husband’s friend, but he confided in me. He told me that the man I was married off to was, indeed, gay. And not just that. He told me that the entire family knew about it. I did not believe him because I was in love with my husband. However hard I tried, thinking about my husband’s behaviour, I couldn’t keep it to myself any longer and finally, I confronted him.

He denied it blatantly. He also said he’ll help me get over such baseless fears.

I had been taught to be adjusting and dutiful towards my husband and his family, so I did not even bring this up to my own parents, fearing I would be blamed for this as well.

My husband did not live up to his promise of loving me. In fact, his behaviour just got worse as each day passed. No matter how educated you are or how independent you think you are, in a patriarchal society, the ingrained ideas will rule you. So, I waited. I waited for my husband to love me back one day. I don't know what I was thinking. 

But, there was something else in store for me. My strength came crashing down when my husband’s relative backed his friend’s claim. I died every moment I spent in that house after that. My husband and I started arguing a lot after this news and I guess, he knew he couldn’t make me un-believe what I knew. So, he stopped caring. 

My parents were abroad when he gave me a divorce and I had no one to console me. The saving grace was that divorce is a speedy process in Islam but only a man has the right over it. My husband used his 'right' and cited mis-behaviour and incompatibility as reasons to leave me. I begged him to take me back. I regret it today. I should have been strong because I did not deserve him.

I’m not homophobic but what gives them the right to spoil another person’s life under societal pressure?

All his family had to say during this entire episode was that working women cannot have a happy married life or "Our boy has different sexual preferences". I would've respected their honesty and moved on. I would’ve instantly taken a step back.

A lot of illogical things were said to me. My favourite one is when I was told that my career choice made him gay. The thought of it still amuses me. I do not understand how my career led to the fall of my marriage. I'm sure the elders found the reasoning that best suited their orthodoxy in my married life. 

I am still looking for these answers.

Author’s note:

I guess I shouldn’t have mentioned my religion but I did because it’s the women who suffer due to the rights the Muslim men have, particularly the triple talaq. I fail to understand what can make people overcome the negativity surrounding an educated/working woman. They also want to be good wives and mothers like any stay-at-home woman. Their career is a priority but that does not make them any less of a family person. 

Editor’s note:

Share this story because no arranged marriage should be based on false pretence. Nobody deserves that!