I belong to a moderate middle-class family. I am the only son of my parents and know that I have to take care of them now.
I am 26 now. I want to shoulder my responsibilities in a mature manner and do my bit to make my parents happy now.
My father worked from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. all through his life in order to support me and give me a good quality education. My parents did not force me to get married. I wanted to get married. I had to go in for an arranged marriage because I had never had the courage or the time to convert my love and my attraction into a stable promising relationship.
The focus of my life had never been on falling in love with anyone. I knew such relationships needed time and commitment.
But now I was stable financially. I was confident that I could keep my entire family in comfort. However, I did not know that my nightmares were just about to begin. I married a girl who was working in my company. I did meet her once but was not too confident about her.
She was not exactly the kind of girl I was looking for. But I realized that she was a person who most suited my expectations.
She was the best girl I had met so far too. I had interacted with quite a few girls and I was tired of rejecting girls and getting rejected. I was 27 now. I had a job which involved extensive travelling. We had 11 months to get to know each other.
She was able to gel well with my family and I had no regrets about deciding to marry her.
Our wedding turned out to be an outstanding event. We were all happy that we had created such an impact on people with our wedding.
But a month later my wife came crying to me and said, “I want to leave my job. I am not all that career oriented.” I was shocked when she said this because I knew she had always enjoyed her office life.
I wondered what had gone wrong. I had a lot of liabilities at that time because I had recently bought my own house. I wanted to ensure that she lived in a house with all the latest amenities. I knew she was used to such things before she got married too. I had also spent quite a lot on our wedding.
I made her understand things. I said, “All your education will go in vain if you choose to quit now. I cannot take care of all the basic expenses and the extra expenses too with my salary. I can’t afford to pay for all the fringes that we now enjoy.”
She understood what I was saying and continued working. But I could sense her frustration turning into aggression every day. I realized that there was something fishy. I then came to know that she was very close to her boss.
My middle-class values could not accept this kind of closeness. Sometimes our sixth sense gives us a clear indicator of things that are happening. But we choose to ignore it because we prefer to live in our comfort zones and value our peace of mind.
One fine day she called me up saying that she had committed the biggest mistake of her life.
She said I knew the person she was talking about. I remembered what I had told her a while back. I had said, “You always have such good things to say about your boss. I hope you are not having an affair with him.” And now when I heard her telling this I was shattered. I told her to discuss the matter with both sets of parents.
She refused to do so and started talking about killing herself. She said she wanted to run away because she knew they would never accept her if she told them about what she had done. I tried to calm her down and told her that it was OK. I said, “Let’s start afresh again.”
I planned a baby because I thought a baby would strengthen the bond between us. I hoped that it would bring us closer.
Unfortunately, she suffered a miscarriage so we had to wait for 6 months to plan the next baby. We went on an expensive trip to plan our second child. It clicked. I was now getting multiple opportunities to travel and I made full use of them. I wanted my child to have the best of things in life.
I felt things were finally falling into place.
I knew that my child would be born with a golden spoon. Our relationship was quite smooth sailing now and I showered her with gifts, sweets etc. She was not too confident of herself after the delivery and suffered from post maternity depression.
I supported her to the best of my ability during this phase.
She resumed working in her office and I had to travel for a long-term assignment now. I had to ensure that I did something extra for my kid. I would buy lots of clothes and other stuff for my kid. Such things were not available in my city.
I showered my wife and my in-laws with gifts and they treated me like their own son. I shared a lot of goodwill with my in-laws.
Strangely enough despite working so hard, I was given a poor rating for my work. I felt so helpless when this happened. But I also felt that this had happened because my wife’s boss had influenced my boss. I knew both of them were good friends.
I couldn’t control myself at this time. I blamed my wife for this and even abused her at times. I felt I had let down my baby, my parents and all the other people I loved.
I immediately quit my job. I returned home and mustered the courage to start my own business. I asked my wife to support me at this crucial juncture of my life. But I did not get the support that I expected from her. I started becoming even more impatient with her. I was losing all my romantic feelings for her.
We have been married for 4 years now. But she has not even cooked for me once. None of my family members expected her to do any of the household chores. My mother is physically handicapped and bound to a wheelchair. But she handles all the household work with the help of maids. My kid has been staying with my in-laws from the day he was born. I thought it was an ideal solution for our kid. My in-laws would feel less lonely and my kid too would be taken care of properly.
Moreover, I have not had any kind of physical contact with my wife for the past 11 months. We have been married for 4 years now but we could not have any kind of physical relationship for almost 3.5 years because either we were fighting or I was travelling.
I feel really upset now. My in-laws are saying that I have tortured her for 4 years and I have used their daughter.
We are a family that believes in our values.
We did not ask them for any dowry when I got married. We got several gifts from them over these past 4 years. But we made it a point to return the courtesy either in cash or kind.
Unfortunately my wife has not even made a chappati for me in these past 4 years.
I am a cultured man who believes in values. I am rational and honest. But I am deeply pained by all that is happening in my home. It has turned into a graveyard which is filled with silence.
I have lost touch with my kid. I don’t know if I have to face the law now. I don’t know if I will get justice. I believe in woman empowerment and gender equality. I often feel that women have more power than males. But I never knew that a woman could misuse the power that she had to ruin a simple moderate middle-class family which believed in values.
Life does not always begin and end with our own selves. For people like me it has always been “US” and to me “US” means thinking of everyone at the same time. For people like me “independence” does not translate into misusing my freedom. I ensure that my actions don’t hurt others.
That is the kind of person I have always been and will always be. I will continue to believe in my values and stand by them. I just hope that my life improves in the near future.