I am a simple but well-educated and working girl belonging to a middle-class family. My family went through tremendous trauma after the demise of my only brother. I was 27 years old and my parents' only concern was to get me married into a known family.
They didn't have the courage to face any more troubles and wanted a typical arranged marriage for me.
They received a proposal from my father’s friend who was looking for a bride for his son. When uncle came home and spoke to my father about the match, my father blindly trusted him because it was his friend’s family.
He did ask uncle to check with his son if was ready for the alliance. After all, it was about his life too and he must have had his own dreams and desires. But uncle simply said that his son was fine with his father’s choice. All uncle wanted was a well-educated, simple girl for his family who could easily adjust to their environment.
They found me intelligent enough through my mark sheets and were hopeful that I would eventually get a government job.
Finally, the elders of the family fixed everything. Though we were family friends, the guy and I had not seen or met each other in several years. Therefore, a formal meeting was arranged between us.
I had previously seen him in photographs and he was equally good looking in reality too. He was handsome, tall and fair. Though I was fair enough, I was lean and short according to him. But that didn’t matter because everything had already been fixed between the families.
I blindly and quietly followed my parents’ decision as they would never think ill of me.
They were already disturbed by the past events and stressed about my marriage. Most importantly, it was a known family so I accepted their decision.
Within a few days, the roka ceremony was performed. As with every girl, I had butterflies in my stomach.
I dreamt of a wonderful courtship period followed by a happy married life.
However, even though we lived in the same city, my fiancé never agreed to meet me nor did he entertain my calls. I tried taking many initiatives to talk to him but it was all in vain. He'd ignore my calls or make excuses that he was extremely tied up or simply say that he didn’t notice my messages or calls.
These unanswered calls and ignored messages had me crying for several nights.
At times, he would call for barely two minutes at the end of the day or the following day and ask if I had called for some work. He always neglected my demand of meeting him giving the lame excuse of being busy since he was a fresher in the job. Almost every other night, I would cry myself to sleep.
Ultimately, I couldn’t take the suffering and ignorance any longer. I tried calling him and left him a message to call me back urgently. He called me late in the night and I asked him to meet me.
But he made an excuse of being overburdened with work and convinced me to talk on the phone itself. I cried my heart out to him on the call. I requested him to let me know if he didn’t like me or had a past, which he hadn’t been able to forget.
I even told him that if he was in love with someone else or had agreed to the marriage under family pressure, he could still say no and call off the wedding.
This was the only time we had because the wedding was just 2-3 months away. But he maintained that nothing was wrong and I was overthinking. He said that he liked me and wanted to marry a girl of his parents’ choice only.
His only excuse for ignoring me was that his job was new and he hadn't settled in it. It was a private job and he had to struggle, therefore he was always busy. He asked me to be patient and said that we’d have our entire life to talk and be together.
He managed to convince me and also gave me hope that things would get better after we got married and started living together.
We got married and I was hopeful that he would finally have time for me. But there was no change in his behavior. In fact, things went from bad to worse.
I was shocked to see that he had invited just one or two of his friends to the wedding. Now, even after a year and a half, I barely know any of his friends. I don’t even know their names because he says it’s none of my business.
Since the time we got married, he has never taken me out. Our only outings were the times when he dropped me at my parents’ house and later picked me up. However, he stopped that too because he was busy and asked me to manage by cab. He has never even taken me to any function.
I am allowed to go with his family members but he doesn't have the time to take me along.
He has never allowed me to click any pictures along with him. If I'd manage to take a photograph with him and upload it as a display picture, out of sheer excitement of being newlyweds, he would yell at me. He never even allowed me to touch his cell phones.
I can put up my solo pictures publicly but not with him because he says that he doesn’t look good in pictures and doesn’t like them.
He never comes home before 11 pm, sometimes even later or early in the morning and gives the lame excuse of client meetings outside the city. A few times, I’ve even caught him coming home drunk.
In such situations, he emotionally blackmails me and begs me not to complain to his family. And once the night is over, he returns to his regular detached self.
His mother is overprotective about him and keeps the gate open at night if he gets late in reaching home. If the gate is closed, he comes home the next morning claiming that he was extremely exhausted to drive further and slept in the car itself.
He makes fake stories and his parents blindly believe him.
If I stay at my parents’ home for 15-20 days, I barely get any calls from him. If I try to call, I’m reminded of the courtship days because he still doesn’t have time for me.
In his house, he talks rudely to me in front of his entire family. He finds enormous faults in everything I do and complains that I’m not good in cooking or in household work. He says that I am very lean and also has a problem with my job because it’s private and not in a government office.
Over the last one year, I’ve arranged several surprises and gifts for him on every occasion. However, he doesn’t bother to appreciate them nor does he care for any special dates related to me or us.
Moreover, his mother covers all his mistakes. My mother-in-law keeps telling me to gain weight or get a government job to impress him.
If I complain about his rude behavior, I’m told to be patient and get used to his tone because it is normal for them.
She keeps giving me instructions about my husband's likes and dislikes. If he misbehaves or tries to insult me, she tells me to tolerate it because he is the husband.
A husband can abuse or even raise his hand in anger and as his wife, I am expected to bear it.
She is very traditional in her views and believes that husbands are husbands; you can't question them or argue with them. I’m told to learn to handle his tantrums. Even if he is doing something wrong, I’m not allowed to complain or else he will get angrier.
If he doesn't have time for my outings, I shouldn’t be dependent on him. I have to manage on my own because outings are not important. I just have to focus on household work and get a government job to keep him happy.
When I informed my mother-in-law that her son was returning late from work and that too drunk, she denied it in front of the other family members just to protect him.
The next morning, my husband also blamed me and said that I was trying to ruin his image in front of his family because he asked me to do household chores.
He has never bothered to listen to my problems. Whether I’m frustrated or ill, I’m expected to manage on my own. He has clearly said, “Give me my freedom and space. Stop expecting things from me. Let me live my life in my way and you live your own life."
"Follow the rules and traditions made by your mother-in-law and become self-sufficient. Don't be dependent on me for anything"
My mother-in-law has also given me the same words of advice.
But is it really possible for a newlywed girl to survive in a joint family where her husband acts strange and is always busy? He is least concerned about his responsibilities in the family but asks me to follow his mom’s orders.
No matter how many efforts I make, his attitude is the same. He is not trying to make any effort or give time to improve our relationship. He tries to stay outside as much as possible. He is not home even on the weekends.
If I cry in front of him, he starts shouting because he hates my tears and calls it a drama.
I have asked him a thousand times if he loves someone else or has an affair or was against this marriage but he denies everything. If I try to involve my family in the matter, he gets even more agitated. While his family is least bothered about our relationship.
They are busy in training me as the ideal "bahu" who can solely take care of household chores and other responsibilities.
On the other hand, they are over-pampering their son even after marriage and have not entrusted him with any responsibility. All they do is give him the freedom to enjoy his life. His siblings understand my situation but they are helpless because he has always been the same.
I am fed up with my life. I have never done wrong to anyone.
I was the girl who always thought about her parents’ happiness and pride.
I never demanded much in this relationship. I never asked for precious gifts or expensive dinners. All I expected is a little love, concern, care and time with him to strengthen our relationship.
Having tolerated his ignorance, avoidance, and insults for more than a year, I am slowly losing my patience. I am badly stuck in this situation.
Why have I been given this destiny, why do I have to suffer this deep pain with no fault of mine?
Why have these little things become so complicated in my life?