I was 21 and had recently started my job when I met this guy. He was three years older than me. He was handsome, loving and the most caring guy I had ever met. Slowly friendship turned into something more, it was something inevitable. Coming from a family that was broken, his nature of taking up my responsibility was the one that got me.
But, everything between us moved very fast and I didn't stop it. Within 10 days of telling my family about him, I was married off. I never said I was ready for marriage, I was barely a graduate... but it happened.
I loved him too much to leave him, and he didn't step back either. My parents told me that his mom was not in the best of her health and he would expect me to care for her, I was okay with it.
"Which son would ask his wife not to care for his mom?" I asked them. They told me I'd have to drop all modern wear, my husband told me that such restrictions will only apply for one year. I was okay with that too, I did not want to loose him over a pair of jeans. I couldn't have guessed where all of this was going.
So I was married off, and I was happy. Until, I wasn't.
I got such a caring husband and he accepted me with all my flaws. The initial few months were okay despite the fact that his mom took it as a personal mission to point out all my mistakes in everything. I was told that they have to pay off some debt so I had to give my salary to my hubby. I started working from second day of my marriage and my husband went off for a fortnight training.
Every night my father-in-law would get drunk and I was not allowed to sleep alone. My mom-in-law would come and bolt the door from inside. I never understood why, but I never dared to question her.
By the way, I was the only one in my family 'blessed' with a fair complexion. And I was constantly reminded of how the rest of my family was dark and not beautiful. It made no sense to me, but I took it. I was homeless now, basically. So, the one home that I had, I tried my best to keep it.
When I chew on food, I blink my eyes in sync with my jaw due to a medical condition, you won't even know what I'm looking at if I don't tell you about it.
"Please do not eat in front of our relatives, it's humiliating," my father-in-law said to me numerous times. I spoke about this with my husband, and my father-in-law did not talk to me for weeks.
Then came the day of my biggest discovery, my father and mother-in-law had a fight one night and he slapped her. Right in front of me and their son.
I was angry, I was so so angry.
I spoke with my father-in-law about this, and he told me very calmly that it was no big deal. He tried to convince me by saying that she even had a few broken bones earlier on into the marriage. Theirs too was a love marriage and that too a runaway one.
I felt so helpless, I spoke with my husband and made him understand that it was wrong. That he should've stood up for his mother. Many a times his dad would throw her out of the room in cold December nights. Slowly, I made my husband and his mom's relationship stronger. At least that made me feel a bit better. It got me nothing obviously but satisfaction is a thing, I guess.
Soon after, my relationship with my husband took a few bumps. I developed some medical condition, and things became difficult. As if, falling ill was a crime. Same guy who used to stand by me through thick and thin was the one who started calling my parents to brainwash me.
He would blackmail me that he'll call my mom and complain if I did anything unwarranted. My mom was going through a hard time herself, I did not want to be another problem in her life. At times I tested him and he did end up calling her.
Then came the first slap in our marriage. Yes, like father like son, I should've guessed this one earlier.
I don't even remember why, but it was for something petty. Things began to change pretty fast after that day. My husband and his parents would tell me what to tell my mother to bring for various festivals etc. But still they weren't happy, especially his mom. She would always find problems in everything my parents did or got.
I tried everything I could, I would do maximum work in the morning, even if it meant leaving home for office without eating breakfast. I would come back home and do all I could, again. I worked 9-7, I did whatever I could.
Around this time I received a facebook message from his friend who told me how he was pursuing her for an extra marital affair. She even sent me their whatsapp chat on my email. I ended up staying in a gurudwara that night. I did not know what to do. I could not talk to anyone, I chose him after all. To spend the rest of my life with. I don't know how, but he convinced me that it was a fake chat. So that was that, the girl disappeared. I had no choice but to believe him.
Things just kept going down, it was a few months after my first anniversary that we were ALLOWED to go for an outing. With his 15-20 relatives. All through the tour I kept asking myself, "Is he the guy I fell in love with?" He would go off with his relatives and leave me standing in a corner.
We had a bad fight there once and he said to me: "I regret the day I decided to marry you." I had been saying the exact same things in my head for days now.
It is the most helpless feeling in the world, to regret a decision you made for yourself, especially when you're stuck in the 'societal norms' of things.
We came back from the trip and the routine took off, yet again. There were good moments, many of them. He still cared for me, and did what he could to help me survive in his family. He would beat me up, but then he would beat himself over it. He would cry, ask me to forgive him. Get me to promise him that I would never leave him.
After our second anniversary, we went on the same tour with his relatives but this time it was great. He actually paid attention to me, those were and will probably be the best days of my life.
However, after we came back from the trip, things became worse. I don't know if things can get any worse in a 'love marriage'. My mom-in-law would tell him in front of me to slap me if I replied rudely to him. And he would, of course.
Then came the breaking point, he tried to harm my younger brother who is almost eight years younger than me at my parents' house. Reason? His friend visited him.
I tried talking to his mom and dad, but he called my parents. Eventually, I had to tell my birth givers what I had been going through for the past two and a half years. They knew about the demands but not physical violence. They spoke with his parents and eventually, I ended up back there.
But this time, my 'caring hubby' was gone. In his place was this cold cold guy who saw me as an object. He would remind me that he was in power now, one day he will take revenge over the humiliation I put him through.
He would hurt someone I love, someday, he promised me.
I took him on a solo tour, first one in three years. Hoping it would help us. Bring us closer again, but I failed. On 22nd of September, he beat me up again, I called my parents. This lady from the neighbourhood tried to choke me when my parents were downstairs.
I have been living with my parents since then, he has changed his mobile number and he disconnected mine too, twice. I had to change it, in the end. He is not ready for divorce, neither does he want to leave his parents and live separately with me. Not even on a different floor in the same house.