29 years ago, while I gave birth to my daughter, she gave birth to the protective mother in me. When I held my daughter for the first time in my arms, I felt this strong sense of protection that I had never felt before.
With time, that sense of protection for my daughter grew stronger and stronger. But sadly, it hardly mattered how much my husband and I tried to protect my daughter from agony and pain, we failed the day we agreed to her getting married to a man who never deserved her!
Three years ago, my daughter told me that she was in love with a man, whom neither my husband nor I found suitable for her. But, she persuaded us that she would spend her whole life with him, whether we accept him or not.
Realizing that we won’t be able to change her mind and may lose our daughter, we accepted her decision.
So, she married a man of her choice, a love marriage that we knew might not be the best decision for our daughter. There were multiple reasons – firstly, we didn’t know much about the boy and his family. But, even more, important was that we wanted our daughter to finish her post-graduation before marriage.
And, as the family projected themselves as high profile, we felt there was a huge difference. We are simple people, who believe in modesty, whereas those were full of show and pomp!
But like any parent, we hoped our judgments about this marriage will come wrong. And, we would be proven wrong!
Though things were pretty okay for the first six months. But with time, my daughter started realizing how the man who was deeply in love with her had changed so quickly. He was under the constant influence of his father and mother, who controlled him like a puppet. Her conservative in-laws were highly insecure and disapproving of her and kept telling her how their son could have married a rich girl of a well-reputed business-class family.
Initially my daughter with the guilt of being proven wrong or being blamed for her reckless decision, kept quiet. She didn’t say anything to us about any ill-treatment. She kept everything inside her, which caused a lot of stress and led to hormonal imbalance.
She was trying really hard to make things work for her. From dressing up to cooking her husband’s favorite meals to following regressive traditions, she did everything. But nothing made their cruel hearts melt. Rather with every attempt, she found her husband and her in-laws getting more and more distant.
But, things got worse when my daughter had a verbal argument with her husband. And, my son-in-law tried to hit her.
It broke her. It made her acquainted with the ugly reality that she had landed up with an abusive and toxic man and her marriage was a wrong decision. And, when the abuse became a constant reality of her married life, she made a call, which my husband and I would never forget. She called us and said:
“Mummy, I made a mistake and I am paying heavily for it. And, I just want you and papa to know that you were right about R and his family. But, don’t worry, this is my mistake and I will bear the burden of this mistake till the end. I won’t let people talk on your back about my failed marriage. So, I will adjust and compromise with my situation till I can. I don’t want to bother you with the details because what is happening to me will pain your heart even more. And, I think I have already given you enough pain.”
Post which, she cried. And I just listened. After a while, she asked me to hang up with the promise that she will call back again. So, I did hang up. In the next few hours, I had a cyclone of thoughts. I was full of agony and anger.
Being honest, most of my anger was directed towards my daughter. I did blame her for ruining her life by choosing this guy.
I thought about the moments we told her that the guy wasn’t good enough for her. But, rather than listening to us, she told us that she will marry him anyway. How because of her stubbornness and stupidity, many people, especially, our nosy relatives will make a mockery of us? And, how she has destroyed her future!
But, then it occurred to me how I promised myself to take care of my baby at any cost. How I promised myself that I would never let her suffer in pain. And, how she could have met the same fate even if it was an arranged marriage.
What came next to my mind was not only scary but also heart-breaking.
What if she slips into depression and takes any extreme stress? Does my daughter’s life more important than our so-called status? Will I sacrifice my baby for the fear of what others will say? So, without wasting any time, I discussed it with my husband. I called back my daughter and said:
“Beta, you come back home. You don’t have to bear the burden of your one mistake for your whole life. Let people talk on our back if they want to. Your marriage doesn’t define you or us. You don’t have to suffer so that shallow people respect us! We don’t care about what society think about you or us… We just think about your happiness…”
It has almost been a year now, my daughter has come back home. She has started putting her broken life together. She has enrolled herself in her post-graduation course. She is becoming financially independent. And, most importantly, she has started smiling again.
Dear Parents, If your daughter is struggling, support her and stand by her. If you don’t, then who will.
Please remember, a divorced daughter is always better than an abused or dead daughter!