“Reena is making a mistake. She will regret her decision to leave me. After a year, when she will be all alone, divorced, and helpless you will realize what a blunder your daughter has made. But it would be too late!”, my husband told my mother when we took a divorce 2 years back.
Even my in-laws told my mother how divorcee men can still continue their life with happiness and joy whereas for divorcee women things are very difficult.
“Tomorrow when Reena will face financial, emotional & social struggles, she would understand how she has destroyed her life forever. Society accepts divorcee men easily whereas for divorcee women the life is extremely difficult. When she would feel helpless as a society will target her; when she will have no money to take care of her expensive lifestyle, she will come back running to our son. But, by then it would be too late!”
No surprise that my husband and my in-laws expected me to feel alone, divorced, helpless, and depressed after divorce. They were hoping when they meet me next I will beg them to take me back into their family but they will laugh at me and leave me alone to struggle.
After living with them for almost 3 years, I wasn’t surprised when they said all those poisonous words to my mother. I knew they were rooting for me to fail so that I become a laughing stock among our relatives. But, I knew I wasn’t ready to go back to my miserable life anymore.
I wasn’t working before my marriage and maybe that’s why Sumit agreed to marry me. With time, I realized how my dependency on him was used as an excuse to force me to make endless compromises and adjustments.
How my marriage felt more like an agreement where I was expected to take care of him like a nanny.
While he was focusing on his career, he wanted me to keep his home affairs in order. I was expected to serve him home-cooked food, keep his clothes ironed, make sure his wardrobe was in order! He had no time for me but he made sure to shout at me or express his disappointment in me whenever things weren’t done as per his taste.
Most of the time, it felt I was nothing more than an unpaid maid or a helper, who was a wife just for the sake of society.
He shifted from one city to another for his career and never even bothered to ask me if I was ever ready to leave behind my life and relocate. My financial dependence gave him an excuse to disrespect me because, in the end, he assumed I would not do anything to confront him!
He would never let me go to meet my parents as he expected me to take care of him whenever he was free from his work. We always used to celebrate every festival at his place, where he made sure that I take care of the kitchen and all the other responsibilities so that he and his family enjoy the festival.
After a while, I became so emotionally depleted with this whole arrangement of serving him and his family endlessly that I slipped into depression.
Then one day, after suffering for months, I decided that It was enough. I have to take up a job and start building myself. I wanted to end my dependence on him; I wanted to end the suffocation that I felt in this marriage; I wanted to build myself before its too late!
I tried to explain to him why working for me was a necessity as I was slipping into depression. He laughed at the whole idea and shared how it would disturb his schedule and would impact his work and our relationship. But, when I told him that we can divide our household responsibilities to make it work like many other working couples, he refused to take the discussion any further. He told me if I wanted to work I have to divorce him. His words shocked me. Those words broke my patience and took away all my desire to make the marriage work. Without any regret or shame, I said fine I will divorce you. And, since then there was no looking back.
Neither he apologized nor I waited for him to apologize. I was tired of living the life of his servant! In the end, we all have one life; then why waste it on people who don’t deserve you!
On the day, we were about to get divorced, my husband even said that I can apologize to him and resume my role as his wife.
It has been almost 18 months now. I have joined work as a software engineer. And recently, when my ex-husband and I met at a common friend’s party, he was shocked to see me. He kept looking at me for almost half a minute when we exchanged greetings. His continuous staring at me made it quite evident that he was extremely surprised to see my confident self; After talking to me for about 30 minutes, he realized that I had changed. I was more confident, more focused, and stronger than the last time we met.
Realizing how much he was surprised to see me happy and confident, I was beaming with even more confidence and self-pride. After some time, a friend joined us and shared how I was about to be promoted soon and how I paint, plant, and do so many things! By then, my ex-husband knew I was neither helpless, nor alone, nor full of regrets. I was building my life with every passing moment. I could see a sense of sadness covering my ex-husband’s face and he said:
“Oh, you are having fun without me… I did not imagine this but I am happy for you…”. Without wasting any time, I said: “Yeah, even I did not imagine this. But life has been grateful. And, I’ve no regrets!!”
In the timid voice, Sumit bid goodbye and said – I miss you! But, sadly it was too late for us. I have moved over. And, I won’t go back into that suffocating marriage ever again!
To the woman struggling in an abusive marriage, please gather your courage to move out. Believe me, you will be amazed by your own strength and courage. Don’t suffer in silence; Rather raise your voice for yourself! Because if you don’t then who will!