Sometimes, it is enough that a woman wants a life of dignity and is no longer willing to put up with abuse from a husband, normalized in a patriarchal society.
It’s been over a decade of our not-so-happy partnership and at a point in life when most middle-aged couples are more or less settled in life, tuned to each other, and are busy making their future secure and raising children, I am on the verge of seeking a legal separation from you. It does sound awkward. I agree it does.
What went wrong and when, well neither of us may be able to put a pin on the exact time and place when we derailed. But we did and that’s a fact. Too much water has flown under the bridge for us to now sit and discuss and seek resolution.
There was a point when I was desperate to seek a solution and prayed for restoring marital normalcy. Now I don’t. I am not interested in it anymore. I have snapped. It took me some time to accept this. It will take some time for you, the favoured male, the mascot of our culture, to accept that your wife wants to dissolve the holy matrimony. It might be a blow on your bum sized fiery ego, constantly fanned by society and family, but you will have to deal with it.
The society in general, the families including aunts and uncles who I last met when I was in kindergarten, the nosy Bhabhi in the neighbourhood, the over concerned mausi who believes she really plays a pivotal role in my life, the well meaning friend of my father who philosophises on life and its ways, every single person has tried their best to convince me that the onus of making the deal work really lay on my shoulders since I was the ‘lesser’ of both.
I was counselled to save the great institution of marriage and not set wrong examples for the next generation. I was also cautioned about wagging tongues and malicious words that would start doing the rounds soon. I was warned of my children of bearing the brunt of my non-sacrificial and non-adjusting nature. I was asked if I was seeing anyone and at times even assumed I was. I was alerted of being tagged as ‘that divorcee‘, making me cringe in my belly as if being a divorcee was a slur at par at being called a cunt or prostitute. I have lost respect and faith in all those people, not because they advised me to save the marriage, but because they consistently failed to see the importance of dignity in a relationship. This has in fact brought me face to face with deeper and darker life questions.
Well, to make things clear, dear society, family, friends and of course husband, no, I am NOT seeing someone. At least not right now. I am not totally closed to it though. I am NOT contemplating a divorce because I am too focused on my career. I am NOT seeking freedom so that I can pursue my ways of life. I am looking to break free because my sense of being says me so. I acknowledge the fact that we are not meant to be. I am out of living in denial to complete acceptance.
You took me for granted for far too long.
You didn’t appreciate the small and big things I did for you.
You chose not to work on the relationship for years and expected the marriage to work just fine.
You made no investment in me and hoped to reap dividends for as long as I lasted.
You didn’t understand the value of small gestures of love.
You didn’t see the power of kind words. You chose to be kind to the world but me.
You refused to treat me with dignity in presence of others and when alone.
You failed to see the profound impact of simple acts of love like holding hands.
You assumed that pushing, punching and kicking didn’t qualify as physical abuse.
You decided to tame me by using fear and animosity instead of holding me with love and respect.
Your choice of words for abuse were not only uncouth but also spoke volumes of your culture.
Sex, with you was no less than punishment. Let’s not even talk of it.
Over the years, you made me a different person, someone I didn’t like. You failed to bring out the best in me. You made me loath myself.
You are the perfect example of how our society grooms men. You still ask me what’s wrong in this marriage and all I can do is ask you back what’s right in this marriage. You don’t feel anything wrong because this is so normal for you. You have grown up seeing this and you witness this all around you probably. For you, this is the only way a marriage operates. We seem to respect the institution of marriage far more than we respect each other! Heck!
There is a saying “A woman may be weak but a mother is strong”. The woman in me was still willing to give the damn institution another chance, like always but the chances ran out when the mother took control. The mother in me refuses to let her children witness an unhealthy relationship.
Ironically, this is exactly the opposite of the society has been telling her to do. Make it work for the sake of children. Well, I don’t want to make it work, for the very same reason, children. I want my children to witness a healthy and constructive environment at home that encourages participation, sharing, love, trust, respect, forgiveness, empathy, collaboration and dignity of self and others. Sadly, our home and relationship grossly lacks this. What is offer them is quite in contrast.
As a responsible mother, I do not wish my son to grow up to be like you. As a responsible parent I do not want them to have skewed opinions and imaginations of marriage, love and relationship. I want then to believe in love and respect their partners, and not just the institution of marriage. This is where the mother pushes behind the woman and takes charge and has the courage to break free, to seek a life of dignity and positivity for herself and her children.
I forgive you for what you said and did. I truly do. I do not wish to carry the burden of anger and resentment, for the distance I have to cover is long and the path tough. All I take with myself is pride, hope and love to reboot life once again, with equal fervour and enthusiasm with my army of two, my children. And I promise we will be happy, very happy without you.
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