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Is a wrong marriage better than no marriage at all? It is high time that we came out of the age old compulsion of getting our daughters married, even if it ruins their life.
13 years back I was married to a Doctor; it was an arranged marriage fixed by the family. My family was satisfied that they had finally found a suitable boy for their only daughter. He was a dental surgeon earning enough to support his family. It was a mini-joint family. In May the marriage was fixed and within one month I was married to him. We hardly knew each other, as we both were busy with our lives and the preparations for the big day. Finally, the day arrived and I got married.
I entered my new home with lots of dreams and aspirations for a new life and a new beginning. It started well enough – we went for our honeymoon and all was going in a smooth manner. A few days later, I started experiencing his odd behavior towards me and my family. He was not giving me enough time, and whenever I would speak to my family, his family would listen to it through the intercom. My mother-in-law started poking her son about me; she would give wrong information to him about my bad behavior with them, that I keep avoiding them, and that I didn’t know how to respect elders, nor did I know how to live in a family.
Once my parents visited my house on an invitation from my mother-in-law, for dinner, which I prepared. In front of all the family members, she started abusing my parents, about how they had not taught their daughter how to live in a family, that I had a habit of arguing with everyone, and that I did not listen to them. When I tried to intervene as my parents were humiliated by them, my husband pushed me into the bedroom and started arguing and shouting at them. After watching and listening, my father tried to open the door of my bedroom, saying that if his daughter had so many weakness, he would take her back. At this, my husband pushed my father and both he and his mother pushed my parents out of the house and shut the door. The next day his mother called all her relatives and told them that my parents had visited them without notice, tried to misbehave with them and when they tried to call the police, they fled.
He and his family confined me to the four walls of the house, where I was working like a maid. Every night before sleeping, he used to sleep with me and raising his hand on me now and then was his habit. Whenever my parents would call, or try to contact me, his mother would shout abuses at them. My father-in-law was a spectator in the house. For almost nine months I was confined. I was living with a monster. Then one day my grandmother visited me; he was not at home and the servant opened the door and let her in. I started crying like a baby; she consoled me, hugged me and asked me to come with her, but his mother intervened that without his permission, I could not leave the house. My grandmother took me away with her after a few verbal arguments.
I joined my parents, and he tried to call me, say sorry to me and to my family, especially to my grandmother for his misbehaviour and raising a hand on me. He visited my house and promised my family that he would mend his ways and that his mother would also behave properly with me. He promised that from then onwards I would have no complaints. After spending a few days at my parents’ house, I finally returned. For the first few days it was fine, but then again his behavior changed and so did his mother’s.
For almost three years I tried to keep this marriage going, with the help of my family and relatives, but he did not change; his behavior was getting worse day by day – throwing food at me, raising his hand, abusing me and my family. This was his way of showing that he was a man.
Three years of torture made me so strong, that finally, I decided to quit and walked out of his home. Two months later I filed for a divorce. After one year and 6 months, I was legally divorced.
I gathered the broken pieces of my life and once again started a new one. But this time I was sure that no man would enter my life. It’s almost 8 years since my divorce – I’m presently working and living a peaceful, healthy and happy life. My parents are happy and satisfied that their only daughter has won a long and lonely battle with flying colours & that I was no more in the wrong hands.
I wanted to thank my parents for their constant support and love, especially my mother and grandmother. Marriage should not be the ultimate goal of any family for their daughters, as living a lonely and secure life is far better than living with monsters. I request all parents to kindly believe in your daughters, they need love and affection. Today the society has come a long way, things have drastically changed, you do not need a MAN to live a life.
Single women can adopt a child, they can earn their living and can be at peace with themselves. Don’t force them to get married, bear children and kill their dreams.
I am not against marriage, I believe in the institution of marriage, but the wrong marriage can be dangerous for a woman as well for her family…
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Neha Agarwal, working in school as an Administrator for the past 6 yrs.
Along with teaching civics we should teach the meaning of basic human rights to kids in schools so that from a young age they understand the meanings of all those the lofty words in our Indian Constitution. Not only that kids must be taught that violating these rights is a grave sin and fault. When individual rights are violated at every level, there is no meaning of teaching- equality, liberty, freedom and other such values in civics classes. Your story is not an isolated case of violation of human rights. This degree of abuse and violation exists across caste, religion and social class and is widespread. It is fantastic that you have found a way to the light from a very dark place of pain and trauma. May you go from strength to strength and may you help others you know make more intelligent choices by not succumbing to custom and tradition simply because it is the commonest thing to do.
Well done Neha!
Great neha…A brave lady!Admire your courage and patience
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