How Do You Live with A Husband You Wish You Had Never Married?

How do we know who's right for us and whether we're meant to be? Because, as far as I can discern, divorce was and still an alien concept for most middle-class Indian families. 

How do we know who’s right for us and whether we’re meant to be? Because, as far as I can discern, divorce was and still an alien concept for most middle-class Indian families. 

It was in the late 1970s when two individuals met at a hockey field and felt a connection that they could share for the rest of their lives and considered it to be a fortunate union.

This story which I am about to share is very personal to me. Henceforth I have decided to change the name for privacy concerns.

One day Dhara, a woman in her early twenties approached a man named Prithvi to marry her. “Do you want to marry me or not?” she asked him. “If yes then we must continue our meetings, otherwise we must put an end to it.” Prithvi responded, “Of course I want to marry you.”

When I first heard of it, I felt that Dhara had been a feminist, but the realised that she had no idea then of the concept of feminism, and all she knew was that she was bold enough to make that declaration, which was a lot to take in an era when women were not meant to leave their houses alone.

Dhara had waited for Prithvi for 9 years, and I was shocked to learn that it was an inter caste marriage at the time. I have to commend their parents for being quite open-minded at the time; even today, many people aren’t.

Dhara watched her life unfurling into a scary nightmare

Everything went well and they both got married, while she thought of her husband as caring and loving. But, just a few days later, she woke up from her fantasy land and experienced something she had never expected to see.

Dhara did not realise her husband would choose his friends over her, and he would abuse her, and be ruthless and taunt her. She was surprised at this changed behaviour and she thought it was her mistake, but that wasn’t the case. Because even though he was a ‘good’ man of principles, he was still a man who was proud of his masculinity and manhood.

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One day Dhara wanted to go for a movie and insisted that she and Prithvi go out and watch a movie together. He agreed, so she got ready before time, but Prithvi was still asleep then. She tried to wake him up, and irritated that she had disturbed his peaceful sleep, he kicked her like a football, as though she didn’t exist, as if she wasn’t the woman he once loved.

How do you live with a husband you wish you had never married?

Dhara never wept, but she vowed to never ask her husband for anything again. She realised that he wasn’t the man she knew anymore, but she chose to stay with him since she had married him out of love.

But it wasn’t easy, and she decided to get a job so she wouldn’t have to ask him for anything, which was another nail in the coffin; he didn’t want her to take the job, but she got it anyway, which caused a rift between them.

Another day, when Dhara asked him to accompany her to the hospital for her pregnancy check-ups , he declined, as if only donating his sperm made him a man enough.

He specifically stated, “I couldn’t visit the gynaecologist and certainly couldn’t get into the maternity ward because it’s very womanly, and it doesn’t suit me.”

When parents go beyond the occasional mistake and veer into the toxic category, children have to bear the brunt of it

Prithvi’s pride constantly got in the way, and he never respected Dhara for whatever she had done for him. They had a toxic relationship, and both of their children were solely the result of it. 

They had two children, a girl and a boy, who are both doing well despite having been born out of a toxic relationship in a chaotic household. They saw every conflict, every abuse, everything that could have happened between their parents, and they literally craved love, which they never received, especially from their father.

Their children still feel that void, which could explain why they are more attached to their mother than to their father, and why they have emotional difficulties connecting with people or entering into relationships, especially their daughter, who is the older and more sensitive of the two.

Owing to a prevalent belief that men are superior to women —male entitlement and toxic masculinity contributes to misogyny

Before he knew Dhara, a girl named Khyati was smitten by Prithvi. He couldn’t marry her because of his ego and pride. He belonged to a middle-class family, and she was from a rich family; he couldn’t marry her since it would have harmed his manhood and pride to be the son-in-law of someone so wealthy.

They later learned that Khyati died of suicide because she only loved Prithvi and couldn’t bear the thought of marrying anyone else. Prithvi was devastated by the suicide; he went through a difficult period in his life, almost turning into schizophrenic at one point, but it was Dhara who looked after him and supported him and his children.

Why is society so blind that it fails to see the predicament of women?

Dhara’s mother told her that just because you married the man of your choice, it is your responsibility to safeguard your relationship.

Dhara’s mother-in-law was a good woman, but she believed that as a woman, you must surrender to your husband and that it is your obligation as a woman.

How do we know who’s right for us and whether we’re meant to be?

How do we know who’s right for us and whether we’re meant to be? Why does it always have to be a woman who strikes a balance and keeps the family together? What was the fault of their children, and why did children have to suffer? Why was their mother the only parent accessible to them?

How do we know who’s right for us and whether we’re meant to be?Because, as far as I can discern, divorce was and still an alien concept for most middle-class Indian families.

Image source: a still from the film Agnisakshi

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About the Author

Ankita Mishra

I’m a woman in my early thirties, preparing for state civil services, once divorced and faced some dire situations in life, though those situations have made me strong in the process, I would love read more...

5 Posts | 21,730 Views

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