Men Living In Patriarchy Get Away With Anything, Like My Cousin!

The engagement was called off, “our son has refused to marry your daughter” while the girl’s family was accused my cousin of asking the girl out on the pretext of meeting and raped her!

TW: Mention of Dowry, Rape, Mental Abuse and Sexism

It was yet another normal Sunday, albeit I was feeling disgusted and disappointed at the same time since my parents had finally left for the wedding after insisting on me joining them for what felt like an eternity. It was my second Cousin Sanjay’s (name changed) second wedding, and I had many personal reasons not to attend it.

I still remember another cousin calling me while I was studying in another state. She had informed me that she along with my other cousins had spotted Sanjay flirting with a girl who is a distant relative at our family function away from preying eyes on the terrace.

But he has a girlfriend!

We all knew he had a girlfriend, so I just brushed it off, thinking it must have been some kind of mistake. When I came back after finishing my studies, I was stunned to discover that his parents were searching for a suitable girl for him to get married to.

“He must’ve broken up with his live-in girlfriend,” I thought, but his social media said otherwise.

It was a private account, so hardly anyone knew about it. I figured out he must be playing along for his parents’ satisfaction, since convincing your orthodox parents of your love marriage is yet another tough job in some families even today.

A suitable girl for a two-timer?

Everyone in my family found it pathetic, to hear how they were rejecting girls by saying nasty things about their appearances. The remaining others were rejected because they were either not earning enough or for being ‘too bold’ by them.

Long things short, they wanted a bride who has a master’s degree, knows all household chores, should be ‘tall, fair and good-looking’, and should earn equally my cousin and her family should bear all the marriage expenses and should also give ‘dowry’ which was labelled as ‘gift’ by them.

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A few days later another shocking story came to light in which a girl’s family who they had given word had come to thrash my cousin and had given an ultimatum that they would file the police complaint because these people had called off the engagement saying that, “our son has refused to marry your daughter” while the girl’s family was accusing my cousin of asking the girl out on the pretext of meeting and raped her.

Raja beta was also a criminal, it seems!

We don’t know how the situation was handled, but my cousin definitely got away with it because he was living in another city. Everyone in my family believed that the girl’s family was speaking the truth because everyone had witnessed him being over-friendly with different girls in different instances.

Finally, we heard that his parents gave in after rejecting at least 15 other girls and agreeing to let him marry his long-term live-in girlfriend.

Happy ending, or so we thought because a couple of years later we heard that he divorced her just 6 months after his parents moved in with them.

Interfering mother-in-law is the root cause of divorce here!

A live-in partner of 3 years turned wife of two years, and just like that he divorced her.

Divorce in our family is a big no-no, so when my grandparents enquired them the reason behind this huge step, all his mom had to say was, “I never even liked her, and she used to ask MY SON to help her with household chores. When I questioned her for her behaviour, she started reasoning with me saying ‘I work too, I am tired’ instead of apologizing

My grandparents had come up with many suggestions saying, “They have been living together for a while, they had their way of doing things, you as parents should not interfere, times have changed, there is no such thing as son and daughter, both are equal. They needed their space, you shouldn’t have moved in with them, you are healthy and can take care of yourselves, you even have your own house, you could visit them during the weekend!”

But in vain, because divorce papers were already signed. The most disturbing thing we heard was she had aborted their baby, telling Sanjay and his parents:

“I cannot take your torture. All my life I have been independent, and even my parents never bothered me, and suddenly one day I have to abide by your rules only because your mom wants me to be a certain way. Although I try my best to please her, she is never happy. How can she expect me to work in the office as much as you do and then come back home to do all the chores for four members alone, while she never helps me and picks on me if I do something wrong? I need time to think, and I cannot bring a baby into this world with the stress I am going through.” which they say was the last straw!

And they were looking for a second bride immediately after the divorce!

Two months passed after their divorce, and we heard his parents were again looking for a suitable with the same conditions in which one more was added, the girl should be a virgin, and this should be her first marriage.

They had even asked for another cousin’s hand mine, who is unmarried and exactly how they wanted their second-daughter-in-law, and also at least 6 years younger than him.

My family was infuriated at their audacity. I found it funny, what kind of guy he is who couldn’t stand for the girl who was his college sweetheart. She sacrificed a lot for him and was way out of his league, and they did this to her. Now they look for another!

I was ashamed I am related to these people. And eventually, it happened, they managed to find a beautiful girl, earn well and weren’t married. She is younger than I am. This time again they did all the marriage proceedings which usually happen in the first marriage in most families like sangeet and haldi, even on our side.

Oh, you had to force him to remarry, is it?

I just couldn’t get the thought out of my head, how can you do this to someone and move on in just a few weeks!

My parents had to attend the wedding, so they did, and my mom told me this after returning, that his mom said, “He didn’t want to, but we had to force him to get married.” To which literally everyone was saying, “At least this time, please let them be and don’t interfere in their matters. Let them live alone!”

But to my surprise, my mom added, “Although he seemed to be very happy at the wedding, was flirting with the bride throughout.” I smiled, thinking how feeble you have to be for not standing up for the woman you love because you cannot explain gender equality to your orthodox mother, who is a housewife.

Did you even love her? Because the world knows, moving on isn’t easy. Definitely not easy if your marriage barely took 6 months to break, before which you were living happily!

Image source: Oliver Li, via pexels, free and edited on CanvaPro

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Aishwarya A

Cardiac Perfusionist by profession Strongly opinionated. Love to make people laugh Giving my share in making this world a better place for everyone. read more...

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