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The most painful realization for me was not that these societal norms existed, but that our love, in its most crucial moments, bowed to them.
I hope this letter finds you in a moment of peace and openness, as I write to you from a place of reflection and newfound clarity. In the stillness of the night, as the world around me quiets, I find myself wrestling with memories, each one a piece of the mosaic that was us. I find the words that have long remained unspoken, a turbulent sea of emotions waiting to be released.
Writing to you now, I dive into the depth of our shared time together, unearthing the moments that paint a picture of our love, our struggles, and ultimately, our separation. As I write to you now, it’s with a heart heavy yet unburdened, seeking closure from the shadows of our past. I feel that some emotions are too vast for silence, too profound to be left unspoken.
Do you remember the evening we hosted that dinner, the one for your colleagues and their spouses? As we prepared, you joked about how it was best I didn’t mention my work in urban development, suggesting lightly that conversations about home and family would be more “appropriate.” That night, as I played the part of your wife and a host, my voice felt stifled, my achievements and aspirations shelved away like so many dishes after the feast.
Or the afternoon I excitedly shared my dream of taking the fellowship abroad, only to be met with your snarky remark about how bad it would look, what people would say about a wife living miles away from her husband. “It’s not how things are done in my family,” you said. A statement that felt less like a snarky remark and more like a chain tied to my ankles, a sword in my chest. Each word was a reminder of the invisible boundaries drawn around me, boundaries not of our making but no less constricting.
These moments, seemingly small, were the droplets that over time eroded the bedrock of our connection. It wasn’t just about a dinner or a potential fellowship; it was about living in a space where my ambition, my voice, were secondary to your so-called societal expectations. Expectations that you, perhaps unwittingly, upheld, pressing me into a mold that never quite fit.
The most painful realization for me was not that these societal norms existed, but that our love, in its most crucial moments, bowed to them. Earlier, I thought my wishes meant something to you. The love I cherished became a mirror reflecting not who I was, but who I was expected to be. It was in these reflections that I began to lose sight of myself, my dreams dissolving into the background of a life I barely recognized.
The rain-soaked memories of us, laughing freely under the monsoon’s embrace, stand in stark contrast to the days when my desires seemed to fade into the silence of our home. It was in these moments of disregard, where my existence and my priorities were overshadowed by the ingrained norms of a society that often places men at the helm, that the seeds of resentment took root. The love I held for you, once unwavering, began to wane under the weight of indifference and the loss of respect.
The reasons that led us down the path of separation are as complex as they are simple. We loved deeply, yet that love, in its intensity, illuminated the crevices of our incompatibility. I grappled with the realization that the very core of what made us, ‘us,’ was also what made it impossible for us to walk the journey of life together. Our dreams, once so aligned, began to diverge, painting futures that no longer intertwined.
The difficulty for me, in continuing by your side, stemmed from the painful acknowledgment that love alone was not enough to bridge the gap of our differences. My spirit, ever seeking growth and understanding, found itself confined within the boundaries of our relationship. The more I tried to mold myself into the shapes of your expectations, the more I lost sight of my essence. It was a battle between heart and soul, between the love I held for you and the call of my own journey.
Our relationship, once a sanctuary, became a battleground where my identity was constantly challenged, and my worth measured against outdated standards. The struggle was not just with you but with the societal norms that shaped us, norms that often left little room for a woman’s dreams, desires, and dignity. It was a battle I fought not out of hate, but out of a desperate need for recognition and equality.
Choosing to leave was choosing to breathe, to step out from the shadows of ‘should be’ into the light of ‘could be.’ It was a declaration of faith in myself, in the possibility of a life where my voice mattered, where my dreams weren’t footnotes in someone else’s narrative.
Our parting was not a reflection of the love we lacked but rather a proof of the love we bore for each other. A love brave enough to let go, to say goodbye, so that we might find our true paths. It was the hardest decision, to step away from the man I loved most profoundly, yet it was a choice made in the name of love—love for you, love for me, and love for the potential of our individual futures.
As I write this letter, it’s with a heart that grieves for the love we lost but also with a spirit that celebrates the journey towards finding myself. I hold no bitterness, only the hope that one day, you too will see the beauty in a love that does not confine but liberates. I wish nothing but the same realization for you, that true love thrives in the soil of mutual respect and understanding.
May our paths, now separated, lead us to the truths we seek, to lives filled with the courage to stand up for who we are and who we wish to become. And may the love we shared, in its brightest and darkest moments, remind us always of the power of understanding, respect, and the freedom to be our true selves. As we journey onward, apart yet forever connected by our past, may we both embrace a love that uplifts, respects, and honours the essence of who we are. May you find someone who walks in step with your dreams, and may you always carry a piece of our love as a beacon of what it means to love and let go.
With a heart that’s learned to beat strongly on its own,
This February and March, we are publishing your stories as a #LetterToMyEx – anything that you want to say to your Ex, either as a personal letter that can be published anonymously if you want (just email us at [email protected] after you upload and submit your piece) or as fiction. You can find all these letters here.
Image source: YouTube/ a still from Thappad
I am a photographer and an avid reader. I am not a writer but I like to give words to my emotions. I love to cook and hike. I believe in humor and its impact read more...
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Half a decade ago marriage was a bargain between two famlies. Most of the women were married off to a man who was either well off or who could fend for his wife and family. Today the parameters of marriage have changed. Women no longer marry for the sake of economic security. Their expectations from marriage have changed in the course of years because of their changed status.
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So before you decide to hook up see if you know these five things about intimacy.
We often hear of relationships doomed by distances, of love wearing off when physical proximity ceases, and of growing apart. Most of my life I grew up witnessing the opposite of this. Thus, my belief in growing together whether distant or near stands tall.
When I think back today, I owe a lot of my value system to being a part of army life. This is the love of steel-hearted women who breathe life and passion into the soldiers of the armed forces.
A book by Swapnil Pandey, The Force Behind the Forces, is apt here. The love of these gritty women powers the men to confidently step out and face the most hostile situations. I feel privileged to share a personally witnessed account of this undying love and faith.
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