Marriage is a very solemn occasion. It is an institution where one makes commitment with a partner to be with them for good or worse. But, in my case, my husband could not support me nor could he establish a healthy relationship.
The ceremonies that are part of the marriage helped me understand the significance of each ceremony in the ride called marriage. While I bid good-byes to my family after “kanyadaan”, the boy also has to understand the same when he comes back from “Kashi yatra”- where the boy’s mother feeds the groom milk for the last time and the boy moves to the next significant stage in his life (Gruhast-Ashram). Then, both the bride and groom come together finally make vows for life through “ Saath phera”, “sapatapadi” in the presence of the elders who are present in person and in spirit along with the 3 crore deity and godly beings. Now, this beautiful commitment is a promise made for a life time to live together. Like most things these days come with an expiry date, the promises my husband made to me also came with a shelf life.
This is a story of my “Arranged Marriage” that started in the most typical way. I had THE photo session, then screening session and finally I met the boy whose “kundali matched” mine. It was unbelievable that I met a guy who seemed so grounded and fun loving but, later this myth was broken. We entered the period that is considered the golden period before marriage. Both of us got engaged while he was busy trying to logically fit me in his life, I was busy seeing dreams about our future. While I trusted my fiancé with the information I was passing about my family, friends, my life style and my dreams. He was very calculative about everything he spoke to me. I expected that every little moment we would convert into happiness he was busy worrying about people and other factors in the society. While I was spontaneous and questioned everything, he was extremely planned and never questioned anything at all. While I loved clarity he loved the word “adjust”.
Everything seemed okay!!!! For a few months in the marriage as I had started adjusting I had not questioned anything but, I had just gone with the flow but, only did I know that adjustment was a trap. The bubble of adjustment finally exploded 4 months after marriage which left me and my family to face the after math of the same. My husband told me that his parents will talk to my parents. I was shocked, nervous and worried, I felt like I was part of landslide. All that excitement of being married and trying to keep everyone happy flew away. At that moment I was shocked because I did not know that people even today behave like this. While I kept trying to put some sense in him that lets talk it out and not involve families in this as it will take an ugly turn. He did not listen and he did not bother, he walked in with his family to my house like he coming in to pass judgment about a convict. the guy who was suppose to mean everything to me lost all his respect. Also my mother-in-law who promised my granny that she will take care of me like her daughter did exactly the same. As my mother-in-law has no respect for women what so ever, she has always ill-treated her daughter at several occasion, she took me also for granted. I still remember my husband pointing at my mother and showing my mother-in-law and saying see where she has learnt all this from. If you’re wondering while reading what was my mistake I had refused from sitting in one corner of their house for periods and I had also refused to come to mother’s house each month for the same my husband could not handle my questions and he decided to tell his parents and trouble my parents as well.
Repeatedly in life I have noticed that women with a voice are either forced to such levels that they forget their was or they are pushed to such extremes that they scream so, that someone could stand by her to get through these difficult times, same was the case with me I had to make a choice and each time I tried to suppress my voice for my family to see everyone happy. But, none of my efforts for the same ever worked.
After this everything was just a downfall with respect to my marriage. Every time all that mattered to them was the traditions and not the person. Sending me to my parents house became a frequent thing. I would be sent or I would come to my parents house every 15 days. I could see that each time I came back after saying sorry, it was only me trying to save the marriage. I tried everything everyone told me to do, someone told me he is very uptight try to loosen him up so I would play board games with him, try to go for walks with him. I tried to depend on him and then someone told me give him space. I tried everything under the roof but, nothing worked. All that became extremely concrete was his love for his mother, in the process of protecting his mother’s believes and ideas he could not think for himself. He did not worry about saving the marriage. I was not the ideal girl he had expected. So, he had already given up on the marriage after the first fight. I use to long to be with him and work on the bond I was suppose to have with my husband. Every decision revolved around his mother and what she wanted for us. This had started to suffocate me by now!!
Exactly after one year and 20 days I walked on him. Like I previously mentioned I was suppressing my voice just to keep everyone happy by this time. This was the time when I to scream so I did. I could not take it anymore during the occasion of my first year marriage anniversary. Everyone wants to celebrate their anniversary but, for me even my anniversary was cursed every occasion and celebration came as a curse to me because he would create a scene out of some irrelevant thing. So, why should my anniversary be any different, since I knew the dates for my periods I had told my husband I want to be with you so let’s please plan a trip otherwise I would have to go to my parents place. The answer he gave still rings in my ears “you don’t want to celebrate with the people who got us married” I did not know what to tell me so I kept quite. Then, a day before our anniversary I told him please ask your mother if I could come and stay over with you despite my periods I really want to celebrate our anniversary together. But, I think my mother-in-laws loves her traditions more than us or her ego is very valuable to her she denied my request. Now, after this disappointment I went to my parents place and called it a day by sleeping early. I really did not know my husband was coming to my parents place. He came did not bother to tell me a sorry or anything but, he expected me to pick calls and answer them with a happy face. He expected me to understand even in this situation and be calm. Well yes I might sound extremely immature at this point but, I could not get myself to speak to anyone. Next day morning he told my dad that his mother has arranged for some puja for the anniversary we had a difficulty in celebrating as a couple. May be this is too much of an expectation but, he did not even bother to call my dad for the puja. He did not even bother to respect the man who was responsible for this marriage. I waited the whole day but he did not bother to call or message me after going to his place. Then, as usual I called to tell him “sorry”. This was not the first time I had called to apologise, each time I was sent off I would only call and try to calm him my down and say everything will be fine. He had taken this for granted like everything, he said you ruined my surprise and he did not speak to my parents and my extended family. So, I went back to his place and spent roughly some 10- 15 days after which I was causally telling him don’t you think we need space for ourselves, let’s shift!!!! To, this he told me “does my house come to bite you!!!” and two days later he told me in front of all of his that he wants a “divorce”. I am sitting there shocked and wondering now what did I do?? Divorce was an easy escape for my husband, in the span of one year he would have casually used that word 4 or 5 times. Just to shut me up or at times scare me despite, this I stayed for another two days or so just to see him sleep with his mother and ignore me completely. They called this cooling time so, finally on Wednesday of November night I asked his mother so, what have you guys decided and she again goes back to cursing me and my family. So, I asked my in-laws permission to speak to husband in private and he says he never wanted this marriage I was not the ideal girl he thought I was and he can leave anything for his parents especially “his mother”.
In the one year of marriage I did not have one pleasant memory, all I strongly remember is my husband would harass me; by torturing my parents, he would call my father at any time of day or night and complain to him that either I am misbehaving or not doing what he expected. I found those complain extremely stupid and silly but, I and my family had to put up with it. In a Brahmin household we follow something called “maadi”, this was a very effective tool he used to torture me. He would say don’t use left hand to serve. Eat like this, drink like this, talk as I say, and walk as I say. While I had told him before marriage that I don’t understand these things and I can try but, please don’t force me. He agreed before marriage but, after that he kept telling me to adjust; ultimately everything will be fine with time.
I felt cheated at every point of my marriage because I and my family had explained to them the kind of people we were. Also, I had given him an option to walk out before marriage if he was doubtfully of anything. But, he kept acting like he was agreeing to everything and after marriage the same issues were made so big that I was asked to get out of their house each time. So, my frustrations grew so much that I became this evil, caustic person who would speak only to hurt people. My marriage came crashing because I did not adjust, always questioned and did not follow. I always questioned the blind beliefs which were rubbed off my face as traditions. No, girl enters any house to break families or relationships but, in the kind of environment we are in today where even the world leader’s are talking about sustaining what we have and work with the changes and not resist them. I found a family that always resisted change and they are ready to give up everything in the process.
So, after I walked out we thought of giving him and ourselves some time to think of what we should do. The “sometime” lasted for about five months when we again got in touch with my husband’s family. Generally, when people get time they think, analyse and try to work on things. But, these people even after five months have again spoken about the bad girl I have been, how I do not follow rules and how I disrespect everyone. The whole family still holds their ego in the name of tradition while, I still wonder what is my fault in all this??? Was I wrong that I had an opinion about everything or was it because I was very certain about everything? While I and my family had swallowed our egos to see my marriage work, he and his family still struggle to leave their egos aside. I thought I had very grounded dreams but, I didn’t realise that trying to fulfil it will cost me this unforgivable penalty.