VAW month – A survivor tells it all

This post too, is part of our series on awareness of violence against women. I hope you’re following our blog. This story is that of a survivor. An ordinary woman pushed into an extraordinary situation, she found the strength to walk out and start afresh. After the last post, I am going to request you to think your words over before you type them in. We all think we know better than those in a situation, but we’ll never know unless we’re there, will we? Again, intervene, support, spread awareness – and do it all with a dash of compassion.

I give you her story in her own words.

I have always viewed the world with rose coloured lenses – peace, love, harmony and eternal happiness – where one can trust people blindly. My mom on the other hand kept gently reminding me that we live in a cruel world where no one could be trusted.

I had been dating a guy (for 3 years) and we had decided to get married. My family was anxiously informed because he was from a different religion and not a south Indian. But one fine day, he decided to go his own way and just left. I was heartbroken and so were my parents. He got married, but I didn’t believe that it was fair to get married when I was still in love with someone else.

But two years down I was finally over him and I was now full of hope, faith – waiting for my life to unfold. I was 23 and doing my post graduation – I was at a very exciting stage in my life. Marriage wasn’t a priority, but there was definitely pressure because I was “of marriageable age”. My parents were on the look out and I knew that I didn’t want to be fussy and see a million guys and then go for the kill. All I wanted was a man who would love me with all his heart, care for me, a man I could trust in, a family I could call my own and yeah of course have a good job too – I didn’t want to live a pauper.

My ex husband (Let’s call him X to keep matters simple) was one of the first few proposals that came for me. His parents came to church to see me (that’s a traditional way of taking a peek at the girl), and they came home a few hours later. The background, qualification, family all seemed okay – the basics. He spoke to me on the phone one night and I still remember the excitement and thrill of speaking to him. I was very comfortable talking to him, he seemed simple and nice. That’s all I wanted – three days later I told my parents that I was agreeable.

X then came home officially, we spoke for a mere ten minutes alone and he left. Two weeks from then we had a Bible exchange – like a mini engagement of sorts. It was all really fast, but I was excited and I still remember every little detail – I wore a saffron saree studded with little sequins and my cousin decorated our home with peach carnations and golden bows. Everything seemed so beautiful and good – I loved his family and his grandmom. I felt I bonded with her instantly. I also remember that we had to address a Bible to each other… and in his Bible, he said ‘Love, X’. Oh that gave me a big kick –I think I was just so excited to think that I had found someone I was going to love for life.

We were officially engaged and were allowed to meet and go out and all that but we didn’t seem to meet as much. He didn’t seem too interested in taking me out or treating me to a meal or taking me for a drive or even a simple cup of coffee. Soon after that we were to go to Chennai together, for a trip I was supposed to do. X didn’t seem too keen, but nevertheless we finally did. We reached the station and he introduced me to a girl – his friend, B. We exchanged pleasantries and got on to the train. I had earlier asked X if I could bring him some dinner that night for the train, but he refused. The train left the station and in about ten minutes, B produced the dinner she cooked for X. I was definitely a little hurt but chose to rise above it and dismiss it as silly. I felt like a stranger as the two of them went on chatting and didn’t say even a word to me. That hurt – real bad.

Another day, I was in office and X and I got into some silly argument and suddenly he just said, “Oh I can’t live with you – let’s call off the wedding. I was shocked!! Could someone actually say that, do that?? He later felt bad and brought some lovely Hyderabad pearls when he was back the next day and life was good again.

Soon after, we were house hunting and found a small cosy little home that I loved. We were getting some furniture of his moved in and suddenly he calls B again. She comes by, ignores me and X begins asking her about our home and apologizes that he didn’t call her sooner to come see the place. What was that about?

Time passed and we planned a small housewarming. My mother in law was travelling to town for this and we were cleaning up the place and setting it up. Meanwhile we were to go for a dinner that night with his friends. It was pretty late and we were not done yet. We got a call from B – she was to go for the dinner too, but wanted X to pick her up. He just left me there cleaning and setting up the house and took her out for the dinner. I figured I needed to clean and organize anyway so I didn’t mind being left behind.

Another time we went to invite his old college friend for the wedding. I got busy on a phone call and I overheard his friend ask him – ‘Intha ponna engandhu da pudicha’ translating to ‘Wherever did you find this girl?’ I was shocked at her question and even more at X’s response when he smiled and said to her ‘Yeah, what to do. My mom found her’. I was shocked!! That was one of our first real arguments… I couldn’t bear the fact that a guy I was marrying couldn’t even stand up for me.

I was getting rather uncomfortable by now and two days before my wedding, I took my parents out for an ice cream and broke down. I told them that something doesn’t feel right and I was too scared to get married to him. I could talk about only some instances, but most of it was just my gut feel. They put it down to pre-wedding jitters and gently pacified me and I believed that all would be well.

We went for our honeymoon – and the trip was kind of okay. One day, X was having a shower and I was sitting out in the balcony watching the sea. We had called for a toothbrush for him through for room service and the guy had been ringing the bell. I sitting in the balcony just didn’t hear the bell, until I suddenly heard X scream at me – yelling how deaf and silly I was for not opening the door. I understand someone being upset because they had to come running out of the bathroom – but it didn’t warrant that sort of rage.

On our first month anniversary, I was very excited got home early and wanted to surprise him for dinner. Now I wasn’t a great cook and had just been learning to cook in the last 30 days J. That night I cooked him a lovely spread and arranged a lovely candlelight dinner at home. X came in, ignored everything, switched on the lights, put on the fan in full speed and my candles were snuffed out L. I was sad, but thought maybe the guy doesn’t fancy such stuff. He didn’t appreciate or compliment my cooking either. A few minutes later, he began talking about B again – saying he wanted to invite her home. By then I was quite sick of her and I quickly said that I can’t cook too well right now and we’ll invite her later. He bounced back excitedly and said she was a great cook and will cook at home. That irritated me, I tried to discourage the idea, but that turned into an argument and my dinner was spoilt.

The next rude shock was when we got some mails. X got his credit card statement for expenditure made before we were married – a bill of 1 lakh rupees. They were all bills for bars and pubs he had been to and one chunk of 30k was our honeymoon expense. I was worried – we were just married, I had just started working and we were already paying off debt. And I am the sort of person who doesn’t even carry a personal credit card. He thrust it at me and said ‘So how much are you going to pay towards this bill’? I asked him why I should pay for all his crazy spending even before we got married. It was my first salary and I wanted to buy a saree for my mom and grandmom but finally agreed to give him my entire salary, which was all of thirty thousand.

A few months later, we got into a heated argument and I being the persistent person I am, insisted on having my say. He threw me on the bed, sat on me and started hitting me with a pillow. I was in shock and began crying and begging him to stop. After what seemed like 15 minutes he just went to sleep. I wept the whole night and couldn’t come to terms with what happened. We didn’t speak the next morning and he left for work. I couldn’t do anything the next day and called in sick at work. I couldn’t even think of telling my parents about it and what pain they’d go through. And I thought that it must have been my fault – something that I had said. I called a very dear friend of mine, who came home and took me out for lunch. I did nothing but cry to her. X called me later that morning, came home in the afternoon, consoled me, apologized and left. All was forgotten.

We got married in September and we were sort of happy during Christmas and I loved him. I realised that just being married itself, brought in so much of a desire to love the man – be there for him, support him, and want him. We went out for dinner on Valentine’s day, I got a special table booked for us. My birthday came along soon after and we went out for a meal with my parents. He was also doing well at work and I was getting to know him better and my in-laws too.

Meanwhile, B also shifted away from our city to Chennai and I think that played a large role in our life. Life was getting better with her away. Though I hated the fact that X spent a whole day with her packing and dropping her off at the airport, when he refused to take me along! I lived with it, thinking I am a conservative girl and I need to broaden my thinking.

X then applied for a higher role in his company – one that would take us to Chennai, to his parents and his beloved B. I hated the thought of leaving my job, my cosy little home and the city I had grown up in. I discussed the matter of B with him and how she made me uncomfortable. He seemed understanding and promised that she was just a friend and if it was affecting our marriage, then he was going to keep his friendship with her at a distance. I believed him.

I was unemployed for a month after we moved to Chennai and very frustrated. I was new to the city, didn’t know too many people and felt like I was going nowhere. I then joined a small company that was referred to me by my earlier company and joined for a 30% cut from what I was earning before. I loved my job, wanted to do more and grow. But X wanted me to be home by 6pm, and didn’t encourage me being ambitious and fulfilling my dreams.

A few months later it got worse. He kept secrets from me and perhaps I was a little possessive too. There were a couple of instances, when we would have heated arguments and it would end with him just giving me a tight slap. It would shut me up, I would weep, he would apologize, do something nice and then we would patch up.

About a week before our first wedding anniversary, there was this showdown and he slapped me hard. I packed my bags that day and said I would leave. He cried and repented and said he loved me very much and wanted to live with me. He took me to his office and gave me a pair of diamond earrings that he had bought for our anniversary – I was so touched that he actually thought about it and spent on me. We went for a short holiday that weekend and all was well.

Soon after that we were driving home one day and we got into some really silly conversation about a shoe shop I wanted to go to. I know that X and I talked on that earlier and he mentioned that he had taken B to the store to buy footwear with her. This day, he seemed to act like he didn’t know the store at all. I tried to remind him and he said he had gone with his sister. Like I said, really ridiculous conversation but I asked him why he wasn’t being upfront and truthful – that triggered off an argument again and suddenly while we driving, he just pulled me by my hair and shook my head hard. I screamed at him and he did it again. I was wild with anger. We got home, I got out of the car and slammed the car door shut. I knew that would hurt him – his car meant everything to him. I also knew I was in for trouble and I ran to the lift but he caught the door before it shut. He got into the lift, held my neck and bashed my head into the the wall of the lift threatening that he would never let me sit in the car or touch it again. It hurt, and I was sick with a headache the whole day, like always he came back to me in a few minutes and apologized and cried. We patched up and went shopping and bought footwear the next day.

Later that year we were attending a family event and we had a disagreement. In a bid to maintain our image of a happy couple he came up to me with a simple ‘Let’s go for a walk’. He put his hand around my shoulder and with his hand concealed under my hair he pinched the skin on my upper neck and lead me to a quiet corner where he kicked me. I screamed in pain, but there was no one to help. We then quietly walked back to dinner and that night, I could not take it anymore. I told his mom and sister in law – my MIL didn’t seem too surprised and she said she would talk to him. After a few hours, he apologised, we patched up and all was well.

The differences continued and one day when he slapped me I threw an ashtray of his and broke it. I shouldn’t have done it but I didn’t have the physical strength to protect myself and then I told him I’d break his precious collection of liquor bottles one by one, each time he hit me. Livid, he kicked me and stepped on my feet knowing very well that I have a painful ingrown toenail problem. As usual he apologized when the red rage was over, but that night I know I didn’t forgive him.

The next day I was back at work and I got a call from someone I deeply respected and looked up to. She was my manager, she was in town for a day and wanted to meet up. I met her that evening, my face all swollen and I looked a mess. She asked me if all was well and I covered up saying I was just sick. After chatting for about an hour, I broke down and told her everything. She was shocked that my parents didn’t know and wanted me to tell them. It would break their heart – how could I? But this lady called me every day to see how I was doing and to check if I had spoken to my parents yet. Finally I did tell them and they were shocked. They wanted to come home, but I didn’t want to put X in a spot and I kept pushing their visit. They finally came and X conveniently left to travel out of town for the next 3 days. My parents stayed with me and suddenly one night my dad fell very sick – we had to rush him to the hospital and his BP was dangerously high. X returned the next morning and bumped into my dad in the lift. That scene broke my heart – my dad was crying and he put his hands together, begging X to be good and settle all of this.

Life was never the same and I realized it when I went out to dinner one night, too stressed to notice that I was wearing two different slippers on my feet. I wanted this marriage to work and I was willing to work at it. I spoke to my in laws briefly on the phone after that. My MIL seemed very understanding and they said they would come home the next day and talk. The next evening, my in-laws and X came home together. They started talking to me and accusing me for everything that was happening. They said that I wasn’t respectful, I didn’t know how to make coffee, how to cook, that I ate too early instead of waiting for him like a good wife should, that I needed to be patient and that I was responsible for the way he was behaving. They said that what X does is none of my business, I must let him do whatever he wants, not ask him any questions and more to that effect. X then complained that I hit him and my FIL said that he must go hide and protect himself from me and they all giggled. I was very sad that they were treating the matter so lightly.

Soon after that he began to pretty much live at my in-laws’ place and not come home. One night after waiting a long time I called, only to have him yell at me that it was none of my business, where he was – I could hear my in-laws’ voices in the background. That night I decided I wouldn’t take it any longer – I packed a bag of clothes, called my aunt and uncle to pick me up and left. X called when he got home and didn’t see me there. I didn’t take those two calls and he has not called me ever since. He messaged my mom and said ‘Your daughter not at home’.  That was pretty much the end of my marriage.

My parents were in town soon after that and they went to speak to my in-laws. They suggested sending us both for marriage counseling but only got a bunch of accusations in return. We never heard from them after that.

I moved into a small apartment near my office, my grandmom came to stay with me in Chennai and I tried reaching X. News travels and everyone was discussing my family life. I hated it. Among other things I came across tickets to Bombay in his name and B’s. After seeing them I knew there was no turning back and about two months after I moved out I called X and cleared our home of all my stuff and filed for divorce.

All this while I was gaining weight and suddenly had a weird paunch. My friends were teasing me. I went to the doctor who confirmed that I was six months pregnant. I took this as God’s sign for me to patch up and make things better with X. I called him, his parents and his home many times that day but no one took the call. News had reached and when I asked one of his uncles to call and inform them, my FIL said ‘ It is not his baby’. That was another rude shock. I had been living with my parents but now I moved back to an apartment near my office, moved all my furniture and took my granny along. I was 7 months pregnant. I used to try calling X everyday – he ether didn’t take my calls or would pick up and abuse me. I couldn’t take this after a month, realised it wasn’t worth the effort and moved back to my parents. I was offered a job again and I took it up willingly, 8 months pregnant now.

I didn’t let my pregnancy hinder my work and I was determined to do my best, succeed, grow and now earn for my baby. There was pressure from some to even give away the baby and stay single, but I couldn’t even bear the thought of doing that. I slogged and enjoyed every bit of what I did, took a day’s rest before my daughter was born and then was the birth. Everyone was happy, but I was sad when my baby was born – I wept throughout my c-section just at the thought of the situation and what was ahead of me. I came out of the theatre hoping for a miracle and that X would be waiting in the room for me and my baby. But I was wrong, I called him but no response. I messaged him and no reply. Days, weeks, months passed and I didn’t hear from him.

Meanwhile we also had our case in the court where he denied that the child was his. I wanted to prove him wrong and asked for a DNA test to prove his paternity. He then agreed on paper that it was his child, because he knew the DNA test would prove it, but they have told the whole world that the child isn’t his. In the initial months I was not close to my  baby; I couldn’t accept the situation I was in. I finished my maternity leave and got back to work after which I also slowly began bonding with my daughter. Love took care of the rest of our relationship.

It has been almost 3 years since my little girl was born and I am a confident, strong, fairly successful woman and most of all a loving and dependable mom. I know that I will not stand for rubbish from any man again be it in the home or outside of it. Life is tough and I yearn for the family life that many people have – I only have faith and hope that someday soon I will be able to have a lovely complete family that loves, respects and trusts in each other.

I walked out of my home with not a single penny – I had the love of my parents, encouragement of friends, faith in  myself and knew that I had done no wrong to deserve this.  Today 3 years later, I have my own little home (on rent), can afford a decent lifestyle, shop for myself, go on holidays with friends and last week indulged in a want of many years – my own car! Life is more than some of these material goods, but I am sure I will get there and get there soon.

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127 thoughts on “VAW month – A survivor tells it all

  1. My heart goes out to this brave young woman. What amazing grace under such nasty circumstances! Am so glad she is finding joy and peace in her own independence. Why do guys like X exist? and, seriously, what creates people like them?

  2. O.M.G.

    I am sad and elated at the same time. I feel sad that her parents didn’t pay heed to her meltdown BEFORE the wedding. They could have at least done some enquiries. I feel happy that the poster had the guts and the courage to step out of a bad situation.

    Why is that parents run scared of doing any enquiries before the wedding? I have seen and heard quite a few cases where all the facts that came to light AFTER the wedding could have been easily found with a little bit of poking around BEFORE the wedding. In our Indian society where arranged marriages are so prevalent, it should be a given.

    • I don’t think parents run scared – I think its something they expect. a day before my own wedding I was ready to sneak out and run off because I suddenly realised what a big deal this was. And mine was a love marriage!! My parents did the same thing – calmed me down, talked over my fears and helped me deal with the jitters. I cried all the way in to church in sheer nervousness.

      • Yeah me too….I told my husband I dont wanna get married just as we were reaching the courts! So the parents almost kind of laugh it off, mine did!

      • I totally agree. I called off my wedding a week before I got married. My parents sat me down and spoke to me and promised to call it off if I still wanted to, after talking to my then fiance once.

        I’m glad I went through it. I think in her case, it’s really unfortunate and I’m glad she saw the signs early instead of accepting it as it is. Takes a lot to be what she is now.

        • Same here. Mine is a love-cum-arranged (if there is such a stuff) but when it came for bidai, I was crying so hard that my dad was nervous. He was wondering whether he should do the bidai or take me back home. My mom and sis told him to chill and take it easy. So for parents also it is difficult to find out whether it is the usual marriage nervousness or there is something fishy.

  3. I am awed by this story. There are some people we meet in life who are the epitome of the word ‘survival’ and I know how hard living up to that word is. My prayers and good wishes to you.
    I am sure your little girl is better off without a father like that and will grow up to be a wonderful person with the upbringing you will provide her.
    God Bless

  4. I had goosebumps reading about your friend and I would really like to appreciate her for having the courage to walk out of such abusive relationship and also for sharing her life with us here.

    I am amazed at how she could take it from him for so many months. I believe love gives you strength and hope. I am so happy that she is leading a good life now and she is also being a good mother to her daughter. As for her husband, I really dont have anything to say to him, such people should be punished by the law. My prayers and good wishes with your friend !

  5. I know this is not a happy story, but strangely, it made me so happy to read it. Despite all that this young woman has gone through, her courage shines through. I wish her and her daughter every happiness that they both deserve. Her story can serve as a light to many, that life is possible on your own terms, even after having suffered violence.

  6. if only we didn’t keep teaching our daughters that getting married and staying married is the ‘most’ important part of their lives. that without that they are nothing. that if their marriage fails they are a disgrace to their parents. i’m not blaming the lady’s parents here – in fact it seems that they’ve been amazingly supportive. but in general so many women stay on in unhappy marriages and never even tell their parents because they don’t want to upset their parents. if you think of it from a completely neutral point of view it just doesn’t make sense. of course you should tell your parents. of course they’ll be upset but they’d be devastated if things got worse and they never even knew. they’d be broken if their precious daughter wasted her whole life pleasing a creep and his family in return for abuse and blows. and they never even knew. but somehow because of some twisted reasons this isn’t so. somehow either the daughter never tells or the parents actually tell her to ‘adjust’.
    nobody can ever even imagine putting up with this kind of hideous behaviour from anyone in any context – except for a woman from her husband and in-laws? why? what makes it so very normal and to be expected?
    i will admit that while reading at points i felt irritated – is she blind? can’t she figure out what’s going on? specially when she says in a couple of places that i shouldn’t have fought with him or i shouldn’t have broken his ash tray or when she keeps calling him. but that is just my arrogance speaking from the comfort of never ever having faced something even remotely like what she must have gone through. hats off to her for finally walking out and building a life of her own – and to her wonderful family for supporting her.

      • ” Sadly it is with the nicer people that men get away with something like this.”
        So true, MM. In fact my best friend is going through something similar. There is no physical abuse, but that guy knows how to break her and her family using his words. And she is the most generous, patient and loving human being I know in my life. I try to keep telling her that most women in her position wouldn’t take it for so long. She has lost a lot of weight and has started believing that she isn’t worth anything. She still wants to give her marriage a chance for her son and thinks that if she could be a little more patient may be everyhting will be ok. Sigh! I really wish I could help her!

    • I have seen many marriages where men also adjust a lot just to keep their marriage alive. I dont intend to make light of the countless cases where women are abused. According to many Indian parents ‘Getting married and staying married’ is just not important for women, it equally holds good for men also. Men might not be facing physical abuse, but there are so many other issues as well. I notice that we(I mean Indians) give lot of importance to marriage and geeting divorced is still considered taboo in many communities. In this particular case, I dont think the girl’s parents convinced her of the marriage just because she is a woman. To me, getting panicky before marriage sounds very normal and they did what any other parent would do, irrespective of being a boy or girl’s parents.

      • Don’t worry. This is coming up in a post here pretty soon. I know exactly what you mean. Marriages are meant to last in India and everyone puts a lot of faith in that. In fact the abusers know that the other partner will try to make the marriage work which is why they act funny.

  7. This is heart breaking…i am glad she is out of it and is now storng and confident. God bless her and her little girl.

  8. Kudos to the woman! I use to work as a domestic violence advocate and over time slowly realized that leaving is A LOT more easier said than done. It take a while and is a process to get out of any abusive relationship, whether it be physical or emotional. Some women just feel they can not do it, and over time while i did not agree with their decision I grew to understand it.

    She is a brave woman indeed and I respect her for it.

  9. I read regularly, but seldom comment. Tonight, I have tears in my eyes. I pray to God that her life gets better and she sees happiness soon. God bless her.

  10. I think what she says in the end… “I had the love of my parents, encouragement of friends, faith in myself and knew that I had done no wrong to deserve this” sums it up.

    Wishing her a happy life she deserves and a beautiful future for her and her daughter…

  11. Thanks for sharing your friend’s story, MM. It was heart breaking and yet offered so much to think about. What did stand out in this entire story was the courage of your friend and her will to stand on her own.

    • I think its easy for others to say that when they hear the whole story in retrospect, no? It’s hard to have perspective when you’re right in the middle of something and very young.

      • I agree. Hindsight is always 20-20. But, just before a wedding when you are going through so many emotions, you just tell yourself that one must not make a mountain of a mole hill. Am pretty sure everything came to haunt her later as ‘signs’ that she ignored.
        I admire her for walking away and the previous girl for staying. They are both such strong and courageous women.
        What a crazy bad world we live in.. Sigh!

        • 🙂 I’m glad you said that. There are times you stay on and make it work and there are times you fight back. Each couple has to decide what is the best choice for them.
          And yes we live in such a bad world that each morning you wake up and thank God for the life you have and the problems you have. What was that old one? If all the problems on earth were thrown into a pile, you’d see what others have and quickly grab back your own.

  12. Hats off to you girl. It takes so much courage to keep trying to make your marriage work and then so much more to decide it is enough and to take on the reigns of your life in your hands and damn the wagging tougues.
    May there be showers of blessings alone now on.

  13. It takes a lot of courage for a woman to come out and tell such a story. I respect her for being so candid and finding courage under such intense pain and abuse and emerging successfully on the other side to make her own life. It is easy for us who haven’t gone through such hardships to say that she should have gotten out of it earlier or she shouldn’t have married the guy in the first place. But when in her shoes I think most of us would have done what she had done. Though educated and financially independent, in the country we live in, marriage is not a simple affair and ending it is definitely not any simpler.

    I wish for her to have only happiness in her life and her kids life going forward. I wish and pray that she finds someone as she yearns, worthy of her and I wish her all the courage and success in life. Life is definitely what we make out of it and in her case it has been proved absolutely right.

  14. Reading these accounts of survivors is emotionally draining and yet, such an inspiration. And an eye-opener that all is not well in the world. Hugs to your friend. I’m so glad that her attitude hasn’t turned negative despite all this.. the entire post resonates with goodness, hope and positive energy. God bless both her and her daughter.
    I hope reading such accounts inspires other women to come out of abusive relationships.

  15. ur friend is so brave MM.. I hope she finds someone just right for her..who will provide her the kind of family she yearns for..

    yes it is so easy for us to say that she could have found out earlier..or before marrg and things like that…..kudos to her for her courage..Wish her daughter much happiness and a fantastic life ahead.

  16. Hats off to the lady. I salute her courage and hope that for the rest of her life, she never has to see any more sad moments, what she has gone through is enough…
    But there are many more out there who do not have the courage that she has and suffer silently through out their lives.

    Seriously I feel like thrashing X’s parents. How dare they accuse her instead of correcting their own son??

  17. This is crazy! I didn’t read the whole thing, I couldn’t! I stopped at when he smashed her head against the wall in the lift and SHE FORGAVE HIM!?!!!!!

    Thank God she finally left him (gathering by the fact that she calls him her ex husband).

    Having been in an abusive relationship myself, I know how difficult it is to break away and all that… but this is too much! WAYY too much!

  18. I think thats one of the most bravest things I have ever seen someone do. Standing up for oneself and talking care of your child are two very difficult things.

  19. This young lady is so brave and strong. And she walked out of it with a great deal of dignity…very admirable.

    Despite the great amount of strength it takes for survivours to tell their story, I do wish something could be done about the lower strata of society like our maids. So many of them go through this day in and day out without the support of family, friends or loved ones. They almost seem to take it n their stride. I wish there was stronger support for people like that and a platform for them to be heard.

  20. Simply amazing! How much she has gone through at such a young age. Prayers and blessings to her. A violent nature can be hidden easily but I wonder why did she not take his girl friend B’s presence more seriously before the wedding….that would have alarmed me I think…

    • I’m not a regular commenter but I’d like to chime in here, because I’ve been through a slightly similar situation.
      My husband and I had started dating in college, but were in a long distance relationship for years because of various reasons before we were married. The year leading up to the wedding was especially difficult as I was posted abroad and got back just a few weeks before the big day.
      Neither of us had realised I think how far we had drifted apart during that year and although I saw a few signs of an ’emotional affair’ I chose to ignore them inspite of my gut feel.
      After we were married, I felt very uncomfortable and unhappy about the other woman who was clearly more than just a friend, but I only blamed myself and my narrow-mindedness. I managed to push her out of our lives to a great extent, however, I continued to feel that I was being paranoid. Unfortunately, I discovered some intimate emails a few months after the wedding and confronted my husband, had quite a meltdown and almost walked out of the marriage. As things turned out, he had been feeling very guilty although he was unable to bring it up and confess, and readily accepted his fault. We had a very very difficult time for many months, the discovery was of course very hurtful for me. Thankfully, we are in a very loving marriage now – I am happier than I have ever been and we have put the past behind us in every sense.
      But what I have learned from that experience is – that when a friendship is more than a friendship but not quite a full blown affair, its very tricky territory. The guy might have convinced himself and his wife that he’s doing nothing wrong. It is how he is feeling that is inappropriate, and how comfortable the ‘other woman’ is about disrespecting boundaries that is disturbing, but really it is hard to put a finger on what exactly is wrong that makes one doubt one’s own instincts.
      I am happy and very thankful I chose to stay in my marriage, but from my experience I can say that it is very easy for the girla and her parents to dismiss these fears because they feel baseless and somehow hard to define.

      • And B was ok with X marrying someone else, despite being in a relationship? I am amazed that there are women who do that.

        How can you be in a relationship with someone, still help with setting up his marital home, meet his future wife, see him get married and then carry on the affair as usual. Disgusting!

      • That man and that girl B deserve each other! I wouldn’t wish either of them on any other human being. Together they’d perhaps know hell.

  21. I had goose bumps and tears as I read this. Hats-off to this wonderful woman who dreamed of a happy love-filled life but had to go through so much but has the determination and the ability to get through the toughest phase of her life and make it better for herself and her child.
    Im humbled.

  22. I have heard so many stories like these, abuse either emotional or physical. Here it’s both, it takes a lot of time to trust anyone after this, I am so happy she has found peace again. Sometimes it’s not so much about leaving a house but of freeing yourself from the mental prison you are are in, shoved in by what soceity says, what your family will say, or the thought of taunts from people, or some other reason. But I’m sure she has seen that the love and support she has got from people surpasses the number of people who pass judgments. She was very young when she married and I’m sure as she got older she realised that it doesn’t matter what people think of you but what you think of yourself, and also that people give such useless advice and it’s better to rely on your brains. Stay happy.

    • So true.. the number of people who pass judgements on your are endless… when you go through tough times, people expect you to look sad and depressed and dress dull… i was the opposite – would go to all family gatherings, dress well, smile as much as i could and i could feel the stares ppl would give me and the gossip arnd…

  23. When I read the first part I almost froze.The friend who is more than “just a friend “.The pressure of settling down as you’ve reached the marriagable age.The blind trust.Why don’t we trust our intuition when it tells us something is not just right & dismiss the signs as that of an overactive imagination or possessiveness on our part.Thank goodness her parents supported her decision to walk out.Mine didn’t.For them marriage was for keeps.For better or for worse.They kept pacifying me hoping things would change.And I kept believing it would.The arrival of the kids in quick sucession made it all the more difficult to walk out.Maybe if I had gathered enough courage then ,life would have been different.But I was too scared.Having lived a sheltered life ,despite being qualified & holding a good job,I was not prepared to face harsh reality alone.I understand & salute her decision to walk out when she did & more so the support given by her family.It’s very important.God bless her & her little girl.

  24. It’s a sad story but I applaud this lady’s strength to finally walk out and even more, be a single mom. It’s very hard to walk out and the pressure is on both men and women in India to stay married.

  25. MM, it is really inspiring to see women not putting up any more with the c*** dished out by Indian Men (I feel ashamed as a fellow man myself) and standing up for themselves and their children. Also, thank you so much for bringing out these heart-wrenching incidents. I had an awesome aunt as my next-door neighbour when I was a kid. She tolerated her husband’s tortures for quite a few years before committing suicide 😦 The guy still lives with her second wife without any probelm after spending just 1 month in Jail. One of my childhood best friends has been putting up with intermittent violence and mental torture for the sake of her 4-yr old kid and her parents. I have been trying to counsel her for over 2 years but she cannot take the final decision of walking out. They are living separately now but she says things are looking up of late. Hope it is not a false dawn! I have passed your blog’s link to her.

      • She is always very wary in going for a Legal divorce and the guy is not willing to give her a mutual divorce. Apparently some legal experts have also advised her that legal divorce will drag on for years and will do her more emotional harm. I personally feel it’s better to come out of it for once and all even if it takes couple of years. Do you have knowledge on this aspect?

          • MM, could you have a future post that talks abt legally what are the women’s options? It seems like (from the comments) and other anecdotes that women stay in it ‘for the sake’ of the children. Some are afraid if they walk out they wont get custody of the child! (even if the spouse has shown violence towards them and is not a good father in general.) It might be good to raise awareness of this issue. (custody and who gets it). Maybe then more women will be ready to walk out of these abusive situations.
            Thanks!

        • with my limited knowledge, mutual consent takes 2 years… other smooth ones i have seen take as less as 6 months even but when there is children rights, settlements, maintenance etc. it does take long and the whole process is very dependant on the smartness of the lawyer too….

          • Thank you so much MM’s friend! First of all, I see women like you as inspirations. Lots of love for the lit’l one and wish you a best of future. I still feel sad after 16 years thinking abt the aunt I mentioned and if she would have listened to her family and walked out 😦 With regard to my friend, she says she is mentally much stronger now and would not mind walking out if the guy goes out of line again. It helps that her MIL & FIL have both passed away. My friend has much lower expectations from the guy now but still stays on mainly for the sake of the kid (the guy is apparently pretty fond of his son).

          • Husband is a lawyer and although he doesnt practise family law he has handled a few divorce cases on a pro bono basis here in uae. I showed him your comment. He too said that basicaly, the lawyer fighting your case has to be very smart and well connected, but having said that, he also advised that generaly obtaining divorce in India isnt easy….most judges as a rule advise reconciliation first and are reluctant to grant a divorce. However, if violence or infidelity or non-consumation of marriage or denial ofconjugal rights, abandonement of marriage and mental insanity are some instances where a divorce becomes only slightly easier, provided it can be proven. Also, generaly judges tend to favour the woman with the custody of kids, not always, but mostly.Family court proceedings can get heart wrenching according to him bringing tears even to most hardened lawyers sometimes which is one of the main reasons he did not continue to practise family law, he has handled some really nasty cases and it used to give him sleepless nights, esp thinking of the children. Did you know that in sharia law, here in the middle east, women do not get custody of children? That is even more tragic. But he said there are as many cases of men/husbands also who have been abused maybe not physicaly but pretty bad who file for a divorce….he once got a case where the woman got her husband in jail on false dowry charges…non bailable ofcourse, his mother commited suicide over this. Oh dear, its all rather heart breaking. 😦

  26. :)Yeah, funny how some of us middle class folks aspire for our kids to break barriers when it comes to education & yet be so conservative when it comes to the thought of divorce.Today my parents have come round to accepting they made a mistake in not lending moral support then but I can’t really blame them entirely ,can I? I could have still gathered the courage & walked out .But it’s no use dwelling on the past .The joy the kids bring helps dull the loneliness & pain.The experience has helped me come out of my sheltered cocoon & today I feel I can weather any storm.

      • It’s not a silly question &
        the simple answer to that is no.The marriage was over the day I discovered the infidelity & the physical assault that followed my questioning . I made sure there was no more physical violence after that.But the kids were too young & without family support I could not leave as I needed to work as well.Couldn’t bear the thought of leaving the kids with a maid back then.In these 13 years I’ve often thought of leaving but then I look at the kids & see that he’s not a bad father to them & I can’t bear to take that away from them even although he’s threatened to take the kids & never let me see them again.I know he won’t get custody if I fight it out but I just don’t want them to go through that trauma now that they’re nearing their teens.Once they’re 18 ,I can focus on myself as an individual again.Meanwhile I try to give them as normal a childhood as I can .It does take it’s toll in terms of health but my work & faith have kept me sane.

        • As I said, everyone makes the best choice given their circumstances and if anything, one can only admire them for the strength of their convictions. God bless and I really hope things work out in the way you want them to….

  27. Hi,

    Kudos to this brave woman who’s found the strength to live happily ever after on her own terms. I hope she is able to bid goodbye to these unhappy memories, and have a great life with her daughter.

    Of what I’ve heard, most abusers are like X. They don’t like being questioned, they demand near perfection from their partners, and are often violent. What struck me was the attachment he showed to the car – she was bang on in that assessment. Do men in general treasure their cars more than they do their wives? So many women find driving unnerving, because of the way they get yelled at while handling the car. Is that a precursor to some kind of behavioural problem?

    • “Do men in general treasure their cars more than they do their wives?” 🙂
      Well, I have met my share of women who find driving unnerving (I am one of them myself!), and to be fair I would say that it is hard to sit beside a loved one who is at the wheel (and is a newbie driver) because they may hurt themselves badly or hurt someone on the street. Also, it has been found that women are in general more cautious on the road, and fearful of causing harm and so they tend to get stressed out at the aggression and road rage around them.

      • With you on this one, anon commenter. I find driving very stressful. Have tried it thrice in my life and each time it leaves me so drained and tired that its not worth the effort. I think its okay to accept that you are just not very good at something and since it involves so much risk to life and property, its better not to do it if you don’t want to.

    • Errr having never put a scratch on my car myself, I am anal about my car being driven by someone else. Have sacked a driver of mine right in the middle of a traffic accident and driven my pregnant self off to office much to the family’s alarm (and husband’s mild disgust at my behaviour) .

      Wouldn’t thrash anyone about like X did (but maybe stick pins in voodoo doll !!)

  28. It was a heart wrenching story. And hats off to your friend, who had the courage not to take crap anymore and am sure being the independent and confident person she is, she will build a beautiful future for herself and her child. And its sickening to hear that in educated families too, women still get treated as doormats and child bearing machines and maids. Am glad this lady walked out of this abusive life and am sure X;s karma will definitely take care of him before he goes to hell. God bless the little one!

  29. salute your friend for the courage she has shown and kudos to her for sharing her story which in turn will be an inspiration to many other victims. found this heartbreaking and some general questions r haunting me
    1)why girls are raised in our society by cindrella kind of stories playing in the psyche from childhood – we are made to believe in crap like princes riding in offering eternal love n care n we the delicate darlings waiting in wings for the prince! if i’ve a girl n i will tell her m&b is harrypotter – read it if u enjoy but in real life marriage is an equal partnership and almost all of men fall somewhere between a prince and a frog so choose wisely n if you make a mistake accept it kick the frog out and move on!!
    2) is marriage such a great institution tht it has to preserved at any cost? why there is such social pressure on the woman to kiss and make up with any cheater n abuser? i’ve often seen even in cases where a woman is abused to hilt, the onus of breaking the final tie still lie on men. we still hope against hope the prodigal husband will find way back home while men move on faster in search of other pastures! why dont we teach our daughters same emotional resilience?
    3) why girls parents are always begging for mercy and guy’s parents are enjoying the tamasha when a break up happens? why you shld be so subservient to ur damads esp when u’ve a smart n educated daughter? and do we hate our daughter in laws so much tht we want to see their peril at the cost of our sons’ life? or do we believe as a society still tht a man has more choices so women should be at his feet in marriages?
    4) finally why the maintenance clause of our divorce act provides such meagre amounts for upkeep of children? i feel ur friend shld approach the court and make him pay for all costs for the child’s welfare. he was not a sperm donor he was a husband who entered into a contract knowing fully well children if resulted will be a joint responsibility. so why should he escape the part of picking up the bills?

    • All good questions.
      1. True. Which is why I resist the whole thing of giving girls fairy tale birthday parties and all that crap.
      2.Marriage is a great institution in my personal opinion. Its given me strength, confidence, wings, a best friend, a partner, someone to share my life with.. I could go on. Does it need to be preserved at all costs? I don’t think so. Its not right to walk out for the least reason either. I see so many marriages breaking up because people just don’t feel like it. And then I see these women persevering in the face of so much trauma and I wonder where the middle path is.
      3. Because even today its harder to get a divorced woman married than a man. And no one wants to see their child lonely. All said and done, life is better when you’re two and not one.
      And if that one is the right person to be with, nothing like it.
      4. I have no idea – I think one should ensure that the child is well covered. That said, I guess she’d rather not have anything more to do with him. Not really sure of her reasons.

  30. I’m so glad she left him. All good wishes and strength to this brave young woman.

    What I can’t understand is why did X marry her at all if he was so involved with B???? If he was succumbing to parental pressure, he should have behaved himself with his wife. Spineless so and so:(
    Something similar happened to a niece of mine. I don’t know if there was physical violence, but once she knew that he was continuing with his extra-marital/pre-marital affair, she walked out with her six month old baby. She’s working, living with her parents, and is one of the loveliest, gentlest girls ever. Her husband seemed like a warm, friendly guy, but now I feel like giving him a good, old fashioned ‘shoe-beating’ if I ever see him!

    I am sure there will be retribution in God’s own time.

  31. OMG! I felt so bad reading this, kudos to that lady for making a succesful life without that jerk X. I can feel her helplessness as my sister went through a somewhat similar situation.
    Very glad to see that she is doing well.

    • I hope she got a jazzier cooler car than X and meets him at the signal (Please God, let it be a Red Red Ferrari). God, I am mean !!

  32. OMG, how many “we patched up and all was well” I am both amazed & shocked to see the faith and perseverance the woman had…she deserves every happiness in this world..and for that guy, what a slime invertebrate! What pleasure did he get in doing this? his parents seem to be in agreement with whatever he does, then why get married to this girl first of all? He could have jollied his life away with B or C or D.
    I am tempted to ask why she gave him so many chances…the thought that she attempted to reconcile after knowing she was pregnant sent a chill down my spine….she seems to be very capable & smart …but then you never know…

    • You mean speak up to her parents? Oh you mean against him? I think its a lot more complicated than one single emotion.. no? There is so much involved in a marriage.. ego, pride, love, fear, social status – not attributing any particular one to her, just saying it can’t be pinned down to denial alone. I know at any given moment I feel three different things towards the OA

    • Dear Madmomma,
      But is that enough? what about legal action for crimes he has committed? Has your friend filed a case under DVA or under IPC?

      One has to file a criminal suit not only to punish the wrong doer but also create a deterrence for such future atrocities. In my opinion, people should learn to get over the idea of trying to “work on the marriage” in cases where repeated acts of physical violence is involved and file a criminal suit to ensure that the ends of justice are met.

      It is really sad that women give in to various considerations and do not take legal action in many cases even where it is rightfully due.

      Regards
      Imran Hussain

    • You mean in our VAW month? I am not sure – a lot of us are collating and it goes on to the main blog. I hope you are following that. Some of the stories are beyond horrific. Like the girl whose husband just pushed the meal off the stove and pushed her head into the flame to set her hair on fire.

      • God, how are these people even classified as human beings?? I asked because even neglecting the daughter’s or the son’s apprehensions towards certain discomforts in the marriage, I think, is a sort of emotional abuse or negligence from the parents. the part parents play in a person’s marriage is pivotal. be it negligence or interference, anything extreme isn’t good. both are recipes for disaster. I have some thoughts about the whole issue – please let me know when you plan to write about it.

        • You mean her parents? I think all parents are different. My grandma told me when I was a kid – if any man raises his hand on you, wait till he goes to sleep and bring the batta (what you grind masala with) and bash his head before you leave. No one messes with my grand daughter. So you see, I grew up knowing that I won’t take it. So many others are different in their thinking that I am slowly growing up and trying hard not to judge.

          Only yesterday the OA and I were debating with someone – what is this whole – I don’t tell my parents that I smoke/drink/eat meat, out of respect.
          Respect? If you respect them that much, don’t do it. Or if you’re doing it, stand up for your rights as an independent adult and admit it. My mum was sitting there and said the same thing – That please don’t respect me so much as to lie to me or deceive me.
          And I was kidding with the OA and saying – So you can have an affair with someone and not tell me ‘out of respect’ for my feelings.

          And then it struck me that the person we were arguing with just doesn’t even see it the way I see it and won’t think this is funny.

          • Staying anonymous for this one.
            This really gets on my nerves. In my case my mil said to me ‘can’t you at least do such-n-such when I am around?’. I was aghast. So she is ok with me not doing it behind her back and was asking me to put an act in front of her. Is honesty not a virtue anymore? Did they change something?
            I told her that if I did something then it would be straight to her face. And that I don’t act. I don’t do anything that I am ashamed of and so there is no need for any secrecy here. Now, diplomacy, that I can do. I can keep quiet even if I disagree so that peace can reign.

            • True. Although it depends on what the thing is. I only wear salwar suits etc around my in-laws because I know they are traditional. But they know I wear shorts and jeans. They know their son eats beef even if we don’t order and keep it on our table. So I understand if you don’t shove your disobedience/ change in lifestyle in somebody’s face, but I don’t get deception. I have friends who won’t light up in front of their parents but will have a pack of cigs and a lighter in their hand and offer to anyone who wants. At least their parents know and there is no lying. I understand a 5 year old lying in fear. I don’t get it when a 25 year old does that. I just don’t.

              And yes, diplomacy I can do. Consideration I can do. But thats it.

  33. Hugs to your friend MM. Her daughter is fortunate to have a mother who stood up for herself….and i feel she will do an awesome job raising her.

    and so glad she walked out on that creep….

  34. Your friend is very very strong !! Its not at all easy to walk out of a marriage and that too when you are pregnant – I can understand her yearning for her husband to be better, to be there for her and to have a happy married life. You ALWAYS want your marriage to work if you love or have loved your spouse. So your friend did great by sticking to her decision howsoever tough and taxing it must have been for her..I hope people get to see the strength in her and not the fact that she took the wrong decision to marry him in the first place.

  35. What a story! I managed to read it fully without fuming red only because she said the guy was an ex now. Phew! So glad he is.

    The little silver lining I saw here – The guy made it a easy divorce. I know of some where the husband vouches to make it as difficult as possible for the girl walking out. Especially when there is a baby involved.

    Kudos to the girl who gathered the strength to call it off and went on to make her own life ( along with the little one). Please pass on my tight {{hugs}} 🙂

  36. Thank you MM for asking me to share my life experience… i have re-lived some of those past incidents in my mind these last few days and am all the more glad about what i did three and a half years ago… at that point i was scared, frightened of what would happen to me, how my parents would take it… and i realise i havnt done justice to the support by my parents and my immediate family… they have stood by me, never questioned my intent, believed that i could rebuild my life again, have been parents to my little girl… thank god for them…

    i remember many times in those 18 months when i wanted to just end my life, thinking that was the only way out – even attempted that but always pulled myself by what my parents taught me when i was a kid ‘ taking your life away is sin, that’s god’s plan’ and now I am ashamed of myself for even having had such negative thoguhts.. and now its the other extreme, i treasure and value my life so much and pray that god keeps me on earth as long as he can for my little girl…

    thank god and my family and friends for who i am and the strength i have today…

    • MM’s friend.Those thoughts are absolutely normal.I had them too.But the kids pulled me back .That & my faith in God.However my parents put too much emphasis on the “what God has joined no man must put asunder” & “till death do us part” bit .Thank goodness yours lent you unconditional support at the right time.I hope your story helps many more families & friends understand how much that support is necessary to help a woman take the right decision.Having been there, I do understand the hell you must have gone through.I must assure you that a person’s bad deeds always catch up with him.In this life itself.Sometimes it takes years but it happens nevertheless.Even if you do nothing.I wish you & your little one all the happiness which will help you erase those bad memories.((Hug))

  37. All i can say is prayers….prayers that she makes a beautiful life for herself and her daughter. The woman in the previous story and the woman in this one….i think they are all to be respected for going through all this in thier life, the way they are. It takes so much of courage and strength to stay or leave…simply to make the choice of how to survive the situation.

    Having said that…i believe the each one of us are given only that much of a struggle that we can handle…So eventually, once we get past that phase, we WILL BE FINE!

  38. MM…I know this is about violence against women…but here is a case of violence against twins..one of them was a girl child : http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_16670683

    When i saw this on the Anderson Cooper show..i was shocked. I couldn’t believe that a mother would let that happen to her children. Why on earth has God made it possible for her to have a child?? I couldn’t belive that a God father can rape his daughter and grand-daughter of 5 years. They are obviously mentally messed up..but is any punishment good enough for the way they tortured the twins

  39. Hi,
    So glad to hear you come public with your story, I have heard of too many such incidents recently, and I think making such experiences public is an act of community service.
    I few things I have noticed from this and the other cases I have come across, I would like to point these out please. It is useful to raise red flags when these things occur in your courtship.
    1. The guy refuses to accompany you anywhere in public.
    2. There is no introduction to his friends, colleagues etc.
    3. His family escorts you to social events- he is missing.
    4. The boy wants to keep all events low key, doesn’t want to publicise your connection.

    I think it is important for every girl to trust her instincts, talk to all his social circle- it is always good to know the guy you will marry – and who knows him better than his friends.
    This lady has shown exemplary courage in dealing with this situation, congratulations on overcoming this adversity! God bless you , may you find love in the future 🙂
    Hope this helps,

  40. I am typically a woman of peace. I also like to use my strengths, one of which is plenty of lard. Please let your friend know I would be delighted to make short work of the despicable creature known as X if she ever wishes it. Usually, sitting on someone does it. Oh, and bear hug to your friend. I know shades of grey exist, but this kind of treatment is unwarranted and makes me so so mad, I’m going to stop typing now and go rant to the Boy. Grr!

  41. I don’t know if you remember but in bygone days when we were so worked up discussing the working women debate over blogs, Usha from agelessbonding had said in one of her post or comment (I can’t recollect) that it was her generation that fought to free women from the shackless of being a household object to pursuing things outside the confines of their home.
    And I guess this is a fight our generation should fight so that our daughters, for that matter even our sons are not afraid to opt out of an abusive situation with dignity and live a good life.

    • Yes of course I remember that 🙂
      And I think its my lot in life to fight for the right to stay home along with this one! But yes, there’s a post on what you said, coming up, so look out for it.

  42. To the wonderful strong woman whose story this is – I have nithing but praise for you . Put the nightmare behind – you have a wonderful daughter to raise , a job to support her upbringing and wonderful parents who have stood by you and not given in to society notion that you should try to “adjust” . Your story is a happy ending – period. You don’t need a loser in your life.

  43. Dear MM’s friend – you are amazing. I’m so sorry you had to go through this. Wishing you and your daughter all the best. So glad you were brave and fought through it. Some parts of the story were scarily like that of the girl in Bangalore who committed suicide (her diary was found later)
    MM, Mindy’s comment above is very relevant – the red flags to watch out for.

  44. God blessed your friend with a sweet nature. Sometimes that goes against people like us. We are too ready to believe our flaws and too ready to give others the benefit of doubt.

    An eighties’ film song came to my head when I read her story – “Mera gham kitna kam hai”. It’s great that her parents are good, responsible and loving people. It’s great she has their support and encouragement.

    I see that work gives her joy. That’s a great quality. May God bless her and her little one with good cheer, good health and prosperity. May God fulfill her wishes.

  45. Forgot to add – while “X” is a lowlife anyway, I really hope “B” pays for it somehow. It takes a special kind of brazenness to hang around with a married couple while having an affair with the husband.

      • You are too nice MM.

        I am not satisfied with what B got. Yeah, X did not marry her, but didn’t she continue the affair after his marriage? She was equally to blame. And not being with X is not a punishment, its a blessing 🙂

        I really hope B gets more retribution. Call me a meanie, but I really don’t believe that X breaking up with her (just assuming this part) was retribution enough.

        Btw, MM’s friend BIG HUGS TO YOU.

    • Off topic:
      That may not be “brazenness” (I’m not talking about this particular case). People having an affair may do that to show the left-out husband/wife that there is nothing “going on”.

      To people who are having an affair: avoid doing this. Keep contact with the victims to a minimum. Also to the spouse who is cheating: do not sprinkle his/her name in your conversation with your spouse. It just hurts so much more when the cheated person comes to know about it. There will be much lesser “signs” for him/her to mull over later. It’s like killing a chicken. Don’t torture it, allright?

  46. What this woman did is commendable!

    Sometimes I wonder whats wrong with so many people.
    If that guy had been open with his parents, he could have shared that he is not sure whether to marry this girl, he has some feelings for B etc.
    People are not grown up even when they are old enough, I mean isn’t it pretty standard for the guys parents to blame the wife? Why couldn’t they every grow up. What is stopping them? ego? limited exposure to the world?
    Somehow I feel sad for that guy too. he is an idiot. he couldn’t deal with his own confusions, emotions and bloody embroiled another person’s life as well into it.
    aaaagh..makes me extremely sad.

  47. Its so sad that people treat others like trash!!!! Especially those who abuse their spouse 😦 But in all fairness, MM’s friend, I think you had enough hints and clues about X’s character from well before the wedding. I wish you had just had the courage to break off the wedding before it took place, rather than go through with it, and waste precious years of your life!! Its not just you, I have seen a couple of other friends too, who had noticed red flags, but ignored them out of fear of society and parent’s ‘honour’!!
    Anyway, kudos to you for finally breaking free and starting over.

  48. Hello MM’s friend,

    Best wishes for a better life. It must have taken you a lot of courage to break a relationship that you entered with so much love. But the man did not deserve any of it. I am wondering if having had an affair prior to marriage by your friend itself created any problems. I have a friend who recently broke up and is too terrified to think about a new relationship through marriage. I can’t deny her fears but I have no clue. I have also heard that some domestic abuses are the result of insecurity when you come to know of past relationships. It would take a long time for an average man’s/woman’s mind set to change.

  49. Pingback: Let’s Make a Big Deal |

  50. The first thing that came to my head after i read your post was ‘i love your freind – for the brave, strong and courageous person she is’. God bless her and her lovely daughter.
    Along with bringing out these stories, i think it would be great if we also created awareness on the legal mechanisms available to address such situations. I am glad that the Indian government has atleast enacted the Domestic Violence Act, which can be used not just for Domestic Violence cases of wives but also by mothers,sisters, girlfreinds,live -in partners etc, who are also often the target of abuse. We need to publicise these laws so that more women can seek redress on time.

  51. Hi MM’s friend,
    You are one brave woman and very inspiring ! Amen to that last line of yours. It is a beautiful life (with or without a man).

  52. MM’s friend, I am glad you were able to walk out of the situation, and that you have been able to re-build your life. And more than anyone else, I know that your daughter will thank you for it, for being such a strong role model for her, when she grows up. Also, kudos to your parents and family for all the support they showed you.

    It is easy to regret the years one has lost, the signals one did not see, but the truth is that as women, we are conditioned to give unstintingly to the man we decide to marry, and we ignore ourselves in the bargain.

    I wish your daughter and you a lot of happiness, and may you achieve all that you dream of.

    • Thank you for putting it so beautifully, Banno. So many people say – oh but the signs were there. Yes, the signs are always there – in retrospect. When people hear of what i went through to marry the OA they mostly stare in horror. And refuse to believe that its true. But it happened and I survived and I am beyond happy and I wonder if it hadn’t worked out – would people say – oh the signs were always there.

    • So true. Hindsight’s always 20-20 and people pointing it out just makes it more painful.
      MM’s friend, you’re a brave woman who deserves to be happy. I hope your rose-tinted glasses still have a bit of the tint left over! Much love to you and your daughter. She’s lucky to have such a strong mom.

  53. Hi MM,
    i have been following the VAW awareness initiative and it really pains to read each and every one the posts/articles. My SIL’s SIL is a victim of domestic abuse who is now divorced from her husband and the divorce is on mutual consent. The husband dictated that if she wants the custody of their sons(2), she should not ask for alimony or claim any share on their property. now this woman had the guts to walk out of a marriage with grown up kids understanding the implications fully. She had faith in herself but she didnt have the faith in the judicial system. not sure if i have got my facts right here but it seems to get alimony one should fight for a divorce in court and it will not be by mutual consent. I am not sure if even my SIL knows the full story although she is supportive to her SIL in every possible way. The family still finds it difficult to discuss the same and generally breakdown even if the topic is brought up. its almost 2 years since the divorce, the lady has moved out with her sons, established a set up of her own and managing with help from others. its a tough life out there but the father got away easily. one thing he knew was that if he fights for child custody, the case would prolong and future of his children would be in question and the mother would defenitely not want this. so he said he would give a divorce on mutual consent and can have custody of the children and in return she should not ask for a penny from him. She said no to the domestic violence but couldnt get the justice that she wanted – atleast financial support for the children that this guy fathered.

    • I completely agree…. and mine was so very similar… when one goes into court asking for alimony, it just complicates the entire process and the guy then starts manipulating with rights for the child… so i told my husband that i didnt want any alimony or maintenance from him, and in exchange i wanted complete custody of my child… to me tht was far more valuable than him coming back to haunt my daughter when he is old and lonely… and i got him to pay a small amount (because i wanted him to part with some money and feel atleast a tiny pinch) towards the money my parents spent for the wedding he never valued (in our tradition the girls family pays for the entire weddkiing and reception expense).

  54. This story has left me shaken..i have tears in my eyes..Hatsoff to that brave lady..Hope she gets all she deserves in her life.I wish you and your daughter a lot of happiness in future.and i was touched by your last lines of yours.GOD BLESS U BRAVE HEART LADY.I SALUTE YOU

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