An email from a Divorcee’s Daughter.

Divorcee: Until recently, the word referred only to a divorced  woman. In India the term is still used negatively.

One hears about a divorcee’s children, specially daughters, being harmed and  stigmatized by her divorce. Such warnings play a part in keeping women in abusive marriages like this one. Such warnings also influence our divorce statistics.

(Some Indians change the meaning of Ms from being a term that does not indicate a woman’s marital status to using it to indicate a woman is divorced or widowed.)

The message below was a comment in response to An email from a daughter whose mother endured everything because she did not want to ruin her daughters’ lives.

Dear Clueless,

You should know that there are thousands and thousands of similar cases where the husband is a crackpot (and women have walked out and made a life for themselves and their children).

In such circumstances one has only two options-

a) decide to take a stand- be it walking away or ensuring that the guy behaves

b) decide to keep quiet for one is concerned about how the society will react.

My dad was a similar crackpot. He used to work in my mom’s office as a cameraman whereas my mom was a senior editor in one of India’s best media houses. This is somewhere is the late 80s.

My mom should have realized that he was crazy, for no man says that I’ll jump in front of a bus if you don’t marry etc etc. But she got scared and agreed to get married.

This guy was a money-monger and so was his entire family. Like parasites they started draining all my mom’s wealth buying jewellery, furniture, telephone (in the 80s a telephone or a gas cylinder in one’s name was a HUGE thing) etc.

My mom condoned all these thing but after my brother was born things took a real bad turn. He became more and more aggressive plus splurged more and more of my mom’s income. He would gift his sister and mother electronic appliances and even gifted a house plot to them from my mom’s salary and savings.

He and mom would regularly have a fight over these things and them he’d get violent. There were days when mom had to turn up in office with bruises all over.
Even after I was born nothing changed despite her kicking him out a couple of times. He’d always come back begging for forgiveness.

When one day he tossed me in the air my mom decided that it was over. And she did this for OUR SAFETY. For our sake. She knew that with a crazy guy like him we’d never be able have any peace so she kicked him out of her house. But before he left he ransacked our house, the joint locker and everything she had including her photographs.

So there she was a single women with two very small kids, without any family support (they expected her to compromise or whatever) and with no money in her bank account but she carried on. There were days that she’d cry and get frustrated but there hasn’t been a single thing that she ever deprived us off. With whatever income she’d get she would run to CP to buy us the best imported chocolates and amazing pastries from wengers. She’d  do and continues to do everything for us.

Today I’m in India best college for arts and bro is the best engineering college. She put us in various sports and helped us become who we are today.

But the journey hasn’t been simple. People will judge you, family might even disown you and call you the black sheep. If you have a crazy husband like my mom had then he’ll create problems for you everywhere – office, society, neighborhood. But you have to get past that.

Before mom got the divorce he converted to Islam and got married and then moved to Dubai. He filed false allegations against her but she didn’t have the money nor the time or energy to fight them back so till today in her divorce decree she has those allegations against her. She didn’t get a penny from him nor did we, his kids, get.

But what we did get is a lot of peace of mind which is necessary for proper growth and development.

Trust me its not difficult for your mom to walk out even today. You are there to support her. My mom was in her early 30s when she walked out with 2 little babies. She sacrificed her super awesome career, even today when i meet her colleagues they tell of how amazing a journalist she was. You or your mother have nothing to loose.

I wish the very best for you and your family.

Edited to ask:

Do you know of women and families where the mothers did walk out of abusive relationships? How many of them wish they had stayed with the abusive spouses?

Do you know of any women who have stayed in such relationships – are they satisfied with their lives and decisions?

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62 thoughts on “An email from a Divorcee’s Daughter.

  1. Edited to ask:
    Do you know of women and families where the mothers did walk out of abusive relationships? How many of them wish they had stayed with the abusive spouses?

    Do you know of any women who have stayed in such relationships – are they satisfied with their lives and decisions?

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    • IHM my aunt(mom’s older sis) had an abusive and ‘crackpot’ husband and she left him. She says she had a much happier life being single than she did while she was married to him.

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  3. Thank you IHM for sharing this letter. Dear Letter writer, first of all give a biiiiiggg hug to your mom from me please.. this is not for being a lovely mother .. but for the choice she made and for everything she went through… and when I say that I mean for the things that you have not mentioned here or for the things your mom never told you. She is an example to show other women who cry about relatives not being supportive or of social discrimination and continue staying in abusive relationships until the man dumps her and her kids. I also appreciate you and your brother for understanding your mom and being her family.

    Coming to the questions;
    1) Yes I know lots of women who have walked out of relationships, and trust me none of them wish they stayed back. Especially when they see their kids successful or when they notice how blissful their lives are now, they would never regret their decision. There is a sea of people who would help women in this journey if only they have the courage to take that step outside their doorsteps.

    2) I also know women who continued in their abusive relationships. No they are not satisfied. Now in their old age their husbands have become more abusive, children have moved out because they do not want to start family life with an abusive dad, well obviously thinking about their own childhood they would not want to put their kids through the same. Some of the women I know regret staying because their kids have gotten the wrong way. Very clearly because of the negative family influence.

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  4. Appreciate sharing this and also appreciate the big leap the e-mail writer’s Mom took. It is not easy at all. Probably the lesson is that you should take the step the moment the first transgression happens and not wait for letting the water reach over your head. I know of tons of women who would be better off leaving their husband then to be tied to their present state of being, but the society pressures are too high in most cases and the other dissuading factor is their ability to stand on their own.

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  5. Hi IHM, I feel you have picked up a very important issue (as always).

    3 years back, when I was telling/ discussing with my family, including Aunts and Uncles, about my decision to divorce my ex, we discussed all the issues I had faced, I told them in detail about all the frauds, abuses he and his parents had committed etc. They could not find a single thing to say to me as a reason for me to stay on in the marriage (and that was what they wanted…no surprises here :)).

    So they came up with this trump card- “you MUST stay in this marriage and not break it for the sake of your daughter. We understand you are not happy but you should also think of her and not only of yourself. You should not deprive her of her father”.

    After trying for years to make these people see sense, I have simply ‘deleted’ them from my day to day life…They could never come around to saying- you did the right thing, we are proud of you… And I have almost stopped expecting this from them too.

    3 years later, my only ‘victory’ is that whenever they meet my daughter, now 6, in any social gathering, they are unable to pick out any ‘flaw’ in her (and they are all SO good in picking out flaws) or trace any kind of trauma….she comes across as a happy, healthy, sharp kid…just like other kids from ‘normal’ families…or perhaps slightly better behaved.

    I just hope my daughter too would feel the way the writer of this letter feels about her mother leaving her father.

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    • Well, regarding the mostly valid concern that a kid can benefit from having a dad-figure in her life, the divorced mom can always re-marry (a nicer guy). It will be step-dad technically, but a nice, loving step-dad is miles better than a crazy abusive biolgical-dad.

      But very few Indian women think of a 2nd marriage after a divorce. I don’t know if “Better-Late” remarried or not, but from what she said I suspect she did not.

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      • I think the kid is better off not having an abusive father and just a loving mom. A lot of kids I know have been scarred for life thanks to a father who did more harm than good.

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      • Nish, I agree with you, a nice loving step-dad is anyday better than abusive unloving, uncaring biological dad. The point I was trying to highlight was- how EVERYONE uses “for the sake of your kids” as an excuse for continuing with the abusive marriage.

        1. The abused mother uses it perhaps because she genuinely believes her kids need a father more than anything else in this world…more than a peaceful home, loving and healthy environment, more than having a parent as a role model…seeing a parent live with self-respect and dignity..not seeing/ experiencing violence at home etc.

        Or at times the mother feels she would not be able to fend for herself and/or her kids on her own and finds it more convenient to stay put in a sham of a marriage.

        Sometimes the pressure from society and parents is so much that she does not find the courage to take that step. Or if she does, she is sent back samjha bujha ke.

        And the mother keeps saying that she is staying in for the ‘sake of her kids’. After repeating this a thousand times, she actually starts believing it…and the kids continue to hear of her sacrifices all their lives.

        2. The parents and relatives use this as a trump card (as in my case) when they don’t want their daughter to walk out of the marriage but are unable to find any other reasonable reason to ask her to continue. I can’t begin to tell you how guilty and defeated I felt when I was told that I am being selfish and only thinking of my own happiness…depriving my daughter of a father. Sometimes inducing this guilt works and the wife goes back to that abusive marriage…there have been so many cases where they continued to be with the abusive husband long after the kids had grown up and left…what a waste of a beautiful life.

        3. The husband/ father and his family use this trump card when everything else fails and the wife refuses to continue with the marriage. All the abuses are conveniently ignored and the wife is made to feel guilty for trying to break a family and depriving a kid of his father.

        My guess is that this trump card works in most cases. Therefore we need more people like this writer to share their stories of a happy and successfuly life san biological abusive father.

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  6. Its extremely difficult to stay.. But when there is no one to welcome you in your home, and if kids life would be threatened , some stay..

    Some Men change when they become sick in their later age..

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  7. Mu aunt, mom’s elder sister has stayed in on an abusive relationship.. her reasons initially were three unmarried younger sisters and the lives of her sons later on… though she has had to go through hell, she has stuck with my uncle for more than 2 decades… now though her sons are settled and she does not have to tolerate the man any more for anybody, she still continues to stay in the marriage as she is used to it.. n cannot imagine an independent life free of abuse..

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  8. Amazing post. After all that we read about abusive husbands and how the women are suffering – this one comes across so positive. Hats of to the woman who took her chances and kicked the husband out of the house!

    I hope atleast 1 battered and abused woman gets the courage from this…

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  9. Only divorcee I know from close quarters is my wife’s friend. We gave her moral support by inviting her to stay with us for few weekends. She seems fairly happy now.
    Divorcee is viewed as the ultimate sinner in Patriarchy. That is why she faced so much problems. Things are improving and soon let us hope such persons will accepted by t society as normal persons.

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  10. I know many women in my family who continue to suffer only because they had no moral support and mainly because they had no financial support.

    There are a few who left their husbands for the sake of kids only because they were lucky enough to have at least one person, a brother or a sister who stepped up to support them initially.

    Hats off to the writer’s mother. She is the epitome of the inner strength that we talk about in women.

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  11. My aunt’s (chachi’s) sister-in-law(bhabhi) walked out of her marriage after 20 years, with two teenaged daughters in tow.

    She only has a secondary school degree and had never worked. Her husband needed psychiatric care but refused to be treated for his psychosis. She walked out after tolerating years of abuse.

    However, she has an older brother whose family she stays with. He pays for her kids’ college education and has offered to care for her daughters until they are married.

    She left because her daughters refused to stay on in such an unstable and abusive environment. I do not know if she regrets it or not however.

    My mother’s younger sister (my aunt) has stayed put in her abusive marriage “for the sake of her son”.

    However, I suspect that the real reason is a lack of family support.

    She’d walked out and filed for divorce 18 years ago, but returned because both families wanted her to “make it work”.

    I always want to ask these people who wanted her to “make it work”… “How do you make it work if your husband beats you up because you forgot to feed the dogs, or because you came home a half hour late?”

    She claims that she now knows how to behave so as to not push her husband’s buttons.

    She has a master’s degree in Math and has worked from the first year of her marriage.

    Her financial independence hasn’t made her feel more secure, however.

    Having a family that supported them made all the difference between leaving and staying for these two women.

    My divorce is the first one in my family and I am eternally grateful to my parents for putting my happiness and well-being above other things like a loss of social status and the disapproval of friends and acquaintances.

    And no, I do not, even for a moment regret my decision. Some men are just not capable of treating their wives as equal partners, not as lesser beings who exist only to server them and their families.

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  12. My mom took me and my sis and walked out when i was 12. My dad was a cad ( to put it mildly)

    we survived , with hardships ( mostly borne by my mum) absolutely no family support and he’s stinking rich but we didn’t get a cent. true my mum didn’t ask for it and he didn’t care enough to come see us or inquire about us.
    He got married again ( yep without a divorce) my mum warned his new bride but beyond that didn’t much care. luckily no kids to ruin there.

    When i got married he came to know ( thru my spineless grandparents) and he came home a week before with gold, sarees, willingness to kanyadhan… supported by his and my mum’s parents and sibling ( see no divorce so he figured he could get into a technicality) . I refused, my mum kept quite and i called my future spouse to see if we could register married. then out of the blue my in-laws showed up, and my MIL took one look at my anger, my mom’s face and calmly told my mum, they had discussed this and this “dhaan” etc., was nonsense , a daughter is never given away , just shared and my FIL said they would be honored if my mum performed the wedding in the place of both mom and dad.. all this infront of the cad !!! woohoooo my and sis were jumping with joy, then my mum picked up everything my dad bought and with my husband’s help tossed it right back to him and politely asked him and his supporters to leave.

    that night mum told us if my in-laws has caused even a tiny bit of doubt then she would have asked me to rethink my decision on getting married. i finally realized she isn’t just quiet and sad, she HAS a spine and my dad didn’t stand a chance against her 🙂

    during the reception, my dad and his folks tried to get into our good graces, and were met at the gate by the deadly combo of my mom and MIL in silk sarees with fiery eyes…hah cowards turned tail and ran….

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      • Yes, she sure is. But as I mentioned in an earlier comment here, being Indian she stayed single the rest of her life. That’s kind of sad that she had to endure a solitary life from her mid 30s unelss she preferred it that way. I wonder if sheelraghav or her sister ever tried to get their mom to find a boy-friend/partner. I know that sounds odd from an Indian context, but people are human and have emotional/physical needs.

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      • Nish, I am replying to your earlier comment.

        As a divorced woman, I can tell you that it is slim pickings indeed.

        Very few divorced Indian men are likely to be significantly different than the man we fought so hard to leave.

        In my opinion, Indian men who are divorced are so because another woman found life with them intolerable.

        She was willing to endure the stigma of divorce rather than live as that particular man’s wife. That’s something to think about.

        Such a man is not likely to be another divorced woman’s dream husband.

        It has been my experience that a lot of divorced Indian men are incapable of being loving, caring husbands in very fundamental ways.

        Some learn from their mistakes of course, but most do not.
        So as far as divorced women are concerned, you’re left scraping the bottom of the barrel, pretty much.

        Life as a single woman is much more fulfilling.

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      • Valid points, Bad Indian Girl. Although you did generalize all Indian male divorcees as a single contemptible group which I thought was a tad unfair. I get what you are saying but there are divorces in India where the husband and wife mutually agree that their marriage is not working out and not because the guy is a compulsive abuser/jerk. Of course, practically speaking, many of these divorced guys would probably get into other relationships/marriages pretty fast since like you say they are not that common a breed. Also there is also the risk with a woman divorcee just out of an abusive relationship that she may have peculiar emotional issues as a result of her previous marriage, and most men may not be able to cope with that. So it’s also possible that some men (including divorcees) stay away from divorced women. The reverse is true too but in general most of society ignore emotional issues in divorced men (or in all men in general).

        And btw, my first marriage ended in a mutual consent divorce and I ended up marrying my best friend (should have done that in the first place anyway). My ex-wife re-married within an year or so too. So you can imagine how it stung a little when your statement automatically included people like me into a group of abusive sadists that I don’t identify with.

        Incidentally neither of my 2 marriages were “arranged” ones and by principle I am against the concept of arranged marriages.

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    • @ Sheelraghav, Hats off to your Mother and In-laws. Most Men bank on the fact that the woman will give in. Hugs to you too for having a good head on your shoulders to have picked a man from such a family.

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    • SheelRaghav, i was so happy to note that some people- your mom and inlaws (and your spouse) took a stand and stood up for what they felt was right at the time of your wedding and made things very clear to your dad and his supporters.

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      • Thanks for yor words, i made my mum read this ..he he she doesn’t so blogs and was so surprised that people actually suported her way .. v v surprised.

        She never got married and she was 33yrs old when she left , never thought about marriage. we didn’t think either till we reached our 20’s and realised she has a right to happiness and a partner as much as we did. Then my sis ( a bit of a firebrand) decided to intro her to her friends single dads ( v slimpickings) but mum just laughed it off, she says she doesn’t see the need to be anyone’s wife. she likes her life fine. she does go sometimes for walks and maybe an occasional shopping with an uncle we know. he’s single and has been a very good friend of ours , his son and my sis are classmates . so maybe maybe 🙂 🙂

        my dad ( sad i have to call him that) is a cad and will always be a cad, he thought if he doesn’t do kanyadhan no one would marry us , expected my mom to grovel and be thankfuly , my maternal grandparents actually thought he was nice to do this can you imagine!!!! someone mistreats their daughter adn causes her to leave and he’s nice .. eh

        more than anything i admire my mum who took time to talk and understand my hubby and told me he was a gem 🙂 how many mum’s support their daughters choosing ontheir own and that too take pains to understand their partner . My in-laws also at the first news that their sonliked me never judged, they asked ot meet me, dined me, listened to me and when they came home ( formal) they took one look at the situation and declared that the daughter of such a strong woman is perfect for their family.
        ours was a love marriage without the drama.. no demands, we did the wedding and they did the reception.

        we live separate and visit both parents weekly, take group vacation sometimes and my boys are spoilt by both grandma’s . My dad tried to see the boys and i have told himfirmly i he is just the contributer of sperm and is no relation to us. can’t let me babies be with a stranger ? no

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    • Sheelraghav- Wow..Applaud your mom to have taken such a strong decision when she was so young and especially when the Indian society was far more conservative than of today. You are immensely lucky and blessed to have such a great Mom and spouse,in-laws who clearly distinguishes between the right and wrong. God bless you all and have a great life ahead !

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  13. Ya know, divorce shouldn’t just be for abused women [or men for that matter]. Whether someone wants to get a divorce because his/her spouse turned too heavy or he/she fell out of love or whether they’re getting beaten up, it’s none of our business. They no longer want to be in the relationship and therefore to get out of the legal contract should be their choice.
    There’s a good longitudinal study done called the Termites which followed American students from preschool until their old age–studies found that kids in households with parents who had a miserable marriage were far more affected emotionally than kids in ‘divorced’ households.
    I know people may argue that ‘desi’ households aren’t like that but my Indian fiance has divorced parents who are now happily married to different people. He’s one of the most stable and functional people I know. Sometimes, a marriage doesn’t work out and it doesn’t have to be for a dramatic reason! Life doesn’t end and you may fall in love and get married again.

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    • Absolutely agree! A divorce need not always mean a bad husband or a bad wife or an abusive relationship. If two people want to divorce it should be a simple process. Under Indian law (Hindu and special acts), even a mutual consent divorce can take 6+ months which is ridiculous. Divorce should be considered a normal act and people should stop seeing it as some sort of upscale sin!

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  14. Do you know of women and families where the mothers did walk out of abusive relationships? How many of them wish they had stayed with the abusive spouses?

    —- No, I dont know of someone who walked out… When things got tough, they left for a while only to return to the house to put up with more abuse. Mostly its because women feel that their family’s reputation/honour will be at stake, or because they dont have financial support, or because they feel guilty for “orphaning their child of the father”, or because they are afraid of being alone or feeling lonely.

    Do you know of any women who have stayed in such relationships – are they satisfied with their lives and decisions?

    —- Yes I do. I dont think they are satisfied or happy with their decision. Most feel like it was their “Majhboori” and that is all they could do at that time. They justify and rationalize the decision they have made or accept that they cant go back and change things so “Bhogatna padega” or they say “Meri kismet”.

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  15. I know now a few of my friends, all warrior women because of what they put up with from schizophrenic abusive husbands to those who locked them in at home (one kept her passport with her even when going to the bathroom). They are all happy now, with other families. And have even forgotten to the extent possible the negatives. Not one of them could imagine going back, come what may. Some had kids, others didn’t, different religions, sisters in strength.

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  16. @IHM-In my opinion, staying in an abusive marriage might seem easier for the simple reason that one doesnt have to face the society’s questions and pretend to be happily married. Since the woman can hide her pain and not let anyone know about it, it effectively becomes a better situation to stay in, than facing the divorce procedure and after-effects. I am a lawyer and have seen how the divorce proceedings take place. What is shocking is the way the women appearing before the Divorce Courts are treated. They are viewed as easy prey by all. You can then imagine how they would be treated outside the Court premises. I have heard my male colleagues discuss the possibility of hooking up with their female clients who come to them with their divorce cases. It is assumed that the woman who has had the guts to separate from her husband would not say no to an affair/ one night stand!

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    • one of my divorce lawyer started calling me at odd hours and also suggested me to have a partner soon . I told him ” are you a divorce lawyer or working for a matrimony / dating site ” I dropped him after 2-3 meeting and told him that i found his behaviour unpreofessional and disgusting .
      its a litle off topic but 2 lawyers (male) suggested me to launch an FIR against my EX and drag him to jail . they asked me to cook up a story and make him pay heavy alimony . I dropped both of them .just mentioning it here that most of the time when women missue law , its becasue lawyers are suggesting and supporting these acts .

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  17. I’m a woman who walked out of a marriage that had nothing to offer me except emotional abuse. Hopefully I’ll live to tell the tale of my exciting, happy life!

    My mom has spent all her adult life in a marriage where she was physically and emotionally abused. That marriage is currently the best it’s ever been, and it’s pretty sad. They share a peaceful coexistence and pretty much live like roommates. It takes the smallest thing to lead to a heated argument about who has sacrificed more. Over the course of 30 odd years, they’ve figured out how not to let those arguments happen (i.e. live their own separate lives and pretend the other doesn’t exist or matter). Yes, I know, marriage takes hard work and all that. Here it was so much work that neither of them did anything else. My dad is still in the same job/company as 30 years back. My mom turned school teacher to homemaker to school teacher again. For both of them, the job is just as escape from each other. That’s all they aspire to, and that’s the reason they haven’t made any progress on that front.

    They pride themselves on having raised two successful kids against all odds. But my brother and I know that the reason we turned out half-sane was that we both moved out at 17 and have lived in different cities/countries ever since. We both still carry a lot of baggage and have to work to get rid of it. I’ve made peace with the situation that I’ll never have a “normal” family, but my brother actively blames my parents for HAVING KIDS at all. He and I both know my mom couldn’t have walked out on my dad (financial dependence + lack of support from birth family + the way she was raised + her own nature). My dad wouldn’t walk out on her because she’s all the family he’s ever known and the only person in front of whom he feels powerful and in control. He doesn’t blame either of them for staying put, but they’re the reason he wants to never get married or have kids. He feels EVERY marriage is a sham. So anyone wondering whether to stay in an abusive marriage when you have the means to move out? Don’t. MOVE OUT FOR YOUR KIDS, instead of staying for your kids.

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  18. My cousin who seperated from her husband(addicted to gambling and alcohol) . There was no divorce, but she ignored his presence and said, dont ever come to my house again. She left home with two of her sons( They were in their preteens). My family fully supported her. Helped her find a job and helped her raise her kids. I dont know if she faced any rebuttal from her inlaws, but never heard anything about it from her directly.

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  19. Hi IHM,
    This reminds me of the mail I had sent you in response the Cluless’s post.. Without going into the details again, which I wrote in the mail, here are some important points I do wish to repeat:

    1) You never know what good life is unless you get out of the abusive marriage. You might feel or might be made to feel that staying in abusive marriage is a more convenient option, but you yourself will not know of it if you dont get out of it. Logical, no?

    2) Children are ALWAYS given as excuses to stay in a bad marriage. But believe me (child of a woman who was in an abusive marriage for 20 long years) … If it had been in my hands, I would have preferred my parents got separated much more earlier, than staying in an abusive marriage for so long. And no, children do NOT suffer because of lack of father figure, but because of seeing the abuse everyday. How hard is this fact to understand by the people who give children as an excuse?!!

    3) Especially if the children are girls, there so even more “so called” reason to stay in abusive marriage, because of the (stupid) question of doing kanyadan at marriage. Solution to this is: Let it be the child’s choice who does the ritual. Like in my case, my mom did (without any opposition from in laws and other pesky relatives). In case any in laws have issues with this, it is safe to assume that they are not good enough for you!!

    4) The whole things eventually boils down to “known evil being better than unknown evil”. But the this is, you know that the known evil is “evil” for sure (100% – since you are bearing the abuse!). But even in the so called “unknown evil” there is a high chance that there might be no evil at all! (because it is “unknown”, and so you cant guarantee the evil). So I do believe in taking chances to achieve happiness and I also believe that “easier option” might not necessarily mean “better option”

    Phew, my attempt to keep it brief gone in vain 😦

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  20. Do you know of women and families where the mothers did walk out of abusive relationships? How many of them wish they had stayed with the abusive spouses?
    –Yes. I do know a fren of mine who got married secretly to her boyfren. She took the decision without the consent of her parents and neither did the grooms parents know anything. She took that decision to help the guy get a job in UK where she is working. The guy turned out to be a total jerk who used to suspect her of everything. Btw their marriage was inter-religion. The girl being a christian and he being a hindu. He never allowed the girl to wear jeans or go out without a chunni or allow her to talk to boys. He was totally aggressive and used to break everything in the house out of anger. He used abusive language most of the time and even called her a prostitute.
    After living with him for 2 years, she couldnt bear with him for an extra second and kicked him out of her life. The guy left to India. Now when she is applying for a divorce, the guy is after her to give her a second chance. When she is against it, he is blackmailing her. The mere thought of his actions in the past two years is giving her chills.
    We frens are on her side to support her any moment. Now she is living in UK, happily enjoying her life, free from the psychological torture. And ready to move on in life!!!

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  21. One of my teachers in high school had walked out of a marriage to a very influential politician. She took with her, her young daughters and a case with her personal things. And without much education or support found a teacher’s job in a school. Then she completed her Masters and brought up her daughters on her own. I thought she was the bravest woman I knew.

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  22. As written in my blog, my mom absolutely refuses to leave my step-dad (or dad as I’m supposed to call him). She says she can’t survive without him, and that she’s also trying to help us by staying with him.

    What’s WEIRD is that she left my biological father, who was physically abusive to her. I never questioned her actions as a kid, but it makes me wonder now? If she’s so helpless to leave my step-dad, why did she easily leave my biological father? Her answer was “He was beating me, so I couldn’t stand it.” Does that mean she can stand to live with a man that hurt her daughter?

    I applaud Indian women that have the strength to leave their marriages. Not only are they taking care of themselves, but they are also taking care of the well-being of the kids. It’s damaging for a child to witness an abusive relationship between the parents.

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  23. IHM, I think the issue people face is trying to understand what “abusive” is. We (men and women) are fed the “Marriage is hard” and is about “adjustment” or “compromise” so much that a lot of times emotional or even physical abuse can be seen as part of the “adjustment pains”. I think most people who are in what everyone else would call abusive relationships tolerate those because they really think “it is not so bad as… ( insert worse situation here)”. Then also abusive relationships are not abusive 24 7. Abusers tend to go throough cycles- when times are bad and when they are not so bad- the not so bad tends to be treated as an attempt to “improve”.
    I think the focus on the need to “make the marriage work” is done at the cost of the individual- but then socially we are trained to think that pursuing personal happiness is somehow “selfish”- think about the numbers of times people are told that they are “selfish” to not want kids or not want to adjust and so on. Also people who endure socially get imbued with the martyr glow “poor thing his wife is mean” or “poor thing her husband beats her” and while I am not suggesting that people being abused like that attention- it is certainly positive compared to the negative attention people who break away from bad relationships are given. Those other people are labelled “stubborn” or “non-adjusting” and are easy prey.

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  24. IHM ..I had a love marriage and within few months , i knew this is not the guy i want to spend my life with , my reasons were my own , YOu cannot explain to people that he plays mind games , his parents are control freaks ..sweet and controlling .
    I knew I had to get out ..what next ..talk to parents . No one took it seriously for few months. an aunt suggested me ways of dealing with them .I was not up for a saas bahu drama. Typical story of does he beat you ? Is he sleeping with other women ?? and suggestions like have a child and he will be fine , or you will be busy with kid and anyways it doesnt matter what he does after that.. I was shocked , amused , irritated but sure that This is definetly not waht i wanted from marriage .

    It took us 2 years after seperation to convince parents / lawyers and court that we need mutual divorce , by then we were not even at talking terms .
    i just started working then , my pay was not much and expenses of living in bangalore high .. but i survived , parents did not tell relatives and even after divorce when i would go home relatives would enquire about husband and why I am not having kids . I had to again make my parents sit and expalin tht I am informing people about it .. relatives just make it tough ..why and what happened , all they need is juicy details . I went through mental abuse for few months and i can say its hell .

    people stay because they dont have support , and also they are taught that some level of adjustment is required in a relationship to work . we still live in an era where guys proudly say ” My dad is the only guy in family who never hit my mom ” ..yesss i was shocked and said ” Is hitting women a norm at your family ” He was like ” haaan sab gusse wale hain mere khandan main ” and he said as if they all should be given medals for that .
    sorry for long comment ..

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  28. I completely agree that is better off to move on without the abusive husband and stick with him. But most respondents here have a kid and I have none. I am in a similar situation where my H n his super greedy family have drained me of every penny and are out to make life hell for me. I am independent and working yet all I yearn for is a loving family. I mean i have my parents but they belong to a different generation and I want to have a family and kids. I know most people out there would feel I should consider myself lucky and move on – my friends tell me this but I am not so hopeful. I am confused. Should i try hard, stay in my marriage and have a kid or should I get out and adopt. What if I have a kid and I am not good at it and have no one to fall back on either?

    Please tell me what you think.

    Regards.

    http://balckwhitegrey.blogspot.in/2013/07/the-new-indian-dahej-dowry-bahu-with.html
    http://balckwhitegrey.blogspot.in/2013/07/the-many-faces-of-mother-are-moms-gods.html
    http://balckwhitegrey.blogspot.in/2013/04/a-letter-of-forgiveness-from-abused.html

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