Things Women Undergo after Marriage.

I was 21 when I got married to an NRI (Non Resident Indian). Beautiful, vibrant, educated and full of life, that was me, back then.within the first month of my marriage, I moved to US along with my software engineer husband. I landed in Chicago, only to head to my brother-in-law's house and stayed with his family for a couple of days, thereafter all our holidays were to Chicago only. My husband used to boast about my cooking and the moment we touched Chicago, I was the only official cook for their family of four and two of us. I honestly never felt bad about it. Been brought up in a close knit family, I was always very positive about maintaining relationships and believed in the bonding with the family very strongly. I had never ever cooked in my entire life, besides entering the kitchen two months prior to my marriage, just to brace myself. I had seen my mother, grandmother cook their entire life; so I think I had it in me. I became very fond of cooking, doing the house-hold chores.
Though a NIFT pass-out, I was not very ambitious professionally and was very happy taking care of the house. Two months after my marriage- I was exposed to physical violence in the house. My husband, who had been settled in US for more than half a decade, was brutal beyond words. I wasn't allowed to wear western clothes, not even jeans. He used to make me stand against the sunlight only to check if my suit (salwar) was transparent; the neck of my suit was deep. I had moved to the most westernized country in the world, but my life was more pitiful than that of a girl living in the most orthodox village of our country.
Six months post my marriage I got a job. My husband opened a joint account the very next day. I was very happy because it was unexpected. But three months later, I got to know that only my salary was going into that account and that it was immediately being transferred to his personal account, the very day. I had no mobile phone on me, no credit card, no cash ever. And, all this is true! The physical violence and his dominance had become so strong that I was scared to death to even say anything. After one year of my marriage, we came to India and I reached my parents' home with a fractured arm.
There was no way I could tell my family anything. They did probe me a lot, but I lied to them and said I had slipped in the bathroom. My husband left me with my parents for a month with zero money with me. The list of household products he had asked me to bring to US cost my parents a bomb. Not to forget, I had never shopped in USA besides buying the mundane grocery with my husband's credit card, which was very strongly scrutinized post the shopping. I was always told, "You have so many clothes". I shopped like crazy in India on my parents' expense and bought everything- from undergarments, utensils, house decor items, gifts for in-laws and husband and jewellery for myself. All my wedding jewellery was kept by my mother-in-law during my first visit to their house. I was always told I am too young to handle all this. Was I? Wasn't I young to independently manage the house in USA, where there are no maids to vacuum, wash utensils, wash clothes, clean the bathroom, cook and then go to work? My house had to be sparkling clean all the times. I don't know why, but I tolerated all this for good three years with all my positivity.
In the fourth year of our marriage, my daughter was born. I never wanted a child at that point of time, but who could I mention this to. My husband and his mother left me in the hospital for two days, immediately after my delivery and did not turn up after. I was supposed to be discharged from the hospital, but there was no trace of them. My husband told me that I knew about the sex of our child and deliberately withheld it from him. But then, did it even matter?
It was my first child! Instead of being excited, all I had in me was fear. All my hospital visits were alone. I didn't even have diapers for my daughter, other than the one I got from the hospital. My brother, who was settled in UK, sent me a big parcel with clothes, diapers and baby stuff for my newborn. That's all I had. After fifty days of having my daughter, I tried putting an end to my life. That attempt to escape the misery also failed.
My brother reached US and took me back to India. My daughter was only 59 days, when I came to India with no luggage, just my daughter in my arms. I stayed at home with my parents for a year. I was lucky that they let me in. I left my daughter at my parents' house and came to Delhi for a job, when she was just one. It's been ten years now. I have been working in Delhi and visit her on alternate weekends. I have been fighting a legal case from the last decade, and now am so tired that I have stopped going to the court. I've received no financial support from the father of my child. I don't know where he is, what he does. All I know is that he ruined my life, I might be away from that mess but those years still haunt me.
Though I seem to be doing reasonably okay in my career, I don't have a life, I never will. I miss my daughter. Being a bright, bubbly girl and with the best education I had a big circle of friends prior to marriage, but now I have no friends. I have lost my self-esteem and confidence. I have no social life.
Life for an Indian divorcee with a kid is not easy, whatever said and done! I have so much sorrow in me that I don't think I ever can be happy. I cannot share this sorrow with anyone. Though my family is aware of my situation, I always have to show them that I am happy and have adjusted to this life, just to avoid giving them any more sadness in life.
I don't know when from 21, I turned 37. Marriages which are meant to be eternal are not always what they seem. It's strange that even after ten years, while my physical wounds have healed, the mental trauma seems never ending.
My only suggestion to the younger generation is- don't ever wait for a bad marriage to become okay, thinking things will change. They never will. A demon remains a demon, no matter what. Do what is right. Do not get trapped in a marriage just to realize your dream of going abroad.

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