I know, I know, I’m standing up for myself, I’m such a bitch

So… the point where I decided, enough is enough, I’m leaving…

I guess the Indian culture can sometimes be a bit backward – depending on the family you are brought up in, if the grandparents are around etc.

I have a few members in my family who are probably more traditional than the rest so I know the mentality and the way they like to live – and I respect that. However, my parents raised me to have an opinion, to get an education and to stand up for myself.

My marriage meant that I had joined a family who were a lot more traditional than what I knew, which was fine as my husband and I had our own home and I guess we didn’t have to ‘follow the rules’ to a certain extent. But, what I did learn, is that the traditional mentality was a lot around how the women don’t get a say… and this infuriated the shit out of me!

The women were there to cook and clean and maintain a home… be at the beck and call of their husband, in laws and children. If the woman wants to visit her family she must ask the permission of her husband, there was never a time to just go out for a coffee with friends, well because friends don’t really exist when you are just there to provide for your family… and sex was at the demand of the husband, or he’s happy to go elsewhere to get it…It killed me to watch the women just slave away, and not have any enjoyment for themselves in their own life.

I guess, where I thought it was great that I wouldn’t have to follow these rules as such because we would have our own home and own life… I failed to recognise that my husband had been brought up in a home where this lifestyle is what is ‘normal’ so of course… I was a terrible wife when I didn’t want to live the same way his mother did and do as I am told by my husband!

Now, where I thought so strongly that I shouldn’t change, I also did not want my marriage to fall apart. So, I did change, I became this housewife which I really didn’t want to be but taught myself to think that it was the right thing to do… I cooked his favourite meals, I stopped going out, I was there as and when he needed and did as I was told by my in laws to ensure the family reputation maintained its high status in the local Indian community. Everything he wanted, I did my best to make it happen… but where was the 50/50? I figured if I did all these things to make him happy, surely, he would want to make me happy too? But instead he came up with more reasons as to why I’m not good enough… I don’t dress girly enough, I don’t cook enough, my job doesn’t earn enough money, he misses hanging out with his boys and I’m the reason that he doesn’t see them… so I tried to make right these ‘wrongs’ he pointed out to me… it still wasn’t enough

Here’s some of the things I saw in my husband which I considered ‘wrong’ and wanted him to at least acknowledge and eventually change…

  • He smoked weed, not one or two spliffs… but at least 6/7 a day…
  • After a couple months of marriage – we didn’t have a physical relationship at all… maybe the odd bit of hand holding, *oh wow!!*… nothing else
  • He had no care for my family or friends… in a year and half of marriage – he visited my parents once. Now this might be normal for a lot of folk, but in the Indian world – family is so important, attending family functions etc is a major deal… he never went to any functions and if he did, we were last there and first out. His own family functions – he would send me whilst he sat on his ass at home smoking more spliffs
  • He was disgusting!! I get it, us women can be frustrating when we are moaning that we don’t like the men leaving the toilet seat up blah blah blah… but hows about… clearing your spit out the sink, or picking up a plate off the floor which has been left for a week, flushing the toilet after you’ve had a major shit!? (sorry for being so detailed in this disgusting behaviour)
  • We didn’t really do much together, if I went out for meals with him, it was for the fact that we needed to eat not because it was a nice thing to do… and lets make sure we get back home quickly so he can smoke another spliff
  • His boys were over every week… which was fine, I didn’t want him to lose touch with his besties… but surely if you can make time for them you can make time for your woman?
  • We didn’t go on holiday or weekend breaks etc… ever!

I tried to bring up these issues to hopefully improve our marriage. As mentioned, all the wrongs he gave me, I tried to make right, thinking that if I make changes, then he will too… because that’s marriage – give and take, compromise on both sides…

Nothing changed… things just got worse and there was major distance between us… it finally got to a point where the final blows were enough for me to decide to leave… in short, I found out that he was in major debt! He wanted to re-mortgage our house to pay it off, which would obviously affect me as my name was on the property, so I said NO. Unless I can see the reason why we need to remortgage the property, I’m not signing any papers. I didn’t think there was anything wrong in me asking this. But technically, in the traditional Indian world, if my husband wants me to sign any documents with both of our names, I should just sign, no questions asked! So he obviously found this super difficult to deal with because for the first time, he heard a word from me that he never expected to hear … ‘No’

Even when his parents were involved in our situation, they couldn’t comprehend why I wasn’t just accepting, that I need to do as I am told.

He got quite aggressive towards me when he realised, he isn’t getting what he wants… it was at this point that I gave up on the marriage. I had accepted all the wrongs I mentioned before, thinking that hopefully he will just grow up and change, but then this big debt and aggressive actions came about and I thought… fuck you! He will always want me to be this Indian wife, who does as she’s told because he wants his own way. If only 1.5 years into marriage he can treat me this way, then what will I live with for the rest of my life?

I will tell you the story about leaving another time… but I wanted to tell this part to let you ladies know… we are not wrong when we stand up for what we believe is right.

I understand it seems harder in the Indian culture, we are taught that our husband is our be all end all, we should do as he requests and support his needs…. But camon!

Fuck his drug addiction – that is not a need which is right! Screw him for wanting to give you a smack because you won’t ‘do as you’re told’.

There are things which regardless of culture/religion/in laws … whatever… we shouldn’t stand for… and if you know deep down that you haven’t done anything to deserve being treated this way, then don’t stand for it. Fuck em! You are better off alone then to live in the shadows of a shitty husband or his family.

You’ll see from my future stories that things get better… I know it’s cliché but there is always light at the end of the tunnel… you just have to take that first step.

Stand up for yourself, because no one else will!

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