Boy Bye!

 

My marriage was a pretty toxic relationship – don’t take marriage advice from me girls, it was fucked up, haha! I only know this now though from looking back with a clearer mind, and I can only say this now because I left knowing it was the right thing for us both.

I’d say about 5 months before I left I started thinking about it… if I do decide to leave what would both our parents say? What if he does change, have I just given up real easy? What about the relationships I have built with his family? Will I have to leave a job I love? Where would I live if I left? Will he be ok alone? Will I upset my family? Will I be tarnished and therefore unable to love/marry again?

So I guess I thought from this point to give it my all. If I am having these thoughts, then it’s not right to just live miserably and expect it to just get better. I decided that I would do everything possible and if he still doesn’t change and if things cannot improve then I know that leaving is the only decent answer for both of us and that I can leave knowing I tried everything in my power to not break this.

So, all the changes I mentioned previously I did with all my heart…accepted all of his bullshit… but things just got worse so I looked for other options, I went for counselling. He told me I had anger issues and that it was me causing the problems, so I went. I didn’t want to be the reason that the relationship was falling apart and if he’s feeling this way, well then I need to fix it. Each week I would go to see a counsellor who actually made me realise that what I expected out of a marriage wasn’t that bad, and that these ‘anger issues’ were not really issues, I was just reacting to how terribly I was being treated.

He stopped me from continuing the counselling when he saw my attitude change, thinking the counsellor was the reason I had balls to talk back to him when he was shitty towards me. I asked him to join me at the counselling sessions if he thinks that I am being brainwashed, maybe he can meet them and try and work with me, to which he argued and then finally agreed to come.

My gosh – was I excited?! Finally we are working together, this might just be the turning point I was hoping for, actually he does care about this marriage and I was so wrong for thinking that I should leave … but did he turn up to the session? NEH!

Why was it that I was putting in this effort to make our marriage work whilst he sat at home on his ass doing fuck all? I started to resent him and it was just getting even more toxic between us. When I realised that a lot of the problems we had stemmed from his own issues I decided to speak to his family.

Now, in the Indian culture once a girl is married she ‘belongs’ to her in laws… they are her first call for everything and I guess if there are issues she should go to them first. So being part of a traditional Indian family I did what would be considered the ‘correct’ way of dealing with our issues and went to my in laws to tell them that we are having problems in our marriage.

I wanted their support – this is their son and I am now their daughter so surely, they would want to help to make things right… when I told them what their son had been up to, they would not believe me. They never once discussed the issues with us together, instead they would talk to him separately then when he gets home to me he would flip his shit at me… so I guess that didn’t work out either. What options were left?

He doesn’t want to get involved with counselling to help the marriage, he didn’t want to listen and make changes, he wanted to be aggressive, ignore me, and bully me into being a wife who does as she’s told and to top it all off, his parents or family were not willing to give the support we needed to make things right either. So, I made the decision to leave after feeling I had done everything possible to try and improve the marriage.

Wanting to leave was obviously a major issue – imagine the family reputation now? Divorce! This is just unheard of for these Indians. How can I consider giving up on the marriage when they have given me everything… how dare I have a voice and stand up to the fact that my husband wants me to agree to a remortgage to pay off a debt I have no idea has been accumulated…? I was officially, a bitch!

This is the frustrating thing in traditional Indian culture… regardless of him smoking drugs, getting into debt, not acknowledging his wife and living pretty much a lads life with a wife who basically replaces the mothers role… I was the bad guy!

They justified me wanting to leave with the following:

  • I only married him so I could move to London… ermmm I didn’t want to fucking live there!
  • I was there for the money… What money? He’s in fucking debt!!
  • I must’ve been there for all the gold they gave… ermmm they kept it hidden in the parents’ home and I fucking hate gold so err neh!
  • I must’ve had another man waiting for me so that’s why I left him… really?!
  • My mom stuck up for me for wanting to leave… therefore I only left because my parents made me… WOW! A mother standing up for her daughter after seeing her being treated badly is terrible?

They acknowledged his wrongs by saying… that’s just boys, he’s done it for so long now he’s never going to change. I was just supposed to accept this, and it shouldn’t be the reason I want to leave.

Ha.. I guess this just made it so much easier to realise, this isn’t where I want to be. Can you imagine the rest of my life? So after his final shove at the stairs I left…

Laytaz motha fucka!

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!

I refuse to become what you call normal…

In a lot of the traditional Indian families one of the biggest ‘worries’ is how the family is perceived by other Indians. You sort of put on this front and fit into the typical Indian ways so that others can’t talk bad about you *rolls eyes*.  For example, if every girl is wearing red, you should fit in and wear red too because what if someone has something to say about the fact that you decided you wanted to wear green and be different to the rest!?

Well I married into the perfect typical Indian family where reputation was everything to them… and I guess I’m the piece in the puzzle that just didn’t fit… Now don’t get me wrong, there are certain things about culture that I hold on to… it would be a shame to let go of what our ancestors taught us and raised each generation by…. But to worry about what others think of you because you drive a certain car or like to cut your hair short?  WOWZA!

This was their norm, and I just didn’t fit into that… I made a lot of changes, just to keep the peace. I also thought to myself that I chose to marry this man and be part of his family so I need to change my ways a little…

I guess the rebel in me would end up fighting it too much though. I remember once, there was a family wedding and I had chosen a saree to wear on the day of the wedding… however 5 days before the wedding day some of the girls in the family had decided they wanted to wear these Indian dresses instead of sarees… well that meant that my MIL had decided I should wear a dress too!

WTF?! I tried to explain to her, my outfit is already chosen, I have a million sarees which were given to me at the wedding and haven’t been worn, why do I need to buy something new? Her reply… ‘Because all the girls are wearing dresses, you don’t want to look like the odd one out’ … I mean , great fucking reason why I should spend another £200 on an outfit because I have been told to…

I know this seems like a minor example – but this would be the response for pretty much anything… I was encouraged to buy an Audi because the rest of the family drove BMW’s and Audis – why would I want to drive a Honda? I didn’t wear enough make up, I should wear more jewellery, I should wear dresses rather than jeans, I shouldn’t cut my hair short, girls shouldn’t go out to bars as much as the boys… why the fuck not?!

‘Normal’ to a typical Indian family is for the wife/daughter in law to do as she is told… to follow suit of every other typical Indian woman in the family… just be a good Indian girl. I finally came to my senses and refused, I guess this is where these things which irritated me, helped me to realise that I am my own person, I can stand up for myself and that its ok to be different

Being a little different to the rest is what makes us interesting people. Why would we want to follow suit of what others tell us to be … the world would be a very boring place to live if we were all the same, don’t you think?

I guess what I want to say is… don’t change yourself just to fit into someone else’s ‘normal’ because there is no such thing.

Yes, sometimes in a relationship compromises have to be made etc… but never at the expense of changing the person you are. There is only one of you – and your partner has chosen you for that reason, don’t change to fit in because in the end you become miserable, you don’t recognise yourself and you end up just being something/someone just to fit in with others. I got to a point where I felt like I didn’t know how to be anymore. My natural self is to be loud, outgoing and the life and soul of the party – but I got to a point where I wasn’t even sure what I could say or how to act in case it wasn’t ‘right’ in everyone else’s eyes… Man, trust me, that is no way to live! Its fucking boring and well… fake!

Let me tell you – the weirder you are, the better! Be crazy, wild and different, because there isn’t enough of that and it’s what will make the world a more interesting and fun place to be in!

Well… that didn’t work

So, as the case would be for most Indian girls… you know that as soon as you leave University with your degree… the next aim in life is to find a husband (according to the traditional cultural ways that we are taught!)

So I did it… I got married like a good Indian girl living in this British world… and well… it didn’t work, hence why I am now divorced by the time I’ve turned 30!

Now, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t an arranged marriage, not forced in any sort of way… I chose my man, I decided to get married, buy a house and plan a life together with him… it’s just that it didn’t quite work out like one would expect.

If I am honest with myself, I realise now that I probably thought… I have a partner and we both want the next stage of life (to be married) so let’s make this work and go with it.

In the Indian world – if you think family is important, the girl can cook, she’s respectable towards elders, you both have decent jobs and you enjoy the basics in life together – well there you have your perfect match!

Let’s be real… I saw his faults… my friends and family warned me of his issues and how his attitude and behaviour wasn’t right towards me… but I still stayed with him.

I had made a commitment to a man to spend the rest of my life with – so that means I give it my all, accept some of the wrongs because really, in the end, it will all be fine. We have chosen to be together so why would it ever be any other way?

Marriage is a big commitment and I didn’t want to go in half hearted… however I guess I wasn’t thinking about the other half of it, which was him… both of us need to give the marriage 100% attention … otherwise of course it’s going to break down.

I probably sound quite blasé about the marriage I had… that could not be further from the truth. I think divorce comes too easily to some people and I disagree with anyone who doesn’t want to give their all to make their marriage work… but you should realise it takes two to make it and sometimes, divorce ends up being the only answer.

I guess I look back now and think… marriage isn’t everything like we are taught that it is.

I’m not saying that it’s wrong because it really isn’t – and I hope that maybe in the future I fall in love enough to want to maybe marry again… but it doesn’t work to be married because that’s what you think you should be doing, or told to do.

You can’t force it to work, you can’t force a person to change and you certainly can’t stay in such an unhappy relationship just because you have ‘married’ stamped all over it

It didn’t really work out for me… and that’s ok! Being a divorced brown girl, turned 30 in this modern world isn’t such a bad thing. I’m going to learn from my mistakes and I want to talk about it all because I believe I’m not the only one in this situation… I hope that my experiences are relateable and hopefully empower you to make decisions and live your life as amazing as possible too.