She called me in the evening and told me she had to speak to me urgently. I was at a restaurant with my friends, and was shocked and surprised to receive her call. She was my ex-husband girlfriend (now ex, too). She seemed quite desperate to speak to me. The first thing that ran through my head is that: What does a girl who hates me so much, want from me at this hour? It was 1130 in the night.
Finishing up with the dinner, I picked her up from the meeting point and took her home. Although I didn’t trust her, I was sorry for her. She had tears in her eyes as she walked with me to the swings. My ex-husband’s girlfriend, who hated me (for nothing, really!), had come to me for help/support. I felt sorry for her, and gave her a hug. There was no more ill-will from either side. And then she spoke her heart out, although just a little!
What struck me most about the conversation was her statement: I have come to you, Shweta, because you are the only person who can understand me than anyone else.
It was true. I wish I had someone to understand me when I was going through an emotional trauma of an abusive husband. Although I had my family with a full support, I couldn’t discuss everything with them. I wished I had a friend who could understand me, and NOT sympathize with me.
I was in an abusive marriage with a man for 9 whole months. We dated for 3 years until we tied the knot. Our relationship lasted all the way when I was in the USA and he was in India. And after we were married, I found out, that I was conned into this relationship – not only by this man, but his entire family. The family that lied to me and my family, for money and status.
This is my story:
I met him for work. He said he owned Matrix Events/ KlubX Events, and since I met him through a business website (ryze.com), I believed him. I believed that he was an investment banker who worked for an American based company. I don’t think I was naïve or blind, but it was all a lie that was nicely woven. Each bit of it was neatly planned and synchronized. All the other participants playing in this drama were updated and customized to suit their roles – his family, friends, and colleagues included.
When I finally left for the USA, this man expressed his undying love for me, and I fell in the trap. We continued through (with break ups, on and off) until he came to the USA, to rescue his relationship. He said he could continue his “business” from any part of the world. So, he worked while I studied in the USA. This is 2 months before I was married to him.
We went to Vegas, Atlantic City, NYC, long car drives to historic places around the Delaware River, a drive to Virginia to meet my brother and his family, and all those couple things. Little did I know that we were spending 10,000 USD that he took from my father before he left India to visit me. (No, I can live without a rich man, who I can’t live with are liars and con-men). But this was not the end of the money scam. After this, he took additional 5000 USD, and then 2000 USD more. But at that time, our relationship was already deteriorating so it was convenient for him to take the money. Interestingly he still asks my dad for money. In all his emails to my father (which were only revealed to me since I petitioned in the court) was: “My clients will give me money in 2-3 days. Till then please send me X amount and don’t tell Shweta about this. We are going through a rough patch.”
Damn right we were going through a tough patch! The man hit me almost every day and scowled and grinded his teeth on other days. What I remember in this marriage is a lot of screaming, shouting, breaking stuff, and my broken mouth or a swollen lip … and lots and lots of tears. And I am still deaf in my left ear. Rough patch it sure was…but I thought it was only a phase. You see, women in India seem to want to save their marriage as desperately as they can. It is a matter of their family’s name in the society, and unfortunately for me, I chose to marry this man. It seemed that my (ex) husband knew this and took full advantage of this fact. So, I went online to look for incidences and how couples overcame their problems, bought books with names like “7 things that happy couples do.” I tried everything in my capacity to change myself to make my marriage a success. But soon… things were going out of control.
In the USA, when only I could drive and he didn’t have a license, there were abuses in the air when I chose to study than get out in the pouring rain to buy him beers. I bore public show downs in my university parking lots if I was 15 minutes late from the class to the car, where he was waiting for me. I was punched against the wall if I had to hurry for my classes than listen to his bullshit about what a great businessman he is! And an epic unforgettable incidence when he threw $20 bills amounting to 500 USD on my face in the smoking section of my regular bar saying: “This is your worth slut!” and then a gentleman who collected all those bills for me while I wept.
But it doesn’t end here. And then when we returned to India, the tantrums and the breaking of glasses, beer bottles, the air cooler, my perfume bottles, and the flinging of food plates, and the punching in the wall, and… the chocking of my throat, or banging my head on the walls! It never stopped. There was a reason to do one of these every single day. Reasons: “stop studying and start being a wife. Your research is not as important as your husband” or “why is there only 1 beer bottle in the fridge? Why don’t you tell me when it’s getting over?” Or “I don’t care if the maid is here or not, you sweep the floor, and swap it, and cook food, and make time for your husband” or “you cannot hang around with my female friends without me.. how dare you” or “who asked you to go through my phone? How many every new girls I speak to or make friends with, it’s none of your concern. You just do what a wife does” or “why do your friends come home? They should give a 24hrs notice if they want to see you.”
And after all this, I finally sought to seek out help. Considering his parents know him for longer than my parents, I opened my heart to his mother and just got one response: “he is like his father. His father also chocks and hits me when he is angry. You just have to bear it. If I can, you can too. It runs in our family.” What could I have said to such a response? But yea… the outcome of this discussion was that my (ex) husband needs a new wife cos I was not worth keeping! But they decided that they are going to spare me, and let me be his wife for the sake of my family’s name in the society.
Interestingly, this didn’t deter me from saving my marriage. After all, it was only 3 months into the marriage. I thought I should give it 3 more months. I guess this decision made me stronger, and I started to retaliate by kicking him in his privates, or punching him back. It was not healthy for sure, but I wanted to make a point, HIS way! What followed these abuses were flowers and gifts! I don’t want flowers in the vase of my dining table reminding me of the bruise on the arm or the head!
And then came the psychiatrist. He chose to go by himself and sort things out in his head. But it looked like he enjoyed the company of this shrink, and I found out much later that he was having an affair on the outside, with some girl that he met on Facebook.
And then, I chose to walk out. But it doesn’t end there. The trauma and the pain remain for a long long time, until one internally decides to move on – stronger or weaker. And I am only glad that I became strong.
Unfortunately, this man still lies in the society. He goes by an investment banker, or a photographer from NYC, and a graduate of LBS (LBS&F – confusion there!). He believes that it is okay for him to keep lying because the women who have come into his life have done nothing to expose him. But the truth is, which woman wants to be associated in vengeance with this scum?
Many women face such incidences in their own lives and I think they always want to share it so that someone can understand them and tell them that they did it right, and that they are stronger, and the society can go to hell. Many others choose to stay in this abusive relationship. I am sharing my story here, and I am looking to learn from yours. Share my story and ask others to share theirs… we are all sisters in hand, and if we can help each other, it is only because we can “empathize” each other. Sympathy is not what we’re looking for, really!!
Today is the 16 February, 2013. I live in a country that is my motherland, and governmentally run by women of strength like Sonia Gandhi, Sushma Swaraj, Mamta Banerjee, and like, but still abuse is rampant on women in different ways. I am writing this blog to my fellow women in India and across the world and to my fellow brothers too, not to gain justice, pity, or sympathy, but to tell every woman who is going through unethical and inhumane trauma (be it in the present or the past) that she has a friend in spirit, and will never be as alone as I was.
If you are reading, then you know, YOU are not alone!