A Dead Marriage.

She just wanted to be loved.

Her parents had been too busy with their lives to really spend time with her. Added to that, there were a series of caretakers for the house and for the children. Of course, the inevitable happened one day when a male caretaker, himself a young boy of 18, tried stuff he shouldn’t, and threatened her with dire consequences if she told anyone. To top it all, she was an overweight child, quite nerdy, and so the butt of everyone’s jokes at school. She buried herself in her books to get away from it all, and actually surprised herself by doing quite well at school.

She went on to do a professional course. But her self-image, got in childhood, didn’t leave her. She couldn’t shake off its shadow. And soon she got into a serious relationship with another student. At least she was serious about it. She followed her heart and a physical factor entered the relationship. He, of course, wasn’t serious about her, and dumped her after a while.

Unfortunately, she didn’t learn from the experience. That was her mistake. She got into another relationship on the rebound. This, too, soon went the way of the first. All this wasn’t doing her self-esteem any good.

At home, there was no recognition of the pain she had already gone through. The topic of her marriage came up. She was not willing to marry. She was still carrying the pain of her past with her. Her parents, however, talked to her and tried to convince her that as a girl (never mind that she was professionally trained!) she couldn’t escape the institution of marriage. They refused to see her point of view- “in our society girls cannot remain unmarried. They are not looked at in the right way by society. We cannot last you all your life.You don’t have to marry the first boy you see. We’ll search till you find someone you like.”

She finally gave in. That was her second mistake. She could have made a life for herself, earning enough for herself. She bowed to the emotional blackmail.

Just the 2nd ‘boy’ that she met seemed to them suitable for her. Even the boy’s side gave a yes. She wanted to come clean with her prospective husband about her past, but her parents were against it. “What face will we have in society if these things come out?” She gave in. That was the third mistake.

Old sins, though, have long shadows. Her husband came to know about it a few years after their marriage. He was shattered, and rightly so. He had been cheated, he claimed. He was magnanimous, however, and was ready to overlook her past. On the condition that she tell him every detail. Every night in bed.

She gave in. Another mistake The whole thing ate away at her. She dreaded the night. The insistence on talking about her past every time, again and again. It sickened her. There was no getting out of it, though. Why didn’t he decide to break up? Why didn’t she? She didn’t know why he didn’t, but she couldn’t. Not after having become emotionally involved in her husband. Someone she thought she had for her own finally. She dreaded any idea of a break up. At his insistance in the early days of their marriage, he had even given up her job. Emotionally, financially and socially dependent on her husband, she could see no other way of life. There was also the added complication of having had a child.

She was dying slowly inside everyday. Trying to salvage her marriage from this mess. He often called her names. Called her family names. He even hit her sometimes, but she hid it from the world. The shame of it would have been too much.

Then one day, out of the blue, her husband told her that he could not handle it. From that day on, they would be husband and wife in name only. A front to show the world. She was shattered. There was no one she could turn to. If she so much as breathed a word of this to anyone, there would be consequences.

She comes of a generation that finds words like ‘divorce’ anathema. Where was the ‘love’ she had been looking for? So life goes on.

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