(Guest post by James Bond)
I was, like every man, excited about my marriage and looked forward to a life of bliss. Little did I know about the web of manipulation that was going to be spun to send my life twirling in a pit of darkness.
From day one, I could see that she suffered from a ‘princess complex’. She would not do any work in the house, citing it was a custom that until henna wore off, women did not do household chores. I knew it was an excuse to cover up for her laziness and sense of entitlement, but I did not want to have an argument so early in my marriage.
She asked me to make tea for her everyday, which was the height of her shamelessness. She said that before marriage her father gave her ‘bed tea’ everyday. I told her that she should have served her father, not the other way around, but she did not see anything wrong with it.
She wanted to go shopping everyday. Sandals, purses, perfumes, shalwar suits, bangles, cosmetics, trips to beauty saloons – every single day. This was in addition to her constant whining about wanting to eat out at different restaurants, again – every single day. After putting up with five months of insanity, I finally decided to become strict about her wild expenditure.
She started yelling at the top of her lungs, hurling abuses at me and my parents, telling me I was a lousy husband, and started throwing household items. After she created a scene, I called her father. Her brother received the phone, and came to my home. She narrated a completely different story to him, telling him how I was the one abusing her. He threatened me and left, citing how the law is in women’s favour. I knew exactly what that was supposed to mean.
She wanted to remain oblivious to my monetary burden and financial anxiety. After a couple of days, she stole my debit card and blew up thousands of rupees in a single shopping spree. It didn’t matter how much she shopped, it was never enough. If I intervened, which I did a few times, all hell would break loose. Yelling, cursing, throwing household items, abusing my parents – it was normal for her to behave like a lunatic whenever she didn’t get her way. She reminded me of a spoiled brat. The more you give a brat, the more she wants, and tantrums follow.
I was earning Rs. 50,000 a month, and that would vanish in a couple of weeks, and I had to pull out an extra Rs.25,000 – 30,000 from my savings. If I didn’t she would abuse and threaten me with a dowry case, and she would call her brother who would tell me what he would do to my family with his goons. I feared not only for my own safety, but also that of my family.
We had given her very expensive jewellery at the time of marriage, but she would constantly make fun of it, calling it cheap, and called me a miser. In public, she would humiliate me over trivial issues. She would start screaming on busy public roads, malls, restaurants, often creating a scene, resulting in people staring at us. I am sure if a man is doing the screaming, people would intervene, but since she is the privileged and entitled gender, she has a birthright to abuse a man.
No one could see my scars. Only they were not on my body. The psychological abuse that I was going through was worse than physical abuse. Having to put up with her yelling, curses, threats, abuse, humiliation, and the way my hard earned money was being wasted, and my saving were vanishing made me very depressed.
I couldn’t concentrate at work. My performance started to suffer. My colleagues could notice that there was something wrong. I asked my boss for leave, citing health problems.
I was living in hell. What made it worse was the fact that they could harm my family too. I didn’t know what to do, I started thinking of an escape. I finally mustered the courage to send her a divorce notice, knowing well that she could accuse me falsely of dowry harassment, but I was prepared for anything. I could not live with that woman one more day.
I sent her a divorce notice, prepared for anything. However, there was no response. I guess they were all bark and no bite. I was lucky, but not everyone is. I think about all those men who are driven to suicide by abusive wives. Men don’t report it due to the fear of draconian laws and social stigma. Men suffer in silence.