#Personal Stories

I Am Never Going To Have A Marriage Like That Of My Parents

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It all started when I was a child. I saw my father slapping my mother and then violently pushing her till her head started bleeding. I was the sole witness of this, shuddering with fear and crying for my mother. I thought the next day will bring havoc to my family. But watching my mom nonchalantly braving through the day made me question if something wrong ever happened/ Did that night ever exist? But the scar on my mother’s head was the proof of the night’s existence but my mother’s silence and fake smile proved that she had internalised domestic violence as a part of her marriage.

I wished that the night was the end of the dark days of my family. But I was wrong. It went on repeating in many instances. The one that affected me the most was when my mother got to know about my father’s adultery. She questioned him and in return, my father abused her and beat her up (using hands and legs) till she started bleeding. But again after a few days, my mother pretended as if she had forgotten everything and denied that anything wrong ever happened. Important to mention that after every fight with my father, my mother tried to end her life. I had to make her vomit the pills she overtook. While my father drowned himself in a pool of alcohol and tears.

Today, when I think about them, many questions arise in my mind. Why is my parents’ marriage still continuing when it was so toxic?

Why are they still together when they are toxic to each other? Why has my mother ignored every instance of violence as a part of marriage? Will my marriage also be the same? If my parents arranged my marriage, will they expect me too to bear injustices in marriage?

My parents’ marriage was never meant to happen. My father had rejected my mother at first sight. But this broke my mother who felt as if her worth was defined by how quickly she can be selected for marriage. Then, my mother’s family and my father’s family forced the two to tie knots. Today, as I reminisce and connect dots, I feel that when my father had rejected my mother, the marriage prospect should have ended there and then. If that was done, maybe today they might not be too toxic for each other. Even though today, after many years, they are supportive of each other, can we really call it a happy marriage? Can a marriage that survives only for the same of children a happy one?

To be honest, my parents’ relationship has made me detest and fear the idea of marriage. The fear was further fanned when my mother said that 1-2 thappad toh shaadi ka part hai. It is said that parents teach children the way to live a good life. But my parents normalised many injustices in my life that could never ensure a good life. If I wasn’t an educated feminist, life would have been different for me- or let me rephrase-surrounded by the smog of patriarchy. If you have watched the movie Thappad, you must remember the scene when Amrita’s mother says that compromises and fights are a part of marriage and that women should not back out. The situation is the same with me in reality but the difference is that Amrita had her father to support her. But I am not sure I will have that.

I fear that if my parents arranged my marriage, they won’t look for a man who respects me. They would be fine with his violent and toxic behaviour and not support me if I decide to walk out of a marriage. But as an educated feminist, I have made a point in my family that I won’t marry until I want to. And that I won’t settle for anything less than mutual respect and equality in marriage I will not internalise domestic violence or adultery as a part of the wear and tear of marriage. I will be aware of my rights and never give in to any kind of suppression. I have told my parents that I don’t wanna end up in a toxic relationship as they have and will make sure that my partner will be feminist enough to respect my choices. Because I want an equal marriage but what my parents have are servility and compromises.