Relations don’t go sour overnight. I didn’t wake up one morning and decide that I couldn’t live with a monster of a husband for whom I was just a maid to take care of his physical needs and suffer beatings without a whimper. He expected me to do all chores single-handedly. No servant would work in our house for long because of his bad temper. My day would start at 4.30 a.m.: clean the house, lay everything ready for him neatly on the bed including his socks, shoes, wallet, clothes, make breakfast and lunch for three of us (those days his younger brother lived with us) and then rush to office by 8.15. In the evening, it was the same routine. And if I frowned, I was a bad wife. Once when I asked my brother-in-law to wash dishes after dinner, the complaint reached my mother-in-law the very next day. ‘How can you ask your brother-in-law to wash dishes?’ she shouted over the phone.
Now when I look back at my nine years of relationship with my ex-husband (seven years of marriage and two years of courtship) I realise financial independence is not the deciding factor to call it quits, it is actually what gives courage to do so.