(As told to Neha D.)
(Names have been changed to protect identity)
Lies and deceit, they come too easy to some people. Just like they came too easily to Sumit. Sumit, who swept me off my feet when he said that he loved me. Sumit, who wove dreams of lifelong happiness with me when he married me.
Youth makes you believe in a lot of untrue dreams. This was why I went against the wishes of my parents and married Sumit at the age of 22. We were from Surat, but we moved to Mumbai after we got married. My parents refused to accept us. I gave up hope once my mother died and my father settled with my brother in Sydney.
From normal to different
Life in the initial stages of marriage is never easy. Settling down in Mumbai took a while. I wouldn’t say that we were unhappy. Routine life took its toll and love took a backseat. Our son was born just one year after our marriage. Soon after that our daughter was born. But a few years down the line, life plunged a knife into our life. We discovered that our daughter was severely autistic. My life then changed completely. It revolved around caring for her. I had to give up my job while Sumit worked harder to make ends meet. I forgot what normal life was, couldn’t go anywhere or do anything exciting. Years passed just like this. They felt like a black hole, consuming me and my dreams. But I had no options left. I had nothing to look forward to.
But Sumit found a way out for himself. He had always been a smooth talker. The Internet chat world became his way of getting out of the situation. But at what cost? He started weaving lies about himself, and about us. He’d tell his ‘chat friends’ that I was his brother’s wife and since his brother had deserted me, he had to marry me. This made the women he talked to pity him. They would appreciate his sacrifices and feel very comfortable with him. I was unaware of these lies. He would bring his friends home and introduce them to me. They would never mention our situation, as he had warned them that it would hurt me. This went on for three years, without me realising a thing.
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Then he met her
Then the situation changed for the worse. He fell in love with one of his chat friends. She lived in Delhi and was married too. He would go meet her often. Shrewd that he was, he managed to make her believe that her husband had married her only for her money. Within a year, he convinced her of his love and managed to get her divorced. He promised that he would marry her once he convinced me that he loved her. All this while, I had no idea. I lived in the world of my unwell child and he was smart enough to hide his world from me. He talked about getting a job in the US and then trying to get our daughter treated there. Those small dreams gave me hope. They kept me from prying into his life of lies and deceit.
Carelessness isn’t helpful when you live a life of deception. One evening I was ill and Sumit offered to take our daughter for a drive. Since I was home, I thought I would complete my son’s school project. I started up Sumit’s laptop and suddenly I came across a few intimate pictures of him with his girlfriend. Google Photos had synced pictures from his phone and showed them on the laptop. I was shocked. I couldn’t move at all and sat there looking at the pictures and waiting for the present to disappear. But it obviously didn’t.
The end of it
When Sumit came home, I was sitting by his laptop in a state of shock. He understood the situation and then told me the truth. He refused to apologise or leave his girlfriend. I tried pleading with him and asking him to give our marriage a second chance. But he said that he was sick and tired of his life with me. He blamed me for all the troubles we had faced. He also blamed me for our financial difficulties.
That was when I shut him out of my life. I managed to get in touch with his girlfriend and tell her the truth about Sumit. She was so shocked that she refused to meet him again. She broke all ties with him. I was so ashamed of the situation that I did not share it with anyone. I did not know anyone who could help me out of this situation.
Sumit resigned from his job and left for the US in anger. He is now living with one of our friends there and doing some odd jobs. He sends me some money every month, but it is barely enough for all of us to survive. My son is now in college and works to pay his way to educate himself. Sumit still promises that he will send tickets for all of us as soon as he can, and get our daughter treated. But I do not believe a thing that he says now. And I have nowhere to go.
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