Not many people know this story. I never share it with anyone because I know they would judge me. A man getting beaten by his wife is something laugh-worthy, people don’t take it seriously. But it is a serious issue, a serious offence for which a man has little support of the law. But I took it day after day. My abusive wife beat me up regularly and I lived in paranoia for a year of our marriage.
(As told to Shanaya Agarwal)
The first time my fiancee abused me
Tania (name changed) and I went to college together. We were mismatched in every way. She was robust, tall and rode a bike. I was thin and the nerd in the class. She would hang out at the canteen with her huge gang but I would be at the library most of the time. She even tried cannabis regularly at the college terrace which I came to know much later. But when she started giving me those quizzical glances in class, by the end of the second year I couldn’t help but revel in the attention. She was not pretty but very popular.
We started going for coffee and cutlets. One day we were sitting in a restaurant and one pretty girl was walking in. My eyes wandered towards her and the next moment I felt a stinging sensation on my left cheek. It took me a few seconds to realize that a slap had landed on my cheek. She had hit me hard.
I had gone red in the face and I could feel I was fighting the tears of indignity.
She was calm and even smiling. “So that you never look at other women ever,” she said.
I should have got up and walked off. I felt so terribly insulted. But I didn’t. We were to be married three months later. Instead, I promised myself I would never look at a girl again.
I was kicked on my wedding night
I was inexperienced in bed, dead tired after smiling at 400 guests at the reception and wanted to leave things for our honeymoon. But she wanted to have the quintessential “suhag raat”. I tried but I was probably suffering from performance anxiety. It didn’t go the way she wanted. I was on top of her. In the faint light of the bedside lamp I could feel the anger building upon her face and the next moment I could feel I was flying across the room.
She had kicked me hard and I was on the floor now. She was using the foulest language to abuse me because of my inability in bed. I sat there in shock until the wee hours of the morning. She slept on the bed and snored hard.
My wife started to abuse me regularly
Unless you live under the same roof you do not get to know the real person. In the two years we dated, except for the slapping incident, she was very nice to me. She would come to my hostel on her bike and we would go out. My classmates pulled my leg but I found this whole thing very cute.
Tania loved biking, hanging out with friends but she had no ambition and was pretty average in studies too. She said she would be happy to be my wife and cook for me. I found that cute too.
But being my wife meant handing over my salary to her at the beginning of the month. Then I would have to ask her for money and I gave her the accounts of how I spent it. Trouble started because she would not let me send money home to my parents in the village. I protested. She threw a glass plate at me I landed up with 6 stitches on my forehead.
The temper tantrums and brawls
Within a month of our marriage, I started dreading going back home from work. My abusive wife was always angry, always throwing things and slapped, kicked and hit me with sticks.
If I tried stopping her there would be a scuffle and she would threaten me she would report against me under section 498A.
Her father was a powerful politician. Anything happened at home she would call him up and he would send his goons to threaten me.
I wasn’t sure if this was a marriage or a battleground. I lived in constant fear of physical assault or landing in the police lock-up.
My friend’s idea saved me from my abusive wife
My lawyer friend finally helped me out with the solution. He asked me to hide a camera somewhere and record the whole incidents of beatings and angry outbursts. I recorded the kicks, hits and insults for a week. Then I took a transfer to a remote town in an eastern state in India and told my office not to inform anyone. I left for my new home straight from the office and just couriered the video to my wife without writing a line.
It’s been six months here since I left home. I have healed mentally so have the scratches and gashes on my skin. I never tell anyone my story because I am not sure if anyone would believe me. I really hope Tania moves on and doesn’t come looking for me. Sometimes in my dreams, I see she is looking for me and I wake up in a cold sweat.
I hope and pray that this never become a reality.