(As told to Saurabh Das)
I kept thinking he would change at every stage
I met my future husband in 2000, when I was doing my graduation. We instantly clicked and the chemistry was brilliant. He was confident, sharp and practical, and that’s what I liked most about him. I dated him for two years and it was like heaven. However, he had a whole lot of female friends – which I ignored – because he was exceptionally handsome. Also, his female friends kept calling him, which I again ignored, for fear of sounding possessive and jealous.
After a year of dating, he proposed. I accepted the proposal and we decided to get married after I completed my graduation. Everything was like heaven except for one thing – the calls from his female friends didn’t stop even after marriage. I objected to him a few times and he always replied, “Those are just friends.” Sometimes he would talk to his ‘friends’ for one hour and sometimes he would chat with them continuously, and when confronted, he came up with an excuse or two. Sometimes he would come home late at night, saying he had important work at office till 2 am! Who would work till 2 am? But then I thought, everything would be well after the first child.
Related reading: Why having a baby is not the solution for every relationship problem
Maybe a child would help?
After a year, our daughter was born. I was on cloud nine and expected that he would mend his ways. But it was not to be. The birth of our daughter didn’t change anything. He would be out the whole night and come home at 4 am. His mobile was locked all the time and I had no access to his life. He even invited some of his girlfriends to our home and I had to behave like a maid in front of them, cooking food and serving them. I was losing my patience with his wayward ways and one day I confronted him. He denied everything flatly and hit me so hard, I wondered if he was the same man I married. One day, I went to his office and found used condoms in his dustbin. I said,
“What’s this, Ritesh, is this the work you do till 2 am?”
“I don’t know where the condoms have come from. Let me check.”
“Ritesh, I am not a fool, okay. Enough of your fucking around. I don’t want to live with you anymore.”
“I still don’t know where those condoms have come from,” he replied.
“Shut your fucking mouth and do not ever try to contact me.”
Related reading: 12 ways office affairs can spell trouble for you
I tried to leave him but my daughter missed him
The next day, I went back to my parents’ home. I told my parents about the situation. That was the first day I regretted marrying him, and cursed myself for ignoring all the red flags, for I was so madly in love with him that I refused to see his true nature. My husband turned out to be a womaniser, a flirt, a cheat and a chronic liar. When I was at my mom’s home he didn’t even call me once. Neither did I call him.
It was my daughter who wanted to go back to her father. The 4-year-old kept crying all the time and eventually I had to return to my home.
The 4-year-old kept crying all the time and eventually I had to return to my home.
But when I returned I saw that there was no regret on his face. Rather, he gave me a wicked and victorious smile which was like “Where would this woman go, she had to eventually return to her home.”
That day I lost all the respect and love for this man. I withdrew into myself and started living my own life, on my own terms, and my communication with him drastically reduced. After 8 years of my marriage, when my daughter was 7 years old and mature enough to understand things, the idea of divorce attracted me. I discussed the issue with my mom and mother-in-law (I was at good terms with her) and declared my decision. But both of them resisted and said, “Stay in the marriage, maybe he will change after the second child.”
Maybe a second child will help prevent his cheating
And then, convinced, I decided to have a second child. In 2013, my son was born. Though things improved after his birth and my husband’s wayward ways reduced, that was only the lull before the storm. Soon after my delivery, I got to know that he was now in a full-fledged relationship with a divorced woman and was devoting all his time to her. A couple of times, I saw this woman with Ritesh entering her apartment, which was just opposite to mine. And one day, I went to Ritesh’s office, only to find that lady already there. That broke me totally and I returned home immediately, crying until he came back at night, only to hit me hard because I went to his office without informing him prior.
I went into severe depression.
I tried having an affair myself
And then, I did something stupid. I started an affair with one of my old college friends. He was single at that time and the affair gave me a fresh lease of life. I totally fell in love with this friend of mine, especially for his gentle ways and sophisticated upbringing. He was more balanced and mature and I was sure that I wanted to live my rest of the life with this man. What I most liked about him was his honesty, his respect for women and his mission in life: he wanted to become a successful and respected painter! He was dedicated to his art and was a man on a mission. This is what attracted me to him. But again my happiness was short-lived. And why?
My innocent son loved his father too much! He’s 5 now and he just can’t live a day without his father. Though his father was not around most of the time, he still loved him. And more so, he equally loved me. He wasn’t comfortable when I was not around. This 5-year-old kid made me think once again. He loved both his mother and father equally and a divorce would break him mentally. And then my daughter – it’s not her fault either. Then I started withdrawing from my lover and explained the situation to him. He understood and agreed to break up without any fuss. I departed with a deep respect for him in my heart.
Finally I just gave up and returned to my husband
And then, I went back to my husband. This time for my kids, while my husband continued with his wayward ways! Though sometimes he regretted his ways and made up for that by buying me costly things, but that was short-lived. I wanted love and affection, not fancy objects. I wanted him to reform, but that was not possible. Why? Because it had become an addiction and habit by now.
I decided to turn a blind eye to what he was doing and instead, started concentrating on my kids. I wanted to give my kids a bright future. So I accepted my destiny and embraced my helplessness.
Sometimes, we are victims of circumstances.