Why does marriage equal compromise in Pakistan?

Published: October 27, 2014

Would you rather spend the rest of your life in misery or would you demand that your mind and heart deserve happiness? PHOTO: FILE

I’m a 24-year-old woman and I am divorced. Yes, you heard right; I’m a 24-year-old divorced woman in a Pakistani society.

I got divorced because my husband was suffering from depression, was taking pills without any proper prescription due to which he also had erectile dysfunction. He insisted that his pride and ego were more important than getting treatment and ensuring a healthy marriage. When I tried explaining the benefits of acquiring treatment he became abusive, leaving me with no option but separation.

Our society, however, does not believe I made the right decision. Yes, it is easy to sit behind a computer screen, in the comfort of your own house and say society has progressed and we are more open to divorced women, but the reality is that we are not. Our society, whether we like to believe it or not, judges a woman for leaving her husband; no matter how ill or abusive he may have been. It believes that in order for a marriage to work a woman must consistently compromise on her life, her ideals, her aspirations and that’s okay. It is more than okay; in fact, it is the foundation upon which marriages in this part of the world seem to evolve and not being able to forge this level of ‘commitment’ (read compromise) is considered a sin.

The unfortunate bit is, despite the circumstances in which I left my husband and even though I had spent a large amount of time trying to make it work, asking him to get treatment and taking care of him, the blame for the failure of the marriage, for society at large, rested squarely on my shoulders. I was not informed about my ex-husband’s illness before marriage; neither him nor his family thought it important enough to be mentioned, yet I should have compromised? Yes, I understand that his parents could have been trying to protect him, but would they have done the same thing had their daughter been in my position? Did my parents not have the right to know? Do I not have the right to know what I am getting into? Why am I to be blamed?

Husbands’ have certain duties towards their wives too; marrying someone is not the equivalent to having a maid or personal assistant in the house. It is the ability to have, respect and love a friend who will now live with you forever. A person with whom you can share all your secrets, share your burdens, your happiness and sadness, and to know that this person, the one you chose to marry is your equal and will help you through life so long as you help them too. So then why does marriage equal compromise in Pakistan? Husbands are not ‘supposed’ to sit back and bark orders at their wives, they are not ‘supposed’ to use her body as a baby-making machine, they are not ‘supposed’ to tame her. She is a person too. And please do not tell me Islam has anything to do with our culturally-distorted version of marriage. Islam, on the contrary, teaches men to be respectful towards their wives, in every situation and circumstance.

He told me about his depression a week after we got married. I remember the way he had said it, he blurted it out in an extremely nonchalant, matter-of-fact kind of way, not realising the impact his words were having on me.

“I have had depression since the past eight years and I have been taking pills due to which I might not be able to consummate the marriage.”

When I asked him, with tears streaming down my face, why he didn’t tell me this before the marriage took place, all I got out of him was,

“I thought you would get angry at me.”

Angry at him? That is the reason I was given for not being told about something as big as this.

Throughout the short time that we were together, however betrayed I felt, I tried to get him to go to a psychiatrist. I tried everything, love, hate, anger, and I prayed to God all night to make my husband understand that I was not his enemy and that it is all for his own good, but every time I tried, I got only one answer,

“If you want to live with me, deal with me as I am, otherwise I can give you a divorce, and I will tell the world it is my fault.”

And it shocked me to my core every single time, because he talked about divorce like it was a walk in the park, like our bond didn’t matter, like he didn’t care if it did.

If this wasn’t bad enough, his mother obviously supported him and in an attempt to justify their silence stated, ignorantly, that ‘it really is no big deal’ and that ‘80% of the population is depressed anyway’. When I argued, I was blamed for not being a supportive wife and even ‘aggravating’ his condition. Since the conclusion of our marriage, my ex-mother-in-law hasn’t spared a single person from hearing the ‘heartbreaking tale of her son’s marriage to an unsupportive selfish girl, who was only after his money’.

Although, my family and close friends have been exceedingly supportive, there are still times that I’ll hear people whispering about me and my life; arguments about whether I did the right thing or not, and then harsh statements about how anyone ‘in their right minds would get separated over such a petty issue’. But I believe I speak for all women out there when I say it is not easy to be a divorced woman in a Pakistani society. It takes a lot of courage, strength and determination to stand up for your own rights, especially when it comes to marriage. A divorcee is not someone with a lot of ‘attitude’. She is not any ‘kind of person’ she is just a woman who is fed-up of being a door-mat. A divorce is not an easy process, emotionally, mentally or physically; don’t burden her with societal pressure too.

To all the people pointing fingers at divorced women, I say this, think about what would happen if your husband was abusive, if he made an unforgivable mistake or if he never cared for you. Would you spend the rest of your life in misery or would you demand that your mind and heart deserve happiness?

I believe they do. And I believe that no women should ever suffer, even the tiniest bit, for a man who does not care about her.

Natasha Khan

Natasha Khan

She aspires to be a writer someday and hopes to change the world through her words. Currently, she writes on human and women rights.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Sane

    This is a sorry state that wives are still treated as maid in the house. They are bound at the cost of their health and emotions to serve husband, in-laws and other relatives of the husband. But, can not ask for equality and respect. If so, abused and beaten and even divorced. This society seriously needs a law to punish such husbands and in laws to torture wives and daughter in law emotionally.Recommend

  • working woman

    No No No… its perfectly OK to leave an abusive relation. You didn’t ask for an unrealistic behaviour. Now that you’ve already made the decision, Just go ahead with the same resolve. God bless you.Recommend

  • Mobeen Khan

    Hi Natasha,
    I offer you my prayers and I admire your courage. I also personally know a family here in Jeddah and their daughter went through the same ordeal as you did. Her husband also suffered from the same physical dilemma and was a coward of not only hiding it but making the girl suffer through his lies and excuses and then divorcing her after the truth was revealed. I think that our culture makes a thousand excuses on behalf of men and that is not fair to women. Women should not be put through this ordeal.Recommend

  • http://www.twitter.com/heerasaeed Hira Saeed

    This is just sad. I have no idea how men find courage to do this.Recommend

  • TaRiK

    May ALLAH give you courage… you did the right thing…Recommend

  • Muhammad Tanseer Ali

    Well this is matter of interest in this society that woman is not given her rights but duties.. This is hard decision she actually made in a conservative society. Hats off to that young lady. would like to hear from her over email.Recommend

  • fauz

    Pity our society…. Recommend

  • Muhammad Tanseer Ali

    Women definitely needs to be more decisive than they are.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    I cannot say anything that can give you back what you lost, no matter what I say your loss remains the same and no matter how much pain I feel in my heart for what you are going through, the wrong that was done to you cannot be righted. I wish that you find someone great to spend your life with and you live happily with him for the rest of your lives.
    Tragically your story is not a one off in our society these days. Men in our society are getting more and more rich and with affluence there has seeped through a certain arrogance. Some men think that women are just “extras”, or “playthings” which they can replace at will, thanks to their heavy duty bank balance and good job. I wish that friends and family members of such persons would educate them about the rights and wrongs of relationships before marrying them off.
    fine print: I am not of the opinion that all men of our society are like this. Just some black sheep who give us men a bad name throughout the society.Recommend

  • http://www.twitter.com/heerasaeed Hira Saeed

    Sigh! May you find the ease!Recommend

  • Meenah Tariq

    Natasha, I’m glad you took a strong step to take control of your own life, instead of living in the unhealthy relationship, suffering for the rest of your life. Unfortunately this story is all too common. What saddens me is that, more than 30 years after my mother’s divorce when she was your age, very little has changed in terms of our society getting progressive. But there is some change, because at her time, there was absolutely no support even from her own family, and the decision for the divorce came from the husband even though he was the transgressor. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a divorce. I wish you the best of life. Everything has a way of working out!Recommend

  • Kashif Shazad

    Poor you, if you are smart enough to walk out, why on earth you were enough to say yes to an arranged marriage? As a woman you can take all the time to pick your dress, yet in choosing your husband you took no reasonable precautions. I wish I could muster up some sympathy, for your state outshines everything else.

    P.S Before the feminist bomb is dropped, please read about symptoms of depression. They are not easy to hide and not difficult to detect. Life goes on, I hope she won’t make the same mistake again.Recommend

  • Amad Ahmad

    u did wht was 2 b doneRecommend

  • Syeda Anum Hadi

    You are a courageous woman. I’m honoured to have read your accout of bravery that you have shown in the face of such a horrendous behavior from your ex-husband. Keep your head high and keep speaking up for those thousands of voiceless women out there. Its no easy thing you did by writing down your life experience and sharing with the world. I shall keep you in my prayers.Recommend

  • Tuba Khan

    i wish n pray that people should start speaking truth when it comes to their son marriage and the husbands to learn to support their wives as according to islamic teachings.Recommend

  • ftariq90

    you go girl! all power to you.Recommend

  • Max

    Hi,

    I respect you for taking the decision you made. You made an effort and that’s all anyone can do for another person. It was his loss that he didn’t let you help him. May people in our society do not understand that psychological problems are not *nothing*. Being a woman does not ensure that one should continue to kill oneself day by day for something they are not even responsible for. Recommend

  • Dodi

    We can’t change the society by commenting on blog posts or by trying to raise awareness on Facebook/Twitter. We’re all hypocrites when we say we’ve changed and are more accepting towards such tragedies.

    I personally believe that the change will not come from those who have never gone through hardships; change will come from women like you, who have gone through such ordeals in life. You know what to change, and you know better now than most of us. I salute your bravery and courage, and pray to God to give you more. You’re inspiring, to say the least, for speaking against the mindset of Pakistanis. You are the change.Recommend

  • Fighter Man

    Didn’t he use Viagra ? It really works for the men having ED issues.Recommend

  • Usman Iqbal

    You made a right decision. And stop worrying start living.Recommend

  • Kamran Manzoor

    Well my sympathies are with you Natasha.

    However, I want to say that your article over-emphasizes the word ‘depression’. Whereas I think the actual problem with your ex-husband was his abusive attitude, taking medicine without prescription and refusal to seek help (even when he knew that he has a problem with the way he thinks and feels).

    Furthermore, I would like to add that ‘psychologists’ and other experts dealing with ‘holistic healing’ are also relevant in the situation. ‘Psychiatrist’ are not only people who should be consulted in such situation.

    Best of luck with whatever you do in life.Recommend

  • Sammy

    More power to you – you go girl! It takes a huge amount of courage to take this step in our society. So proud of you for being an honest and brave individual.Recommend

  • ana

    Hi Natasha, do you have an email ID? Im interested in discussing something similiar with you!Recommend

  • MA

    I agree with the content but not the title. Marriage is a compromise from both parties just like any other relationship. If you knew everything before marriage and still agreed to marry, that would be a compromise. In this case you were deceived and taken advantage of. You did the right thing by getting a divorce. Be more thorough next time when looking for a husband but be willing to compromise. All lasting marriages require compromise. The difference is in happy marriages both parties compromise equally.Recommend

  • HK

    You did the right thing. If anyone was selfish, it was your ex-husband and his extremely selfish family. What masha’Allah I deeply admire is that YOU wanted it to work. YOU wanted to fix things. This requires real courage and selflessness. But sadly, this ‘compromise equals to maritial success’ is just another way of saying “boys will be boys” and therefore, somehow always perceived and believed to be more privileged. I guess boys are just raised up the wrong way, always ready to be served. You did your best. But am glad you broke away and stepped aside. I deeply respect and admire you. And pray that you be Blessed with the best insha’Allah. Recommend

  • Parvez

    NIce.Recommend

  • Prashant

    Bravo Natasha.Recommend

  • Aaiza Naveed

    I highly respect your decision.
    A single life isn’t so bad either, but I sincerely hope you’ll find the right man for yourself soon. :)

    And let the society bark, do as you please, and do what YOU know is right!Recommend

  • Adeel

    This is seriously very sad.I think v should have laws against these type of coward liars !Recommend

  • Aneeta Karim

    Dear Natasha, its really heart-breaking :( What you did was the most rational decision. It is like ruining somebody’s life, having a mental condition and not informing the wife-to-be prior. Really sad. But you have to keep your fight on. Keep writing and enlightening the world, not to reveal someone’s illness but for others to beware of such individuals.Recommend

  • marium

    My dear we live in a fickle society. Keep.ur head high, it will all go away as we move to a more jucier gossip. You owe no one eny explanation.Recommend

  • A Khan

    Good for you Natasha.

    I’m a woman with mental health issues myself so I understand the fear your ex-husband must have felt in disclosing something like that especially in an arranged situation. The same would go for anybody with a chronic health problem or disability: the fear of getting rejected out of hand.

    But not disclosing it was totally wrong. In fact, the situation is bad for him too. Someone with chronic health problems needs a spouse who can deal with lifestyle complications etc due to the health issues. And not knowing before the marriage how a potential spouse would react to such news is not good for anybody.

    On a related note, I’d be interested in seeing what things would be like if the situation was reversed with the wife being sick instead of the husband. I bet the woman would be correctly blamed in that case for not disclosing and the husband would not face stigma. The sexist treatment of divorced women in Pakistan needs to go.Recommend

  • Mani m

    You did the right thing, no one deserves to be in an abusive relationship where they are not treated as an equal. You can not live your whole life as a doormat. Power to you! And please try and ignore people’s comments, they take joy out of other’s sad situations. Not worth your time or energy.Recommend

  • ann khan

    u did the right thing.my prayers r with u.Recommend

  • KlingOn2K

    You dared to break the mould. You dared to take back your life. You dared to break the shackles of society. You are your own person. You are my hero.Recommend

  • no-joy

    a tough ask,specially keeping in view the latest ruling by CII regarding polygamy and marriage with minors. .Recommend

  • naeem khan

    dear had he told u about his condition would u have married him ? people wit psychological issues are shunned and that is why u r husband was hiding his anxiety and depressionRecommend

  • stand up for ur right

    Hey Natasha,someone very close to me is going through somewhat the same problems that uve mentioned in your article.She’s rounding off 8th year of her marriage but she still stands at square one despite her efforts,hardwork tolerance and determination to make her marriage work.She’s an educated 30 year loved and cared by all except her in laws and her husband just stands there when his parents ridicule her.One of the reasons she’s afraid of getting a separation is what uve mentioned above about people blaming the girl.Its just sad and heart wrecking to see such an amazing woman bearing mental torture with the hope of turning things around but it hasnt been of any use.
    it felt great to read your article.I feel all women should stand up for their rights,rights islam has given them ,because they are not slave girls,they are free women.And they need not worry about their life after divorce,society may be ruthless but Allah is fair.He has His plans for us and they will be the best for us.Recommend

  • Jehangir Jawaid

    i support your decision and solute to your courage that you stood up for your rights in such a biased society.. yes, agreed 1 hundred percent that ”you must deserve and demand happiness for your mind and heart instead of spending whole life in misery and pain”Recommend

  • Iftekhar Khokhar

    This phenomenon is rampant in our society but to bear the blame is always the woman. The decision on the part of the divorcee is correct. Marriage must not turn into a nightmare in any case. Pre-marriage medical checkup of the spouses-to-be should be carried out to check breakage of marriage. Special family courts be established to redress such issues. Sad to learn about it.Recommend

  • Mehdi Raza Mamdani

    I partially agree to the above analysis. However, all divorces can not be blamed on husbands only. Rather it is a mutual thingy. So do not think that all divorce happen just because women is being oppressed. As for Islam, when it asks husbands to be respectful to their wives, at the same time it also stipulates wives to obey their husbands and treat her new home on priority than her parent’s home.Recommend

  • umair

    You made the right decision.
    I can understand your husbands secrecy as well. If he exposes his problem I dont think anyone would marry him(unless a girl is desperate or parents compel her to marry).
    You are very young. I dont think the divorce will be a big deal for you.Recommend

  • Fakhar abbas

    Thumbs up nitasha :)Recommend

  • SANTI

    I think it is the best decision you made! sadly our society has made women weak by putting entire blame on a woman. even before they hear the story all start saying it must be the fault with the girl. Further more one of my best friends just got divorced on a very different cause…..she was interested somewhere else before marriage…Well things did not work out and it ended almost a year before marriage. her husband divorced when he found out after marriage that she was previously in a relationship….here i would like to say her parents being educated did not let her 1stly attain a degree which would have given her a confidence…2ndly on her husband’s part i cnt imagine him to be not a person with no previous interests before…even if he didnt where is the aspect living in the moment??? agr woh khd aisa koi case hta tou my friend should have adjusted but he cannot….is this justified? m not sying men are always wrong…..but it would be wrong to always raise fingers at women….they are as much of human being as you are and they can make mistakes as much as you can….Lastly parents and elders need to empower women to give them self confidence…y marriage is the only goal for women of Pakistan and then the child factory they become?????Recommend

  • Natasha

    I can not personally reply to everyone (I wasn’t really expecting this much support, to be honest), but I would just like to thank every single one of you for supporting my decision. When even one person supports you for making such a huge decision, it always ends up making a huge impact, at least on me.

    Secondly, I do believe that women need to stand up now and stop letting men abuse them, or order them, or treat them like objects which can be thrown around. So I speak for all the women who are going through this, that men need to realize that women are not going to take abuse anymore. They ARE going to stand up for themselves and they will fight for their rights.

    Thank you all once again. I have been rendered speechless by the amount of support all of you have given me.Recommend

  • irfan nazir

    Natasha you did the right thing and I am proud of you :)
    Instead of wasting your life over a coward you can do great things with the determination you have shown till now.
    Best of luck for your future hope to see you do great things for women of Pakistan :DRecommend

  • Omair

    Natasha this is the best decision u made. Be confident upon urself and be strongRecommend

  • Baba G

    Marriage is the base of human society. erectile dysfunction is curable.but mentality is built by the family and society itself. we should teach our kids to make good decisions.they can make mistake but should learn from mistake.It is not difficult for both divorced men and women after a relation is broken.everybody makes mistakes. May ALLAH give guidance and patients to us all.Recommend

  • Raazia

    You did the right thing!! I hate the fact that our society degrades divorced women without knowing the facts of what their marriage was like. But NOTHING is more important than your peace of mind. If a marriage can only give you misery then better to hear snide remarks from society than to live such an unhappy life.Recommend

  • I

    Depression is a really horrible illness. It is a pity that he didn’t tell you before your marriage.Recommend

  • Syed Umer

    #RespectRecommend

  • maryam

    As a good wife you have done your duty and have tried your level best to help your husband but he is not ready to take that help. I think you have done the right thing by leaving the relationship which was not giving you anything in return. And now you dont need anyones approval on whether you have taken the right step or not since you know u have done everything you could. Islam gives a woman every right to ask for separation if she is not happy with her husband no matter what the reason is and even if the reason is petty since its the wife who has to go through the pain not the society.
    However I also sympathise with your husband as much as I sympathise with you because I understand what depression is and what it does to a person and how paralyzing it can be. I think somewhere down the road if his condition improves hopefully he would surely acknowledge your efforts on him.Recommend

  • ali

    Guys, that’s how it is.. so many men are like that. what to do about it? an article like that? readers comments? i don’t think that will change lot. where lies the problem then? Its our environment these men nurture in. the blunt media. There is this advertisement i saw on an Indian channel in which this guy knocks the neighbor’s door after hearing him beating his wife. we need to do more practical stuff. Only a small educated group of our society has the hold of such articles. and that part is already way better. its the other end that needs to be fixed….Recommend

  • sana

    Well deary, i am in the same boat as you are and i can relate to what you said word by word. Changing world is not the option though… they only thing we can do is to make ourselves more strong emotionally. This kind of response is bound to come from our society .No matter if You get married to man of your dream or if you are most successful individual in your family, careerwise, you will still be a “bichari ” to them… so move on lady and be not bogged down ever.Recommend

  • Umar

    I highly appreciate your wisdom, honesty and loyalty! You have laid an example for all women that there is a “right” way out as well and that it isn’t as bad as the alternatives (at least in the law of God) and i guess God matters much more than all those people backbiting against you or the likes of you who take rational decisions that are in line with God’s principles and human nature! Recommend

  • Moiz Omar

    I think you made the right decision.Recommend

  • Sabyasachi

    Lady!You are terrific.I am in admiration of ladies who have a mind of their own.It may be a little rough now but remember the day follows the night.This too will soon pass.If anything you will emerge far far stronger from this experience.Good luck and God bless.Recommend

  • Sabyasachi

    Does express tribune have a policy to filter cross border comments?Recommend

  • Sabyasachi

    Yes you do and so I am logging off your e paper.ThanksRecommend

  • Junaid Ahmad

    No sane person can question what u did after what u had to endure. Its really commendable that
    u chose to walk out of a relationship founded on cheating.Life is given once and its too important to b dictated by those who r simply decapacitated to think n act human. Having said this, move on as u have a life to look forward to. Wish u all the luck.Recommend

  • Junaid Ahmad

    Hello Natasha, No sane person can question what u did after what u had to endure. Its really commendable that
    u chose to walk out of a relationship founded on cheating.Life is given once and its too important to b dictated by those who r simply decapacitated to think n act human. Having said this, move on as u have a life to look forward to. Wish u all the luck.Recommend

  • Nimanthika Hettiarachchi

    Dear Natasha
    I commend your courage. Always find your strength in that. We need more women like you in this world.
    I am unmarried and I don’t know an ounce of what you might be going through.
    But being a doctor and knowing how disabling Depression is and how it has such a profound impact on not only the patient, but all those closely associated with him or her, not mentioning it to your future partner is a breach of trust and commitment. I equal it to not telling your future husband that your periods are irregular and there might be trouble conceiving.
    All the best to you, in all your endeavours.Recommend

  • Ali

    A marriage without compromise seldom works but yes that compromise should never be “only” on part of women. What happened to you was deplorable, disgraceful and inexcusable and you did absolutely the right thing by separating yourself from that situation. You are a brave young woman and I hope you get everything you wish for in life.Recommend

  • Mona

    Hi Natasha,
    You are not alone in this. I totally support your decision and I can absolutely understand how tough it must have been (rather is) for you. I am 26 now, and a year back I got divorced. Kind of similar situation so I can totally relate to it.

    Only if the parents of such sons know that how huge and devastating it is to destroy someone’s life by hiding these (so called small things for them) and only if they fear God a little, such things would stop happening.

    The worst feeling in the world is to get abused (specially by someone who is supposed to take care of you). Once abuse enters into any relationship, the relationship turns into that of an abuser and a victim. I hate the term victim though, I rather think of us (you, me and the many women like us) as survivors.

    I told my parents that we don’t need to give any explanations to anyone for why all of it has happened. I would like to tell you the same. No one cares, people only ask because they like to interfere, spread news around and oh shed some sorry and pity lines (how I hate it)!

    No one is born to be abused! Yes, its not easy to be a divorcee in our country, but it is far far better than living in fear and losing self respect.

    I wish you all the best and all my dua’as are for you – genuinely! (and this does not come out of pity at all, its out of pure love and emotional connection ;) )!Recommend

  • Ali

    A marriage without compromise seldom works but yes that compromise should never be “only” on part of women. What happened to you was deplorable, disgraceful and inexcusable and you did absolutely the right thing by separating yourself from that situation. You are a brave young woman and I hope you get everything you wish for in life.Recommend

  • Saad

    So you divorced a man suffering from possibly a severe depression? Have you not thought about the chances of him committing suicide? Men and women all around the world are abused during their marriage. I’m sorry if you couldn’t get a chance to marry saif ali khan, but again, none of us do so we all have to suck it up and deal with realityRecommend

  • Abby

    I understand what you are going through. you have not done anything wrong and dont feel low or depressed about what has happened to you. Its easy for people to say thats its just a divorce, move on with your life. Its easy said than done.
    People in our society make it unbearable and we start doubting ourselves.
    Being a divorcee for the past 5 and more years, i still feel the pain every single day.
    I can advise you as your older sister, to brush off this negative energy. Stand up for yourself and continue to live your life to the fullest.
    People talk. they always will and you cannot stop them
    but you! you can do alot with your life. If you want to continue your studies, i will say go for it and if you can travel abroad to achieve that, trust me that will be the best thing you can do. it will give you a new perspective to life and this horrible experience will become a thing from the past that you can keep in your past and not let it affect your present.

    take care :)Recommend

  • usman

    May ALLAH give you the courage…… ALLAH bless you..Recommend

  • A Khan

    Islam doesn’t tell women to treat her “new home on priority than her parent’s home”. Thats Pakistani culture, not religion.Recommend

  • I am a Khan

    well marriage requires compromise in every society (not just in Pakistan). if you are not ready to compromise then you are not mentally prepared to get married. in this case, I feel sorry for both the boy and the girl. From this side of the story, I feel sorry for the girl. The boy may have his own side of the story. Generally posh girls of today do not stand by their husbands if they are ill or going through a bad phase. They are just companions of good times.Recommend

  • Nabeela

    Well…then Men shouldn’t be blamed when they divorce women who can’t have children due to some physical issues. However, I would have lived with this guy if he were fine otherwise.I know a lot of couples where men sacrificed a lot.May u get married again but let’s hope u don’t come to realize through harsh realities that its better to be with someone rather alone.Recommend

  • Jehanzeb Mahar

    You made the right decision. On a lighter note; while reading your ex-mother in law’s words, I thought she said that 80% of the population was impotent Recommend

  • bhai

    You go girl. Did the right thing. You will find someone amazing. Keep the faith and dont let them bring you downRecommend

  • pakistan woman with a vision

    Thumbs up for making the right choice! you are brave girl! I admire and salute your courage to stand up for your rights!Recommend

  • they-call-me-cool

    I am with you … I am going to take a step like you did in few days. I know things might get different after that . I can sense social pressures. Yet I want to believe that time is changing and women has at least start considering themselves as human beings. Life has its ups and downs and it can should stop us from taking the right decisions. When your husband had confessed and slighted you and your status as human being by stating in a matter of fact tone that he is ready to divorce you if you are not ready to compromise with the situation … you should have actually answered him back not with words but through actions. You should have acted wisely and should have put them in equally awkward and emotionally problematic situation. What they did with you is a gross fraud! you should answer back their fraud. you should have actually taken the maximum valuables before moving out the relation. (your in-laws will blame you anyway). Donate these valuables to eidhi but at least do not give up the valuables over which you have right. Had you been greedy you might have kept on minting money out of him … you did nothing of the sort!
    Now as far self esteem is concerned …. stop harboring negative thoughts! It’s perfectly alright to be a divorcee or a widow! Let dogs barks and stop seeking every single person’s admiration. At the end of the day, had you been even at in-laws, not every one would had admired you.
    thank God for pulling you out from further awkward situations!
    your husband is depressive. he deserves more depression and it would be a punishment in itself! stay calm! you will get right person not from people but from ALLAH!
    I am with you!
    Love
    another silent lady who has faced a similar situation … recently and is trying to get out of mess completely!Recommend

  • courage

    she should have been informed! If she had made choice not to marry, it must have been respected. Other wise, the male and his family are clearly gross cheaters who have tried to play the life of girl.Recommend

  • courage

    this male is speaking the truth. notice his words that he does not think that divorce is a “big deal” for since you are young !!! huh ! so is he suggesting that you can allure guys with your youth into life huh!!!
    he is insensitive to vulnerability of youth … and the emotions that you have invested on your ex… the commitment .. and everything … the desperate insecure male mentality focuses “youth” hahahhah loved this coment whole heartedly !!! what a pity !Recommend

  • courage

    gyst: people like Dodi’s are not going to change their mentality by reading blogs …facebook or twitter but keep going girl … you are on right path in creating awarenessRecommend

  • innocence

    hahahah this coment indicate that for certain mindsets picking a spouse is like picking a dress … hahahhah buy one … discard … but another ! lady treat that male in fact this way … since you had no experience with guys you picked wrong dress … pick better this time … infact girls should be trained to pick males like dresses heheheheheh goood comment i appreciate hahahahahRecommend

  • Gp65

    Glad you stood up for yourself. Have faith in yourself. Your test has just begun and you will continue to be tested. Never second guess yourself.

    Your sister from across the border.Recommend

  • Gp65

    I appreciate your sensitivity. It is precisely for this reason that it is advisable for women to continue working when married and even after they have kids – which I know you oppose.

    This does not mean that the upbringing of kids is outsourced to ayahs. Helping a kid with homework, having dinner together as family, listening to the child’s concerns, tucking the child in the night with a bedtime stories are all things that an employed mother can do and most mothers I knw, do in fact do these tasks very happily.Recommend

  • Gp65

    The author was not speaking of all divorces. She was just talking of those diorces where the man treats the woman shabbily.Recommend

  • Ayesha Begum

    The sad truth is that yours is not a one-off case..There are so many instances where a closet gay or an impotent man getting married just to avoid taunts from the society and expects his wife to live through the lie he is currently living…

    Most of the women rather suffer in silence than leaving the husband but you have done the brave thing,so I salute you for that….Recommend

  • Gp65

    it is possible she would not have married him. So? Are you saying deception is an acceptable way of getting a woman to accept you?

    Perhaps he may have found a bride, if he too was willing to accept a physically challenged woman perhaps. Recommend

  • Gp65

    She did not divorce him because he was depressed. Nt even because he was impotent. Not even because he had hidden such important facts from his wife. She divorced him because he was not willing to get treated and move forward.

    If some men and women think that being abused by their partners is acceptable, it does not mean other mean and women should consider such masochisic behavior as role model.Recommend

  • Gp65

    If he exposes his problem, he will have to compromise on the tpe of girl he can marry: maybe one that is not so good looking, maybe one that is physically challenged. What that be so wrong for him to accept some shortcomings in a. Partner if. He too has some shortcomings?

    But even if we keep aside the initial silence, is there any excuse for being unwilling to get treatment and callously threatening the wife of diorce, just because she is encouraging you to get the necessary treatment?Recommend

  • Gp65

    In Desi arranged marriages which are the norm back home, often there is no courtship period. Often people just meet once and have to decide. It is easy to think that a person is shy or nervous instead of being depressed in that one meeting.

    It is unreasonable to put the guilt on Natasha for not having figured this out earlier.Recommend

  • Amin Shah Gilani

    You go girl!Recommend

  • Muhammad Akbar

    @Natasha Khan
    You had the right to demand divorce as per Islamic Teaching. You did the right thing.
    Your husband made a mistake (not informing you before marriage), a big mistake but atleast he seemed supportive later.
    My sympathies are with you.Recommend

  • Ali

    What you did is right! Stay strong and move on!Recommend

  • bob

    Hi Natasha, I am not sure how to react to your situation but let me tell you my own story. I am a man who was very healthy when I got married. Three children later an illness struck me. We were still young. I also suffered from depression and erectile dysfunction after that. My wife never left me although she realized it would not be a very normal life. The only positive thing I can say about myself was that I has treated my wife not only with tenderness but such a huge respect that even after my prolonged illness she stuck with me. My children are grown up, married, all professionals, and I am an old man now. My wife is still with me. However, every day I realize with sadness that a greater part of my life I could not provide the companionship that every women needs. She was not only the mother of my children, my best friend, my love but also someone who sacrificed the best part of her life for me. I pray to Allah to reward her for being with me and am greatly indebted to her. The children think I am a great father and have been an ideal husband. Little do they know of my grief and what has transpired between us. Yes, ours was an arranged marriage too.
    All I am trying to tell you is that illness can strike any time. Yes, it was wrong of him not to have disclosed his illness before marriage and he should have. But what if the same illness has occurred after marriage? What would you have done? Also I believe that with treatment and the support of a patient loving wife ,it may have worked out.
    I am not judging you, only trying to tell you that in life there are challenges and it is up to us how we handle it. For my wife, our marriage was “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us apart”. We had a wonderful first few years of a fully satisfying relationship. hat happened next was not anyone’s fault. But even in our old age we are one of the most supportive and loving couple that you would ever see. But both of us worked for this objective in spite of my illness. By the way, we are also both Pakistani Muslims.

    I wish you well and hope you will find happiness soon and a partner who can live up to your expectations. Do not worry about what people say or think. As along as you have a clear conscience, then that it is all that matters. My good wishes and prayers for you.Recommend

  • Adnan

    May ALLAH resolve problems of couples, it is indeed sad to listen to your story. Please Accept my condolence. Furthermore, there are discrepancies in every human either mental or physical but attitude and behavior matter a lot. In a hadith mentioned by Maulana Tariq Jameel in one of his lectures he says “on the day of judgement men and women would be asked about their manners (ikhlaq) towards each other, even the Shaheed, the Jihadi and life long namazi would be asked for his/her good deeds afterwards”. so it is such an important relation, May ALLAH guide us all to respect it. AmeenRecommend

  • Natasha

    I believe it’s quite easy to say you would have lived with a person who abuses you when you are not in the situation :) if you were, I think your feelings would be quite different.
    Secondly, I never said women aren’t equally to blame if something goes wrong for them, I don’t believe in that. But the case here was against a man, not a woman. Had I made the mistake, I would have owned up to it.Recommend

  • Natasha

    Illness can strike any time, but for every illness there is treatment. If a person says he would rather divorce you instead of getting treatment, or verbally abuse you if you kept asking him to get better, and keeps on doing that, I think there comes a time when you give up. And if he had told me and I had still accepted the marriage, at least it would have been on my own terms. There’s a difference you see. What if I was bipolar and didn’t let him know before marriage or what if I had some life-threatening disease and i didn’t tell him before getting married. Do you think he would have stayed with me? His only solution to the problem was getting a divorce. I salute your wife for staying with you, I really do. But it takes the effort of both. You said it yourself. In my case, there was no effort from his side and there has to come a time when I do have to give up. That is all.Recommend

  • Sania Jamil

    Hats off to u girl u at least have courage to fight for ur right I admire u lady. Salute to u. Stay blessRecommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    Yes you are right I oppose married women going to work and leaving their children to be brought up my maids. But you will see that wherever I have written that they should not go to work I have given the reason that they do not have enough time for their children. So if they give time to children, as you have mentioned, then I don’t see any reason to oppose their working. I have mentioned this again and again that the only mother I do not like is one who waltzes off to work and leaves her children upbringing in jeopardy. If a mother can handle both, then hats off to her and Bravo!
    P.S I have seen that the ratio of working mothers who are able to maintain a good upbringing is low, therefore I have sometimes stated that I am against women working in general.Recommend

  • reader

    Google June Churchill.Recommend

  • http://www.pink-n-powerful.blogspot.com pinknpowerful

    You go girl! I am impressed with your courage, and for standing up for yourself. But to be honest it is not just Pakistan where women are suffering under these circumstances. Every culture, country and religion have their share of troubled women.

    In my opinion the wrong perception of religion and male ego is responsible for such unfortunate situations. In the name of religion they believe they can do anything and women should just accept it. Why should we? Most mothers teach their daughters that it is the job of the women to sacrifice, compromise and suffer. But why should she? God made men and women equal then why are women expected to bow their heads in front of men? Mothers should not teach this demeaning lesson to their daughters, instead teach them the courage to stand for what they believe in and never think of themselves any lesser to their male partners.

    As far as the religion freaks who think women should obey their husbands, my question to you is, are women pets that they need to obey their masters? there should be equality between husbands and wives. It is not a woman’s job to love and respect her husband, it should be her desire and in return the husband should also treat her with respect and not expect any special treatment from her unless he himself is ready to do the same for her.

    And for GOD’s sake stop using religions name to play your sick demented games with women’s minds.Recommend

  • Sardar

    Your courage is totally admirable and quite encouraging to be honest. You are well within your personal and social rights, and even duties to spread awareness on such an issue, an issue that affects almost every household in Pakistan; however, it is unfair to your husband that you disclose these facts on a public forum. The sanctity of a couples bedroom must be maintained even if the relationship goes out the window. So while I agree with most of what you have said, and while I totally appreciate what you are trying to say here, and while I admire you for being bold and courageous, it is shameful that you exposed your ex-husband’s medical history in such a manner, regardless of what his parents (who should be ashamed of themselves for not disclosing basic facts earlier) said about you to their friends, family and society in general. Also, this is a dysfunctional, degenerate and sick society; therefore, no amount of commentary is going to bring about any change whatsoever. These social inhibitions, taboos, trends can only disappear upon a complete and comprehensive disintegration, and ultimately re-construction, of society as we know it, especially here in Pakistan… spread anarchism – disintegrate society – place the individual at the center.Recommend

  • Saad

    It is very obvious that depressed people do not reach out for treatment. Statistics show such behaviour, so its not something out of the ordinary. Secondly, the author stated that he only abused her when she insisted on getting treatment, I wont consider her husband to be abusive in general. She had a chance to treat someone out of depression, by herself, yet she gave up after hitting a few rough patches. The guy was probably pinning his hopes on the marriage, which one can psychologically conclude from the article, that his ego would stop him from accepting help even though he desires help deep inside. She gave up, thats something women do not do in our society. Staying put, compromising and resolving difficulties are the features that make me respect women more than men in our society. Switch the genders around, don’t you think the husband will get slapped by feminists for leaving a depressed and ill wife just cause he she had a sexual dysfunction and he couldnt get happiness from her?Recommend