It feels like yesterday when I had gotten married. It was the hot and humid month of June. I was 22 and my to-be-husband just 26. Our families knew each other and that was the reason enough for us to spend the rest of our lives together.
I was not sure of the wedding at first but the fact was, I had no choice. Being from a small town, all girls of my age often felt like that when it came to taking decisions. So I went with the flow and was excited to see where my new life will take me.
It all began quite well. We moved to a new city, met new people, made some new friends and spent some really good times travelling across the country with each other. We were happy and so were our parents. My in-laws loved me to death, they loved my cooking, my behaviour and the fact that I had so easily adjusted to the family. They would often come to spend some time with us and I had no problems with it. In fact, I enjoyed those days of cooking for the family.
After a year, I thought of doing something of my own and I started working for a private institute as an English teacher. As I started my job, I finally realised I had everything that I ever wanted. Everything was going on so smoothly that I would often feel scared that something bad is about to happen.
My first child was born after three years…
And then after three years, something miraculous happened. My firstborn son arrived in my life and my world became complete. I submerged myself in motherhood and its joys and in the process, I really didn’t care about myself. My husband was over the moon, my parents and in-laws were happy and I was living a life I always wanted.
As it happens with new mothers, I gained a lot of weight after my delivery, but since were living alone in another city and had really no one to take care of us, I didn’t find the time to notice that I had become quite plump, forget about exercising.
And frankly, I didn’t care. I am not that sort of a person who gives a lot of emphasis to outward beauty than inner beauty. For me, the purity of the heart and the soul is what mattered. So I forget everything and got lost in my own world.
My husband, on the other hand, hadn’t changed much and he looked exactly the same as on our wedding day. In fact, many people would compliment me at that time and say that I was lucky to have him. My face would glow with pride.
I put on a lot of weight after my second son was born…
My second son was born immediately after and my happiness knew no bounds. This time I put on a lot of weight. So much that even an optimistic person like me started having negative thoughts about the way I looked.
But people around me were happy and so was my husband. I thought I was being too self-consumed and perhaps I should give myself some time. Never had I imagined that my weight would become an issue so big that it would shatter my world.
In the beginning, my husband would light-heartedly taunt me every now and then. I didn’t pay much attention to it and got busy with my own life. After seven years of marriage, when my kids were five and four years of age, I decided to get back to work and contacted the institute again. Luckily they agreed to hire me back.
My life started moving with super speed. The next eight years moved so quickly. My kids got busy with school and studies and I got busy with my institute. My husband was also having a stressful time at work and he would often come very late from work. But I thought there was nothing to worry about.
My elder one was in tenth grade…
The year was 2016 and my elder one reached his 10th grade. It was an important year for him and so I decided to cut down on my classes so that I can help him focus on his studies. I would be out only from two to five and would straightaway go tot pick him up from his coaching classes.
In the meantime, I noticed that my husband’s tours and out of town trips started increasing. I would often ask him and he said that as you rise up the ladder your responsibilities increase and he can’t say no to them. He also said that he also regrets that he had no time for me now. I believed him.
However, after a couple of months, I noticed another strange thing. he had stopped taking interest in my son’s studies even though he wanted to learn from his father. Being a graduate from a prime engineering institute meant that he was a maths champion and he could actually help him out solving his problems. In the beginning, I thought that maybe he is actually not getting the time, but then my son’s first term results were out and he just about managed to get pass marks in maths.
This was it. I couldn’t contain my frustration and angrily asked my husband when he came home,” Why can’t you help Alan* with maths. He needs your help at this time and you’re not there. Instead of getting help from his father, he has to go outside and study from private tutors. Why can’t you help him?”
He didn’t reply and stayed quite the whole time. But these arguments became a daily affair. We would often quarrel and fight over small things and more over my son’s studies. He would fight, slam doors and leave the house for some time. Slowly he started coming very late from work. His tours also increased.
But enough was enough!
I was frustrated. When I needed him the most, he was not there. Forget about me, he was no there for my son when he needed him the most. And then one fine day I decided that enough was enough!
As he returned from work that night, I accosted him and asked him to tell me once and for all the reason for his disinterest in me, in our kids and in our lives on the whole. He didn’t say a word for some time but when I asked him again and again, he said something that literally moved the ground beneath my feet.
“Frankly Sarah*, I don’t love you anymore. I mean just look at yourself. What have you become? How beautiful and frail you were when we got married. You’ve put on so weight now. I feel ashamed to call you my wife. I don’t find you attractive anymore!” he said.
I couldn’t believe what he’d just said. “What are you saying Shawn*! How can you even say that! I put on weight because I gave birth to your sons. I was looking after them, their studies, their life, your parents when they came here. I never had the time!” I retorted.
“But you never even made an effort?” he replied. “Why didn’t you tell me at that time? You tell me now when I am about to be 40. I thought you were happy with our life, I thought you were happy with me. So I didn’t care!” I said.
“That’s what your problem is. You don’t care! You don’t care about yourself. You don’t care about the way you look. You don’t care what people say about you that you’ve put on so much weight. You don’t dress up like the other women do. You look like an ordinary Indian wife,” he said.
I was literally having a nightmare with open eyes. “Frankly. I am an ordinary wife, a mother who’s running a family. What are you doing? And, you took 18 years to tell me that! Why didn’t you tell me about this when our first son was born? Why couldn’t you push me to lose weight? Why now? Why?” I asked.
“I don’t want to argue with you. I have decided that I can’t stay with you anymore. I feel ashamed to have you as my wife. You fat b***h! I have, in fact, taken a small place on rent also and it is there I have been spending my nights, not on tours,” he smirked at me, picked up his office bag and walked out of the door.
I am still waiting for him to come back…
*Names of places and persons have been changed in the story to protect their identity
This article is republished with permission from theIndusparent.