THE incidence of failed marriages and divorce has increased in society. When we talk of post-marriage issues, we see people and the media talking about domestic violence by men, and ‘atrocities’ against women by their in-laws. But there is the other side of the coin that I would like to share.

I am a 30-year-old electrical engineer who is working in a renowned public-sector organisation. I got married in March 2020, but it could not last and finally ended up in khula in April 2021. This happened because the girl wanted to do a job and earn money, while I and my family had explicitly told her family before the engagement that, being a religious conservative, I would not allow my wife to take up employment. The end of my marriage was a big trauma for me and my mother.

My second marriage was solemnised in February 2022 with a girl who happened to be a distant relative. My mother and younger sister had told the girl, her mother and maternal aunt in clear terms that I had been through a big trauma in my first marriage, and now needed a girl who would al least be understanding, if not loving and caring. That girl turned out to be anything but.

She forcibly separated me from my widowed mother 18 months within our marriage after constantly showing arrogance as well as an eagerness to pick up a fight. We moved in an apartment in late 2023. I took her to an all-Pakistan tour, and then to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage. I tried to make the marriage work, but last month, her brother and some hoodlums broke into my house and fled with my belongings, while she went to her parents’ house. Now she uses all kinds of abusive language against me.

I say this with confidence that abuse is not the exclusive domain of men.

Name withheld on request
Karachi

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2024

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