It began with comments, showing continuous displeasure with everything she does and criticizing her every chance they get. Sanya tried to be patient until one day she decided to confront her husband and asked “Why have you changed? You wanted me to dress like this; you never bothered about my cooking skills. You wanted me to be as outgoing as you are, you never questioned my parenting skills and you know I have been raising them to the best of my ability. But you are their father too; you can also parent them if you think I lack in something.” But that didn’t help anything.
Imran would pay no heed to her pleas and stayed out late to avoid talking to her. He knew it would bother her. Friends and family started noticing this change in behavior. His views about women became apalling. On many occasions, he would make derogatory remarks about his wife and women in general. A man who once thought women should have freedom, space, and respect, now says that they should be kept on a leash. People found it difficult to sit with him. He wasn’t the same person anymore.
The Breaking Point
The mother, as usual, continued to find faults in Sanya and it had resorted to degrading her family. After months of being verbally abused by everyone around her, Sanya snapped at her mother-in-law, and unfortunately, that’s when Imran was returning home from work. He had heard their screaming match, and it didn’t matter if his mother was insulting her parents. He became enraged to see Sanya talking back to his mother, who went in her room crying leaving Sanya alone with Imran.
The First Hit
He didn’t say anything at first but only looked at her in anger and disbelief. When she tried to explain herself, he slapped her across the face. She in turn also got angry. That’s when Imran grabbed her and continued slapping Sanya until she went quiet. The physical abuse grew to a point where Imran didn’t care who was in the room. If Sanya did anything to instigate him or his parents, she will get her lesson.
He would purposely hit her in front of the children and then went after them, so they would fear him too. Sanya never instigated his anger, did everything she could to please Imran and even changed her ways. But he was long gone. Finally, after being beaten up by a belt. She told her story to a friend who took her to the local Imam who discussed her options.
She moved in with her friend and tried to reconcile with her husband. She asked him to provide her with a separate apartment, which he could easily afford. He refused. She lived separately from him for a while to see if the absence will make his heart soft. It didn’t. The condition was, she had to return and live according to his mother’s way. For the sake of her daughters, Sanya did not want to return and make them live in an environment like that.
She turned to her parents, who told her she will not welcomed back in their home. She has to go back and live with her husband, whatever his conditions may be. She went to the Imam again and told him she had tried every avenue there is, but there is no room for reconciliation. She filed for a Khulla (an annulment of the marriage).
When Imran received the papers, he was happy to give the divorce but was in for a surprise. According to the law in that country, the husband would have to pay her alimony, an agreed amount or percentage of his earnings to his ex-wife and kids and pay for her accommodation. It was quite an amount since he was earning well.
This infuriated the family who then decided to take the matter to court so they would get out of paying that allowance. They tried to gather witnesses to testify against her character, and if proven, she would be denied that allowance and the custody of her children. They wanted to break her arrogance and run her into the ground. She had to fall on her knees and grovel her way back to them. So they said. Thankfully no one agreed to give that false testimony.
The divorce was granted. Sanya managed to get a job through her friend and her new life began. She had money coming in from two sources, and she turned her focus to the upbringing of her children. In the end, she was content with how everything had worked out for her and was thankful to Allah. How He had provided her the means to live independently when her husband and family betrayed her in the time of her need. She felt empowered and was dictating her terms and conditions after being granted full custody of her children.
This story is not all about Sanya and how everything worked out for her. This story is to emphasize about the life you have to live after you do such disgusting acts. In the moments of anger and hurt, we forget about the consequences while we are too busy planning out our revenge. We become obsessed about how we have to get back at others. How can we hurt them as much as they have hurt us? The sad reality is, if your behavior is unjustified and you are inflicting so much harm beyond an innocent victim’s ability, then you have to pay for it in an even more brutal manner. Call it karma, or God’s justice, but what goes around DOES come around.
Within a few months, Imran went into severe depression. Both his parents had fallen severely ill within months of the divorce. He sent them back to Pakistan because he couldn’t take care of two ill parents. He stopped talking to them after he realized what his mother made him do . He sent them money, hired nurses to take care of them but never went to visit them.
He tried to marry several times but ended up getting divorced. He would end up abusing his wives. He could never be normal again like he used to with Sanya. He has kids from several divorced wives, but he hasn’t been able to father them like he wanted to. He could never build a home like he once had. He missed Sanya and the life they once had. It was stable, peaceful and secure. She was someone he wanted to grow old with. He could see a future and now what will his future be?
Sanya never remarried. She was divorced and had two daughters to raise. She had loved and lost it in the worst way possible. The person she loved and trusted the most, decided one day to leave her in the heat. She wasn’t allowed to advocate for herself. Imran never gave her a chance to explain, to allay whatever fears or concerns he had about her. No one was worth that pain and agony she faced.
She was finally in peace and away from all that torture. All her friends supported and helped her. She never felt alone. Allah didn’t leave her. She began her spiritual journey after realizing how fortunate she was to come out of a situation like that and Allah had provided her the means to live and raise her children properly with respect and honour.
What is the point of all this? In our culture, after someone gets a degree, marriage becomes an obsession. So you get a wife for your son, only to feel threatened by her and make sure she knows she can never take over your position as the parents. She will never be loved as much as your son loves you and somehow that is suppose to make you feel better? Like you have won some undeclared, unannounced war that this girl never saw coming, neither did she volunteer to fight this battle with you.
What do parents gain by messing around with their children’s marriages? What satisfaction do they get by listening to their children complain about their spouses? Are these relationships a competition to see who does the man love most, mother or wife? Does a man’s life boil down to being stuck in between a mother and wife? Continuously keeping both of them satisfied and content by proving he loves one over the other?
A man spends his entire life trying to maintain that balance and God forbid if that tips then it’s his home and peace that gets ruined.
Know your place.
A mother is irreplaceable. Period. Then why do mothers voluntarily jump down in the battlefield the minute there is a wife in the picture, and if she feels otherwise, she has no value in her son’s life?
Moms, if you feel so strongly about your son, if you get disturbed by his absence or forgetfulness, and it makes you raging mad to watch him care about his wife, then please don’t get them married off. Don’t ruin a poor girl’s life because you feel threatened by her importance in your son’s life. But if you do, give them space. They need to build a new relationship, and that requires support from both families. A marriage, as easily arranged is also vulnerable to falling apart.
Stop feeling threatened.
Parents need to stop feeling threatened when a new person comes into their child’s life. You came into someone’s too! I agree, its very hard to accept someone new and then receive divided attention but that change needs to come. It’s inevitable and its part of the natural process God intended for us.
We need to think of it in a new way. When you are a child, you must please and respect your parents. When you get married, your job is to carry out your duties as a spouse and support one another. When you have a child, you must raise them right, and when they are old enough to get married, it’s their time to shine. In essence, you prepare them for this very stage of their life.
If your kids lead a happy and successful married life, it’s a huge testament to how you have raised them. That is good parenting! If their spouse is overall happy and peaceful with them, then you did something right. It is a validation that you raised your kids properly because they know how to fly without your help. You have made them capable enough to raise a family and make good decisions.
In this story, the mother was known to be very sweet, and that’s how her children grew up to be. So she did something right with her children. But the love for her children got the best of her, and she regretted her actions deeply when she saw Imran sitting alone in his rooms for months, crying in despair and even she could not console him. He had lost a companion after being married to her for thirteen years; no one can fill that void, not even a mother.
My intention wasn’t to offend anyone, but I hope this story strikes a tone and make people realize that this could be anyone’s story. Once you cross over a certain line and you have lost touch with the reality of the situation, then something like this could easily happen to any of us. In my opinion, good parenting is usually validated by people around us, like our children’s teachers, a friend’s mother, and relatives. But a parents training is truly successful, when their spouse comes to you and says “You raised a perfect son or daughter.”, “You have taught them well.” May God keeps us all safe and healthy.
Thank you and until next time. Take care.