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“It Was On Our Wedding Night That My Husband Broke The News To Me”

IMPACT: With over 7.5 lakh page views, this story helped start a crucial conversation on the internet around abuse in personal relationships. Since then, hundreds of writers have shared their experiences on Youth Ki Awaaz of surviving abusive partners and toxic relationships.

By Oxfam India:

Was it even a real marriage? I have asked myself this question a hundred times a day in the past two years.

The one year period of engagement before my marriage was blissfully spent; my fiancé remained in constant touch from Delhi. That year was followed by a grand wedding ceremony in my hometown, Phulbani. It was only on our wedding night that my husband broke the news to me. That he was already living with a girl in Delhi and I was never allowed to visit him there.


I was stunned by his treachery and audacity, yet I gathered myself together and summoned enough courage to ask him why he married me. “To pacify my family; you stay here and take care of them. My life is in Delhi with my beloved,” was his firm answer.

All through our engagement, he kept teasing me that he would bring another girl and leave me. I never realized that he was only half-joking. Now suddenly, he was gone and I, a married woman, was left alone. Even the two weeks he did spend with me, he did nothing but pick up fights over the smallest issues.

Initially I kept my husband’s waywardness a secret. I tried calling him to discuss the situation but he never received my calls. He would call his family, and talk to everyone but me. I went into depression, bewildered at how my life was ruined because of him. One thing was for sure; I knew I could not continue with the marriage. But I heard that divorce proceedings took a very long time. I had to find some other avenue.

I then confided in a relative who suggested that I should go to the State Women’s Commission. I went there and lodged a complaint against my husband and his family, who until then pretended to be unaware of the peccadilloes. Yet when I registered my complaint, they immediately swung into action and launched a counter complaint.

After making umpteen efforts and trips to Bhubaneswar, I realised the futility of the whole exercise and approached the Additional Superintendent of Police of Kandhamal district. From there I was sent to the Women Support Centre run by the Institute for Social Development.

That was the turning point of my life. My husband who had earlier agreed for a divorce, withdrew, and I had to file for it. Yet I didn’t lose hope and was ready to face the proceedings no matter how long it took me to get away from him and this sham of a marriage. Meanwhile, the team from the Support Centre summoned my husband and in-laws. He never turned up but sent his elder brother to meet us. He acted all pompous, but my friends at the Centre punctured his pretension in minutes.

The team then made a settlement with him, accompanied me to my in-laws’ house and recovered all the stuff that had been given to them at the time of the wedding. They also arranged for me to get Rs 20,000 as food compensation and Rs 1500 as subsistence allowance.

Everything was retrieved – gold, clothes, vessels, furniture. Everything.

I then began to chalk out a new life. I now take personality development classes for girls at an NGO AHIMSA in Phulbani. I tell them about my positive outlook and instil in them the courage to face life. I tell them about my marriage and how I strove to solve my problem instead of rotting in a non-existent marriage.

I am now waiting for the divorce to come through and then I want to find a good job somewhere and move on.

My mother is a ‘deserted woman’ and I have seen how the society has treated her all these years. I did not want to be known as a ‘deserted woman’ too and above all, I did not want to be at the society’s mercy for a dignified existence. I even considered moving off to Haridwar to join some ashram but the social workers here explained to me that that was not going to make my life any better.

They helped me learn a positive lesson from my marriage episode. I hope to be independent now, with or without other people’s approval.

Featured image for representational purposes only.

You must be to comment.
  1. Chetan

    It’s a shame that our society still frowns upon cases where women stand up for themselves.
    I’ve seen women crouch inside shells ignoring everything that’s killing them inside only because society would be unhappy if they played otherwise.

    I would be interested to know how I can (or anybody like me) can personally persuade my female friends to stand up for themselves when they are brought to face such situations.

  2. Anand Ujjwal

    No, it was not a real marriage, because it was an arranged marriage ( I guess so, given u had no idea that he had a girlfriend). Arrange marriages are always carried out with bad , evil, and mercenary intentions. But no sympathy, you were responsible, too. You could have opposed that marriage.
    Not only that, why did marry someone who lived somewhere else. How could you trust him? I am a boy, and I still will never marry someone who lives in another city . Who knows what she is doing?

    But no wonder, most Indian girls are immature and silly. They change only when they face the repercussions. Only if you had learnt personality development earlier, you might have judged his intention, but I guess, at that moment u were thinking about moving to New Delhi, and spending ur whole life on his money.

    At last, we all fall to learn ,but we must do that at an early age, or rather learn to protect ourselves.

    1. Lizzy

      Arranged marriages can be a swell success you know. Being prejudices against it ain’t going to solve the problems women in India face with respect to divorces and independence in decision making. And there is no sense in NOT trusting people who love in distant places. What arranged marriages don’t offer is a pre-know how of the kind of person you are tagged with for life. In a country like India where prejudices and marriage frauds thrive upon the blood of the other partner, it is no surprise that such things continue to happen.

    2. Gaurav

      arranged marriages are a sham and all those who support arrange marriage are divorced from reality

    3. Fem

      Are you a 13 year old boy? You certainly sound like one.

    4. Akshay

      Were u this fucking dumb from childhood or did a course somewhere?
      You are blaming HER for this mess?
      No wonder most Indian guys are pricks and i guess you are no different from her husband.

    5. Falak


    6. Amrita

      Sigh. Thank God for males like you.

    7. ruby

      First of all..not all arranged marriages are done with evil part of an arranged marriage and im very happy..I feel that most of the love marriages are fake because u dont know someone until after marriage..secondly, telling this young women that she should have known better is quite dumb..she was respecting her family and that isn’t a sign of immaturity..infact, its sad that u go on to mention that she was moving off to her dreams of living on his money?? Seriously?? In india, the girl has to give a lot of expensive gifts to the guy and his family so im sure she had no expectation other than to be loved by her husband..bravo to this girl fot not sticking around the rotten cumbags of a husband.

    8. Tina

      BULLSHIT!!! Love marriages are NOT FAKE
      I had a love marriage and have been happily married for ten years

      It is absolutely ridiculous to assume all love marriages are fake. In fact, it’s more the other way round

    9. Humblefish

      While I definitely don’t agree that it was the girl’s fault (nothing could be further from the truth), I’m skeptical of your claim that most love marriages are fake since you can’t know someone before marriage. How true is that? How would you define ‘knowing someone’? I have many close friends of both genders and for several of them I could confidently claim that I truly know them. I definitely didn’t marry any of them though.

      I’m not against arranged marriages by the way. I think both are proper means of bringing matrimonial harmony and different societies gravitate towards different ones. But I’m curious as to how love marriages are somehow fake.

    10. Rajashree

      Wow you have no idea what your talking about. How can you say that about her. Ignorance doesn’t fix any problems. Your the other extreme of ignorance. Stop placing blame on her and spend a few mins valuing how much courage it took her and how she is a good example of hope.

    11. Sal

      As you mentioned it was an arranged marriage and was not “real” and she could have said no. As a guy I’m sure you understand the social pressures, however as a female with Indian origins, opposing family when it comes to matters such as marriage is much easier said than done.
      It’s not about being immature and silly, its about the social norms that make it much more difficult. Especially in smaller towns. You should reconsider your attitude towards others and maybe considering putting yourself in their position.

      Also, arranged marriages are a dying trend, nonetheless they do exist and in the past have been success. This is coming from someone who’s parents have been married for over 30 years with the utmost success.


    12. joy

      you are a fucking idiot! India will never change because of men like you…

    13. Janet

      What horrible comments. This woman was taken advantage and all you have is hateful vitriol!

      What money was she trying to get? She gave HIS family presents furniture, gold, etc. as that is the Indian/Hindu way. As a Muslim I can at least say that In Islam the gifts and “mahr” as it is called is for the WOMAN given by the man as a token of his love and appreciation at the time of marriage. How can you say that she was attempting to take advantage of HIM when he and his family obviously wanted a servant to come take care of them while he lived a double life in a distant city with a girlfriend.

      Amazing victim blaming and cognitive dissonance on your part. I salute you.

    14. Teena

      Really blaming arrange marriages are not all disasters. It can happen in love marriages too.

      No wonder things don’t move forward when people like yourself claim most indian girls to be immature and silly.

      Grow a pair and stop blaming women some people don’t have an option to say no.

    15. Maher

      Wow … that’s ignorant.
      Not all arranged marriages are shams and have evil intentions, there are some because those people are messed up and god only knows why they do shit like that. Anyways, I don’t know where you heard all of this, or how it is for you, wherever it is that you live but I know because my parents had an arranged marriage and they love each other and are happy. My uncle and aunt had an arranged marriage and they too are happy. I’ll just make this easier, my whole freaking family was arranged, my grandparents hadn’t even seen each other when they got married and they are the cutest couple ever, so don’t even give me that bullshit.
      Your argument, my friend, is invalid. You can’t say that about all arranged marriages. Yeah, there are marriages that are shams. But that arranged marriage isn’t fake, she still did the whole sacred process. You don’t make sense.

      It is so fucking stereotypical of you to blame the girl, rather than blaming the asshole who put her in that position. He was in love, marry the woman you love, why the hell did he have to make it so difficult. I can’t even imagine how the girl felt.
      Every woman is strong, but it’s men like you who put them down.
      By the way, I’m pretty sure she was supposed to move to Delhi with him and live with him.

      Hope all of the comments from the others, as well as mine, knock some kind of sense into your brain so you’re not a total ignorant idiot and make a complete ass out of yourself.

    16. Pooja

      That’s the most shallow and lame thing to say… You sound like such a loser. Hope better sense prevails in you soon

    17. Jaina

      Arranged marriages are not always carried out with evil intentions, a parent would never want that for their child. Despite him living elsewhere, I am sure she would have assumed that she would go with him rather than stay with his parents.

      Indian girls are immature and silly? I think you have proved that about yourself by making such a ridiculous assumption about Indian girls! As a well cultured Indian girl, it is not taught to us to rebelagainst our parents, and how do you know what circumstances she was married in anyway?

      Personality isn’t ‘learnt’, it’s developed from a young age. Perhaps if you had developed a personality, you wouldn’t make such harsh accusations about a girl whose life has been ruined by a disgusting man who couldn’t even tell his parents that he had a girlfriend. Perhaps if he was man enough to tell his parents, this poor girls life wouldn’t have been ruined.

    18. priti

      I think that is a very male shovanistc thing to say would you be so disrespectful to this young girl if the same situation happend to some you knew I doubt that very much!!!! Maybe the problems like this in India today would come to an end if people like you opened you eyes and showed support to young girls rather then scaring them with how they will look in society.

    19. JANE

      If you insist on calling someone something it is often helpful to make sure that what you are calling them is spelled correctly. Otherwise they will laugh. At you.

      It just so happens that you are trying to call this person chauvinistic.

      Of course, one can only presume!

    20. blech

      *chauvinistic. Big words for a shitskin btw.

    21. Tina

      Anand you are an IDIOT!

      What a horrible judgemental and pompous thing to say! How do you know she married him for money??? She was engaged to him for a YEAR they were obviously dating. The fact that HIS FAMILY LIED and HID THE TRUTH from her and her family when they came with the rishta shows just what their intentions were.

      I knew a friend who a week before her wedding, her fiancé revealed that he cannot marry her because he was gay. She had no idea – yet HIS FAMILY knew this, and refused to accept this and forced him to get married in the hope that he would BECOME NORMAL – they did not give a damn about my friend or the fact that her life would be ruined and expected her to put up with it

      I am sick to death of people treating women like this.

      I take real offense in your comment that Indian girls are immature and silly. ( I myself am educated, have a great job and career. I have worked hard, own my own house and car) I don’t need to marry some guy for money. It is because of pompous men like you that is all wrong with society.

      Her husband should have had THE BALLS IN BEING A REAL MAN and disclosed the truth instead of being bullied into such a marriage if he was not happy. The fact that this person (I will refuse to call him a man, as this would be an insult to all real, genuine men out there who know the meaning of being genuine) had the audacity to tell his wife that she must look after his parents while he was continuing to live in sin with another woman truly shows what a wicked and selfish person he is and shame on his parents on their POOR UPBRINGING!

    22. C


    23. craig

      I love ur courage

    24. C

      You are just another example of what ‘most’ Indian men are like. You look down on women and blame them when something goes wrong.
      Why did her husband put up pretences that he wanted to get married? That’s his problem not hers.
      How do you know that she got married to him wanting to live on HIS money? That is your own fabrication.
      Yes you can trust someone who lives far away from you, everyone else does it around the world! It was unfortunate that he turned out to be lying for 2 years!
      Not all arranged marriages are evil – what sort of comment was that?!
      The best thing you can do in arranged marriages is meet your partner regularly to understand his intentions, and talk to family and friends about each other’s backgrounds before anyone gets engaged.
      Marriage is precious, a sanctity, a blessing – it’s not her fault he disregarded it.

    25. Lindsay

      What an awful thing to say. Shame on you. You have no idea about the situation and how she was scammed into marrying this jerk. Do not blame the victim…that’s one of the biggest issues of violence against women. Women are bullied into thinking they deserve to be mistreated when really we should be empowing them to stand up for themselves and giving them resources to get out of situations like this. Maybe this guy didn’t lay a hand on her but emotional abuse can be just as damaging. I’m glad she was strong enough to get out of there.

    26. shambo

      Stupid reply.. Instead of blaming the instution of marriage(whether love or arranged) kindly blame the people who abuse or misuse it.. It wasn’t her fault to trust her future husband rather its heartening to see how she evolved and didn’t let this incident rule her life or immerse her into depression or self-pity.. Other women(and even men) should take a leaf out of her life.

    27. Tanya

      What kind of an idiot are you !!??? You are a low thinker who treats women like crap. I really really hope no one ever trusts you enough to get married to you. Don’t you f***ing say that Indian girls are immature and silly. We are capable enough to have you chop off your own balls and stick it down your throat. So keep your stinking attitude and shove it up your ass Anand Ujjwal.

    28. Aroush Gandhi

      Indian girls are immature and silly. Thanks for proving it. Now learn to talk decently or else shut the fuck up.

    29. Rahul

      You, sir, are a stain on humanity. You have no idea what you’re talking about – you clearly don’t have any respect for women at all. Do the world a favor and stop breathing. Its boys (I’d never call you a real man) like you that give the world a bad impression of Indian men.

    30. Minahlix

      Good job turning things around and placing the blame back on the girl. Its a recurring habit in our society to always make sure, no matter what, that the blame is placed on anything but the man. Arranged marriages (arranged, not forced) are great when done properly, and love marriages arent immune from falling apart. From my own experience, I’ve seen more happy arranged-marriage couples than love-marriage couples. You might have a personal dislike for arranged marriages, but it doesnt automatically mean that this type of marriage is wrong or bad. The problem isnt arranged marriages (or love marriages), the problem is people. People are dishonest, disrespectful, and carry double-standards. No type of relationship, whether its a romantic one or a familial one, could survive as long as we have these traits.

      Also, you said that indian girls are immature and silly. Yet, your entire comment itself is extremely immature and silly. Its the type of response one could expect to get from an 11 year old boy who has no experience with or understanding of the opposite gender.

    31. Deep

      Get some life!

    32. Raavi

      Anand… You are really a dumbass!!!

  3. R Nagarajan

    Even in this century where everyone and everything is connected, people still gives priority to Horoscope for arranged marriage. It is very easy to manipulate horoscopes. Rather than find the character of the persons, financial status, status of job is checked. It is better not to marry if situation goes like this. Being independent is the best option. If god has decided to have a healthy marriage life for us, then it will happen. Leave to god, that is the best option. But it will require another couple more generation of parents for this to happen. Lets wait.

  4. Babar

    70% of women face some form of violence in their lifetime.

    Where did you get that statistic from? Or maybe when you say ‘some form’ you include a man asking his wife for a glass of water – that must come under the category of domestic abuse.

    100% of men face some form of abuse from wives and in-laws in their lifetime.

    1. sam

      Where did you get your stat from? 100% men are abused! One brainwashed person you are.

  5. Babar

    Feminists do not recognize crimes by women against men, be it rape, domestic violence, misandry, sexism, false cases of rape, domestic violence, and dowry, etc. Feminists do not talk about crimes by women at all, even if they are crimes by women against women, specially in households. Feminists will never speak about love between husband and wife, because feminism is about pitting men and women against each other.

    The media runs headlines of crimes against women because it is good for business, while society only sympathizes with women’s issues, and will rush for their help, whereas a man is not even seen as a human being, only a money earning machine. It does not even matter that men commit suicide twice the rate of women.

    Women in society have legal, social, economic, and political privileges and advantages, and yet feminism runs on the ‘all women are victims and all men are perpetrators’ tagline.

    Misuse of Dowry and Domestic Violence Act is a Human Rights IssueMust Read!

    1. Jemue

      Very very true.

      This situation isn’t about gender, as feminists want us to believe – and don’t – it’s about power, and the abuser of that power.

    2. Amrita

      Feminism is about equality, not about men vs. Women. Please get your facts straight before you post such comments. I’m a proud feminist and I believe issues exist for both genders. I also believe that every issue you stated above does exist for men. That being said, in a country like India, the system is extremely prejudiced against women, whether you want to admit that or not. Rape, domestic violence etc. are much likelier in a woman’s case than a man’s, thus, the spotlight is usually focused there. Also, there are issues such as foeticide, infanticide and educational inequality that are solely women’s issues. Economic advantage? Women are paid less for the same job. Social advantage? Women are leered at on the streets, parents are less likely to insist on a girl child’s education. What advantages are you speaking about, other than the fact that we finally have some legal recourse (even though many crimes are not reported and rape cases are treated so badly in courts its a joke?)

    3. Babar

      It is men who face biases on a daily basis – courts give men stricter sentences for the same crimes that women commit, juries give verdicts against men in domestic disputes, men pay alimony, half of men’s properties is usurped by women, there is misandry in the media, sexism against men, men are locked up in false cases of rape, dowry, and domestic abuse, their oppressors do not face punishment over false accusations, among a host of other things.

      Women have seats reserved in colleges, politics, and the corporate world, because women cannot compete fairly with men. As for work, people are paid for their work according to their experience, academic credentials, skills, and how well they do their job. It is not a question of a man and a woman working the same job not being paid the same, even two men or two women working the same job will not be paid the same. Two doctors, two engineers, two teachers, etc, will be paid differently. Secondly, women earn less because women work less number of hours than men, take maternity leave, work easier jobs than men, and take courses in college which pay less.

  6. nari

    its great to see your attitude towards life and the step taken by you,your effort shows that the life of a girl is not to ceased to continue after marriage.its equally important as compared to opposite sex and perhaps more than that….you are a true inspiration …wish you an… all the best for your future…stay blessed and blessed other who is in need….

  7. Gaurav

    the real issue is that people do not do complete investigation before they commit to a relationship. why are women falling for arrange marriage. marriage anyways is a sham and arrange marriage is a bigger sham, it is beyond me why people go for arrange marriage. both men and women are capable of being dishonest. it is not being a man or a woman that makes you honest or dishonest, the honest people have to be careful. people are out to fool anyone they can. no one wants to listen. no one wants to hear the truth. be it men or women. these days you cannot trust anyone. both men and women lie shamelessly and refuse to take responsibility for their actions. think practically and not emotionally. there are men and women who suffer silently. a person who is alone will be attacked by a group of people and I know how that feels.

  8. shirish

    It is a shame that our society frowns up on women who divorce their husbands even on genuine reasons. Also, the judiciary which takes a very long time to give a decision in open-n-shut cases is a bane on our society; especially on women.

  9. ankit

    The story sounds awful because the husband had someone else whom he loved more his wife and the lady was left in lurch without no fault of her.
    Now, can you just imagine the case where a girl marries someone else other than the one whom she actually loves. In those cases, the husband and his family do not even have a “commission for men” or superintendent of Police to listen up his agony. ” You are the man, You have to win your wife. You have to take responsibilities of the family”. Thats the crap he would listen from everyone whom he confides his case.
    Biggest benefit women has got is that they can cry which “real men” aren’t allowed to. They have to hold their nerves in all circumstances.
    Why can’t a women study as good as his male fellows and work as good just like them?
    Why they have to be dependent on their husband’s maintenance or alimony even in cases of mutual consent divorce where simply they couldn’t find themselves compatible with each other and the wife is earning well to keep herself well?
    Till when women will behave as parasites and will keep asking for everything from their husbands?
    Have you seen equal amount of women fighting for justice when their father’s aren’t able to support her daughter’s demands?
    Have you seen daughters fighting for right to education when they live with their parents?
    Why isn’t there a law to jail the parents if he is not able to fulfill their daughter’s need?
    Fight with molesters, rapist and exploiters, that OK but dont make generic notions or general laws against men because they will start fighting back at one point of time and thats when the social harmony will get disturbed forever.

  10. archana

    Everyone who talks about women’s lib or issues is not a man hater or even a feminist. Secondly,within feminism movement in india there are people working for a genderless society …or one where the individual’s main identity is not based on their sex. Thirdly,harping about atrocities faced by men in marriages or by women pales in comparison to the stuff women go through just because they are women… acid attacks… rapes….marital rape… dowry… and a lot of other stuff. I am sure men are suffering too. But is that a good enough reason to slam anyone’s effort to bring about awareness on another issue?

    lastly,any marriage can rock or fail.there is no way to know everything about a person (man or woman) till you start living with them… some situations in the future may reveal a whole a new dimension to the person you are with. So there are good marriages and failed/bad marriages ..that is the right classification not arranged or love or love-cum-arranged.

    I salute women who refuse to be silent and take a stand and fight their own battles. Regardless of what men in this country may or may not be dealing with.

    1. ankit

      Thats again a one sided view of things. Atrocities faced by men in marriages are also just because they are men, foremost being denial of being heard. Their is no provision for a man to complaint if he has beating from his wife (in fact is sound hilarious to many), he cannot claim maintenance even if his salary is lesser than wife’s, he is by default deprived of custody of his own child, is not allowed by default to take part in decision making for his own child once divorced, doesn’t even have the right to prove his innocence before arrest if a disgruntled wife decides to file a false dowry case against him, he has to be the earner(no one cares how he earns it), he is not allowed to show emotions, doesn’t have a body like “commission for women” to take care of his needs with the changing times (even wild animals has one), besides financial abuse and what not.. And that is all because he is a man.

      Majority of Indian men today show condolences with any girl victim of harassment and ask for severe punishment for the culprits. How many women have we seen standing up for their male counterparts? Why aren’t we seeing women culprits who forge false cases, falling behind bars? Each case of women harassment receives prime time slot with loads of people support (which is not bad), do we have similar support for men when they are victimized by women? Or have we really accepted that a women can do no wrong? Rape is cruelty of utmost level not because of the sex involved but because of the mental trauma a lady has to go through and similar is the case when a women forges a false dowry or rape (non-bailable btw) cases to ruin not only a man’s life but whole of his family’s and that to with support from the society.

      We still wait for a day when the good feminists who advocate gender-less society and promote harmony between the genders, over power the bad ones who are hell bent upon creating gender war in the times to come. Till then I support everyone, irrespective of gender, who has seen hard times.

  11. Ashita

    This was very brave and courageous of you.

  12. Marie

    I just wanted to add a different prospective … I am that other women who fell in love with a Pakistani man and I am American. I knew nothing of the customs or traditions of his culture until I met him.. By the time I realized he would be part of an arranged marriage I was already deeply in love with this man .. I felt sorry for the woman that he would be paired with as she would be unaware that he was in love with another.. We have tried going our seperate wAys but are drawn back to each other .. Lots of tears to go around.. We didn’t set out to fall in love it just happened.. The hardest part for me is knowing that he would not stand up to his parents and not go through with the arranged marriage .. Hard lesson to learn … I feel for the wife as she really is in the dark…

  13. Meggie

    To those of you bashing arranged marriage: Guess what? “Love marriages” fail too, if you are a cheater and a liar, it doesn’t matter what type of relationship you are in. I mean this girlfriend in Delhi was also receiving the short end of the stick. To her he was saying, “you are fun to live with but I don’t respect you enough to make you my wife”. The issue here is that they guy is a scumbag.
    She was engaged to the guy for a whole year, not like it was something that happened in a few weeks or months. It’s not arranged marriage, or her at fault. We should be shaming the parents and the men and women who put another person through this type of situation.(Women cheat too!)

    1. Rahul

      If you use your head for 60 seconds, its pretty obvious to see how arranged marriages easily create situation where scores of people are leveraged into situations which they wouldn’t enter into otherwise. This tragic story is the direct result of a society that accepts arranged marriage as the norm.

  14. Anonymous

    I commend you for your strength, courage and perseverance. I am facing a somewhat similar situation and hope to look back at it someday soon and be glad that its over.

  15. Sunita

    This is an amazing story of strength! However it saddens me that in this day and age, it is so hard for a woman in India to have an independent life, while her counterparts in the Western world are generally free to live any life they choose…

  16. Anne

    I don’t think all arranged marriages are shams. My parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles all had arranged marriages, and the majority of them are quite happy. My cousins and I chose to not go this route and picked our own partners. I have heard and seen the horrors of both arranged and love marriages. Neither is wrong or right. What matters most is what happens during the course of your marriage.

    This woman’s marriage was doomed from the beginning, and none of it was her fault. She was not immature, or being silly, as some of you ignoramuses claim Indian women to be. She simply chose to stand up for herself, which sadly, is ridiculously hard in Indian culture. She did what was right, and ,stupidly enough, most of her community looked down on her for standing up for herself. Who else was going to do that for her?

    You can have either kind of marriage and either can present depressing situations. This woman decided that she wasn’t going to live with this kind of situation, and that she would rise above this, no matter what her community thinks of her.

    I know all too well how this is. I chose not to go the route of an arranged marriage. Heck, I’m not even marrying someone Indian. My fiance’ is black, and my parents were dead set against him being with me, despite the fact that he is Christian (like me), will be making good money as a lawyer, comes from a great family, and is a wonderful person. Many people started rumors, stopped talking to me, some would not even allow their children around me. My own parents took my computer, cell phone, tried to take away college from me, hacked my computer,and kicked me out of the house for two years. I had to escape my house one night, because they locked me in a room for hours and threatened to have me committed to a psychiatric ward for being with my fiance’.

    I had to do the same thing this writer did. I stood up for myself and learned how to be independent. I worked to pay for college, and graduated early. I moved all my things out of my parents house and paid for my own apartment and car. My parents and I did not speak for two years, which ended up helping our relationship. I didn’t care if anyone talked about me, I simply lived my life and stayed happy with my fiance’. We got engaged two years after dating, and now another two years later, my family has come around and has actually met my fiance’ and loves him. They are excited for us and our wedding in May, and are actually a part of the whole planning process.

    To the writer- keep standing up for yourself. Your journey will be hard, but you will overcome and make yourself rise higher than this marriage situation. To all Indian women, whether in India or around the world- keep fighting the good fight and stand up for yourselves- you will never be happy if you just do what others tell you to.

  17. nirgus khan

    Some of you saying arranged marriage are wrong some saying love marriages are wrong,i dont agree with that some marriages work and some dont work it was just a shame to read about this sister how someone can destroy another person life just to make their family happy but wat she has done and did after i salute her
    every women should do what they have to do if wrong is done with them
    also why i believe arranged marriages work is that my marriage was arranged and we are still happily married its 20 years now i was 15 and my husband was 17 when we got married

  18. Babar

    …. just as many women as men could also be classed as abusive, coupled with controlling behavior with serious levels of threats, intimidation, and physical violence. Women were more likely to verbally and physically aggressive to their partners than men. “This study found that women demonstrated a desire to control their partners and were more likely to use physical aggression than men. “It wasn’t just pushing and shoving,” said Bates, Medical Xpress reported.

    Source: Domestic Violence Against Men: Women More Likely To Be ‘Intimate Terrorists’ With Controlling Behavior In Relationships

  19. Amna

    Very good keep it up you are truly an inspiration!

  20. Mathi

    I read your blog. Its atrocious that any man could do this to any woman. Am sorry.
    I am nearly in the same situation. BUT,
    i am a man. I dont have any other relationship with any girl currently. I live in Calcutta. My wife lives in Chennai. She is independent and employed and well settled. She is generally a good woman. BUT,
    Yes, BUT, before marriage I told her that I wasn’t ready for this. But, she went on forced me to respond to her messages and emails.
    Without hurting her I tried all means to stop the wedding. But i learnt later that, she accepted to call off the wedding but went back and told her dad to carry on with the wedding. She claims it to be her liking for me. But she doesn’t care if i like her or not. And she claims I am responsible.
    After wedding, i collected and i made up a decision to move on with my life with her and was ready to take her into my life. Now, she doesn’t want to come to calcutta, which she clearly told me and my other friends, and then she told her father that she likes to live with me.
    Now, her parents, relatives and mine are thinking that I am not taking her in my life while she is ready.
    My story will be written in the same way like yours and projecting me as the villain like your alleged husband. Except that in my story the truth is i am the victim which will NEVER come to light, because I am a man.
    I wish you a very good life and career ahead. Truly. Am sorry for what happened to you.

  21. shruti

    Want to fight for my own.

  22. Shelly

    What nonsense! Women should stop playing a victim and start taking a stand. Why keep mum over what he had done? Why keep hoping that everything will turn out alright? The marriage could have been nullified instead.
    Even before marriage he kept saying he’ll bring another girl and leave her. She brushed it away as a joke, went ahead and married him? Is there a thing called self respect or not?
    Also, Marriages are not the aim of one’s life. And your life is not ‘ruined’ if you decide to separate ways.

  23. IUnderstand

    Some men remain selfish forever. How could your “so called” husband simply ask you to look after his family n himself live with another girl! Ridiculous!! I mean, you have a life as well.
    The positive attitude you show is stupendous.
    You must move on in life, because now I am sure you are stronger than ever and now you can touch the sky.

  24. thethaggu

    I respect your courage girl !
    I think no women should tolerate such kind of non-sense.
    What do men think of girls?! One for the family other one for love?! WHAT IS THAT?!

    You have set an amazing example for us. Kudos. Inspiring.

  25. rohit

    Hi, My name is Rohit, I am from saket, New Delhi. I am a friendly, funny nature easy going and down to earth guy, I love dining out, movies, art, humor, I like to travel, photography and exploring nature. I enjoy the simple things of life.
    I got married 3 years ago to the girl chose by my parents. I tried to fall in love with her but after spending 3 years together her behavior changed a lot. She screams at me for silly reasons. we both are different. we think differently, our priorities, desires and drives are different. I stepped into my marriage under the presumption that love will last forever. love does not happen forcibly and i think i did a big mistake in getting this marriage done. we are incompatible life partners.
    But I am just bearing the responsibility of a good husband. I don’t feel love for her. We live separately because if we live together, it would ruin our life.
    I m looking for a female companion to talk, watch movie and travel. Someone that we can start out as friend. I see most of my movies alone, I managed the restaurant thing alone and travel solo as I don’t have much choice.
    if you are movie and traveling soul and looking for the same, we can start to talk and know each other. I thank you for taking the time to read this I am posting my email. if something positive does which I am hoping than I will be get in touch you or if you have any question or wanna know more about me…please do not hesitate and feel free to contact
    Email me

  26. beachjustice

    this is cruel and unusual.

    before any other matter we must focus on protecting the rights and security of our women.

    it aches my heart to imagine my beloved mother or sister in such a position as a loveless or even abusive relationship she has no support to get out of.

    our women are the most vulnerable of our people, but they have the same needs for wanting support and love and respect and security and independence as our men. There is no inherent difference between any thinking, feeling humans in this respect.

    why do we enable a society where tortures like this and worse still happen? such horrible cruelty.

    i wish as a nation we could place the security, happiness, and self-esteem of our girls as top priority, above economic growth, above our military, above our science, though all those are noble and great things to have too.

    women play an important role in our culture and have a duty to the rest of society same as men, but they are ultimately individual humans, capable of all the same suffering. That alone is enough to justify them receiving equal consideration to the physical and emotional needs of, and inherent value, as any man.

  27. Nikitasha

    Women,just one thing- Hats off to you! We need women like you in or society and not the submissive ones who tolerate being treated like doormats.

  28. shaktirock

    hi I'm shakti rock

  29. Ashok Wadhwa

    Hats off to such brave and self respecting women of our society ! A few hundreds of them are enough to change the mindset of we chauvinistic males .

  30. rebel4gud

    There is no need to critizise arranged marriage or love marriage , all that matters is the honesty between the couples.There are a lot of succesfull arranged marriages as well as a lot of love marriages going strong.I think the families should investigate about more family backgrounds as well as the backgrounds of the girl/boy rather than spending time on horoscopes before marriages.

  31. Nikita Bishnoi

    Good! Keep it up! Remember you are a strong and independent woman!

  32. Ritesh Jha

    Good going girl. Please let me know when I could be of any assistance. My email ID is would be happy to connect. Regards, Hans Sachdev

  33. Jyotsna K

    Keep up the hope. Marriage is not everything in life. You can achieve great without it too.

  34. RaMa

    Way to go sister ? get that guy something more than divorse! Best wishes 🙂 happy new life 😀

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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