I come from a middle class family here in India.
I got married 11 years ago; we met through friends. It was not an extended courtship, nor a love marriage. It was a decision precipitated by my parents’ pressure for me to get married. Rather than accept the kind of match they wanted, I decided to marry a friend of a friend from a very different background. We have very different values.
The first year was a big challenge. There were things that really bothered me but we found our balance, and created a fairly decent relationship. We moved from one city to another, began to build our life together. There was a phase when I was not able to conceive a child, I was going into a depression our relationship was taking a hit. At that time I realized how much I want to control everything in my life.
It was then that my husband decided to walk out of the marriage. For a month and a half, I stayed at my parents and didn’t know if he would ever come back, or what would be my future.
I realized that he was going into a depression more than I was; his work was stressful and our relationship was bad. Then one fine day he decided to come back.
I wanted to adopt a baby and he didn’t. When he came back he said we would adopt. We started the process and then I conceived.
I have a 4 year old daughter now. I did not see the kind of support from him that I would expect; we reached a point where he was contemplating moving out again. It was a similar situation as before but now I had a child.
I had reached a point that I was breaking down with the stress, trying to handle everything by myself. If I did decided to quit my job and if my husband chose to leave me, I would be in a bad position financially and wouldn’t have as much control of custody (legally you have less chance here if you don’t have a job).
The guilt was killing me. I decided to prioritize my child and forget about everything else. I took a leap of faith, imagining the worst possible. Finally I quit my corporate career. Now work in a career I love; my business is growing and lots of good things happening. I don’t think I would have discovered this side of me, or been at peace if I had not done it.
My husband is still here. The thought of leaving him makes me sad in relation to my child’s future; she’s attached to her father. I have been through it over and over again. In my mind I have come to peace, this does not define me. I have given everything to the house and to the relationship; it does not question my own adequacy.
We’ve created this world for ourselves; me, my daughter and him. I am there for both of them, for the house, I like to see the happiness that it creates.
Am I willing to take drastic steps and let that impact my daughter? No. She is a single child, she needs whatever she can get from both parents. It’s a decision I have made and I’m okay with it.
It’s been 11 years, this is the best we can be, it’s perfectly fine, we don’t fight, he’s not abusive, he’s not an alcoholic. It’s fine, it’s a peaceful thing.
I imagine various situations, if I were a single mom, I might have to stay with my sister, share with another mom. There may be chances I’d get into a relationship, how long would it last
It’s a fairly sound choice.
The reason I don’t feel unhappy or shortchanged is that this is a conscious thought-through decision. It’s a decision I made for my child and that really keeps me going.
Sometimes I feel sad.
When my daughter turns 18 I’ll be fairly non-guilty of doing stuff for myself. I’ll send her off to study, maybe another country. That’s when I want to live my life, travel with people I want to travel with, meet people I want.
I’m working on my health. I want to be there for her. I’m waiting for her to grow up but it’s not distracting me from living in the present. I’m doing it all right. None of this would be worth it if not.
A compromise, that’s a legitimate name. The only difference is how you deal with it in your mind. I don’t feel bad about it, we always have a choice. This is the best option and I choose to be happy.