A lot of people get arranged marriages with preconceived notions based on what they’ve seen in Hollywood and Bollywood, which are the most unrealistic kind of notions. Girls think they’re going to wake up in the morning and find their husbands bringing them breakfast in bed. And guys expect their wives to look like Priyanka Chopra while she’s waking up from said bed in the morning. Now that’s an obvious recipe for disaster.
And while marriage is totally different from the expectations each party carries – there are a few things that are obvious red flags and need to be addressed in the course of a relationship before it turns as toxic as the radiation fallout from Chernobyl. So if you’re a girl and you experience one of these things, you might want to reconsider your love story.
1. His married life doesn’t look that different from his single life.
Except maybe for the food and a couple of other things. Basically, he goes to work, passes by home to grab food and then goes out, smokes hookah and plays cards with the boys while you are busy at home making sure everything is in order.
2. There is an imbalance in terms of house chores where you take care of the cooking, cleaning, and raising kids and he takes care of bringing in the money and the groceries.
If someone asks him where the sugar is, he doesn’t know “because it’s not his department.” If you’re not going to be around for the day, you’re expected to arrange for daycare even if he’s going to be around at home that day, “because raising kids is also not his department.”
3. Conversations revolve around practical topics such as the electricity bill payment, the kids’ expenses, and whether he brought the milk or not.
4. He chips off a part of you every single day.
He wants you to change the essence of who you are because of him and doesn’t allow you to grow and pursue your own interests.
5. Whenever you fight, the relationship is held hostage.
A famous example in our society is for him to say, “You either do this or I’m leaving you.”
6. He remarks at you with things like, “you wouldn’t understand.” “Why are you such an idiot?” or “Don’t be stupid.”
7. You feel suffocated when he’s around you because he’s so demanding that you don’t even look forward to the weekends.
When I heard this from one of my own female friends about her husband, I found myself thinking, what’s the point of the marriage? No, seriously, what’s the point).
8. He actively separates you from your friends and family members by curtailing social visits, taking away your phone so you can only call your family using his phone when he’s around.
These kinds of rules may relax after two or three years but by then he has achieved his objective and she has lost her support system. This is a serious red flag because as Leslie Morgan, author of Crazy Love, says, one of the first steps of domestic abuse is to isolate the victim.
9. Vulnerability has no meaning in the marriage.
You never feel safe enough to speak your mind in front of him because you’re scared how he might react. And you get the feeling that he maintains a fake front in front of you, pretending everything is okay in terms of his job and your finances even when it’s not.
10. Physical abuse. Enough said.
Some of these red flags are so obvious and yet we live in societies where, as women, we’re conditioned to accept this behavior as the norm because we’ve seen our own mothers and grandmothers endure such behaviors with patience. But it’s 2017, and it’s about time women start changing that. The first step to doing so is to understand our own self-worth and demand to be treated better.
Amina H. is an engineering student who blogs at ahscribbles.com.