This is my story I was just 17 when my father asked me to come and talk to him, there is a potential partner your grandfather would like you to marry!
Dad, I’m still at college and I don’t even know him.
‘Well go downstairs and tell your grandfather that’, he replied.
Of I went with my parents following me as if I was going to run away. OK, my grandfather replied but he is of a good family.
I knew I was lucky this time, but as the eldest grandchild, I knew my destiny had been written when I was born.
So, a year later after finishing work I called home as I always did, to my father replying come straight home, we have a potential man we would like you to meet.
Oh God, not again I have just turned 18.
I came home changed into my saree and went to pour the tea. They wanted us to talk we had 10 minutes.
After they left the whole family was full of joy – he is a good man from a wonderful family.
I knew that day that if I didn’t say yes God knows who I could have ended up with. So, the wedding celebration started.
I did not choose my outfit, my hair, my makeup, or the venue. NOTHING! I just went along with it.
I have two beautiful children which were expected whilst I was Cinderella mopping the floor on my hands and knees and after the family had eaten dinner.
They said he was a good man! a good man who worked hard, but also who drank a lot, and I was often home alone with the children with nowhere to go and no friends to see as it was frowned upon to have friends.
I thought he loved me as he always wanted to know my whereabouts and wanted me to come home straight from work, I later discovered this was not love this was POWER.
He would mentally torture me.
I finally decided after 22 years that this was enough.
I did not want my children to have dysfunctional relationships with their future partners, so I went to speak to the Law Clinic, and that’s when I filed for divorce.
I had not a single friend or family I was alone.
I went to court as he stopped paying maintenance.
I found a friend who turned out to be my guardian angel and still is to this day. She offered to be my Mackenzie friend at court. She came with me sitting silently making notes – that day in court we finally laid everything to rest as the judge took to my tears.
I knew that day was the day my life was about to begin.
So here I am telling my story when people say it was OK you were not forced you had a choice!
No, I didn’t have a choice!
To this day there was a still being taken back home and not given a choice and told who to marry so arranged falls into forced and force into arrange there is no grey area it is all black and white, and when you go through it you know what it is like so here is to the women who have been through it going through it and have come through it.
I have two beautiful children who have graduated and who are grounded and so amazing would I ever choose their partners?