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MARITAL RAPE AND CONSENT

“In cold winter nights I take cold shower and sit on the cold floor until my body gets numb and my cold brain stops working and I see him sleeping in his cozy quilt without a shadow of remorse, and at that time I want to give up on life and don’t want to exist”

“My name is R married to K for 10 years ( a man who is 17 years older than me. (I don’t belong to an uneducated or poor family and I was a good looking girl (and maybe that became the reason of my ill fate).Every paternal and maternal aunty wanted my rishta for their sons and just to avoid the fuss my father picked K (a far family relative).

K left his studies after 12th grade and after that he started some business that didn’t last long and now he owns a few shops and some land here and there (the rent is our bread and butter).

I belong to a middle class family where usually fathers are strict and take decisions and everybody else has to just accept (mine was no different). When I was doing my bachelors my father had a mini heart attack (or whatever the medical term is). So I (as a 19 year old) ended up marrying this man (whom I never met or saw before) almost double my age. I was a brilliant student and wanted to study further but my father never listened and I gave in, something I resent my father for.

Like a normal(or shall I say ABNORMAL) typical family we never used the word “sex” and I was so naive and clueless and nobody bothered to tell me anything, even after they knew I was getting married. I was left on my own to figure it out.

On my wedding night, I found out several things about him, including a fake accessory he adorned every day to hide his real age. Feeling betrayed by my own parents, I suppose here is where my love for pain started, I wanted to punish myself, like every teenager does. I had no time to process the emotional betrayal I felt- I was thrown at the very deep end; I had to provide sex services for my husband, the only thing he cared and still cares about.

I never had any relationship before marriage, he was the first man in my life and despite all the issues, age gap and disagreements I wanted to love him. He was an okayish person in the beginning (which wasn’t enough) but a teenage girl who hated her parents, who was betrayed would wanted more of his attention since she didn’t have anyone to console her. But he’d come from work and all he wanted was to have sex. Never shared his all day story, nor listened to mine, ever. He wanted sex, no matter what and how.

It has taken me a long time to understand that what he did might constitute as marital rape. My interest or consent was and is of no importance to him. At first I couldn’t understand what was happening to me, sex just seemed a burden, I waited for it to get over. Once or twice I tried saying no, and he didn’t listen. He still went on. I am sure he could tell I was silently crying too. That did not bother him. Still does not.

A few times I said no and he did listen, it was followed by extreme anger, sarcasm and withdrawal over the next few days. I was punished emotionally. For refusing him sex. Over a period, I learnt it is best to just not say no.

Besides this, we have zero communication. We speak to each other only when we talk about the kids. If I try to give opinion on something he’d scold me with a hateful and reminds me that I know anything and he is the boss, he doesn’t hesitate to insult me in front of my children, or in the market place or in a gathering…. so I’m always prepared to digest his behavior to avoid fuss. Because again I’m nobody; I was raised that way.

He hasn’t had a job for so many years and when I discussed the possibility of me getting one, he told me no, because he does not trust me. He believes that I’ll leave him, cause he thinks I’m still beautiful and young (though I feel so old, like my soul has rusted) cause he is old and everywhere we go people think I’m his daughter and that makes him very angry. He doesn’t respect me, he doesn’t love me, treats me like crap and I’m not happy with him and I suppose he knows all that- but I have never considered cheating on him and the fact that he can’t trust the mother of his own children, gave my self esteem another blow. So yea, I couldn’t get the permission cbeause I’m a bloody slave, I can’t lose my children, I don’t have anyone to support me in this decision and if I still collect the courage to step out then economically I’m nothing. If I had the means, I would’ve left him a long time back.

I stopped talking to my parents and I never wanted them to see how miserable I am. Maybe if I did initially they could have helped. But then I was too young and angry. Now, I am not sure they can help me. Or if they would- they might value their family friendship with my inlaws over my wellbeing. They truly believe that the only time I should leave that house, is when I am in a coffin.

When people (majority our mothers and aunties) say that “yeh shohar ka haq h, wo jis waqt kahy k he wants sex tou orat ko nah ni karni chaye gunah hota hai (it is a husband’s right to have se with you when he wishes- refusing it is a sin), but I also wanna ask them who will talk about men, who will teach their sons to be nice to their wives, why do girls have to compromise on everything, why do mothers not teach values and kindness to their boys too???”

(P.s. I will be posting a response to this on my insta stories- Marya Here)

Lately I have started having panic attacks, I start screaming at midnight, can’t sleep more than 3 to 4 hours, sometimes I want to take my own life( but I can’t do this to my children). I don’t want any mental help cause I don’t want people to tell me the new ways to compromise (I already have had enough of this crap from everyone)

I can’t think of a solution to my problem and wonder if I will ever get out of this viciousness, probably never. But the thing I know is I’m going to raise my girl to be independent, courageous and full of life, I wouldn’t raise her to compromise on her happiness ever…I’d ensure that she is strong (economically and mentally) unlike her mother and I’ll make sure that I’m on her side whenever she needs me (it’s very important to have someone on your side who just loves you unconditionally) and I’ll raise my boys to respect and value women.

…………………..

My dear R,

I will be doing a whole day of stories around this topic. And write back to you. Thank you for sharing your story. You are stronger than you think and helping so many others just by speaking up. 

Love, Marya

Image courtesy: News Laundry

11 Comments

  1. Tehreem

    October 7, 2018 at 11:35 am

    Hi R,

    I can not even begin to imagine how lonely and disconnected you must feel because you have zero support system and while i usually write notes to the people who share their stories over here, i tell them how strong they are . I am surprised i don’t feel like saying any of those things to you but this is not because you are not strong and brave, this is cause you are stuck, you know you are stuck and you want to get out like any sensible person would. You are trapped in a place that you can’t get out of and that makes me so sad.

    I don’t know if anyone would approve of what i am about to say i am sure most people won’t (especially any auntie) but i will say it anyways, you need to get out of this marriage. While people who talk about sex in terms of heaven or hell they need to understand there is a lot more that Islam says on this topic. You have every right to be happy and not feel violated every day of your life. You want your kids to grow up into decent human beings i don’t think that is possible while living with a guy who doesn’t think twice before insulting you in public. I get how you must be so fed up of all this and so mentally exhausted that you want to cease to exist but if you can just muster some strength and get away from this animal you will see that there is so much more to life than you are seeing right now. You deserve better, you children deserve better and most importantly if you want to raise a daughter who is strong you need to show her that side of your personality that won’t take crap from a guy just cause he feel entitled or is withdrawn from you for a few days just cause you said no. You need to make a fuss when he gives you crap so he can taste a bit of your misery.

    In case you haven’t talked to anyone, i just want to add that your mental health is deteriorating. If you are getting panic attacks anything down the line can not be good if you stay in this relationship. For the sake of your kids get some help, and if anyone tells you that you need to compromise that means they are not helping you. It is not wise to live in a situation that you can not improve/change. It takes a toll on your mind and soul which it has as your words clearly tell.

    You are in my prayers, May Allah give you the strength you need to get out of this abusive relationship.

    love, TJ

    • Marya Javed

      October 22, 2018 at 5:01 am

      Disclaimer: Please do take all these opinions, as opinions. No one really knows your situation as well as you do. Read all, but in the end, do only what you think is right.
      Thank you TJ- for the love and support <3

  2. Sidra

    October 7, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    I wish i could do something to help you,R. For now I am sending prayers your way. You are way stronger than you think and although I don’t know personally I truly believe whatever decision you take for your life you will surely be able to stand on it and make through it.
    I love how you are bringing up your children, more power to you.

  3. Anonymous

    October 7, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    Dear R, you are a strong woman and I can feel your every word and the emotional and physical pain you’re experiencing and have been experiencing since so long. I, too had been in a similar marriage situation. Age difference, lies,physical and emotional abuse, no communication, anger, withdrawal on saying No to sex, humiliation, insults etc. I used to pray that I die soon, wanted to scream so loud so that everyone could hear my pain, health deteriorated. I started to believe that it’s only pain for me and the more I get it the sooner I’ll get rid of this situation.
    I’ll call myself lucky that I have a strong mother. While id say I don’t want to end my marriage, she was the one who said I’m not letting you stay in such marriage and hence it ended. Even then I was in a state of depression thinking of all that I experienced and went through. It would hurt me when I’d hear my parents say we made a mistake. Im glad it ended and I had no kids.
    I’m sure if you talk to your parents they’ll definitely help you. You are a strong woman and in situation like this you definitely should talk to someone you trust. You are an even stronger mother to raise your kids to be better humans. Sending lots of prayers your way.

    • Marya Javed

      October 15, 2018 at 5:38 am

      <3

  4. Saher kazmi

    October 7, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    I have no words
    U r stronger and will b strongest
    Hatss of 🤗😘😓

  5. Sarah

    October 7, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    First of all, lots of hugs and love for you. Pls know that you are strong and patient for putting up with all of this and you need to tell that to yourself. Talk to yourself with empathy and compassion that you need
    As far as my suggestions are concerned, I totally empathize with you when you say walking out isn’t easy. I would suggest (a) that you come to a place where you try and patch up with your parents. I’m sure that they will welcome you as they really don’t know what they were putting you in. Talking it out with at least one of them will not only help you heal, hopefully it will give you a source of love that you are currently lacking. Parents get old and weak in their old age and you may find the dynamic very different from before. Taking care of them will be satisfying and empowering for you in sha Allah
    Secondly I would suggest that take up some small project of your own. I know he doesn’t let you work, but anything small, giving tuitions, taking or giving online classes, heck even running the local committee group. Something that you are in charge of. It will give your self esteem a boost and less time to be sad (which is v justified in ur case)
    Thirdly, writing about it like journaling really helps. Talking about it with a kind and understanding friend is just like therapy so u don’t need to go to anyone for that. I’m by no means asking u to compromise. Just giving you practical ways to deal with this. It’s not impossible . If u start to love yourself and put ur trust in Allah, it may well be that he starts respecting and loving u too. Lots and lots of duas that may He heal you and your marriage and may He fulfill every Dua that you make to Him. Pls know that all of us in this community are wanting to reach out and of u want to speak to anyone of us, we are all more than fully avaialble . Lots of love ❤️

  6. Sarah

    October 7, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    Also on this topic, I do feel it’s your right as much as his to enjoy the experience. Surely if he made sure you enjoyed yourself too, why would you not give consent. Even if he’s not a loving and romantic partner otherwise, the fact of the matter is a good sex life can make up for so many things. It’s a really significant part of ones relationship. And believe me, I know from some very accurate sources that it’s possible to enjoy the experience without being madly in love with your partner.
    I’m basically talking about the importance of foreplay for women. Women take longer to get aroused then men and they require more foreplay, this has been established quite firmly. But To be fair I really do think some men are really not aware of this, especially if they haven’t had any prior relationships and have not been guided in this at all. In our society the onus lies mostly with the elders, be it dads or uncles or older cousins/siblings who can have this conversation. The men need this talk as much as what you said about women. And as far as possible, honestly I think women should try and communicate this to there spouses in hownever way it’s possible. I know relationship dynamics are so varied for different people but some situations really do require for us to be candid about our needs and take the lead sometimes. Some men may actually like this.
    My apologies for the frank comments. I’m just trying to contribute to the topic at hand with as much honesty and clarity as possible

    • Marya Javed

      October 22, 2018 at 4:59 am

      I don’t necessarily agree with the question “why wouldn’t you give consent?”… where you assume just because someone may enjoy sex physically- there seems like no logical explanation for them to not consent to it. The part about the foreplay n all I agree with. But that also is not entirely related to the problem of consent. Consenting to sex goes far beyond whether or not you will enjoy it (though that is an important factor)- and may vary with each individual.

  7. Maria

    October 8, 2018 at 3:12 am

    R, in your story I see the life of countless others, women in my mother’s generation and my grandmother’s and my own. In your words I see their suffering reflected back at me, their life handed over from the control of one man to another. I want to thank you for sharing this with us. You are nothing short of a hero. And I am sure your chidren will see you as such and I pray that they will turn out to be all that you wish for and more. I will pray that life gives you happiness and peace and love. I wish I could remove you and your children from this man’s toxicity. Men such as him, who think they have done their duty by other people by providing the bare minimum of roti kapra makaan and nothing beyond that, and in return expect every thing from their wives, in fact, they take everything, I wish we could do away with them completely. They are unjust, cruel, pathetic creatures. You are not defined by what this one man does. You have proven that by sharing your story. Every word has a ripple effect. You are more powerful than you think. Keeping you in my thoughts.

  8. Ayesha

    October 10, 2018 at 7:12 am

    My Dear R,

    No one should have told you to “compromise” on this. Anyone who did committed a great injustice towards you and other women. Please understand that under no pretense, religious or societal should anyone be made to “compromise” on consent. Also, never think of yourself “economically nothing”. You say you will not harm yourself for the sake of your kids. It takes a lot of courage to fight the fight with yourself. You have that courage. Use it. Also, you say you want to raise your dayghter to be independent. Do you know children don’t learn by listening, they learn by watching and observing. If you want to do something for your children, take a stand for yourself. Get out of this toxic marriage. When your daughter watches you reclaim your independence, your teaching would become complete! Allah is with the opressed so take the first step and He will help. Just as you fight your inner battle for your kids, fight corcumstances for them too. All the best you, May Allah bestow his mercy on you and may He give you even more courage to fight your battles!

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