During the screenings of our film SETTLED, one of the best things that happened were the conversations afterwards- regarding a lack of connection and loneliness in marriages. People from most age groups could relate to the feeling. A whole lot of younger people however, seemed averse to the institution of marriage due the demons, their parents have passed onto them.
‘I am 21 and I realize I am too young for marriage but I haven’t even been able to ever have a boyfriend or like a guy.
My mother was a young girl when she got married. My father was a proud, snooty man and never really spoke to her nicely or made her happy. As we grew up a little, I remember as a child, seeing a man appear in my mother’s life. She was having an affair behind my father’s back! It made me feel betrayed. It made me feel guilty too; a part of me felt like I should have told my father.
This went on for 10 years. Then things fell apart between my mother and her lover too- my father never knew! I have just gone on having this skewed image of love and marriage ever since. I believe in neither. I genuinely think I am better off being alone.”
“I had to kick my father out of the house on Eid day to protect my family. It was long time coming but I made the call, I sentenced him to exile. Because the two opposite yet parallel worlds I witnessed featured a hero of my mom making impossible possible to make her kids successful and my father who came in from abroad, trying to ruin all her effort and making our lives miserable.
My ‘no marriage’ policy revolves a lot around that. From a lot of failed yet dragged marriages in my family and the torture in my own house. Then I lost my best friend five years ago and I never moved on. He was a guy- and sometimes I wonder if I was in love with him but never had the courage to face it. I tell myself I’m not getting in a relationship/married I don’t think any man will hold me when I have panic attacks. I am not even sure if I am still in love with or over the guy who I thought was my best friend but has been in my dreams every night ever since. Now those dreams are turning into nightmares.
I have managed to convince myself that broken people end up in broken marriages so I am better off alone- working- taking care of my family. ‘’
‘’When I was 3 years old, I would walk in to my mother crying on her prayer mat.
When I was 5 years old, I would often wake up at night due to noise, noise of beating and curses. This was not only physical but verbal, psychological and emotional as well and it carried on. Till today. If I talk about it, I cry, I am crying right now.
It has made a part of me HATE my father, it has made a part of me ANGRY towards my mother. Why did she not walk out of it, WHYYYY, she always says she could not because she wanted her family united and connected and she could not bear the pressure of the society, she did not want me to hear the taunts of being the child of the divorcee mother etc But as time passes, all these reasons make less and less sense and are dulling in comparison to my pain!
And all this has led to trust issues, if this is what marriage looks like, I don’t want it at all! If this what family looks like, I would rather not have a family. And the worst part is that nobody understands, not even my mother. She is forcing me to marry a guy my father chooses for me, HOW CAN I???”
“The concept of marriage haunts me.
My dad was forced into an arranged marriage, he liked someone else and since that didn’t work out this happened. I grew up with yelling, crying and hopelessness between my parents. The trouble of in-laws and the one-sided love (that my mother pretended to have) traumatized me. The idea of getting into a marriage with zero understanding, finding out that my husband is still not over his ex-fiancé is too scary. I can’t bring myself around it.
I know what my mother went through. I’ve read her diaries, I was her worst pregnancy. I’ve seen her broken. Although now if you ask her it’s as if she had the perfect marriage. She forgave. She forgot. But I don’t know if it was worth it.”
What if you’re a single woman who has never been married, in your mid-thirties and doing pretty awesome in her career?
What if all the external validation you’ve gotten means nothing within this patriarchal society?
What if you’ve only been able to achieve so much because you’ve fought your whole adult life to drive away people who thought that the ‘one size fits all marriage recipie’ was all you were destined for?
What if all the societal pressure has impacted you so badly that it continues to haunt you?
What if there is another hollow side of you that craves for the one but drives him away at the mere suggestion of him?
What if part of you is flourishing, yet part of you is sad?
What if you’ll end up living your whole life this way?
What if? ‘’
As someone who herself has been resentful for a long time, I do want to tell all of you that “it can get better”. You do not have to inherit the wounds of your mothers. You do not have to live with the pain that your parent/s experienced. You can heal; you can change the way you look at these things. Childhood trauma does not need to define the rest of your life.
How? Is something I would talk more about in the Recovery Series, soon!