A Matter of Choice
I believe its a matter of choice. God gives us many pathways but we chose the one that is right for us. Sometimes we know by instinct that it’s right while the other times, we don’t.
The sad part is even the best of our insight cannot tell us what’s exactly going to happen in the future .
It just happens. And we have to face it. Possibly fight it.
In the same way, my parents selected a path for me when I was just 15. That time I was in Beaconhouse School System, later, I joined Lahore’s renowned college, Kinnaird. I still remember the first day I entered the collage and I felt proud that I was a part of the institution but just after 11 months at the end of my 1st year I got married.
To this boy, I was engaged to, at the age of 15. He was my first cousin. I still remember, that back then from the senior batch a few girls came looking for me, saying:
“Oh ! We heard you are getting married”
With tears in my eyes I said, “Yes! but I don’t want to leave my studies in between.”
But as a young girl and a loving, obedient child, I felt that I should go down the path my parents had choose for me.I got married and moved to another city, to live with my In-laws. Would you believe that, within a few weeks I got to know that my mother-in-law who was my own aunt didn’t like me at all. I don’t know why.
She didn’t allow my husband to properly spend time with me in ways that a husband should.
It was a terribly difficult time and then I had a baby girl when I was about 18. My Mother-in-law took my daughter with her from the hospital and said to my mother , “Aap apni Beti lai jayein Hum apni lai jatey hain.”
(You take your daughter, we’ll take ours)
But my granny was alive at that time so she played the part in making things easier for me and handling the situation wisely.
Time flied by and I had a beautiful son and it was 8 years into my marriage. In-spite of all the hurdles I stood by my husband who never raised a voice of injustice on me or our family. There were moments when I was shattered but I rebuilt myself , thinking that my parents have chosen this for me and I had to give my everything to save this marriage and look after the children .
But back in 2009 , I got to know that my husband had another woman in his life, whom he was living with for one and a half year as a live-in Extramarital affair . When his parents got to know they advised him not to do Zina (Adultery) and instead marry her thus making it Halal (Legal).
So with their consent he married her, took her on Umarah to Mecca and later on a honeymoon. His parents said to me during his absence that he is going to set up new business in Dubai, but when I got to know the whole situation , I demanded a divorce for either one of us, the two women in his life , as I did not want to share my husband. As expected, they asked me to accept the situation and instead of listening to me they said I should compromise my demands.
He tried his best to hide this all. But Allah exposed his well-kept secret to me after which I, along with my two kids started living separately wiith my parents.
He refused to give me divorce even on my insistence.
It took exactly 7 years for my father to understand that I didn’t want to live with him anymore.
I took my Khul’a (Divorce) from court .
I started studying at Beaconhouse National University and It took 8 years for people to accept that I could live my life by walking on the path which I chose for myself.
Now I am an Architect. My parents specially my mom helped me a lot through this journey and for that I am indebted to her.
I am sharing my story because I want to show that in this male dominated society girls can do better without a man who is not capable of protecting his woman and kids.
I chose a path for myself, a path where I can walk with my head high.
Here people preach that only being married is a solution to good life, no it isn’t. Not always.
There is so much more. So much more.
Pictures & Written by Saba Gul
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