I write my story in the hope that it sends out a message across all Asian communities that daughter in laws should be treated with the utmost love and respect. Where this is not the case and women are suffering in silence I hope my story gives you the strength to take a stand.
I am an educated British born Bangladeshi Muslim who was married in London at the age of 26 to my partner from a similar background in terms of culture, religion and educational background.
I was married for 9 months whereby I lived with inlaws. In the first few months I was treated like a princess, however in the third month everything things took a turn for the worst.
I had found out my husband had lied about his finances and had been in debt for the past 10 years. My mother in law then demanded I give my monthly salary to her which I did not adhere to. Money was taken from me left, right and centre by my husband and in-laws. I was starved and had a strict timetable of when I was allowed to eat incase I became too fat.
My mother in-laws restricted me from going out with friends, family, and even stopped me from spending time with my husband whether that be at home or outside. I was living in a prison whereby my phone calls and messages were checked every day and I had no privacy whatsoever. I would often try to call my mother secretly, I was threatened with divorce if I succeeded.
My husband was a 30 year old man who would often scream and cry like a baby at night and would make up stories to his mother who would then shout, swear and humiliate me infront of an audience. I realised my husband wasn’t stable and in order to conceal this they had rushed me into a marriage and a lavish wedding. I became anorexic and was bullied by my husband, and his mother day in day out for 9 months, as a result I constantly blamed myself.
I was forced to work as a slave at home and restricted from speaking to family friends incase I confided in them. I was ready to die.
I booked a holiday for my husband and I for our anniversary in the hope it would help us reconcile. When my mother in law found out she forced me to cancel the holiday, the deposit I put down was lost and my husband claimed I forced him to go on holiday with me.
I realised my husband was so scared of his mother that he had been raised in a strict surrounding whereby his parents needs were his number 1 priority. I told my husband that its best we move out. On that night my mother inlaw and his parents forced me into their car at 2am and drove me to bham and abandoned me at my dads doorstep.
Three month’s of no contact and my husband divorced me over txt. They kept all my personal belongings, including all my valuables, my car, wedding gold and all my sentimental items. My father initiated a harassment claim against my husband and in laws for mental abuse which was backed up with medical evidence.
I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety and signed off work for over 9 months. The claim has now been served against my ex and former inlaws. The time has arrived for me to voice the pain they subjected me to, but this has come at the cost of battling between my emotions and morals. I have tried to walk away from my harassment case several times as it brings back extremely painful memories.
But I want this to be an opportunity for all those who suffer in silence to take a stand. You will be heard and you have the right to take a stand. Abuse is not just physical but also extends to mental abuse. We live in a day and age where many of us compromise so much, even to the extent of compromising on our sanity. Don’t make the mistake I did. Let my story be the courage you need to start a life you truly deserve.