The Marriage Castle of Hopes

I was so happy that Abdul Muhammad wanted to marry me. From night to morning and morning to night, I was making plans for a new life with Abdul Muhammad and I was singing songs for myself. I made a castle for myself, with all my hopes and wishes.

In the first days, I didn’t know that Abdul Muhammad had another wife. I grew to understand this by listening to my father and my brother-in-law talk. The first time I heard it, I thought the roof of the sky had descended on my head and destroyed my entire castle of dreams. But I also heard an inconspicuous voice saying to me: you will marry Abdul and will love him.

My father went to Zabol just across the border in Iran with Abdul so he could find out more about Abdul’s family. When my father came back, he was unhappy. My father said, “Abdul is a liar.”

When I heard my father, I was confused. I thought that I’ve lost Abdul forever in my life. I thought by myself and then decided to ask my mother’s advice. The next night I said to my mother, “If I’m not married to Abdul, I will commit suicide.”

I was an innocent lover. I loved his voice, and his voice gave me power. I was afraid that this kind of love could become madness. I thought if he doesn’t marry me, I could not live.

When the promised day came, we married. The first time he took my hand in his hands, I felt the world had given me a gift from God. I wanted to give my love to him and I wanted to sacrifice all my life for him.

Days and nights were spent with him; there was a strong love between us. I loved him from then until later, when someone said to me, “He has another wife.”

I didn’t want to accept this fact and I said, “This is not true.” I thought it was a mistake. My heart beat for him.

Four months of our lives were well spent. During this period Abdul went to his other wife who lived with Abdul’s father’s family in Zabol Province in Iran. They were Afghan refugees in Iran.

I became pregnant. Abdul and I were happy and selected a name for our baby, the name we wanted for our baby when he was born. The name was Masood.

But our happiness did not last long because he beat me, and the baby was aborted. It was a serious blow to my soul. But I had to live.

The days went by and gradually I realized that he was indifferent to me. I still loved him. He would beat me. I especially hated this because my father beat my mother and I had heard the cries of my mother, saying to my father, “Please, don’t beat me.” So my love began to turn to hatred. It turned slowly, but I still blame myself for it.

I became pregnant again, five months after the miscarriage. I didn’t know that I had twins. I was so happy. I had again found happiness in becoming a mother, but this happiness didn’t last long. I had a miscarriage at seven months because Abdul beat me. I was beaten because I went to my uncle’s house without Abdul’s permission.

I was very broken. Abdul went to Iran to bring back his other wife and his father’s family. Abdul had lied to me. He told me he had divorced his wife because he didn’t like her, but this was not true.

After twenty days, Abdul came back from Iran and told me that I should leave my father’s house when I lived with Abdul and I must go to live with his father’s family and his wife. I accepted this.

When I saw his wife, she was really nice and kind. But Abdul was a capricious person. Our new life with his wife and his daughter started. We had two homes, one home was for me, and one home was for his wife, and Abdul spent one night with me and one night with his other wife.

His other wife was pregnant and his baby was born. It was a son and they named him Saeid. His wife went to her mother’s house. She told Abdul that she would not return if I lived there, and that Abdul must divorce me.

Abdul would abuse me and beat me. He would not let me go to my job as a teacher. He would not buy food. I was so hungry some days. During that time the weather was very cold, but he didn’t buy anything to keep me warm. He didn’t let me see my mother and father. But I had hopes for my life and so I loved him.

Three months after Saeid was born, I got pregnant again, but when I told Abdul, he was upset. He beat me and said to me, “I just got married on a whim.” When he told me this I thought even the sky became cloudy and it started to rain. My heart was broken; tears flowed from my eyes. I thought, I will miscarry again because he beats me so much. I had a lot of pain; I spent one week with pain inside. I begged him to take me to the doctor for treatment, but he refused.

In this time Allah opened the gates of the beneficent and sent my father to me. My sister’s child was born and my father came to take me to their home. When my father saw me that time, he was surprised and upset, but he didn’t say anything. He was silent. I wore my veil and I looked at Abdul; I wanted him to tell me, “Come back. I am waiting for you.” He didn’t say anything to me. He was staring silently into my eyes, his way of telling me to come back.

But I was tired of all the sacrifices and love and I no longer wanted to be the kind girl. My kind heart was turned to stone, my love turned to hate. I no longer wanted to go home and live with him because he didn’t like me, he gave me pain and beat me and destroyed my hopes and dreams. My hopes and dreams were like the soil. I thought about this, all the time looking for the right way, and not finding anything but despair. I decided to divorce him. I divorced him when I was seven months pregnant.

Two months later, I had a baby boy and now he is my hope and dream after the hard life with his father. I love him a lot and I want him to be a good person. He is six years old. Now I live with my son and with memories of being with Abdul. I cannot forget him because I innocently loved him. He betrayed me and broke my heart, but I will love him still. I want to be loyal to him, so that the meaning of love will not go away.

By Nasima

Editor’s note: This is the second part of our writer’s autobiographical narrative. The names have been changed for security.  In her first story, our writer told how she was born in a camp for Afghan refugees in Iran. She will continue with her story in future parts. Photo: Salma Zulfiqar/IRIN


Comments

  1. Richelle McClain says:

    Nasima,

    What we think of as love sometimes blinds us. I’m thrilled that you were able to create a life for yourself and your son, despite your turbulent past. That you still have the capacity for love is a testament to the kind of person you are, the essence of being human. Your son is lucky to have such a loving mother.

  2. Dear Nasima,
    You’re so brave to write about your hardship and so strong to have left your husband in order to create a better life for yourself and your son. Thank you for sharing your story.
    Claire

  3. Nasima,
    Salaams I hope that Allah gives you strength and purpose so you can rebuild your life. Quite often we muslim sisters listen and entrust our futures to our parents and husbands. I believe that enough is enough, and we have to empower ourselves and teach ourselves about love and tolerance, and how to live a better, happier, life.
    Jazakallah kher
    Aisha

    • Tammy Churchill says:

      I couldn’t agree more, Aisha.
      Nasima, I hope that someday you will meet someone who respects and appreciates you, and will listen to you instead of getting violent.

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