A Love Marriage Without the Love

barren landscape

“I, Fatima, am the one who lost everything.”

Everything started on the day Fatima met Hekmat. After that she lost everything. Hekmat was twenty-nine. He deceived her and took everything from her. 

“I chose by my own decision to be engaged to him. I felt it was a love marriage. But Hekmat was a bad man and my family was not in agreement with this marriage. My family said to everyone how if Fatima married Hekmet, she would have to make a choice. ‘It is either your family or Hekmet,’ my family told me. ‘Choose Hekmat and you should forget us all. We will never let you back into our home. We know that one day you will regret marrying him and you will have lost your family because of a man who will eventually leave you.’ ”

Unfortunately, the family’s warning came true.

Fatima did not understand that Hekmat only wanted her for her money. She was from a rich family with servants and a car and driver. He was jobless. She was blind because of love. She left her family behind and went to Hekmat’s house without a wedding party. 

Her husband’s mother was cruel to her from the start. Every day her mother-in-law said to her, “You deceived my son. You are a bad girl because your family did not agree with your marriage but you left them anyway.”

Sometimes Hekmat hit her, saying, “If you love me, give me all your money along with the house that you have.”

Poor Fatima thought that if she gave her house to him it would save her and he would be kind to her. So she gave him her own house and all her money and her gold. Now she has nothing left for herself except for a baby girl. 

Fatima cries but she can’t change anything. Her family didn’t want her back and if she were to leave her husband, the father would claim her daughter. Hekmat tells her she is old and ugly and he brought home a second wife. How can it be possible for a woman to let her husband became friends with another girl right in front of her? Fatima made it possible, and Hekmat’s mother helped. She said to Fatima, “I will allow my son to get engaged to another girl because you are very old.” 

So now they all live together in Fatima’s own house. “If you want to stay in this house, you should become our servant and do all the work for my new wife. If you want to go, you can go alone and leave my daughter here,” Hekmat said to Fatima.

Fatima is regretful of her marriage but her family does not want to support her. She has lost her mother, father, brother, sisters, her house, her money, and now she lives with a terrible man who broke her belief in love.

“I am the one who lost everything,” she says. 

By Leeda

Photo: Shah Marai


  1. Dearest Leeda: There are many men and women in Hollywood, CA, who make their living drafting screenplays for horror stories. Personally, I don’t think anyone in Hollywood could create a worse nightmare for the screen than what has happened to Fatima. Yes, she has her life, but to be so utterly abandoned by her family, and to be so misused by her husband and her family… this cruelty is very hard to fathom, much less bare. Praying for Fatima, her daughter, and for the family members that surround her–may they be filled with lovingkindness, may they choose to love instead of neglect. And if they cannot change, may Fatima find sustenance elsewhere.


  2. Norwan says:

    Leeda jaan !

    Thanks for wrting this story.

    I am deeply sad for Fatima but you know she is not the only woman in our country with such a faith.
    I admire Fatima’s decison for making a choice for her own life, not important that it ended the sad and wrong way. I am thinking will the time come that families will understand and support their young daughters to decide themselves for their future husband or education? I remain disappointed. I wish I could have a research about Afghani husbands, if I could I would show that there is a 0% of honest Afghani husbands.
    May Fatima’s daughter fillful her mothers dreams!


  3. This is a sad story. Very sad. This kind of thing does not only happen Afghanistan. It has also happened with other families who completely disown their daughters or sons for marrying for love, marrying someone of whom the family does not approve.
    But how very sad to lose all the family’s support at the time she most needs it. I fear for her and her daughter. How will they survive?

  4. Dear Leeda,
    This is a double tragedy. The terrible way Fatima’s husband treated her surely reinforced her family’s idea that she shouldn’t be able to marry for love — unless the reason they discouraged the marriage was because they knew he was a bad guy. Either way, it’s a very sad situation and reinforces several themes I’ve read about in other AWWP writers’ work. Thanks for bringing Fatima’s story to light.

  5. Dear Leeda,
    This has the elements of a powerful story. If you expanded it and added details, like some scenes and some descriptions of people and places, it would be even more effective. God is in the details, as they say. Everyone in our fortunate country should read stories like this one!
    Thank you for sharing,

  6. Leeda, This is such a sad unimaginable story for me. I can’t believe how much Fatima has lost. The only thing that she really has left is her daughter and even so she is stuck with a horrible husband and mother in law. It makes me so sad to think that there are so many women around the world in situations like this.

  7. i do not really have alot to say but only
    ” you will never understand an afghan women until you live a lifetime in their shoes, a lifetime of misery, slavery and violation”

  8. Kamilah says:

    This is very nice dear Leeda when you share the facts which are a pain on each Afghan women’s heart. I wish you write more and more, thank you!

  9. dear leeda jan,
    i feel sad for fatima jan, she is indeed in a very bad situation. but i believe that if a chilled is disowned by her or his family then they should know that even if they let them come back they would not be treated any better. they will be piked on, they would be pushed, they would be reminded that they did wrong. they would be treated like a slave and an outsider. they would be shown to people or the member of the family as an example. they will be killed over and over… and eventually will be killed.
    i believe that fatima may be treated badly now by the in-laws but she has a daughter, a hope, a gift from god. she should see her future with her daughter she should make sure that her daughter does not make the same mistake fatima did.
    i always think positive in a negative situation… cause i believe in “God save me from the worser situations.” also the word “Impossible = i’m possible”

  10. Natalie M says:

    The story you have written breaks my heart. But you truly have a talent, your story is very powerful. I feel like you could write more about these stories and you could really let people know what life in Afghanistan can be like. People need to know what actually goes on. I would really enjoy reading more of your stories. Keep it up!

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