“Prostitution in The Name of An Arranged Marriage.” Deepika’s Story

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Below is a heart-rending life story from one of our readers, Deepika. I thank her on behalf of all of you for sharing it with us.

I had an arranged marriage five years ago. We had a nine-month long period of courtship.

Falling in love

It bears mentioning here that through most of my twenties, I’d been in a relationship with my best friend from college.

The relationship was great in every other respect, except that my “boyfriend” and I could not agree on issues of children and our careers.

He expected me to put my career on hold and become the standard IT spouse. I wanted children, he didn’t. No room for negotiations.

Long story short, we broke up months before our wedding. I was heart-broken. I had never considered a future without him. He’d been an integral part of my life since college.

Falling out

I felt as I was missing a limb after we broke up. Did I mention that we belonged to different communities and castes?

It had taken us three years to get my parents’ approval. Yet, here we were, unable to get past the issue of children.

“What kind of man doesn’t want children?” My parents exclaimed in utter bewilderment.

Anyway, we broke up and I moved back to live with my parents. I couldn’t bear living alone; I was completely devastated. I had lost my best friend and not just a boyfriend.

Long story short, I took two years to recover emotionally, and at 29, I was past my shelf life. I created profiles on the matrimonial websites, hoping to meet someone I’d begin to like.

I met men in their 30s who were either looking for a quick fling or men who just wanted to get married. Anyone would do.

After a couple of years of countless dead-ends, I was getting desperate. My clock was ticking loudly and I had always wanted kids.

An arranged marriage?

At the age of 32, I was looking squarely at a childless future. My parents suggested the arranged marriage route.

arranged marriagePhoto by Mr. Seb

I had always been against arranged marriages. I have two aunts who had terrible, abusive arranged marriages. I didn’t want to end up like them. Yet I wanted children, and there wasn’t enough time to build a slow, gradual relationship.

It was out of my desperation that I agreed to meet a prospect. He was extremely well-educated, with a PhD in engineering from a top British university. He was very successful professionally and came from a similar socio-economic background.


After checking for “hygiene” factors, we decided to get married. While I wasn’t attracted to him sexually, I hoped to develop some kind of affection for him over time.

The arranged marriages around me lacked passion. But they seemed to have a time-tested, easy bond of familiarity around them. Much like you and your favourite, worn-out cotton pajamas.

Before marriage, I’d once asked him why he was always on edge, tightly wound up and fiercely on his guard. He’d told me he suffered from social anxiety, that it took him some time to let his guard down. He was shy, he told me. “Give me time,” he said.

Is that what it looks like?

Reality struck the day after our wedding day. The measured, soft-spoken man I had married morphed into a critical, severely controlling, chronically suspicious, angry and hostile stranger.

Nothing I did pleased him. Every action, gesture or word was criticised harshly.

I also discovered that his closeness to his mother and sister bordered on the abnormal.

Our marriage didn’t have two people in it, it had four people. “You’re not married only to me,” he said, “You’re married to my family”. I asked him, “Does it mean that all of us should have sex with each other?” The absurdity of it made no sense.

Every intimate detail of our marriage, including our failure to consummate the marriage, was discussed with his mother and sister.

A bit of friendly motherhood advice

My mother-in-law called my mother and said to her, “Your daughter won’t sleep with my son. Haven’t you taught her the duties of a wife?”

In that family, sex between husband and wife was reduced to an entitlement, a privilege, a right.

Sex was something you did, in darkness, silently, quickly, without affection, without regard for each other, without emotion. Prostitution in the name of marriage.

arranged marriagePhoto by Johan B. Lindega

That was my marriage. An impersonal transaction based on power and privilege. No warmth. No empathy.

No humanity.

A joyless, loveless, humourless meeting of bodies, but not of hearts or minds.

Oh no, all arranged marriages are not like that.

In conclusion

Long story short (OK, not so short). My only advice to young women is: DO NOT marry a man for his education, bank balance or family background. You will wake up every day next to this person.

For two years, I’d wake up next to my ex-husband and want to weep.

I’d married a PhD, a man who made a tidy sum, but who had no empathy, no capacity to feel joy or love. I’d married an emotional void. A repressed man who could feel no emotion but anger.

Compatibility is elusive, but critical to the success of a marriage. That shared laugh, that quick squeeze of the hand, that familiarity, trust and understanding is extremely important.

Be careful who you marry.

It’s the biggest decision of your life.

16 thoughts on ““Prostitution in The Name of An Arranged Marriage.” Deepika’s Story”

  1. I am Tamil muslim guy, Even though I am a muslim I didnt believe in god. Due to some bad experience which i noticed in the past, I had very bad opinion about Marriage and girls. Frankly speaking I was afraid of marriage in a thinking that I may lost my freedom and priorities. I have a lot of friends and I value my family and friends in the same level. I am so attached to my family too. I am working in a MNC and earns a above average remuneration . My parents are compelling me for a marriage for last 3 years and i was just ignoring them by one or the other way. But things started to change when all my close friends got married and i was left alone. I started to feel the loneliness.

    So finally I decided to marry and convey the same to my parents. they were very happy. But I didnt know that is going to be a turning point in my life. My parents were seeing proposals and i was on a confusion that whether the girl who is gonna come into my life will sync with me. I dont know how it happened , but I started to feel a special bond to one gal who i know closely for sometime. she is a very practical gal who loves her family as like me. there are lot similarities between me and her. but she is very spiritual. And she knew in and out of me.

    My confusion level raised to its peak. I was sure that i already started loving her. but the problem is she is a malayali hindu girl now settled in gujarath. i controlled my self but failed and proposed her one day. she accepted my proposal after long thinking. we discussed regarding all aspect like the problem we have to face after marriage. And she is very clear that she wont covert to islam and i too support her in the same.

    Now both of us took this matter to our parents and the fisrt reaction they showed was a big shock. they didnt expect this from both of us. I understand the concern because we both were given all the freedom in our respective house. But I am sure she is my best match and I cant adjust my life with another person which is equall to ruining the life. There main issue is the religion. Her parents have very bad impression about muslims and my parents have the same impression on gujarath hindus. I dont know what to do. the fuel in the fire is a same kind of incidence happened in my familytwo decades back and my family didnt accept them till date.

    we both are very strong that we will marry with our families blessing. or else to be single. atleast that ll melt their heart some day and give us a life . but both family are silent and they are pretending like we had told nothing important. we both are in high mental depression coz we both cant share this even with our friends. when i tried to share it, my friends are laughing at high note that I am doing prank with them. No body is ready to believe that I am loving a gal.

    Kindly give us some ideas how to convice our parents as it a interstate inter religious relationship.

      1. What is brave in that? She was not happy with a marriage so she went out (probably with decent alimony).

        It would have been brave if she belonged to very poor background and married against her wish. She was very independent and educated, belonged to probably a very well off family. It was her choice to marry and her choice to exit. There is nothing brave in it.

        Do you even consider it must have been a very devastating experience for her ex husband as well? Marriage and divorce are big events in the lives of husbands as well. Specailly the divorce.

        Please stop gloryifying actions of females.

  2. A very touching story….

    Sorry to change the topic but im facing a weird problem. I’m in second year engg, I’m from Kerala. But I’m studying in Patna. In kerala, I have been in relationships and also have had friends among girls. But since I came here, I have not been able to really even talk to a girl properly. I tried talking to a girl and after a couple of days of casual and very normal conversations, she started being extremely rude, Finally I stopped talking. Later on I came to know that the girl believed that I was in love with her, that too after just 3 days of knowing her. After that incident, 6 months ago, I have not talked to any girl here, except for asking important notes or something. I just wanna know, how to be just friends with a girl, and not give any wrong vibes..

  3. A very touching story the only good thing is that you are not now with that jerk. I too feel very strongly about children. Not wanting to appear as insensitive or rude but still, you said you were in relationship with your first bf since college then I am sure you should have known his life priorities by the time you were 24, you should have had a serious talk with him. I had one with mine he didn’t want to get married, now he has a wife and a child. Chances are your bf to used “no-child” thing just to break up with you. A lot of pigs are like that. It revolves around chauvinist nature of a lot of Indian guys who want modern open minded gf but a “sati savitri” wife.

  4. Somehow, arranged marriages are bad only for women.

    Men always have very good arranged marriages. Even if they don’t, they are supposed to make them good. It’s their responsibility.
    But poor women become brave only when they break the marriage.
    Atleast, that’s what your blog on relationship convey.

    1. You are totally wrong on that thought .
      Suppose you get a girl who is doing just like this guy did to poor girl?
      Marriages will only succeed if both equally dedicated and contribute towards their marriage and care for the person.

  5. This is what happens when people marry in their thirties, both of the spouses are too rigid to change themselves.

    Moreover I think the author was trying to search her boyfriend in her husband without understanding that both of them were different individuals. I am currently in a relatioship where my girlfrind would not let a day pass without comapring me to her many exes. But I am a man I am supposed to make her happy.

    It was as much as her fault to marry him without forming a intimate bond. All men expect to have sex with their wives. It’s the reason most of us want to marry. It’s not prostitution. She has unnecessarily demonized a man without letting us know his point of view.

  6. Well i find Deepika’s life a nightmare indeed….however let me tell u my own..I m 35 and looking…with an average income and decent lifestyle…wid below average looks…and i find difficult to digest why don’t we learn from oder’s mistake un till we make our own and then learn…as Deepika said a girl shud not marry a man for all money has, how well read he is, but instead go for values….but let me tell u d bitr truth of life…i find myself person who value love d most, ….had it been d case if i had proposed her (Deepti) for marriage wid my short list of assets and average life but a loving one , she wud have declined me in first look…and it’s not surprising at all…everybody including me fall for false looks, we don’t peep in heart, we judge a person by his assets..material assets…big car, big education, bit bunglaw…who cares for emotions…love..that’s all d talking …we are not genuine…we nvr profess what we believe…we carry two faces….so why to cry for d consequence….will in near future can i expect smone who wud take me as i am wid all my heart and not wid what i hav? looks like fairy tale

  7. sex is something that u did vith ur boyfriend not husband and husband are equivalent to post retirement remunerations .enjoy vat u deserve truly.

  8. Stop playing the victim card. So why did you marry if you don’t like him in the first place.So you want to have kids but you don’t want to have sex.Females like you shouldn’t marry

  9. I am simply spell bound…Don’t know what should I tell. How can a person be so rude? does marriage means only compromise for girls…Then its better not to marry at all….

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