Friday, May 31, 2013

"My mother-in-law sexually abused me..."

Mona, 52, Female

A long, long time ago in my past this took place...but I can never forget: 

It wasn't an arranged marriage- maybe thats why from day 1 my relationship with my in-laws was strained. Especially my mother in law. 

The day after my wedding, I was sitting in the car ready to go visit my family - but she came and literally pulled me out. Said I couldn't go see my parents because I was married into their house now. She didn't let me go for days after, eventually I pretended I was going somewhere else and thats how I managed to see my parents. But since the marriage was my decision in the first place, I didn't ever complain to my parents either. It was something I had brought on myself, and I thought that I had to deal with it alone. 

Aside from the emotional abuse, I do believe my mother-in-law sexually abused me too, something I've actually come to realise much later in life. 

When I had children and would breastfeed them, she would watch intently, she would forcefully touch my breasts and comment on how nice they looked and the attractive colour of my nipples, etc. She forbade me to lock my door, and we lived with her in a joint family - so she would barge in whenever she wanted. I was terrified of being alone in the house with her. I complained to my husband but he didn't have the courage to speak out to his mother. So he would just get angry, frustrated and leave the house, leaving me alone to deal with her yet again. Sometimes if i was dressed to go out and wearing makeup, she would pin me against the wall and kiss me, very wetly, on the mouth to smear my lipstick all over my face, and then she would cackle… laugh uncontrollably, getting off on the fear in my eyes. It never went further than that, but that was enough to make sure that I lived in fear of this woman for years. We don't live with her anymore, but my relationship is still strained. This is the fist time I am speaking out about this. I don't even know how many ways it has affected me or my marriage - but I do know that living in fear does not make for a peaceful, happy life. 

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WOW. What. In. The. Fuck. I don't even....know what to say to you Mona. Except I'm glad you're out of this situation, and I'm so terribly sorry it happened to you in the first place. I cannot believe that despite telling your husband, he did nothing knowing that this would probably continue to happen. I can't wrap my mind around that...Or this story really...

And know something, just because you decided who to marry yourself, it certainly didn't mean you needed to suffer through all that alone. People are entitled to make a choice about who they will be spending the rest of their lives with (in fact I don't think there is anyone as qualified to make the choice), sometimes those choices don't work out  - its as simple as that really, your family should be there to support you throughout, regardless of who picked the spouse. Perhaps they would've been had you given them the chance. I'm not a fan of arranged marriage at all, it can easily be a vehicle to oppress women...and sometimes men too. Please, please teach your children to speak out and to never put up with situations that make them even slightly uncomfortable. Teach them that they can talk to you about anything. 

Aside from that I am surprised you're still married to this man, though I recognize it is not so simple to just walk away from a relationship that is abusive or allows abuse to continue. 

My heart goes out to you, thank you for sharing your story and hopefully you inspire someone to speak out for themselves today. 


  1. A really brave woman. Going through all that in silence is something that requires great strength. My heart goes out to her.:(
    and Pakistan gets weirder and weirder :/

  2. Mona, Thank you for sharing this story. It was extremely courageous of you to open up. It is not uncommon for vulnerable young women to be exploited particularly when the power dynamic is so unfair.
    Mother-in-laws can be frightful and difficult emotionally and psychologically. That you were intimidated and scared physically is horrific. No privacy and no peace is unfathomable. One way to break this cycle is to encourage and support our children regardless of their partners and how they are chosen. That you had a love marriage was NO WAY allowing you to be terrorized. Sadly, it also seems your MIL has tonnes of baggage of her own and a lot of unresolved issues. I hope you get the help you need and support from your husband. Take what space and time you need to heal. Wishing you a lot of love and light.

  3. You're very brave to speak out like this. I can't begin to imagine how awful it must have been for you to have to live with this woman. And I agree with Mangos: please let your kids know that they can come to you about ANYTHING. Marriage should never mean that one is no longer one's parents' child. I wish you well.

  4. ona!! ya are a real hero that you faced this brutality alone .. and Ya tried to stop all those miseries but anyhow it didn't stop.. my all love n prayers is with ya. always fight for ur right.
    an advise : never ever show mistrust on ur children n also teach them to speak up against abuse or injustice..
    teach them to say 'No' ... bcus A small word 'No' has a big power to stop miseries of life...
    best wishes .

  5. Mona, you are so brave for speaking up. There are probably many more people who've suffered the same thing and haven't even recognised it for the vile sexual abuse that it was, and hopefully your bravery will help them recognise it and come forward too. Silence is the worst thing a victim can do. You've done the best thing you could do.

  6. That is just so depressing. I feel for you Mona. My heart goes out for you :( May God Bless you - Ameen

  7. So sorry to hear you had to go through this, Mona. You're very brave and courageous to speak up. I hope you heal.

  8. Yes, that took fortitude. although my mother wasn't so sexual in nature, but at least a bit depraved, and at the same time extremely repressed. as adults she had this thing about barging in while we are using the toilet. it didn't matter what you doing, no privacy. she would even barge in on her grandchildren when they were teen-agers, a rather awkward time by itself. she wouldn't even let them close the door, i called her on this bullshit, but to no avail, she didn't see the wierdness that i saw, even though i was raised by her. maybe she was a bit of a coprophiliac, i believe that is the term.

  9. Wow! It only gets weirder and weirder.. though I think you may find this any where and with any one! :( Well done on speaking about this!

    1. Totally agree that this kind of abuse can be found anywhere Sami, but the arranged marriage elements and the fear of asking her family for support... those are very specific to Pakistan....imo...

      But yes the stories get stranger and sadder, but Im glad more and more people are speaking out about it...this is the only way to bring about change.. to not just suffer through it anymore...