Sleeping With The Enemy

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Mathumieka Muniandi

The title and topic does not depart from the original novel by Nancy Price. This is a true story. Note; (I’ve changed their names for privacy sake.)

Lolita thought, she had it all. A husband to buy her the new iPhone, wonderful foreign trips in which she can snap 1001 pictures and upload all of them via Facebook to get the Oooohs and Aaaahs and other envious comments from single women like uh ah ME, wonderful children who are like complimentary accessories to her persona ala Victoria Beckham with Baby Harper…but she thought wrong. She led a fake life, but from the eyes of a Facebooker, she had it all.

Lolita’s husband is the King of all conniving toads. He convinced her she’s the crazy one who wasn’t up to her mark as a wife. He brought back the other woman to the house he shares with his wife and children and had sex in front of Lolita. He hit Lolita when questioned. He called her derogatory names. He simply told her to put up with his shit and his throbbing lust for the other woman. In other words, he said “Irentha iredi, Illati podi”, (If you want to stay with me even though I’m a piece of shit, then stay, if you want to leave it’s your loss!)

Now, Lolita is confused. She thought she was God’s gift to Indian men since she’s fair skinned, hails from a good family, beautiful and is a virtuous woman. How in the hell her husband who looks like a toad could say she wasn’t good enough? Simply, because he can and he’s a Toad Face.

Like many Indian women, Lolita wants to save her marriage, but unknown to her; she’s committing sati without the actual demise of Toad Face. She can’t drive, she can’t pay the bills, she doesn’t have a place of her own, she doesn’t know how to bring up her children independently, and thus she needs Toad Face more than he does. As a woman, I can’t help but feel sorry for her, but the thing is, I’ve known women who are wiser and bolder and they have no education, no qualms of showing their middle finger to these kind of toads and they brought up a clan of kids single- handedly. They found no chagrin in doing odd jobs like collecting scrap materials and doing housework at people’s home just so their kids can eat and go to school.

If they could do it at 1950 with literally nothing in their bank account, why women nowadays are circum to giving excuses? Is by owning the latest shit on the market gifted by Toad Face is worth more than your pride as a woman, the respect you deserve as a wife and the love you should be showered as the mother of his children? I don’t think so. If leaving Toad Face means you’ll be a better woman, a much better mother, you might as well be wrong in the eyes of society but your soul is cleansed for doing the right thing.

The reason why I wanted to talk about this topic is because many Indian women out there are leading a pretentious life but are going through hell in real. They are afraid to make decisions and to stick by them. Listen; if the guy you are sleeping with is not nice to you but is nice to a waiter, he is still not a good man. How cliché is this?

Love yourself first, and when you thoroughly do, you can pour that affection to a man who deserves it. Everyone makes mistakes, but when it comes to nail gritting decisions, please do the right thing.

Over 4 million women all over the world are being abused, both mentally and physically and our Indian women are often bullied into respecting the yellow holly thread, instead of letting her live. I’m not saying you should not fight for your marriage or for your relationship; I’m saying fight for what is worth. Always remember that a goal of an abusive man is to break you so that he can feel invincible.
Ok, I came up with my version of what I think is all wrong in a relationship. Maybe this could be your check list.

Signs of you being in relationship with a “Toad Face”:

1. Toad Face gets overtly jealous and possessive: You wear a beautiful saree, your Chinese neighbor compliment’s you, and Toad Face thinks you are sleeping with him.

2. Toad Face controls you demandingly: You must punch card at home by 6pm despite the fact your work finishes at 5.55pm and told you to quit doing things you are good at. IE: Dancing, Art etc …

3. Toad Face is always “RIGHT”, he thinks he is superior: He says things like “It’s my way or the highway”… tell him you rather put your head on the railway tracks. Calling you names in order to make himself better is not OK.

4. Toad Face calls you crazy and stupid: “You cannot breathe, live or even walk without me and my money… Unnake avvalo thairiyama?” (You have that much of guts?)

5. Toad Face has crazy mood swings: He hits you then buys you a Porsche, or at least roses.

6. Actions don’t match words: Toad Face tells you he will never get wasted and “ACCIDENTALLY” smooch another woman. He does it again and again.

7. Toad Face punishes you: He tells you not to talk to him, till he feels like it. When you ask, when will that be? He answers you with a dead pan expression “It could be tomorrow or next year”….

8. Toad Face refuses interventions: His friends or family members begged him to get his priorities right, he thinks he’s doing ok and believes you guys are the crazy ones.

9. Toad Face has no respect for mom, sister and any other women in his life: Your instinct is always right. You will know, from the way he talks and describes women.

10. Toad Face has history: If you really take an effort in finding out about your man, you will know he did the same shit to many others or had “Childhood problems”.

 

Why do this?

For this Face?

So, where are the great men? Where are the men who are like our fathers? Are they going through a crisis of being extinct?

It would be totally unfair to par them against great men, but a good man is a good man. He’ll surely make mistakes, but his mistakes are not the ones damaging you as a woman. He would want to make you a better woman, a wonderful mother and a hottie wife. He sees the freaking light in you, which makes you blush even when you are 70. I’ve seen it happen, and I think it’s possible.

Take your time in finding a good man, if you make the wrong choice, it’s ok you can undo that by teaching him “Who is the Boss”.

In hope that some women will wake up from their coma and more men will treat their women right, this simplified version of my all time favorite poem by Mahakavi Bharathiar is dedicated to all brave, wise, and independent women out there. Not sure about you guys, but I had goose bumps when I first read his brilliant lines many years back.

Acchamillai Acchamillai Achhamenbadhu illaiye,
Ichagathu ullorellam edhirthu nindra podilum,
Acchamillai Acchamillai Achhamenbadhu illaiye,
Tuchamaga enni nammai tooru seidha podhilum,
Acchamillai Acchamillai Achhamenbadhu illaiye,
Pichai vangi unnum valkai petru vita podhinum,
Acchamillai Acchamillai Achhamenbadhu illaiye,
Ichhai konda porulellam ilandhu vita podhinum,
Acchamillai Acchamillai Achhamenbadhu illaiye.

The meaning goes as follows: (this is not the pure aesthetic translation)

Don’t have fear, don’t have fear, fear does not exist,
Even if everyone on earth is set against you,
Don’t have fear, don’t have fear, fear does not exist,
Even when people consider you low and treat you like one,
Don’t have fear, don’t have fear, fear does not exist,
Even when you are reduced to the state of taking alms for living,
Don’t have fear, don’t have fear, fear does not exist,
Even if you have lost all the material possessions you love,
Don’t have fear, don’t have fear, fear does not exist,

P/s: There are laws in Malaysia protecting our women. The Women and Girls protection 1973, Married Women and Children ( Maintenance) Act 1950, Married Women Act 1957, Domestic Violence Act 1994 and many more. Do read up about it and call up the Women’s Aid Organization at +603 7957 5636 / +603 7957 0636 for further details.