100 Women: I divorced my husband because he couldn't satisfy me
It was my wedding night; the first time I would be intimate with a man. My head was a blur of images, of dreams and desires from the many conversations with my close friends and the pornographic videos I had watched.
I entered the room, holding a customary glass of milk, keeping my face down. It was all very traditional, just as I had imagined.
But little did I know that a rude shock was awaiting me. Or rather, a huge disappointment.
In my fantasy, I entered our room and my husband embraced me tightly, smothered me with kisses and passionately made love all night. In reality, he had fallen asleep before I came in.
I was 35 and I was a virgin. This felt like a painful rejection.
#HerChoice is a series of true life-stories of 12 Indian women. These accounts challenge and broaden the idea of the "modern Indian woman" - her life choices, aspirations, priorities and desires.
During my college days and at my workplace, I saw many girls and boys striking deep friendships. They'd rest their head on their partner's shoulder, walk past holding hands and I'd feel jealous of them.
Shouldn't I desire such a companion in my life too?
I had a big family of four brothers, one sister and older parents, yet I felt alone all the time.
All my siblings were married and had their own families. Sometimes I wondered if they even cared that I was getting old and remained single.
My heart ached for love and desire, but was surrounded by loneliness.
At times it felt that all of this was just because I am fat.
Do men hate fat women? Is my weight the reason for my family not being able to find me a match for marriage? Would I remain single forever? Would I ever lose my virginity? The questions jostled in my mind all the time.
Finally, when I turned 35, a man in his early 40s came forward to marry me.
During our engagement, I shared all my feelings with him but he didn't pay attention nor respond. He seemed to be nervous and would sit quietly, eyes facing the ground and merely shake his head.
I thought it was because men are more shy than women these days and that my fiance was no exception.
But my wedding night confused me and I didn't know why he behaved that way.
When I asked next morning, he said he wasn't well.
Nothing changed. Our second, third and numerous more nights were just the same.
I told my mother-in-law and she defended him: "He is a shy person who has always hesitated talking to girls, he studied in a boy's school and has no sister or even friends of the opposite gender," she said.
Though this explanation gave me a sense of temporary relief, I couldn't stop thinking about it.
All my expectations, dreams and desires were getting broken day by day.
It wasn't only sex I was uneasy about; he hardly spoke to me, he never touched me, nor held my hand.
If a woman even slightly adjusts her dress men ogle at her but when I'd undress at night my husband would avoid even glancing at me.
Was my weight the reason? Was he pressured into marrying me?
I didn't know who to talk to and my family were under the illusion that I was happy with my new life. I needed to find a solution.
I went into his room and locked the door and he almost jumped from his bed.
"Don't you like me?" I asked him. "We haven't been intimate once and you have never expressed your feelings in words either, what is your problem?"
"I don't have any problem," he said.
I became bold and went closer to touch his penis.
I had imagined that my stimulation would increase the size but I was hugely disappointed when I found it to be too small.
I was very confused whether this was the real size of a penis? Was what I had seen in pornographic videos enhanced with graphics?
I didn't know who to ask and I felt very shy.
Just like a woman's beauty is judged by men, why couldn't I judge my husband's physical attributes? Why was it wrong for me to have some expectations of him?
I began to understand that he was impotent and that doctors had told him this before we got married but he and his parents had kept me in the dark.
Now that I knew the truth, he felt ashamed, but he didn't apologise.
Society always amplifies every small mistake that a woman makes but if the man is at fault, even then the woman is the one who is blamed.
"Sex alone is not important for life, why don't you opt for adoption?" my relatives asked me.
My husband's family begged, "If people find out, it will shame all of us."
My family reminded me: "This is your fate."
But it was my husband whose words hurt the most.
"You can do whatever you like, sleep with whomsoever you wish, I won't bother you or reveal this to anybody," he said.
"If you have a child by someone else, I'm ready to give him my name".
No woman should ever hear such horrible, heartless ideas from her husband. He was a cheater and he was asking me to do this to save his and his family's honour.
He fell to my feet and cried, "Please don't tell anyone and don't divorce me either."
I couldn't imagine doing what he had suggested, which only left me with the option of either leaving him or giving up my sexual desires, and settling for companionship.
Finally, my feelings won. I left my so-called husband's house.
My parents didn't accept me but with the help of my friends, I joined a ladies' hostel and found a job.
I started getting my life back on track, and filed for divorce.
My husband's family was shameless and they accused me of adultery to hide the real reason behind our marriage breaking down.
I fought back and arranged for medical examination. It took three years but finally I was able to get a divorce from him.
It felt like being born again.
Now, I'm in my early 40s and I'm still a virgin.
In the past few years, I've been approached by many men. They assume that I left my husband only because I was not satisfied sexually and so sex is all they want from me.
This is such a wrong and narrow view of me and I stay away from these men.
I have desires, dreams and feelings but I want to express them only to the man who loves me, cares for me, understands my feelings and will be with me for life.
I'm still waiting for that man.
Until then I satisfy myself by having private conversations with my friends about their sexual life.
Whenever I think about sex, websites are my best friends.
There is no dearth of people who judge me for what I have done. I hope they'd understand that women are not lifeless objects; even they have many feelings.
This is a true life-story of a woman who lives in southern India as told to BBC reporter Aishwarya Ravishankar. The woman's identity has been kept anonymous on request.
Have you been affected by this story and would like to find out more information on the causes and treatments available for impotency? There is more information about erectile dysfunction here.
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