She married young for family’s honor | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Dear Emily,

I should not have gotten married for getting pregnant very young even if it meant  shaming my family’s honor. But this was in the early ’60s and it was a different time.

I went to the extravagant debut of my classmate and the escort she provided for me was a student in this exclusive boys’ school. And because he came from a good family, my parents allowed me to go with him without a chaperone. I was raped by this seemingly exemplary boy.

There was a lot of finger-pointing when I got pregnant, but the parents of the debutante resolved the scandal by bringing both our parents together. We got married abroad to quiet everything down and when we came back after I had given birth, his parents installed us in one of their homes.

It was a big mistake from the start. I gave birth to a baby girl (another mistake—being rich Chinese, they wanted a boy). I hardly saw my husband early on. His father groomed him to take over the business and they were constantly together, traveling.

It took its toll on us. Years on, I heard of a mistress tucked away somewhere with his kids. Every confrontation just made him shower me with jewelry and items I didn’t need. I went back to school, got my masters and co-founded an NGO.

It took us 24 years to say enough to this sham marriage and go our separate ways. He finally went to live openly with this mistress and their three children. My adult daughter pursued her own life.

Moral of the story? Times have changed and women now have more freedom to steer their own lives however they wish—stay single, be a single mother, live together with a boyfriend or girlfriend, whatever.

I wish I were born a little later to have enjoyed the freedom experienced by these young folk. They are more assertive and won’t be pushed by convention, unlike during my suffocating time. They own their mistakes. Marriage is not anymore an option for many.—Born Too Soon

One can only commiserate with what you’ve experienced.  You were young then and fed to the wolves much too soon without knowing any tools of defense, yet. Yes, you were born too soon and didn’t have a say as to the cards you were dealt with.  Such is life and you can only grin and bear it.

Stay positive and secure in the knowledge that you’ve hurdled the most difficult  aspects of your life. Hopefully, the best and interesting chapters are yet to come which, fortunately, you must already be so ready for.

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