Handout 17 - Stories

Muna’s Story

My name is Muna. Seeing you all talking about your feelings here, even I felt like speaking up but I feel scared because women are not supposed to be talking like this. But, I have mustered enough courage
to tell you what is in my heart. Like some of you, I got married at an early age. Our world was like that of a king and queen. We had three children and raised them well. My husband used to love me and care for me very deeply. He never beat me and used to give me money when I needed it. If you look at it, I didn’t have any problems. You might think that my happiness seems to be what is bothering me. But, in the past few days it seems that my husband has lost interest in me. Now he doesn’t talk to me lovingly anymore, nor does he sit close to me anymore. It seems that he does not love me anymore. But my heart is still attached to him. I still feel that he should keep loving me and talking to me. But, nothing of this sort happens. I just keep hoping and wishing for this. I don’t even like eating food now. I just don’t feel like doing anything. If I say anything else, I feel scared that you may misunderstand me. I have heard that he is having an affair with another woman. I feel very bad. Maybe by talking about this with you all, my mind and heart may feel less burdened. Now you tell me what should I do? Don’t I have any feelings and desires? What should I do about my mind and heart? What about my body and my needs?

Noor’s Story

My name is Noor. My husband is absolutely crazy. Why do I say crazy? Sometimes he loves me a lot and then sometimes he kicks me away – both with equal passion. When each will get into his head is difficult to tell. When he loves me, I feel like I am the queen and he my king. Then he just keeps loving me and takes very good care of me. Once he got a daily wage job for eight days. When he got his pay he bought a very expensive blouse for me and told me that it is the ‘new style’. At times like this, when he cares for me, I feel a lot of love for him. But after he drinks alcohol his head spins totally. Then he doesn’t see or hear anything and starts fighting over the smallest issue. He also beats me then. If I try to calm him down and explain the situation to him lovingly, he shouts at me saying ‘Don’t touch!’ Then I feel very angry. My neighbours hear this and laugh at us. I feel very embarrassed and ashamed. When he then feels loving towards me in his special manner, he asks me ‘is it party-time now?’ (his code for sex). Although I like it when he asks me this, sometimes in anger I refuse and tell him ‘No’ and he goes away quietly.