I was born over here to a Christian family from a small sect. My marriage was arranged and I (stupidly) consented.
I hated her at first. My parents chose her on looks, which admittedly she is very beautiful. But, they didn’t pick on any other criteria. My wife (whom I’ve come to love dearly) had never left her home region; spoke only her native tongue (which I speak like an 8 year old) and had been groomed for marriage since she was young. She couldn’t carry-on a conversation. She hadn’t read a book in 10 years; she had no interests, she was just always present.
I fucking hated her. She knew it, too.
Then she got sick. Suddenly, I had to look after her. It was terrible – she was in/out of hospital for months; at one point, she was in the ICU. Once out, and home, she had to recuperate for months. Her parents weren’t going to come, so I was left to do everything. I was 27 years old, wiping my wife’s bottom, shaving her armpits and washing her hair. I was so angry that I was in the situation, but realized that she was getting the worst of it.
As she got better, she would do things for herself and would do little things to ‘thank me’, she would buy me little things; she would do nice things for me. It made me feel terrible, that I hated this poor woman and she was there doing nice things for me.
So, we ‘started dating’ and I taught her about life over here. That’s what saved us. We grew to respect one another, then because of the dating, we slowly fell in love. But it was a long process and had it not been for her illness, I’m not sure what would have happened.