June 10, 2021, 05.30 PM
Illustration of weak law enforcement for women. GODELIVA OLIVIAIllustration of weak law enforcement for women.

KOMPAS.com - From what she had known from her friends' married life, Novi always felt that she could also have a white marriage, which is based on sincere affection and pure love.

A few years ago, before her wedding with her fiance, Badu (not the real name), Novi remembered well she then diligently checked the to-do lists from administrative paperwork to the Dangdut singer she booked would not stray on the way to her house or even got the wedding date wrong.

She prepared it so well although it was not a grand wedding reception because as a cook and waitress in a food stall in Bekasi near Jakarta, Novi did not earn much, so did Badu, who earned an even lower salary than hers.

But, she was quite pleased as she was going to get married. More importantly, she was going to marry someone with whom she had a love story for two years.

However, not too long after the wedding, her marriage turned out to be unexpected.

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In the first year of marriage, Badu wanted Novi to find another job that did not involve night shifts and weekends so that Novi could stay at home to take care of the household. In other words, Badu wanted Novi to spend as much time with him as possible. It was for the first time Novi saw the other side of marriage.

“The longer it went on, the more I could be tamed. And I did not know why, I felt even more afraid to refuse," said Novi.

Novi had always known that Badu often hung out with his friends until late at the place close to Badu's old rented house in Bekasi city. One day for the first time, in the middle of dawn, Novi's door was pushed so hard that she woke up only to find her husband lying on the sofa rambling, clutching his dizzy head.

"His breath smelled of bad alcohol," explained Novi.

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