I married for love. Our courtship lasted five years, but during those years I did not know my boyfriend — now my husband — was an alcoholic. He had kept this a secret from me, and was always on his best of behaviour when he was with me.

On our wedding night, he brought out a bottle of wine saying that it was a gift from a friend and to my amazement drank the entire bottle in one go. I let the incident pass thinking that it is one of those moments and that I should not spoil it by nagging.

However, after we started our life together, he would come home completely sozzled every night. I didn’t know in whom to confide because I had married him despite the opposition from my family and friends.

I had dug my grave, and I had to either lie in it or walk out and live happily again.

His drinking cost him his factory and his health. He became terribly sick with typhoid. We lost all our money and I did not know how to survive. I decided to take up a job and became sales representative.

Every morning, I’d get up, cook food, keep medicines on the table for him, and leave.

It was better to live with a sick husband than an alcoholic. After he recovered, I thought he would turn into a new leaf and do something to bring home money. But he did nothing of the kind. On the contrary, he would take money from me, lying to me that he was going to look for a job. And then he’d drown all the money in drinks.

Then one day when I’d had enough, I told him that if he did not do something about his habit, I’d leave him.

I suggested that he accompany me on my travels. I used to travel to remote places and I thought it would be nice if he’d accompany me. I would feel safe and we would also have many hours to enjoy each other’s company. He agreed.

Many times he quarrelled with me because his urge for drinking was very strong. But seeing the kind of attraction I got even when he accompanied me on my rounds, he changed himself completely.

We’ve been together for 12 years today. He stopped drinking a long time ago. I am happy with the thought that I brought my husband back from a life of no return. The equations in our relationship have changed. I carry the responsibility of looking after the house. However, I have come to realise that women are equal to men in all respects. And I am proud to be a woman who has given everything to build a home for my husband and myself.