I settled for someone who wasn't the biggest jerk – Hope


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By Leah Carey. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Hope is trapped in a sexually repressive, emotionally abusive marriage shaped by the patriarchal traditions and relationship culture of her country of origin. With awareness comes healing, and she hopes to spread the message to other women that they are allowed to speak up, deserving of basic decency, and even worthy of real love.

Hope is a 38-year-old cisgender woman. She describes herself as Pakistani, Sunni Muslim, straight, married, and monogamous. She deals with polycystic ovarian syndrome and describes her body as “fluffy”.

Bookmark moments:

  • 4:56 - Hope’s first memory of sexual pleasure is, in fact, quite recent. She grew up in a conservative family and didn’t think of herself as sexual aside from knowing she was straight due to “deep crushes” on boys.
  • 9:57 - Conversations around sex during her teen years in Pakistan were accidental and minimal aside from a biology lesson in school, which was delivered by a no-nonsense chemistry teacher.
  • 15:07 - Hope’s first strong experience of sexual pull at age 18 in college is distressing to her.
  • 18:39 - Hope talks about being a Sunni Muslim in Pakistan and the impact that has on what sexuality looks like in culture.
  • 24:45 - Arranged marriages and matchmaking under patriarchal culture set a perfect table for relationships with toxic power dynamics, emotional repression, and lack of fulfilment.
  • 32:47 - Hope describes the matchmaking experience in Pakistan.
  • 35:40 - Hope meets her husband. His mother has a history of working outside the home; this is a surprise and a boon. The match is difficult though, and women do not speak up. She finds herself trapped raising children and lacking the financial independence to leave.
  • 41:30 - Hope opens up about the sex in her marriage: awkward and painful. She learned from books, he learned from porn.
  • 46:15 - She has only recently learned about female pleasure by exploring masturbation to release her pent-up desire. It’s also a step towards self-healing.
  • 50:00 - Hope talks about the future. She does not foresee another relationship, she just wishes for peace.
  • 53:13 - She shares how she envisions a more open dialogue with her own children around sex and relationships, breaking a cultural and generational pattern of toxicity.


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Host / Producer – Leah Carey (email) Audio Editor – Gretchen Kilby Administrative Support - Lara O'Connor, Maria Franco

Transcript creation – Jan Acielo Music – Nazar Rybak

130 episodes