Abusive Relationships


Normally when you think of an abusive relationship, what comes to mind immediately is the one between husband and wife where the wife is mentally or physically or both mentally and physically abused by the husband. The reverse is also true. Lot of young couples go through emotional upheavals because of stress in their jobs that they vent their anger on their spouses. There are other abusive relationships, unfortunately even parent/children relationships though not common, do sometimes fall under this category now a days.

Why do people put up with so much crap? Primary reason is the financial dependency, though not always the case. Sometimes it is the fear of the taboo attached with walking out of a marriage. It is also the fear to live alone in a society where a single woman is still considered an easy prey by the men folk especially if she had left her husband. Most of the times it is for the sake of the children.

Abusive men have this Jekyll and Hyde personality. They are sweet and caring when they are sober and extremely cruel when they are drunk. So even those close to a person being abused kind of advise her to stay in the relationship because the man does possess some redeeming qualities, not understanding how torturous her life is when he is drunk, which may be most of the time. Then there are those who are sadistic by nature, or greedy and want the wife’s family to keep providing him financially, or be one of those who doubts the character of his wife. Whatever may be the reason, the person being abused goes through hell every day. 

It is not fair to say that men are not abused by their spouses. There are such cases as well. Men too stay in such relationships if they have kids and and want to provide the kids the care of a father. But I think it is easier for a man to walk out of an abusive relationship unless he really wants to be in that relationship because he is besotted with the woman. Then, he needs counselling and with help he can be redeemed.

Everyone has a breaking point. When they reach that point either they courageously walk out of that relationship or commit suicide. Friends and relatives have a huge role to play in helping such people. Normally battered people have low self esteem. Their mind becomes numb that they cannot even think straight. Those around her/him must watch out for any warning signal that tell they are reaching a breaking point. 

I knew of a lady who used to tell her colleagues at work that her husband was a wonderful man but one fine day committed suicide by self-immolation. The colleagues later came to know that she was abused by her husband which drove her to make that decision. Why was she praising him when he was ill treating her? May be she did not want her well placed colleagues to know that she was in a bad situation. 

Several years ago my family friend, a mother of two young children jumped in front of a speeding train and committed suicide. This happened in Fremont, California. Soon after her marriage she had complained to her parents that she was mentally abused by her husband. She was already pregnant and her family told her that things will become better once she had the baby. But no such miracle happened. She conceived again, but left him and came back to her parents home and refused to go back after her second child birth. The parents were ashamed and sad that their daughter was living away from the husband. The boys parents pressurised the girl’s family to send her back and the father went and dropped her in Fremont with her two young kids. Even before his return flight touched down in his home town the family had received the news that their  girl was no more. The police identified the body by the beautiful nose ring she used to wear. There was nothing else to identify her with. Even as I am writing this tears well up in my eyes as I knew her to be such a sweet little thing. The husband escaped, no issues. He told the police she was going through postpartum depression which probably led her to make that decision and the police bought it. Her family was in India, totally shattered, unable to take any action on the husband and regretting having sent her back even though she had begged for their help. Both the parents and the girl were educated.

Those being abused live in fear even when the abuser is not around, thinking of when he/she will return and resume the abuse. Counselling definitely helps. But the initiative has to be taken and the advice given by the counsellor followed through. Friends and family should be supportive enough to help the abused person find accommodation or/and a job required to stand on their own two feet, when they decide to get out of the relationship. But the hardest part is for the person to make the decision to get out of the relationship because of the fear of the unknown. So long they might have been used to a certain standard of life, the security of an extended family, a social status etc. By walking out of that relationship they will have to forgo all of those things, and that is definitely a very tough call.

I have also seen people who have come out of such abusive relationships successfully. One is my cook. She has single-handedly brought up her three children and three grand children as well (since her first daughter lost her husband at a very young age). All are extremely well placed today and the credit entirely goes to her. She had the guts to walk out of her marriage with three young children and not a penny in her pocket. She supported her family by cooking in houses and weddings. But her mother gave her the required moral support though she was also poor. I know of another battered woman who went on to become a college professor. She escaped from a locked house, much like in the movies. She was beaten up and locked in the house by her husband. She escaped with only her wits to the rescue. She later went on to do her PhD and is now a professor. She was also ably supported by her parents and brother. Even after all what they have gone through I really applaud their indomitable spirit and how they show no malice towards society. 

Support and understanding by family and friends is so important. Parents especially should not think that marriage is the be all and end all for women. Yes, it is tough to end a relationship. But life is so precious and one can accomplish so much in one’s life time with out suffering in the hands of an abusive person. Many who come out of such relationships may not want to enter into another such relationship. They may be marred for life. But at least they can enjoy freedom and peace of mind and eventually happiness in their new life.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. iamkarki
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 06:08:17

    Counselling definitley helps. But the two issues are, making them to undergo and quality counselor in our country.Good post


  2. amas32
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 06:19:35

    Exactly, Karki. Thanks for the comment.


  3. GiRa
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 16:25:18

    It is very tough to be in abusive relationship. Other family members like parents and siblings have to understand the person in trouble and help them. It made me upset to read about what happened to the lady. I can say onething… may god bless us all. we all need it.


  4. amas32
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 02:02:17

    Those of us who have good families must be ever so grateful to God for His blessings. Thank you GiRa


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: