Sunday, February 14, 2010

Abusive relationships.

I've been tagged by Suranga to participate in the International women's day contest held by Indus Ladies.
Please click on the graphic on the left for details.

The following is my entry under the category:"Relationship Issues". Happy reading.

Abusive relationships

Any relationship is difficult to define but an abusive one between a man and woman has baffled those who view it from outside. What is it that allows a woman to remain in an abusive relationship is difficult to explain let alone justify.

J was the first born to affluent parents. Her father was a practicing lawyer and her mother was a home - maker. As a child she was a little charm and everyone would want to carry her around. She studied in a reputed school in town and though not a bright spark she was not a dull head either. She was an average student who managed to pass in all subjects. She was however inclined towards cultural activities and regularly participated in music contests and the like. Seeing her interest in learning formal music her parents engaged a tutor to teach her Hindustani classical music. It was then that trouble began.

To cut a long story short she eloped with her music teacher when she was barely 16 only to realize that he was not the prince charming that she took him to be. He was addicted to alcohol and barely earned enough to make ends meet. She was around 18 years of age when her daughter was born and things became worse. Being regularly beaten up for money from her parents she would have no option but to approach them just to save herself. Her parents urged her to leave him and come home with her daughter and to pursue her studies. She initially resisted the idea of leaving her husband but finally relented. She was enrolled in a local college which though not the best was close to her home. She had by now lost her self - confidence as well as self esteem and was a mere shadow of her former self. She however managed to pass the first and second year of her degree course when her husband came begging for forgiveness. He pleaded with her, claimed that he loved her dearly and would commit suicide if she did not agree to accompany him to their house. He promised to look after her and their daughter. Her parents said that she was free to go with him if she wanted to but not before finishing college and obtaining a degree. There was a tussle between her head and heart and the latter won. She went away with him a second time without wishing her parents goodbye.

The beatings and abuse that had earlier become part of her life resumed and the husband had now become a drug abuser as well. He actually needed money to buy drugs and what better way to obtain it than to beat up his wife and sending her crawling to her parents for it! This time around he had acquired a mistress who added fuel to the fire by regularly complaining about her to the husband who in his drunken stupor would beat her up with even more vehemence. She had no option but to approach her parents once again who were wise enough to insist on a divorce as conditional to her being allowed to return to them. The girl is back and after a break of three years plans to finish college and take up a job. However, the possibility of her ex husband influencing her and luring her back cannot be ruled out.

What makes a woman put up with an abusive relationship? Is it love alone or is there a fear factor involved? Is divorce a solution?

Education and financial independence can address the problem to some extent but the real solution comes from within. One cannot compromise on one’s dignity and self respect. Loving a person immensely is fine but allowing him/her to take advantage of the situation and abuse one is quite another matter. The line between compromise and adjustment is thin but it is there all the same. One just needs to identify it.

I tag Usha, Eve's lung and apu and invite them to participate in the IWD contest.


Smi said...

"The line between compromise and adjustment is thin but it is there all the same. One just needs to identify it."

Well said, HHG. That was a touching post. And yes, although I think I might be blogging about one of these topics and entering the contest myself, I will still be rooting for you.
Go HHG!:)

Sumana said...

After reading your post and another blogger's a couple of days back, I too keep wondering the same. I have the similar questions. What makes one take that hasty decision to enter and exit and again to re-enter such abusive relationships? Sometimes, it must just be innocence or call it ignorance.
Also there is a rather educated category of women who take in verbal abuse, sarcasm and those kind. I know of one friend and really feel sorry.

Hip Grandma said...

smi:thanks. Don't waste your vote on me. The luke warm response to this post says it all. :-((. i don't even expect to get shortlisted. Best of luck to you. Do let me know if you send in your entry.

sumana:There is a strange psychological phenomenon (i forget the name, but I'll check it out) which makes the victim so insecure that he/she would rather suffer at the hands of the abuser than walk out. Verbal abuse is worse than physical because it attacks the mind rather than the body.

Alapana said...

My mom suffered for 16 years, well,when it started, she was a young bride, from a small village, educated but naive and then came the siblings who are not yet married, so basically "log kya kahenge" aur mera kya hoga and then we came along, so she says she couldn decide alone, she wanted us to have both parents as a guide to life and well, me and brother chose only her,today after 16yrs of her decision to walk out she says we gave her the strength to walk away and apply for the divorce and yes, for her, divorce was a right choice.:)

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

Awesome post and it is so painful to hear about the sixteen year old girl's story. It was so touching. Young people make hasty decisions and do not have the courage to repent logically so they take their lives or turn to drugs or dope or whatever. I think our movies have given them these wrong ideas to a huge extent but we need to create more awareness by talking about these issues just as you have done here.

Well done, and thanks for sharing this with us.

Uma said...

I've always wondered how some women survived abusive relationships.. I used to attribute it to the fact that some of them are not educated and employed and hence they feel helpless, but that doesn't explain why some well educated, working women also put up with it...
Good post!

PNA said...

Have wondered many a time and never found a satisfying answer as to why the woman never calls it quits... She thinks of a lot of ppl like the society, family and children! maybe, but children growing up in such an abusive environment are also impaired in some unseen way! Many women in such relations don't realise this and many parents who quarrel don't realise this either...
Me thinks it is the society at large, because until the woman coming out of marriage has a proper support system to hold her on at least for a while, she is lost and the society does not do anything to help her in anyway!!

Sad, the way we are lives are shaped in the institutions and associations we enter.

Loved the post, first time will come by too:)


Hip Grandma said...

Alapana:Yes divorce has freed your mother of the shackles called marriage but it was not divorce alone. The support of her children must have given her a lot of confidence. I am writing a second part to this post. will put it up soon.

Swapna:Teenagers are definitely vulnerable to the rubbish that is shown in movies and tele serials. The problem is that they are unable to rectify the situation even if they want to.

Uma:Education or the lack of it has nothing to do with subjecting one to ill treatment. It is lack of confidence as well as the tuning of one's mind that 'men are like that only' that makes women take it in one's stride.

PNA:welcome here. there are many aspects to be considered and the most important is the fear of 'what people would say'. It is not easy to go against the tide particularly when society tends to blame women all the time even when it is not her fault.

turmericnspice said...

Love your blog name!
Very nice write up !

Hip Grandma said...

Turmericnspice:Thank you.Your entry was good too.Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

it maybe a compromise but woman never loses hope when luv is concerned..

Anonymous said...

i was in an abusive relationship for almost 20 yrs. if it was nt physical it was mental. i was taunted by family and friends alike for sticking on. i did it for the sake of the children and also to make my husband pay for all the educational expenses. yea i do understand when women cant leave their husbands. morning after he come crawling begging for forgiveness. he is dead now and guess what i am really leading a great life.

Anonymous said...

If you ask why women live in those abusive relationships??

Its because, we are emotional, sentimental and become blind and give it the term called LOVE.

Our brain knows that we are doing wrong, that we have to get out of it or put a stop to it or take some action on it..but our heart keeps telling just give it one more chance...we remember all the good times we had, and take several years of abuse (while reminding ourselves of hardly those handful good moments...)

Any women who is being abused , If you ask her whats making her be in the relationship, they would find several reasons , they tune their brain that because of those several reasons they are living with this abusive husband, however they too know that none of those reasons are really true!

The basic reason why they live in such hell is HOPE. Hoping that this man who had hurt her would some day realise and would treat her with more love than ever...But this hope always ends in once an abuser...always an abuser..they wont change..

The next reason is..FEAR...fear of unknown..fear of how to start a new life...fear of not knowing where to start the life to pick up those broken pieces...fear of facing all those relatives, friends, parents, neighbours, colleagues to whom you proudly announced that you were in love, your husband loves you more than anything ever...that your husband is one of the best human would we tell all these people that we were wrong??? its like accepting we keep fighting...fighting to show and prove that our decision of marrying this guy was right! and that he is a good person...(but we do know in our heart we made a mistake..but our own self wants to deny this mistake and hopes and prays every night to make our dream come true..i.e to turn this monsterous husband into a loving human being..

Most of the women who live in these abusive relationships have no self confidence or self esteem. I have seen the most courageous girls turning into mice and who are scared for anything and everything once they were separated from this abuser. Its hard for them to trust anyone again. They become very bitter towards anyone who is trying to shower their love on them because they dont know anymore what is love really.

Now coming to whether Divorce is the solution or not...

There is no solution in this world to take out the pain of a woman who is in, and who is out of this abusive relationship. If some man could really make them beleive himm and get her out of her own past self thats when she can come back into this world..and lucky are such girls..and many women are scared and beleive that all men would be like these abusers and wouldnt want to let go off one...just to find and tie the knot with another...(again as I said, beleiving in another person is very difficult for women who are in and who are out of these abusive relationships)

Lucy Bothelo said...

I would also like to add, that it is done because of the child involved. Not to disturb the peaceful world of the child. An educated woman, who would most probably married this guy against their wishes would not want them to know the pain she's going through just to hear," I told you so from them". And the day the child grows up and does not need the mother as before, it is too late. A sincere prayer for all the abused women, who can't get out of that painful relationship.

Hip Grandma said...

sneha:Most people put up with an abusive relationship on account of socity and wagging tongues. But this should stop to be the reason in this age of Science and technology and encouraging of women empowerment.

anon:Hope is all one has when in an abusive relationship. i've heard of men softening towards their wives after reaching the evening of their lives. in such cases the wait was perhaps worth it. but such instances are rare and there is no way of looking into the future.

anon:i know of other cases too where women felt relieved after the death of an abusive partner. the hell one goes through makes
them heave a sigh of relief when it is over. Sometimes this is the only solution.Good luck to you.I hope you have a peaceful life from now on.

anon:I do agree that the emotiona and sentimental side of one's self keeps forgiving the abuser and hoping for better times. There is nothing wrong in trying. But for how long? This can be decided only by the victim.It is easy for me to preach. i do understand that it is difficult for those in it to take a stand and say no more of it.

Lucy:welcome here. Is it not better to take the "i told you so" from parents in one's stride and seek their help rather than suffer in silence. People will talk. They always do. But life has to go on. Again the line between ego and self respect gets blurred and one is not able to think straight.

Unknown said...

women: people say we are the weeker sex, blah blah blah! i say we are hypocrites. on one hand we are fighting for equality on the other side we want to be sympathized with when we hear stories like this.....
i am a feminist and one who would would stand for women unconditionally.
but what shocks me is the lack of judgement in women, at sixteen if you can elope with your teacher not thinking of the repercussions. i don't think you know the true meaning of a woman.
when i say this i mean each of us women need to be aware of our inner potential, we are capable of being daughters, wife, mother. not just some female of being beaten around with.
realise the unconditional potential with which our parents love us and stand by us. she went the second time without telling them she had no business coming back to them for help.
she should have separated from her husband and done something to make a living, atleast she she should have left her daughter with her parents so she could be taken care of..
LOVE:I don't think any one can be beaten up in the name of love, there is no point in life when a woman HAS to compromise.
if we really know our potential we should know we are capable of RECLAIMING our life as and when we realize its all gone wrong.
so this is me signing off with a hope that all my fellow females will not do anything so stupid without thinking it through.............

Hip Grandma said...

sonal: please don't be harsh on the sixteen year old. She was a mere kid. There are many women who have a good job and a great future but end up marrying the wrong man. Such women are emotional and get carried away. One should be supportive of such women and encourage them to stand up against abuse.

Jennifer said...

As for my personal experience, a light came off and I saw that coming from being an abused child and learning that in order to be safe I needed to keep the peace, I thought if I kept my husband happy at all times - we'd be happy. When I looked for a spouse, my 2 marriages - I chose 2 men who were entirely opposite of me. I'm outgoing, family oriented, love to do things. I thought "I will make them so happy he will want to be like me too", will love me more. But the nicer I was - the more distant they became. I don't find my friends that way - why men. So when I searched inside myself and faced up to my choices - I saw that I wasn't honest - I didn't think about a man that was good for me - and who I would be good for - I chose the wrong men. Now - I'm healing me. Jenn

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