‘Last month, my sister’s husband picked a fight with her as he felt she was not doing enough for his parents.’

Sharing an email.
Hi IHM,
I never knew that one day I would be requesting you to post this letter of mine, but, here I am. I am an avid follower of your blog and have been impressed at the advice that your followers provide. Here is my story, or rather, my sister’s story. My sister and I are from a middle class indian family. Both our parents retired from leading national banks. We were both above average in studies and did well. I am happily married for 15 yrs and live and work in US with my 2 kids. My sister is having a really harrowing time. She married this guy 9 years ago. It was an arranged marriage. A month before marriage, he confessed to my sister that he is actually from a different caste. I am not so bothered about the inter caste thing, but I feel he cheated by lying. The other thing is that, my sister and I had decided that if we marry, we will marry someone who stays abroad, that way, we don’t have to face in-laws jhunjat. I got lucky, however, my sister’s husband, told her that he has an assignment in Malaysia and that he will stay there for at least 5 years. In reality, he didn’t stay there for even 3 months, he had already submitted his resignation papers and he wanted to stay with his mother. This was a second lie. Still, my sister tolerated all this and lived with him. She literally became the servant maid of the house. She washed and cleaned the house, cooked 3 times a day, even had 2 miscarriages due to all the strenuous work. Her MIL is straight from hell, doesn’t want her son to move out, wants her DIL to abide by her rules. My sister was even called a “defective piece” because she had 2 miscarriages. Once, she was supposed to join my parents on a holiday to Europe, her MIL poisoned her son’s mind and he made sure that she did not board the flight.

Her husband is a total momma’s boy. He lives by her rules, gets very easily influenced. A few years ago, her husband and in-laws even threw her out of her house in the middle of the night. My parents are very supportive, yet, are still in the “Log kya kehte hain” mind set. I, on the other hand, have always asked her to leave that husband of hers. I was branded “extreme feminist”, “radical”, “overly progressive” and what not for asking her to leave him.

Last month, my sister’s husband picked a fight with her as he felt that my sister was not doing enough for his parents. She is a part time lecturer, cooks thrice, takes care of her 4 year  old all by herself and still supports her husband’s family business by working there as well. My sister also lost her cool after 8 long years and lambasted him as well, he got mad and hit her badly. My parents and I asked her to leave him, I even came up with some alternatives that she could consider. Her husband begged forgiveness and she went back.
Her husband has severe temper issues. Once when they were newly married, for a very silly reason, he left my sis and went and slept in his mother’s room next to his mom. There was some family function and all her relatives who were staying overnight were shocked. My sister felt very embarrassed. He goes without talking for days, while my sister will be left wondering what caused this anger. He has severe inferiority complex as well. He is an MSc in polymer technology, which I think is very impressive. For some reason, he thinks he is under qualified and he feels that we act high and mighty with him, which is absolutely untrue.

Recently, I invited her to come visit me in US. Her husband had also agreed. Her MIL poisoned her son’s mind yet another time and he picked a fight with her and called her names. He gave her an ultimatum that if she ever decides to go to US, she is not welcome to live with him. My sister calmly said that she needs to pack her clothes and take all her documents (certificates, NSCs, passport, educational score sheets etc) and she just went to get them from the almirah. He pushed her to the floor, kicked her and hit her black and blue. She has a split lip, bluish marks on her neck, face and near her eyes. She has extreme pain in her ribs as well. We lodged a police complaint, got doctor’s certificate, took her pictures etc. The police guy was a nice guy and he counselled them both and sent them back,  however he told my BIL that he is only doing this because my parents didn’t want any action to be taken and to just give him a warning. My sis is living with my mom for some days and she will decide on her next course of action. I strongly feel that she will go back to that *******. I told her again to not go back. I also told her that I will support her and my niece. Still, I feel that she will go back. Her husband is financially very sound. Has 2 homes, 3 plots of land in and is drawing a good salary. She feels that she alone will not be able to provide financial stability to her daughter. I still think that this should not be a reason to go back to an abusive *** ****.  Please post this on your blog and I would like to request your readers to post their views.

Should she go back or should she run? I would like her to read the views expressed in your blog.

Thank you so much!

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55 thoughts on “‘Last month, my sister’s husband picked a fight with her as he felt she was not doing enough for his parents.’

  1. She should leave. Since she’s been working all along, I’m sure she can support her child. By law, her husband would also be required to support the child, but if he does not she could still, with her family’s help, support the child. Sometimes custody battles get messy though, but I guess courts favour the mother. But I think she needs to find the strength within herself to leave. Maybe she needs support from an NGO or a counsellor specialised in these cases.

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  2. A classic case of physical, mental & emotional abuse. There is nothing to ask. Better be alone & happy than live unhappily like this. What is the point of doing anything in life if it gives you such deep unhappiness.

    It is difficult to help someone, if they do not want to help themselves. As much as it is painful when people you love do stupid things, we cannot make them do otherwise.

    First, you need to talk to your parents. Do they want their children to be unhappy and be abused or face the society talking about them. They need to make a choice. Same for your sis.

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  3. Wow, your sister wants to stay back for financial stability for her daughter?! What about emotional well-being of that child? Or is it okay to bring up a child scarred for life? Sorry, I simply cannot see parents with ‘log kya kahenge’ mentality as ‘supportive’! And a policeman who counsels and sends a victim back to the perpetrator of abuse! WTH.

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    • Agreed. I don’t see how the parents are “supportive”. As for your question, dear LW, after two incidents of physical abuse, do you need to ask? She needs to RUN.

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  4. That is atrocious and very cruel of her husband and MIL! One word LEAVE.If she is not happy in the marriage,and not safe she should just leave him.She is in an abusive marriage, she being a lecturer should not feel very insecure of her financial position to support herself & her daughter.Her health can be deteriorating with so much stress,physical & mental abuse.She has a long way to go in her life and her career.She needn’t have to be in this marriage just because of ‘what will people think’. I have learned that, however good or bad a situation is, people will always have something to say.After few months or a year, the gossip will be about something else.
    Another important reason for her to leave, is for the child.The child’s mind will get affected seeing her parents quarrel & seeing the mom suffer abuse.It isn’t doing any good for her staying in the marriage.
    Nobody deserves to be treated this way!She should just leave the marriage ‘without giving in’ to any persuasion by anyone for her to go back.Her mind is perhaps filled with lot of questions about herself and her daughter, this can be a reason why she is not letting go of this relationship.Please counsel her, she will also need some time to recover from this trauma.

    http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm
    http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_help_treatment_prevention.htm

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  5. Two homes, three plots of land and a good salary are no substitutes for living your life without being afraid that some piece of shit, cowardly, spineless scummy little bitch won’t beat you to death tomorrow. I’m sorry for my strong language, but when it comes to people who are domestic abusers, I’m no Shakespeare.

    First of all, please also keep in mind that your sister is afraid. The state of mind of an abuse victim is quagmired with inferiority complexes, emotional blackmail, and severe psychological torture that can be directly attributed to the way the abuser has treated her. Your sister believes that she cannot provide a financially stable life for her daughter because he has carefully created that illusion. This is what abusers do. They are masters in emotional manipulation. When a person hears from someone enough times that they are not capable, and they hear this message continuously, for twenty four hours a day seven days a week, sooner or later, they will begin to believe it themselves. By living in such a toxic environment, by being called “defective”, by being told continuously that she is not good enough, and by being entirely cut off from her support system (your family), so that she cannot hear any messages to the contrary, there is no surprise why she is considering going back to such a violent place. She’s considering it, because the message that she has no other choice has likely been repeated and reinforced for so long, that she has started to believe it.

    What you need to do is tell her that she is capable. That she DOES have other options. And don’t just tell her–show her. Create a separate bank account and deposit money in it to show her that you are willing to support her. Demonstrate to her. You have to undo nine whole years of negative reinforcement, but you need to start somewhere. If you need further evidence and proof to convince her that she has to leave the relationship, please consider girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com. It has lots of information that would be very helpful. Also, please show her this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1yW5IsnSjo. I don’t doubt for a second that she will identify with it. Do whatever you have to in order to stop believing the horrible lies that she’s been fed about herself for so long.

    And–this is the most important thing–please, please get her to a place of safety. Domestic violence is not a joke, and not something to take so lightly. These drastic measures are absolutely needed. He has put her in the hospital. He is a violent and dangerous man. He has most likely threatened her with some violent physical consequence if she ever tries to leave him. And given the fact that most domestic violence deaths occur after the victim has left the relationship, I don’t have any doubt that such a person will come after her. Find her a new house, do something, anything, to get her far far away from this man. Get her as much protection as you possibly can. File a restraining order, and please, please press domestic violence charges against him. He has done enough to land himself in prison. Don’t hesitate for the sake of “family” or “name”. Such people need to be punished, and punished well.

    Also, with regards to her daughter. Ask her if all the money he’s supposedly got is worth living a life devoid of happiness and subjecting her daughter (her CHILD) to being a witness to violence. Money cannot buy a childhood that is truly a childhood. Children should never grow up fearing their parents if they make a wrong move. By staying with him, your sister is potentially ruining your niece’s entire life. I have seen what happens to children who grow up with abusive parents. They are mental and emotional wrecks for the most productive parts of their adult lives. It is not pretty, but it will be your niece’s future. Ask her if she thinks that money is worth this.

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  6. “He pushed her to the floor, kicked her and hit her black and blue. She has a split lip, bluish marks on her neck, face and near her eyes. She has extreme pain in her ribs as well.” You are seriously asking whether she should stay or not??? What kind of sick, dysfunctional environment is this to raise children in? There is physical, emotional and mental abuse, which will affect the children and herself of course. Of course she should leave! Why in the world should anyone stay in a situation where they are beaten black and blue? And what if she does decide to stay and in a fit of rage he kills her one day? Have you/she considered that?

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  7. Being ‘supportive’ means being unconditionally supportive, and not worrying a least bit about others who will anyway not step-in to help. I’m sorry, but will your parents simply sit back and watch if one of the physical abuses turn fatal? Or what if your sis starts feeling suicidal? The man she is married to doesn’t appear to be sane and your sis is contemplating raising a daughter with him in a marriage that doesn’t even respect her as a human being?! If educated, working women like her hesitate or fear pulling themselves together, it really is scary. Please make her realise that she has to fight her battles and no matter what, you and your parents will stand by her, without judging her.

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  8. Tell your sister to think about her child. The kind of environment the child is growing up in and the kind of effect it will have. Usually a lot of mothers may feel guilty to leave their husband, no matter how abusive he is. But come what may, they will always want the best for their child.
    Tomorrow, what if, in a fit of rage he hits the child in a similar manner?
    If she is worried about her financial stability, sit down with her. Write down her qualifications and the jobs she could look at. Work out how she will take care of her child while working, what kind of a job can she get, how much will she earn. Chances are, she’s also a little scared because of the unplanned future. Giving her a little focus and direction may give her confidence.
    Good luck.

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  9. She should leave, and right now. I guess years of abuse must have taken away whatever confidence she might have had. But for the sake of her child (and herself),she should leave. Am sure she will be able to manage fine with your and your parents’ support.

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  10. Let’s be practical here.. 3 homes and 2 plots does not men she should endure all the torture. So I strongly feel she should leave him and have no regrets about it.
    Having said that I also feel you need money to survive in this big bad world. So use all the pictures etc against him and take a huge alimony. He is a father and it is his responsibility to secure his child’s future. I would say ask him to give them one home and 2 plots and **** off from their lives forever. Such men should be hanged to death in front of their mother’s eyes!

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  11. I think the first step you should take is to separate your sister from your parents. They are doing her the MOST harm, because they are giving her the message it is okay for her to be abused and beaten because she is a married woman. I think this is worse than what her husband is doing because they are in a huge position of trust. The husband is a mere criminal, these people are shaming parenthood. One who condones evil is just as guilty as the one who perpetrates it. Your sister needs to be in an environment where positive stereotypes will be reinforced every time and I don’t think your parents are capable of providing her with that.

    The policeman was wrong but if someone who is insistent on justice taking place had been present, he would have had no choice but to do it. Your parents are not interested in justice.

    I agree with A above that you should show your support. Maybe this is a good time for you to invite your sister and niece to stay with you for a while. You can introduce her to like-minded friends. You can show her IHM’s blog and other feminist blogs. Introduce her to the idea that women are people and deserve to make decisions on their own lives. Get her to read feminist authors like Margaret Atwood and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Try to remove the fear of your parents from her.

    If she still goes back for 2 flats and 3 plots of land, she is not worth taking the trouble. Sorry to be harsh, but ultimately, she is an adult, and must make her decisions. If property is important to her and she is willing to pay the price, she must play her game that way.

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  12. Golly. If there is a way that you can be in India for 2-3 weeks, it would be useful. I feel to do this from the US, over phone would not be effective and might leave you feeling impotent. Your parents appear to be not brave enough to protect their daughter and grandchild outright, so your presence would provide the physical and emotional help to make some difficult decisions that are immediately required:
    1. Your sister needs to leave her abusive family with her child. She needs to understand that her being abused is having MAJOR consequences for the child’s mental health that might not show up today, but will perhaps persist for life. This is a trauma for her AND her child – your parents may like to visit their decisions regarding her marital status in this context. Under police escort, your sister should go back to her in-laws place, and take all her documents. If it is possible that she doesn’t go, exercise this option.
    2. It is not sufficient to verbally pledge financial help. Monetary insecurity is one reason driving her to consider continuing in her current situation. Your sister needs to open a bank account, and start having a fund of her very own. Obviously, her husband or his family should not be informed. Since you are ready to help her financially, open this account and put a chunk of funds into it right away. Hand her a debit card from this account. You can also send money monthly to this account while she goes through the legal and other life-altering experiences for the next couple of years. You can also give her an add-on credit card that is linked to your credit card in the US. Give her the financial strength to walk away.
    3. Organize legal help. Understand what paperwork you need and what options are available to provide security to your sister and her child while the case is being filed etc.
    4. Organize emotional help. Counseling is required for your parents, sister and her child. Your sister needs to meet other women who have walked away from abusive relationships and rebuilt their lives. She needs to see that there can be a life out of this quagmire.

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  13. Tell her her son is also being abused, living in this toxic atmosphere. She has no idea about the amount of damage that child is enduring because of this. It’s no way to live, for the kid OR for her.

    She deserves happiness, and peace of mind, and a man who respects her for who she is.
    This man… who is clearly messed up in the head ( WHO sleeps with their mother?! Talk about unresolved Oedipal issues!!!) is not right, and there is NO reason for her to be with him.

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  14. Does she want her son to grow up into another monster like his dad ?? or her daughter to suffer abuse just like her ?? 2 houses and 3 plots will never compensate to the damage she is doing to their personality by staying with him. And sorry to break ur bubble HE WILL NEVER CHANGE.
    things will keep getting worse….tell her to RUN ASAP.

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  15. Please help your sister in getting out of this marriage. It is not an easy act for all women and they might require a lot of outside counseling from family or friends. I say this from personal experience. My ultra modern family did not approve my elder sister’s decision to divorce her 6 month old husband, with whom she had had a love marriage, on the basis of ‘mental torture’. There was absolutely NO Physical abuse and the family couldn’t understand what was so big that she had to leave him. I was in college at that time and even though I did not fully understood how much mental torture from a spouse can ruin a person’s life, I still supported her blindly for just one reason – She was not happy with him!!! Now being married myself, when I remember the incidents she told me, I understand what it would have entailed for her. She eventually divorced her husband and in due time my family also understood. It amazes me when I see my sister as an extremely happy, balanced, independent, single woman that she is now.
    Coming to the point I am trying to make, Please instill the confidence in your sister that there is a beautiful life for her beyond all this torture. A life that she owes to her daughter. Her daughter deserves a normal healthy family environment and not an abusive father who tortures her mother. She should be around people who respect and love each other irrespective of their gender. Trust me, nobody can do this job better than you. Even if there is nobody to support you and your sister, you have to be the rock solid support, not just financially but also emotionally. You have to make her come out of her insecurities and fears. Don’t give up on her, don’t judge her, just help her leave this marriage. It is easier to tell her to leave her husband but you will never really feel her devils, no matter how close you are. A broken self confidence is not easy to mend. Give her the confidence. Make her believe she deserves a happy life and it is just one step away from her. And like Megha said above, if you could be there physically with her, nothing like it. I totally know that it won’t be easy at all. Sisters are God’s gift, I am sure you are one for your sister. I wish you all the best in this huge undertaking and hope that your sister and her daughter get the life they deserve.

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  16. I’m saying this from experience, so please don’t take my words personally even if they may appear harsh. In the first year and a half of my marriage, I went through a demeaning routine of seva of my ILs – who not only glorified their family, caste, region, beliefs at the cost of mine but once my FIL even grabbed my hair as a way of threatening me when I was busy in the kitchen. You see in that moment, something stirred within me. I did eventually go to my husband for I was still new in the household but there was one thing I had decided for sure – that this thing wasn’t gonna happen to me again, even if it was in jest (as was my FIL’s explanation, which we all knew was empty coz he’s a known wife beater). I decided and confronted, cut off all contact and made it plain that if coerced in any way in what is my relationship with my “new” family, or even advised, I will leave and not look back. I actually made good on my promise a few months later when some other issue had cropped up and they had tried to give me malicious advice. The only thing that saved the situation was my husband’s support and open agreement to distancing our home and life from theirs. He stood by his word and here I am, happy, contented. My FIL still hasn’t changed. But he won’t dream of doing anything to hurt me. It is I who stood up and made myself count. Dear LW, i think your sister has a serious problem. A case can be made out against the violent, stupid husband if only your sister gathers the guts to do so – to believe that ‘she deserves better’. She just needs to “stop taking it”. And this, only she can do. Her MIL, while absolutely evil, is a common character in Indian families. But her son enjoys the power it gives him and in face of no resistence, there’s no reason for not subjugating his wife (he’s certainly not sympathetic, compassionate, ethical, conscientious person). The key to this problem is your sister. Her head is not in the right place. I personally believe that we are responsible for where we land up and end up staying.

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  17. Your sister has been beaten by her husband at least twice, and the second time was atrocious. The guy is not going to change, he is not going to stop, these monsters never do. If she stays she will get beaten again, and maybe one day he might go so far as to kill her. In any case he will kill her mentally and emotionally.

    Of course she should leave. But she should be smart about it. No need to confront the guy and raise violence.

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  18. The first warning bell should have rang when he lied about the caste.Caste is not an issue but honesty is.When he get away with that lie, he got encouraged.The second warning bell must have rung when he lied about Malaysia.
    She should have walked out when the third bell rang,the time she got thrown out of the house.
    Right now, she should leave.For the sake of the child.Plots,money,houses on his name does not mean anything if the emotional well being is nil.

    Please make sure she gets counselled and make your sister leave asap.All the best.

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  19. Your sister must decide to leave, one a abuser- always a abuser.he needs anger management. and if he’s not getting that then he wont change. Your sister needs a strong will and you guys need to support her.
    yeshe’s rich but she needs to ask herself if she wants to be wealthy and abused or poor and free. It is her choice.
    It is also better if she has a visitor visa, get her and kids to you, then in the peace of your home she can decide. its not a big deal if kids lose a month of school.
    I think getting her away to your place will give her a chance to think an ddecide away fromt he log, society, interfering busybodies around.

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  20. There shouldn’t be an Iota of doubt .. she must leave now .
    it will not be easy , there will be doubts and hurdles but it will be way better life than getting abused emotionally and physically , both for your sister and her child.

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  21. Thank you every one for your advice, I truly appreciate it! Believe me, you are not being harsh at all. You have taken your time to give me objective advice, I am very grateful to that. I have given this advice to her many times. I will show her this link and will have a talk with her. She has a bank account, I sent her a check to her account as well. I will get her a credit card and link it to mine, that is a great idea. I am also researching educational investments for my 4 yr old niece. I have 2 for my children, will start one for her as well. My sister and I are very close, I love her with all my heart. She is my best friend and soul sister. I cannot see her suffer anymore.

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    • Hi Dear friend….apart from the suggestions given by the others above, I am just adding up a few…..
      1.) Please help your sister look at the picture of the cycle of domestic violence in the following site http://www.hruth.org/files/library/CycleofViolence.pdf . This will not only give her an idea of how to connect it to her own problem, but also help her understand that this is a common pattern seen in many abusers. Surely her guilt (that she might have) thinking that she has betrayed the husband or that she is incapable as a wife, will reduce.
      2.) She will also gain perspective by reading some experiences or case studies of people who have successfully come out of abuse. I feel that this would make her relate to her own feelings and she would also analyse her problems in a better way.
      3.) Initially, she might go through a phase of depression, owing to guilt or frustration. Please see to that she is closely observed so that she does not harm herself or resort to taking her life. I say this not to scare you, but just to help you understand that the sudden shift in her life may not be easy, though you are very supportive and you are providing her the financial stability.
      4.) Kindly take her to a professional if you sight any symptoms of crying incessantly, not taking care of herself or the kid, decreased appetite or sleep…as all these are indicative of depression.
      5.) Kindly suggest your parents to spend some quality time with the kid, so that you can engage her in some distractive measures. I say this as some women’s emotions might worsen the more they see their kid, as they might start seeing the future as bleak when they have low motivation and are reminded of the sole responsbility. But let it not appear as if she is spending less time with the kid, as they kid may also need the mother’s warmth.
      6.) You may also talk to the kid by asking how she feels staying in a new place, and slowly the kid might also start talking about her own feelings about her mom and dad’s relationship. Please allow her to express herself without commenting much, as this approach would show that you are empathising and also you are not being judgemental. Some children are capable of expressing themselves through drawing. After a few days, you may ask her to draw her family, which might help her ventilate her feelings. Also it will reflect what she has in her mind. Adults can express through tears and words….but we need to address the child’s feelings in a more subtle way.
      7.) If you find it too difficult to manage the child’s needs, there will be child therapists who can bring out the child’s concerns and emotions through play way methods.
      8.) One final suggestion – please do not push your sis to forget everything and rush into taking the life you all are providing. As a victim, it is very difficult to erase the scars immediately. It might take its own course and test your patience too..please pray to God and just keep motivating her. All your efforts will definitely bear fruit.
      Sorry for the lengthy response….hope at least a few of the above helps. All the Best.

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  22. Your sister should’ve left at the first lie. Lying is not acceptable in any relationship. Couples can have disagreements over many things, but the basic values of honesty and integrity must never be violated. She put up with the first lie (his background), then a second lie (his career plans), and a bunch of emotional and physical abuse. The physical abuse is what shocks most people in our society, but if you look carefully, there are always early warning signs.

    Many people above have already given sound advice, but I’m writing just to add to all the other voices here, which I hope will be resounding in her ears and help her break the cycle of abuse.
    One thing that strikes me is your parents’ stance – if they are the ‘log kya kahenge’ kind, then your sis must be, at some level, feeling the pressure to not disappoint them. Despite the tremendous support of a sibling, it is hard for many children to break away from parental expectations. We are terrified of disappointing our parents, and this may be her unconscious fear.

    Ask your parents to step up to their roles – their daughter needs them right now, more than at any other time in her life. Ask them to offer her their unequivocal support. With the 3 of you rooting for her, hopefully she will break through the fear and find her inner strength.

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  23. WHY are they not taking action against your sister’s husband? He needs to go to jail, or at least be publicly shamed for his actions.

    Oh, and yes, definitely get your sister away from that piece of shit. Why is this even a question to be discussed?

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  24. So, she is staying on for her child? What if, one day, while she is being beaten up, her daughter interferes and is beaten up as well? What if the daughter grows up thinking that abusive relationships are the norm and gets into one herself when she is older? What if the daughter sees her mother being abused and grows up thinking this is the normal way for women to be treated?

    The mother is not doing her child any favors by staying in the relationship. She can delude herself how much ever she wants, but this relationship will never get better.

    However, as others pointed out, unless the mother genuinely wants out, nothing anyone else says will change her mind. Till then, support her, do not isolate her and hope that the realization that she needs to get rid of her husband dawns soon.

    In the mean time, ask your parents if they would be happy if their son-in-law hurts their daughter beyond recovery when she continues to stay on – would they then be happy that soceity is patting them on their back for raising such a “dutiful” daugher? Do they really want the approval of such a sick society? What kind of happiness can one get from the approval of nameless faces when abandoning one’s dearest ones to their miserable fate?

    Unless your parents are actively helping your sister to get out of the dangerous situation she is in, I am sorry, but they are NOT being supportive. Asking her to return to her husband is abetting his ill-treatment of her. It doesn’t seem like they love or even like your sister very much if they are doing nothing to change her current situation.

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  25. You know, whether she leaves or stays, the most critical thing is for her to value herself more. ‘I am doing so much and yet…’ has change in her mind to ‘I choose to be myself first and do XYZ as part of being this person’. I don’t see the husband changing or wanting to, so long as she’s also following the role that’s been scripted and enforced by someone else. Not that the husband changing is in any way her responsibility.

    I hope she gives herself a break. But seeing the current statistic of something like 7 times a spouse goes back in an abusive relationship, things won’t change inside OR outside the marriage if she’s not going to value herself way more. She has a child who’s looking at her – her taking it or not will end up being a very strong part of that child’s choices…sometimes people do better for their children that they would for themselves (coming back to valuing themselves being critical to making good choices).

    Hope things work out well for her, whatever her choice.

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    • This is pure case of domestic violence. File a case, if she Will not., have it filed on her behalf. At least that guy will get some message. As far as future of this relationship, well this seems to be a symbiotic one where one beats and other gets beaten up. There is no other solution but to walk out of this – it’s just about finding that one moment of courage.

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      • I don’t know, Ananya. The decision is ultimately hers. Not something someone can or should do on her behalf. She’s an adult – helping is one thing, doing on her behalf is completely another.

        That moment of courage doesn’t come until she’s going to value herself enough to want better. And it has to come in HER, regardless of all the support she gets externally from her family. It seems simple from outside but a long term solution is rarely achieved without empowering the person being abused.

        Like

  26. Sorry to pitch in rather late.
    I echo the thoughts of others.

    Briefly:
    Let her leave.
    But..
    Plan it.
    Go about it quietly,
    Let him not know what’s cooking.
    Enlist the support of the immediate family circle and also get good legal help.
    Plan the finances and family arrangements after leaving.
    Prepare for his resistance and refusal to agree for a divorce and plan your counter-moves.
    Then act and don’t develop cold feet at the last minute.
    Even if he acquired a hundred houses and two hundred plots of land.
    Your sister needs a happy home, not houses and plots of land and what she now has is not “home” but a prison.
    All the best.
    Regards
    GV

    Like

  27. Ur sister should leave. That is the only option. Abusive men rarely change and the worst problem is that they refuse to believe they are abusive. ANd most abusive men I have heard of and seen are very charming at other times. There’s no split personality here – thats how abusive men are. They are perfectly in their senses when they pretend to be charming and are all so sweet. So no just she should not stay. If the husband is willing to change then she should no doubt help him but she should stay at a safe distance from him. Maybe find a different house to live but follow up with him on therapy.

    http://mydiaryofabuse.blogspot.in/

    Like

    • The email writer kept saying the “MIL is poisoning the husband” and saying it is all her fault. Yes she probably is an evil cruel woman but it almost seems as if the email writer thinks that if it were not for the MIL the husband wouldnt be doing these things and be an amazing guy. This man is an adult he is choosing to listen to his Mother, he would be an abusive asshole regrdless. I hate how the awful husband is never to blame, its alway the mother in laws fault or whatever, its time to place the blame where it belongs on the abusive husband.

      Like

  28. “Men who physically abuse their wives never change PERMANENTLY more than 99% of the time.” – This was the statement made by a professional counselor (who provides free counseling to my company employees) when I went to her shivering, taking a colleague for company, dreading what would happen if my husband (now ex-husband) somehow got to know that I talked to anyone about how he was treating me.
    I didn’t take that statement very seriously. My couple-of-months old marriage was marked by physical abuse, cold suspense (i.e not hitting, but he will have a cold hard expression that will keep me on my toes, not knowing when he would hit), intimidation (threats of how badly he would hit me, or actually coming close to hitting, once he was swinging his belt in his hand ready to whip, but thank God it didn’t happen – but it would have definitely happened if I had stayed there for more than a few months), borrowing money (which I didn’t object then), demanding (towards the end) a lot more money, *AND* a couple of unbelievable “peace-making” shows in between. I got carried away by the first show & thought better times are ahead, but very soon my counselor was proved right – these chaps don’t change PERMANENTLY. The peace-times are extreeeeamly short lived, and the intimidations that start after that, and the subsequent behavior, are WORSE THAN BEFORE.
    And your sister’s experience seems to be following a similar pattern – 2nd incident much worse than the first. I somehow feel that similar to my experience, a third incident might follow MUCH EARLIER than you expect, and it will be a life-or-death one (I mean, “run-for-life or die”) which would result either in her breaking off or in her demise (sorry to use that word & I wish that never happens).
    So, my vote is to get out now, but EVEN IF YOUR SISTER IS HESITATING, ask her to DO THESE two things:
    1) Gather all her passport and all important identity documents, bank books, educational certificates, credit/debit/ATM cards (except may be just one ATM card for use, but let her keep it with her personally), pack them and send it to her parents house.

    2) If she has possession of her gold jewellery, move them to parent’s house, or if that is not possible, put them together in one small bag or box which she can grab and keep with her if she faces any run-for-life situations. (it is otherwise very difficult to recover your stridhan later. Any case you file on them will take years, and at the end of it, you will always be told “not enough concrete evidence” and the guy will be acquitted. I’m not sure if even the photographs you have taken will be accepted as evidence in court. And worse, the guy would go around with crocodile tears saying how he was ‘falsely implicated’ by ‘feminist laws’)

    3) Don’t make ANY unnecessary expenses – other than for the child’s essential needs, and be ready with some good answer if her husband or ILs ask her to make any (they may not take that answer & may suspect that she is planning to leave & so is preparing a nest-egg for herself, which will make them even more aggressive to loot as much as possible before she leaves. So expect that as well. I’d suggest you & your parents pool in some money for her use when she is separate – and keep it with YOUR PARENTS & don’t give it to her right away.)

    3) Her mental state must be very bad now – due to anxiety & trauma. So I’m not going to ask her to “improve her skills to get a better job” now at this point – that can start once she is out of the death trap & safe.

    Like

    • Dear lord. I am sincerely horrified at reading your story, Sara. You are a brave brave woman for having come out of this and staying coherent enough to say these important words to this victim. Please continue passing on everything you have learned through your experience so there is never another woman who thinks there is no alternative.

      Like

      • Thank you Krith. Actually I’m far, far from brave by nature:) Looking back now, I can vouch for the saying “You’ll never realize how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice”. God has given all animals, even the meekest ones, some natural instinct that usually guides them to escape trouble. That, PLUS His provision alone can get us out of trouble.

        So, in trouble, let your instinct guide you – whether to stay still like a stone on the outside (while your heart is pounding harder than ever on the inside!), or say something, or to grab what you need & run, or anything else according to your situation. Actually I don’t need to say this, because in trouble (danger of death or fatal injury), we will be totally frozen, and so will our brain (or part of it) – which has been white-washed & conditioned with “family values” & other jargon, and only the pure, natural “instinct” will be active & will control us, even if no one advised us to listen to our instinct… at least from my experience & from one more lady’s. The above lines are not scientefic detections – I’m just trying to explain how we might act in trouble.. and I can’t exactly explain how this instinct thing didn’t help the thousands of victims (of domestic violence, rape, and even of non-gender-based violence)
        One thing could be this – there must be some options for the person-in-danger’s instinct to choose from. If the victim is crushed from all four sides and is sure that even if she runs away she will only face a worse living death in the society, (or in cases of gang-rape, if there is absolute absence of help etc) then options available for the instinct to choose from are limited. **As family and friends if we assure the potential victim of support, then I think we would be giving her instinct an option to go for survival**. This is just one thing, and there definitely would be much more than this. Ultimately God’s help is the surest thing that can get us out of any situation.

        I’m no psychiatrist or philosopher, but from experience, I think this “instinct” will be active even when there is no immediate trouble, but only far away danger (like, the first time that ex-husb of mine met my family, and the subsequent times..), but we don’t listen to it because trouble is not visible now, and the biggest trouble we can see at that point of time is the chatty aunt and or family-friend who keeps talking to the whole world about how a girl she knew kept rejecting proposals (oh, ya, ya, “very good boys”) and is now turning an old maid (at a ripe old age of 28), and wishes us “hope it doesn’t happen to you”. These things ring so loud and happen in front of our eyes, and drown that lil voice of natural instinct. At this point, we would call that voice as “gut-feeling” (vague, un-explainable, nagging idea), and not as the more honorable “instinct” (life-saver, brain-wave etc) So, at any point in life, we should “never ignore our instinct OR our gut-feeling”
        Sorry for rambling away from the topic..:)

        Like

  29. “Should she go back or should she run? I would like her to read the views expressed in your blog”

    You ask this at the end of the email. What is astounding is that you feel the need to ask this to a group of strangers while someone has violently beaten up your sister. NO. She should not go back and she should leave her husband. You seem to be sensible and possibly might be feeling helpless at times. But it is time to take action and get your sister out of this hellhole of a marriage.

    Ideally it would be great to see your sister make this decision for herself but then ideally one should not be getting physically and mentally abused in a marriage either.

    Also its time to hold up certain home truths to your parents. They cannot be seriously even considering letting their daughter go back to someone who beats up their daughter. If they are they bear guilt over their daughter’s plight too.

    Like

    • Loved how you didn’t mince a single word. I’d be handing the abuser his hands in a tray if he as much as raised a hand to my sibling/child(I’m saying this for the second time on this blog today but that’s precisely how I feel).

      Like

  30. Ask her to get her life back…I’m sure her child will ask why she didn’t leave if she stays! Having said that.. no one should push her to make a decision.. she must be given time and the decision must be made on her own.. its her life.. she doesnt need yet another person shouting into her ears wat she must do and mustn’t.. just give her support… be there for her emotionally and financially.. leave the rest to her.. .im sure she will find the courage to leave him for her kid if not for herself.. If necessary take her to a counselor…if possible get her a better job with better pay which will boost her confidence.. and will let her walk on her own legs…

    Like

  31. She should obviously leave that guy (legal separation) and bring her child with her. I think the tougher part for you is convincing her to do so. Maybe more awareness about the nature of an abusive relationship might help:

    https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2011/04/09/if-she-doesn%E2%80%99t-seem-to-see-your-logic-will-you-support-her-the-way-she-can-be-supported/
    http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/how-abuse-begins/
    http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/cycle-of-violence/

    She should realize that tolerance is no virtue and that she is not doing right by herself by permitting this abuse on her. She needs to know that she has a right to be happy and that she deserves to be happy. Is she the kind of a person who feels compelled to ‘please’ others? May be it’s a good idea to take her for a counselling session? There’s nothing left in this marriage to save. I remember another similar post on this blog and that letter-writer has finally decided to part from her husband – you can also look through that:

    https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/an-email-he-got-very-aggressive-and-even-started-pulling-the-loosened-muscles-of-my-abdomen-post-preg-very-hard/
    https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2013/10/02/what-if-i-let-go-the-gold-and-money-not-that-i-am-rich-but-they-wont-give-me-a-divorce-easily/
    https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/marriage-counseling-you-are-working-it-does-not-mean-you-can-talk-this-way/

    Like

  32. I have watched an episode on Zindagi Live about women who developed the courage to walk out off their abusive husband’s home and restarted to live life on their own terms. One such woman said, it takes a hell lot of courage to walk out. But, when you do, it ends well for you. You just need a start and everything starts to fall in place.

    I really hope your sister develops that courage and walks out on him. All the Best!

    Like

  33. Pingback: Simple methods, recommended to anybody else, coping with any other kind of abuse, are forbidden to Indian daughters in law. Forbidden by whom? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  34. Pingback: “My husband would tell me to stay with my in laws for some more time and that he didn’t want any discussions.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  35. Pingback: “He became more distant and sometime would verbally abuse me, call me names and then slapping and wrist twisting started happening.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  36. Pingback: An email from the Accused Guy: ‘I would request all to respond once again after reading the other side of it.’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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