“He became more distant and sometime would verbally abuse me, call me names and then slapping and wrist twisting started happening.”

Can violence begin and exist without disrespect and disregard for the person being abused?  Is happiness in a relationship possible where there is disrespect and lack of regard? 

Sharing an email, what do you think should the email writer do? 

Hi,

I came across your blog on the internet and was highly moved by the stories and the work you are doing. I want to say thank you from all the women out there who are in such terrible situations and who are seeking out help from people like you. I am going to tell my story here and want you to post this on your blog anonymously.

I have been married to my boyfriend for a little more than an year now. We had a long courtship before marriage. There were ups and downs but we had a good dependable relationship overall. So we got married. It has all been downhill since then. After 3 months into marriage I found out that he liked some girl in his office and they used to chat and call each other. She reciprocated his feelings. I was taken aback as I had heard about such things but never thought it would happen to me. I confronted him over it, but he said she was just a friend and he hadn’t crossed any line with her. But he did admit he had some kind of attraction towards her. After sometime his behavior started changing towards me. He became more distant and sometime would verbally abuse me, call me names and then slapping and wrist twisting started happening. I got sick 5-6 months into marriage and used to perpetually tired. My in-laws used to visit us and due to sickness I could not do “seva” to them. We visited 2-3 doctors but they could not diagnose my disease, they said it could be some general fatigue due to working too much at office and at home.

But our relationship kept deteriorating. My husband fought with me more frequently and would slap me in anger. I felt horrible and then he was joined by my in laws saying I was not doing bahu duty and I was a bad person. And my sickness was a drama just to get out of work. So when they used to visit us( for one month or longer). All three of them would say horrible things to me. I was devastated. I hated going home from office and my health kept deteriorating.

Finally my husband was transferred to south India and I thought may be we would get some respite as he would be away from the girl and in laws visits would become less frequent which would give us more time to understand each other. So it was decided that my husband would goto south and I would follow him when I get relieved from office(15 days later). One day before he left, we again fought for some reason and he caught me by the neck and I fell down. So I called his mother and told her about how he gets physical with me during fights and asked her for help to make him understand not to hit me. After sometime I confronted him that he has to promise never to hit me again or I would leave. His response was that he tries to control but has no control over his anger and can’t promise he would never do it again. And the next day he shifted to the south. In the meanwhile my health kept deteriorating. My mother came to visit me saw my condition and said lets see a doctor. And by chance my disease was diagnosed and doctor suggested full bed rest for 2 months and some antibiotics, it was some rare kind of infection. So I informed my husband about it and his response was just “ok”. Do you need my help? I responded with not yet as we were at a relative’s place and didn’t want to burden them further. So I informed my husband that I am going to hometown as doctor suggested bed rest and my mother is going to take care of me. His response was “OK”.

I had told my mother about the verbal abuse and slapping and wrist twisting incidents. So everybody suggested since I was so unhappy. I should wait for my husband to miss me and let him call me. He has not called me since, to even ask about my health. And I have not contacted him either. I do not want to go back to him if he continues getting physical with me during fights. I suggested marriage  counseling or anger management. But he says nobody can solve our problems better than us and does not agree to counselling. I am currently living at my parent’s house. It has been a month. What do you think I should do? I don’t understand whether this marriage is worth saving or there is no hope.

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28 thoughts on ““He became more distant and sometime would verbally abuse me, call me names and then slapping and wrist twisting started happening.”

  1. Sorry that its happening to you but sometimes I feel so sorry and frustrated that why marriage are so difficult in India. You should move on and everybody will suggest same but in real life moving out of marriage is so difficult for women. Loss is suffered by women alone.

    Why as a society we love to gossip about somebody’s else life and their decision ? When we are not facing the situation why we become so judgmental? And even if we would have faced that situation we would have handled differently and other person’s way is wrong. How anyone can deal with abuse by living with abuser. And when somebody leaves her abusive husband then all people around us will say that it happens. Kya hua agar maar h diya toh , in baton par koi ghar chod deta hai etc. However if that would have happened with us then we would have also left him but still we will criticize them. And it is very difficult to fight with attitude of the closest circle of people around us. Many people give it up as nobody wants to be labeled as failure by people around us.

    People who are on this blog and having real progressive thinking are very less in % hardly 1-2%. When 98% of your circle is against you then it becomes very difficult to navigate out and person starts doubting herself/himself. And when I see around me I don’t think its going to change in another 25 yrs as people think that if its not happening with them then its not happening on earth.

    For your case, you wait for your husband to respond . If he doesn’t respond then he damn care about the relationship and even if you spend entire lifetime taking his beating and doing seva to his family he will never treat you with love, he will never ask you to come back. This has happened with a very closed person of mine who spent more than 25yrs in such marriage and one day when in anger she left he didn’t asked her to come back even. And I am not saying that since it has happened in one case if will happen with you also. Go to physiologist and try to understand nature of your husband and based on that make any decision.

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    • Leave him. Yes, divorce is stigmatised in India, but staying in this marriage would mean dying a hundred deaths, every day.

      I have two divorces behind me — nobody knows better than me, the suffering a divorced woman endures in India.

      Nobody wants to know what you endured; nobody blames the husband or the in-laws. It is always the woman who is blamed, no matter how abusive the marriage.

      All of this is true. I can assure you that life as a divorced woman will be as difficult, if not more, as the life you have now.

      What you will have, despite the stigma and ostracisation, is a life of dignity and self-respect. You will no longer have to endure physical violence, humiliation and emotional torture. You will regain your health, and your emotional health.

      Isn’t that worth fighting for? Is this marriage worth it? Living with a husband and in-laws who treat you like a slave, will eventually destroy you, make no mistake.

      Liked by 2 people

      • You are completely right Neha.

        But what always baffles me is that why living with self-respect comes with stigma and living with daily humiliation is glorified. Why such a hard choice? Living with self respect and dignity is basic human rights but why it become so difficult to have it in real.

        And one more thing if anybody ( including the one who criticize) is beaten up then they took will want to leave the beater and will try to bring him to justice. But when somebody tries to leave then they will start criticizing the person. We all want to do same thing but if someone raises voice then we all try to silent. This psychology is out of my understanding.

        Women are champion in this. They do this when they have nothing to gain by defaming and criticizing the victim.I know this is discussed many times on this blog how women are used as foot soldiers but still when women around us will mature and starting looking on bigger picture which is life rather proving them as hoiler than thou.

        One more thing I will suggest to letter writer that do start criminal proceeding against your husband and as no human should be treated this why. You are not taking vengeance but you are asking for justice which is your right.

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        • In love. Thanks for responding. I don’t have the answer to all your questions, however, I will attempt to use my own life experiences to illustrate why women criticise other women, especially older women.

          Let me tell you something about my mother and myself. My mother often tells me that I am lucky. I’ll tell you why.

          My maternal grandmother was married when she was 17. She dropped out of school when she was 11 years old. At 17, she was married to my grandfather, a widower with four kids from a previous marriage.

          My maternal grandmother’s greatest ambition was to produce a son, because she thought that was the greatst blessing in a woman’s life.

          In quick succession, she produced five daughters, my mother being the oldest. At last, the son was born, the youngest of six children.

          From a very young age, my mother tells me, she and her sisters knew that they were a burden on the family, and the only way to compensate was to get married, asap.

          My mother, like all her sisters, was “married off” right after she finished her bachelor’s degree. She wanted to study further, but there was a daughter’s duty too.

          Every morning, she recalls, the sisters would be taunted for being such a burden on the family. As a result, all the sisters decided to marry the first man who said “yes”.

          Fortunately, she married into a family where she was treated well. My father isn’t openly affectionate, but he tried his best to be a good husband and father.

          I have a lot of baby pictures of myself. In them, my father looks overjoyed, rapturous as he holds me. My father was my chief playmate growing up, and I remember dancing to ABBA songs, standing on his toes.

          I know that I was (and am) loved and valued — I grew up secure in that knowledge.

          I guess, a lot of older women don’t have the sense of security, the self-assurance and the self-belief that comes from being loved, being cherished and being considered worthy of love.

          When you grow up being unwanted and not valued, you lack the self-confidence required to demand respect; neither do you learn to respect yourself. It breaks something in you.

          When a woman learns to think less of herself; values herself less, how can she treat another woman well? hope that answers your question.🙂

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  2. Your husband does not want to work on your relationship. He wants to break you so that he will have someone to abuse at his disposal and under his control. A few things you ought to consider:

    1. Get back your job pronto. A heart to heart talk with your manager or HR might sort this problem out. Be honest about your abuse. If they don’t hire you back, find another job. But GET a job in your hands ASAP. Don’t ever make the mistake of not having a source of income.

    2. Don’t go back to this man. He is abusive and you don’t need to give him the time of the day. Get a divorce, since you can’t usually “counsel” a man to stop abusing, especially if he doesn’t even think he needs to change.

    3. Try out meditation or yoga, anything that will give you a sense of purpose and peace. The stress is getting to you and you are unable to think clearly.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I think you already know the answer . There is no excuse for physical abuse and that coupled with emotional distance and family issues, indifference is a sure indicator of unhealthy relationship. Your body always responds to the mental condition and before it impacts your health any further , its time to evaluate your relationship and find a way to support yourself ( if you have to get out out of it ) or to work on it with him ( if he is willing to make required changes)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think that XYZ should walk out of this relationship by taking help of the judiciary system which will help XYZ to get a great deal of compensation after ….you know answer for this na…

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  5. Remember that this is not about your husband, not about your family, and certainly not about his family. This is about you – so do whatever it will take to get out of this situation. Take control of your life – your finances, your health, and your spiritual/emotional well-being.
    Also, abuse, emotional or physical, it is that it always gets worse. So if he tells you he will “try” to handle things differently, don’t believe him.
    That having been said, I think the way forward is pretty clear. Get up and get out.

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    • A friend’s wife did this – shamed him by letting us know of the abuse. she called the cops and we watched him being arrested and put in the back of a car. It didn’t change the relationship between them. It continued to be abusive. And we were no longer friends with him….he doesn’t even meet our eye when we bump into each other.

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  6. Most Indian men are inexperienced in how to have an equitable relationship. This is especially true of young men, who are doubly handicapped by being young in years, and by having been immersed in a patriarchal soup with misogyny for a garnish. Unless there is true compatibility in progressive upbringing, these men will not evolve into decent husbands.

    Let me tell you a story, a warning.

    My parents were married 55 years ago, in an arranged marriage between utterly incompatible people with the exception of their horoscopes, of course. The groom being a callow insensitive misogynist, despised his traditionally brought up bride. They were stuck with each other. The groom took out frustration with his life upon the bride, openly displaying his contempt for her, and emotionally and physically abusing her. The bride, who took her cues for behavior from the cinema, was in no case to change anything, not that this man’s behavior was her fault.

    Thank goodness they are divorced now, but not before their misery soaked into the next generation. You can picture the toxic home in which I was raised. It took me until my late thirties to understand my self-hatred for my womanhood, and I am still working on allowing myself my sheer existence.

    Please ask yourself if you would accept this treatment from any acquaintance of yours. If not, you should certainly decline it from someone ‘closer’ to you. You have right now the advantage of physical distance, and shelter with your parents. Get a job, get a divorce. Do not contact this person at all; let the lawyer do all the work. You should consider yourself as getting out of a bad contract. Forgive yourself, and move on. But do NOT get married again until you develop a much stiffer spine and a higher opinion of what you deserve as a human being.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Get out of this marriage now. If you want to give it a chance …Do not have children until you see consistent good behaviour (zero violence) and most importantly unitl you find a root cause for the emotional distance and resolve it. The fact that he tried to have a “relationship” with an office colleague despite being newly married does not bode well for the marriage.

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  8. He doesn’t care about you ! He is involved with someone else even though he is married to you ! He is clearly showing his apathy towards you – physically, emotionally !
    What are you waiting for ?
    ————-
    There are women who don’t think twice about ‘falling in love’ with married men knowingly ! They truly believe that they can ensnare the guy and make him leave his marriage ! Some men do leave the marriage while others try to balance both wife and mistress ! Second wives culture even in religions which doesn’t allow is conveniently operating in India !

    So ,you need to decide what to do !

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  9. Walk .. is there any other answer.
    and remember marriage = passion, love, friendship, happiness, respect,trust, sharing ,companionship and a general feeling of well being.

    Not getting all of the above is it really a marriage or the execution of living arrangement because of a legal document..

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  10. Dear LW

    Its evidently clear that he is simply not interested in this marriage. If he was interested, he would have tried to at least talk to you. Its been a month and he hasn’t called you and you still think you can save this marriage?
    I dont know but it seems he is still in relationship with that girl and wants to get rid of you so that he can marry her. If the first year of marriage (which should be beautiful) is full of abuse, you cant imagine how the rest of the life would go.

    Please leave him and move on. He is not worth saving this marriage

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  11. Run for your life….get out of this relation. He clearly doesn’t want to make an effort to save this marriage…bridge should be built from both ends….love yourself and respect your own dignity…..as a fellow human being, I think you deserve better than this. Don’t settle.

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  12. Why are you waiting for him to call? What happens if he calls? Would you consider continuing with this abuse if he calls? Would you be able to really forget about what you have been subjected to and love him for who he is and how he has behaved with you? What has his calling or not calling got to do with your decision after he has treated you like this? It is difficult to move on after any relationship breaks due to a number of societal and emotional reasons and that is one of the reasons women in such situations consider continuing in abusive and unsafe situations. Please tell yourself that: Abuse is not acceptable under any circumstances. Also, don’t believe him when he says he cannot control himself. That’s an excuse. People only seem to lose control when a specific kind of people are involved. They are almost always able to check their anger and impulse to hit against the other person if the opponent is their boss or a wrestler or mob of angry men. He will try to come back into your life if you decide to leave. Prepare yourself to handle that. Continue with your job, get your health back on track and try to be around people who support and love you. Good luck. Stay strong.

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  13. Dear LW,

    Your situation is horrible but it is one over which you have some semblance of control. You are able to support yourself so one of the first things you must do (assuming you are now healthy and no longer suffer from the illness you mentioned) is find a job. Then file for divorce. Your husband is very clearly showing you what type of a person he is- he is callous, abusive, and utterly insensitive. Believe him.

    Take some time to get to know yourself- work, travel, read, just spend time with yourself to find out what YOU want, what YOU like. It is very important that you know yourself thoroughly and learn to respect yourself before you even think of entering another relationship should you choose to enter another one. I speak from experience. My ex-fiance was not abusive but he was a spineless mama’s boy who got married within a year of our breaking up. I took another five years, but in that time I traveled abroad, got another graduate degree, traveled alone, took a job, completely different from what my degree is in, took risks and learned what I am made of.

    Good luck.

    Raina.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What do you mean when you say you don’t know what to do. You very well know what to do as you have written that you don’t feel this marriage is worth it.
    My question to not only this young lady but to all women in general: Why do you people leave jobs for sch flimsy reasons, I mean your husband got a transfer so he moved, did you get a transfer, no right then why did you quit your job in such haste? Being an educated working woman, the best or least you could have done is to start applying for jobs in south India, and move only when you also got a job. When now you are staying away from him for health reasons, you could have stayed back in your job and taken care of your health too or probably left it for health reasons. And unless your husband moved to some interior village where there are no jobs, your decision to leave was wrong.
    Now your thoughts of what to do with this stupid husband of yours are even more wrong on so many levels. To begin with you are already unwell and all this abuse will take a toll on your sanity and then you will be left with nothing but a miserable life. I don’t even understand what is there to think in this, did you think so much before you left the job despite your husband misbehaving with you? Or did you think that south India will have a calming effect on him? I mean it really boils my blood when young educated women take such stupid irresponsible decisions. Pardon me LW, but I am really unable to understand the logic behind all such kind of love marriages and women who try to stay in these marriages where there is no love at all. Stop being the routine Bollywood heroine and become a Queen, queen of your life…
    Sorry for being rude, but just had to write it out.
    All the best!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I understand that you are angry and feel helpless — IHM gets so many emails from desperate women in terrible marriages that it breaks my heart.

      However, you must remember that given our “glorious” traditions, most women are willing to make every possible sacrifice, including giving up their jobs, to make marriage work.

      You want to blame someone? Blame our lousy, misogynistic culture which tells women that marriage is the only goal of their life.

      LW is mentally and physically broken. She needs our support. Victims of abuse cannot think rationally; they often take decisions that make them even more vulnerable — it’s like living in a fog. It warps your sense of self-preservation.

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  15. You have written that he knows his anger hurts you but he is unwilling to change his behaviour even though it hurts you. Don’t you think if he really loved you, he would make an attempt to change himself? And not to hurt you?
    Sorry to say, your husband loves only himself and his ego. If you choose to stay in his life, you will always be inferior to him.

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  16. This happned with my best frn too.Same situation….luckily she realised it was not worth it n they divorced.I am amazed this keeps repeating again n again among diff couples:/
    You know the ans you just want assurance. Its not worth it just call it off.

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  17. Leave please .. Plan to leave.. You are heart broken and in huge stress..
    Contact a therapist and get yourself some help, but leave..
    You can write here in case you need some support..

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  18. 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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