Making the move!
Marriage is a big commitment and maintaining a cordial relationship throughout could be a daunting task. And when things go wrong, it is difficult to...
Marriage is a big commitment and maintaining a cordial relationship throughout could be a daunting task. And when things go wrong, it is difficult to pinpoint the reason. What makes for a long-lasting relationship?
Q: I am a 47-year-old woman, married for 22 years. It was an arranged marriage. My husband is in the top income bracket. Everyone said I was the luckiest person in the world to get husband like him. Reality is that even to date, I don't know his salary...no idea which banks he deposits his money, what his investments are. He doesn't give me any money because I'm working. I am expected to pay our child's fee take care of house expenses while he buys expensive watches, shoes, clothes and goes out with his friends. He doesn't talk to me, doesn't take me out, uses abusive language for no reason at all, abuses our child. I have no family support. What should I do?
A: Hi there! I recognise that you are clearly being the 'one-man army' of the family. When your family considered him as a suitable son-in-law, they would have looked at the external suitability factors of family background, education, profession, etc. often seen in an arranged marriage. The personality components are difficult to assess but becoming more and more relevant when one wants to understand this kind of a situation.
1. He belongs to the top earning bracket and leaves you to fend for the family and child's needs shows a rather self-centred nature lacking empathy.
2. Since his finances are not known to you, his secretive nature is seen. "Are there any more secrets for you to know?" remains a question.
3. Marriage is about sharing and caring. In this case both seem to be missing.
4. If not talking and not spending time with a wife of 22 years is bad, using abusive language with you and your child is not acceptable.
5. Going out with friends on his own and buying expensive things for himself is a clear indication that in his mind he has not moved past the bachelor status. A family man automatically starts thinking about the affordability and whether the wife and child's needs are also met.
6. When you say you have no family support, it can mean all forms, financially, emotionally, physically etc. This tends to give a sense of power for the abuser as he may, feel you have nowhere to go.
Keeping all this mind and the fact that you are educated, employed, clearly smart and brave in many ways to raise a child, and still being in a marriage like this, shows that you are probably either emotionally dependent on your husband, or afraid to take a stance for yourself and/or your child.
More often than not, belief of social castigation is what keeps a woman staying in a relationship which is abusive. You need to now have the courage to claim the right space in the marriage. communicate with him and even others.
Him shirking basic responsibility and lacking minimal courtesies cannot form the basis for any relationship. Women tend to hide the true painful reality of their relationship for the fear of being judged or exploited, but please understand:
1. Recognise that you deserve better. You have to learn to put a stop to this pattern of being alone in a marriage, handling a single parent like situation even though there is a spouse present.
2. Enroll various people to support your position and gives you a sense of community. Put across the reality and say what works and what does not.
3. Know that this impacts not just you but your child as well.
4. Seek professional help and be educated about all the options, starting with basic rebuilding to the many other possibilities.
- Vasuprada Kartic, Anthroposophic Counsellor and Psychotherapist.
Q: I am 32 years now and I married a cousin at 19. We both come from wealthy families. My husband expects my parents to bear all the family and my own expenses. My husband is bone lazy, doesn't work sleeps all day and roams around with friends often. I feel terribly lonely. Everyone says that if I have children, he will change. My husband doesn't like intimacy either. I thought he was otherwise a nice person. Recently, I discovered that he is a womaniser and has had several flings. My parents feel I should wait, and he will change someday. Will he change? Should I wait? How long?
A: Dear friend, married so young and to a bad penny! Your marriage actually seemed like a good match I'm sure, wealthy, families know each other and no money issues. Children born in wealthy families may either turn out ambitious and eager to expand the business, or increase the wealth, or turn out lazy, uninitiated and rely on the family wealth, status, etc. to live an indulgent, decadent life.
Your husband was probably never encouraged to work or fend for himself...this too is common in families which over protect their children. Since you were married young, you probably couldn't assert yourself and speak to your in-laws or husband about the fact that he does nothing all day and squanders his time.
At 32, you have a lot to deal with. Already, married for 13 years and nothing to show for it.
Your parents financially supporting you both isn't helping either. Again, a tradition in this country...the girl's parents are expected to financially support the son-in-law and fund every expense.
Infect, even the daughter's toiletries and minor expenses are born by her parents. Tradition is the word used for this...but it is just taking advantage of your parents. Your parents should have never put up with this. In a way they too have played a part in fostering your husband's behaviour.
My friend, I think the time has come to have a talk with your family. Parents, in-laws, and your husband.
Clearly state your grievances and don't forget to mention his lack of interest in physical intimacy with you and his womanising. The common justification for this kind of behaviour is that 'he's s man! Therefore, will do whatever he wants 'or that'. You are not woman enough to entice or attract your man'! Both statements are demeaning, and you should not let people treat you like that. You have not said anything about your in-laws, so I'm going to assume they are treating you well. Your husband has probably been a pampered child and getting him to do anything must be tough even for his parents. It is also time you gave your life a serious thought.
1. Is this the life you wish to lead?
2. Is your husband ever going to change?
3. Are you truly happy?
Answer these questions truthfully...there are answers lurking between the lines too...read them and think hard.
While I am sure your parents love you very much, their advice...to have children to win your husband back, is old world, preposterous and not going to happen.
Children will only make matters worse as your husband may not mend his ways.
1. Seek legal advice...just to know your rights.
2. Speak to your friends...see what they have to say.
3. List your husband's positive and negative traits.
4. Think of how you would like to live your life.
5. There are three options open to you...leave and make a life for yourself, or stay back and life the same life, or be proactive and try to save your relationship.
6. If you decide to do something about your life...then first learn some skills, start a business or join your father's business and become independent.
7. Talk to your husband's family and tell them, you would not be able to live like this anymore. Tell them that they must work towards bringing about a change in their son!
8. Tell your parents to stop financial help. This might encourage your husband to rethink his options when he realises that his bread is not buttered on both sides.
9. Seek professional help to empower you and also encourage change in your husband's attitude.
10. If there is perceptible change in his attitude and he is genuinely putting in an effort to change, decide if you wish to give him another chance…this time on different terms...your terms too.
11. If in spite of your best efforts, there is no change in his behaviour, or the quality of your life, it's time you seriously rethink your options.
12. Whatever you decide, take professional help to empower yourself.
13. Never wait for people to change...and by the time that realisation hits you...it's probably too late to do anything.
14. Live happily, live well...You're worth it!
- Dr Purnima Nagaraja, Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist.
- Do you have any relationship related queries or issues with your friends, loved ones or family? For informed advice by professionals, send in your questions to [email protected]