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In this edition of #ReachOutThursday, a woman asks help to get out of an abusive marriage and another seeking help on her new relationship.
Every Thursday, the Women’s Web expert panel with the support of Healtheminds, answers questions from readers facing relationships issues, emotional and mental challenges and other such issues.
I’m 25 years old, married at 18. In 2008 our marriage was solemnized in Maharashtra and registered after completing 18 in Goa. After 4 months of our marriage differences began arising between us due to misunderstanding and husband’s arrogant nature. He wants to dominate me. My husband used to quarrel with me for silly reasons. This behavior of my husband used to cause mental, physical and emotional harassment to me and my children.
I have 2 sons one is of 6 yrs old and another is of 1 yr and 6 months old. My in-laws place is in Goa. I was living there with my husband, 2 sons and husband’s parents. My husband is physically handicapped. He has Polio. My elder Son is an autistic child. So he couldn’t express what’s going in his mind or what he wants. 2 months back I came to my mom’s place with my younger son by making an affidavit. Because he could say that I have kidnapped his son. He didn’t send my elder son with me. Even he didn’t allow me to meet my elder for last time.
I had left the house with empty hands and with my parents I gave information to Goa Police.
I have the experience like the following sentences:
1) You can trigger an episode where he is shouting or threatening or telling nasty things about you.
2.Guilt when he does something nice and because you feel rotten all the time even on ‘family’ vacation or when he gives you a gift.
3.Fear that he will separate you from your child.
4.Shame that he has heaped on you because he keeps telling you everything that is wrong with you.
5.Worthlessness because you are fat/ugly/in any way not good enough for him to share his life with you.
6.Unworthy of love and affection or basic human decency.
7.Helplessness that you can’t change your situation because you are dependent on him.
8.Fear that he will abuse your child.
9.Deprived because he refuses to have sex with you citing any of the reasons I spoke about.
My in-laws are also not so good. They don’t give us any privacy. But my husband also doesn’t want to stay with me for a while. He always follow his parents sayings. He would not come in the bedroom without his parent’s permission. And my husband and in-laws were planning to separate my son from me for 2 years. They don’t like my parents coming to meet me or I go to meet them. Husband says that he will cut my dad in pieces because my dad came to meet me. They harassed me in both pregnancies. But I was hoping that one day all will be better but not anymore.
Everything is destroyed now.
Please suggest me what should I do to get my son and to punish them. I’m graduate in arts. Now I’m preparing for competitive exams.
Firstly, thank you for reaching out and expressing your concern.
Marital distress is one of the most frequently encountered and disturbing human problems. Everyone who is married experiences difficulties, but for some, these troubles reach a point where partners become profoundly disappointed and upset about their marriage and may even come to question whether they want to continue to remain married. Marital distress is very unsettling and the ways marital problems often progress make it easy for things to go from bad to worse.
I am sure things wouldn’t have been easy for you, but you still manged to live with your husband and his family. Living with a controlling or dominating partner can be extremely frustrating. The fact that he is trying to control you is, may be because he is either insecure about losing you or simply loves bossing around. Often, such relationships turn out to be abusive and troublesome, and this is very evident from what you have shared.
I am of the opinion that lack of communication is also one of the reasons for the problems that you have been facing. It is extremelyimportant for you to make him understand that it is okay for him to express his concerns, but not go overboard with it. He needs to realize that you also can have an opinion of your own, and he needs to respect and understand that.
The quality of relationship between parents can have a significant impact on the well being of their children. Considering your elder son is Autistic, he deserves to get special care and attention, which is lacking now. As you have moved out of the house, It would be beneficial for you to look out for an attorney with whom you can discuss the concern, and see how to sort the issue legally. Your younger son is too young to understand anything, but your older one needs to be helped and cared.
Problems are always going to be a part of our lives, but I think it takes a lot of courage to talk about it. It would be beneficial for you to critically analyse your current situation, and weigh the pros and cons of ending the relationship with your husband (that is if you still plan to). If you plan to end it, then, it becomes extremely important for you to think about custody of your children.
Child custody is a term used in family law courts to define legal guardianship of children under the age of 18. During divorce or marriage annulment proceedings, the issue of child custody often becomes a matter for the court to determine. In most cases, both parents continue to share legal child custody, but one parent gains physical child custody. Family law courts generally base decisions on the best interests of the child or children, not always on the best arguments of each parent.
It appears to me that your self-esteem at the moment is really low, because you feel that you were never valued or respected in that house. It is great to know that you want to make yourself self-reliant, and you have already started working towards it. I think once you make yourself financially stable, a lot of your concerns would be sorted.
I understand that this must be a very difficult phase for you. Considering how things have been, it is not surprising to know that you feel helpless and worthless. But you need to try to keep yourself strong and not let down yourself, because you have the responsibility of your children.
It might be beneficial for you to talk to people who care for you- family, friends, experts. May be speaking your heart out will make you feel better. I would suggest that you also seek professional help like counselling.
Halima Sadiya, Psychologist, Healtheminds
I am 36 year old divorcee working as IT engineer.
I got married when I was 32 and divorced in 2 years. The guy whom I got married was having another affair and was not able forget her. My marriage stood only for 15 days. When I learnt the fact I left him.
In hope , that I will be happy and I will have future, I gave a new start to myself leaving all behind. I have a met a guy 1 year back who is 4 years younger to me. I started seeing him since past 5 months.
Now we are thinking of getting committed, but one question from him I am not getting how to take. He says, “Breakup is not new thing to you?”
Will I be happy with such a person? I know there is no guarantee that he won’t poke my past if anything goes wrong.
Firstly I would like to thank you for writing to us, we are happy to answer your queries.
From your query I can understand that you have decided to move forward with your life and let go of your past, however you have doubts about being happy in a committed relationship.
While it is normal to be apprehensive about a relationship, trust is the building block of a strong and satisfying relationship. Trust means that you have placed confidence in you partner and made honesty and respect the base of your relationship. Open communication is the first steps towards developing strong relations; if we discuss our fears with our partners it will further fortify the bonds and eliminate doubts. Trust and respect will help you tide over rough patches in your relationship.
Happiness is different for different people, we must define what makes us happy and set our expectations from our relationships. This helps us establish boundaries for ourselves. In a relationship it is important to respect each other’s boundaries and priorities. These give us direction and purpose in our lives and develop lasting bonds.
All relationships have ups and downs, how we deal with them and resolve our differences is what strengthens the bonds that keep us together. Fulfilling relationships form a very important part of a happy and satisfying life.
I hope these suggestions help you work towards strengthening your bond with your partner and give you lasting happiness.
Riddhika Bhandari, Psychologist, Healtheminds
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