Q: I got married in January 2015. It was an arranged marriage. I left my job to be with him. He works in a remote place for the Forest Department. After three months I came to my mother-in-law’s house but he was staying near his workplace. Initially, he used to visit every two days and then later once in six days. After four months again I rejoined work.
I have an MBA and he’s just passed his 10th. I make almost 2.5 times what he does. I sensed his inferiority complex before the wedding but thought it would improve when we began living together. Now I feel he is inferior, selfish and dominant. He can’t take any responsibility. He doesn’t treat his mother well but beats her. He is physically and verbally abusing me and badmouthing my mother. He drinks. Everyone is telling me to leave him, but I fear society, as my mother and my grandparents live in a village. Please help.
A: LEAVE the marriage, please! Physical and verbal abuse is not acceptable under any circumstances that I can think of. I do understand your fear of society, even though I do not subscribe to the idea of self-sacrifice, especially in intimate matters such as this, to keep a few people in society happy. This sort of happiness is not only skin-deep but also dysfunctional. People who really love you will not be comforted with a fake sense of peace, knowing that you suffer every day. “Log Kya Kahenge” (What will people say?) seems to be the mantra that has destroyed many lives and crushed many dreams in the world, especially in face-saving countries like ours. Ironically, women seem to be disproportionally higher casualties of this chant. People who really care for you (and hence should matter to you) will support you, and if they love the idea of you being married more than yourself, they are the ones who need to be ignored plainly without much regard.
Most people will say, “Every marriage has its problems,” and I would agree. However, not all of those problems need the same response from you. Some require us to change aspects of our selves and get new skills to deal with the issue and our partner’s quirks and resolve incompatibilities. Physical and verbal abuse and assault are not one of those ‘problems’. It is a sign that you need to get up, take control of your life back from the marriage and people surrounding it from both sides, and LEAVE.