I fought with my parents and everyone around me to marry this person. But today I regret my decision. I was so busy fighting with others to protect him that I overlooked so many things that makes him wrong for me. He doesn’t respect me. He threatens me to leave his house every time we have an argument. In the past 6 months, he has even hit me twice. I don’t even have a support system to go back to. I even quit my job to be with him. I don’t want to hear ‘I told you so’ from anyone because I am already feeling like a loser right now.
ANSWER BY SREEJITA: It is evident from the situation that much hurt and pain are flowing inside. Marriage is not only being in a commitment or relationship, it’s also about expectations and dreams and life as we see it. When someone especially the woman gets devalued or disrespected in a marriage, it puts a question on her identity, as women tend to form a new identity on the basis of the marriage. As much as it is true that we value our relationships a lot, it should never be at the cost of our good being and self-respect. A person who threatens to leave at every argument is someone who is not ready to face life and take responsibility. When someone resorts to abuse, it shows his own vulnerability and inability to tackle the situation effectively.
At such a point, there are 2 courses of action that can be followed here. First, taking care of your own well-being and fixing focus on the self and trying to communicate with your husband
The first point here entails both the physical as well as the psychological well-being. The primary thing to be noted here is stated in the problem, ‘I feel like a loser right now’. When a marital relationship goes awry, we often tend to find the faults, either of ourselves or our partners. We should remember that blame game does not produce any productive result. Therefore, here are some tips for the wellness of the self.
– Do not live with abuse, no matter what. Abuse can be mental or physical. Verbal or mental abuse is no less than a hit with the hand, and it should be treated likewise.
– Do not look for the faults. The question is not ‘who was wrong’, it is rather ‘what went wrong and what can be done about it.’
– Do not feel guilty when you know you are not at fault. Guilt traps the rational and logical thoughts and does not allow us to perform rationally.
– When someone criticises you, it is not your character certificate. It is someone else’s opinion, and you are free to accept it or discard it.
– Spend some time with yourself, just for yourself. If you have a job, focus on it not as an escape from the home situation, but as something you love to do and is good at.
– If you do not have a job, take up a hobby. It might be reading or writing creatively in a diary. Vent out the bubbling emotions on a page, it makes you feel lighter.
– Take up brisk walking once or twice a day. Light exercises or medication are good as well.
– Eat properly and take rest. Listen to some soothing instrumental music just before you sleep, it helps to soothe the edgy nerves.
For the second part, we often get unintentionally critical at times. Criticism, although necessary up to a point, creates miscommunication and kills the relationship. Instead of saying “why didn’t you do it” or “you can’t do such a simple thing”, what can be said is, “I was sure you could take care of it, so I was just surprised when it didn’t happen.” Instead of saying “you should be with these people,” you can say “I feel they are not good people to be with, but then this is my opinion.
Try talking to a marriage counselor regarding the issue. It works in both single as well as couple sessions. Even if your husband is not ready for it, you can always seek professional help for yourself. It helps you to get guidance from a neutral person and speak freely without being judged.
A failed relationship seems as the end of the life, for the investment it has been and the toll it takes. But it is not always true. Life is surely not a single point focus, and when one door closes, another does open. Look for the opening. It might just be a beginning.