A young couple got married after a few years of courtship. They did their professional course together and decided to marry. They faced severe opposition from families, but they persisted. Finally the green signal was given and the marriage was a huge celebration.
They soon settled into domesticity and were doing good. But one argument went haywire and the young man physically abused his wife. She was shocked, but put it down to one time issue. Soon it has become a pattern and she decided to confide in her in-laws. Her mother-in-law advised her to adjust; it is the lot of women to bear such hardship, she said.
The mother-in-law has not faced domestic violence. She does not know what it means to be dragged around the house by the hair and tossed around. And she was giving this advice. As a mother, she needed to speak to her son and let him know this behavior is a non-negotiable one. A couple needs to make adjustments and undertake certain compromises in the relationship. But abuse cannot be condoned. The mother chose to ignore her son’s behavior.
This is a family of educated people, living in a city. They have traveled around and been exposed to different cultures and do have educated extended family members. A son’s negative behavior was being denied and the responsibility of facing it was being thrust back on the daughter-in-law. The mother had another piece of advice for her daughter-in-law. Not to let anyone outside the family know of this abuse. The family reputation will be tarnished!
The mother has erred in her parenting skills, she has not imparted good values to her son. She has not taught him that respect is of paramount importance and anger needs to be understood and kept under control. Maybe he has had punitive upbringing.
He is in control in his workplace, so it stands to reason he can control his anger. With his wife he seems to feel no need for control. But if he does not learn to change, learn to cope with anger in a healthy fashion, he may soon not have a marriage. Then what advice will the mother come up with?
Why does a woman ask another woman to suffer? Do the roles play a role here? Can this mother relate to her daughter-in-law as a woman or does she only play her role? To agree with the young lady abuse is not to be tolerated, would be to agree her son has a problem. Maybe she has an issue here. Would she have the same advice for her daughter? Or would her role of a mother take precedence?
Is she afraid of confronting her son? Is she aware of his temper and feels it is better to steer clear? By doing so, she is harming her own son, she does not realize. He could lose his marriage, his career and also his health. He is not being checked for his anger at home, how long before it spills over into work? Will the mother ask his office management to overlook his anger?
Abuse is always ugly. It leads to pain, whether physical or emotional. It can leave a scar and can ruin good relationships. This anger of the young man need not be confined to his wife only. It could spill over to his children and may get directed towards his parents later. If his anger issue is the result of punitive upbringing, then he will take it out on his parents at some point of time. Will his mother then agree, women are born to suffer?
The young man needs to undergo counseling for anger management and how to understand and control his emotions. The couple will benefit with marital counseling. The young lady needs to learn coping skills, she needs to learn how to refuse to accept abuse. They are in love, so they can learn to help each other to improve their relationship. If they do not really address this issue, it will impact their marriage and also scar any children they have.
It does not seem to bother him he is inflicting pain on another human being. If he wants vigorous action to curb the onset of anger, he could go for a jog or a swim. At least he will be healthy! He needs to understand the triggers and needs to learn how to set in coping mechanisms to arrest the onset of explosive anger. Anger management can be learned, but he needs to understand where it is all coming from. Unless he addresses those unresolved issues, he will not be successful in controlling his anger.
The sooner they seek counseling the better. Or he could end up grievously injuring his wife.