Indian families associate a lot of sanctity and pride to marital alliances. The tradition of giving away one’s daughter to the groom’s family is observed as one of the most important duties of the parents. The onset of adolescence in an Indian girl is marked by parents striving hard to paint a rosy picture of marriage in her mind.
The woman, relying entirely on the sanctity of her marriage for happiness, gets trapped when things don’t turn out the way they were meant to. The psychological abuse inflicted hurts more than the physical wounds.
So what’s the option now? Does the woman reach out to her family and friends? No, she does not. Does she seek support from her parents who were so confident about this institution? She dares not do that. The future looks dark and this time, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. What makes her situation so miserable?
1. Financial issues
Indian girls are never taught anything about finances. “Your husband will worry about that,” is what they are told, cutting off any scope of financial independence. A woman staying in an abusive marriage shudders at the thought of protesting against her husband’s misbehaviour because she does not know where to go. The uncertainty of a future without a steady flow of income compels her to remain quiet for decades together.
2. For the sake of children
Thousands of dysfunctional families stay together for the sake of their children. Married women have the bizarre notion that their children are better off in a violent but officially intact family than a separated one. The stark reality is that children living in such families develop emotional scars that are impossible to heal.
3. Lack of self-esteem
How do we expect women to be courageous enough to walk out of abusive marriages when appeasing their husbands was the only lesson taught to them? No sense of identity and self-worth contribute strongly towards the subordination of women. Education is the real key to empowerment.
4. The decision to keep parents out of this
Indian women are the epitome of sacrifice. They will bear the pain inflicted quietly but never dare to spill the beans in front of their parents fearing the wrath of society. Causing unnecessary trouble to parents isn’t something good daughters do.
5. The last ray of hope
Optimism is the last rope women cling to. The hope that something will transform their relationship one day keeps them going. She will blame herself for her fate and keep trying hard to win his love. She harbours the dream of experiencing marital bliss which becomes difficult to realize with time.
Let’s see how long it takes for husbands to understand that “Real men don’t beat their wives” and for wives to take a stand for themselves and live with dignity.
Charvi is an intern with SheThePeople.TV