You could not sense any domestic violence. They posed as such a perfect couple. People admired the way they spent a lot of time together and how they would treat each other in public.
This was Tina’s* fifth time to my house, totally shaken and begging me not to let her husband know she was there for fear that he would harm her. They were married with one child.
Each of the five times she would tell a different story! I heard a variety of things including “My husband wants to hit me and I don’t know why”, “My husband is so drunk and breaking all our household stuff and I am afraid” to “My husband slept out with his mistress and now he doesn’t want to be questioned”.
According to Tina, she was taking care of all the family’s financial obligations even if the husband too had an income. He did not help in any way. I asked her several times what made her stay given these rather dangerous and unhappy circumstances and her response was that when her husband was not drunk, was the best husband in the world.
She knew how work around meeting her emotional and intimacy needs when he was okay, and she chose to stay with him because she loved him having known his strengths as well as weaknesses as opposed to any other man she didn’t know.
With regards to his financial irresponsibility, she assumed that is the lot of every woman in life because her mother too took responsibility of them single handedly even when their dad too had a better income than her.
What I discerned from Tina after engaging with her is that she blamed herself for everything. She kept feeling that the reason why the husband looked for other women is because she is not beautiful enough and not good as them. She’d convinced herself that she was a lousy mother and wife.
She would keep looking for reasons and excuses and constantly say things are not as bad since the husband only broke utensils but did not hurt her. She kept begging me not to share and I didn’t because it was not up to me to make that call.
Whereas it is acceptable to show some level of intimacy in public if a couple chooses to, in this particular case it was a cover up. What was on ‘display’ in public was completely contrary to the internal situation.
Domestic violence has NOTHING to do with the victim’s behavior. Whether the victim is right or wrong, abuse is not a correctional method. Even if the victim is not doing their wifely, motherly, husband or fatherly duties or responsibilities well, violence has never been and will never be the way to go.