As I was growing up, Uncle and I regularly visited a big family several times a month. The husband was well educated and the sole breadwinner of the home. The wife had barely any elementary education,yet, she was smart, kind and spoke well both inside and outside the home. Even though there was love and peace in the house, there were many occasions when the husband would lose his temper and talk disrespectfully with his spouse in the presence of their children. These incidences began in private and with time started occurring in public. We happened to witness once such incident when we were invited to spend an evening with them.
That day on our way home, I was perturbed and questioned uncle as to why he did not correct him. Uncle was devastated with this incident but he explained that as an outsider he could not cross a certain boundary due to certain limitations. However, he told me that what I witnessed is not how one should treat their spouse, irrespective of their education or background. By disrespecting your spouse either through words or action does not make you superior and strong. This was a slippery slope and gradually, the children would realize that it’s normal to be rude and ruthless to their parent because they have watched either their father or mother do the same.
Later, that night, Uncle explained when two individuals come together and start a new life; they bring some of their old approach and attitude along with a breath of fresh air into the relationship. As humans, we tend to disagree with each other and that’s healthy for any relationship but one must never be disrespectful and belittle one’s spouse either in private or public. By doing so, we set an example to the next generation to follow suit.
Although mental illness had little awareness in society in those days, uncle understood the angst and trauma of this impact on the woman. The disgrace and suffering of this mental abuse leaves behind turbulence in life and a lot of people die with it while others fight the situation. One could avoid such situations by respecting the relationship, as every human should be treated with dignity and love.
As time flew by, we noticed the result of such instances in the same family where the children now followed their father’s footsteps and started disrespecting their mother. It was sad to see the mother being traumatized first by her spouse and now by her kids and even if she tried to fight the situation, she could never win the battle, as the man of her life had sown the seeds with no remedial measures.
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