In one of my recent speaker sessions about women entrepreneurship (which mostly ends up pointing to challenges that women face in society), a lady in the audience asked a question in the chatbox during the QA time.
“What do you do when your husband is not cooperative?”
I read out the question and gave a burst of mild laughter and said, “There is only one answer to this. I am not sure if you will like it but, here it goes! : If ur husband is not cooperative, the only thing you can do is “Change the husband”.
To which there was laughter in the audience.
To clarify, I went on.
“As a first step, you need to try to ‘change him and his viewpoints’ with open communication. Give some time. If he is still not changing, then change the husband and choose someone else or be independent”
Well, I think we all have the right to choose our path, to realize our potential, understand our priorities, etc. Our destiny is in our hands. People who keep giving the excuse that their husband or parent is not allowing them to are simply in the wrong place. They are all adults and they need to take a stand for themselves and do whatever to obtain their peace of mind.
Deciding to change the circumstance is the first step. And then, pursuing the action to make sure the change is implemented. Now, this might be getting a relationship or career counseling for some people, short separation for some, for some divorce, for some taking a job out of location, etc. Whatever is feasible, try doing it. Never let anyone or any relationship become a hindrance to your growth.
I remember a bank manager whom I met a few years back who told me about her story. She has been surviving with an abusive husband for over 20 years out of fear of what her family and society will think of her if she left her husband and children. She finally decided to stay away from her husband so that she can have peace of mind. She then took a voluntary transfer to another state so that she could stay away from her abusive husband. She said, that was the best decision she ever made. She came home once a month to be with her husband and for the one or two days he was nice to her and they enjoyed being together. Her children were put in a residential school and she lived a life free of abuse. Imagine, a 43-year-old financially independent bank manager getting beaten up by a drunkard husband! Yes, this was her life for over 15 years until she decided to take that transfer. Well, this arrangement of another state job is temporary if you ask me. I wonder what will happen after she retires from her job. Hope she finds the courage to exit the toxic relationship by then.
Let me reiterate what I say every time. A relationship is healthy only as long as it helps you be yourself and flourish. If it tries to take away “you” and hinders your growth, then it’s unhealthy. And what to do about it and how long you need to endure it is totally your choice. But remember, your choice however difficult it might seem initially will only become a past decision in future which might be better if you are happy and not frustrated!
October is observed as #domesticviolenceawareness month worldwide to initiate more discussions around the domestic violence pandemic that we face. Technically, domestic violence is any violence met by anyone within a family or closed circle. But women tend to earn the bigger wrath of this due to the patriarchal set-up that we are in.
The irony of October 2021 is that we also celebrated the Navarathri Festival where we worship the Goddess Durga as the epitome of an empowered woman who even slays her perpetrators with utmost valour. Yet, when it comes to our women, we still expect them to be “the good girl” who is submissive and who has to tolerate all the bad qualities of her husband or other intimate relationships. She is also expected to have the highest degree of patience and work towards balancing her work (read: settle for less) in order to have a good family life.
Well, ladies, I think, it’s time to change this narrative. Take charge of your life, like a Durga.
You can thank me if you wish to since it’s November and it’s a month of gratitude. Thanksgiving month!