In the first episode of Satyamev Jayate, one of the participants pointed out that, “had she realised she had the strength to live life on her own earlier, she would have quit the abusive marriage long before.”
Be it the survivors of abuse or the advisers/counselors of the same, the suggestion of “you should have moved out earlier” seems to have become the patent advise or say stereotype dialogue. I say so, for I too am one of those people who has decided to end her marriage.
Though my case is a bit different, for nothing grave (in the eyes of the onlookers) has yet happened in my marriage for me to take such a big step. I am very often advised/told that I am over-reacting and things can definitely be given a second chance for the sake of my daughter’s future.
So the big question circling my mind is, when is it the right time to leave?
Does one react on the first occasion he/she gets a hint in the actions of the people in their life/ from their spouse that something isn’t just right? Or, should one wait for a while in hope maybe things will get better in due course of time, the dust shall settle and people (the spouse, in-laws and others) will change miraculously? Or, better still have faith in yourself and in your ability to change everyone around you to make them all start loving you sooner or later?
On one hand stands the rule, that the first slap in cases of domestic violence and the first lie in the marriage is never the last one and on other hand stands the constant pressure to give things a second chance and some more time. The choice is tough, much beyond what words can describe.
In most cases, people (the victims) are seen to act over-optimistic in their approach. They try to overlook the obvious signs and take the humongous task of changing people rather than indulging in changing their own lives, outlook and available options. The outcome is unfavorable to such extent, that no-one needs statistics to prove whether they were right or wrong.
As an ordinary human being of ordinary intellect, I have no super-natural powers to guess whether giving a second chance to my marriage would by any luck ensure a happy future for me and my daughter. Having said that, I still have countless hints lying strewn everywhere around me that are screaming loud and clear that smoke never rises without fire.
My husband has been constantly trying his level best to convince me that we (me and my daughter) mean a world to him and all he did till now, actually had hidden good intent. Such slimy, meant-to-appease good behavior for the few minutes while we were talking, used to cause immense self-doubt and panic in my already stressed system. I was not sure whether what I was doing was right or wrong.
It was then that I decided to think with a cool head and analyse everything right from the start. From the day I had first heard about my husband and his family and all the interactions that followed over the years. It was a painful analysis for it held many precious memories among the hurtful ones, but a necessary one.
It took me days to come up with concrete decisions. I am answerable to no-one for the actions I take, for I am deciding for my life. But, I also have the responsibility of my daughter, therefore I cannot afford to make any errors.
That was about my life. But, what about the people around us? I think the answer to this mind-boggling quest is, the day we get the first hint that something is wrong in the relationship/ marriage we are in or stepping in, we need to try to make ourselves self-reliant, develop a support system around ourselves.
It might sound impossible, our strength levels might appear failing and our social conditioning might block our clear thought. But every step counts. Be it in the positive direction or no action taken, everything has its consequences. Doing all this takes time as well as lot of courage, hence it’s obvious it’ll be a while before any concrete steps are taken.
The steps we might be forced to take in the midnight of a unfateful night if things actually go wrong, will definitely be lot easier to take if we have been gradually working towards it. Life isn’t easy in an abusive relationship, neither will it be outside it, so hardships outside it shouldn’t scare us.
Being prepared for the worst isn’t anything wrong, it’s just a safety measure. But, landing in hardships without preparation is indeed a disaster.
The next time you try to convince someone to give their failing relationship a second chance, help them see the whole scenario. Help them decide to work on a back-up plan. Before being judgmental, try to understand their point of view and help them see through their conditioning.
Afterall, it always helps to have a safety jacket on before plunging, irrespective of whether it is ever used or not.
The song on my mind: Kya Karein kya na karein ~ Rangeela