Domestic violence happens……..but domestic violence does not happen only to women. When a woman goes through abuse at home, we ask her to leave and move forward with a happier life. When a man goes through domestic harassment, we are prompt to remind him of his responsibilities, how he cannot just quit and leave!
Here’s one story from Bengaluru, Karnataka, where a man suffered abuses, taunts and now even physical beatings recently, post which he decided to file for divorce after nine years of hell within his home.
It was an arranged marriage in the year 2011. The couple was introduced and they met 2-3 times before marriage. Once they met with parents, once when they went to finalise the marriage hall and some conversations over the phone!
I had no choice but to move out of the house. She was shouting all the time. My brother and I hence decided to live apart. I then rented an apartment near my office. Now the home was all to herself throughout the day, but she did not even care to overlook what the maid would do in her presence. I had to return once again in the dirty mess everyday.
I used to work from home in morning, and my superiors agreed and understood my situation. I had requested my wife’s mother to come and stay with us but she refused. Later my mother came over so she could take care of Deesha.However, daily my wife would abuse my mother. One day she even reached out to attack my mom, however, my mother locked herself in the room. Deesha would be in a perpetual state of agitation and there was no limit to what she said…no limit to her abuses.Her parents knew everything, but they were not ready to understand. Only her mama (uncle) understood the situation. She just heard him but didnt listen to him either. My wife did not even respect her own family members. At last I had to leave my mother at brother’s place.
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To my shock, no one from her home was ready to come.Suddenly one day she said we are trying to kill her and she wanted to leave immediately. It was not easy for me to arrange any mode of transportation in the evening suddenly, I told her I was trying. However, she started throwing things at me.
When I informed my father-in-law about my wife’s behaviour, he said how many days will your parents live! Better listen to my daughter if you want to live a happy life.
When we reached her native, her father was at the bus stop. She was carrying a big suitcase. The minute we got down, my father-in-law just said we will manage taking care of her, my daughter doesn’t need to go back.Her mother tried to intervene mutually, but no respite. I returned to Bengaluru. Deesha told me she will stay at her parents’ place for sometime. She was 3-months pregnant.
Drama Over Family Jewelry
My mother has joint bank locker with my father. Our family jewellery of my mother, my wife and sister-in-law is always kept together. During our festival time, my mother will give their respective ornaments to all.However, this year (2012) the festival happened to fall on a bank holiday, so my mother couldn’t remove jewels from the bank. Her father immediately accused our family of stealing their jewellery. He started abusing me worst than someone from the roadside. Next day we decided to give her everything and leave.It is now that we decided to tell her family how this was going beyond a limit and they needed to decide what they wanted. Her family once again told me — you have to adjust with our daughter. Amidst all the fights and commotion, my wife herself slipped and fell down. Till today, she lies to kids how I had pushed her during pregnancy.
Life was back to normal, now I had started cleaning the house along with the maid, however, Deesha would get angry at this too. One day the maid did not turn up and everything was in a mess. My wife did not do anything neither allowed me clean the mess.She was good with our son initially when he was young, however, when he turned 1.5 years old, she started keeping him away from me. Deesha used to get angry now with our son too. She would keep him unclean as well.
She would just hold our second child (daughter) without emotions. However, she was highly possessive of the child.
Behaviour of Children
My son was 3-years-old and I started seeing him aping his mother. He would get angry, start howling and beating. When I consulted a specialist, the doctor advised us to take him to child psychiatrist. My wife abused me saying I was trying to prove our son was mad.
Things were only getting tougher for the man and it had come to a point where he was not even allowed to speak with his parents. Raghu says,
I was not allowed to talk to my parents or family or friends ever. I would return from office early, thinking things will change. I tried taking her out with office friends, however, she would only enquire what I did at work.Once a colleague casually said how he didn’t work much but I ended up doing other people’s work too. My wife went crazy hearing this and did a showdown in front of my colleagues. This is when I decided not to take her out with them ever again.
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I never told anyone what i was going though, but my colleagues could understand how something was wrong. One day my colleague came home and she was throwing things at me, which is when he realised it was hell for me.
In 2018, my dad met with an accident. I was the only son nearest to him. I informed Deesha that I had to go. She locked me in the room and did not permit me to even see my father who needed emergency help.She took out my mobile battery and kept it somewhere else. My daughter opened the door and somehow gave my mobile to me. I ran out to meet my dad. She started calling my colleagues saying how I left her and run away. My colleagues started calling me frantically.
My brother was trying to reach me, she abused him too. We again informed her father, but he refused to say a word to her. Why is it that a father never finds his daughter wrong?
Why did u marry mumma? Why didn’t you run away from marriage hall? He said lets take take our clothes, tell her we are going to laundry and then run away from home.
My son would barely smile. My daughter would shout back, my son was more timid. But I used to stop my daughter from shouting back and respect her mother.My wife would brainwash them saying ur Appa would beat me when I was pregnant. My son started questioning me whether this was true. When u keep repeating the same lies to your children, they start believing it.When I call anyone, she would snatch my phone. If I stopped her, she would tell children see how your father is hitting me.
Husband Lives Out Of Home Yet Shoulders Responsibilities
I thought she will realise why he is living separately. I thought she will miss me. The day I left, next morning she messaged me and asked for a two wheeler. She took voice messages of my son, saying it is very painful for mumma…please buy her a scooter. She made them feel how I was not taking care of their mother. She made my children say, Appa u ran away leaving us.
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Trying For Reconciliation
I did it for my children. I told my wife I will do whatever she wants. I touched my in-laws’ feet and said sorry. I don’t know why I was saying sorry.
I was leaving for the office, he started abusing me, said he will send people to beat me. He got up and came to beat me. If I would react, I would be charged of some domestic violence case, so I just left. Her father said you can go and die somewhere, I will look after my daughter.
Once again I was living outside the home, and whenever I returned he was still in the house. I was paying every bill for his daily expenditure as well because he was living in my home.
March 2020 – Final Nail In The Relationship
I was in immense pain and went to the hospital on my own. After that I did not return home but went to my friend, Satish’s place.My google account was logged in, she happened to see my taxi booking and realised that I was living with my friend Satish. She went police station and filed a missing complaint against me. Though I was not even able to walk, I returned home.By now, I had become a joke for my children. My son started throwing things at me and shouting at me. He started enjoying all of this. If my daughter would talk to me, my son would beat her saying not to talk to Appa.
My mother sent an email to Whitefield police station. The minute my wife learnt about this, she started beating me, took away my walker, pulled away my lungi. My son and daughter were just standing and laughing.
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After discussing the matter with me, the police just told my wife not to snatch my mobile or walker and infact asked me not to talk to my friend (Satish).Later the police left informing Raghu to come to the police station if he wanted to officially register any complaint.
However, this time the police did not listen to Deesha, and asked me to leave.
I am now in my parents’ home. I am worried for my children. My wife never taught them any manners or paid attention to their education. I am distressed that they should not grow up becoming like her. I can’t stay with her anymore, will file for divorce and help my children to live away from her.I kept quite all through because of my children, but them being with her is impacting them more. They are not learning anything good. Just getting wrongly influenced.
In times where we have movies like Thappad, we also have a Raghu’s story. Most married men in India live through domestic abuse — largely because of gender biased laws that heavily favour wives or because the fear of losing child custody is way bigger than undergoing an abusive marital relationship.
In our opinion, Raghu has taken the right step, choosing to live his life away from a domestic abuser. While one can always say he should have done it much earlier, reality can be totally different than giving a mere practical advice.
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