I’ve read and listened to stories of women who have been abused by their husbands. Their stories are heartbreaking and also inspiring. I know women who suffer not in the same way, but just as much. They are not beaten, physically, by their husbands. Yet, they are humiliated, discarded and dismissed. They are shown no care. They are called names. Their husbands tell them they don’t matter to him. They are told they have no right to question their husband.
I remember well what this lady told me. How she cried that night when her husband quite frankly told her she’s nothing to him, but instead he’s attracted to another. He had lied to her the previous nights. Not given her money when she wanted, but spent on celebrations with ‘her’. They’ve been married for years now. She had a grown up daughter herself. And she felt trap. She’s laboured for him for years. She said a few had tried to talk to her husband. But, he’s been adamant saying, “This is who I am. I’m selfish. I’m like that.” She was told by friends to not care too much for him, be cold. “But, this is my husband. If I don’t treat him well, he would discard me more,” she would say.
He told her he would give her money and leave. But, she didn’t want that. “What will other people say? What will it be for my daughter growing up? Isn’t it silly just to pack up and leave over something like this?” she asked. She kept insisting that she wasn’t been treated too badly. That there are people who suffer more at the hands of their husbands. That she was lucky. Was she?
This may seem less significant compared to the cases of abuse we often hear of. But, it’s the fact that many women feel trapped and helpless in these instances that’s distressing. They would continue to live this way for fear and for shame. As in the case of this lady, maybe she wasn’t hammered by an iron bar, but she continues to live with her husband knowing he cares for her no more, yet hoping he would.