Anyway, my married friend had some words of advice for my other friend and me. She spoke about how there were things about married life that were very difficult — things which you would assume require communication and compromise — but then stated that in the end, you have to accept what your husband chooses to do. She said something along the lines that in order to make the marriage work, you have to accept everything and said that divorce is not an option in the Indian society because of how it negatively affects the families and the community. She also went on to say that sometimes when husbands get in a bad mood, they can say really mean things. But the way she said it, shocked my other friend and me as we assumed there was physical abuse occurring. She denied that but then in a matter-of-fact way said that the husband of a woman she works with does that. But apparently, the woman eventually told her parents who spoke to his parents who spoke to him and it no longer occurs.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. And apparently, neither could my other friend. We spoke about how domestic violence was not acceptable in any way and that not all abusers change that easily.
I think though personally, what shocked me the most was the matter-of-fact tone in which she said it. Like it was acceptable. Like it was okay if a husband hit his wife when angry. And that too, all this coming from an educated working woman my age. What hope is there if educated women think that you have to accept all that your husband does? That compromise means acceptance from the wife rather than both parties reaching a middle ground? And while I understand there needs to be a level of acceptance in a relationship, there is a limit for that as well. For instance, accepting a quirk is one thing, accepting the fact that your partner can say mean things to you any time they wish is another.
Women and men need to learn the difference between compromise and acceptance. Compromise involves both parties making a concession. Like for example, if one partner is very clean to the point of being obsessive and the other is very messy, you reach a middle ground of cleanliness. On the other hand, acceptance involves just one party accepting what the other party does. So in other words, the obsessive neat freak accepting that the other partner is going to be messy but then possibly themselves just cleaning up.
And as far as issues such as domestic violence are concerned, there is no acceptance and no compromise. It is NOT acceptable under any circumstance.
Hopefully, there are more women like my other friend. Who knows where to draw a line. Who will stand up for themselves and call it quits when there is violence in a relationship.
Until next time,