Tanisha (name changed) has been married for seven years into her second marriage. Her earlier marriage had not last long enough and before she could realize that she has been married, she was out of the wedlock.Her husband of her first marriage , could not take to her low mood and low self esteem.He called it quits in one years time. She had met Sunit (name changed ) through the family social circle. Sunit an employed engineer , despite his having divorced her wife from his first marriage had appealed to the family so much that without any kind of verification etc., Tanisha had been married off to him . It was all rosy picture for the first few months of her new marital life . She had moved with him to another city where he was posted on his job. Soon she had been blessed with a baby. Things started to go wrong the moment she had announced her being pregnant to her husband. Sunit found it difficult to continue in the job he was holding. He quit the job .They moved back to his parents home.They have both become dependent on his parents meager income of rentals and pension. Tanisha later learnt that Sunit’s earlier divorce had happened on account of his inability to continue into any job for longer period.
Sunit has since been out of job for seven years. Each day begins with a fight for the financial needs which have been by now mounting to unmanageable levels. Their daughter is six years old. Her school expenses too have been rising up every year and will go up further ( her current school expense is being managed by Tanisha’s parents from their pension funds) .
It is obvious Tanisha has to bear the brunt of her husband being unemployed . She is mistreated by her mother in law too. Tanisha has been moving forth between her parents house and her in laws like a bouncing ball very frequently. The last time she had been away for over six months ( this being longest period of her leaving her husband ). Yet she comes back every time .Every month it happens either she is told to leave her in laws’ place by her mother in law or her husband or she would leave in a huff after the fight vowing never to come back . Her life goes on in spite of the mental, physical , emotional , economic and social abuse.Neither her parents want her to leave her husband nor is she confident enough to lead her life independently.
The relationship that Tanisha has been undergoing is a regular feature in her life, as she has been treated very badly in childhood by some of the family members, and again by some of the boy friends in her teens when she was into college.
Relationship abuse is the most common form of psychological, abuse people indulge into to hold a sway over others or allow others to hold a sway over them. It is a kind of psychological exploitation by the perpetrator . At the same time it is also an unnecessary comfort area the victim gets into refusing to come out of it.
It has been observed that Women ( irrespective of the fact that they are married or not ) stay in abusive relationships due to a combination of low self-esteem, still low self confidence ,lack of family support ,poor other alternatives . This is also compounded by the time and efforts they have invested to rectify the current relationship, find the research recently conducted . The results indicate that 88% of women continue their relationships with their abusive partner over longer periods. The women just do not have the courage to move out of the relationships and leave their partners. even after having been abused over longer relationships , many women ( many men too ) with lack of self esteem and lack of self confidence find it hard to leave their partner. They just prefer enduring the abusive relationship having lost all their trust in their own capabilities.
The study points out that only a small percentage of 12% of the women in this study who were abused — psychologically or physically — left their partner . This happens when such women feel they are not worthy of bringing about any change in their status .
The low self-esteem in women can be the result of having undergone childhood abuse — which can instill fear of the unknown change .Doubts of self empowerment can raise their tolerance for abuse, and neglect . Such women have reported at least one incident of abuse in their early life , whether physical or psychological.Psychological abuse included things like, “touching inappropriately by a friend or a relative”, “ being bullied in their childhood”, ” being called fat or ugly”, ” having been ignored by parents, guardians, or“ being hurled insults by teachers , tutors, classmates or companions “.Most of the abuse the study indicates are psychological.
The research points out that : “…women experiencing high levels of psychological distress may not feel efficacious in their ability .The results showed that 88% of women were still with an abusive partner over longer periods unwilling to leave their partners.”Childhood abuse has been an important contributory factor,“…women who were abused in childhood are more satisfied with their current relationships(even though it is abusive.) than women who are not abused in childhood.
“It is possible that women with childhood abuse histories are more relatable in their relationships than women without childhood abuse histories because they have more tolerance for mistreatment based on early life experiences and resulting interpersonal experiences ”, the researcher points out ,“…the more psychological abuse women are exposed to, the more energy and effort they put forth to resolve the conflict, thus leading to increases in perceived investment.”
“The more time , effort, emotions and experiences women invest in their relationship, the more likely they are to stay in such abusive relationships” , and hence their could be many Tanisha’s enduring abusive relationships.
-Ramneek Kapoor – Family Therapist , Psychologist Counselor and Science of Living Expert .