Domestic violence in a family represents the dysfunctional family structure. It is an abusive behaviour directed to one partner within an intimate association, such as marriage. There are many forms of domestic abuse, which differ from one society to another. It takes different forms, such as assault, physical aggression, issuing threats or even neglect (Nicolson, 2007). Economic deprivation and stalking are also forms of domestic violence.
In the earlier years, domestic violence was mainly limited to men mistreating their wives (Dutton, 2006). Man supremacy was unrivalled, and women were subjects to men in the society. At times, social groupings aggregated women with children. Most ancient stories and plays have always placed a social barrier that limited women to household chores. They were supposed to be responsible for the welfare of their husband at home. The wife was practically a subject to the husband and had absolutely no power over her spouse. This trend made some cruel husbands mistreat their wives at any opportunity through beatings and other means. The society saw none of these as unusual since man’s supremacy was socially accepted.
With the recent modernization and equality calls, these trends have changed as more women continue taking up responsibilities that were earlier perceived to belong to men alone. In Africa, for instance, women started to take high offices that could be best marked by the Liberian and Malawian women presidents (Gelb & Palley, 2009). The 21st century women empowerment has therefore been evident in the high social places and has at the same time infiltrated in the basic unit of the society, the family. Women no longer behave as subjects to men but rather look for equality in terms of the social status. Equality has even spilt over to violence where stronger women bully and mistreat their husbands (Gelb & Palley, 2009). The husbands have nothing to reiterate with since most women are in the women activist groups that give them protection over their spouses. Most husbands, on the other hand, rarely report about these cases since it is perceived as a sign of inferiority, and they fear of being looked down upon in the society (Cook, 2009). They therefore continue to suffer silently.
Today, financial difficulties are the main cause of domestic violence where wives mistreat their husbands due to low income. A wife usually perceives that the husband is denying to take his duties or is refusing to give money.
This paper will discuss domestic violence against me by my wife, and the effects of the incident which was so painful to me. I will use Kolb’s learning style of concrete experience; reflections and observations on the issue; generalisations and the eventual applications of the incident in future days.
Identify and Describe the Type of Family Violence Experienced
Last summer, I planned to go for a vacation with my wife to celebrate her thirtieth birthday, which I believed would make her happy. I thought that we would spend our holidays in Jamaica together. To my knowledge, I thought I had enough bank shares that I was going to trade for money. As the vacation time approached, I decided to trade the bank shares and turn them into cash. I was shocked because they traded lowly, and financial advisors warned me not to sell them. That meant that the holidays had to be cancelled since I had no other means to take money for our vacation. I decided to immediately drive down to my wife boutique, where she sells women’s dresses and shoes, and tell her what had happened to my planned financial source for the vacation. After learning the bad news, my wife exclaimed in disappointment and rage. She started to use abusive language and threw clothes at me; while customers and other onlookers watched. She called me names, insulted me, acted like she was possessed and constantly accused me of being unfaithful. The incident wasn’t new to me because she had done more than this last year which had led to the police involvement.
The two weeks, that followed the vacation cancellation incident, were followed by her not cooking at home and depriving me of sex. These two weeks of no sex remains vivid in my mind, and I remember the devastation and torture that befell me. The humiliation and deprivation of sex hit me so hard both physically and emotionally that I had to get a psychologist to help me find myself. Family therapy helped me significantly in rebuilding trust in the family.
Observations and Reflections
After this incident, for the first time in my life, I regretted having got into marriage. I thought that those who were not married did not undergo the pain and torture that I was going through. I thought of divorce, but I did not consider this much because I felt that our young children would suffer more than I did. I loved them so much and was ready to go through anything for them. Their mother was a disappointment to me and was not adding anything to my life. It was not my fault that my bank shares traded at a low price, and she was supposed to understand that. I felt that she would have understood the situation, and if she really had needed the vacation (which I was sure she did), she would have sat down privately and weight any other options.
Despite being so unhappy with her, I still carried some of the responsibility of her outburst for breaking the bad news at her place of work. I regret using this approach, but I still feel that she was supposed to calm down later and accept the situation as it was. She took it very far to an extent of denying my conjugal rights for two weeks on top of refusing to cook for me. Her emotions were supposed to last a day or two, but it took her two weeks to get over it.
Her behaviour in front of her customers showed me that she cared little about me and had no respect at all. The embarrassment she made me face by accusing me of being unfaithful was unbearable. I had never got into any close relationship with anyone else, despite being handsome and likeable to other ladies. I had decided to keep to my marriage, but every effort I put was met by a disappointment. I decided to call my workmate whom I knew had a lot of respect for me and to tell her and to feel her company because I felt it was too much to handle. I later played down the thought since it would help nothing but would only make things even worse. I decided to keep it low and block my feelings to her insults and abuse. Of course, it was hard due to the circumstances that they were hurled at me. She had no respect for me, and this hurt the most. However, I had to keep her for the sake of our young children.
Emotional torture is the main form of violence that wives apply to their husbands (Nicolson, 2007). This is mainly due to the more superior physical strength that men surpass them with. Furthermore, men will rarely report about such cases to the authorities. The cases have very little evidence, and the victims are often shy to talk about them. They remain in their hearts as well as minds, and they severely affect their lives and in some cases can even lead to suicide. They are a catalyst to divorces, and their effects cannot be in any way underestimated.
Another thing that makes them even more complicated is the presence of children in marriage (MacGee, 2000). They form a large source of further agony to their father. If the father shows his discontent at home, the children might note this and join in the agony. This leads to many men running away from home and only coming home at night. They can drink heavily in order to get away from the bothering issues.
My case could be used by unstable couples to help them understand that sometimes it is rather hard to solve family issues. The approach that I had used to inform my wife of the cancellation of the trip was not very appropriate. Young husbands can learn from this that they need to seek for the best place and manner to convey demoralising messages to their wives.
Owing to the fact that my wife had not been very good to me, as per our history, husbands should also have a goodunderstanding of their spouse. Planning for activities that were not mature was not good for me. I have made a mistake by planning for the activity without adequate information on shares and finances. I ought to have waited for the money to materialise or get alternatives to such situations in good time. This can be good to reduce the incidents like this that I had after my vacation to Jamaica had failed.