Bum husband abuses wife

Dear Ms. Belle,

I am married with four children. I moved to this city because my husband and I were not very lucky in our hometown. I am actually doing many things. I have a main job, but I also do jobs on the side to make more money for our family. My husband is not very talented or skilled. To be honest, I’d have to say that he is quite lazy and I am very frustrated. He would rather lie down and watch TV the whole day. Sometimes he helps in household chores. He cannot keep a regular job. I would look for possible jobs that he can do, but whatever I find, he doesn’t like. On one job, he said he was tired of commuting because the site is far from our house. So he resigned. Next job, he doesn’t like his boss and said he’s always looking for mistakes in his work. He resigned again. Next job, he said there was too much work and the salary is not enough. In the last one, his contract was terminated because he was always absent and late. I am so tired because I am the one who is feeding the family. One more problem is that when we quarrel he hurts me. He throws things at me, slaps me and pulls my hair. One time, he pushed me and I fell and lost consciousness. My friends who learned about his abuse told me to leave him. But I really love him, Ms. Belle. I am still hoping he’d change. But this past year, he hurt me in front of the children. There are moments when I want to leave him, and then I’d back out because I don’t want a broken family. I am thinking of taking a vacation and go back to my hometown for a while. He might change if he misses us. Should I do this?


Dear Katherine,

There is a saying that “a woman marries a man and hopes he will change and a man marries a woman hoping she will not change.” Unfortunately, this line appears labeled as a joke. Do you still think he will change? There are two main issues that seem to bother you. One is that he can’t seem to hold on to a job and the second, the more serious one, is that he physically abuses you. Your first concern is just a matter of perception. You perceive his failure to hold on to a job and your being the breadwinner in the negative light. How about looking at it differently? If you are the more aggressive and passionate one about earning and working, maybe that is more your role than his. If he is not made of the stuff that would catapult him into a successful provider, then perhaps he can be a good home administrator. He will have a chance at raising the kids, learn to cook and do chores and take time out for TV shows. It isn’t bad at all. You need a partner in raising the family. You’ve got one. More and more men are becoming “housebands” these days. What bothers me is the fact that he physically abuses you. Most battered women never get the nerve to leave their abusive husbands because the husband “courts” the wife all over again after an abusive episode. So the wife endures the battering in the hope that it will be better soon. It’s a vicious cycle. Meanwhile, you are raising children who believe violence in the home is natural. You will raise sons who will abuse their wives and raise daughters who will accept it. At this point, you really need to think of your children. If you leave him, think that it’s for good, and not in the hope that he will change. He won’t.

Ms. Belle

TAGS: abuse, children, family, wife
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