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What Do You Do When The Ugly Side Of Your Marriage Spills Over To Your Children?

( words)
*For representational purpose only.

I am a 55 year old housewife and this is the story of the relationship between my husband and my sons. We live in the same house but my sons never talk to my husband and the way I see it, I am responsible for all this. Let me introduce you all to my family. I am a simple housewife. My husband is a senior manager in one of the top MNCs. Non-smoker, Non-drinker. We have two sons, three years apart in age. My elder son is married and managing his own family of wife and kid responsibly. My younger son is a well educated, bright and dependable public servant. Both my sons are bright, employed, and well behaved.

However, my husband won’t accept this introduction. His introduction would also include that he is the eldest of his 4 siblings. His father passed away when they were young, yet my husband managed to complete his studies, get a job, save for his sibling's education, get them married, etc. He is like a father figure to his siblings. He did his duty of an elder brother perfectly.

The problem, is that he is too proud of it. He forgets that he is the father of our sons. As soon as we got married, we settled in a city. At that time, my husband was at a lower position at work. I always supported his decisions, in every situation. Soon, I realized that he has a superiority complex and an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Damn these psychological terms! In simple words, if I oppose any of his decisions, he starts rattling about his struggles with raising his siblings. According to him, If something is to be done, it should be done in the way he tells you OTHERWISE you are cursed. The early days of marriage passed peacefully because I was supportive enough to understand his point of view. But as our sons grew, I realized that he wants to control everything in their lives. What should they eat, what they should study, whom should they play with, where should they go, etc. In fact he started controlling their lives.

Once, I told him that our sons are not growing up in the environment in which he was raised so they should not be suppressed in the manner. From that point, his ego started to grow and eventually became an obsession. I think that children should be guided and not directed. This is one simple difference that my husband failed to understand. For small mistakes, he would start screaming, shouting, even raising his hand. I have seen my kids beaten badly just because their haircut wasn't as per my husband’s orders.

On the other hand, his interference in his sibling’s family was not supported by them and they started to ignore/disrespect him. They stopped acknowledging my husband as part of the family. I always knew that this day was bound to come but the worst was waiting to happen.

His behavior did not change even after our elder son got married. He never hesitates to scream or hit my elder son even in front of our daughter in law. On this subject, we argue a lot but he never understands that he should give up this behavior. I remember one day, our kids went to a birthday party. After the party, they returned 15 minutes late. Due to this, he started beating both boys. When I tried to stop, he slapped me too. I could do nothing but control myself.

As the boys grew, they learned to ignore his arguments but my husband never understood this. Recently, my elder(married) son was filling water in his cooler. By mistake, some water spilled on the floor.

The next moment, I heard a slap on my son's face, but that day my son lost his patience too and he slapped his father back so hard that he fell down on the floor.

For this, he started abusing me saying that I’m the one provoking our children against him. A few days later, there was an argument between my husband and my younger son. The argument triggered my husband and he angrily slapped my younger son as well. My younger son is even more short-tempered. A second later our son slapped him back and held his throat before he could move. For two minutes, my son held his father’s throat. This happened in the presence of me, our elder son but we didn’t say a word. My elder daughter in law came and separated them. After being separated, my younger son abused my husband very badly. He even said that he is not going to touch his dead body.

When I tried to shush him, my son said that I’m the one responsible for this day. Had I answered him in his language the day my husband first raised a hand on me…..This day would not have come. Its been 4 months since the last day my husband and our sons spoke to each other. Yes, we live under one roof but not as a family. Now I’m continuously thinking about what my son said to me. Am I really responsible for this? Could I have stopped this long before? Are my sons paying the price of my silence?

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