Monthly Archives: August 2017
The replay of our latest Blog Talk Radio Show: Dr. Mother Love on Love–Let’s Talk about Family and the Woman’s Role is ready. Click here to listen!
Today, we start with woman’s role in the family, but first, this last comment about man’s role: Family matters are very dear to me and should be to everybody because family is where everybody and everything begins and ends. It takes a man, woman and kids to form the nuclear enclave and embraces the extended members to complete the healthy network that keeps the family sound, stable and successful, (the SSS code). It also takes a committed team to build a sound family, but just one bad egg can mess up everything. As we have discussed at length, the man, the natural head of the family, has the greatest responsibility for maintenance and balance. I hope he will continue to live up to this expectation.
Now comes the woman. Among other attributes, she brings into the marriage and her new family her natural gifts of wisdom, grace, patience and fairness to all in the family including herself. She is the neck that rocks the head and pilots the family on a daily basis. Are most women meeting these expectations? Yes and No! Just like men, women have flaws and challenges influenced somehow by upbringing, marital environment, culture and the society she finds herself. How she handles her situation is key to the success or failure of the entire family. Some cultures do not give women the credit they deserve but their role in the family has been vital from time immemorial. This reminds me of my great-aunt’s advice about marriage: “Go there and kill every family member with kindness; that it takes only a devIl not to reciprocate.” She did not know that there are almost as many devils as angels to go round. Such is the reality of our human society.
Let me narrate my meeting with the wife of the man I talked about in the last episode. He claimed that he used silence and indifference to “protect himself” from abuse and disrespect from his wife and children. So I promised him that I will have a chat with his wife, and I did.
Here is the summary of our discussion: I introduced myself, summarized my encounter with her husband and asked for her honest response. It took some time to get her to open up, with tears flowing down her cheeks. Right there, I could see a frustrated, disappointed and broken woman.
Slowly, painfully, reluctantly and cautiously she gave me a short history of her life in this family.
At age 19, she got married 18 years ago to her high school sweetheart, her first and only love, the oldest son in a family of ten. He was 25, vibrant and full of life and hope. The first few years were great until the kids started coming. “After the arrival of our first two daughters and a third one on the way, my husband changed into a monster, irritable, impatient and demeaning in words and deeds. Our kids became ‘your girls’. He cared less and teased all of us with utmost meanness. Gradually the girls became withdrawn, avoided him and used me as their only shield. To protect these three innocent girls, I had to become a different woman, bringing out the worst in me, talkative, insulting, insensitive, critical, ungrateful, defensive– you name it, all in self-defense. He would take off for days and come back with no explanation or apology.
I had to abandon the virtues I was raised with and took on a thick skin to protect myself and the girls from emotional abuse from him and his family especially his mother who saw my daughters as unwanted strangers because of their gender.”
She burst into heavy tears and I had to stop her from talking and consoled her.
Both sides of the story left me with many thoughts and unanswered questions about relationship, marriage, family and cultural influence on value system.
These give us enough issues to think about till the next episode when we will try to make some sense of this problem and see how women deal with their realities in the family.
Please continue listen or visit our Facebook Group: Positive Family Front, and post your comments and questions: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PositiveFamilyFront/
Dr. Mother Love.