Entertainment Movies What is self-respect in a relationship?

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What is self-respect in a relationship?

One slap shattered her self-respect and broke a family. Initially it was a happy household. Everybody played a traditional role in the house where minor hitches were held over to air to be carried far away. It was a small family of three; mother, son, and daughter-in-law. The man worked in a progressive organization and was working for a promotion tirelessly for three years. On the other hand, at home his wife devoted her skills and focus to be the world’s best homemaker. She wasn’t a cultural chef but with her mother-in-law’s guide and affection she was learning quickly. One day she received a call; “We are moving to London” and she danced with all her colors like crazy.

Her husband was destined to head a regional branch in London and his success was her own. She organized a warm-dinner party the same day. Everyone was singing and dancing, enjoying the news of accomplishment. The wife was so happy to see her loved ones in joy in the house that she with her own hands had made a home. But what happened next changed their lives.


Man slaps a woman in the picture
Source Image: Kalinga TV

The man got a call from work and was notified that he would be appointed as an assistant executive to a British guy rather than a head at his new desk. Infuriated with interrogative notions he headed straight towards his superior who was enjoying a drink in the garden. As he saw his time and hard work being flushed down the drain he went out of control. Screaming at his superior he demanded some critical answers. Meanwhile his wife ran to stop him from crossing any safe barrier of verbal or physical abuse. She tried to take him away from the scene but her husband was pumped with rage in the heat. In this tug of war, he whacked a slap on his wife’s face.


People were shunned for a minute but moved on with their drinks and songs calling it an unfortunate but “family matter”. Whereas, the wife managed to drag her respect less body up to her room. She was waiting for her guardians to point her culprit but nobody immediately stood for her. Though her mother-in-law who herself was driven by societal mishandling of women did come to her room and say; “Come down. What will your guests say after all? Let a family matter stay within these walls.” Her brother also shared his kind words as “…he just heard about his loss at work. He had to lose it obviously!” Similarly, the next morning, she was asked another shocking question; “Did he (son) sleep well last night?”


Can you understand how normal was it taken? Anyhow, the woman tried to continue with her daily life but failed to do so. She was not at peace and struggled with her self-respect that her loved ones along her husband felt no regret, shame or even recognize what that slap denoted. Her soul was slapped and suddenly that home was not her safe heaven anymore. She no more thought of a house in UK with a blue door. That event determined her value and showed her status in the relationship.


Women already understand their responsibilities but expect to be appreciated and recognized for more than how well they can cook, mop or wash. Every human being is bigger than his or her service and wishes to be loved more for the kind of person they are. I value a man not because of how well he drives the car but how good of a listener he is. I value a woman not because she can make delicious food but for how supportive and forgiving of a human being she is. Our attributes are bigger than our responsibilities. Why do we confuse these both? So, she realized that her identity was as a wife, not as a human being or a woman. She was losing her self-respect and that sincere apology was not coming soon. So, she decided to move to her parents’.


Her husband did make stupid efforts to get her back. His words did not reflect apology but selfishness and oppression. In a course of few months, these were his words; “Come home, what will people think of me?”, “My wife is giving this thing a hype! Like this half of the married women will sit in their former homes”. Additionally, “You should understand why I made the mistake to slap you. I have been working for 3 years in the company as if it was mine. My emotional investment is too big to be devalued.” Hysterically, my question to this guy, “what do you think your wife was doing besides you all these years?”


Why did he think that a diamond bracelet was enough to regain her self-respect? How was it a better way to win her back rather than uttering words of sincere apology and being embarrassed? His choice of words was poor; “A little bit of kicks and slaps are an expression of love.” Seriously? If the woman had slapped him, he would not have forgiven her. Degree of abuse is not the sole subject, what it denotes is of significance. Self-respect, mutual respect and self-control are some of the bricks of a healthy relationship. Similarly, building and maintaining a relationship is also a two-way job. It’s not a man or a woman’s job. One partner cannot make a home, he or she can only lay bricks of that hollow house over their dead souls.


Woman slaps a man in the image

Hence, the wife made the decision to part her ways because she did not love her abuser anymore. She was tired of waiting for him to reckon his mistake. He never appreciated her, only his efforts mattered for house and work. But how did one slap make him an abuser? Did he shed tears of guilt? or did he apologize and kneel before her to show his disgust over the incident? Why did he not confess his mistake to be extremely unacceptable? Or did he drop-down his arrogance to demonstrate his willingness to be with her again? None of it! Contrary to it, he covered it by blame-game and use of force. The problem was the authority a spouse assumed over their partner. No husband or wife can hit another one, this should not be normalized.


Moving on, wife did give him chances but was astounded every time he responded selfishly. Her journey of fighting for her self-respect not only set her free but allowed other men and women to stand up for what’s right. Her maid stopped being a slave to her husband and her lawyer broke away from the pride of her snooty husband. Additionally, her father and father-in-law recognized their wives’ pain and buried desires to support a family. Both of the men embraced young love again with respect and freedom for their wives this time.


Taapsee Pannu (Indian actress)
Source Image: Social Telecast

This story was from the movie I watched last night. A Bollywood movie featuring Taapsee Pannu called “Thappad” (slap). {I encourage everyone to watch it} The first scene where her mother-in-law called her downstairs to continue to host a party was the moment I began collecting points for this blog. These speeches, processions and movies might be clichéd because all they talk about are pressures and problems of a woman over and over again but they are all pressing issues. It is not easy to live with an enemy inside and outside our homes, sadly.

Though in the movie, her husband Vikram did realize that he never had the authority to hit his wife but Amrita went on with the divorce. It was an impractical end as per my viewership because it does only require sincere apology and will to practically amend a mistake to serve as a glue. If I was in her place, I would have forgiven him but when it comes to reacting to pain and handling issues of self-respect I believe we are all entitled to different defense and coping mechanisms.


Moving towards conclusion I must say, legal ways of escape are messy and that’s why in this male dominated society women accept “compromise”. That exactly is what puts our generation at the fear of marriage now. Furthermore, in this twirl of emotional trauma, imagine the financial insecurity for a woman? How would have Amrita fought for her right with no support, money and resources? That is an example of “Why financial security is important for women as well?” Moreover, if children come into messier chaos, what about their childhood? Court rooms, quarrels, constant shifting from one house to another…no kid should have a life of such trauma because it has lifelong repercussions. Crux of this blog was; be self-sufficient to differentiate between love and harmful compromise.

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Article Author

Maryam Iftikhar
Maryam Iftikharhttps://siffar.com/
In the journey of tears and traumas, hope and joy I have become a woman who worked on herself, broke the shackles and is trying to own her life.

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