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Madhuri and Martin’s story

Their love marriage turned into a home of abuse. After 14 years, they began working together to reestablish peace and a safe future for their daughters.

Madhuri and Martin had a “love marriage”, meaning they chose to get married without their parents arranging any of it. They met and fell in love in university. Like most couples, they didn’t think that love would change after marriage.

Martin went on to be the kind of husband he saw modeled by his father, suggested in movies, and advised by his friends. He says these third party involvements made a huge imapct on him.

Martin’s mother is a government officer with a very respectable and influential position. Yet, his entire life Martin saw his father control his mother’s every movement. She wasn’t allowed to leave the house without his father’s permission. Every small decision she needed to make must first be checked by her husband. She lived life completely by his terms and was subject to both verbal and physical abuse. This, to Martin, is what husbands did. Real men controlled their wives and acted suspiciously of their movements.

Madhuri and Martin

At work, in movies, and TV shows, and through his friends’ stories Martin became familiar with the idea that women were unfaithful to their husbands. He came sure that if a woman was given too much freedom, she was prone to finding men outside the house with whom to be unfaithful to her husband. So he didn’t let Madhuri work, and he questioned everything she did. Becuase she was the kind of girl to have fallen in love in college, he accused her of being the kind of woman who would fall in love with other men if she was let out of the house too often.

As pressure at work mounted, Martin began taking out his frustrations on Madhuri. She would face embarrassing and violent episodes, and over time she began to feel defeated. She couldnt go anywhere because she had two daughters to look after.

After 14 years of building abuse, things came to a peak. Madhuri couldnt take it any more and left her house for the police station.

She gave a petition then went to stay with her parents without telling Martin where she was. This is the moment Martin describes as his blastor reality check. He didnt know what he would do without his wife. He couldnt imagine life without her. He felt scared and sorry.

All domestic violence cases brought to the police require 3 mandatory counseling sessions prior to the case being filed. My Choices is the Secunderabad Polices counseling partner on these cases. So when Madhuri walked in for counseling, she met My ChoicesCounselor, Pearl Choragudi. This step of taking courage and taking a stand was Madhuris turning point. There was no going back to the quiet, defeated woman she had lived as for 14 years.

Fortunately, when Madhuri came to Martin to ask him to come for counseling he took it positively! Relationships are a process, you wont make it in one day, says Martin, Fighting isnt goodyou must find the changes!Martin realizes that he took his wife for granted for 14 years. He says, I thought, once youre married where will she go?speaking of his thoughts about Madhuri not being able to leave no matter what he did.

Martin recognizes that he displaced his insecurities, fears, and frustrations on to his wife. He says you must accept your mistake, and look to the future and hope.His core irrational beliefs, my “musts, should and have to’s” were challenged and replaced by rational beliefs. What excites Martin the most is the idea of a new future. He points out the revelation that there is love after marriage, not just before.

Now, Madhuri is in software courses prepping her to enter the workforce. Martin, who is only too excited to encourage change, pushes her to do new things outside the house all the time. Together, they have made the choice to send their two daughters to co-ed school so that they learn to handle themselves around boys. They are teaching them to be assertive, and stand up for themselves.

When asked what she would like people everywhere to know, Madhuri says: Be courageous! Dont take abuse lying down. Assert yourself at the outset so you dont waste even a single day of your life! Asserting yourself is just standing up and opening a dialogue that must be opened to bring understanding. Above all, men, respect your wives! Give them the value they deserve!

Specifically Martin would like to say to all men: Dont waste the future! Dont be influenced by others. Just love and respect your wife. Strive for respect and understanding and dont be afraid of change. Its a process, and good a relationship requires change.

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