Vi Waln: Domestic violence comes in many forms on reservation

The following is the opinion of Vi Waln, Lakota Country Times Columnist. For more news and opinion, subscribe to the Lakota Country Times today. All content © Lakota Country Times.

Vi Waln

Sicangu Scribe
By Vi Waln
Lakota Country Times Columnist

Domestic violence doesn’t always refer to a man abusing a woman. There are many women out there who are just as abusive, if not more, than a man. Domestic violence does not discriminate. It doesn’t matter if the abuse happens in the privacy of a home or out in the open where everyone can see. When the person who professes to love you begins abusing you regularly, it’s no longer love.

Many women want to have total control. They want to control their children and their husband or companion. Sometimes when people get married, the tendency to control gets out of hand. Of course, this can go both ways. This week, I want to focus on the behavior of women.

I know many violent women. Their behavior shows us how abusive females really are. There are women serving time in jail for killing their husband, boyfriend or children. I am sure they all had, what to them, was a valid reason for taking a life. But the fact is, they still took another person’s life. Relationships shouldn’t end with the untimely death of your partner, especially if you had a hand in causing that death.

There are also women who control and abuse their husbands with threats. There are marriages where couples are not in love anymore, yet they still stay married. I could never understand why they stay married if they aren’t happy. Personally, I would rather live a happy life alone than be miserable with a partner who no longer loves me or whom I no longer love. It’s not worth it to focus all your energy on a relationship that isn’t going to get any better.

But there are women who absolutely refuse to let go. They constantly remind the man about the marriage. When the man goes to file or a divorce or talks of leaving his partner, she might do anything to keep him in the relationship. And this is all because the woman might not want other people to talk about how the marriage failed. I stopped worrying about what people think long ago. Your own personal happiness is way more important than what others are thinking.

When your partner does not want to be with you anymore, let them go. Divorce them and be done with it. Pack up their belongings and put them outside. Don’t look back. Don’t manipulate the partner into feeling guilty about an inevitable break up. Don’t try to manipulate your partner into coming back by making him feel guilty. Accept that the marriage has failed. This is still a free will zone, we should be able to leave a partner we no longer feel compatible with, without any theatrics or violence. Life is too short.

The woman might also use the children to hang on to the relationship. Maybe the woman had the children thinking it would make the relationship stronger. But even when you have a family together, it should not be a reason to stay together if one or both partners are unhappy. We were put on earth to be happy. Anything less and we are not being fair to ourselves.

Ego is a big factor in relationships. Your ego can bring out the worst in you. Women and men both tend to view their married partner as some sort of property. A statement like “this is my husband (or wife),” denotes ownership. Human beings cannot own one another.

I know of couples who spend years, even decades, toughing it out in a relationship or marriage they no longer want to be in. The husband might try to get out of the marriage several times. Still, the wife always manages to manipulate the situation and he winds up back in her home. After all, he is her property. There are many people who think if they can’t have their partner, then no one else can either. These are often dangerous situations because the ego can take over and help someone do something they will later regret.

When spirituality is involved, it is even harder to get out of a marriage. Guilt will play a big factor in a marriage where the couple may have spent years praying together. But spirituality alone cannot save a marriage that is over. Pray about how you have to split up in order to be happy. If your partner isn’t making you happy, chances are they never will. After all, they are not obligated to bring you happiness. You have to find that happiness all by yourself.

When couples are moving toward a divorce or break-up, things tend to get really ugly. And when a partner dies before they can get out of marriage, things can be really dismal for everyone. A controlling woman who believes she has the right to do what she wants with her husband’s body will create unnecessary havoc. Despite the fact that many people knew the marriage was heading for an inevitable divorce, the controlling woman will still want to own her husband’s remains; even in death. After all, he was her husband.

One of my friends once told me you can see how dysfunctional people are by how they act when a close family member dies. This is especially true of scorned women. The spirit of the deceased person deserves a burial with dignity, not one that is fraught with egotistical denial, theatrics and court hearings.

If you aren’t happy in your marriage or relationship, please have the courage and maturity to let it go. I would also advise everyone to make your burial arrangements before you die, especially when you want things done a certain way according to your spiritual beliefs. Put it in writing and have the document notarized. Keep it in a safe place because once you are gone, your family might be subject to more pain than they have to be.

Show our young people what healthy behavior looks like, especially when it comes to failed marriages. Be a good ancestor.

Find the award-winning Lakota Country Times on the Internet, Facebook and Twitter.

Join the Conversation