Tapati (tapati) wrote,

Open Letter To My Grandsons

Dear Grandsons,

I don’t know if I ever told you this, but I have spent the last 25 years writing about husbands hitting their wives (or wives who hit their husbands) and trying to help prevent other people from doing that or from staying in a marriage while it’s being done to them.

So it made me sad to hear that you both were talking about someday hitting a future wife.

Why do you think it was important to me to take you home with me so your mom could come and get you?

I wanted you to be safe in your own home, as everyone should be.

I, personally, don’t even believe in spanking. I was spanked as a child and I believe it did nothing positive and actually made me fear my mom, grandma and aunt. I began to tell lies to avoid the violent spankings I got.

When I got married to your mom’s dad (not the Grandpa you know, who is my second husband) I was hit many, many times by him. He was very violent. Sometimes I was thrown to the floor. I had bruises and began to fear each time I heard him at the door, returning home.

This is not how you want your wife to feel about you some day!

He kept saying he would stop. Each time was supposed to be the last and I tried to believe him.

But he kept hurting me over stupid disagreements that normally, with your Grandpa Dave, would amount to nothing, minor things that most people would simply talk about until they found a solution.

I started out loving your first Grandpa, Mike, with all my heart. It was my first romance. I was very young—too young, really.

But if you hit your wife—remember this—she will love you a little less with each blow. Finally, all of her love will be gone, replaced with hate and bitterness, and she will leave. That’s how it was with me and why I am no longer married to the man I thought I would spend my whole life with.

Again, when you fall in love and get married, this is not what you want! You want your wife to love you all the days of your long, long lives together. You want her to be glad to hear your foot on the doorstep, happy to see your smiling face. You want her to treat you well and you must treat her the same way. That is the way to be happy in a marriage. That is what I have with your Grandpa Dave, who would never think about raising his hand to me. Think about Grandpa—has he ever once spanked you or made you feel afraid? No? That’s how it’s supposed to be. Home is where you feel safe and know you are loved, not where you live in fear.

As you know all too well, children don’t feel safe in a home where one adult is hitting the other, even if no one is hitting them. Children should never have to see that.

If you ever feel tempted to hit others, I hope you will get some help. There are therapists, support groups and other help for anyone who needs to learn how to handle anger without hitting people.

I hope you will grow up to be kind men who will always be a refuge for women and children. I hope you will learn how to solve differences with calm words rather than insults or fists. I hope you know that marriages don’t work when someone is being treated disrespectfully. Love dies when it is not nourished with kindness and respect.

I hope you will both have very happy, loving marriages, like I do now.

All my love,

Tags: bio, book, domestic violence, grandsons, memoir, writing

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