How marriage between Devotee and Non Devotee affects the children?
Qn. In detail from a girl (Name hidden):
Hare krsna. My father lost her mother at the age of 10 & as a result of his abnormal childhood he doesn’t know how to behave with his wife and children. Me and my family is practicing krsna consciousness from past 6 years but we’re unable to make him krsna conscious. He tortures all three of us i.e. me, my mother and my younger mother physically and mentally both. Ours is a nuclear family & we’ve no one who can make him realise his mistake. We are suffering from past 25 years as financially we depend on him only and he took advantage of this. But now, when I’ve completed my studies and able to look after my family, my mother on the grounds of bhagwatam is forcing me and my brother to be with him despite being aware of his psychological issues. My question is: is it wrong for a wife to live separately from his abusive and mentally ill husband without divorce? His torturous behaviour is unbearable for me, will it be wrong if I abandon my family in such situation? 25,Female. (Mother living away from father with us now.)
Your devotee mother is away from her non devotee husband. She was keeping you and your brother with her so far. But, now, she likes to escape from her duties and forces both of you to be with the non devotee father.
This is your issue in brief.
Actually, after the divorce of the parents, a girl is advised to live with her mother, if she is alive and has good discipline. The father should support financially for all the needs of the divorced wife and daughter. The father is allowed to visit to see the daughter in certain intervals.
(Should a wife serve a non devotee husband also? READ HERE!)
In case the mother is no more or unwilling to take care of daughter, then, the father can take care of daughter if he is of good character. If his character is not good and she does not have any other care takers, the girl should be allowed to live in a women’s hostel.
This is the system.
Now, let us see whether a devotee girl should live with a torturous non devotee father or husband or what else she can do.
Now, in your case, you say that your father tortured all of you and hence mother parted him and is living alone with you and brother.
I do not know what do you mean by torture. From your message, I assume that he may be short tempered and hence abusive. This is not a serious psychological issue, but, about one fourth of the people are short tempered in this world.
(Will Krishna reform abusing husbands if the wife likes to avoid divorce? READ HERE!)
There may be so many reasons for his abusive nature:
(1) He may be abusive by birth as per heredity;
(2) He might have faced serious disappointments in his life and hence become frustrated abusive;
(3) He might have been affected by bad company who do not care the hearts of others;
(4) Your mother would have failed to take care of his personal/ physical needs. This is the major issue in the marriage between Devotee and Non Devotee as it affects the children in future.
(5) Among the followers of spiritual organisations, such marital issues are more in numbers because, they insist so many rules for grahasthas including the number of mating every month. These Grahastha rules can be followed only if both the wife and husband are devotees. If one is a non devotee, then, the other spouse is in a position to cooperate with the needs of the spouse and she/ he should not refuse to cooperate citing the rules as excuse. This will cause separation between them later at a point..
(A Devotee wife and Lusty Non Devotee husband – How to manage? READ HERE!)
Therefore, Grahastha Rules will apply ONLY IF BOTH THE husband and wife ARE THE DEVOTEES OF THE SAME LEVEL. In other cases in which one spouse is a non devotee, if a wife or husband insist on the rules, and the husband or wife is unable to follow the rules, then, the marriage life fails.
I think this difference may also be the reason for the separation of your parents.
I think your mother is doing wrong by forcing you to go to father after this much of years. She does not like to come to her husband, but, expects you and brother to go to him. This is not right on her part.
Though she is a devotee and may have a detached mindset, she should not escape from her duties leaving a young girl child to suffer and she should have some mercy seeing her children.
(Also READ HERE: My husband does not co-operate in my devotional practices! What to do?)
As a mother, she has these choices to follow:
(1) She should not escape from her duties for her children. She is expected to keep her children safely with her as the mother of a grown up girl. It is not good to allow the children to be with the short tempered father and she remaining peaceful alone. She wants to be peaceful, but, wants both of you to suffer with father.
(2) This seems to be the selfish decision on the part of your mother. In case, she finds it difficult to take care of you both because of financial constraints, she should get support from father or should protect both of you atleast by going to a job or even maid services.
(3) You have asked whether it is right for your mother to live away from husband without divorce. In some devotee and other families, such separations occur because of differences of preferences in life as explained above. However, unless a husband is unethical, immoral and abusive, the wife should try to be with her husband atleast for the goodness of their children. Therefore, your mother could have avoided going away from father since your father is not a drinker, womanizer, no earner, etc.
(Can a girl divorce the drinker and torturing husband after aborting the baby? READ HERE!)
Therefore, tell your mother that both of you like to be with her only. Shehas to to keep both of you.
In case, she insists and compels you to be with your father, I think nothing wrong for both of you to be with father.
The reason is that you have not written that he is immoral and hence I assume that you do not have any threat for your safety from him. And, since your brother is also going to be with you and father, I think that there will be no safety issue for you if you stay with your father.
Therefore, if your mother forces you both to be with father, and if you feel that your father has no disciplinary issues, you can go to him with your brother.
In case, he has any disciplinary issues, do not leave mother and clearly tell her that both of you will be with her because of safety issues.
(Devotee husband is torturing me having immoral friendships. What to do? READ HERE!)
If both your parents do not agree to keep you and brother, you and brother can stay in hostels and study further and demand your parents to pay for your studies. Or, both of you can go for part time or full time jobs and manage your needs. If you find a good boy from known circle you can marry him.
Since you are 25 now, you may get married in a year or two and after that, you are going to be free from your parents. If you can manage with mother till that, be with her. If the situation forces you to be with father, nothing wrong to be with him.
But, your mother should be merciful to protect you till your marriage. The conditions in sense control given by the spiritual organizations to follow their devotional practice system has made her to spoil her married life and also escape from her responsibilities that is the bad reputation for such spiritual organizations that advice the devotees to follow the rules in a situation in which there is no guarantee that both the husband and wife will be devotees in every marriage happening in the devotee circles.
(22 Tips to avoid differences if your husband is not interested in devotion! READ HERE!)
Any rule for married couples given by any sathsangha will be applicable only if both the husband and wife are the devotees. Others who do not have devotee spouse need not follow such rules. Please keep this in mind. Time is there and Krishna will make the life easy to follow devotion soon. Either leave the family and follow devotion, or, protect the family system by just chanting and following only the the rules that are possible for you to follow in your situation.
Therefore, understanding the irresponsible nature of both your father and mother, just manage one or two years till you get married.
Get married earlier and support your brother also to get married earlier as he too may escape from irresponsible parents. Please marry a devotee of the same level like you or make up your mind to live with others. This is very important as the marriage between Devotee and Non Devotee mostly ends up in issues.
Hope this helps you.
(How to make the husband a devotee of Krishna? READ HERE!)