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Ooops...Why a wife kills her husband
NOW it's a free post on the power of resentment
Sorry for the confusion. I am still learning the system. The “free post” ended up behind a paywall. Now, it’s open for the next 10 days. Enjoy.
This Wednesday, something different. I read a poem from a very talented fellow writer, Reena Kapoor, and this happened. Below, see an analysis of the murderess, even though she is imaginary. Tragedy usually strikes a deep emotional chord. The more complex the situation, the more fascinating the connection. People don't always fit a right-or-wrong mold.
Next week, I'll entertain my paid subscribers with a cost-benefif analysis of public shaming.
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Beautiful Rani divorced Onkar to marry a richer man, who'd gone and died. Helpless, Rani moved back in with Onkar and his new wife Meena. For a week. Soon months, years passed.
People looked askance, but shrugged. Poor Onkar was known to be endlessly kind. But it was Meena who shone. With self-effacing kindness, she made space for Rani. People marveled at her magnanimity.
Then Onkar was found dead, his head split open with a rolling pin. When questioned, Meena stated glassily, "I cooked his favorite lentils. Rani spat them out, saying there was too much salt. He just nodded."
—reena | 10/31/23
The first question everyone would ask is why was "beautiful Rani" allowed to move in with Onkar and his new wife Meena? More specifically, why would Meena agree to the arrangement? But she did. And it lasted "years." Apparently, Meena shone with magnanimity. Or did she? After all, she killed Onkar over lentils.
First, Onkar – kind or attached to his ex-wife? We don't know because he's not telling us and never will. But I bet you personally know of someone who can't let go of an ex. I've been the ex to least two "someones" couldn't let go of me. I felt sorry for their new partners because I knew they compared them to me. Not that I am amazing or anything, but there's an enigma to "the one that got away." So, perhaps Onkar had that going. Having Rani in his household made him feel sought out, possibly redeemed, and validated. Also, guys love being "helpful heroes." A damsel in distress has magical powers, especially if the guy still has feelings for the damsel.
But it is Meena who makes space for Rani. It is Meena who does the cooking. Rani is the guest who never leaves and gets fed. Rani "spits out" the lentils. What gives her the comfort of being so demonstrative and disrespectful to Meena?
Onkar, of course. He just nods. Meena could have killed Rani for spitting out the lentils, but she killed Onkar. The fact that Rani spat out the lentils and Onkar just nodded could suggest that he was more accepting of Rani's criticism than Meena's efforts and may feel to Meena like a stab in the back. One of many, perhaps. He's supposed to be on her side, have her back, and be more concerned with her feelings than Rani's.
One reason why Meena chose to target her husband rather than Rani, possibly, is that she saw Onkar as the root of the problem since he was the one who allowed Rani to move back in with them in the first place. Killing Onkar could have been a way for Meena to assert her dominance and take control of the situation, whereas killing Rani might have seemed more like a temporary solution.
Regardless, she didn't have to kill him. There are clearly other ways to address the power imbalance, the disrespect, and her grievances. But she split his head with the rolling pin. Graphic. Bloody. Violent.
What kind of person does this? A very resentful one.
Meena must have resented Onkar's generosity towards Rani. She must have felt taken advantage of. Who wouldn't in this situation? However, some personality traits or characteristics may make a person more prone to experiencing resentment or more likely to act out on those feelings.
For instance, individuals with high levels of neuroticism may be more likely to experience intense negative emotions, including resentment, and may have a harder time managing those emotions. People with a strong sense of entitlement or a high need for control may also be more likely to experience resentment when they feel that their needs or desires are infringed upon.
But Meena seems to be very agreeable. She went along with the program for years. She doesn't appear to be the controlling type. She, more likely, suppressed her emotions, which is consistent with agreeableness. Those high on this trait end up "people pleasers." Individuals who tend to suppress their emotions or have difficulty expressing their needs and boundaries may also be more likely to harbor resentment and act out in passive-aggressive ways.
Perhaps she meant to hit him over the head to make a point, not to kill him. Or, perhaps her resentment grew like "the alien" inside her until it burst out in its most grotesque form and destroyed everything she knew as her life with one hit.
Resentment is a complex emotion influenced by a variety of factors, including personality, upbringing, life experiences, and current circumstances. It's also something that can be managed and mitigated with self-awareness, communication skills, and emotional regulation strategies.
The following might help deal with resentment:
Identify the source: Try to pinpoint the root cause. Is it a specific event or situation, or is it a pattern of behavior building up over time? Understanding what's triggering your resentment can help you address it more effectively.
Express your feelings: Talk to the person involved about your feelings. It's important to communicate openly and assertively rather than bottling up your emotions or expressing them in passive-aggressive ways. You may need professional help or seek the council of friends to figure it out first before you bring it up to the other person. Also, don't buy a rolling pin just yet.
Set boundaries: If you feel resentful because you feel taken advantage of or mistreated, consider setting clearer boundaries. No one gets extra brownie points for being a butt wipe. Say no to everything that makes you feel that way, and you will avoid the resentment that inevitably comes after.
Practice empathy: Try to see the situation from the other person's perspective. This can help you understand their motivations and intentions and can sometimes make it easier not to take things personally and to reinforce your boundaries.
Focus on what you can control: Resentment often arises from a sense of powerlessness or frustration. Rather than dwelling on things you can't change, focus on the aspects of the situation that you can influence or control. You can always control your feet. Walk away if you have to.
Let it go: Sometimes, the best way to manage resentment is to simply let it go. This might mean accepting that things didn't go the way you wanted, forgiving the person involved, or choosing to move on from the situation. If everything else fails, move on from the person.
Seek support: If you're struggling to manage your resentment, consider seeking support from a therapist, a counselor, or ME 😊. They/we can help you explore the underlying causes of your resentment and provide you with tools and strategies to manage it more effectively and overcome it.
It's absolutely normal to feel resentful from time to time. It's okay to experience those emotions. The key is to find healthy and constructive ways to manage them so they don't take a toll on your relationships or well-being.
The moral of the story is - what a poem can say in a few lines takes a psychologist 30 years to figure out. LOL. That's probably why there are more psychologists than good poets – job security.
Thank you for reading. Back on Monday with Pondering Purpose Part 3, a Mindful Mondays series. And again next Wednesday for my cost-benefit analysis of public shaming.
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