Broken Lives

Posted on 28 September 2009

Murder Victim

“Marriage is an institution, but who wants to live in an institution?”


The old joke aside, I am astounded that marriage continues as a custom of our society.  Even if a husband and wife hail from the same cultural background and the same generation, their differences must far outweigh their similarities.  They will have been raised in disparate households, under different circumstances.  Each will follow their own politics; each will have their own tastes in music, art, sports, cuisine, and so much more.  Couples who remain together, and moreover, remain happy together, overcome tremendous challenges.


But what of the couples who don’t?  What happens when it all goes wrong, causing a husband to bring his entire family to a tragic end?


For purposes of this article, I will refer to the violent half of the couple as “he” or “him.”  Although there are a number of cases on record of cold-blooded and mentally unstable mothers murdering their children, a much larger body of statistical data illustrates that men perpetrate the majority of violent crimes, including those against their spouses and their own flesh and blood.  If you, dear reader, have neither the time nor the inclination to examine the research, take a glance at the media.  Teeming with stories of such violence, the TV, the Internet, the radio, or the newspapers should convince you of the truth of these terrible statistics.


What does cause an otherwise sane man to turn into a Scott Peterson, a Robert Blake, or an O.J. Simpson?  The reasons swing from financial difficulties, “temporary insanity,” substance/steroid abuse, and adultery, including the notion that the man simply cannot live without his significant other.  The other factor is the triple-X chromosome, a genetic abnormality that affects only the male gender and results invariably and inevitably in violent behavior, including murder-suicide.


If a husband/father takes his own life, his choice will undoubtedly impact his wife and children.  But the man who commits murder-suicide within his own home robs his family of their own choices; indeed, he deprives them of their most basic right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”   The Bible tells us that it is wrong to murder someone, but I feel a personal need to qualify this Commandment.   A bigger sin is murdering an innocent child who has had nothing to do with creating a volatile home situation.  I cannot conceive of how it is possible to snuff out the life of a child you have brought into this world, a child whose tears you have dried, tucked into bed, and taught to ride a bicycle.  And in Scott Peterson’s case, a child you would not even allow to emerge from his mother’s womb.  To be killed by someone you once loved and may still love is a most horrible fate.


In cases such as O.J.’s (verdict notwithstanding), where the husband becomes enraged that his wife — or former wife! — has taken up with another man, I simply don’t understand the husband’s mindset.  If you love someone who was not happy with you, would you not gain some measure of peace in allowing her to be free?  Letting her go peacefully, without rage or animosity, would enable you to remain friends and mitigate the impact upon the children whose custody you may share.


I also question the sanity of men who assume that their souls will be reunited, on the other side, with those of their murdered wives.  Do these men possess crystal balls to know what lies beyond death of the body?  And if they view their wives as soul mates, as cherished partners, how then can they remove those women from this life and do it in so heinous a manner?


Perhaps, but for the matter of the triple X chromosome, it boils down to weakness of character.  Some men are unable to accept responsibility, financial and emotional, for the families they have created.   Some men obligate their women to validate their very existence.  And some men just never grow up. 


If you find yourself in a precarious situation, contemplating destroying your loved ones and taking your own life, I cannot urge you enough to think about the consequences, should you put your fears into action.  I also strongly suggest that you try another route.  Trusted counseling is available from many sources: licensed therapists, social service networks, your local church, a suicide hotline, or close friend.  Many health insurance companies pay for therapeutic counseling, and many therapists accept insurance.  You can use the Internet to locate a credentialed therapist whose experience and approach seems right for you.  If you do not have insurance and cannot afford such services, reach out to non-profit organizations such as Catholic Charities; they will connect you with appropriate resources.   You will get the help that you need, and the family that you love or once loved will be safe. 

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One Response to “Broken Lives”

  1. Sabrina Fies says:

    Hi my name is Sabrina. I was surfing and found your blog, which I liked very much, which is quite pleasant to read. I return next week to read you again. Greetings Sabrina

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