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Post No. 101 (Ho-hum)

October 16, 2012

Other than John Dalli’s latest caper/embarrassment/alleged criminal association, two news items have really caught my attention, namely:

a) that man who admitted to regularly raping his three daughters since they were 12

b) the policeman who stands accused of having tried to kill his estranged wife

Let me tackle (a) first. I’m not going to go all emotional and demand that he be castrated, hung drawn and quartered etc. There’s the law which deals with him and his actions, there’s appropriate therapy for the victims and there’s our duty to pray for this evil to be turned into something good. My stumbling block has been the “why” of this person’s behaviour.

What can drive a man to rape his own children?  On one occasion, it has been reported elsewhere, his wife was present when he raped one of the daughters in a car. Despite the feelings of abhorrence that well up when you read the story, you can’t help thinking that there’s some sort of psychological/psychiatric anomaly at work here. Can such a man be held responsible for his actions? You may counter this by saying that he knew that what he was doing was wrong because he told them to keep mum about it. Anyone who owns a dog knows the guilty look it will give you when a dog’s done something it knows it shouldn’t have. Would you attribute culpability to the dog?

I don’t think prison will do this man and his family any good. I’m not saying that it should be business as usual for everyone involved – far from it – but I think that a psychiatrist is in a position to do more good than a prison warder.

Then there’s (b). Married people know what your better half makes you feel like wanting to do to them, sometimes. In most cases it stops at the odd harsh –  perhaps even unfair – word. Apologies all round and within a day or two you’re sitting together watching a James Bond film sipping beer and taking turns to see that the kids are still fast asleep. I don’t understand what can make you want to literally shoot your wife. What makes a relationship turn so spectacularly sour? Fear? Jealousy? How does it reach such abysmal depths? I know it’s never one-sided, but still … I’m not pointing fingers or judging anyone. This is a genuine question.

I’m sure that when these two were courting they never dreamt it would come to this. And what about their sons/daughters/whatever? What is their impression of marriage?

Signing off.



From → Misfires

  1. William Grech permalink

    re (b), I guess the question, rather than “What makes a relationship turn so spectacularly sour?”, should be “What makes a person react in such a violent manner?”. Most probably the answer is never to be found within the context of the relationship as it would be stemming from an arrested emotional or psychological development of the aggressor. As to their courting days, many individuals are in a state of denial regarding their partner’s character.

    • In this particular case I believe you’re right, but can the argument be applied to all broken marriages?

      • William Grech permalink

        Certainly not. Yet again, I still believe that much of the immature behaviour between partners in the context of broken marriages (or relationships) is in no small manner due to patterns of behaviour we are exposed to in our childhood and which we then unquestioningly take on into our own adult life. Thomas Harris covers much of this in his book “I’m OK, You’re OK” –,_You%27re_OK I found this provides a very poignant insight into such matters.

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