A private hell
Seems like we hear more and more about cheating and abusive husbands. Now, more often than ever, we see these type of relationships coming to violent and tragic endings. Believe me, I’m very much aware of the fact that women cheat too, and some are abusive. When it comes to physical abuse though, the majority of the victims are women. Sadly, of the two issues, one often precipitates the other. While cheating and abuse both make me shudder, the two in combination are enough to take a person’s sanity.
I’ve written enough about infidelity enough to last me a lifetime. I am not nor am I trying to be an expert on the subject of abuse, mental or physical – the fact is that I am just very empathetic when it comes to these issues. The cold and heartless ‘I don’t feel a bit sorry for her – she could leave and get the hell out, but she chooses to stay’ never ceases to amaze me. Yeah, right. Unfortunately, more often than not, it isn’t that simple.
Fear prevails. Not only fear of her mate, but perhaps fear of sheer survival on her own. A woman may stay for her kids. Some women think and are made to believe ‘I must’ve done something to push his buttons’, and continually strive to avoid it happening in the future. They learn what not to bring up. They’re made well aware that their feelings are not meant to be shared, and that doing so will anger him. When she’s repeatedly told things like ‘no one else will put up with your sorry ass’ it eventually makes her believe that she’s worthless and unlovable to others. After so much time has passed living this life, she’s left with this shell of what used to be a whole person – just waiting to be led through yet another day. Week. Month. Year.
The next thing you know, half a lifetime has passed.
Anyone who reads this that is identifying with it in any way, shape or form – I beg you to seek help. There are places out there to help you. If you don’t have family to turn to, there are agencies and non-profit organizations out there who do care. Please don’t ‘stay’ and become a statistic. Read the news – the statistics are growing.
Here are a few signs of possibly being in an abusive relationship. If you find yourself identifying with even just a few of them, please take a step back and think about it…
You may be in an abusive relationship if he or she:
- is jealous or possessive toward you (jealousy is the primary symptom of abusive relationships) this can include constant accusations of you cheating or running around on him/her
- tries to control you by being very bossy or demanding
- tries to isolate you by demanding you cut off social contacts, friendships, or even family ties
- is violent and/or loses temper quickly
- abuses drugs or alcohol
- claims you are responsible for his/her emotional state (‘you sure know how to push my buttons’)
- blames YOU when he/she mistreats you.
- has a history of bad relationships
- you frequently worry about how he/she will react to things you say or do
- makes ‘jokes’ that shame, humiliate, demean or embarrass you, whether privately or around family/friends
- your partner grew up witnessing an abusive parental relationship, or was abused themselves as a child
- your partner frequently ‘rages’ when they feel hurt, shame, fear or loss of control
- you leave your partner frequently, only to return – against the advice of your friends, family and loved ones
- you have trouble ending the relationship even though inside you know it’s the right thing to do
Does the person you love:
- constantly keep track of your time?
- act jealous and possessive?
- accuse you of being unfaithful or flirting?
- discourage your relationships with friends and family?
- prevent or discourage you from working, interacting with friends or attending school?
- constantly criticize or belittle you?
- insist on control of all the finances and force you to account for every bit you spend? (except for reasonable cooperative budgeting)
- humiliate you in front of others? (including ‘jokes’ at your expense)
- take your personal property or sentimental items?
- keep daily mail from you, including taking it back to his work to store?
- have affairs?
- threaten to hurt you, your children or your pets? threaten to use a weapon?
- push, hit, slap, punch, kick or bite you or your children?
- force you to have sex against your will, or demand sexual acts you are uncomfortable with?
The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be accessed from 50 states. Go ahead, launch the link below. It’ll truly break your heart to see what’s on top of the front webpage. They call it a ‘quick escape’ button that you can push to quickly exit the page if your abusive partner were to walk in and see what you’re looking at. If this is not a true jolt of reality, nothing is – it’s real, it’s thriving, and it’s growing. Continuing to keep quiet about it is continuing to feed it. Help get the word out that we no longer have to tolerate this type of behavior from a partner. God bless.
National Domestic Violence Hotline website: http://www.ndvh.org/
National Domestic Violence Hotline phone: 1-800-799-SAFE(7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224