I have been talking to a lovely young woman in the United States who has been in an abusive marriage for some time, and they have a young child together.
Her husband has been verbally and emotionally abusive towards her, and he almost managed to convince her that SHE was at fault for his treatment of her. What?!
Here’s the thing…. NOBODY can make you behave a certain way, so what he is saying is rubbish.
What’s sad about this is that he likely believes she is in the wrong, that she has caused their marriage issues, even though it is he who has been abusive towards her. What’s even sadder is that she almost believes him, and is doubting everything she believes, and is asking herself if maybe it IS her fault. Not good.
Some people ask, “Doesn’t it take two to make a marriage work?”…
Yes it does, so here’s what she has done “wrong”:
- She has tolerated his treatment of her for years.
- She has made a choice to try to see the good in him, and has swept the bad under the carpet, in the hope that the bad will all go away.
- She has therefore remained focused on his potential, instead of the reality that she sees in front of her.
- By staying with him through this, she has sent him a very clear message that his treatment of her is ok.
- She didn’t seek any help to deal with this until now, as she felt too ashamed and like a failure, plus she was starting to doubt herself…
As you can see, her biggest mistake was in choosing to tolerate his terrible behavior. Does this make his behaviour ok? Absolutely not! In fact, his treatment of her is absolutely disgusting and he should be ashamed of himself.
But he won’t feel shame or own what he’s done, because in his mind, he still believes she’s at fault. It’s seriously messed up, and without professional help, he will likely never see things differently.
So… if you find yourself in such a situation, what should you do?
The first thing you should do is reach out to somebody. It could be a friend, a relative, or even someone like me, who’s been there. You could use the form on my Contact page to email me directly, or you could join my new, “Secret” Facebook group called Spread Your Wings (only other members will know you’re a member or see your posts), and ask for help there, or at the very least, read the posts and see if any resonate with you.
Either way, you MUST do something, because if you keep doing what you’ve always done (which is likely nothing or keeping things to yourself), you will always get what you’ve always got. Most importantly, please take care of yourself and keep yourself safe. xx