Monday

Not Ready to Leave Your Partner Even Though You Know You Should

You walked in late one night from hanging out with your friends, may be it was work, or visiting with relatives, "Whatever you were doing, you are late!" your abusive partner shouts. You ask him what is he so angry about. You tell him that you are a grown woman and you can do whatever you want and then it happens. He hits you hard in the face.

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One evening you are over your boyfriend's apartment watching television, suddenly his phone rings, you answer and there on the other end of the receiver a friendly, female's voice asks you, "Who are you?" You tell her, she hangs abruptly. Moments later you hear the front door open, it's him. He starts off with a simple greeting, proceeds to the bedroom, changes out of his work clothes into something more comfortable, and then seats himself into his favorite recliner in the living room to watch the game. You decide that you need to talk to him about the woman who just called between commercials. He stares at you with eyes big, creases in his forehead, and the corners of his mouth frowned, "What are you talking about...what woman?" he asks angrily. You mention the phone call and how it makes you feel. After a heated exchange, you find yourself on the floor rubbing your back, he stuck his foot out and tripped you while you were trying to make your way to the bedroom. "Don't ever ask me again about any calls I receive! This is my apartment!" he yells.

A week later, he awakes one morning with a hangover and you don't feel so good yourself after celebrating a mutual friend's birthday party the night before. You feel a strange sensation in your stomach and jump out the bed rather quickly. In your haste the bed shakes, and he calls you a few chose names under his breath. After relieving yourself, you come back to the bed and sit on the side of the bed quietly, tears are rolling down your face, you just can't seem to understand why he just can't treat you any better. He attempts to pull you toward him and you resist. He starts yelling about how you are such a little girl, while calling you a few four and five letter words for not wanting to be intimate with him. Even worse, he says something like "...that's why I don't want to be with you anymore." So you scream back, "Well why are you with me?" He grabs you by your throat and proceeds to choke you. When that doesn't seem to work, he grabs a pillow to smother out some of your screaming. After fearing he may kill you, he takes the pillow off your face and apologizes profusely.

What you have just read are examples of what a single woman goes through in a relationship where domestic violence is prevalent. This is only one of millions of stories. According to the Family Violence Prevention Fund, 1 out of every 3 women around the world have been abused or coerced into sex by their boyfriends or spouses in their lifetime. Furthermore, estimates range from 963,000 to 3 million incidents of violence per year toward a spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend.

In October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed and it continues to go on to this day. As long as their are victims of domestic violence, then there will always be a program, a book, a talk show, a flier, or someone you know talking about the warning signs. See my article on How to Know Your Boyfriend is Abusive by Nicholl McGuire. I have firsthand experience with situations similar to the ones described earlier, and I am no longer a victim, but a survivor. At the young age of 21, while others were enjoying their college semesters without the worry of dying, I was going to class wondering if I would live another day, hoping my partner would change and praying no one would notice my scars. I experienced both dating and domestic violence. If you want to read my story in detail, then the book is entitled, Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate, and it is located online at Amazon.com, Target.com, Borders.com and Lulu.com.

Domestic violence sneaks up on you like a person creeping behind your back and then suddenly covering your eyes and shouting, "Guess who?" Relationships with abusers start off just like any other new dating experience. You are attracted to one another, you write emails, talk on the phone, go out to the movies and restaurants, etc. He meets your family and you meet his. He tells you how he loves you and you tell him in return. Then as the relationship grows older, the bad days come and it's during those times that the relationship is tested. Now in a normal relationship, you may agree to disagree, discuss issues like adults or you may even yell and slam doors, but you never use intimidating behavior, kick, slap, bite or choke.

However, in an abusive relationship that's just what you do and a simple apology is suppose to fix a wounded heart, a scarred face, a bruised arm, a broken, leg or some other injured body part. Then the cycle repeats itself he apologizes, you forgive him, he gets angry over something takes it out on you, then you cry, he apologizes, you forgive him and so on.

Meanwhile, you are telling yourself you are suppose to be smart, people are looking up to you, and you don't know what your family might do to him if they find out, so you keep quiet. In the game of winners and losers, you just lost, you made up in your mind that you don't want anyone to know. What's worse is your family may already know, but they have made up in their minds that they are going to look the other way and blame you behind your back, "Well you know how she can be. She has always been rather difficult to deal with."

What you may not have noticed is while you were confiding in your abusive partner about how your family makes you feel and the unresolved issues over the years you have had with them, he was taking notes inside his head and now he has more power to use against you. "That's why they don't love you. Stay with me. I'll take care of you...I love you ...forget about them!" Without no support from family and friends, you are left all alone, so you stay in the abusive relationship hoping things will get better. Well in Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate, I speak to all women in these relationships who are laboring to love their abusive mates through my own experience and I ask you difficult questions between poetry and story-telling in the book. You know you aren't ready to leave, but you want him to stop hurting you. The problem with this kind of thinking is you are trying to control him by thinking that you can make him stop hitting you. As he may have already told you, "No one tells me what to do."

He is a jealous man and at first you thought his behavior was cute, but now you can't leave the house without making sure you are dressed appropriately and he better not catch you talking to a man for long, let alone chatting on the phone. "Who is that?" he wants to know. Yet, he often talks to women, goes out to lunch, stops by their homes, drive them in his car, sends emails, goes places without telling you, etc. and he always has an excuse, "Well that is my children's mother...that's my friend from school...that's my co-worker... don't ask me what I do, your not my mother!" He most likely is having sex with someone other than you, so that nagging feeling in your gut isn't the food you ate; you know the truth when you see him acting strange.

He is the master charmer, everyone loves him, but then again maybe a few see through his deceptive smile. Yet, when he isn't out in the public, he is blaming everyone, but himself for everything that goes wrong in his life. You are blamed for having children with him (if you have any), you are blamed for not keeping the house tidy, for not cooking like this person and that, for not making enough money, and anything else he can add to his list of "blame shame on you." He usually follows the blame game with the name calling to make you feel like you are going out of your mind, stupid, crazy, etc.

He wants to be treated like a man, the king of the house, boss or whatever other name he may call himself to make him feel important and you feel like his servant. The children are also subject to his abuse even if he doesn't hit them, they watch him hitting you. They will either try to protect you, act like him toward you, or indifferent. He will use them to make you feel guilty such as keeping you home to watch them, rather than respecting your decision to return back to work, attend college or a trade school, or start a business.

He has control over the money and you don't know what is coming in, nor what is going out. You don't know his ATM pin codes, email passwords, cell phone codes, where he keeps bank or credit card statements, pay stubs, address book, and other information. You are in the dark on issues and if he were to die, you wouldn't even know the name of his life insurance company.

When you finally have the strength to tell him you are leaving him, he will do or say anything to keep you. He will threaten you, tell you that he will commit suicide and/or make promises he will change. "Let's go to counseling...let's pray...you can go to work...do you need more money?" And like so many other women, you will hang your head down low, unpack your bags, and lay your head on his chest and cry. It's back to square one.

For thought-provoking spiritual messages by Nicholl McGuire, Click Here!

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God didn't put you with an abusive mate. Your flesh did.

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