When one has a troubled mind the issues eventually show up and impact others--innocent children, relatives, law enforcement, paramedics, etc. The husband had a criminal history in the San Bernardino shooting, an obvious red flag for the woman who married him, but she dismissed it.
From desperation to be in a relationship to needing help with the bills and/or children, many needy women drive themselves into relationships with abusive men--there is a good reason why that man has his share of "issues" with a long track record of women who he just couldn't stick it out with. But let us not overlook the fact that there are many other domestic abuse stories where men and women have no criminal history, but yet they are emotionally and/or physically abusive. You don't suspect that the attractive, friendly, or outgoing person holding down a 9 to 5 is susceptible to taking his or her partner off the face of this earth one day.
According to a nonprofit journalism site, The Trace, a woman is shot and killed by a current or former romantic partner every 16 hours. In 2014, the pro-gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety reported more than half of women murdered with guns in the U.S. are killed by domestic partners.
Remember abusive men and women have been hurt by other abusive people and there are always signs leading up to the major blow up. Rarely do these mean-spirited men and women participate in any counseling programs to assist with anger issues, unresolved grievances from childhood and rejection related matters during adulthood. They expect their on or offline partners to be the answer to all their problems. So these hurting people wear a false front to entice their victims appearing to be very charming, patient, kind, and almost Christ like.
Sometimes when deceptive men and women are found out the same abusive tactics they used on their targets are reversed on them, but for those who are not mentally troubled like their abusers, they simply seek a way out of a bad decision. However, exiting a dysfunctional relationship has its share of consequences just like remaining in a toxic one.
Years ago I recall telling my abusive partner, while he stood in front of a door refusing to let me exit a room, that it isn't the people out on the street that we should be concerned about, but the ones we live with. I said something like, "I shouldn't have to live like this..." He was determined to make me believe his lies after I learned some things about him. He demanded I stay or else he would kill himself, and didn't hesitate to remind me who was in control.
I got tired of the verbal, non-verbal and physical fights, I left only to return back to him after his "I still love yous...let's make it work...I promise things will get better...I'm sorry" at least four times during a nine month period before the police helped me exit that toxic merry-go-round for good.
Yet, the battle is never completely over once you leave. You still have to watch your back. He was seen driving by my parent's home soon after the last break up despite being warned not to be anywhere near me or my family. Other times I saw him in the parking lot of my workplace. And many years later he drove a relative home which he could have killed and our family would have never suspected it was him.
Those who are currently laboring to love an abusive mate, stop the loving and get to walking if not for yourself for your children, pet, relatives, etc. Think about the following while you make plans to exit:
1) Will your name remain the same? With the ease of finding people on the Internet, it won't take long to uncover a new residence by searching your name, birth date, and any other identifying information.
2) Will you stay in your current hometown? If that is the plan, then do you have a supportive network that your abuser can see coming and going out of your home?
3) Do you have access to a hand gun? He or she might have one already. What do you do if suddenly he or she shows up one day brandishing a weapon?
4) Does your family, friends, employers, and others know that you are no longer seeing that person and can they identify him or her? One of the things I did after leaving my abuser was I made sure that the security officers at my job had a photo of him. I also filed a Protection From Abuse (PFA) at the police station in my community and where he lived.
5) Does your abusive partner have a joint account with you, name on property, and other shared assets? If so, you might want to start working to get his name off some things.
6) Does he know your hang out spots? Chances are he will be there.
7) Does he have access to your computer and phone? He or she will monitor your activities.
Whatever an abuser learns about you especially if it involves the opposite sex, and he or she suspects that there is romantic interest, will trigger some very dark emotions. When this happens, you will be a target for more abuse.
If you feel you are a victim of emotional, non-verbal, physical, or sexual abuse, seek the necessary help to assist you with a safe exit plan. Don't endanger others by keeping private about what is going on with the abuser.
When I think of the San Bernardino incident, I can't help but think of those children who may not have been hurt had that teacher made every effort to keep herself as well as others safe. Too often people keep their so-called "business" to themselves or "don't want to snitch" and then bad things happen to people due to ignorance.
After leaving the relationship, tell law enforcement about what you know about a troubled partner, share information with loved ones and mutual friends such as: he or she owns a gun, this person has threatened to kill me or made veiled threats he or she would use it. Also, alert security at your work and share a photograph.
What goes on at home in abusive households, doesn't stay there. Sooner or later someone or a group will experience the backlash when a victim has made up in his or her mind to leave.
Nicholl McGuire blog owner and the author of the following books:
Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate
Laboring to Love Myself
Socially Sweet, Privately Cruel Abusive Men