Should She Leave Him? – The Respect Dare

Should She Leave Him? – The Respect Dare

I am of two minds on these posts, because where I am now is much different than where I was 5 years ago.  Because abuse is not a part of my relationship, I can say with much confidence that in a relationship between two adults, we can have conversations about anything in the world and if we are respectful of our differences, we can usually expect reason to guide us if we don’t indulge me over us or let momentary anger cause long term damage to our relationships.

Three is a belief I think, that abuse is subjective.  That one persons being abused can occur at significantly lower thresholds and still be seen as a gray area.  We can’t indulge this kind of thinking, because at the other end of the spectrum we’re saying a good firm arse kicking is within that same curve of tolerance and might not really be abuse.  The woman at the far end of that tolerance spectrum has been conditioned to question her sanity.  She’s stuck, she’s been taught that any move is a wrong move.  She’s been taught that her perception of the world is wrong, her actions are thusly wrong and that being abused is acceptable in light of this.  She might not even in her heart of hearts be able to accept that what she’s experiencing is a pattern of abuse and instead views it as a pattern of her failing not to do enough to avoid being abused.

I can understand how blurry the line between abuse and not getting what you want of feel you need from someone has become.  We throw around the word abuse if someones speech towards us is too harsh or critical, or if a disagreement goes on too long for comfort.  

Differentiating FEELING abused and truly being abused has become a semantics game in which we assign blame for the breakdown of communication in a relationship.  The word abuse has become preemptive justification for throwing a set of opinions that differ from yours out of the picture.  Much like the ‘slut shaming’ trend has muddied the waters around the real factors of rape – rape has nothing to do with how you are dressed; the term abuse in the collapse of a marriage has become a stone to throw, a set of check boxes in court and essentially a toothless accusation to be waved to direct traffic in ones favor within the legal system and amongst peers.  

I left.  But thinking back on the culture that was prevalent during the time of many biblical writings, I’m quite confident my ex would have been put in the bottom of a gulley and had heavy stones dropped on his head till every thought he’d ever had came out his ears with the blessing of the law, so :shrug: meh.

ACCOUNTABILITY was the final straw. There was none.  His accountability was to himself.  No other.  His password of choice for many years was “GoN4Mine”  Unless you have someone who sees you as a human being, deserving of life, who is impacted by the actions of the people around them as opposed to an blame dumping ground, ya got nothing to work with.  This man spit on me and laughed as I on hands and knees cried at his feet and begged him for his compassion even if I couldn’t reach his love.  

Many of the principles of respect and submission were already largely present in my first marriage, although I called it something different.  I called it a survival plan.  Bottom line, you don’t confront unless you are willing to go all the way.  Unless your life, your home or your children are on the line, you find other ways to work with what’s in front of you.  diplomacy is a survival skill.

Financially, when I realized he was pulling resources OUT of the family rather than directing resources in a way I didn’t like; that was a major issue.  

The affairs had gone on from the time we were dating.  When we were dating I made a point of not asking questions I didn’t want to know the answers to, questions that would have forced me to see what I didn’t want to believe.  When he decided we needed to take a break for a couple months because I was getting too fat in his opinion, chunky little 5’9″ 135lb gal I was, (feeel the sarcasm… it crusts and oozes) I asked no questions when later he showed up on my parents doorstep and after a dinner out  his apartment had been redecorated with a ‘feminine touch’ that was not mine.  When he decided it was best for our family for him to work for six months in a city halfway across the country, leaving me and our two week old first son behind in California, I said “If this is what you need to do, I am behind you 100%”  The next day, he was on the plane and gone and I cried all the way home from the airport.  Six months of brand new baby growing pains and fears and what the #$% do you want from me on the other end of the phone if any answer at all.  When he came home, things were different.  He never admitted to anything unless caught red handed, but over the years I learned the hollow smile of a liar well.  It’s rather like the smile the DMV clerk gives the hundredth person in line when they need to go back and fill out a form again.  Please take your seat, I will be with you shortly.  :vacant eyes:

I remember when he finally confirmed one of his affairs, offhanded, vague, before going out to dinner one night.  The plane tickets, the hotel reservations, he went to her house for a few days.  They had quite a time of it.  I didn’t speak for about a week after.  What was there to say?  He wasn’t sorry, he’d just found a new way to hurt me.  Honesty.  How refreshing.  A few months later, in the midst of the foreclosure of our home he left to work again, halfway across the country, leaving me with two children and one on the way to pack a household that never completely came out of boxes again.

At the point that you find yourself questioning your sanity, that you’ve lost yourself, that you can’t make a decision because you know you always make the wrong decision and you’re afraid of what will happen if you fail because the only person in the world who has your back is the person you have to run from, that you can’t trust any friend you have with the reality because you can’t trust anyone that might like you because you’re really not as good a person as they think you are, know you are looking abuse in the eye.  These are the fears planted in your head by an abuser.

There are no atheists in foxholes?  I dunno.  An abuser relies upon the same lies as the Devil himself, you are not worthy.  You are alone. You are uncared for.  

I don’t know how someone could have the strength in faith to reject the lies of the greater evil and remain within the power of the lies of essentially the same trap.  I think in a situation of abuse, identity terrorism, behaviors designed to make you afraid of and ashamed of being you, maturing faith would eventually demand change.

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