Monday, February 20, 2012

Marriage.....an illusion?

On your wedding day your heart should be filled with love, trust and mutual respect. For some marriages this last for over 50 years, and for others it ends shortly after the honeymoon.

So many people hear about physical and sexual abuse in relationships, and while we hear of emotional abuse many choose not to take it seriously. The scars for emotional abuse run deeper and longer than most physical scars will. It cuts to your soul and changes who you are.

A person in a marriage of emotional abuse has difficulty proving there is anything wrong to others, and the abuser puts up a good facade in front of others, slipping up occasionally or many times, yet again no obvious scars. The person suffering tends to protect the abuser and blame themselves for the situation.

"Emotional abuse is like brain washing in that it systematically wears away at the victim's self confidence, sense of self worth, trust in their own perceptions, and self concept. Whether it is done by constant berating and belittling, by intimidation or under guise of "guidance", "teaching", or "advice", the results are similar. Eventually, the recipient of the abuse loses all sense of self and remnants of personal value. Emotional abuse cuts to the very core of a person, creating scars that may be far deeper and more lasting than physical ones" (Engel, 1992, p.10).

This person who is a victim can be a man or a woman, but also the children of the parents in this unhealthy relationship.

This abuse affects not only the victim but the people who truly love and care for them. It affects the innocent children who have no choice or escape....who cry themselves to sleep at night, who live in constant fear.

I want to say this situation is not my life and I am so very blessed in my life to have a man who loves me and his girls more than anything, and I sincerely count my blessings every day for that gift. I journal our lives to leave history for my children as well as generations to come in our family. My girls are being raised in a loving home seeing the way a man should treat a woman and how a woman should treat a man. Respecting one another, loving one another. I only wish that others could be so lucky in finding this kind of love. My heart goes out to those that are struggling and I want to help in any way I can.

Right now my heart aches for several people I know fighting every day against the odds in their marriages. Some have broken free but left with emotional scars, some ended tragically,and some still smack dab in the middle of hell. To know this many people fighting this battle is even more heartbreaking to me.

So I'm a bit passionate about this issue as it weighs heavily on my mind.....what gives a person the right to "control" what another person thinks, feels and does in their lives. To see this person dying from the inside out and feeling so helpless in trying to free them from their situation.....a situation only they can decide to leave. To be standing on the sidelines feeling helpless until they make the decision to go and start anew. Praying the situation doesn't escalate to the point of injury to the people I love.
 Missing the ones who lost the battle because it was too late. Wishing they would have gotten help sooner.

So to those abusers I'd like to say:

It is not o.k. to belittle your partner. To scream at them like they have no worth.
It is not o.k. to control where they go and what they do.
It is not o.k. to isolate them from family and friends.
It is not o.k. to scream at them or at your children.
It is not o.k. to blame someone and find fault in all they do.
It is not o.k. to be superior in a relationship.
It is not o.k. to rage against your spouse or child for no reason, or for any reason!
It is not o.k. to criticize everything they do.
It is not o.k. to order them around and make demands.
It is not o.k. to control their lives.
It is not o.k. to talk down on them like they have no worth.
It is not o.k. to threaten them.
It is not o.k. to mistreat them.
It is not o.k. to hold them prisoner.
It is not o.k. to crush their spirits and diminish their light.
It is not o.k. to control them.


"The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit"  Proverbs 15:4

To those who may be reading and suffering from emotional abuse to you I say:

You have value and worth.
You deserve to be treated with respect.
You deserve the right to make your own choices.
You are loved by family and friends.
You may have children that look up to you for guidance.
You have strength and power to beat the odds.
You have resources that can help you, please reach out and use them.
You can be a role model for others who also are struggling.
You can be anything you set your mind to.
You don't have to "settle"
You are smart and able.
You can make a difference.
You are stronger then you know.

"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think"  Christopher Robin to Pooh...A.A. Milne.

When you truly love a person you want what is best for them. You encourage their dreams and support them through life's journeys. You hold them up in times of need. You respect them and not treat them as a puppet on a string to do your demands. You treasure them and stand by them in good and bad times. You love them through life's changes and challenges. You grow old together knowing you have been so very, very loved. You work hard every day to understand their perspectives in life. You don't abandon them in times of need. You accept them without conditions. You love them for who they are and who you are when you are with them.

Does this mean perfection? By all means no, it simply means to love without conditions and expectations. For none of us is perfect. It's saying sorry when the moment calls for it. It's staying true to yourself and letting the other person do the same. It's setting a good example for your children so they grow up knowing real love and right from wrong. If a child grows up in an abusive setting they will tend to either become the abuser in life or sadly to become a victim yet again.

Dating sometimes allows for a little easier way out of a bad situation, but when you marry and that person refuses to let go, it can make life very difficult for all involved. Another means of control "No! I won't let you live without me!" Is typical of what many emotionally abused spouses hear. They are taken for granted and not given the respect they deserve. They become so beat down that at times life does not feel worth living because they are trapped.

If you are this person, please know they are many resources to help. That you do not have to stay in this abusive setting. While there are many great links available I have listed two that offer good information and good starting points to getting the help you need. This is through my own research and in no way have I been asked to promote these links. I found their information to be helpful for victims and chose to share. Please visit here and also here


There are also many local chapters in your immediate areas that can help. If children are involved please think about how this is affecting their lives.

Marriage vows should not be taken lightly, but they should also be with a person you truly love with all your heart. If there are many doubts or you feel beat down by a person's love, please know this is not o.k. That is not how love should feel, like walking on egg shells to please them. That you have to create an illusion for other people to think that everything is o.k. when it is not. You have the right to be loved, valued and respected and not settling for something less. A person is not in love with you if they are always making you feel bad each and every day of your life. They beat you down to build themselves up and this is not o.k.
Respect yourself enough to leave and start over with a person you love and who loves you back without conditions. Think of the children who are involved and what is best for them and who you want them to be in life when given the chance.

Is the decision easy? No! Will it change you life? Yes! Will it happen overnight? No! Is it a long road back sometimes? Yes! Is it worth it? Absolutely! You are worth it. You deserve the best, your children deserve the best. Life is a journey, not a race but we have the power to create the life we want to live. To be happy and to encourage others to do the same. Please know there are many people who care and want to help, you just have to let them in and not face this alone.

To those of you struggling and I know may be reading this, know I love you very much and when you hurt, I hurt... when I see children hurting, I hurt.... and I want to help and support you any way I can.

I've posted this before but feel it fitting to those that may still found doubt in their decision:

Children Learn what they live
By: Dorothy Law Nolte

If a child lives with:

criticism....they learn to condemn
hostility.... they learn to fight
fear....they learn apprehensive
pity....they learn to feel sorry for themselves
ridicule....they learn to feel shy
jealousy....they learn envy
shame....they learn to be guilty
encouragement....they learn confidence
tolerance....they learn patience
praise....they learn appreciation
acceptance....they learn to love
approval....they learn to like themselves
recognition.....they learn it's good to have a goal
sharing....they learn generosity
honesty.....they learn truthfulness
fairness....they learn justice
kindness and consideration....they learn respect
security.....learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them,
friendliness....the world is a nice place in which to live.

Wishing you all a sense of peace tonight.

Blessings,
Jill

11 comments:

Sweet Tea said...

What an inspiring, informative, post.
I hope those in need will see it and find strength.

Heather said...

I wish my sister would read this. Thank you for posting!

Lindsay said...

Powerful post. Thanks for sharing!

Hope you are well, haven't back and forthed with you in quite awhile!

Sheila said...

Wow--what a powerful post. I wish some people I know could read this and truly believe they deserve better. Thanks for sharing. Take care.

Mark said...

Smart too! I'm sorry for thinking that you were just another pretty face. Boy, was I wrong!
Fantastic Post!
m.

McVal said...

Great post! Two of my sisters were in dating situations like that. For one, he threatened to commit suicide if she broke up with him. The other hurt her so badly she became a policewoman just so she could carry a gun.

Nicolle said...

Bless your heart for posting this. I am also so thankful for a loving home, and feel for those that do not have this! My husband grew up in an abusive home, and I am forever grateful that he has ended this cycle, and not brought it into our home. Great post and I can tell it is weighing on your heart for some people that you love. xo.

WendyP said...

Wonderful blog posting! I escaped from a 5 year emotional abuse marriage a long time ago, and while I feel better today, the scars on the inside still remain. Once you are told day in and day out you are fat, ugly, can't get any one better etc etc you start to believe it. I found a wonderful man soon after I left (with nothing but my clothes and my children) that tries every single day to remind me of the TRUTH of being beautiful, loving, etc GREAT BLOG POST Jill!!!

Genn said...

Very thoughtful post Jill.
Those of us that have a loving home without abuse truly are so very blessed. I'm sorry for those that you are so worried about right now.


I wanted to also say thank you for such a nice giveaway that you sent to my mom!! she called me this afternoon and my girls came over to help her open up the box with noah. the kids were SO excited!! and my girls are sitting in their jammies next to me on the couch both playing with their new minnie mouse purses! they LOVE them! you are so very thoughtful. Thanks for making their day!

Hope you are having a great week!

kristi said...

Great post!

Cherie said...

This is a very powerful post!

Abuse of any kind is just SO wrong and leaves so much hurt for so many.

But you are right. Emotional abuse is bad - it is invisible to others and sometimes people do not get the support they need. It can be a hard battle.