If you are an abused spouse, who has chosen to stay married, you will have difficulty with this article. Please – will you read its’ entirety before making a judgment? Would it help to know I won’t implore that you leave him/her? You already know it’s in your best interest to leave, don’t you?
My teachings are usually gentle in nature, but a recent event left me with an insight: sometimes straight talk is necessary.
While you read, grit your teeth, if you must, but will you make an effort to understand reasons why victims make erroneous excuses to themselves? Truth really will set you free.
Erroneous Excuse #1 – I can Change Him/Her
This the grandfather of all erroneous excuses victims make to themselves.
We don’t deliberately set out to manifest the abuser, but it is a metaphysical truth that the victim attracts the perpetrator because it is comfortable.
Abuse is what we know and the unknown is terrifying. Emotionally healthy people see signs of abuse early in a relationship and walk away. Victims deny that signs exist. When the abuse happens, and it will, we try to figure out ways to change the perpetrator.
When the abuse escalates, and it will, we get busy adapting to what he/she wants. We think we can make the marriage work.
The abusive marriage will never work despite the victim’s chameleon-like actions.
When we assume responsibility for our happiness, we get our power back.
Know this: The only person you can change is yourself. You can, however, metamorphose your victim self into a self-empowered person.
Erroneous Excuse #2 – It’s my Fault
Victims believe they are at fault for the abuse and, therefore, must feel, be or act in a manner that will keep the relationship alive regardless of the personal price.
Therefore, we never give up and make the erroneous excuse to ourselves that, “It’s my fault.”
“I must have done something wrong, he/she didn’t mean to hit me.” “She just had a bad day.” “I should have known better.” “It’s my fault because I’m not good enough, pretty/handsome enough, smart enough and so on.”
If it were possible, you would change everything about you in attempts to please your abusive marital partner.
The victim does not have the power to please the perpetrator. The abuser pleases her/himself by beating, stomping, belittling, blaming, cursing, throwing things, etc.
You are not at fault for the actions of your abusive spouse. You do not need to change. Even if you have the courage to set personal boundaries the abusive spouse will not honor them.
Erroneous Excuse #3 – I (Don’t) Live in a Pretend World
The longer the victim spins about in the abusive cycle, the more he/she will resort to living in a pretend world where someday things will get better.
Your things will not get better. Fed-Ex isn’t going to deliver a magic wand that you can wave over your spouse.
The only time is NOW. Someday never comes.
Why Abused Spouses (Don’t) Stay Married – I Make Informed Decisions
I kept my end of the bargain.
I did not demand that you to get out of your abusive marriage.
You also kept your part of the bargain.
You read the entire article, despite unpleasant emotions you must have experienced.
I did not demand that you get out of your abusive marriage because only you can make an informed decision to stay or go.
Will you clip this article and put it where your abusive spouse cannot find it?
If you stay married to your abusive spouse for the next six months, will you re-read the erroneous excuses victims make to themselves?
Magic wands may not exist, but magic words do! My gift to you is three magic words: “I am enough.”
They worked for me.
Source: my 12-step journal and experiences as an abused wife