I am not sure what to do or think. Something inside of me is telling me that the way he handles me isn’t love….. but I love him. We have built a home together and deep down inside, he really is a nice guy…. (sigh) It’s just when he gets angry, he says things to me that makes me feel inadequate. He tells me that he doesn’t mean the things that he says. That he iis upset. Most of the time, he says it’s my fault. Sometimes I can see that and then other times, I am clueless. Things are getting better. The last time he punched me in the mouth. We had got into an argument over a text message on his phone. I guess I should’ve just asked once but I didn’t. This time, we were arguing over me coming home late. I was hanging with my girls and I told him I would be in by 2am. I came in at 2:14am. He was really mad. He accused me of cheating and then pushed me down and kicked me in my stomach. I laid there and took it because I should’ve been responsible. My man just asked me to be home and I didn’t respect our home enough. I tried to tell him where I was and that he has been late before. However, he said it wasn’t
about him and that my friends and I was being disrespectful. He also called me a piece of work, and after laying there, I realized the errors of my ways. I can’t expect him to do the right thing if I’m not. I’ll take the L on this. These raging moments Is probably all on me.
I have no one to talk to. He gets mad when I ask my mother for advice. He actually makes me feel bad when I try to hang out with her. He said that it’s not her business what happens in our relationship. I suppose he is right. I don’t tell her all the details so she doesn’t judge him. Besides, I know that if we get married, the vow is between God, him, and I. (Long sigh) Just from what my mother knows, she is always hinting that I should leave but she doesn’t understand the love we have. She doesn’t get that I’ve spent months building with this man. Besides, I tell her every relationship comes with ups and downs. Even though, I never saw my father hit my mother but I know they had their challenges.
Like I said I know he loves me. Besides, what am I complaining for. He is a good man and He pays the rent. He loves me and when he is calm, he always reminds me of how beautiful I am and that he can’t live without me. I am sure that eventually things will turn around. I know that the stress of his job plays a part. I am hopeful that things will get better for us. He has only hit me a few times.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The story above is often a common story of a woman making justifications why she chooses to stay in the relationship.
Pause. Before you mentally attempt to rationalize the several reasons why she should leave. This message is to educate you on domestic violence and encourage those who may have love ones in this situation on how to be supportive.
According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, Domestic violence (also called intimate partner violence (IPV), domestic abuse or relationship abuse) is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence includes behaviors that physically harm, arouse fear, prevent a partner from doing what they wish or force them to behave in ways they do not want. It includes the use of tactics to keep their victim in the relationship. (hotline.org)
Some tactics include but are not limited to; emotional abuse, isolation, economic abuse, minimizing, denying, and blaming, coercion and threats, etc.
Please note that abuse may begin with behaviors that may easily be dismissed or downplayed such as name-calling, threats, possessiveness, or distrust. Abusers may apologize over and over for their actions. They may even try to convince the person they are abusing that they do these things out of love or care. However, violence and control always intensifies over time, despite the apologies. Other examples of abusive tendencies include but are not limited to:
Telling the victim that they can never do anything right
Showing jealousy of the victim’s family and friends and time spent away
Accusing the victim of cheating
Keeping or discouraging the victim from seeing friends or family members
Embarrassing or shaming the victim with put-downs
If someone you love is being abused, it can be so difficult to know what to do. Your instinct may be to “save” them from the relationship, but it’s not that easy. After all, there are many reasons to why an individual may stay in an abusive relationship, and leaving can be a dangerous time for them (thehotline.org).
The BEST thing you can do is to empower them make their OWN decisions. As well as provide support in other ways:
Reassure them that the abuse is not their fault and that they are not alone.
Encourage them to engage in activities with friends and family
Encourage them to find support, such as a counseling or support group. To find a local agency in your area, call, 1-800-799-SAFE.
More support and resources can be found on www.thehotline.org