Too Many Chances

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I want to make something abundantly clear. If you are being abused, and your abuser is not taking responsibility for his/her actions, you need to leave that relationship as soon as possible. There is nothing you can say or do that will make your abuser change. And they will say or do anything to keep you because, chances are, you have stayed longer than you should and they have invested too much time and energy on you to lose you. They may promise to go to counseling with you. They may promise to do better and treat you right. They may promise to never cheat on you again. They may allow you more temporary freedom, to buy what you want or do what you want. This is called the “Honeymoon” phase. And it always precedes the “Tension” phase, which always precedes the “Violence” phase, which is always followed by the “Honeymoon” phase. This pattern is textbook stuff. It’s not a case by case basis. Every abusive relationship has these three cycling stages.

Your abuser treats you that way because they do not relate to you as a human being. You are an object or representation of an idea. Have you ever wondered how someone who loves you could treat you so horribly? It’s because they can only see how your existence benefits them. Never the other way around. Everything they do or say, is in regards to manipulating you as an object for their own purpose. This sounds harsh, but these are lifesaving revelations. I don’t think I would have ever left my abusive ex had I not read this while doing my own research.

If you don’t want to burn bridges just yet, I suggest at least separating for awhile. But do not spend all of your time with him and do not live with him. This is vital to you breaking free of his control. Allow yourself to form other bonds and friendships again. Allow some time to pamper yourself and not to worry about how everything you do will affect him. Reflect on your life with him and determine for yourself if the relationship is good for you. Go to counseling. You may find that you won’t want to go back to him and there is nothing wrong with that. Even if he does manage to change himself and become a better man, you are not obligated to go back to him. Abuse is extremely traumatizing. Never let anyone pressure you to stay in an abusive relationship. Do not let your church, your family, or your community shame you into staying “to work it out” or “ to be a good, dutiful wife.” It’s your body, your mind, your freedom that we are talking about here.

If there’s anything I want our readers to glean from this post, it’s that there can be misinformed people who may mean well in your life. These people may know a little bit about abuse themselves, they may have their own testimonies or claim to have known someone in a similar situation. They may give you advice that they think is fair. They may even tell you God will fix it, or he’s just going through a “phase.” And that’s fine, but God can fix your abuser’s behavioral problems without you having to suffer through any more abuse. And if he’s going through a “phase,” he can go through it without you. Because the longer you stay, the more he knows it’s okay to repeat the cycle of abuse again and again and again.

 

~Lindsey V.

2 thoughts on “Too Many Chances

  1. Lindsey, in clear, succinct language you explain the three cycling stages of domestic abuse. You describe well how all victims are objectified, and diminished by their abuser. This is not love, this is abuse! I have always deeply admired your sharing of personal experience on your blog and how you guide others, who remain held in these abusive relationships. You and Christa are a beacon of light for others, you offer them great hope.

    Personally, I feel that one of the worse reasons to remain in an abusive relationship is ‘for the children’ yet this explanation proves to be one of the main reasons why so many women say they stay. Sometimes it’s only years later, when those children look to re-enact their parents inhuman relationships, that the tragic cycle continues … sometimes sadly many generations later. Thank you for continuing to break the silence on abuse. Blessings, Deborah.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Deborah! You are exactly right. The worst reason for staying in an abusive relationship is “for the kids.” That is actually the best reason to leave, otherwise your children will most likely end up abusers or abused themselves later in adulthood. Yet so many, well-meaning people in church or the victims family may not see the relationship for what it really is and therefore give wrong advice. We need to educate everyone so that not only victims are aware but also those around the victim are aware. Thank you again for your wonderful comment, Deborah. —Best of wishes- Lindsey V.

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