Why I believe most people have experienced (and are experiencing) abuse.
I have recently read a number of articles about women who have been survivors of abuse. Then the other morning while listening to the radio on my drive to work, the dj was taking callers talking about how they retaliated against their spouse or significant other. I could not believe these callers! One woman said she runs her husband's toothbrush around the inside rim of the toilet when she is mad at him. Then I started thinking about a lot of the people we are aquaintances with and how they treat one another and I realized abuse is not just a male on female problem anymore!
I have definately been a survivor of an abusive relationship. I think what a lot of people fail to recognize when they think about this type of behavior (both given and recieved) is the effects are long term and pshcological for both the abuserer and the enabler. The real pain of abuse is not the bruises or physical scars, but the shattered heart, loss of self worth, and tearing down of one's soul. I am convinced that the vast majority of people today live in abusive relationships and don't even recognize it because our culture is becoming so "me" centered it has become the norm. How many people are insulted or belittled by their partner? How many are made to feel less that whole, or as if they just can't do good enough? How many are constantly nagged at and told what to do and who they should be by an inconsiderate significant other? And in my observations it seems women are becoming worse than men at being mentally and emotionaly abusive. It is a crying shame that we cannot treat those closest to our hearts with the love and respect they deserve!
Men, that woman you have at home taking care of your children, cooking your meals, doing your laundry, running your errands, cleaning your house, and doing every other job you cannot find time to do needs to know how much she is loved and appreciated. What you may never realize is that the weight she carries on a day to day basis far surpasses the stresses of your 9-5. Help her. Do your share. Let her know what a great job she does and what she means to you! By God if you don't..... one day someone else will.
Women, that man who loves you and does his best to provide and care for you, give him some space to be a man. Quit reminding him of all he hasnt accomplished and start thanking him and appreciating him for what he has. Quit trying to run his life and trust him to do the right thing.
I realize most of us come from some broken relationship, some set of lies that have been given us, betrayal that has been laid upon us and abuse that has damaged who we are. But we have to allow the experiences we have had to make us stronger and wise. Don't lay the blame of the past on someone not guilty. Don't treat someone with mis-trust and dis-respect because it is a learned behavior from a past relationship. If you are currently in this type of relationship and you see no hope of change GET OUT!!! If you are unable to talk to your partner about these destructive traits the earlier you leave the less damage that will be done to you and your family. I stayed in my abusive realationship for years because I thought that was best for my children. I nearly ruined their lives and mine in the process. It took me years to find that I am worthy of love and I am a person I can feel good about. If you are staying for your children then you are only hurting them. They are learning behaviors they will carry into their future relationships, and whether you are the abuser or the abused you are equally as guilty for the effects on their lives. I was the abused and I hold myself more accountable than my ex for not giving my children a functional life years ago.
Finally, do not be afraid to love again! There is someone out there who will love and appreciate you and build you up instead of tear you down. When you find that person who is your best friend, your advocate in every situation, and who cannot hurt you even when they are upset with you, you take that person for who they are and invest all you have into them. The key to a healthy happy relationship is two people who think about the other first. When that person comes along don't let your scars keep you from them. Let the pain of the past make you all the more grateful for the type of love you deserve!