How To Shorten the Abuse Learning Curve!
Hello my friend,
In another post I talked about why some women take so long to wake up from the abuse. I also shared the five reasons Leslie Vernick thinks a woman may be resistant to “seeing” or “stopping” the destruction in her marriage.
This week I want to talk about what we can do to make that learning curve shorter. It does not have to take 30+ years of suffering to identify destructive behavior, to find your voice, to challenge what’s happening, and to develop the courage to walk away from continued destructiveness to you and/or your children if it does not change.
One of my goals in Hope Ministries is to help the women that come for support to get themselves healthy. There are many reasons for this. By getting emotionally healthy it helps other things fall into place. They begin to gain a healthier perspective about their situation and it also helps to bring them out of denial.
In my support group, I am not there to tell them what to do. I do however put “Truth” right in front of them. Sometimes I walk away wondering if they will be back because by bringing them back to “Truth” it may appear I am being pretty tough on them but they come back. Things can be tough to hear sometimes but truth is truth.
So, how do we shorten that learning curve for women in destructive relationships and marriages.
1. A woman’s emotional and spiritual maturity:
Many women that I have encountered struggle with the idea of divorce because they want to please God and since she’s been taught (and believes) that God hates divorce above anything else, taking action to protect herself or speak out against abuse is seen as destroying the marriage.
If this was not an issue with me I may have given up before I did in my marriage. Before I made a decision to end my marriage, I had to be certain that my husband was not going to change. There were times I was on the phone with people at synergy, begging them to give me some kind of hope that he was going to change, but they could not offer that to me. As soon as they said he really didn’t think he had a problem and wanted to exit him from their program, I was done. Even after all he had been putting me through, the reality that he was never going to change and the reality that I had to end my marriage was devastating to me. It was explained early on in my support that my husband had been breaking our vows all along by the way he had been treating me and that is true. I wouldn’t have ever looked at it that way had it not been pointed out to me.
It is important to work on yourself, gaining knowledge, changing the way you see yourself. It takes some effort and it is very helpful to be in a support group where it is safe to share what you are feeling and you will have truth spoken to you.
What’s going inside of us often repeats itself in our outside world. For example, when we’re unhealthy on the inside, we attract others who are unhealthy. When we beat ourselves up on the inside for our faults, flaws, mistakes, and failures, we are more likely to tolerate that behavior from others on the outside. When we don’t think for ourselves we are more likely to blindly follow or believe things people tell us without checking it out for ourselves. When we feel unhealthy, we also often feel incapable of taking care of ourselves or standing up for ourselves in appropriate ways. When we don’t care about ourselves or care for our soul, spirit, mind, or body then we are more likely to accept relationships with others who do not care for our body, mind, spirit and soul either.
On the other hand, when we are healthy and spiritually mature, we are less confused about truth and what God says is good and right. We are not double minded, or tossed about by every other person’s opinion because we have listened and read God’s word for our own self and studied to see what it says. (See: James 1:7-8; Ephesians 4:14 and 2 Timothy 2:15)
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart.” Enabling or allowing someone who has promised to love us to abuse us is not a godly virtue. It is poor stewardship of the body, mind, soul and spirit that God has given us to nourish and protect.
2. Support and Education:
There is not a lack of information on the internet about Domestic Abuse and resources. If a woman wants to know what’s going on when the water she’s sitting in starts to feel hotter and hotter, she can find out.
Domestic violence support groups, on-line support groups and blogs, validate a woman’s feelings, provide Biblical support, and give good information on what steps to take to gain safety and sanity. Isolation is not as powerful as it once was 20 years ago there was no Internet to easily access information and support.
Knowledge is power! When some women are in abuse, they don’t even have a name for it so gaining knowledge about what you are going through is a very powerful step to take.
Finding a support group is also powerful. I wrote about it in my blog post, Why is a support group important! If you live in he Kansas City area, be sure to contact me if you are interested in my support group.
Be sure to check out my resource page where I have some helpful information there as well. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Hope this information has been helpful.
Peace and Blessings,