I think today’s topic and story, is one you can relate to. Many have seen, felt or experienced this kind of pain. Some call it bad love. It is bad love, but I call it being abused. We should all know by now, there are many forms of bad love or abuse. I have seen many. Here is one true story.
I worked for years doing family, marital and individual counseling. This work is rewarding. You can help make a difference in someone’s life. The other side is the involvement it takes. You also feel their hurt, pain and agony.
THE ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP
I had known Larry and Alice for two years, through one of their relatives. They had a new two month old son. I was asked if I could talk with them. They had some problems and maybe I could help. Our first meeting did not go well. It was obvious, Larry did not believe they had any problems. Alice on the other hand, insisted they did.
The tension between Larry and Alice was very strong. It was easy to see, Larry was the boss, the dominator. When Larry said, “Shut up.” Alice shut up. Whatever Larry commanded, Alice did it. Alice on the other hand, was the scared little bunny. She feared failing her boss.
If there was any love, even bad love, I did not see it. I only saw her being abused. Larry cussed Alice in front of me. Larry told Alice, ” My only problem is you. What I do is my business. You don’t have any right telling Ray or anyone, that we have problems. Don’t bring anyone here to talk to me.” I was kindly asked to leave.
After I left, Larry went into a fit of rage. He picked up his two month old son. Threw him ten foot across the room. The child landed on the couch and bounced. Alice ran to her son before he rolled off the couch. Larry cussed Alice, then hit her for inviting me there. Then he left.
Larry would tell Alice, I am going to North Carolina and see my girlfriend. I will work there for a while.” Alice would beg and say, “Please don’t go. Please stay here. I love you.” That never stopped Larry from going. So as usual, he went.
Larry came home a month later. He was not alone. Larry brought his girlfriend home with him. He put his wife out of her own bed. He put his wife on the couch. Larry and his girlfriend slept in the bed. Alice was forced the serve, cook and clean for Larry’s girlfriend. After two weeks, she went back to her home in North Carolina.
Larry is out drinking one night. He comes home late, but his father is with him. They are both drunk. Larry hits Alice in the mouth and knocks her down on the floor. He holds his wife down, on the floor, while his father raped his wife (This is true).
THE COURAGE TO LEAVE
Would you call this bad love? I call it no love. This is abuse to a new degree. Alice being abused continued on. Alice’s family, fearing for her safety, begged her to move and leave. Alice agreed and made plans to leave Larry. She would live alone with her son.
Arrangements were made by Alice’s family. An apartment was rented, furniture bought, whatever she needed was supplied. I helped and was glad to do so. Social Service was helping with benefits. They would even help find a job for Alice. They would help provide for day care for her son. If she wanted to work. Alice would be safe from harm and not be abused.
Alice and the baby moved. Larry did not care. He now had total freedom. Two days later. Alice took everything in the apartment and put it in a yard sale. She sold it all. What money she received, she took and gave to Larry as a gift. She moved back in the trailer with Larry. Talk about being shocked. And feeling used. We all were.
The abuse continued. A week later, Larry goes in a convenience store to buy his beer. On the checkout counter is a vase with $1.00 fake roses. He buys one, takes it home, then gives it to Alice. She gets on the phone and call’s everyone. She has to tell everyone about her $1.00 fake rose. I will quote her words here, “HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME. HE REALLY DOES LOVE ME!” To that, I will say,”DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.”
WHY ABUSED WOMEN STAY
Here it the real question. Why would Alice go back and continue to be abused? There are many opinions and reasons. I want to quote the EAP (Employee Assistance Program) of Partners HealthCare Systems, in Eastern Massachusetts. The EAP says, ” Women stay in abusive relationships for these reasons.”
•SURVIVAL: Fear about her own and her children’s safety if she leaves.
•ECONOMIC DEPENDENCE: Can she survive on one income?
•FEAR: Of being alone, fear that she cannot cope with home and children by herself.
•PARENTING: Wanting a father for the children.
•RELIGION: Pressure to keep the family together.
•FAMILY: Extended family pressure to keep the family together.
•LOYALTY: If he had cancer, she’d stick by him.
•RESCUE: If she stays, she can “save” him and help him “get better.”
•FEAR OF HIS SUICIDE: He says he’ll kill himself if she leaves.
•DENIAL: “It’s really not so bad.”
•LOVE: She loves him, and he is quite often loving and lovable when he’s not being abusive.
•IDENTITY: Many women feel that they need a man in order to be complete.
•SHAME, EMBARRASSMENT AND HUMILIATION: She doesn’t want anyone to know.
•LOW SELF-ESTEEM: After years of being criticized by her abuser, she believes that it must be her fault, she must deserve it, she’ll never find anyone better, “a little love is better than no love at all.”
•SEX ROLE: “That’s just the way men are.”
The EAP further states, “95% of the patients seen in emergency departments for injuries as a result of domestic violence are women. Men can also be victims.”
As of today, Alice is still with Larry. Still being abused and neglected. Medically, Alice has too many heart problems that cannot be repaired by surgery. Medication does not help. In addition, she has COPD and high blood pressure. Her doctors state she may have six months to live.
Her son is now a teenager. His father taught him well, how to abuse his mother. And he does! Now it continues on with her son. What does the future hold for this young man? What kind of husband or father will he be?
My website is, Whats True Love. This is not true or real love. This is not bad love. It is abuse. Love should not hurt. My advice to any abused woman (or man) is this. First, get out, get away. For you own safety and protection do not stay in this type of relationship. Especially if you have children. Second, seek help for all involved.
Most counties, cities and states have shelters or a safe house for abused women. They can and will help. Someone may come here and read this article. If you are abused or in this situation,I have some information for you. 1-800-799-7233 is the toll free phone number for, The National Domestic Violence Hotline. Help is available.
I want to list this internet link. http://womensweb.ca/violence/dv/leave.php This is the internet link too, The Women’s Web. This is an online community for women who need help. No woman or child deserves to be abused.
Your thoughts, opinions and comments are welcome. Leave them here.
This Post Has 6 Comments
This is a story I wish was available to me beginning in 1984. For 10 years I was abused physically, emotionally and mentally at the rip age of 18. I had no idea of what love was or how I should be loved. After reading all of the reasons for why a woman would stay in an abusive relationship, I have to admit, I identify with a few of them. I left him more times than I was actually with him. At first it was because he would promise never to lay hands on me again or be verbally abusive to me and I would go back to him despite my mother’s warning of hurting him if he ever touched me again. Shortly after getting back home with our 2 children, the hitting and verbal abuse would start again and I would leave. I felt as though I was a burden to other—to my mother and the thought of her having to support 3 additional people other than herself was too much for me to bare. To make a long story short, I told him one day if he ever put his hands on me again I would leave and never return. Well that day came and he nearly broke my neck and my back. It was the first time I had to go to the ER for treatment. I think what made him so angry was the fact he could never really do the damage he wanted to do to me because I was a fighter but when I had to go to the ER I put everything into perspective for me. I realize he was not only hurting me but my children as well. Whenever he raised his voice my son would just shake uncontrollably and my daughter would wet herself. I left him and never looked back. He’s hated me for years for leaving and that was fine with me. It took me an additional 10 years to get through the mental abuse he put on me. I believe for along time nobody would want to have a relationship with me because I was a single mother with kids. I had low self esteem, which sometimes rears its ugly head but I can handle it now. God brought me through that. He held my hand the entire time I was in that mess and made me a strong woman. Thank you so much for sharing this with me. I really needed to see this story especially from a man’s point of view.
Thank you Sherrie for your post and comment. This does evoke feelings for anyone who has been abused. It should never happen to anyone. Abuse is not love. I hope and pray this article will show someone there is hope for getting out of an abusive relationship. No one needs to stay in such a relationship.
I really liked this post. I was mentally,physically,an verbally abused i really relate to Alice. I hope that lots of victims read this an get out. There were many times my husband at the time would wake up beside me an wonder if i was dead or alive. He done the promises,the im sorries, all the things you put in this article. I finally got away from him when physical abuse started towards our son. He felt threatened by his own son? Imagine that i can say yes our son was definate but fighting with him was how his dad tried to correct him. Im so glad i finally got to read this post. It shows me i was one of the lucky few…. Thanks Ray keep the post comin 🙂
Thank you Reva for your comment. No one deserves to be abused or live in fear. Especially when their children are involved and are in danger. I am glad you were able to get out of that situation. Your kids will thank you for it.
What a moving story! If we only knew what was going on around us but often it takes someone like you to bring it to our attention. I think your website is wonderful and will be instrument in helping a lot of people. Thank you.
Thank you Marilyn, I do have other article and I do hope you will come back any time.