Wedding Wednesday – Some People Aren’t Worth Marrying

by admin on March 21, 2018

On very occasions in my decades of being an adult I have known of impending weddings that involved either an abusive male or female. The red flags are all there but no amount of warnings and pleadings changed any minds and as expected, the marriages deteriorated into often brutal abuse and divorce. I have refused to have anything to do with such weddings and in one case I was a bridesmaid until I heard enough evidence to convince me that I could not, in good conscience, stand as a witness to the wedding. A call to the officiant and within 24 hours the wedding was called off….whew!

The recent news of a celebrity engagement caught my eye:

Danry Vasquez the baseball player who punched and beat his girlfriend multiple times in a stadium stairwell PROPOSED to her after his arrest … and she said, “Yes.”

You can read more HERE.     Danry’s fiancee claims the attack was an “isolated incident”.  Isolated or not the savagery of the attack left no doubt that Danry is an abusive menace.   A security camera in the stairwell caught the entire “incident”  seen HERE.

To Danry’s fiancee,  RUN AWAY.   He will not change, you cannot change him.   The abuse will get worse and he will likely abuse any children you have.  RUN. Quickly. He’s not worth it.

To women everywhere…the second your boyfriend or fiance or husband or your partner raises a hand and strikes you, the deal is off entirely.  An immediate end to the relationship with no hope of resurrecting it.   You cannot change or fix people who have no inhibition about hitting you. They do not love you despite claiming they do but they lie because real love seeks the best for the other person at all times and wouldn’t dream of harming the one it loves.   Abusive people are very good at appearing trite and apologetic, begging for another chance, but there is no substantive change to their character in those apologies and you will get hit, punched, slammed against the wall, etc. again.

Do not marry these creeps.

{ 109 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah March 21, 2018 at 3:59 am

Right, right, right and more right!

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Ultrapongo March 21, 2018 at 6:53 am

This!
In my part of the world the advice is to walk out at the first hit. Well, I don’t think that it is the usual, but you hope that he will change, he is a nice guy, it was just once, and so on.
Maybe it is only once, but more often it is just the first time of many.
And for the record, this applies to all kinds of domestic violence, not only man hits woman, but also woman hits man, man hits man, woman hits woman, and others…
When hit, perform an infantry maneuver called Getting the H311 out!

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Shannon March 22, 2018 at 2:44 pm

While it seems like easy advice to leave at the first hit, it’s not always that easy.

Sometimes the abuser starts with emotional abuse, so when it becomes physical, the victim has already been brainwashed by him.

And sometimes the victim is financially bound to the abuser. How do you start a new life when you don’t work and don’t have any money?

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Ultrapongo March 24, 2018 at 9:44 am

Yes, it is easy to tell others what to do. Not to easy to do it yourself, especially when you are in a toxic relation. And if you are financially dependent on the guy, it is even harder.
In my part of the world (I know, here we go again) it is not uncommon for men to meet girls from an Asian country, and usually it works great. But a few men (or “men”) treat their new wives/girlfriends really bad. And they know that she has to stay for at least two years, otherwise she could be sent back by the immigration authorities. And as a foreigner you don’t have the resources to handle the situation. Things like the language, contacts, friends, family, work, your own money and so on.
It would be great if everybody had their own “f*ck off money”, to be able to leave if needed. And it would not destroy any good relationship, rather make it even better if both parts know that they cannot take each other for granted.

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Ergala March 21, 2018 at 7:01 am

It isn’t just physical abuse, emotional as well. The moment they start telling you how “lucky” you are to have them, or start picking at your appearance (weight, hair, body proportions) wanting you to change it to suit THEIR wants….don’t walk, RUN. My ex-husband would constantly sabotage every single one of my diets. When we met I weighed around 115 lbs. After two kids and 12 years I am well over 200. I was always trying to lose weight. There was one diet that extremely strict and he sat next to me eating my favorite ice cream telling me how good it was and was I SURE I didn’t want to have just a single spoonful. I was down 30 pounds…I was not messing that up. I got up and cut up an apple, put stevia and cinnamon on it and put it in the microwave. Then I ate that with gusto. When we thought my weight gain had to do with my thyroid the first thing he said to me when meds were being discussed was “If you lose weight don’t leave me…”. Seriously man?? The abuse escalated into physical and he did HORRIBLE things to me. I left him two years ago. Best decision of my life. Looking back at our relationship though the red flags were there before we got married. He convinced me to stop doing ballet when we were dating and to stop hitting the gym. Was always trying to get me to eat carb heavy foods that he knew I was avoiding so as to stay in shape. I had told him that I gain weight at the drop of a hat so I watched every single thing that went into my body. I worked very hard to maintain my weight and physique.
Don’t ever ignore the verbal abuse and brush it off as quirks or a bad mood. It escalates. I spent 12 years thinking I was crazy due to his gas lighting and narcissism.

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Jared Bascomb March 21, 2018 at 5:10 pm

It sounds like he was one of those people who have a fetish for “fat” people.

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Michelle March 22, 2018 at 8:24 am

Or one of those men that is lucky to get a good woman and then tries to make her “undesirable” to other men so he won’t lose her.

My father used to do something similar. He would always buy chips, soda, ice cream, etc., so the house was always full of junk food and sweets. If we did well in school, such as straight A’s or 100% on a test, we would get a sweet treat. So we were all rather plump children. When I became a teenager and stopped eating so much sweets and junk food I lost weight and boys became interested. Then it was constant lectures about the evils of boys, followed by apologies and cake, ice cream or some other sweet to make up for the lecture. If I refused the sweets, I would get physical punishment for being ungrateful. Once I moved away from home and got many, many lectures about not living at home to look after my father I realized what that was all about. My dad thought if we stayed fat, no one would want to us so we would always be around to take care of him and the house.

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NostalgicGal March 22, 2018 at 12:01 pm

That is very sad. Glad you realized and ‘escaped’ as well.

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Ergala March 22, 2018 at 6:32 pm

Michelle nailed it.

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LovleAnjel March 22, 2018 at 10:28 am

I disagree, he sounds like someone who wants complete control over their spouse. People with fetishes for fat people seek out those who are already fat, not those that are in shape.

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Carrie March 23, 2018 at 10:53 am

I forget what it’s called, but there is a fetish for putting weight on a skinny person. I’ve seen web forums dedicated to men and women who get fit spouses and decide to “fatten them up” on purpose so they could get their jollies.

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ladyv21454 March 21, 2018 at 7:19 am

I have said all my life that if a man ever hit me, one of us would be in the hospital, and one would be in jail – and it would be a coin toss as to which was which. I agree completely with what Ms. Jeanne says. Do not listen to apologies; do not listen to anyone who says “I’ll never do it again”; and most importantly, DON’T let the abuser put the blame on you. One addition I would make is that it doesn’t have to be physical to be abuse. If your partner is constantly criticizing and belittling you, RUN – this is NOT a person you need to be with.

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lisa ross March 21, 2018 at 7:59 am

Amen Sister

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Chooseanothername March 21, 2018 at 8:16 am

Couldn’t agree more and I speak as a survivor of such abuse. But unfortunately, it took me four years to wake up and leave and the reason I left was because he threatened to kill me. Abusers isolate you from your family and friends, who are usually well aware of what is going on, so don’t think you’re covering anything up.

The reality of the situation is that people won’t leave until they have reached rock bottom and they are ready to leave. This is heart breaking, but having lived it, I understand the why behind it. All I can add is that it doesn’t get better and you cannot love that person enough to change.

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EchoGirl March 21, 2018 at 11:49 pm

I think this is what people tend to miss (I have not been a victim myself, but I know people who have). Abusers are *very* good at getting their victims into a position where the victim becomes dependent on the abuser. That and the whole “frog in boiling water” thing, where things progress slowly from “perfect” to “terrifying”.

From an outside perspective, it seems like a no-brainer that she should just run in the opposite direction as soon as the first blow is struck. But nine times out of ten, by the time that happens, she’s already beaten down emotionally, he’s gotten her to think she “makes” him angry, etc. I’m not saying people need to be at the beck and call of an abuse victim 24/7, but treating her like she’s an idiot (or worse, treating her like she’s at *fault*) for not leaving right away is simplistic and helps no one.

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Anon March 22, 2018 at 11:10 am

And that’s why you have to look for the emotional red flags too, not just the physical ones.

Examples are infantilizing you, making you feel awful about yourself, making jokes about you that hurt you (and don’t stop after you have told them to stop). “Love-bombing” which is getting you a gift, and then when you don’t do something they want, they can go “But I got THIS for you, and if you love me…”, treating others of your same gender horribly whether they be waitresses or other workers, telling you that they (your SO) are the best that you will ever do, etc.

I’ve heard of this happening on early dates (#1-10 or something) and you shouldn’t tolerate that. And people shouldn’t say in their head “well they can change!” Like a drug addict or any other addict, they can only change if they WANT to change, and usually, since they are getting what they want by being abusive to you, they don’t want to change.

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EchoGirl March 24, 2018 at 3:12 pm

The problem is, it’s *really* hard to figure out where the line is crossed from normal early-relationship behavior into emotional abuse sometimes, especially when it comes to love bombing. My boyfriend is genuinely affectionate, wants to spoil me, etc., but he’s not abusive, just generous and affectionate. For other people, grand gestures are a herald of bad things to come. How do you tell the difference?

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Chooseanothername March 28, 2018 at 9:43 am

Because the “grand gestures” come with a price tag for the recipient. Nothing is given without strings attached. A truly generous person gives of themselves unconditionally. Their gifts are not just material–they take the time to choose something for their partner or they give them the gift of time.

The worst thing about an abuser’s grand gesture is that you relax because you think they are truly sorry about whatever it was they did and just like that–it happens again. My abuser took back all the ‘gifts’ he had given me over the years, mostly jewelry and hid them. During my divorce hearing, the judge (who was over my soon to be ex’s nonsense as soon as he opened his mouth) told him that the jewelry was a ‘gift’ (because he said the reason that he took them back was because HE had bought them so the jewelry was HIS) and because they were gifts, he needed to return them to me. Ex’s response was that he didn’t have it any more. I happened to have receipts for most of it–wedding/engagement ring etc and the judge told him he had to pay me for the value of the jewelry. He didn’t–he filed for bankruptcy the day he was supposed to turn it all over. Just to be a jerk, I filed a claim on his bankrupt estate and got about 1/10th of the value. I’m sure he was furious but I didn’t care. I was free.

Michelle March 21, 2018 at 8:24 am

He needs to be in the penitentiary. Not a fine, not classes- jail time. Serious jail time.

He strikes her, knocks her glasses off, picks them up, puts them on her face and hits her some more. At one point he puts his hands behind his back and it seems he is asking her does she want to hit him or something. Then he goes back up to where they came in at and then it seems he is speaking, or threatening, someone above them in the stairwell. Then he hits her yet again.

His excuse is he came to America very young, was under stress to perform and had no parents or guidance. Guess what Danry? Millions of people are under stress and have no parents or guidance and they don’t beat their girlfriends/boyfriends/spouses/loved ones.

We all know that domestic violence victims stay because they have been broken down, made to believe what is happening to them is their fault, and isolated from family & support systems, however, this woman says it was an “isolated incident”. So it begs the question, why did she stay? The most likely answer? Money. He was all apologetic and even asked her to marry him afterwards, so of course he loved her (!), he would never do it again (!) and she gets to be the rich ballplayer’s wife. Then he leaves her and marries someone else.

If someone you love hits you, walk away. They don’t love you and given the chance, they will hit you again and again and again. They’ll beg you to forgive them, promise it will never happen again and it might improve for awhile. Then one day you will be washing dishes, get hit from behind and wake up hours later laying on the floor of the kitchen wondering what happened.

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Ange March 22, 2018 at 1:46 am

“We all know that domestic violence victims stay because they have been broken down, made to believe what is happening to them is their fault, and isolated from family & support systems, however, this woman says it was an “isolated incident”. So it begs the question, why did she stay? The most likely answer? Money. He was all apologetic and even asked her to marry him afterwards, so of course he loved her (!), he would never do it again (!) and she gets to be the rich ballplayer’s wife. Then he leaves her and marries someone else.”

This is a particularly revolting analysis of the situation, you should be ashamed of yourself.

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Michelle March 22, 2018 at 8:39 am

I’m not because IN MY OPINION that is why this particular woman stayed. You may disagree with me and that’s fine. He knew asking her to marry him and promising the world would get her to stay and to stay silent. If it hadn’t been caught on camera no one would know.

Again, this is my opinion of this particular situation only. Most domestic violence victims do not get to walk away, they get carried away in body bags or die in emergency rooms from the injuries they suffer. This woman was lucky he didn’t kill or seriously injure her. Unfortunately, there are people out there that will put up with getting beaten, slapped around and belittled in order to maintain their lifestyle.

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Kirsten March 22, 2018 at 2:54 pm

I think you mean “unfortunately there are people out there who will beat, slap around and belittle the person they are supposed to love and pretend that material things make up for it.”

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Margo April 1, 2018 at 9:18 am

She said it was an isolated incident. It probably was’n’t.
But abusive relationships re very hard to get out of, there is almost always a build up of emotional abuse / control, including gaslighting, undermining someone’s self confidence.
Abusers are manipulative. They are usually masters of justification, and excuses, and since mostly the victim loves their partner, they often *want* to believe things will change. It’s very, very common for a victim to excuse or forgive her abuser, often multiple times.

SO yeah, be as cynical as you like, but it is highly unlikely that she made a cold-blooded choice to stay because of the money. And even if she did, there is still no excuse or justification whatsoever for victim-blaming.

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Lyn March 22, 2018 at 10:39 am

I think she’s probably right.

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Dee March 22, 2018 at 10:48 am

How can the money not be a factor, when it is in so many other situations? Anyone who makes a lot of money is automatically more attractive than a comparable person with no money. There are very few people in this world who would turn down a wealthy lifestyle on principle. All those mail order brides? Are we actually supposed to believe that some beautiful young thing marries an old, foreign guy because she loves him so very, very much? REALLY?!?

Trophy wives are a real thing, and what they find most attractive about their man is his money. And that’s not a secret.

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Ange March 25, 2018 at 6:27 pm

I’m not denying that is a thing. What I am denying is that any woman in any way deserves to be beaten for it or that a woman staying in that situation is doing so purely for the money. Those two had been together since they were teenagers, well before any money was in the picture.

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Wild Irish Rose March 21, 2018 at 8:25 am

I wish there were a way to advise children about abusive parents. Might have saved me all kinds of grief.

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Miss-E March 21, 2018 at 9:02 am

The article you linked said he is now married to a different woman, not the one he was caught abusing. Of course this new woman should steer clear too, I wouldn’t marry a man who was a,ready convicted of abusing his partner.

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admin March 21, 2018 at 1:58 pm

The article was updated with this new information after I had scheduled it to be posted to the blog last week. Nonetheless, anyone marrying him should not have the expectation that she will be different than his previous girlfriend.

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Anon March 22, 2018 at 11:12 am

What’s sad is unfortunately, sometimes the abuser WILL treat new SO’s better. Sometimes, they just have one victim. I’m not saying that he’s not abusive, but it’s just sad that it happens and they can get away with it.

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jokergirl129 March 21, 2018 at 9:22 am

I’m actually a little confused since the article you posted said that while Danry and the girl he beat in the stairwell did stay engage for a few months afterwards they have since broken up and now Danry is going to marry another girl. Either way it’s still a red flag and if I found out my boyfriend had beaten up a previous girlfriend of his I would most likely breakup with him unless he has shown to truly be remorseful for the act, has changed for the better and nothing in my own relationship with him shows any red flags that he would do the same to me.

New girl or not for her sake I truly hope he won’t do that again but I suppose all you can do is wait and see.

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viviennebzb March 21, 2018 at 10:05 am

The most heartbreaking thing about this type of very very wise advice? The ones who need to hear it the most are the most resistant to the message. That attack was cold, calculated, and brutal. Certainly did not look like the first time, and equally certain it won’t be the last. No one deserves to be treated this way, not once, not ever. This is not what love looks like.

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Jo-Anna Bleakley March 22, 2018 at 5:51 am

My half sister is in an abusive marriage. Has been for years :-/ She constantly posts stuff on FB about bullying and domestic abuse and not tolerating it, but is completely unable to see it in her own life. It’s really sad..

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NostalgicGal March 21, 2018 at 10:16 am

In general, once they start hitting, they don’t stop. RUN. The other way. Very Fast. Now!

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admin March 21, 2018 at 1:56 pm

Is it me or did anyone else notice that he seems to take great care to retrieve her glasses and put them back on her face after each hit? I find that odd for some reason.

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Cheryl March 21, 2018 at 11:32 pm

I took it to mean “See what a gentleman I really am? This is all your fault.”.

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LovleAnjel March 22, 2018 at 10:31 am

I understood it along the lines of “Put yourself together. Stop crying. It’s not that bad.”

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Michelle March 22, 2018 at 8:41 am

I thought that was strange, too, Admin. He probably wanted to make sure she saw each blow coming at her.

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staceyizme March 21, 2018 at 10:18 am

I admire your clarity of thought with respect to this subject. It’s also true that many people who are survivors of adverse child events experience difficulties in forming healthy attachments and the cycles of abuse and dysfunction are perpetuated. When it comes to choosing a partner, the safest course of action is to be an emotionally healthy person in your own right and to get counseling, if appropriate, to deal with prior trauma. Your parents, peers or other persons in your orbit need not have been extreme in their abuse in order for there to be significant impact. It’s also important to note that compulsive dynamics can operate in these cycles, whereby someone exposed to abuse or themselves an abuser (and the two statuses are often conflated in someone’s timeline) seeks to repeat the traumatic episodes in order to revisit/ resolve the matter. The emotionally healthy “fit” with others has been marred due to the impact from prior abuse and these persons may unknowingly continue to expose themselves through compulsive poor choices to bad relational dynamics. The only antidote is to achieve emotional health and equilibrium and to employ a certain mindfulness and self-love/ self-respect in dealing with the world. (And yes, don’t marry, date or even be friends with those whose behaviors show that they are willing to physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually or financially bully, manipulate or harm others.)

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Anon March 22, 2018 at 11:16 am

Yep. I was in an emotionally abusive childhood (not terribly abusive, but still abusive at least some of the time) and I refuse to date until I’ve at least had myself looked at by a licensed professional. My father (the main source of the emotional abuse, surprise!) keeps bemoaning the fact that I’m not dating and seem totally and completely uninterested in marriage (I am, I just want to take care of myself emotionally first, so that I don’t get abused or BECOME an abuser myself), and says I should go out and date anyway with my problems because “everyone has them”.

But then again, he seems to think the only grandchildren are going to come from me, the female, who does not like babies (not hate, but I refuse to hold them or to look after them, I’m just not the motherly type to babies, there’s nothing wrong with them in particular, just not equipped to deal or care about them) instead of my brother, who has dated and who shows more interest in settling down. Blech.

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NightSky March 21, 2018 at 10:37 am

No way that was an “isolated” incident, he was clearly very comfortable hitting her, she didn’t seemed shocked or surprised, then they both moved on like nothing happened. And if by chance it “was”, well, now he knows he can get away with it, so it will be just the “first” instance before too long.

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Lynne March 21, 2018 at 11:16 am

Amen.

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Phitius March 21, 2018 at 11:26 am

I’d like to add, to men and boys everywhere – If your partner, fiance, husband, or wife raises their hand to you, get out. Men being abused, particularly by women, may be less frequent but it does happen and no one should stay in that situation.

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JD March 21, 2018 at 11:32 am

I had a good friend who got engaged, then confessed to me privately that he hit her , knocked her down and held her down during an argument, after they were engaged. She asked my advice, and I told her to RUN from this guy. She still hesitated because she said she loved him. I told her if she went through with this wedding, it was like giving him permission to do it again. She married him; I skipped the wedding (as did another good friend who objected to the wedding). I tried to stay in touch with her, and even visited her once at her invitation, but he came home while I was there and gave off unpleasant vibes, after which I was no longer invited over. If I called her on the phone and he answered, he was curt and said he would tell her I called, but she never called back (this was before cell phones were everywhere) so I doubted he gave her the messages. Finally, he would no longer let me leave a message nor would he call her to the phone. She reached out one time and invited me out to lunch, to which I eagerly agreed, but a close family member died quite suddenly the night before, and I forgot our lunch date until a couple of days later. I called to apologize and left a message explaining what happened, and never heard back. I called again, got him and asked if I could speak to her, and he said “No!” and slammed down the phone. I don’t know if she ever even got my message about why I missed lunch. They moved away later. Last I heard, they were still married but I have no idea how to contact her. I hope she’s okay.

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anonforthisone March 21, 2018 at 3:44 pm

I always wondered why my mother had very little contact with her family. One day I went to visit my grandmother by myself and I discovered that every time she or my mother’s siblings called my parents’ number, my father would take the call and lie that my mother wasn’t home and eventually one day he told my grandmother “why are you calling? never call again”. So they stopped calling.

My father is a textbook abuser, my mother was a young student when they got married and he gradually manipulated and isolated her from all her family and friends. He is very emotionally and verbally abusive with all of us and I suspect he may have been physically abusive with my mother when we weren’t around to witness it.

I’ve cut my father out of my life a decade ago and I’m low contact with my mother. I would like more contact with her but every time I make plans, he engineers a crisis to prevent us from meeting up. She is not allowed to have her own email address and he listens to all her phone calls, basically he monitors all her communications.

I don’t know what I can do to help my mother. My parents are retired, she had a good job and has her own pension and she could easily live a comfortable enough life alone. I think she is miserable but she can’t escape because she has something similar to Stockholm syndrome.

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Miss-E March 21, 2018 at 9:04 pm

Those vibes. A friend of mine was married to an abusive man I couldn’t stand. I’d go hang out with her and leave the second he walked through the door. I swear the temperature would drop 5 degrees each time he came home.

Luckily she divorced him and moved on to a wonderful guy who treats her like gold.

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lakey March 21, 2018 at 11:57 am

I had an acquaintance whose boyfriend hit her in front of his 10 year old daughter. He was arrested and she took him back. Her excuse for him was that he wasn’t usually like that, but he was out of cocaine. They got married within months. The marriage lasted about a year.
OP is right, there are red flags.
hitting
alcoholism
drug use
no restraint in front of a child
using “getting married” to fix problems

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Dee March 21, 2018 at 11:59 am

The focus, so often, seems to be on why these men do what they do, but the real focus should be on why the women do what THEY do – as in, why would they willingly chain themselves to such a situation? Because you can’t prevent a man from being abusive, but you can prevent yourself from being with such a man. If you choose to be in that situation then there are certainly red flags but most of them are with you, not with him.

We can punish men for abuse but we cannot stop women from making horrible choices. I don’t know what would work for these women and I’m not sure how many resources should be devoted to them. I just think it’s time to stop looking at the men as the sole problem and start looking at the women as the main problem.

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bellini March 21, 2018 at 2:25 pm

You can’t be serious. The real focus shouldn’t be the men punching their partners, but the WOMEN for being punched?

Give me a break. This is victim-blaming at its finest.

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Devin March 21, 2018 at 3:37 pm

Wow this is such a heartless response to this article and complete victim blaming. The focus should be 100% on why a person thinks committing a crime is okay when it’s against a spouse or loved one. Partners stay for many reasons, often isolation, fear of not being believed, dependence, and fear of escalated abuse. Many places have limited resources if any to help survivors of domestic abuse. You have to be ready and willing to give up your known enemy for then unknown, and then still not have a guarantee of protection from your abuser. The most dangerous time for a victim of domestic abuse is when they leave their abuser. Please educate yourself and then kindly shut up.

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ladyv21454 March 21, 2018 at 3:44 pm

Abusers can be extremely charming, loving, tender, etc. – until they’ve reeled you in. So many victims of abuse say “But he was so wonderful when we were first together!” An abuser will do whatever they have to do to gain a potential victim’s confidence and emotional attachment. Then they turn into monsters. So it’s not really a matter of “willingly chaining themselves to such a situation” – the man they THINK they’re marrying does not appear to be abusive. As to why women stay in abusive relationships – there’s a multitude of answers. Financial dependence, having such low self-esteem that they think no one else will want them, being afraid that if they leave, the abuser will harm them and/or their children – and that’s just a few. Until you’ve been in an abusive situation, it’s hard to understand the dynamics.

I dodged a bullet as far as dealing with an abusive man. As mentioned above, he was charming, attentive, considerate – the whole 9 yards. I was starting to get attached – and then a friend of his, who liked me and didn’t want to see me hurt, suggested I do a background check on the guy. Found out he’d been arrested several times for battering his wife, and had also spent time in prison for molesting his stepdaughter. I noped out of there so fast it would make your head spin!

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EchoGirl March 22, 2018 at 3:58 pm

Exactly. I think there’s often a perception that abusers are stereotypical “bad men”, either total slobs or drug dealers or something. A lot of them are actually people who seem like the “dream man” on the outside; people with prestigious jobs, lots of money, and lots of charm. And they usually start off relationships with that facade and then very slowly start introducing elements of emotional abuse, eventually escalating to physical (or not; some abusive relationships are purely emotional/financial abuse).

In fact, an addition to your list of reasons why it’s hard for women to leave is that it’s not uncommon for the community to side with the abuser and think the victim is making up the abuse for attention or blackmail or something. In cases of purely emotional abuse, there’s also often the idea that the victim is being “too sensitive” and that the abuser’s only fault is being “honest” or “asking her to compromise”.

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JenAnn March 21, 2018 at 4:06 pm

This is a drastic oversimplification of how women (and men) end up in these situations, as if it was a straightforward choice that was made with all of the information available at square one. If the partner was abusive from day one, very few would stay in the situation. Instead, it starts out sunshine and roses, and then the little criticisms and attempts to control begin slowly and advance gradually. I’ve seen it happen to women I thought were strong and wouldn’t ever put themselves into a situation like this, and the key was the gradual nature of it and the way it chipped away at their self esteem and their support systems. Maybe there was a vulnerability in them that I didn’t see, but their abuser was able to hone in on and exploit. For other victims, they come into the relationship with low self esteem, low confidence, and/or a history of abuse. But either way, why would you blame someone just for being vulnerable? This is classic victim blaming, and I strongly disagree with it. I find it hard to fathom allowing this to happen to me either, but it is important to resist judging. The abusers ARE the problem, they are predators who are expert at picking out prey who will be vulnerable to the insidious nature of their attacks.

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Beez March 21, 2018 at 5:04 pm

Ummmm. No. No. No. No. The one who abuses is the problem. The one who manipulates, isolates, and hits is the problem. The victim is never, ever, ever the problem. They did nothing to deserve to be treated that way. They may have made a poor choice in who they chose to have a relationship with but that in no way excuses or justifies the abuser. The person who drives drunk and hits someone else is the problem not the person who happened to be driving on the same road as them. The thief who steals from someone at the ATM is at fault not the person who made the choice to use that ATM and was robbed. While you are at it why don’t you blame some children for being abused because after all they chose to stay in that home why didn’t they run away.

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Aleko March 22, 2018 at 3:48 am

All that said, in Western culture there is a millennia-old cultural tradition that says a good woman should just suck up mistreatment from her husband and not even complain, nor – heaven forbid – presume to judge him. When I say millennia-old, St Augustine recorded with admiration that his mother St Monica used to lecture other married women whose husbands had disfigured them with beatings, saying that it was all their own faults for not keeping in mind that their husbands were their legals masters who they should obey in everything. She herself, she said, was uniformly meek and loving to her vile-tempered and frequently unfaithful lord and master. For this she was made – and remains to this day – the official patron saint of abuse victims!

It’s not easy to shake off a cultural imperative that ancient and persuasive, especially when it is still so alive and kicking:

“Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman
Giving all your love to just one man.
You’ll have bad times
And he’ll have good times,
Doin’ things that you don’t understand
But if you love him you’ll forgive him,
Even though he’s hard to understand…”

Yuck.

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Lyn March 22, 2018 at 10:44 am

double yuck

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Wendy March 21, 2018 at 10:27 pm

I’m sorry this may sound rude but you are way out of line. The responsibility is never with the abused only ever the abuser.
We all say if he ever hit me I would…. truth is real abusers never start with physical abuse or outright emotional abuse immediately it’s a slow and evil process the wears down the abused. Some are lucky and have enough self esteem to leave or are able to get out with help from others but many are worn down to the point of being unable to leave.
But regardless of what catergorie they fall in to the abused is NEVER at fault and bares non of the blame.
We can and should get messages like the admins out, don’t stay get out as soon as you can but we also need to be aware that the best thing we can really do is say “I’m here when your ready”

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Rebecca March 22, 2018 at 12:23 am

I agree with you in part, in that women should not be staying in these relationships. But I vehemently disagree that women are the “main problem.” They are not the ones doing the hitting (yes, sometimes the roles are reversed, but I am talking about situations where men abuse women).

I believe the reasons women enter and stay in these relationships are more complex than those of us who have not experienced it can understand. Perhaps they were abused as children or saw their fathers beat their mothers and came to see that behaviour is normal. Perhaps they have been conditioned to think it’s their fault. Maybe they are in denial and believe he will change if she can just make him happy. Perhaps she finds herself in a situation and by the time she realizes it, economically she doesn’t have the means to leave. Perhaps she is from a culture where her family would disown her if she tried to leave. I can’t remember where I read this quote, but some writer said, “The question should not be why so many women choose abusive men, but why there are so many abusive men to choose from.”

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Ange March 22, 2018 at 1:54 am

Are you actually serious? You think the women getting beaten are a bigger problem than the men who are beating them and KILLING them?!

Read about the cycle of abuse. Read about the mental abuse committed by these men as they break their partners down to the point they think their only option is to stay. Read about men who threaten pets and children as coercion. It takes a woman an average of seven attempts to leave an abusive partner. Alongside that the most dangerous time for a woman in an abusive relationship is when she tries to leave, that’s when most of the murders happen. If you had a shred of empathy at all you would have kept that horrendously callous view to yourself.

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Honeybee March 22, 2018 at 7:29 am

Exactly. When the relationship starts, he’ll be all “Prince Charming” wonderful, thoughtful, and can put on the facade of “great life partner”.

The abuse doesn’t start with physical violence, it starts with an insidious chipping away of self-esteem and other support (family and friends). Even if the abuse never crosses into beating (for me, my now-ex used to break things that mattered to me and *threaten* to harm me, but never actually hit me). Then, if there are children involved, a woman may find it really hard to leave knowing that if she does successfully get out herself, she will be sentencing her children to spend some amount of time alone with someone she knows is abusive (because the courts might see the offense is against her, but not draw the seemingly-obvious conclusion that it will turn on the children, if it hasn’t already). In my case, I did manage to get out (it only took me two attempts), but it also involved my ex getting a felony conviction and even though he was in jail for violating the order of protection by stalking me, the judge *still* granted him supervised visitation while the children’s legal advocate was arguing that he should have no visitation at all. Fortunately, he’s only exercised his visitation right once (following rules comes hard to him) and now the children are all old enough to legally tell him to take a long walk on a short pier.

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ladyv21454 March 22, 2018 at 8:30 am

Ange, thank you for mentioning the threats to pets and children. You’d be amazed how many people will stay in an abusive relationship because leaving would mean giving up a beloved pet. The previous owner of my rescue cat relinquished her because she was getting out of an abusive relationship. It was pretty obvious to me a few weeks into my ownership that my cat had been abused too – she was terrified of anyone male. As far as children – besides tactics like threatening to harm the children, an abuser could also threaten to go for sole custody if the abused person leaves. Even if those situations don’t exist, if the abused person doesn’t have a place to go to, they might not want to put their children through the ordeal of living in a homeless shelter or safe house.

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Dee March 22, 2018 at 11:08 am

I don’t need to read about the cycle of abuse, I may know it far better than you since I grew up with it. I watched my mother stay for a myriad of reasons, none of which made any sense. She chose him over us, right to the very end. He was bad but her reaction to the situation made it so much worse for all of us. And then when she finally left she barely let the sheets grow cold before choosing another man, again without thinking of her kids. And she was in support groups and met with similar ladies who could all tell the same tale. These women had the financial ability and support of friends and family to leave but wouldn’t, no matter how much it was hurting their kids. If they did leave they hooked up with another man so fast it made your head spin. They talked endlessly about how bad their partners (or exes) are and never wanted to move on past that, or examine how they played their own role. They all just had to be with a man, and most of them had a martyr complex. They used their friends repeatedly to help them when they were in dire straits but then, at the first opportunity, they returned to the abusive situation. The friends eventually gave up, feeling (correctly) that all was in vain and they themselves were victims of the woman and her willingness to place the abuser above everyone else.

I stand by what I said in my previous post. There’s something going on with the woman that needs to be fixed first, because the abuser can rot in jail but the cycle of dysfunction continues with the woman. In my experience, very few women leave a situation like that and never repeat it in some way or another. So, yes, the problem is, somehow, with the women.

Ask the kids of such situations. Whatever sympathy they have for their mothers is usually exhausted by her selfishness and, in an effort to provide self-care to overcome the years of no care from their parents, they quickly learn to disassociate from their mothers as adults. You can’t take care of a woman like that, she’s determined not to care for herself or anyone else besides her partner. And therein lies the problem.

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EchoGirl March 24, 2018 at 3:35 pm

You seem to have a very specific image in your head of how these relationships work. What you describe is awful and I’m sorry you had to go through that, but not every domestic abuse victim reacts the same way. It may well be that women of a certain character type will seek each other out, rather than it being a default character flaw of abused women.

One of my best friends also watched her father abuse her mother, and she now works for domestic violence victim services. One of the things she talks a lot about is that while there’s a lot of support to help women leave, many DV victims don’t have the skills or resources to support themselves in the months and years to come, and there aren’t as many programs to help with that sort of thing. There is welfare but many people are ashamed to use it, especially if they’re coming from a community that frequently puts down welfare users (i.e. the husband is wealthy or upper middle class), and they may not have worked in years (in some cases, they’ve *never* worked). So the system is basically telling them “OK, you’re out of the hands of your abuser, now go make a life for yourself (and, in some cases, your children) with no money and no skills”. Is it any wonder that some of them seek out a new partner?

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EchoGirl March 26, 2018 at 5:17 pm

Aaand I just realized I dropped part of my point here. My point is that my friend grew up in a domestic violence household and is now (in her professional life) immersed in domestic violence, and never once have I heard her imply, as you did, that women are the “main problem” or that the reason they stay is because they’re selfish and demanding and desire male affection above all else.

Let me offer a counterpoint situation. In some cases, a woman could escape a domestic abuser with whom she has children, but for one reason or another she would be unable to take the children with her. Would you call her selfish for choosing to stay rather than leave her children alone with an abuser?

Dee March 26, 2018 at 9:26 pm

Yeah, the decision to leave can depend a lot on finances. But the women I knew of – and there were so many of them – WERE able to leave, financially, so money was not the reason they stayed. So what was/is the reason? That’s the $64,000 question. And it probably is the same reason the groupies flock to the violent offenders in prison. Why do these women seek these kinds of men? I don’t know, but if someone figures it out then maybe they can prevent it. Although it may be a personality thing, and that isn’t so easily changed.

For women who don’t leave because of finances it seems a pretty easy fix, if there was a societal interest in solving it. Low/no interest loans and such, until she gets back on her feet with an education and so on. Seems to me a much better scenario than the others (in my first paragraph), because it’s just a simple case of money. But there has to be a public will for it to be solved.

Ange March 25, 2018 at 6:29 pm

Funny how if men just stopped belting women around the problem would stop then and there no matter how dysfunctional the woman might be.

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Kirsten March 22, 2018 at 2:49 am

Absolutely could not disagree more. The women are NOT the problem, even though their abusers tell them they are. The abuse and those who dish it out are the problem.

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green March 22, 2018 at 3:10 am

WOW! That was som really heavy victim blaming!

I suggest you read the book: Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft

Surely women need help to get out of these kinds of relationships, but saying that they are the main problem, that just leaves me baffled.

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Adereterial March 22, 2018 at 7:44 am

No. This is victim blaming, and it’s unacceptable from any angle.

Please go and educate yourself. Understand what abuse is, and what it does. Learn what coercive control is and how abusers systematically isolate and manipulate their victims long before any kind of physical abuse starts.

The ONLY person responsible for the abuse is the perpetrator. Not the victim.

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clairedelune March 22, 2018 at 8:15 am

The MAIN problem in an abusive relationship is the abused partner? And not only are they the main problem, but their main-ness of problem-ness means that we should actually devote FEWER social resources to them? I just can’t imagine how one can even arrive at this conclusion.

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ladyclaire March 22, 2018 at 1:45 pm

Wow. So as someone who grew up with an abusive father, who used to beat my mother pretty much all the time, let me lay some things out for you:

She grew up with an abusive parent, and so being abused was “normal” to her.

She had a chronic illness that prevented her from working, and so my father controlled all the money.

My father moved us away from all family and friends, cutting off any resources she may have had there.

My father moved us to an area where domestic abuse was so common that the cops didn’t really give a fuck, and the courts would’ve just slapped him on the wrist and sent him on his way, where he would’ve proceeded to abuse my Mom even worse than before.

My father had convinced my mother that he would be able to get her committed for “being crazy” if she sought help. My father told my mother he would get her and her family deported (all had their green cards, but as her family is Muslim he could’ve certainly caused issues for them with minimal effort). My father told my mother he’d get sole custody of her children and would make sure she never saw them again, because she had no money of her own.

My father had my mother so beaten down through a combination of violence, manipulation, financial control, and lies that any escape seemed hopeless and impossible.

Get out of here with your victim-blaming “but it’s really the WOMAN’S fault and flaws” argument. You obviously have zero idea what you’re talking about and I honestly hope that a friend never comes to you for advice on leaving an abusive situation, if your mentality is that somehow she’s the one who is the “main problem” as you so charmingly put it.

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Semperviren March 22, 2018 at 3:21 pm

I have never, for the life of me, understood why some people apparently believe that the solution to abusive situations is to talk to, and about, the victims as if they are every bit as stupid and weak and useless as their abusers have been doing their best to convince them they were all along. Way to empower.

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EchoGirl March 22, 2018 at 10:43 pm

Most of the points I wanted to make have already been made, but there’s a societal aspect as well.

First of all, it’s not a given that people will side with the victim rather than the abuser. People tend to think of abusers as horrible, vicious monsters who exude evil, but the fact of the matter is, to everyone but their victims, they usually come off as normal people. They could be “pillars of the community” or professionally successful or both. People don’t want to think that someone they know could be an abuser, and if they don’t know the victim as well, they may turn on her because it’s easier than confronting the truth.

Second, there’s still the pervasive idea that women regularly make up allegations of gender-based violence as a “weapon” against men. Tying in with the first point and also considering the “perfect victim” myth (i.e. the idea that a victim will definitely react a certain way and that anyone who doesn’t wasn’t really victimized), people will start to think she might be lying and, hey, women do that all the time, right? (Spoiler alert: they don’t. False reports happen but they’re much rarer than most people think.)

And third, these attitudes are not limited to laypeople. Police and court officials also have biases and these biases can cause them not to take situations seriously. The quintessential example is Yvette Cade, who was denied a restraining order by a judge who had a pattern of being dismissive towards domestic abuse victims (having once referred to victims seeking protective orders as “buses that come along every ten minutes”); her husband tried to kill her in a horrific way just weeks later. Adding in the fact that women are often in the most when they leave, they might opt to stay and deal with the existing violence if they think the courts won’t protect them from the worse abuse they’re risking by leaving.

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Kate 2 March 23, 2018 at 12:55 pm

s/ You are SO right! Same thing with car theft. How dare people drive around in cars, and park them and leave them alone for hours? We shouldn’t be looking at those who steal cars, but at those who choose to drive cars and leave them in *seemingly* safe places. Problem solved! Next let’s move on to look at murder./s

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It's Me March 21, 2018 at 12:11 pm

The article that you linked to says that the fiancee broke off the engagement, and Danry eventually married someone else.

Women will continue to marry abusers as long as it’s thought that being married is better than being single. There are greeting cards for people who are engaged, and for people who get married. There aren’t any greeting cards that say “I’m so happy that you’re still single and never got married!” People give gifts to people who get engaged and married. I haven’t heard of anyone giving someone a gift and saying, “It’s because you never married anyone!”

Some people will say that they feel sorry for someone who never got married. I never heard of anyone who, upon hearing that someone they don’t know and know nothing about got married, said, “I feel sorry for him/her.”

Lots of people have anniversary parties to celebrate 10 or 25 or 50 or whatever number of years they’ve been married. I never heard of someone having a party to celebrate whatever number of years being never-married.

As long as society praises marriage and looks down on never-married people, women will continue to marry abusers, because it’s better than being single.

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Saucygirl March 21, 2018 at 3:13 pm

This is genius and I’m totally going to start rethinking how I celebrate people and their relationships (or lack of).

I have a good friend who just last week told her husband she wants a divorce. He is not a good person. I have already told her I’m proud of her, but now I’m getting her a gift too, to celebrate. And I’m going to send cards to some of my other single friends letting them know that I think they are awesome for not compromising or settling just so they could be married.

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ladyv21454 March 21, 2018 at 3:46 pm

I love the idea of having a party to celebrate being single!

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Miss-E March 22, 2018 at 9:00 am

A party to celebrate being single sounds a lot like one of those “marry myself” weddings. I would not think that idea would go down so well with Miss Jeanne

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It's Me March 22, 2018 at 5:58 pm

You could very well be correct that Miss Jeanne would not approve of a party that celebrates a person who has never been married. That’s because etiquette says that singlehood should not be celebrated. I’m sure Miss Jeanne has no problem with wedding and anniversary celebrations, but that’s because it’s okay in our culture to celebrate people who have gotten married. People who have never been married? They don’t deserve a party! (If there were such a thing as people congratulating people who had never been married, Miss Jeanne would be all for it. That’s because Miss Jeanne believes in etiquette, and if etiquette said that unmarried people deserve parties, then Miss Jeanne would go along, because she’s all about etiquette.)

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admin March 24, 2018 at 1:15 am

I think the etiquette being referred to here is hosting celebrations in your own honor since I doubt one’s friends or family would step up and host that kind of party.

It's Me March 24, 2018 at 7:24 pm

Well, it’s just too bad if one’s friends wouldn’t host such a party. I mean, when it’s Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, the honored person’s spouse or children take the honored person out for lunch or dinner or invite them over for lunch or dinner. And sometimes they give presents, too! The person honored doesn’t host the party. If married people are happy to accept gifts from their single friends when they get engaged and married, but they balk at getting a gift for their single friends to show how happy they are that their friends are single, that’s just too bad. Unless they think that being single is something to be ashamed of, not a cause of a happy celebration.

Miss-E March 26, 2018 at 9:37 pm

It’s not that people aren’t happy for someone who chooses to stay single or that they judge them or anything. It’s that there is no major event thrown to celebrate that. You don’t randomly give married people presents, they get them for an event (wedding, engagement, milestone anniversary). I suppose some9ne could start a new tradition but when do you throw this party? In someone’s 30s when all their friends are marrying? In their 60s after a Kong single life? What is the proper time considering you don’t know how your life may turn out or if you might fall in love later. You’re oversimplifying things by saying that if someone doesn’t throw you a single party then they aren’t happy for you.

And yeah children take their parents out for mothers/Father’s Day. That’s kind of the point.

JenAnn March 21, 2018 at 4:11 pm

I cannot believe this is anything more than a very tiny part of how and why people marry an abuser. It’s a gross oversimplification that doesn’t take into consideration all of the subtle ways a victim is broken down and eventually begins to believe this is all that they deserve.

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jokergirl129 March 21, 2018 at 5:58 pm

I agree that there is nothing wrong with being single and that if someone decides they never wish to marry then that if perfectly alright and more power to them. People should be told that whether they get married one day or stay single that decision is up to them and there is nothing wrong with either one.

But I have to be honest the idea of celebrating being single is kind of weird. I can’t really imagine making cards or throwing a party/celebration for something like that. For weddings and wedding anniversaries I can understand. Getting married is usually considered a big milestone in life and if you’re lucky something you would only do once. It’s seen as something special because typically it means you’ve met that special someone you wish to spend the rest of your life with.

And when you’ve been married for 10, 25 or even 50 years that’s something else to celebrate because your marriage is a success and you and your spouse have made it work. It’s something to admire and even learn from. And when you often hear about couples getting divorce for one reason or another it can be hopeful to some people seeing that some marriages still last for a long time and that it’s not impossible.

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It's Me March 22, 2018 at 6:36 pm

“But I have to be honest the idea of celebrating being single is kind of weird. I can’t really imagine making cards or throwing a party/celebration for something like that.”

You’re not alone in your thinking. The idea of celebrating being single is kind of weird because society thinks that being single is kind of weird. I wouldn’t be surprised if before Mother’s Day and Father’s Day began, some people thought of it, but others convinced them that such holidays would be weird.

“For weddings and wedding anniversaries I can understand. Getting married is usually considered a big milestone in life and if you’re lucky something you would only do once.”

That’s right! Even marrying an abuser is “considered a big milestone in life.” Lots of people get divorced and get married more than once. Isn’t it funny that people say “if you’re lucky something you would only do once,” but no one says “if you’re lucky you never get married.”

“It’s seen as something special because typically it means you’ve met that special someone you wish to spend the rest of your life with.”

Too many marriages end in divorce for me to think that people really count on a marriage being forever. And, for some reason, it isn’t seen as something special to stay single forever.

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JenAnn March 26, 2018 at 5:07 pm

I think this is blowing up something out of nothing. It’s typical to celebrate events and milestones, not the decisions we make to not do something. In that vein, we could also celebrate choosing not to go to college, or graduate school, or to not have children, or you name it…the list goes on. You would be celebrating everything you chose not to do in life, and that’s what makes it seem a bit odd. I would guess there are other milestones in a given single person’s life to celebrate that others in their acquaintance don’t do, and thus the single person celebrates those things while others don’t celebrate the absence of doing it. I never had children, but there is no need to celebrate the choice. If I were sensitive about it, it might feel like society had a bias against my choice, but I don’t feel that is true personally. (I do realize that would not be true in some people’s circles when it comes to not having children)

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Kate 2 March 23, 2018 at 1:04 pm

And what about people who are single? They don’t get any milestones or celebrations?

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JenAnn March 26, 2018 at 5:20 pm

Well of course single people have milestones and celebrations, just not that particular one because they didn’t take that particular road. But they may have a party to celebrate the purchase of a home, or a great promotion, or graduation with a bachelors or advanced degree, etc. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to expect people to make a celebration out of not doing something. What if I live in an apartment my whole life and never purchase a home, and never have a particularly exciting job or promotions, or don’t continue my education, where is MY party for not doing those things? I feel this is one of those things that you think is an issue if you have a hang-up about it, or assume others are judging you. Should I wish someone would celebrate my choice to go right to work in the family trade after high school, or on an assembly line? This whole concept would quickly spiral. There is good sense behind celebrating events and choices, not non-events and choosing to not do a particular thing.

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lakey March 21, 2018 at 6:04 pm

[i]As long as society praises marriage and looks down on never-married people, women will continue to marry abusers, because it’s better than being single.[/i]

I think this has changed considerably in the last few decades. I don’t believe that the stigma of being a single woman is there to much of a degree. I believe that it has become much more common for people of both sexes to either not marry at all, or marry at an older age. I’ve been single my entire adult life and have not had negative reactions or pity. I have had people make positive comments.

I think that this phenomenon of women feeling the need to be married, to the point of marrying a substandard person, comes from their own insecurity with themselves. If you are happy with yourself, you are less likely to marry someone who is showing red flags of controlling behavior or substance abuse.

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It's Me March 22, 2018 at 6:39 pm

[“I think this has changed considerably in the last few decades. I don’t believe that the stigma of being a single woman is there to much of a degree. I believe that it has become much more common for people of both sexes to either not marry at all, or marry at an older age. I’ve been single my entire adult life and have not had negative reactions or pity. I have had people make positive comments.”

Okay, so you haven’t had negative reactions or pity. But have you had any reactions of joy? Have you told your friends who got married that you were happy for them? Have they told you that they were happy for you because you never got married? Did you give them wedding gifts? Did they give you gifts because you never married? You say that people have made “positive comments.’ Do married people go around saying that others have made “positive comments” about their getting married?

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Kate 2 March 23, 2018 at 1:06 pm

Sadly I have gotten a lot of negative comments. So have lots of other single people. There have been entire books and sociological studies done on the prejudices single people face, and the financial and social effects of that prejudice. I am glad you have not felt any prejudice, but it is very real and it affects us.

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Miss-E March 21, 2018 at 9:07 pm

Well, you give gifts to celebrate an event like engagements, weddings, births, etc. Continuing to be single is not an event. You might send a gift when someone graduates college, you wouldn’t give someone a gift and say “this is for not going to college!”

I don’t think everyone should get married, I don’t feel sorry for people who remain single or childless at their own choice. I just think your logic is a little flawed.

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It's Me March 22, 2018 at 6:43 pm

Maybe you don’t feel sorry for them, but you must acknowledge that some people do feel sorry for them. I mentioned Mother’s Day and Father’s Day upthread. Why do people give gifts every year to celebrate an event that occurred once? But they do. But they don’t give gifts to celebrate singlehood, which is something that occurs every day.

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Miss-E March 25, 2018 at 12:26 pm

Marriages aren’t even celebrated all that much. There is sometimes an engagement party, many people skip that though, and then the wedding. After that anniversaries are celebrated privately until a major milestone is hit.

Like I said above, you can pick this apart forever. Why do we only honor those who graduate college? Where’s the big retirement party for the stay-at-home mom? Where is aunt/uncle/grandma day? This is just the way it is.

And it’s insultingly reductionist to imply that women marry abusive men because they want a wedding.

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Vicki March 21, 2018 at 1:10 pm

I would only add, this could usefully be “To humans everywhere.”

Abuse in same-sex relationships is sometimes overlooked or downplayed because of beliefs like “that’s a thing that happens in heterosexual relationships” and “women don’t do that.”

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Miss-E March 21, 2018 at 9:09 pm

*like* Abused men are often ignored or embarrassed to reach out for help because a man being abused by a woman is usually looked at as a joke.

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Airelenaren March 22, 2018 at 12:40 pm

Abd unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of shelters for abused men. I think in my region, there is one, and it’s quite small. 🙁

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AMC March 21, 2018 at 1:15 pm

Whenever the topic of domestic violence comes up, I post this chart:
http://www.carelodge.com/TheCareLodge/assets/Image/Cycle_of_Abuse_large.jpg
This is the cycle of abuse. You will notice that one portion of the cycle, called “The Honeymoon Period,” involves seemingly loving behavior (apologizing, promising to change, sending flowers/gifts, physical affection, crying, declaring love, taking tentative steps toward change, going to therapy/church/AA). When asked why they stay, victims may say, “It’s not always like that,” “There are good times,” “He can be so sweet/romantic.” This is the part of the cycle they’re talking about, but what many victims don’t understand is that this “loving” behavior is part of the abuser’s manipulation to keep their victim around. Abusers use this as well as other tools (gas-lighting, isolation, victim-blaming) to convince the victim that the abusive behavior is normal, deserved, and acceptable.

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Maggie March 21, 2018 at 8:52 pm

I was going to post about the Cycle of Abuse, but glad you did. More people (particularly women) need to be aware of this cycle. It shows that the abuser isn’t abusive all the time, and how many times do we hear an abused person say “they’re not like this all the time”. Well of course not. An abuser isn’t abusive 100% of the time. That’s how they get away with being abusive part of the time. The abused clings to the “good times” and rugsweeps the abusive times.

I wish more people (women) would read The Gift of Fear, in particular the bit where the police officer puts a domestic violence complaint onto a pile of similar ones because the victim didn’t want to press charges, and replies to her when she asked why he tossed it on the pile “we’ll get it out of the pile when he’s on trial for manslaughter” (or something like that… it’s being too long since I read it). 🙁

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Adelaide March 21, 2018 at 1:33 pm

It’s not that I disagree, but “brutal abuse and divorce” seems to be beyond the reach of a site called Etiquette Hell.

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jokergirl129 March 21, 2018 at 5:44 pm

While it’s not something the site normally deals with relationship topics do come up and sadly that sometimes involves abusive ones. And if someone see a friend or family member entering or is in a relationship that is showing signs of becoming abusive or is abusive then they might come here to ask for advice on how to deal with it. Like what would be the best way to express their concern or to convince the other person to leave. Plus when you hear stories like this then it’s even more important to try to get the message across that you should run from a relationship like this.

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Adelaide March 22, 2018 at 2:18 pm

You could say “it’s even more important to try to get the message across” as a reason for allowing discussions on literally any negative aspect of society, be it animal neglect, the rise in childhood obesity, or homelessness. I see plenty of topics here get shut down when people start veering away from giving etiquette advice, and this on the front page also seems out of place for a site that presents itself as revolving around etiquette.

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staceyizme March 21, 2018 at 7:05 pm

True!

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Karen L March 21, 2018 at 9:44 pm

I would like to hear more about the events between “call to the officiant” and “wedding was called off”. Did you just quit, and someone called off the wedding because there weren’t enough bridesmaids? Or did you convince the officiant that this was not a good marriage and s/he put a stop to it?

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jokergirl129 March 22, 2018 at 4:02 pm

I wouldn’t mind hearing more of this story too.

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Amberly March 23, 2018 at 3:25 pm

Are. you. kidding. me.

There is NO way what I saw in that video was an isolated incident. Absolutely horrific. He should be in jail for a long time. So sad.

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Agania March 24, 2018 at 10:06 pm

My best friend’s husband hit her once. She smacked him right back. He didn’t do it again! They did eventually get divorced but it was for other reasons.

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sillyme March 26, 2018 at 8:13 am

My hubs and I were both severely traumatized by a tremendous tragedy several years ago. while he always had a temper I didn’t like, he never got physical with me. Until after the tragedy. We both spiraled downward in very unhealthy ways in our grief and trauma.

I was financially ruined, emotionally exhausted and physically a wreck. I couldn’t leave. My husband was the only family I had left.

The six-month span did end, and that was two years ago. So, it did end. And my husband’s addressed the problems with his temper. But:
1. It started at the onset of a tragedy, not the beginning of our relationship and I recognized that. One person even described his behavior as PTSD, and that was reasonable.
2. I made it clear it was unacceptable and took steps, while staying, to let him know the relationship was over even if we were in the same house.
3. I was never in any danger of being harmed to the point of needing hospitalization, and my life was never in any danger.

The price our marriage paid can’t be calculated. I still haven’t forgiven him for those things or myself for staying and I am not as happy in our marriage as I’d like to be. I don’t think I really ever want to be in a relationship again. I’m kind of done with that.

So, there it is. I have a slightly different take this, because I had to stay, and it did get better. But I couldn’t just wish it away. I had to be strong, and even confrontational even though I’d always tried to “keep the peace.” I also had to be prepared to protect myself.

Of course, there are men who are abusive, always have been and always will be. Leave, if you can. But when I hear of such stories now, having stayed (and facing the conventional wisdom that shames me for staying), I don’t judge women who don’t leave. I don’t judge women who try to work it out. We don’t judge women who stay and try to work it out with addicts or alcoholics, and I kind of view this as a treatable disease now, so I don’t judge them.

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Emmy March 29, 2018 at 11:56 pm

I had a friend who left her fiance for being controlling. After promising to change, she decided to continue on with the wedding. Her friends were all concerned, but she said he had changed and any concerns were answered with ‘it will all work out’. They moved up the wedding date by several months, even though it meant a hastily planned wedding (from ‘an I dreamed of my wedding since I was a little girl’ women) and had a kid pretty much right away (despite her saying months ago that she wanted to wait a while for kids). She and him were separated for a while because of his controlling ways, but got back together again and we haven’t hard from her since (he doesn’t allow her contact with friends). I don’t know what happened to her.

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