Let’s Get This Straight

I’ve talked to thousands of people going through divorce. One thing I’ve learned is how easy it is for someone who’s being abused to begin to believe that it’s normal, that this is supposed to be the way it is. Even if your spouse is not physically violent with you, he or she may be abusing you, and you deserve better.

You’re a real person. You’re special. You don’t have to put up with abuse. So with that in mind,

  • Let’s get this straight: It’s not normal or okay for you to shove me, or hit me, or kick me, or even act like you’re about to. It’s abuse.
  • Let’s get this straight: It’s not normal or okay for you to criticize me in front of our friends, our kids, or other members of your family or mine. It’s abuse.
  • Let’s get this straight: It’s not normal or okay for you to keep me in the dark about how much money you make, how much money we have, or how much debt we owe. It’s abuse.
  • Let’s get this straight: It’s not normal or okay for you to call me a liar when you know and I know that I’m much more truthful than you. It’s abuse.
  • Let’s get this straight: It’s not normal or okay for you to disappear when I’m sick or when I need you the most. It’s abuse.
  • Let’s get this straight: It’s not normal or okay for you to be nice to me only when you want sex. It’s abuse.
  • Let’s get this straight: It’s not normal or okay for you to start a screaming tantrum (or storm out of the room and refuse to talk to me) when I say something you disagree with, or when something doesn’t go your way. It’s abuse.
  • Let’s get this straight: It’s not normal or okay for you to call me an idiot, a fool, or a bitch. Or stupid. Or ignorant. It’s abuse.
  • Let’s get this straight: It’s not normal or okay for you to ration money to me like I’m a child who can’t be trusted, yet spend money with abandon for your own toys. It’s abuse.
  • Let’s get this straight: It’s not normal or okay for you to disappear any time you want to with your friends (no matter which gender). It’s abuse.
  • And one other thing: when you tell me that the thing that’s the matter with you is me, you’re wrong. You’re responsible for who you are and what you put up with. I’m responsible for who I am and what I put up with. I can choose to stop putting up with abuse.

There’s a book that I’m recommending now for all my female clients who have been living with an abusive man. It’s from Ashton Applewhite, Cutting Loose, and you can click here to read more about it. Or you can read a list of all the things one woman can do now that she has left.

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