(Update: All the posts of this series have been collected into one piece, Seven Reasons Women Stay in Abusive Relationships, and How to Defeat Each One of Them.)
I have collected all my posts in this series into a 41-page document, entitled: “Seven Reasons Women Stay in Abusive Relationships (and How To Defeat Each One of Them),” and made it available here on Scribd.com for free downloading and/or online reading.
In my last post I wrote about the (too easily underestimated) role that fear of public embarrassment often plays in keeping a woman mired in a bad relationship. While choosing personal pain over public shame is certainly a human enough choice, it’s one no one should continue to make once the cost of that trade becomes too consistently oppressive. Eventually, it’s just not worth it. If the fire in your house is between you and your clothes, sooner or later you must run out of your house naked. Emergencies prioritize needs, every time.
If you’re a woman who’s beginning to question whether the natural and understandable kinds of fears I wrote about in my last post are worth what it’s costing you to remain in a bad/abusive relationship, consider the following two points:
1. No one cares that much. One of the weirdest things about being human is that we all think we’re starring—or at least have serious supporting roles—in the life of everyone around us. But that’s just a crazy delusion God thought it would be funny to hard-wire into us all. The truth is that we’re each starring in our own show—and there’s just not a lot of room on anyone’s stage for anyone else but them. One of the great things about the intensely focused centrality of everyone in what is to them the ongoing, dazzling production that is their life, is that it means that nobody really cares all that much about what’s happening in the relationships of other people. Sure, they might care for a minute or two; everyone’s always down for a little choice gossip. But, unless they drop dead on the spot, what inevitably happens is that while they’re thinking or talking about you, their life continues—and then they’re right back on their stage again, totally engrossed in the sheer drama of their own life. If everyone around you gets suddenly shocked by your revelation that, instead of being happily married, you’re leaving the man whom you say treated you terribly, they’d totally think and talk about you for about fourteen seconds. And then they’d move on. Think about it: That’s what you always do whenever you learn about some drama in someone else’s life, especially if—as is true with marriages and relationships—that drama was a direct result of what amounts to choices made by the parties involved. If you heard about someone else breaking up with their husband or wife, you’d kind of care. But mostly you wouldn’t. The key is to remember that everyone else is just like you.
I have two more huge things I want to say on this on this subject, but this post is already too long. So tomorrow!
Hey, please pass this post along to anyone whom you think it might help. Thanks.