Once upon a time there was a little girl who had a dream. A dream where she would grow up, marry a handsome gentleman, live in a beautiful home with a white picket fence around it, and have two or three children of her own. At least that is what she thought.
The marriage went well for the first few months. Just as with any marriage, they had their disagreements and disappointments, but life was still sending her those promises. They bought a house together, soon after she got pregnant, and all the details that she wanted were falling into place. She was happy beyond belief.
That is, until the changes started happening. He began to act out, talking to her disrespectfully, yelling and throwing tantrums. He told her that the pressures of life were taking a toll on him; excusing himself from his actions. She didn’t understand what was happening, but she knew she was going to stand by her man no matter what. She was in it for the long haul.
What she didn’t realize was that life’s pressures weren’t necessarily the only reason for the change in his behavior. The abusive nature was also ingrained deeply into the core of who he really was—an abuser. He had won her heart; and now, since she was tied into the relationship with marriage, mortgage, and children, he could start to show his true colors.
Progressively his behavior got worse. Not only did he abuse her emotionally and spiritually, he started abusing her physically. Unfortunately, now they have two children who witness it all; leaving the young woman feeling hopeless with nowhere to turn. His threats were strengthened by telling her that if she did leave, he would make her pay in some way; he would take the children, hurt her even more, and even threatened to kill her if she tried to leave.
Think this doesn’t happen? Think again. Many abusive relationships start out with a charm and grace; only to end up with someone causing disrespect and heartfelt pain.
Have the attitude that you will never tolerate disrespect or abuse from your partner. If it happens to you, stop it immediately. Be aware of what is going on and stand up for yourself. If he is belittling you, let him know that you won’t put up with that behavior—ever. If he physical hurts you, get away from him. Teach him that his unkind and unjust behavior will never be tolerated.
Depending on what is happening, the outcome is the same. Zero tolerance. That means you take the position that whatever transpired, it will never happen again or there will be consequences; then again it may mean that you are leaving for good. Once you allow yourself to be disrespected, the situation usually develops into worse mistreatment. Stop it in its tracks. However the story ends, remember that you are taking a stand for yourself—and any children involved.
When you find that one true love, remember that one or both of you could change in some way. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. That doesn’t mean you have to be untrusting of your mate; only aware and confident that you know you will be okay if something happens. Be honest with yourself on what you are getting from your mate, and remind yourself about what you deserve—love, kindness, and respect.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. If you, or someone you know, are dealing with the pain of domestic violence, get help. The situation isn’t helpless, and neither are you. You have the strength and courage to rise up and take a stand.
God bless you.
If you want to find out more about domestic violence, go to the United States Department of Justice website at http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/domviolence.htm.
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