Blueroselady's Weblog

I wish you abundant happiness, health & wealth

How to deal with abusive spouse? 6 loving tips to survive

leave a comment »

A real life story:
I was surprised by what my friend X has done on the 4th Sunday of June 2013.
She reported her spouse to the police for making repetitive threats that he will kill her.
The couple appears loving to me.
They are kind, charming, polite, educated people.

X and her spouse are from a Christian family,
and I know many loving Christian families
who endure hardship and have long lasting marriages.
However,
as one of the priests (whom I had the fortune to listen to) mentioned,
the Church comprises saints and evils.
Instead of naively believing everyone is good (人心本善),
my view is that,
no matter a person believes in a religion or not,
a person can have the potential to be good or bad.
What matter is to discover the potential to be good, be good and do good.

X shared with me that her spouse has been abusive to her,
she does not know if she is supposed to continue tolerating his actions.

According to BabyCenter,
domestic violence doesn’t have to be physical: it can also be psychological, sexual or financial.

People often assume that women (girlfriends / wives) who are abused come from disadvantaged or deprived communities, but middle-class women (like X) are abused too.

X told me that although she was fearful for her husband’s job,
she has gathered all courage to face the consequences of reporting her husband’s threats.

According to her, her spouse:

# threatens to divorce X, knowing that X wants to hold the family together.
I asked X if he did so only when he was angry at X, but he also did that after they have reconciled,
hence giving X emotional stress.
(X seems to be the bedrock of the marriage.
It is not easy to be the bedrock of a family, a society, a nation.)

# threatens that he will kill X.

# makes X apologize for many times, even after X thinks that they have reconciled over a disagreement / dispute. X’s spouse would want X to kneel for even small matter, which X did to appease him.

# threatens to bully their child.

# seems to be 斤斤计较 / petty-minded / selfish.
X’s spouse was unhappy if X is using laptop or appears to X’s spouse taking care of their child less.
I believe that no matter how superwoman a mother is,
a mother deserves a break.

X mentioned that her spouse argued that if he did not see her taking care of their child,
then it would not be considered as taking care of their child.
Many times, X quietly does the house chores and child caring beyond what they agreed upon.
Then, I learned that
X and he grew up in different family backgrounds.
X was raised in high discipline and independent setting,
whereas he was pampered and spoiled by his mother,
who does not mind being scolded "stupid", "fat pig" by his son.
X does not accept this because to her,
she owes a life to parents.
Such a lack of respect attitude of X’s spouse is perhaps a factor of why X’s spouse is abusive.

Reflection: in my experience, I observe that people who are stingy tend to be 斤斤计较.
Although being stingy and frugal is different,
there is only a fine line between them.
It is important to be aware of the difference.
We strive to be frugal but not stingy.

# often blames X for consequences that are also due to his behavior / actions.

If I am his friend, I will likely to get another perspectives.
However, I am a friend of X,
so many of my sharing will be based on X’s standing point.

Here are loving tips for victims / survivors like X:
1. Love.
Love yourself.
If you do not love yourself,
it is hard to love your children.
Only when you love yourself,
you can genuinely love your children and spouse.
If you do not love yourself,
you cannot love your enemy.

In my opinion, X’s spouse suffers from low self-esteem.
He does not love himself enough,
so he unleashes his built-up anger, resentment, frustrations to his wife,
because he knows that his wife is always forgiving him.

Forgiving is a virtue, but forgiving without loving yourself is not forgiving.
Loving yourself here does not mean being selfish.
Loving yourself means respecting yourself.
A mentor said,
although
(i) Matthew 5:43-48 writes
"Don’t resist violence! If you are slapped on one cheek, turn the other too."
(ii) "No, not seven times," answered Jesus, "but seventy times seven." Matthew 18: 21-22.
but if you cannot be (physically / emotionally) alive after being slapped (inclusive of being abused),
and you have the responsibility to be alive
for the sake of your aging parents and young children,
you are being selfish to them
for upholding what you believe in "false sense of forgiving".
Moreover,
although you aspire to be like your role models (e.g. Saints),
you are just a human being.

2. Pray.
Pray in the morning when you wake up and at night before your sleep.
Daily prayers really help.
Praying is a form of believing,
the law of belief works.

The family that prays together stays together
.
Praying together allows you to communicate with each other.

3. Seek family help.
X told me that she has been informing her spouse’ parents on the repetitive threats,
but they told X that he was joking.
Some jokes are not funny.
His family seems to tolerate his abusive behaviors to X.

On a side note,
X feels sorry for her parents in law,
because they are among the nicest to X.
They love to offer buying her food,
but perhaps very kind parents who do everything for their children,
may result in children who take things (including people) for granted.
X is wise enough not to blame her parents in law,
because we are all victims of victims.
X shared with me that her mother in law lost her father in her early childhood,
so she showered all his love to X’s spouse.

Indeed, according to BabyCenter,
it is not true that all men who are violent have grown up in violent homes.
Honestly, I want to have parents in-law like X’s parents-in law, but not a spouse like X’s spouse.

4. Seek spiritual / religious supports.
Personally,
I believe in God and a religion,
so it helps me in my daily life.
A friend who had a severe accident (she ended up wheelchair bound) also found serenity in religion.

Marriage is a major event in human life,
so when one’s marriage is shaken,
it is natural to feel insecure.
But,
human beings have the capacity to harness our inner security / inner peace.

In the case of X,
X told me that she had tried to seek religious helps.
She went to counseling at church,
but he refused to go.

Before their marriage,
X told me that they attended Marriage Preparation Course,
and things seemed OK at that time.
Both proceeds to the marriage at their own free will.

There are also other spiritual supports.
Louise Hay suggests us to repeat,
"All my relationships are harmonious."

X was a migrant from a developing country,
who struggled since her early life,
although she has evolved into an educated woman,
I sense that she still have some traces of feelings of unworthiness / a belief that she is unlovable,
that’s why she attracted her abusive spouse.

Fortunately, X is aware of it and is working hard to change herself.
She is indeed lovable.
She recalled her spouse asked why she wants to get married with him,
given her good qualities.

The good news is
when we change ourselves (change our habits / beliefs / behaviors),
the other person will change or
he will leave our lives.

5. Seek legal supports.
This is what X did by reporting her abusive husband to the police.

If there is an immediate threat to your life, call 999.
Otherwise, a police report can be lodged at any Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC).

In family violence cases, the Police is concerned with the following:
(i). The safety of the victim / any physical injuries?
(ii). With the consent of the victims, the Police will also refer them to the relevant Family Service Centres or Crisis Shelters for assistance.
(iii). If they wish to seek further legal protection, they will be advised to apply for a Personal Protection Order from the Family Court.
(iv). Where warranted, the Police will take action to prosecute the perpetrator.

6. Seek social supports.
A social worker told me,
after listening to many problems of people,
if you put your problem into a pile where others also put their problems,
and you have to take a problem,
you will definitely choose to take yours back and not others.

However, if your life is being threatened,
you must take actions to protect yourself and your children.

You can call / visit the Family Service Centre near your home if you need help or advice, or if you just need to talk to someone.

If you find my post useful to you, please donate to me. Thank you!
If you are a victim of domestic violence,
I pray for you to regain harmonious relationships.

Advertisements

Written by blueroselady

June 24, 2013 at 10:40 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: