Tuesday, June 11, 2013

"HOW MUCH SHOULD I STAND UP TO HIM?"



One of the common contradictions that women hear goes like this:
“Well, it’s your own fault because you let him get away with treating you like that. You have to stand up to him.”
    while other people say
“If you’re going to get right up in his face and push his buttons like that, what do you expect? You already knew how he’d react if you said that to him, because of what has happened before, but you said it anyhow.”

            So what’s the correct way to handle him? Should you stand up to him or shouldn’t you?

            The answer is that no one has any business telling you what to do, because there are so many factors involved in the decision in each specific situation. You are the expert on your partner. You know which issues you can (usually) get away with challenging him about. And you know that there are others where he will punish you if you stand up to him. Some days you will choose to hold your ground despite the pain his retaliation will cost you; you’ll do that because the issue that you’re arguing about means that much to you, or because you can’t take being bullied anymore, or because your soul and dignity need to see you resist his dictates from time to time.
            Most people don’t understand how payback-oriented controlling and abusive men are. They don’t understand what a high price you may pay for calling him on how wrong his statements and actions are. How can someone else know when it’s worth it to you and when it isn’t?
            And as for people who are telling you not to challenge him, they too have no idea what they are talking about. While it’s true that confronting him can cost you a lot, failing to fight back eats away at your soul over time. These people are saying, in effect, that you should consent to be oppressed because it will make life look a little more peaceful, a little less overtly injurious, a little less scary. It’s the same thing as saying to someone, “You should let the invaders take your children one at a time, because otherwise they might take them all at once.”
            There are no simple solutions in dealing with a partner who bullies you, and you deserve respect and understanding about that fact from the people in your life.

18 comments:

  1. Agree as spouses we pay either way....

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  2. I have heard both of these sides, as well as people who say it didn't happen because I stayed as long as I did. People have said it would have gotten better if I only would be quiet and let God change my husband, or that I am in some way caused his behavior by leaving too soon and not giving him a chance to change.

    You are absolutely right, no one but the abused knows the whole story. I am finding since I left that your damned if you do and damned if you don't. That if you don't have witnesses and pictures most people will play down your reality. That if you kept quiet and the abuse was behind closed doors you can't prove it. If you didn't seek professional help and the scars are inside, you will be the only one who knows what the best thing to do was. You need to trust yourself and your decisions.

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  3. I have heard both of these sides, as well as people who say it didn't happen because I stayed as long as I did. People have said it would have gotten better if I only would be quiet and let God change my husband, or that I am in some way caused his behavior by leaving too soon and not giving him a chance to change.

    You are absolutely right, no one but the abused knows the whole story. I am finding since I left that your damned if you do and damned if you don't. That if you don't have witnesses and pictures most people will play down your reality. That if you kept quiet and the abuse was behind closed doors you can't prove it. If you didn't seek professional help and the scars are inside, you will be the only one who knows what the best thing to do was. You need to trust yourself and your decisions.

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  4. I didn't realize either how abusive men are 'payback-oriented' til today. Funny, I should get a link to this article today when 'Mr. Nasty' as another woman calls these men? He retaliated by getting a social worker to come over saying I was neglectful, which is funny? because he abandoned us, and when he was here he was never home establishing any kind of relationship with the kids! O.K. One thing to try and get back at me, but who in the end gets hurt-the kids. I do have a question-do I push the emotional abuse aspect? Or go for as quiet as possible of a divorce?

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    1. Deffo go for the pushing the abuse issues, i am going to do that myself we keep quiet long enough, time to fight back, however above all you must take the safest option for you, only you will know that, take care xxxx

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    2. please take care as you go forward. the court systems do not take DV seriously, unless it rises to a level no woman should face, and then, there must be a "pattern" of abuse. A single physical incident will not mean the courts will give you full custody or full legal custody.

      As for emotional abuse, which always proceeds an act of violence, the courts offer not protection for you or your children.

      And realize, many attorneys know how their bread is buttered...high conflict divorce is a big payday that can last for years. I have been in court since my ex assaulted me in 2007. He wins most all the time.

      you know your abuser, but then many of them are interchangeable...same entitlement etc. etc.

      take care, be well.

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  5. Thank you so much for writing this! Means the world to me to get to read these words. So helpful to me as I am trying to divorce my abusive husband and I have had these thoughts but did not know how to explain them to others in my life. You are an amazing person, Mr. Bancroft, and I thank you for all you are doing to help those of us who struggle in an abusive relationship.

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  6. I am in the process of getting things sorted to be able to leave my abusive husband. As for standing up to him i dont often bother as mine and the childrens and even the animals lives will be made hell for weeks. So i tend to keep quiet unless it is a very minor issue

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  7. So So true!

    I can't count the number of times people have implied that I let him "get away" with it, but when I have suffered payback, the bystanders will blame me for "not choosing the battles", implying I should have let things go over my head.

    JUST LEAVE US ALONE AND STOP JUDGING US! I now trust my own gut instincts, my experience and my knowledge. It doesn't let me down, and if it does, I am happy to wear it.

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  8. I'm in the process of divorcing my husband now. It's been over a year and it is still not final. I have tried to prove the abuse (verbal, emotional, sexual, financial, spiritual and physical) the only evidence I had was picture after he hit me. He laughed it off in court as a joke. The picture in color was obvious it was not a joke! It seems like the legal system doesn't care about abuse or trying to protect our two children. My husband has managed to convince everyone involved in our case he is a great Dad, Man...ect. I now understand why people don't come forward and just leave with the kids. You try to do what is right and it's like you get punished. My husband has turned our church we use to attend together against me as well. Where is the justice???

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    1. I know, there is no justice, no recourse...but being free, worth it! but believe me, counting down the years until the kids are all 18 and I can block him entirely! Right now I work 70-80 hours a week because he finds reasons to not pay child support. He is supposed to carry their health insurance and hasn't for a year. And the regular harassment!

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  9. Great post! I know it must feel good for abuse victims to feel understood and validated!

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  10. Everytime I read an article or see something on the news I am just shocked at how and why we are letting this happen in our country. Our laws are outdated, our family courts broken and this horrible abuse continues and we complain about other countries and how women and children are treated! Why oh why has a protective system not been put in place for women and children to flee to since it is very obvious there are no laws to protect them. And it's become so outrageous that its illegal to flee!! Come on America we have more resources than this!!

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  11. As one who chooses to stay at this point in time, I've been asking myself this question again lately. My therapist said similar- don't analyse whether you said or did exactly the right thing; there is no right or wrong reaction, only what you need to do in each moment to get through.

    So thank you. I needed to read this here today.

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  12. Do you have any information about stalking? There is only a brief sentence in WDHDT? book about stalking and only by one type of abusive man. What is the psychology behind stalking and why do seemingly innocuous things like phone calls and text messages or emails feel so threatening and intimidating?

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  13. Yep. No matter what I do, he manages to make it appear that I am the monster here, and he is the victim.

    The legal system, people and institutions whom I counted on to protect my rights are either unable or unwilling to do so.

    It just keeps costing and costing and costing.

    While he presents himself to my children, friends, family, the court, the public as the victim and me as the perpetrator. He is a very good liar and quite believable. And he is VERY effective using the legal system to deprive me of my legal rights.

    As to ". . . but being free, worth it!". Depends. I'm old and disabled. I expected the legal system would protect my right to half of everything. So far I have next to nothing. His lies/slander and his willingness to spend much more to deprive me of something than it is worth are overwhelming. In effect he has starved me out. If I don't get a reasonable share (note: no longer expecting my half) of the income and major assets I will be impoverished for the rest of my life.

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  14. Please please don't beat yourself up because you're choosing not to stand up to the abuse... the very fact that you are able to think halfway rationally in the face of all his toxicity shows that you are a person capable of great things, no matter what anyone else thinks!
    My emotionally and verbally abusive husband of nearly 13 years said to me repeatedly that if someone could see the real him, they would be disappointed or disgusted and turn away from him (how ironic, I know). Regardless of whether he truly feels that way, it made me realize that I think of myself in exactly the opposite way: if he (or any partner, or anyone else for that matter) would give me the chance to see the real me, the me who is unmarred by yearlong emotional torture and free to make her own choices, they would see me for the inherently worthy and lovable person that I am, not for the pitiful abused woman who sucks it all up or for the idiot who chooses to stand up. Especially when you have children and know that he will retaliate by hurting them, you are constantly navigating your life from a place of anguish and fear, and I dare anyone who thinks they know how should I react to his abuse to walk in my shoes for a while, that's how angry I get at times when I hear such "helpful" advice.

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  15. As I said to one of the few lawyers I have met during the past 7 years who had any concern or compassion for me and my children "I should have waited (to file a complaint) until he was beating me to a pulp, and I was repeatedly ending up in ICU?" And, she said "Yes, unless you walk into courts totally beaten to death, the judges won't even start to listen to what you have to say."

    The abuse and bully I received from my ex husband is nothing compared to that which I received from MY lawyers & judges. And, the apathy of the Domestic Crisis Center, Women's/Human Rights groups, & govt. agencies (including the American Consulate in Madrid)is where the real crux of the problem lies.

    My ex husband (and his family) have abused me because they can. It is their right as defined by the courts and society.

    Quenby Wilcox - Founder Global Expats & Safe Child International

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