The myths Society paints about Domestic Abuse truly prevent awareness about emotional & psychological abuse and make it very difficult to spot. Society really paints a picture of Domestic Abuse involving physical abuse or violence. When I talked to a lawyer one time the first question they asked me was, “Has he ever hit you?” That is very frustrating because without physical abuse you cannot prove long-term psychological abuse in the courts. What makes this worse is there is no legal way to prevent the children from emotional abuse which is so damaging. So even if a woman makes the decision to leave her husband she may be subjected to sending her kids over there to be emotionally abused.
Even women I talked to often excuse unacceptable behavior by saying in excusing tones;
“Well, men are just jerks.”
“Well, he is just being a man.”
“At least he doesn’t beat you or cheat on you.”
“He probably just had a long day.”
“What do you expect, he is just a guy.”
It really was not until I was divorced from my ex-husband and his continual harassment & threats pushed me into a Domestic Abuse support center that helped me understand he wasn’t just being a ‘jerk’ but that he was being emotionally abusive. They described my ex-husband as a Classic Domestic Abuser.
Some of the most important things have done and wish I had done earlier are things like building up my own self esteem, creating a very healthy support network, learning more about what I will and will not accept, deciding I would rather be happy alone than miserable in a relationship. I also believe it is really important we educate all our daughters/sons of what emotional abuse actually looks like. Spreading awareness about what is or isn’t acceptable in a relationship to our youth is critical. Perhaps this will make abusive relationships easier to spot and more acceptable to talk about.
I think the not-so-good ones out-number the good ones and you have to be extra careful. It is not like they are going to be an real jerk on the first date because most pof us wouldn’t choose go on to a second date.