Over the years, many women have said to me that on their wedding day they knew they were making a huge mistake. Societal pressure to go ahead with the wedding once the invitations have been sent is huge. Some women confide in a friend or family member about their fears but are often told they just have “cold feet”. With the women I work with, after the wedding, they discover that their partners are abusive. This is usually not clear before marriage but still some women know marriage is a mistake. However, they are discouraged from hearing this inner prompting once they are engaged. If women could be encouraged by friends and family to listen to their gut (or inner voice) instead of disregarding it, women could be spared a lot of pain and heartache.
I just heard a great interview with Marie Corbett on CBC radio. She was a judge who felt powerless and so she retired in the hopes of bringing about change from outside the system. That is pretty remarkable – for a judge to feel powerless. Where does that leave one, individual woman, seeking justice in…
Watch this 30 second video for the answer:
Often when people are trying to understand woman abuse, the first question they ask is, “why doesn’t she leave?” This is a faulty starting point. The point really is why does he continue to be abusive and why does society, in subtle and not so subtle ways, allow the abuse to continue?
Jill and I see women working very hard to communicate with their partners. Women try to explain themselves and be rational with their partners. But the problem is that their partners are abusive and abuse is not rational. Abuse is about power and control. It is about diminishing the other person and “winning” the argument….
Some women who are abused by their partners wonder if the problem is low self-esteem. A woman may wonder if this is why she has “put up with abuse” for so long; because she did not think she deserved better. No one, independently, develops a solid sense of self. Humans are, by nature, social beings….
Sometimes women wonder if they are addicted to their partner. Claire described her feelings in this way. I don’t know what is wrong with me. I can’t seem to stop thinking about him. I know he has hurt me but I just keep thinking about how good things were in the beginning. Part of me…