This is never my favorite topic of conversation simply because I’ve been in a long-term abusive relationship before. It was a controlling union, where I felt as if I was always walking on eggshells, always sorry for things I had no clue I had done and always working way too hard to make him happy.
It was ridiculous, but you know what? I had no clue this was happening. In my mind, I was just making mistake after mistake and I was lucky that he wasn’t leaving me for my faults.
Oh, writing this makes me cringe. I hate the years that I devoted to being a doormat. This best thing that came from this relationship was my children. I’m going to shock you now. I want to tell you why this happened to me. It wasn’t his fault. It was mine.
Why I invited my spouse to control me.
I had a low self-esteem way before I met my ex-husband. I was downtrodden and suffered scars from being bullied in high school. Before I ever met my mate, I had doubts that someone like me could find love, true love. I dated, as most young girls out of high school do, but I always kept my expectations low. After all, who would want me? I didn’t really have much to offer.
This was my mentality. Therefore, I invited my husband to abuse me. Since he had issues of his own, he recognizes my willingness to be humble, supportive and kind. He took advantage of these traits and used them for his own plans and schemes. My low self-esteem kept me from being a strong woman that I should have been.
I believed in the power of male culture.
I don’t dislike men, that is absurd. What I did, however, was empower men to have control over me naturally. Society, for the most part places the value of men over the value of women. Men are paid more, respected and revered, while women are the weaker vessels. I promoted these ideas, even to the point where I proclaimed that I didn’t believe in having a female president. I set myself up for failure.
I reinforced the same behavior that I later had to fight.
About a year before my divorce, I started to fight the abuse. I started to stand up to my husband and keep a strong will. I said “no” instead of always saying yes. I held my ground in arguments and refused to spend every waking hour cleaning and cooking for him. I wanted a life too.
The fights that I endured were altercations partially created by me several years previously. In my younger years of marriage, I proclaimed that women should be submissive to their husbands and male dominance and arrogance was acceptable. For years, I reinforced this ideal in his head and now I still see it in my children.
The fight will continue for years to come, but I will fight. After all, I invited this controlling relationship into my life, and I will have to be the one to abolish it as well.
I’m not saying that it’s all our faults that men treat us the way they do. All I am saying is that if you let it happen, it will continue. IF you stand up and fight for your basic human rights, you will do more than escape an unhealthy relationship. You will teach the next generation of men about how to treat women.
This is the most important aspect of all.
Photo Credits: Lily Maymac