“The idea that sex is something a woman gives a man, and she loses something when she does that, which again for me is nonsense. I want us to raise girls differently where boys and girls start to see sexuality as something that they own, rather than something that a boy takes from a girl.”
— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Why Women stay with Abusive men
It’s a phenomenon that we are both intrigued yet repelled by and it is the idea of a successful, intelligent, good natured and ‘should know better woman’ that remains committed to a man that disrespects, abuses and ill treat her mercilessly and unrepentantly. We wonder what could compel a woman to want to remain with a man that only cost her pain and discomfort, yes I mean cost her and not cause her! A man that only seems to sap her energy, undermine her self worth and under rate her dexterities and competencies. A man that limits her physical and psychological freedom publicly humiliates her and beats her occasioning grievous injuries. We are appalled when a successful woman admits that she has been abused by her husband. We are outraged when a woman is murdered by the hands of her lover. We are incensed when a woman attempts to leave an abusive relationship but finds her self right back with the abusive lover because she feels that she can’t live without him or that he will hurt her if she leaves. We wonder why a man could do something to a woman that he claims that he loves.
The truth be told, an abusive man does not love anyone but himself. Abusers are frequently narcissistic. They are self absorbed, ego centric and egotistic. He is weak and lacks human compassion, feelings or even emotions. The only time he feels any iota of emotions is when he feels as if his being is somehow threatened. These emotions ranged from anger, guilt, self pity and ferocity. It is at the ferocious point that most women will get their asses slapped or neck slashed by an abusive man. I know it sounds grisly heinous but it is the truth. We have seen many headlines, many Dr Phil’s and Oprah Winfrey and even CNN headline. Abusive husband, jealous boyfriend, estranged lover murders his woman.
Women have a nurturing nature that is a characteristic of our evolutionary psychological development. Just as how a mother loves a delinquent son, it is the same analogy for a woman with a tyrant, inconsiderate irreverent husband. A woman feels love for her man even though pummels her every night. In spite of his abusive nature, he often has other great characteristics that overshadow his sadomasochist behavior. The wife believes that if she loved him more, harder over and over again, he will become a better man. She posits that she has sufficient love within her being to serve for both of them. Enough love to fill the void that his lack of expressive love has made. She loves for both of them, suffers for both of them and lives for them both. It’s a level of sacrifice that is unfounded and leaves the woman exhausted, an overwhelming emotional fatigue. It’s the same altruistic and self less, incessant, irrevocably love that a mother has for her disaffected child. She loves him no matter how bad he is.
But does she always love him. Sometimes we women believe that we love a man but what we are really enamored with is often what the man represents, the power that he has or his money. We are in love with a shell. You realize that you love the way he looks, the way he commands attention at a seminar, the fact that you feel proud to have a husband who is a corporative executive, drives a Pontiac and lives in Beverly Hills. The same husband that broke two of your ribs disrespects your mother and almost shot your daddy in the ass when he came for thanksgiving.
You love how he looks and what he represents and not necessarily the substance of the man. It’s like loving a bottle of crystal champagne. You like how it looks, you like showing it to everyone (yes I can buy an expensive drink and yes I have taste!) but you hate the damn contents, you never drank a sip from that bottle that you boast of every day.
She feels that she probably will never meet another man like him. He becomes indispensably to her. She needs to keep this man because she feels nullified without him. Her identity has become intersperse with his and she feels as if she will become no body or nothing without this man. Her sense of self has been eroded by his constant abuse and denigration. She has no autonomy, no singular personality or definition of self outside of her husband and his life. This woman is normally the one who is married to the governor or a very powerful man. This woman is afraid of losing her status in society and divorcing from her abusive man may well be the ramification.
Then there are the women who are trapped in their relationship with abusive men for personal reasons. The females remain with abusive men because they want to protect their children because she fears that the man might abuse the child or children. Most men that abuse women tend ill treat children because abusive men like to pound on people that are weak or perceived debilitating.
An abusive man suffers from malignant narcissism. He feels that he is above moral authority. He rarely feels any form of reproach. He sees no wrong in his violent actions and is incorrigible. He accepts violence and sees it as his only form of expression, be it verbal or demonstrative. He sees foul behavior as norm and expects everyone to accept it. It is quite normative that he was taught violence as a means of communication as a child. He has suffered abuse and therefore is only acting out what he was taught.
But this gives no man the right to bludgeon a woman to death or to loath her in any form. No woman deserves to be abused. No woman deserves to be disrespected. No woman deserves to be marginalized and isolated from her friends and family by an abusive husband. No woman deserves to be abused. No woman should remain in an abusive relationship. There is no reason to hang around saying that it will get better. The man can be encouraged to seek counseling but how many narcissistic men will be willing to admit that he needs counseling? How many sadistic men will see the vile and anomie in their actions. The best advice is to get out while you still can! Get out now!