I listened to an elderly woman speak on her abuse from a 20 year marriage and watched as she broke down in tears discussing the many acts of unkindness on her spouse’s part. He had cheated on her with several women and had even fathered a few children during the course of their marriage. She stayed isolated and away from society; she was a secret and no one knew of her mental anguish. She was beaten and mistreated on several occasions in front of her children. If he were hungry and wanted food in the middle of the night, he’d go to the refrigerator and throw the food at her feet to clean it up and cook him more food. If he wanted her to stay busy and isolated at home, he’d take all his ironed and washed clothes out of the closet and purposefully wrinkle and mess up her hard work, only to advise her to “start over.” On several instances when she got a paycheck, she would get beaten if she denied giving him money rather than paying their household bills. It wasn’t a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde situation where he was nice one moment, yet mean the next. He was genuinely an abuser, a cheater, and a user.
Some women were taught by family members, parishioners, or friends to honor their marriage, even in the midst of mental, physical or emotional abuse. The rationale is that “it’s not that bad” or “if you just deal with it things will get better.” What about those marriages or relationships that don’t get better? Does this woman stay in an unhealthy relationship and allow her  SELF ESTEEM to be shattered all for the sake of being married or to live up to the status quo? Some women stay in abusive relationships because they feel they have no one else in their lives to help them or care for them. Their abuser isolates them from family and friends only to deny them the true love a woman needs from a man. Real love is not abusive or controlling, regardless of who’s right or wrong during an argument or disagreement. It’s unhealthy and abnormal.
If this is or was you, do not be afraid, there is help and hope. Whether you believe it or not, you are a valuable asset to any man God has chosen for you. You are not alone and you are the best thing since sliced bread. You do not have to take any abuse in any shape, form, or fashion. It is okay to be alone. It is okay to even date others if you are divorced and looking for companionship. It is not the end of the world. If you have children, you do not want to continue the cycle of mental or physical abuse. Teach them that life is more than just depending on someone who doesn’t love you enough to respect you as the woman God respects and loves. The elderly woman discussed above finally got out of her relationship. She listened to the advice of her child. “Mom, put one foot in front of the other and let’s go.”  

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