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Monday, October 5, 2009

Why do they stay??

Okay, I've got a rather deep topic here today. This morning Frank and I were sitting watching Good Morning, America, and they were interviewing a woman who was the step-daughter of accused murderer, Drew Peterson. This man is accused of killing his third wife and his fourth wife has been missing for years. This woman's mother was Peterson's second wife and they were married for around ten years - so her daughter grew up with him from the ages of 8-18.

Her memories were of an abusive man who was controlling and manipulative. She told several stories to elaborate. So we're sitting there and my first thought was that she should NOT be doing this interview. Why? Because she didn't sound overly confident in the things she was talking about. She knew how he was towards HER but when asked about how the man was towards her mother in their marriage, she could not give a definitive answer. I voice this opinion out loud and then Frank adds that what this woman doesn't realize is that her mother stuck it out for her sake - so the child would have a home, security.

Now this sparks a debate: Sitting on the outside looking in, it is very obvious that just because someone puts a roof over your head and food on the table does NOT mean that it is best for the child. I've seen first-hand what that can do. So what makes a person stay? What kind of reasoning goes on in someone's mind where they give up one way of life (and it may be a good life or a struggling one) to go to one that is either equally hard, or worse? Granted, I think that some of these men do not show their true colors until AFTER the ring is on the finger. Again, I've witnessed this first hand, too, with my mom. She dated a man who seemed wonderful - until she moved in to his home. Then he became controlling and verbally abusive.

I never thought of myself as an overly strong woman, but I also knew what I wanted in life. I always knew that I wanted to be married, but I did not marry the first man that asked me. And thank GOD for that because he's on wife number three and has like 8 kids! Yikes! I married a man who I love and he loves me. He is not perfect, but neither am I. We have never been financially secure, and while I don't like it, it wasn't the reason that I married him! I've watched so many women marry someone for financial security and they are miserable. News flash people: MONEY DOES NOT EQUAL HAPPINESS!!! Sure, it makes things easier but you are basically selling your soul for the almighty dollar. What does THAT teach our children?

I don't really know where I am going with this - our conversation was very deep but I think it best if I not share it all here because you never know when the "crazy" is reading and ready to pass on what I write to the family. Which brings up another point: Do you marry someone who is crazy just to have someone to sit at the dinner table with? I guess I don't understand loneliness but I KNOW that I would rather sit with the TV on 24/7 then have to live my life with someone who has no respect for me.

Okay, one more point that just came to mind...this one sort of ties in - friends. I've had several conversations with people who say that they have no friends. Seriously, they don't. If the only person in your life is the person that you are dating or your MOM, then you need to get out!!! Why aren't you putting an effort in to making friends? Making friends and KEEPING friends does take an effort. There is no doubt about that. Me? I would be lost without my friends. I moved 550 miles away from my family and everyone that I had ever known and I thank GOD for the friends that I made here because they have become my family. From Danette who brought me my Nyquil the other day, to Donna who forced me to get off my lazy butt and swim with this summer, to Cathleen who can whip my butt in Math but I kick hers right back in Scrabble, to Michelle who just makes me flat-out laugh! These are my girls! And I am a firm believer that we all need a core group of friends like this! Better yet, we DESERVE to have a core group like this who you know will have your back at all times!

So if you are contemplating staying in a negative relationship? GET OUT!! There is nothing worth that and if there are children involved, they will THANK YOU for getting out. And if you are sitting home alone? Take that first step and get out there and meet some people! Go to church, join a book club, heck...go on Facebook and look up an old friend, but don't spend another night being lonely!!

Whew...okay, that is my opinion of the day.

9 comments:

jenn said...

I agree. I ca not understand how people stay in bad relationships. Like you, my husband and I have never been "financially secure", but we are unbelievably happy. My mom also married a control freak, who didn't show his true colors until after the wedding. It took ten years and us sneaking her out in the middle of the night, but she is now on her own, and has never been happier.

The only thing I don't really agree with is the friends thing. I happen to be one of those women who doesn't have many friends. I am perfectly content to spend time with my family, and I don't think that's a problem for me. I think everyone is different, and what each person needs is different.

PJ said...

i am one of those that stayed in a bad relationship. it's not really that easy to explain, sometimes i'm not sure there is an explanation. i can tell you that he had broken me, chopping away at my self esteem until it was non existent. i guess you could say brainwashing came into play. i wanted the family unit for my kids. i did everything in my power to make that happen, not realizing that it was not a good thing. i thought i could "fix" him and make him be a good father for his kids. well that didn't happen and after 13 years i finally opened my eyes and braved it on my own.

have a wonderful day my friend...hugz!

A.Marie said...

I totally agree with you! I was single until I was 27, and believe me, my friends who married "because they didn't want to be alone" are either divorced or very unhappy in their marriages.

I was not afraid to be alone; in fact, to prove that I could do it (because I had always had roommates), I moved into an apartment and lived BY MYSELF for about 1 1/2 years before I got married.

And, do you know what? I learned alot about myself during that time. I learned that I don't need someone around me 24/7 and that I CAN unclog a toliet or sink if I have to. I learned that I can make it on my own and I learned that I really do like myself! Me, Myself, and I....we made good roommates! LOL :)

Roo said...

About the friend thing... I agree, you need to have at least a small group of "outside" connections. I also agree that friendships (or any relationship) take work. However, often times they become one sided - one friend putting more effort into it than the other. That's sometimes why friendships die off. I've personally experienced that all too often. I'm a giver and unfortunately I've had too many friends in my past that were willing to accept my giving, but weren't there when I needed the same from them. So now I'm reluctant to become too close to too many people. It hurts to get burned like that.

Grampy said...

I grew up in an abusive household. Both my parents have passed and I have forgiven both of them.My father for all the beatings and my mother for not leaving him.We begged both of them to no avail.

Lola said...

Just because a person doesn't have friends, doesn't mean they are in an abusive relationship where the abuser isolates the woman and doesn't allow her to have friends and restricts her involvement with family.

My partner, Anastasia, is not abusive in any way and I don't have any friends, except for online pallies, for several reasons. The biggest reason being that I find it difficult to make friends because of something my childhood bff did to me in high school. Secondly, I can't work due to disability and that certainly limits the friend pool being that I don't work. I cutoff a friendship with a former co-worker because even though I haven't worked there in 2 years, she kept sucking me in to the work drama and gossip and it just didn't seem healthy. Third, we live in a small town and there really aren't opportunities to meet people. Fourth, being a lesbian, many straight women feel incredibly uncomfortable around you, or conversely, they blatantly flirt with you. Anastasia and I have discussed this phenomenon at length and we both notice it. Of course not all straight women fall into those 2 categories, but the ones that don't aren't easy to find. Making friends with other lesbians can put a relationship at risk, especially in a very small community. I've seen it happen in Chicago, and there is a huge gay community there and it still happens.

I would love to have a few good friends, but it's definitely not easy for me.

My sister has been in an abusive marriage for years. I witnessed it before she got married and told her not to, but she refused to listen. I've seen her go from a few friends, to no friends and she has cut off all contact with extended family over the years. She only talks to me and my kids. Someone in an abusive relationship can't be helped if they don't want help.

Stacie's Madness said...

lol do you feel better getting that all out?

Frugal Vicki said...

This hits close to home right now as my sister is an idiot. She has gone from bad man to bad man, doing whatever she thinks will keep them so she won't be lonely~like have kids which has resulted in four kids and four fathers. It is one thing to keep yourself in this pattern before you have children, but I feel like these kids are suffering simply because she doesn't want to be alone. she doesn't think she CAN be alone, and as a matter of fact, she has NEVER lived alone. She has literally gone from husband to serious boyfriend. This last time she was only divorced a week before she got married again. what REALLY kills me though, is that while she was married to the guy before this one, she denied any sort of emotional or physical abuse that the rest of us saw the kids going through. She demanded they were safe, demanded things were great. And now that she wants to hurt her ex, all of a sudden she is blackmailing him with all sorts of abuse claims. It angers me to absolutely NO end. In her case, she stays because she is selfish. DEEEEEEEP Breath. Hmmm. Apparently I needed to get that out.

Melissa Erickson said...

I think what most people do not understand is that controlling and abusive men hide who they are or no one would ever be with them.

They start off as the most loving and caring men. They live and breath to please you. They are the true wolves in sheep's clothing.

After a woman falls in love with them they slowing show their true colors and convince the woman that they deserve to be treated that way. It is such a slow process that women do not usually see it happening.

Usually the men come from fathers that do the same thing and the men think it is normal. It is important to do your homework and see what kind of a family a man comes from.