Am I In An Abusive Relationship?

In my travels as I share my testimony I come across many who are in or have been

in an abusive situation. Unfortunately this is not something new or unusual.

Huffington post says on their website that 60% of all young women have

experienced abuse. 29% of those women say they have been in an abusive relationship. 1 out of every 4 girls and 1 out of every 6 boys will experience sexual abuse before the age of 18. These statistics are awful to say the least. I feel the church really needs to be aware of these statistics. The world does not have an answer to help pick up the broken pieces of these shattered lives but we do. My goal is to not just bring some awareness but to bring healing to the hearts and lives of those who are still bound to their pain and memories.

Definition of Abuse-

treat with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly the improper use of something

cruel and violent treatment

My Definition-

Actions toward someone, with the absence of Love.

I've heard abused women say " But he loves me...” , or “If you only knew what he’s been through you would understand” , and “He doesn’t really mean to...”

How many times have you said, “well he’s not always this way. He really has a good heart.”

We make these excuses because we fool ourselves into thinking we don’t want people to think bad of him, we are protecting our spouse, but in reality, we don’t want people to think bad of us and to realize that we live with someone who intentionally hurts us and puts us down. I’ve said and used these very excuses myself when I was in an abusive relationship. I tried to hide the pain from everyone I knew. I made excuses and even lied to cover up the explosive temper tantrums or silent angry moods. It really took a while before I realized that my relationship was not normal. See the problem was I had never really been in a normal relationship. All I really knew was manipulation when it came to most of my relationships with men. So when I was walking on eggshells and choosing each word carefully I had no idea that this wasn’t how it was supposed to be. Some of my awareness started to come when I would listen to christian talk radio and they would do specials about abusive relationships. I thought surely this is not me. But all of the signs and the things these women were saying were exactly what I was going through. I still couldn’t wrap my brain around this thought though because after all he had never hit me. Thats what abuse really is right? When a man pushes you around slaps you once or twice that’s abuse, right? I kept tuning into the radio programs eager to learn more. Was this wrong? Do I just need to learn how to be a better wife? I finally decided I needed to be a better wife. I cooked more, tried to make a better home, be a better mother, be a better in every area that I could but the harder I tried the less I succeeded. I couldn’t do anything right.

I at one point began to question my own sanity. Maybe I am the one who is crazy. After all if I had only done this or that better he would not have called me stupid. As an abusive relationship grows in years it grows in intensity and I soon realized that what they were saying on the radio program was true. This is not the way God intended us to love one another. But instead of reacting in a Godly manner I began to seethe with anger and hatred. I couldn’t wait for him to leave for the day. I had turned my life into a miserable place because now I had shut God out of the equation. Unforgiveness reigned. Anger, hurt and bitterness reigned. I had a choice when I realized this relationship was not healthy nor Godly. I could seek help to restore it or I could sit and be angry and feel sorry for myself because I am stuck in this situation. I won’t go into all of it now but I did eventually reach out for help but by the time I did the relationship was gone. If I had reached out in the beginning I don’t know but there may have been a chance to save it. Why am I telling you all of this? Because I want to save you the pain and heartache that I went through. You may have a chance to save your relationship. You may have a chance to save your teenage daughter from getting deeper involved in that abusive relationship. This may save your life literally. I want you to understand what Love really is. Love doesn’t take it gives! It’s not 50/50 it’s 100/100.

We often hear I Corinthians 13 read at weddings as if it were a poem. But this is a life guide for how we should be with one another daily. This is our manual on what Love is.

Christ was our ultimate example when he left his home in heaven to come to earth he laid aside everything for our good. He laid down his very life so that we can live. That is what love is.

I Corinthians Chapter 13.

1. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a

clanging cymbal.

2. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

3. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.

4. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

Let’s break down Verse 4 into 3 parts. What it Does, What it Says, and What it Does not do.

What it Does- Love suffers long

“I at one point began to question my own sanity!”

(The abused person cannot take this verse as a commandment to endure abuse.

But while seeking help and working toward reconciliation, enduring it with a Christ

like attitude will go a long way in righting the situation. Do not react in bitterness and anger but in Love)

God intends for us in our relationships, to endure in a Christlike manner the faults and shortcomings of another. My dear sweet husband suffers long with my forgetful and unorganized self. If he was not loving me as Christ loves the church he would surely have lost his temper with me. As I strive to correct my shortcomings he continues to endure and encourage me. :)

What It Is- Is kind;

The definition of Kind- warmhearted, affectionate, caring, kindhearted, loving, and considerate.

It means exactly what it says. If we should treat a stranger that we don’t know with Kindness how much more the ones we are in a relationship with?

What it Does Not Do-

love does not envy;

love does not parade itself,

is not puffed up;

A person that is not operating in Love but in fear will always try to make themselves appear bigger and better than they are so that no one will look closer to see the real person that they are.

Reminds me of my cat. When a big dog comes near her she puffs up stands on her toes and makes some crazy sounds so she looks scary to the big dog when in reality she is a fluffy cat that is scared to death the dog is going to eat her.

Here are some questions to ask yourself and let the Holy Spirit speak to you.

1. Am I afraid to ask him a question for fear of a blow up?