Ask Amy: Abused husband wonders why he stays in marriage

Dear Amy: Why do we stay with our abusers? I don’t know what the statistics are for men that are abused by women, but I am one of them.

My wife was on the receiving end of abuse from her family while growing up. As far as I know it was verbal/emotional, and not physical.

I asked her once if she knew how she could deal with her anger, and she replied, “Get rid of my husband.”

I never know what I might do or say to set her off. My answers have been reduced to saying nothing, or just nodding my head.

I figured out a long time ago that I could have said things and treated her like her family did, but that wouldn’t have helped our marriage.

I heard Dennis Rainey speak several years ago, and one of the things he mentioned to be a better lover of your wife is, “To love the pain of the past out of her.” At some point, doesn’t she need to love that pain out of herself?

We went to counseling together a few times early in our marriage, but she recently demanded: “Never take me to a counselor.”

I’ve had a few friends tell me I should go by myself (I have looked into it), but I feel like I’d be leaving her behind.

I’m tired and want to cry.

— Who Am I?

Dear Who Am I?: An estimated 1 in 10 men are in an abusive intimate relationship, but this statistic is a rough estimate because of the taboo and silence surrounding male abuse survivors.

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Reasons people stay in abusive partner relationships are: fear (it can be dangerous to leave), conditioning (believing the abuse is normal), embarrassment, lack of resources, cultural or religious reasons, fear of dislocating children in the household, low self-esteem or because they think Dennis Rainey (a Christian speaker whose business model surrounds telling couples to adopt “traditional values”) told them to.

Why do YOU stay?

Your narrative is really all about your wife — her reasons and her excuses for being an unloving and abusive wife. But what about you? Who is going to “love the pain” out of you?

I’m urging you to attend non-religious affiliated (in addition to Christian, if you choose) counseling sessions on your own. Don’t think of it as leaving your wife behind, so much as taking yourself along on the most important journey of your life — the journey toward self-awareness and self-worth. And yes, if your marriage continues to be spiritually, morally and emotionally depleting, …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Lifestyle


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