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Emotional Abuse in a Man’s World

I recently read the blog post of one of my classmates which was titled Why Do Women Stay in Abusive Relationships?. It inspired me to write of a woman who asked herself the same question. What made this question a little more difficult to answer was the fact that she asked it about herself.
See, when growing up in a family where religion teaches you that the only allowable reason for divorce is infidelity, it becomes quite difficult to leave an unhealthy relationship. If a woman has been sexually abused, it can affect her judgment on what is, in fact a good or bad relationship. When children are born to a marriage, abused women tend to stay in unfulfilled relationships, and worse than any of this; when a woman who lives in a man’s world, is emotionally abused, it’s difficult to recognize that it is abuse all together.
The woman, I know quite well, has dealt with depression from living her life through the expectations of others. There were many times she wanted to leave but asked herself, ”How do I leave when I have no money, my family feels I need to give this my best shot (but they don’t know what I go through because I am a private person so I don’t tell & I’m the one they all see as strong and whom they look up to), my friends admire the fact that I have a man who is at home with me and the kids, if I leave how will my children respond and, he admitted cheating but I cheated too so who am I to judge on that, and the abuse I suffer isn’t obvious to the world. He ignores me, when I try to discuss my emotions, he shuts me down and says he doesn’t want to hear it, he makes threats of suicide when I do get the nerve up to say I’m leaving (that makes me feel guilty) and he knows of my past sexual abuse but takes drugs which led to my fighting to avoid abuse by him (but since it only happened twice and my mother knew and I still had nowhere to go, I stayed). Sometimes I wish he would just hit me, then that would be evidence and good reason to leave”.
Being a woman who lives in a society led by men, with rules and laws written & unwritten by men, stereotypes such as the saying “A man will be a man” or “A good woman stands by her man” and how about this one, “A woman should support a man in following his dreams” it is easy to feel forced to stay in an abusive relationship. This is especially true when the abuse is “invisible” and even more difficult considering there are many women who reinforce stereotypes in support of abuse against women. Here’s one last statement this woman heard when she decided to share her experience with close female friends, “Well, at least he isn’t beating your a**”. With that being said, where does an abused woman turn when she lives in a society when male dominance is backed by the people who should support her, WOMEN?

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