The Pain of Being In/Watching Destructive Marriages, Domestic Violence and Stockholm Syndrome
I’ve seen far too much of the evil of the world:
An old middle school classmate and his wife have been married maybe a year and a half, but ever since they got married, their drama has been playing out on my Facebook news feed.
There’s abuse, cheating, all sorts of nasty stuff going on; somebody leaves, their Facebook walls are full of complaints, they get back together and they’re all lovey-dovey posting cutesy things that I really don’t care to read (too much like being a voyeur, and I’ve never felt comfortable with other people’s PDAs).
It’s probably driving everybody crazy who reads their posts. [Update: It’s been less than two years since I posted this–and they’re divorced, have been for a little while now. So at least that drama is over with.]
Today, the wife posted this song by Rihanna, “Love the Way You Lie (Part 2).” I don’t know this song, not having listened to pop music for about 10 years now. But the lyrics are full of Stockholm Syndrome; read them at RIHANNA – LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE PART II LYRICS.
I tracked down Part 1 as well:
Lyrics are at Eminem-lyrics-love-the-way-you-lie-feat-rihanna.
I was once in an emotionally abusive relationship (Phil) that had the elements of physical violence being very likely in the future. My friends and family all grew to hate him, but I didn’t know why.
Yet I kept trying to hold it together, even debased myself by begging him to come back when he–disgusted with my refusal to just sit back and take his abuse without protest–left me.
When he came back again two weeks later, it was to a broken, submissive person who was desperate to do whatever he wanted, just to keep him from leaving again. But I did one thing wrong in his eyes, and off he went again.
It lasted nine months, but the baggage lasted for years.
One of my cousins is in a physically abusive marriage.
My friend Catherine married a guy who, with his controlling ways and desire for a subservient wife, reminded me of Phil, but she divorced him.
Another friend married her college sweetheart, but he began doing drugs, began cheating, they got divorced, and she discovered bruises on their son (from the guy’s new girlfriend).
I saw firsthand an abusive relationship (Richard and Tracy) because it was in my house, saw her slap his arm in anger, saw her control and intimidate him, saw her decide who his friends could be, heard her scream at the kids all day long, heard her pick fights, pick on him with put-downs disguised as jokes, order him around and accuse him of things, then heard from him after they moved out that she was punching him at home and spanking the kids too hard.
He told me he put the children in the closet once and may have to do it again. He told me that if his wife hit his face, he’d hit her back. I saw her slap a tiny toddler hard in the back of the head. I saw her go nuts on two of the kids one day, with no clue what they’d done wrong.
The things I heard and the things I saw made me fear that one day, I would hear about them on the 6:00 news, unless I reported them to Social Services (only to find that Richard had already been charged with child abuse before I reported).
But he kept telling me these things were happening, then denying the truth of it when I told him I saw it, too. He kept excusing her abusive actions, not just to him but to his friends, because her abuse was not just contained at home.
Then I heard that he himself was an abuser, had choked one of his kids to unconsciousness (a few seconds more would mean death), had once beaten the same child mercilessly when she was little.
But he’s so entrenched in Stockholm Syndrome that not only does he stay, but he lets her abuse his friends, and blames the friends for it, as her abuser-by-proxy.
Both are now stalking me for trying to get the story out–of what she did to him and what she did to me–to try to get the abuse to stop, accusing me of defamation, even though I am telling the truth, am using fake names online, and I have in my possession an e-mail and record of a phone conversation which prove I’m telling the truth.
(I held onto them just in case Richard would need an ally in court.)
My other proofs are listed in Now I’m Being Stalked, which also includes the narcissistic and DARVO e-mail they sent me a few months ago.
They’ve traumatized me severely, so severely I had to take to blogging to deal with it, and are now re-traumatizing me, on purpose! The lengths an abused person can go to, to defend their abuser, is just mind-boggling.
And this when all I wanted was to be there for Richard, to help him see the truth of what was going on. But who knows, maybe one day he will finally come out of the FOG (Fear, Obligation, Guilt) and come to us.
Another friend told me his wife was abusing him, trying to keep him from seeing his best friend (who happened to be Richard), would slap his kid on the back of the head, and he would leave, but he kept going back to her.
Now I advocate online through my blog and website, and on Facebook as well, to spread awareness of abuse, to let people know that women also abuse, to provide links to help for people in these situations.
The above song is especially painful because it’s full of Stockholm Syndrome, keeping the persona in a relationship with someone she knows is bad for her, because she’s addicted to him and the drama.
It’s painful not just to be in this, but to watch it, the shock waves extending not just to the couple, but to children, family and friends.
Abuse Tears Families Apart: A Sister Mourns the Loss of Her Brother