What happens behind closed doors, unfortunately stays behind closed doors.
“From the outside it looks like I have everything in place; a handsome husband, beautiful–well-groomed and well-mannered children, a house in the hills, multiple high-level cars, and designer clothes, shoes, and purses. We eat at some of the finest restaurants and travel to places that many people can only imagine. The number of parties we host and organizations we support make it appear that we are a great power couple. From the outside looking in, some may want the life that I am living. My dear sweet sister let me assure you of this, you don’t want to walk in my shoes.” ~G.S.
Many people are very much unaware of what happens behind closed doors of women who are involved in domestic violence relationships. From the outside, you don’t see the spiritual, verbal, mental, emotional, financial, and physical abuse the woman is suffering from on a frequent basis. Women in abused relationships learn how to fake happiness in public and when in the company of others. Why? The abused woman is in complete awareness of what will happen at full force when she is alone with her abuser if she doesn’t where the mask of “a happy relationship”.
The face of happiness is learned behavior. Some abusers learn not to hit the woman in the face to prevent questions being asked and others from knowing what he is doing. Other times, women learn how to wear make-up to cover the bruises and hide the shame. Make-up in itself is often worn a mask for what is underneath.
So while you may think the woman looks like she has it all together, you may never know the truth. Why? The woman may have learned how to perfect what is imperfect. She has learned how to create an environment and appearance that she is happy with a fulfilling life. Before you envy what you do not know, think about what this woman may have gone through to get what she appears to have. You should also consider what she continues to go through behind closed doors when no one is watching.
The question is often asked: “Why do women stay in abusive relationships?” Several reasons include:
- Fear of:
Being killed at the attempt of leaving
Judgement from others; family, friends, peers, society
Not having the ability to be able to take care of herself/children
- Low self-esteem
- Low self-worth
- Feel a sense of responsibility for the abuse
- Thinking they can change the abuser
- Have been isolated from family and friends
- The cycle of the honeymoon phase
- The thought that it is normal behavior as they witnessed their mom being abused.
- Lack of trust in others
- May feel trapped
- Abuser threatens to kill her, himself, family members, friends
- Inability to escape the cycle of control
- Gaslighting effect
Gaslighting as defined by dictionary.com means to “manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity”
Instead of comparing yourself to the woman who appears to “have it all”, pray for a spirit of discernment and ask God to make you sensitive to the needs of the women around you. There may be a woman in your church, work environment, close circle of friends, or any place that you visit who needs someone to be courageous enough to take the bold step needed for them to seek help.
If you or someone you know is a victim of intimate partner violence, call 1-800-799-7233.
(Photo credit Casey Perry–Casey Case Photography)
#Love2Life #SpeakUp #NCADV #EndDomesticViolence