A few things has recently circulated in my head. A lot of it has to do with children and people growing up with an abusive parent. (The abusive person in my little thought-process is a man, the father)
Depending on how you were brought up, different values plays a part in deciding if you are going to leave the relationship and split up the family forever. Most people, religion or not, have this general idea that “you should stay for the children”. I want to argue the opposite. You should leave for the children!
Everyone would probably agree that child abuse is a horrible thing. Any aspect of the child abuse is horrible. It tears your heart apart and you either can’t stop crying thinking about it or it’s so hard to think about that you don’t, because it is simply not ok to treat children that way. Growing up in a family where ones father abuse ones mother is also abuse. Call it something different like indirect abuse or whatever you want – it is still abuse. You are still living in an abusive environment. Children are extremely wired to sense things. They know when things are not right, even if they never see their father abuse their mother. They will sense the tensions and the fear. It is inevitable. You can’t hide from the energies that an environment like that creates. You just can’t. And you can’t protect your children from it either no matter how hard you try and no matter how much you love those kiddos. You just can’t.
No matter the circumstances about how the children are witnessing the abuse going on in the family, by sight, by ear, by touch, or by energy… it will affect them negatively. Their core need for feeling safe and nurtured might be compromised. It doesn't take a psychologist to know that it probably doesn't create a stable growing environment, don’t you think?
You might speak up about wanting to leave the abuser to someone, a friend or a family member. Most of those people would in one way or another try to paint up a picture in their head. The perfect family picture. Even if the picture doesn't exist except for in their own minds, it is there and is very true to them. They will listen to your arguments to why you want to leave – but they won’t understand. Because: they will parallel your stories with something similar they have experienced and most people (thankfully) don’t have to experience abuse. But because they haven’t they don’t understand. They don’t see, hear, or feel your pain. In many cases they don’t want to and can't. They rather, for what seems to be pushing it under the rug and, keep pushing for the perfect family picture. None of it make sense but to them it does. Because they don’t understand. To you however, it makes you feel like the loneliest person in the world. That you should just suck it up and deal with it. It can’t be that bad. It is all in your head. You just have to work harder. After all; must stay for the children!
You push off the exit some more, and to no fault of your own, your children will live in that abusive environment for a little longer compromising their development just a little bit more. Because you are not only now dealing with guilt from wanting to leave the abuser but from wanting to split up the family! How dare you! Must stay for the children!
Time goes by, you stay for the children. Your son grows up learning by default how to treat a woman and partner. Your daughter grows up learning by default how to be treated by a man and partner. Will that be their future truths and lives? Hard to say… BUT WHY RISK IT?!?!?!!!!! Why risk the chance that your son will use his childhood as an excuse to abuse his children and/or wife? Why risk the chance that your daughter will chose a husband that will treat her just like your husband treated you? And why let society, religion, friends, family, etc tell you what you SHOULD do? Ask them to walk a mile in your shoes and ask them again what you should do! You are 100% entitled to YOUR own life. You are allowed to be happy. You are allowed to be loved. You are allowed to feel safe. You are allowed to leave a relationship that cannot give it to you. Yes! Every day you are allowed that. I promise. You deserve it. And your children deserves it. And what child wouldn't want a happy mommy?!
The image of a perfect family should never override the true reality of what that family is going through. Never ever.
Leave for the children!