According to the NCADV (Nat’l Coalition Against Domestic Violence) 1 in 4 women in the US is or will become a victim of DV. As I have shared with pastors and church staff dozens of times, as you stand in the pulpit and look out over the congregation, 25% of all the women there are victims of DV. Most church staff choose to disregard the statistics for they believe if ignored, it will go away.
There are many elements of DV, some of the most prevalent are: intimation, humiliation, physical injury, power and control. At the core of each case of DV is a component which is a trigger to the abuser. For me personally, despite the enduring love I had for Charles, the more I desired him to fulfill the roles of a husband; emotional and physical interaction, the more he pushed me away. The more Charles withdrew, the more I tried to be accepted by him. The countless hours and thousands of dollars spent in counseling to be loved and accepted by a man whom years later touted he never truly cared about me, caused the cycle of abuse to escalate over the years.
I understand the statement from Focus Ministries, “Abuser wants power and control over their victim and they will use any means they can to do so.” The examples of this power and control in my life, would fill a multi volume book. I will remember always a house which Charles insisted we purchase. We were in a new house only 4 years old. I loved the house and the neighborhood. He desired to be in a smaller house, but a more prestigious neighborhood at a much greater cost.
Because Charles mandated that I work outside the home, specifying what things I must pay for, then purchasing a more expensive, smaller home was irrational to me. Additionally, the increased mortgage would only place an unnecessary encumbrance on our budget. I did not desire to move or to purchase that house. He manipulated the realtor to pressure me to the point he purchased that house. This would not be the only time in our marriage he did this. He purchased other homes and automobiles without my consent.
In all relationships there must be compromise, but husbands that love their wives don’t “bully them” to achieve what they yearn. I Cor. 13: 4-5 NKJ, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely…”