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Saturday, 20 September 2014

I watch the news a lot.  (CNN is one of my favorites.)  But I must say, sometimes watching the news can be very distressing for me.  Some of the news stories make me smile, some make me laugh but then there are those that really make me angry.  Lately, one story that's been dominating the news is about that pro football player who seriously abused his fiance.  Now I know, spousal abuse occurs too often in the United States and that alone gets me upset.  In fact, according to one government study, one-in-three women will suffer physical abuse in their lives at one time or another.  And, of course, the worse part is that physical or even emotional abuse comes at the hands of someone who supposedly "loves them."
Sometimes children are present and may see dad physically abuse their moms.
We hear about these incidents all the time but, here's the thing.  Those abuses often take place behind closed doors, in the privacy of one's home and the only people who "witness" it are the abuser and the victim.  And also, very sadly, sometimes children are present and may actually see dad physically abuse their moms.  It scares me to think what kind of affect that must have on a child.  But, as I was beginning to talk about, the incident that really has everyone discussing the problem of spousal abuse involves a pro football player and his then fiancé.  This was one time where the matter couldn't remain private because an elevator security camera caught the entire thing and the whole nation got to witness the crime.  (And yes, it is a crime.)
You may have seen the video on one of the news channels or online where the football player and his fiancé were in the elevator of a big casino hotel in Atlantic City.  They were obviously involved in an argument and the altercation ended with the football player slugging his fiancé so hard, she was literally knocked out cold!  I saw the video once and could not watch again without turning my head.  Hearing about that kind of abuse is one thing but actually seeing it puts things in a whole new light.  Seeing it happen with our own eyes made the issue of spousal abuse painfully real.
I'm bringing this up today because when I watched that video, my mind raced to the thousands of letters and E-mails I've received over the years from women talking to me about their weight issues.  They often get very personal with me and share some of the other problems in their lives.  And, I'm sad to say, many of those women have suffered verbal or physical abuse at the hands of their husbands or boyfriends.  You might think verbal abuse is "not so bad" because it doesn't involve getting hit with a fist or even with some object.  But regretfully, (I'm sorry to say), some of you may even know firsthand, that verbal abuse can, in it's own way, hurt every bit as much.
A man who physically abuses a woman is no "man" at all.
I get curious when I read about some of these women staying with a man who constantly abuses them, in any way.  (The football player's fiance even went on to marry him a few months after the incident.)  Look, I know these stories are often very complicated and it's not for me to judge the relationship.  But I can judge the action.  And to me, any man who would physically abuse a woman is no "man" at all but a coward and a testosterone-deficient little wimp!  I apologize for being so blunt but I absolutely abhor violence, in any form.
If you're in an abusive relationship and have been for a while, are you keeping it a secret?  And why?  Are you ashamed?  Are you blaming yourself?  Are you hanging in there for the sake of the children?  Like I said, it's complicated.  But if you truly want to make your life better, and I believe you do, (that's why you write me), then you've got some really serious thinking to do.  For instance:
If you have children, what affect is it having on them to see their mom constantly put down verbally or struck by their dad, physically?  If you're one of those women, ask yourself that question.  Please, don't allow yourself to become anyone's punching bag.  Don't start believing you're a "bad" person and may have done something to "deserve" being treated this way.  And, most important of all, you've got to ask yourself this question about that marriage or relationship: