I thought I would expand a little bit on my post on how to leave your husband. From the search terms that are leading people to this site, I’ve come to the conclusion that so many women are in the helpless situation of not knowing if their husband is a jerk.
I know. You’d think it would be easy to figure this out. I mean, either someone is a jerk or someone isn’t. This ain’t fucking rocket science, right?
Well, sometimes the answer is a bit more hidden than you think.
Because love is blind. And fear is debilitating. What happens in a verbal abuse situation, is that you think you love somebody — and maybe you truly do. But the love only goes as far as your fear of leaving. Only once you move past the debilitating fear of leaving, can you understand that your self-respect far surpasses your love of the man who oppresses you.
We’re not talking about wife-beaters here. This isn’t a domestic violence situation. That’s why it’s so complicated.
I’m talking words.
Saying mean things to psychologically harm and deliberately hurt someone is abuse. And it sucks to be on the receiving end.
There are ignorant people out there who ask the inevitable question of, “Well, why don’t you just leave?” I was even told once that I brought the situation on myself for marrying him. That I should’ve known. That I should’ve had abortions instead of bringing children into the marriage.
And these attitudes are precisely why women don’t leave. They’re made to feel ashamed. They end up being too embarrassed to tell family members or friends what’s really going on. These women don’t need to hear a smug, “I told you so.” They don’t need to hear a, “Well I was wondering why you married him in the first place.”
Just some simple understanding and encouragement is all that’s needed.
So here are the reasons why coming to the conclusion that your husband is a jerk can be such a confusing process:
1. You love him. Or you think you love him.
2. You’re embarrassed that you married him and you think it’s a reflection of you. So you don’t want to tell people how bad the marriage really is because you don’t want people to think that you were stupid for marrying the guy in the first place – which means you put on a show and are not really facing reality.
3. He can be really nice. Really nice. He’s not a jerk all the time. There are many times when he’ll do things for you — make you dinner, buy you flowers, clean the kitchen, give you a back rub. For example, when I was pregnant with my first child, there was a pot hole in our driveway. It was always excruciating for me when we drove over it because my baby would bounce on my bladder. My ex-husband took it upon himself to fix the pot hole so I could be more comfortable. But does that erase the times he called me worthless? Does that erase the times he came home drunk and woke me up just so he could call me names? No. And unfortunately it took me a while to figure that out.
4. FEAR. Fear is the biggest of them all. Fear of never finding love after divorce. Fear of being alone. Fear of having no money, no support, no place to live. Because once you admit that your husband is a jerk, that’s when you know you’ll have to do something — and doing something means you’ll be facing your fears.
But once you admit that your husband is jerk. You’ll be free. A free woman who can DO this shit.
So how do you know your husband is a jerk?
Your husband is a jerk if he holds you back from becoming the person you want to be. He’s a jerk if he calls you names. He’s still a jerk when he’s nice — because anybody who can treat their life partner like shit then turn around and be sweet as pie is truly fucked in the head and is not worth your time. He’s a jerk if he disregards your feelings. He’s a jerk if he deliberately hides things from you. He’s a jerk if he tries to make you look stupid in front of your children and family members.
He’s a jerk.
You are valuable.
And you are stronger than you think.