Abusive intimidating behavior definition
Many of you email me with problems that you’re having in your marriage, and I often see people using the word “abuse” when I wonder if that’s what they really mean.On Monday, my post about what to do when your husband’s a bad stepfather, a little discussion broke out in the comments about that exactly.
Someone yells, or they’re controlling, or they’re belittling.I just thought it was important to bring up, because I think we do treat the word too cavalierly.What happens when a friend tells you that her husband is abusive towards her, or towards her kids? Hopefully you’ll also ask some prodding questions and find out what behaviour, exactly, is abusive.A few years ago a friend whispered to me that she was leaving her husband.He was emotionally abusive towards their kids, and she couldn’t run interference any longer. I had never witnessed that type of behaviour from him, but who knows what goes on behind closed doors?Abuse should never be tolerated, and if your spouse is abusive, then please get out and protect yourself and your kids.
But when we start labeling all unhealthy behaviour as abusive, we’re not helping our families; we’re hurting them.
As I wrote, there is way too much abuse in Christian homes, and we often use the word “submission” to justify it. But at the same time, we have to be careful of labeling things as abusive so that we can win an argument or get people on our side, because that happens, too. Now some people who yell and manipulate and are jealous are abusive, but not all. Most women who are being abused are so downtrodden that they find it really hard to do anything about it.
We’ve started labeling normal, albeit unhealthy, methods of dealing with conflict as abusive. They think they deserve it; they don’t know what to do.
As soon as the separation was finalized, my friend willingly sent her kids to this “abusive” man. I have known so many women in horribly abusive situations who needed to get out, and perhaps because of that it irks me even more when we throw the word “abuse” around so cavalierly to justify our own actions.
If her husband was so abusive that she had to leave to protect the kids, why did she so willingly hand them over?
If he insists, tell him you’d be happy to do so in the presence of a third party, like a counselor, who can mediate and help you figure out if he’s being overly jealous or not.