Ten years ago a good friend of mine was in an abusive relationship. Even though she never said anything, we all knew it.
Her partner at the time was controlling, manipulative and a smooth talker. He was able to talk his way in and out of most situations. He acted pretty normal around us, but once in a while we’d hear him make a critical comment to my friend like “You’re not wearing that are you? You look like a whore.” Or he would even make threatening statements like “We are not going to do that or I’m going to be mad the rest of the night”.
Once when he was supposed to go away for a while for work, he came back unexpectedly a couple weeks later. My friend was crying as she told me “I don’t want to get back together with him!” My response was simply “Then, don’t.” She shook her head at me and dismissed my advice like I didn’t understand. After years of being a marriage counselor and seeing this pattern scores of times, I realize now that I really didn’t understand. Continue reading