Healing, moving forward, and letting go begins with tough questions and honest conversations. And I want to have one with you by asking Are You His Silent Partner?
Being bullied, abused, and neglected by your intimate partner can feel unbearable and it hurts. You feel empty. I know I’ve been there. But my healing began when a true friend asked me the tough questions and for that I’m forever grateful.
Let’s start with a story:
This lovely woman came out of the grocery store with her cart and walked toward the car parked beside mine. I watched her approach and quietly ask the man who was reclining in the front seat to please pop the trunk.
He sighed very loudly while pulling himself up so he could push the button while muttering for fuck sake! Then he laid back down while she lumped groceries into the trunk and the back seat.
She was sad but not angry. He was ignorant, lazy, apathetic and not worth her time or effort. He was a slug.
This happened today and I wanted to shout “Hey, stand up for yourself! and tell him to get off his ass and help you. NOW.”
But I didn’t shout. I watched in horror and then I realized that she was allowing and feeding his continued neglectful behaviour and inviting his total disrespect. She was his silent partner.
She had set the standard and the tone for their relationship and he was just doing what he had always done. Sit, wait, get served, watch her lug and lift, and sigh loudly when asked to push the button to pop the trunk.
Yes, this woman was definitely in an emotionally abusive non-loving relationship. It’s quite obvious that she is being emotionally abused and devalued. Watching her reactions to his actions made me think about how we play the silent partner. How we decide that it’s easier to put up with his negative, mean-spirited, bullying, and disrespectful actions instead of taking proactive action and calling him out for the miserable ass that he is. We clam up and carry on in a hopeless, unhappy relationship. We dive deep into living as a second-class citizen. Living as a victim.
Encouraging change by speaking the truth and looking at how we, by our very silence, play a role. I’m speaking here about verbal, emotional, and narcissistic abuse. Domestic violence has a different overtone. But even if you are fearful of physical violence, there are ways to begin taking back your life, your happiness, and your future.
Ultimately, we can change that role, become our personal advocates, step into our courage, and start taking responsibility through action for our happiness.
When a relationship starts, both parties set the tone and expectations. Do they agree to faithfulness? Do they agree to children? Do they agree that they will not got to sleep angry? Are they both active or athletic?
That’s an important value in any relationship. This woman had over time allowed her husband to treat her poorly, without dignity and show her no respect.
Right from the beginning, when someone treats you without one of those three common courtesies, call them out on their behaviour. Right away. Rock the boat. Ask what were you thinking doing or saying that?
And then here’s the most important rule, I will not tolerate being treated that way and if it happens again we’re done, over, finished. I have respect for myself and I have standards in place about how I will be treated. And stick to your promise to yourself.
Victim-awakening is loving yourself enough to say “That’s It! Not only do I deserve better, I’m going to make sure I’m treated with dignity and respect.”
I wanted this woman to stand outside that car and tell him until you get out here and help me, all this food is going to bake in the hot sun.
It takes courage to stand up for yourself. But you are worth it. Stand Up. Say No.
Have the courage to treat yourself with grace and honour your incredible value.
Bullies hate it when you stand up to them. Do it. Love yourself and Do it.