Why Emotionally Abused Women Ought To Celebrate “Divorce Monday”

by Annie Kaszina on December 29, 2015

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Let’s hear it for Divorce Monday!

Divorce Monday, first official day of Divorce Month (aka January) is the one day in the whole festive calendar that every emotionally abused woman ought to celebrate. I say this as someone who failed to celebrate quite a few – despite regularly going through the Christmas and New Year from Hell with the emotionally abusive husband.  I’d spend most of December fantasizing about divorce, and then chicken out of taking action.

I was just too terrified about my future and the effects it could have on my child.

So, that glorious window of opportunity came and went for another year, and another, as marital Life settled back into its normal (hellish) routine.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not suggesting that divorce is easy, or something to be undertaken lightly.  It’s anything but – and I say this as someone who divorced in the UK, where the Law is relatively female-friendly.

A client who is currently divorcing in California is struggling with laws which – in my opinion – are almost as coercive and crazy-making as her husband. Every step along that road to ‘defensively uncoupling’ has been way tougher than it should be – because she has had to proceed defensively for few of falling foul of the endless rules and regulations.  For all that, she is doing the right thing, the only sane thing; and she knows it.

Everything that she is, and every talent she has, has been grossly undermined in that marriage.

Emotionally abusive men, as we already know, all work to the same game-plan.  The object of that plan is to reduce you to a shadow of yourself, a zombie, some kind of domestic robot.  For some of them, your physical appearance is really important; for others less so.  Some are happy to exploit your professional skills, for their purposes; others are more interested in stripping you of all your skills and accomplishments.  All of them do their best to strip you of all independence; emotional, financial, and intellectual.

Divorce Monday is – or should be – declared National Enough Is Enough Day.

Which, of course, begs the question: “When is enough ENOUGH, in an abusive relationship?”

When is Enough ENOUGH in an emotionally abusive relationship?

The short answer is: “Long before you ever seriously get round to thinking that it may well be enough.”

Because of your upbringing, you likely have a much higher threshold of tolerance than you should. So, here are a few simple pointers to knowing when Enough is Enough.

  • When he makes you feel second-rate.
  • When he’s perfectly happy to tell you he judges you and finds you wanting.
  • When his moods are up and down like a roller-coaster.
  • When he feels free to swear at you and call you names whenever he pleases.
  • When he visits his anger and frustrations on you freely.
  • When he doesn’t consider your feelings.
  • When he rubbishes the people and things that matter to you.
  • When he excludes you emotionally.
  • When he alienates you from friends and family.
  • When he undermines you to your own children.
  • When he deprives you of love, money, freedom of speech, or freedom of movement – under whatever pretext.
  • When his words and/or deeds are hurtful or humiliating – to you.
  • When he dismisses you, your feelings, and your point of view out of hand.
  • When he scapegoats you.

The list could go on but, as I write it, I’m aware that you may be thinking (as I once did):

“How often does the bad behavior need to happen before it becomes emotional abuse?”

“Yes but How often does he need to do these things before that behavior shifts from normal to abusive?”

The problem is not how often he does it, but that he does it all.

You see, that behaviour is NEVER acceptable. Period.

It’s not acceptable in an intimate partner. Or a family member.  Or a friend, either.

Divorce Monday is time to do some serious stock taking.  Especially if you’ve been in the habit of accepting behaviors that are NOT acceptable.  And if you’ve been sitting there taking it, even if you’ve been protesting noisily – without anything much changing – then you’ve been accepting it.

One of the curious beliefs that emotionally abused women all share is that walking away from their toxic relationship somehow makes them even less worthy and loveable.  I say it’s a ‘curious’ belief because logic suggests just how wrong-headed it is.

However, Mr Nasty is nothing if not thorough.  (It’s often been rumored, in irreverent places, that he is actually called Mr T Nasty – with the T standing for Thoroughly!)  He’s worked long and hard to install the T Nasty virus on your emotional hard-drive so that, whatever you do, you can’t escape his internalised judgement.  That’s why you end up telling yourself that, if you step out of the charmless circle of your emotionally abusive relationship, it makes you an even worse person than you already thought you were.

Horse***t!

Divorce Monday is a sign that other people are walking away from a relationship that’s become unlivable – without automatically forfeiting their Decent Worthwhile Human Being badge.  Which means you can do it, too.

Whatever you do, this Divorce Monday, take some time out to celebrate it.  It has another, less common name, National Liberation From Marital Misery Day.

How could subscribing to that kind of Liberation possibly ever make you a bad person?

Wishing you a Happy New Year free from any more horse***t!

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