First off let me say that I love your blog.
I am a mom with a bunch of kids and I love the straightforward info that you give me, as well as my kids.
Next I would like to address the post you put up this week about the victim of rape.
Been there, done that.
Went through counseling, still have a counselor.
One thing that I have been wishing you would cover bad relationships and the earmarks that precede them.
I married a Return Missionary who lies like a rug.
All the symptoms of a bad relationship were there prior to our marriage, but I had no clue as to what to look for - it isn't something that is covered in mutual and my parents didn't cover that in my education process.
Sad to say, I became one of those statistics that almost don't become a success.
I lived through a lot of abuse- physical, mental, sexual at the hands of my ex.
My ex-husband threatened to kill us, and then tried to kill us multiple times before I was able to get myself and all of the kids out safely.
It was a huge feat.
He is still looking for us.
You can't imagine what that feels like.
He isn't in prison because those of my children who could testify against him were too traumatized to go on the stand and the judge and my lawyer encouraged me to disappear (with help from child protective services).
That is where we are at even now.
Truth is - the signs WERE there. I just didn't know what I was looking for then.
Now that I am educated on this subject I have made sure my kids are protected and it would be helpful for your readers to know them too.
Satan's minions don't change the way they operate very much and education is the best way to combat them.
The domestic violence organizations have lists of warning signs:
Many of the signs women are taught to Interpret as caring, attentive, and romantic are actually early warning signs for future abuse. Some examples include:
INTRUSION: Constantly asks you where you are going, who you are with, etc.
ISOLATION: Insists that you spend all or most of your time together, cutting you off from friends and family.
POSSESSION AND JEALOUSY: Accuses you of flirting/having sexual relationships with others; monitors your clothing/make-up.
NEED FOR CONTROL: Displays extreme anger when things do not go his way; attempts to make all of your decisions.
UNKNOWN PASTS / NO RESPECT FOR WOMEN: Secretive about past relationships; refers to women with negative remarks, etc.
MORE WARNING SIGNS
1. Was or is abused by a parent.
2. Grew up in a home where an adult was abused by another adult.
3. Gets very serious with boyfriends/girlfriends very quickly – saying “I love you” very early in the relationship, wanting to move in together or get engaged after only a few months, or pressuring partner for a serious commitment.
4. Comes on very strong, is extremely charming and an overly smooth talker.
5. Is extremely jealous.
6. Isolates partner from support systems – wants partner all to themselves, and tries to keep partner from friends, family or outside activities.
7. Attempts to control what partner wears, what she/he does or who she/he sees.
8. Is abusive toward other people, especially mother or sisters if he is a male.
9. Blames others for one’s own misbehavior or failures.
10. Has unrealistic expectations, like expecting partner to meet all of ones needs and be the perfect partner.
11. Is overly sensitive – acts ‘hurt’ when not getting one’s way, takes offense when others disagree with an opinion, gets very upset at small inconveniences that are just a normal part of life.
12. Has ever been cruel to animals.
13. Has ever abused children.
14. Has ever hit a boyfriend or girlfriend in the past.
15. Has ever threatened violence, even if it wasn’t a serious threat.
16. Calls partner names, puts him/her down or curses at him/her.
17. Is extremely moody, and switches quickly from being very nice to exploding in anger.
18. If a male, believes women are inferior to men and should obey them.
19. Is intimidating, for example using threatening body language, punching walls or breaking objects.
20. Holds partner against his/her will to keep him/her from walking away or leaving the room.
There are almost always clear signs, but sometimes infatuation, love, lust, or simply the feeling that they need someone to love them can get in the way of clarity in a relationship.
My ex cut off all resources - parents, siblings, and a huge list of church-going members including the Bishop.
I was incredibly blessed to get out, safely, with all of my kids.
I will be eternally grateful for that.
By the way, I have forgiven him, his new wife (who has been deluded), and a whole list of others who could have said something but didn't.
Heavenly Father will take care of them and I am certainly glad I don't have to judge where insanity steps in and moral judgment steps out... Thanks again Bro Jo - you are greatly needed resource and I am grateful for your counsel.
- Name Withheld
Thank you so much for your kind words and, more importantly, your testimony and advice.
I've written about "earmarks" before, most notably (I think) in my columns that have mentioned "Bro Jo's 5 A's of Why Not to Marry THATPerson" (or HERE), but I really like the way you've listed the signs people can look for.
It's so often easy for us to see the dangers that others are headed for, but so difficult to see when those dangers lay in our own path.
And yet, when we see dangers for others we're not sure how to tell them in a way that they'll understand or accept.
Worse, when people warn us of what they see, we too often get defensive or make excuses . . . exactly what we hope others won't do when we talk to them.
The frailties of human nature, I suppose.
I'll certainly be posting what you've written on the "Dear Bro Jo" page, though I'm not certain when.
Thanks again for sharing.
Best to you and your family,
- Bro Jo