Domestic Violence Awareness Month: How You Can Help Break the Cycle
When a woman finally escapes an abusive marriage, it is a wonder she could ever find it in her to trust another person again, let alone another man. It can be tempting for her to find every man, whether she knows him or not, to be capable of that level of abuse and hatred toward her. However, as she regains her sense of normality and rediscovers normal human relationships, she may learn to trust and even to love another man. At some point, she may even be ready to get remarried.
When a former domestic violence victim remarries, the burden of regaining her trust in entirety falls to her new husband. He can have a tough challenge ahead of him as far as guiding his new wife and even his stepdaughters to the point of trusting and loving him entirely. He can make this challenge easier by remembering these important suggestions.
Avoid Forcing Closeness
Domestic violence victims learn early to put up an invisible wall around them to keep people at bay and to safeguard their own emotions. They may act coldly toward people who are reaching out to them and want to help them.
A woman who acts this way toward her new husband is not showing her indifference or her hatred for him. Rather, she is keeping him at arm’s length to protect herself.
After all, as one San Bernandino personal injury lawyer based says, domestic abuse can lead to life threatening violence. Her husband should realize the importance of letting her learn to trust him at her own pace.
He should not force closeness or act coldly toward her in return if she puts up that wall of defense around her. It can be frustrating, but he should let her come to him and return his affection on her own terms and her own timetable.
Be Consistent in His Behavior
One of the biggest fears domestic victims have is the one centering on setting off their abusers’ emotions. They walk on eggshells around their abusers in the fear of saying or doing something wrong, leading these people to abuse their victims.
Abusers never have consistent behavior or emotions. It is the inconsistency that victims fear because they often fail to gauge their abusers’ reactions correctly.
They may think that they are safe from being hit or verbally abused, only to misjudge their abusers and suffer these people’s wrath of hatred and violence.
A new husband and stepfather should remember to remain consistent in his behavior, particularly during the first few months or year of marriage. If he has irrational mood swings or acts in an inconsistent manner toward his new family, they will learn to fear and mistrust him.
Prove that He is Safe with Actions More than Words
Abusers are famous for their ability to promise that they will never hurt their victims again, only to return to their abusive behavior in a matter of days, if not sooner. A stepfather can gain his new family’s trust by not only promising them verbally that he will never hurt them, but also by demonstrating his commitment to their safety through his actions.
While he may have a close relationship with his wife and stepdaughters, they may purposely try to make him lose his temper to gauge his reactions to their goading. He can show that he means what he says about not hurting them by verbalizing his promise, as well as refusing to take their bait into abusing them.
This twisted behavior is natural of abuse victims. However, once they learn that their new husband and stepfather will not hurt them, they will stop trying to goad him and settle into their new peaceful family life together.
A man has an uphill battle to gain the trust and love of his former abuse victim wife and stepdaughters. He can take the lead in establishing a peaceful family life by following several important suggestions that can help his family love and trust him.
Writer Melanie Fleury was in an abusive relationship that stripped her of her money, dignity and relationships with other people. She relives her experiences often and still feels fear at times. She used the website of Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, a personal injury lawyer San Bernardino based who also works to help victims to legally obtain restraining orders, to learn more about the legalities of leaving an abuser.