It’s that time of the year again. Some people may consider this just an ordinary day but let’s all be honest, this day has become a phenomenon all over the globe. It’s a holiday to some, an ordinary day for a few but Valentine’s Day is an exceptionally celebrated day and every person has their own feelings towards it.
On this romance-focused day, a lot of women in particular are excited to celebrate this with their partners. However, there are also a lot of people that are not overly fond of taking time out to celebrate their love for their significant other; instead they are looking for ways in which they can ultimately survive it. I would like for us to spare a thought for some of those people, in particular the women who are in abusive relationships.
If you could take a look at the diary of an abused wife, you may see the frustration, torment, disrespect and fear that she’s been having on a regular or even daily basis. For many of these abused victims Valentines Day itself can be overwhelming and even feel soul-destroying because it was supposed to be an amazing and special day – a celebration of love. However, due to circumstances surrounding her, it may seem as though this day is just a painful reminder of the misery and agony that she’s been receiving from her unrelenting partner. The period is not an expression of affection but a tense time that is more like a commemoration of the hurt and anguish that she is experiencing emotionally, physically, sexually, or even financially and psychologically.
The best decision for a wife or any victim of abuse to take is to first acknowledge that they are in an unhealthy or toxic situation. The next key decision is to make plans to leave and then to do just that – leave. It does not serve her or anyone else involved by staying, except the abuser who sees her as an object to reduce to little or no self-worth for their senseless gain. But the fact is that some victims are with their abusers for Valentines’ so the important thing is learning how to cope and survive the so-called celebration.
I have thought long and hard about what advice I would have given to myself when I was still in my abusive relationship, or to those in that situation right now. So, how do you make the day and period as mentally and physically ‘painfree’ as it could possibly be? Here are ten tips that should aid in surviving Valentine’s Day.
- Put On A Valentine Surprise
What did you say Norva? Yes, you heard me correctly; go all out within your budget like you would have done in the past. You are still in the relationship; give him something to remember this Valentines’. If you still have any bit of love for him, that feeling should make it easier for you. I know that he’s abusing you but hear me out, there’s some merit in the message. This advice, like all the others, will be a wise approach for your self-preservation and to keep him off the trail that you will be leaving soon once this abusive actions continue; keep this in mind while preparing your surprise for him on this special day.
Put a lot of thought into it. What does he really want? What are his favourites places to go or things to do that ’s within your price range? This is a bonus tip – stay within budget as what he may consider over-spending can also lead to him getting very angry and that could overshadow the event. Okay, back to my main point. You can go out and celebrate. Go to his favorite restaurant. This way, if he thinks of hitting at you in any way, he just might hold back because you are in a public place.
However, if he is not in the mood to go out, have a Plan B and cook his favourite meal. Get some romantic tunes in the music player and serve him your specialty; just minimise on the wine if that is a trigger on his abusive tendencies.
After feeding him, you may want to present him with a gift. A special one – perhaps a watch, a polo shirt, or his favorite set of golf clubs etc. Maybe this will open his eyes to seeing your compassionate and giving heart.
- No Matter What, Don’t Get Into An Argument
In an abusive relationship arguments can be a trigger for your abusive partner to emotionally or physically hurt you. Valentine’s day can place unanticipated feelings of guilt, remorse and confusion onto some people. Your husband might be the one feeling a little down or agitated on the day. If something he says is not something you agree with just let it go and try your best to cheer him up.
- Don’t Insult His Integrity At This Time
As I’ve said earlier, some men feel a little different during Valentine’s day because of the celebration being presented upon the day and some may feel that they are not doing enough for their significant others compared to other men who are giving new jewelry, romantic weekend breaks and even proposing to their significant others.
It is not a good idea to open debate with him making comparisons with what other couples are doing; you never know he may already be feeling bad about what he has or hasn’t done for you on Valentine’s Day.
If you are out in public with other friends and loved ones, be extra cautious with your words. Don’t make him feel inferior, belittled or insecure. I know a guy who punched up his wife in front of their children and his wife’s family and he was prepared to do even more damage if others didn’t restrain him.
- Don’t Blurt Out “I’m Leaving You…“
Even if he’s telling you negative things. Sometimes abusers are just looking for an excuse to strike. He may be a bit on edge and he may rattle you to the point just so you’ll be tempted to answer him back and cause arguments and fights. Just let him be. Try to have a calm demeanor all throughout the day.
- Don’t Go Telling Many Others Your Plans To Leave
I would suggest that you only tell two or three trusted supporters. They don’t have to be family or friends but may be a lawyer, a representative from a domestic violence shelter, very close and trusted family or friends.
Yes, it is healthy to share your plans but choose your support person/s carefully. You should have a steady support system that will appreciate and stand by you whatever circumstance you may be in. It is immensely powerful to have some people that care about your best interest and who can wisely guide and support you in your decisions.
A word of warning: Try your best not to tell his family; no matter how close you are to any of them – they are his flesh and blood. Your in-laws may inadvertently put you in harms way by mentioning your plan to your spouse or having a conversation that hints enough at your thoughts and decision.
- If He Wants Sex Give Him ‘Willingly‘
Unless you are horribly sick or have any other health reason, be prepared for his sexual advances and if he does ask, willingly give him sex. That may be the activity that will reduce any tension or stress for him at that time. If you have any reason to be in fear for catching a STD or need to protect yourself from getting pregnant then once it’s possible use protection. It’s all about keeping composure while looking after what’s in your best interest.
- Listen To Your Inner Guidance / Spirit Leading / Gut Feeling
No matter what, if you feel uncomfortable or uneasy about doing something go with your gut.
Your conscience is a powerful tool that should be used for guidance especially in situations with an abusive partner. As you know him well enough to know what many of his triggers are and when he is able to strike, stay away from those circumstances.
- Don’t Believe They’ve Changed Just Because Of Nice Treatment On Valentines.
To keep you in their grips, many abusers will offer you the occasional treat, glimmer of love and normalcy mixed in with their continued abuse.
Stick to what you know of him from your time in your relationship. Yes, of course, accept and appreciate what he is doing for Valentine’s because it is essentially still an effort but engrave in your mind and in your heart, that he is still the same person hurting you again and again. Don’t be fooled. The help that he needs will take longer than just a day or two, it may actually take years.
9. Be You, But Pretend If You Have To Save Your Life
For example, pretend you are not deeply affected by their constant negative comments but not about physical abuse. Pretend that you don’t mind them taking your money from your purse but next time put it in a safer place.
This is an important tool to master. All abused women should know the perfect version of themselves that will appease their abuser. Be you but be a careful “you” in order to save yourself from further abuse. If there are instances wherein he might constantly verbally abuse you, if you can let it go, just let it. It will save you the physical abuse.
It is also helpful if you can get rid of all possible issues that may get in the way of your Valentine’s celebration; get rid of all things that have brought forth anger and resentment in the past and may affect you during the day.
10. Continue to make your plans to leave
Being apart will do you both good, especially you. Stay away for at least 6 months. If he has changed, you will know, you wouldn’t have to ask or force him to; that will normally lead to them feigning their transformation just to get you back in their grips and the abuse may actually get worse on your return. This is because they may want to punish you for what you put them through. e.g. humiliation, your disobedience to them, to prove a point.
As I said before no matter what happens, the best decision you can ever make is to leave. You may initially decide to leave him temporarily or just to leave him for good. That choice is entirely up to you. What I know for sure is that if you do it properly and focus on your growth and healing you will regain your confidence, which will put you in a frame of mind to make a more informed and thoughtful decision from a position of power.
If you think that he is capable of change, give him a chance to do so but let him truly battle his problems because you cannot do it for him. Even though you will be attempting to help him change, let’s be honest, you are not professionally trained or detached enough from the situation to be able to help. In addition, him asking you to help him is usually a lame ploy for you to go back to him, then the abuse cycle continues and many time it gets even worse. It would be best if he suitably and willingly receive professional help because essentially, this is a serious problem and he can only get all the help he needs in an appropriate environment.
The part that many abused victims find difficult is keeping their eyes, heart and mind open to the possibility that their spouse may never be interested in change. Focusing all their attention on trying to change another adult is like trying to take a breath under water. You need to come out of the water to take in the fresh air and once you are out you appreciate the power of your breath and the new natural / appropriate environment.
So there you have it, ten helpful tips for abused women to practice or do to prevent a stressful and possibly hurtful Valentine’s Day.
Ladies if you are experiencing abuse in your relationships you are not alone and you do not have to suffer in silence. There are a lot of information online, facilities, help desks and support groups in most countries and via the internet that one can go into for aid, assistance and guidance.
No one deserves to be physically, emotionally or psychologically abused. Get out when you still can and focus on your healing so that you can create the positive impact you were born to.
To learn how you can safely and confidently leave an abusive relationship have a look at our website http://mychoicemarriage.com
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