Friday, March 6, 2009

My Thoughts

I'm repeatedly asked my thoughts about the recent highly publicized altercation that took place between a well-known couple.

First, it is unfortunate that this altercation took place. There are no winners; both lost and will continue to lose if they do not receive appropriate help.

What is distressing to me is that some of us have chosen sides along gender lines; this is particularly obvious since felony charges have been filed. Even before the charges, some seem to have lost sight of what is really important: two people, a couple, used physical violence to try to work out their issues. That's pretty troubling to me.

Many of you know someone who is in a tumultuous relationship, right? Do you strongly encourage them to seek professional help? Do you just remain silent because you think it's none of your business?


Anonymous said...

I think it is so unfortunate that our young people are taking this so lightly...young girls/women are not punching bags for men. Chances are that she will forgive and forget him and it will happen again!

Nancy Whitaker, Licensed Psychotherapist said...

Anonymous, you're right, it probably will happen again as history has shown us time again. But so long as we rear our daughters to attach more value to being with a man than she attaches to herself, I'm afraid this behavior will continue.
Too many girls receive messages from their mothers, fathers & society, that men have more value than they do. It starts early and is reinforced by many in almost every walk of life. So, no matter how awful his attitude and behavior is towards her, she rationalizes his unacceptable behavior and makes it acceptable enough that she remains with him.

No doubt there are some misguided people in her ear telling her that "he's a good man, just give him another chance."
So troubling.

robert said...

I do tell them; however, they rarely listen or if they do attempt to do something, it changes once the perpetrator says they're sorry or sends flowers. A sadder scenario is when it happens to a male. To my knowledge there are no domestic violence shelters for men, only women. And them being able to tell anyone about getting abused by their significant other is another great obstacle. Sadly, no one ever thinks about the battered male. Be it in a hetro or homosexual relationship.

Nancy Whitaker, Licensed Psychotherapist said...

I agree with every comment you've outlined. But you know Robert, men will have to do what women have successfully done, repeatedly focus attention on their plights.

There tends to be an enormous amount of shame for men when they are faced with notion that they have to tell someone that he was abused by his wife or girlfriend. Men, themselves ridicule and chide him for his lack of manliness. And, I tell you women tend to have very little empathy for the battered man.

And here's what I know, more men than is commonly thought, are abused by their partners. But until the abused man turns the light on the abuse, I seriously doubt any significant changes will take place.