I thought the quintessential "Prince Charming" would work well for this blog entry today. Yes abusers are quite the "Prince Charmings" if you will. They hide the ugliness of who they really are. Yet I also need to ask another question. Who are abusers attracted to and why?
I can shed some light on that question having been in an abusive marriage. Now first, let me start by saying I am not blaming the victim when I ask "who are abusers attracted to and why?" Abusers are at fault. They simply use someone's wonderful personlity traits and personality bents against them - personality traits such as kindess, goodness, benefit of the doubt and fairness to name a few. They also like to find strong men and women. I also want to say that sometimes we as victims have personality traits that work to their advantage - some of these traits are the tendency to people-please, fix things, people or situations, and again give benefit of the doubt.
I, for one, was a definite people- pleaser at the time. I have always leaned toward giving the benefit of the doubt and I was a fixer at the time. I am also sweet, kind, good to people and fair. My late husband used all of these things to his advantage as an abuser. Why are they attracted to you? Here are few answers I can give based on my own experience: 1) First and foremost, they hate themselves; 2) They actually admire, in their deranged thinking, some of your qualities because they know they don't have them and want them; 3) They know you will give them the benefit of the doubt; 4) They are very jealous; 5) They believe they can take advantage of you in multiple ways; 6) They watched this same attraction and scenario play out as children at home; 7) They are miserable and want company; 8) They are not strong individuals as they make themselves out to be with violence and other means, they are scared individuals who use these things to feel a fake sense of strength; 9) Lastly, they know they need help but they do not want the responsibility of taking their problem to God or working on themselves so they try and find a scapegoat in you.
This is a very sad list. How confused they must be in their minds to believe such things. They have never known love to be able to give or receive love. They were predators in the making from a very young age.
For those of you that have been victims of abuse, I want to give you some advice on how you can keep this from happening again. Again, you are not at fault, you were simply taken advantage of by someone with learned behavior and in many cases by someone who has been a predator for quite awhile.
You want healthy people attracted to you and here is how you do that: 1) First and foremost, people-please no more! You don't have to. God did not design you to do so. He designed you to be you and set healthy boundaries; 2) Do not attempt to fix people. You can't fix them, only God can do that. He can only do that if they let Him; 3) Be cautious in giving benefit of the doubt in relationships. Be sure the story adds up and that you aren't being told one thing and then seeing another. 4) Surround yourself with people who love you and encourage you; 5) Be aware of the intention behind teasing, some teasing is not meant to be funny in cases of verbal abuse - it is meant to tear you down intentionally. If you are being torn down in private or in front of others by jokes, nip it quickly; 6) Remove yourself from volatile or aggressive conversations. Tell the person you will speak to them when they can have an adult conversation, speak calmly and rationally; 7) If you have recently come out of an abusive situation, do not return to anything romantic until you know you have healed and grieved for this relationship. The next good person deserves a whole you and you deserve a whole you.
I hope this has been eye-opening for many of you, whether you have ever been in an abusive relationship or not. Abusers, like tigers, do not change their stripes. They use the same tools and principles everytime and seek out the same traits everytime. They are neither original nor unpredictable.
If you are an abuser reading this blog, I ask you and implore you to get help. You are alive and you an still change. You don't have to be the person you saw in your home as a child - that person made their choice and you can make a different choice. Please get help!
If you are a victime of abuse, your life is not over. You can have new, abundant life with freedom! You are no one's slave. God loves you and He will see you through your healing process as He has done for me. Walk in your freedom today and live free!!
Until next time,