By Michael West
The most difficult and delicate person to marry is a person who came out of an abused, emotionally damaged and mentally tortured marriage. It is akin to a wounded lioness that survived a hunter’s snare. Any animal that dare to intrude on her space or tries to hurt her cubs will not live to tell the story. That is how delicate it is to marry a deeply hurt soul.
Coming out of an abusive marriage is not a joke. Victims of bad marriages that venture into another relationship need to be encouraged and supported. Not a few people have vowed never to have anything to do with marriage again because of their miserable experiences.
They become excessively sensitive, easily irritated and abnormally suspicious of whoever shows interest in them. They find it difficult to forget hurtful experiences from their failed marital relationships. Any unpleasant traits similar to that of their abuser found in the new partner will automatically trigger strong resistance and self-defence. In many cases, they lose emotional balance to manage and control their reactions.
It is courageous of abused persons to give love a chance in their hearts. It is not always easy as healing and recovery pace in individuals differ. While some could brace up, take the pains in their strides and move on, others may brood over, lament and massage their hurts for a longer period of time. People may get abused in similar ways but they won’t be healed at equal pace.
A man stayed away from his home for weeks before he was persuaded to return because his new wife was nagging too much. He feared that he might be in for another unpleasant marriage if his new wife has the same behavioural patterns like his divorced wife. He parted ways with his first wife because, according to him, she frequently unleashed verbal assaults on him which often led to emotional breakdown coupled with her refusal to cook for him whenever they had issues.
The new wife, on her part, admitted being temperamental because of the nasty experience of her close friend in her marriage which she doesn’t want to smell at all. “This is how my friend’s husband behaves. He looks so cool but he’s dealing with his wife silently. His harmless mien is deceptive. He rarely raises his voice but he’s a hard and difficult man. I wouldn’t wait until he starts showing his bad side before I preempt him. If I have to nag to prevent bad treatment from happening to me I think it’s okay,” she said.
Meanwhile, the man took a walk from her because his failed marriage was hinged on bad temperament and verbal assaults by his first wife. “And because I don’t want to be involved in domestic violence or wife battering, I decided to end the union. Now that I’m seeing a similar trait in my new woman, I then decided to leave the home to serve as a warning to her. I hate nagging and verbal abuse with passion. This is a way to let her know that I will call it quit if she would not allow us to live in peace.” He said in a telephone conversation with me. As we speak, they have settled and she has apologised to her man. I made her to know that there are no two people who are exactly the same in everything.
Uncountable loving and caring souls have been unjustly tormented by those they loved affectionately. They were rewarded harshly for their commitment and sacrifice in relationships. Rather than being appreciated and celebrated, they get insults, intimidation and punches in return for their courteous behaviours.
Emotionally crushed person needs a gentle, mature and understanding partner to heal fast. Smarting from an abusive relationship could alter one’s reactions and perceptions. Whoever will marry a hurting soul must insulate himself from anger. He must be calm and friendly enough to make the bruised partner talk. He must demonstrate tolerance that would earn the trust of the hurting soul. He must see the crushed partner as a sick that needs utmost care and attention to heal.
One of the helpful ways for the hurting partner is not to engage in transferred aggression. That is a common reaction in many people. We should be mindful of the fact that the new partner is not in anyway connected with the pains and disappointment of the past. That a woman caused you to cry does not mean that every other woman that comes your way must pay for the ‘sin.’ Likewise, there are women who do not see anything good in other men simply because they were unlucky to pair with wrong men in their failed marriages. None of these scenarios is correct. Men are not the same in many respects just as women also differ in behaviours. To stereotype people along negative traits is a sure way to stay hurting even years after. Such a toxic disposition is capable of denying one the joy of friendship and happy marriage.
Relating with a deeply hurt person in a relationship requires patience, tolerance and understanding. However, one must engage the bruised often in conversations. Talking lightens a burdened heart and brightens the mood. The more they talk and interact, the faster they heal up.
The idea of visiting pains and hurt on everybody around is wrong. We should deal with the new partner on their individual merit and not to embark on transferred aggression. Remember that the person in your life now is not the cause of your misery. Learn to deal with people separately. This is why it is advisable not to see the new partner from the prism of your abuser. Being human, people unknown to one another could share one of two similarities perhaps in some ways but the fact remains that there are no two persons that are exactly the same in everything.
A forgiving heart is a peaceful one. Forgiveness should rather be a lifestyle than being forced. It heals and rebuilds broken walls of relationships. By this, hope for a better and sweeter relationship is developed.
In an event whereby it is becoming difficult to let go and thereby not enjoying the new relationship because of the hurting experience of the past, they should seek help. A visit to clinical psychologist and emotional intelligence expert will go a long way in restoring sanity and normalcy in the abused spouse.
Applying the power of prayers and embarking on retreat for spiritual restoration is as important as the air we breathe. This is in addition to cultivating friendship and socializing with family and friends for a peaceful and happy marital life after a devastating and horrible experience of abusive marriages.
Do have a fun-filled weekend ahead.
• West wrote via