Chesta explained what she learned about not allowing her partner to "control" her feelings. She wrote, "Do not engage in a conflict with the abuser and take back power. Target should walk away when the partner's angry and do not allow the abuser to control his/her feelings."
When talking about keeping their secrets, she also had empathy for you, the reader. She said one of her favorite reasons for not keeping was to "have some sympathy for his next target. By telling, at least the new person goes in with their eyes open." Oh how we wish that was really true. We find that most women simply think, "That won't happen to me." And they ignore the red flag. But at least she can tell her, "I tried to help the next one."
Chesta, you did a GREAT Job.
When asked, "How should you respond to verbal abuse?." Chloe answered, "It does make sense to me. It makes sense because, like how you choose the people you hang around/put up with, your spouse is another one of those people. You have theoretically made a promise to work at staying with them for the rest of your life so the first step is to not allow them to talk to you certain ways but if that doesn't work, then you may need to leave their company. The choice is up to you."
We do choose the people we hang out with and we do choose our partners. But we don't automatically "choose" an abuser. We actually help create them too. They act in a controlling manner and we try harder to please.. by trying harder, we actually reinforce their behavior--reward them so to speak. But Chole learned a lot. She learned that we do not allow them to talk to us in a demeaning manner. That is difficult for many. They think their partner should "just know." But they don't so we have to teach them what we allow and what we don't. She promised herself, "I will only participate in conversations where I am addressed in an adult manner."
That's what we like to hear.
We've had a few targets begin the tutorial and get to lesson three and then drop out. Rachel, Holly, Johan, and Elizebeth. We know the lessons are rough when you have to look at yourself and choices you've made. But seeing ourselves is the first step to change. Remember, you really can not change your partner, only yourself. We hope you return and finish.
Congratulations to all our participants--and those who haven't yet taken the tutorial, you can begin right now: Verbal Abuse Defense Workshop