When you love someone who is being abused, so much of it doesn’t make any sense at all! You look at the wonderful human being in front of you, confused and knotted up inside and red-eyed and snotty on the outside, and wonder, “Why? Why are you, my beautiful (daughter, friend, son…) so insanely sad over those lies that idiot feeds you?!”
You want to “go over there” and give that so-and-so a piece of your mind, a good whomping, SOMETHING to make them understand that what they’re doing to your beloved is NOT RIGHT.
And just about as soon as you’re through thinking all that, with or without the curse words I shouldn’t write but definitely FEEL, your loved one blows the nose, wipes the eyes, takes a deep breath, and … goes back to the abuser.
Who’s to Blame?
You think, “WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED?” followed by the disappointment that your baby “just doesn’t get it” and “Where did I go wrong?” Before you know it, you’re blaming yourself. When that gets too uncomfortable, you blame your loved one. And the next time s/he comes to you crying, maybe you get angry at THEM for putting themselves in that situation.
Your loved one will tell you, “I’m no saint either. I’ve yelled and screamed, I’ve called names too.” Your beloved will at some point get angry with you for daring to say the abuser is mean, hateful, or abusive. Your loved one will turn on their heels, fire in their eyes, and tell you that you are WRONG about the one they love. The more truth you tell, the further your beloved moves from you.
You’re In A Bad Spot
You can cry if you want. It’s okay. This situation is heart-breaking to watch, soul-piercing to see so clearly what the problem is but to be unable to make your loved one leave the relationship. My mother, sister, and a handful of people who I knew truly loved me couldn’t make me see; I had to realize it on my own, and so does your beloved.
You Can Help
In the meantime, you could educate yourself. Learn how the abuser sees your loved one, how control connections work. Learn the vocabulary of abuse. Arm yourself with the best knowledge you can find on subjects such as setting personal boundaries and detachment.
Then YOU practice detaching from your loved one’s abusive relationship. The best way to stay sane and strong for your beloved is to take care of yourself first, practice empathetic listening (not lecturing!), and then lovingly offer educated support and guidance if and when your beloved asks for it – not before.