Who’s really hurt?
Abuse hurts the one on the receiving end. But it also hurts the one doing harm.
We promised not to lecture here, but it is worth reviewing the injuries and impacts. Yes, abuse hurts the one on the receiving end. But it also hurts the one abusing. read all the way to the bottom to learn why.
Impact on the victim
Physical abuse can injure the victim, sometimes leading to lasting consequences. This is obvious, right? What’s more, many men are physically stronger and heavier than women, which makes them more likely to cause harm than if they were in a fight with another man.
Fear of injury
Even if she has not been injured yet by anything you’ve done, she’s likely afraid that she will be at some point.
To put this in perspective, think about being in a business partnership with a UFC champion – one that is 3 weight classes heavier than you – and who uses his mixed martial arts abilities whenever you disagree. Would you feel like it is a partnership? Of course not. That’s how one woman described feeling when she feared her husband was going to get physical in an argument.
Victims of domestic abuse can feel trapped, ashamed, and isolated. They may blame themselves or not want other people to find out, perhaps out of a desire to defend their relationship and the loved one who is abusing them. Even if the abuse is emotional, it systematically erodes the victim’s self-confidence and damages them psychologically.
Impact on the one doing harm
We covered the legal problems battery could cause. But here’s something you might not have thought about: abuse hurts the one doing harm. That’s right. Abuse hurts you. Here’s how.
Broken or tainted relationships
Abuse destroys relationships. Many women will leave a relationship that feels physically or emotionally abusive. A quick re-read of the information above, and who could blame them? Even if she stays, abuse destroys the good qualities of a relationships. What do men want in a relationship? Respect, admiration, and love, which can only be earned and can never be forced. We want sex, too, but even that is only good when it is with a willing partner who wants to be with us rather than one who fears or resents us.
Men not only want to be respected and admired by their partners, but also by others. However, society views those who hurt others, especially those perceived as weaker, very negatively. Committing acts of domestic violence is a huge barrier to getting the respect and admiration that we desire.
We are created with a natural sense of right and wrong. When we do wrong, we feel bad about what we’ve done. We feel guilty. That feeling of guilt is a good thing and it is there to motivate us to do something different, something better, next time. People who repeatedly ignore guilty feelings for prolonged periods of time end up feeling bad about themselves (shame). In other words, we start to believe we are a bad person rather than we have done something bad. Doing something wrong can be corrected. A belief that we are flawed, however, is hopeless. Shame is not part of how we were created, but rather something we make up in our minds. To believe you are an inherently bad person is to believe a lie.
Abuse hurts the one doing harm not only through legal consequences, but also through relationship losses, how others perceive us, and how we feel about ourselves. We want something better for every man.