It's been a while since I discussed this and, honestly, I can't remember what I've told you, loyal reader, and what I haven't.
After years and years and years of healing, there are still memories that come up that are uncomfortable. Then when I really start to think about these memories I realize why they are so uncomfortable, why I never told anyone, why I hid them away. It is because they were abuse. And abuse is insanely difficult to identify by the person being abused. Next time you see a woman (or man) who is being abused and when you don't understand how they can stay in that situation, remember me telling you how hard it is for her to see it.
I grew up in a wonderful, loving home. My parents loved us and they loved each other. There was no abuse. I am lucky to have had such a wonderful family and role models. And yet, I was in abusive relationships (plural) and I didn't know. Imagine the child living with abuse, a child who did not have the privileges that I had. How is that person ever supposed to know they are being abused if they have never known any different?
And I will never say that one abuse is worse than another, but, to be honest, I wished (outloud at some points) that he would hit me. Then I would have known I was being abused and I would have had physical proof to convince people, like family, friends, authorities, and myself.
And since I am being honest, per usual, I need to admit that it is nearly impossible for a person to understand that a husband can rape his wife. Where does duty end and rape begin? And maybe that even sounds crazy to some because is there 'duty'? Maybe it is all rape at that point. But, seriously, that makes things too unfathomable. I have not gotten that far in my recovery and this is the frankest I've ever been with myself.
Save your judgements. You have no right to judge her and what is happening to her. She needs help and possibly guidance, but certainly not judgements. It might be obvious to you that what it is is abuse, but I am telling you, pleading with you to understand, that it is not obvious at all to her.
I am going to make a point now that maybe obvious to some, but trust me: it is not obvious to all.
It is abuse if he forces you to have sex if you do not want to. It doesn't matter what you do or don't do, what you say or don't say, what you wear or don't wear. If you don't want to and he does not respect that, that is abuse. Is it rape? I am afraid you will have to ask someone smarter than myself. All I know is if it feels wrong, it is. And you are better than that and there are men who are better than that. You do not have to live like that.