Have you noticed that humans marry someone very like their opposite sex parent? That is not a problem, unless that parent is a destructive person. One would assume a person would avoid marrying such a mate, since they have years of experience with that type, but it doesn’t work that way.

A family friend is an example of this phenomenon: He has (in essence) married his mother three times. It has turned out the same each time. She is verbally abusive and overly self-absorbed. His mother is exactly the same.

So, why has he married this type of woman each time, when surely he should have learned wisdom? There is a peculiar link that explains this type of behavior: Throughout childhood, the children of this type of mother suffer the consequences of her never-ending belittling verbiage, except when they are in the company of other people. Then, when she has an audience, she is kindness itself. Her manner becomes the diametric opposite of her normal behavior. She treats her husband, children and others with an overwhelming sweetness. It can only be described as "sticky-sweet."

Children who live in this environment begin to crave that sweetness with which she treats them in front of others. They develop an extreme hunger for it, almost an addiction response, because her usual manner is so abusive.

Then they grow up, determined not to marry a woman like their mother. Unfortunately, the craving they developed in their childhood works like a saboteur.

When they get that phony treatment from another woman, who is turning her charm on them, that old childhood craving kicks in and they react to her behavior like an addict does to a drug. There is a naive yearning inside them that tells them this woman will be loving, kind, supportive, etc., all the things they crave, and which their mother never was. Unfortunately, the reason this woman is behaving this way is because she is like their mother. She is putting on the same show their mother did, because they are now the "audience." They are, in fact, the object of the performance.

In today’s world a marriage between a woman, who is a masterful performer in public and an abusive tyrant in private, and a man, who is the well-trained victim of an equally abusive mother, probably won’t last. Then the children of such a union will be doubly damaged, first by their mother’s abuse and their father’s submission, then by the breakup of the marriage. The children of such families tend to go out into the world and recreate the disastrous messes from which they sprang.

Is there a cure for such heartbreak? Yes, but it is spelled "r-e-p-e-n-t-e-n-c-e" on the part of the mother and b-a-c-k-b-o-n-e on the part of the father. Fathers/husbands should never submit to this type of viciousness. They must be willing to call their wife on her nastiness, just as a wife should be willing to call her husband on the same. The lifetime welfare of the children, both girls and boys, is dependent on the victimized parent standing up to the abuser.

Is this going to be a piece of cake? No! It will most likely be the hardest thing the victim will ever do, but it is the only thing that can work. If the abused parent permits this to continue, not only will that marriage be a disaster, the children who come out of that home will repeat the travesty in which they have lived.

How does this awful behavior start? Simple. The mean-mouthed mate uses it as a control mechanism. Then it turns into control/contempt. Let’s face it. Anyone who lets himself be treated this way is going to earn a hefty helping of contempt, and the nasty lady he married is just the one to give it to him!

What a tragedy! This young man married the sticky-sweet girl of his dreams. His eyes were full of stars, and his heart full of devotion, and all he got for those virtues was a life full of nastiness. Any wise grandpa would tell his grandson, "Don’t do it! Stand up for yourself. Don’t let her treat you with disrespect." If he was especially wise, he would tell the young man, if he did not stand up for himself, he would condemn himself to a life of misery, and he would destroy the lives of all the children born into such a home.

Until next time,

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    Melanie said...

    There are many problems in marriages, but I agree with the principle of repentance and the accompanying back bone. The humility and commitment needed to wait out change is hard, but facing our God and telling him I quit without doing all I could first would be unbelievably hard.

  1. ... on August 17, 2008 at 2:45 AM