I try really hard to keep my blog centered around one theme, but given the events of this week, I feel really moved to write this. It is not intended to be a political post, but rather a post showing how years of childhood sexual abuse can impact how you view relationships, and how it can skew your perception of a “healthy” relationship.
I read a statistic last week that said the majority of white, middle-aged males without a college degree were Trump supporters. I don’t know how accurate this is, but my husband fits that category perfectly. He actually was a Trump supporter years ago when Trump first mentioned running for president. I didn’t think much about it because I couldn’t fathom Trump ever actually running for president.
While I am sure not all Trump supporters are like my husband, here are the things my husband has done that align with the negative behaviors of Trump:
- When I was 19, I struggled constantly with feeing insecure about my appearance. This was exasperated by the girls that my then boyfriend (and now husband) would flirt with when we would go out together. He would have girls sitting in his lap, calling them “sweetheart,” etc. He loved high heels and short skirts, so I tried my best to wear things that would please him. One night, we were out at a bar with his boss. While my husband was in the bathroom, his boss reached over and put his hand down the front of my skirt and said, “Let me see what color your panties are.” I was in complete shock. When I told my husband about it, his response was, “That’s what happens when you wear things like that.” 😡
- My husband’s Facebook page is FILLED with anti-women posts. Not just anti-Hillary, but anti-women memes. He is constantly talking about (on Facebook and in real life) about how horrible, controlling, selfish, high-maintenance, and bitchy all women are.
- Take #2 and replace “anti-women” with anti-immigrants, anti-transgender, anti-welfare, anti-nonwhite, anti-democrat, etc.
- My husband is loud, obnoxious, rude, and thinks he is right about everything. When in reality, his comments come off as egotistical and ignorant…just like Trump.
- Five months before our wedding, I hopped on his computer to pull up some pictures of us for my upcoming bridal showers. Want to know what I found? Pictures that he took up girls’ skirts. The girls were volunteers at a fundraising golf event and they were in short skirts, sitting at a table passing out tickets.
I am not saying that all Trump supporters are like my husband. Not at all. And fortunately, my husband doesn’t make time to vote. He hasn’t voted once in the 10 years we’ve been together. And I’m sure the people who elected Trump had very good reasons for their vote. After all, they did make voting a priority, unlike my husband. And I wasn’t really “pro-Hillary” either. That’s a hot mess of issues too. But for the five reasons I listed above, I was anti-Trump. Being pro-Trump would have meant normalizing the behaviors of my husband.
Yes; I know that this post also speaks volumes about me – being married to someone with values that are similar to Trump. However, what it really does is show just how sick I was 10 years ago when I met my husband. It shows how out of control my mental health issues were….how little self-esteem I had. The fact that I was able to justify or ignore numbers 1 and 5 is pathetic. All I wanted was to please him and be loved. What I didn’t realize was how I was putting myself in a relationship where I would constantly feel degraded and used.
I spent most of my childhood being degraded and used by my abuser. Unfortunately, I think we get so accustomed to being treated a certain way, that we don’t know how to put ourselves in a relationship where we are shown love, kindness, and respect. Yesterday, I was talking to my shrink about how someone else perceives my relationship with my husband. She asked me to elaborate on the events that led up to this person having that perception. I couldn’t. I couldn’t tell her how my husband treats me in front of other people. This is partially because of my trust issues at the moment, but also because I am ashamed and embarrassed that I am married to someone who thinks it is ok to treat his wife the way that he does. We are currently in marriage counseling, and some of these things have improved as a result. While he probably would benefit from individual counseling, I don’t think he would go in and talk about the “real” issues…because he doesn’t think they’re issues until we address them in marriage counseling after I bring them up. We did almost separate this past summer. Right now, I have decided to stay and try to make things work because of the improvement I’ve seen in his treatment towards me after several months of marriage counseling. And for the record, there isn’t anything in here that I’ve posted that he doesn’t already know. We’ve had lengthy conversations about my feelings regarding his political and social views, in and out of counseling sessions.