Finding My Way
In the series called The Truth Is Not Delicate I describe a list of unhealthy thoughts and/or behaviors about what I may have taught my daughters as they grew up in a home with a young mom (me) involved in an abusive marriage and who was just discovering that she was sexually abused as a child.
Last week, number three in the series was giving up or giving in is not the same as compromise. This week number four is: always doing what your spouse wants when it isn’t what you want without speaking up is not ok. In one word this statement can be described as “appeasement,” which is defined as the state of being appeased; the policy of giving in to a demand in order to preserve the peace; to dispel anger or hatred.
In a sense, appeasing is similar to giving in, but the difference is I am not giving in to an opinion; I am giving in to a demand. Many times in my marriage this had a threatening undertone I wanted to avoid. I didn’t want to experience consequences that could happen from speaking my mind.
Often the demands that were made by my spouse were things that I wasn’t personally comfortable doing. I didn’t speak up so my fear continued to control me. I feared there would be anger or some sort of argument.
I also felt and believed that his opinion mattered and mine did not. When my spouse wanted to do something, he believed that it was the “right” thing to do. When I would want to bring up a different option, I decided to just preserve the peace so everything would stay calm.
These are not good examples of being in a healthy relationship. Fear and not having self-worth are just a couple of the unhealthy outcomes from my childhood abuse. The unhealthy coping strategy of appeasement was what I brought into my marriage and in turn taught my children.
I want to share with my daughters that whatever part I played in teaching or participating in modeling appeasement, I am sorry. I ask for forgiveness. I want to share healthier communication styles that provide a different teaching model not only for my daughters but also for all my relationships.
I know God loves me even when I need to make some changes. I am a Treasure and a Pearl.