1. People & Relationships
Cathy Meyer

Penelope Trunk's Take on Divorce And Domestic Abuse

By March 19, 2012

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Last week, the best-selling author and popular blogger Penelope Trunk wrote a blog post entitled, "Divorce Is Immature and Selfish. Don't Do It." Most I agreed with, some I didn't. I do believe that in most cases. divorce is an immature and selfish way of dealing with marital problems. I don't believe that there is much hope for a marriage when there is domestic abuse and drug and alcohol addiction.

And therein lies the problem with Penelope's blog about divorce. She is living in an abusive marriage and thinks she deserves it. If you've ever wondered why someone would stay in an abusive relationship I urge you to read this post written by Penelope, The Psychology of Quitting. It is disturbing and insightful.

What I found most disturbing was the second sentence, "I took the kids and went to a hotel so I could have time to think. I think I need to move into a hotel for a month." She didn't take the kids to a hotel to get them out of the stressful environment. She took them so she could have "time to think" and if you will notice she doesn't seem to do much thinking about her children.

Children who have witnessed violence are more likely to be either abusers or victims themselves. Children tend to copy the behavior of their parents. Boys can learn from their fathers to be violent to women. Girls can learn from their mothers that violence is to be expected, and something you just have to put up with. And it goes without saying that children who witness domestic violence live in fear, learn to be anxious and tend to develop depression later in life.

Maybe before Penelope tells others how negatively their divorce will impact their children she should do some "thinking" about how her inability to leave an abusive marriage is impacting her children.

March 26, 2012 at 11:58 am
(1) heidi says:

I put up with his abuse for way too long. Didnt catch on to what was going on at first. Its not worth staying in the marriage for.Being beat down and all just drains the life out of you. If you are being abuse in any way, get out now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It will only get worse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Been there he is gone now!!!!!!!!!!!!

March 26, 2012 at 2:04 pm
(2) Beverl6 says:

I think what many fail to realize is that once a spouse gets involved with addictive behaviors, be it porn, alcohol, drugs, violent acting out, extra marital affairs, etc, that the marriage covenant has already been compromised. You no longer are in a “marriage” the way the church or society intended it to be. That spouse has already “divorced” you by virture of failing to keep their vows to love, honor and cherish YOU. You are in a very bad place that you and your children need to get out of. Even when offering forgiveness, an unrepentant spouse will only continue to progress with worse and worse behavior. When it came to light that my spouse was unfaithful, I offered forgiveness and he came back with divorce papers. Illinois is a no fault state. You cant make a philandering spouse stay when he thinks the new chick is cooler. You simply cant. So I can hold my head up knowing that I did everything I could, but its still a lonely road love wise.

March 26, 2012 at 2:48 pm
(3) Goldy55 says:

I married a man who was abusive due to “abandonment” issues concerning his mom’s death at age 10 of Breast Cancer. There were 3 kids still at home; 2 older sisters were already married w/children of their own. I recognized prior to marriage he was going to be a “rescue” case; my mom was extremely “abusive” to us 3 kids. I was the “lucky” one who recognized life should be different; my best friend’s mom involved me in their life on a reg. basis until they moved out-of-state @ age 12. My daughter never heard or saw his passive aggressive behavior & sometimes physical abuse until one day when she was 13. I didn’t leave because my mom was dieing o Alzheimer’s @ the time, it was a wk. before X-mas & I had a “major” accident a yr. before which crippled me for life. I had already lost my “terrific career” due to the accident. & couldn’t work. I warned him if he didn’t get help I would leave. I was so in shock @ what he did I forgot how the INCIDENT affected our little girl. Yrs later in college she had an abusive boyfriend, & when she got home on break I sat her down to discuss this “abuse” of her. She said to me “BUT YOU STAYED?”. It was like someone “socked me in the stomach”. What she had no way of knowing at the time was that I was “GETTING THE HELL OUT” just as soon as she graduated from College. I told him the day of Graduation! It was the very best thing I could have ever done. I don’t recommend doing what I did…………….since it almost cost me ‘MY SOUL”

March 26, 2012 at 4:30 pm
(4) Meiewe says:

Women also are abusive. I roll my eyes when I see that these forums are so gender biased. My ex was abusive to me (once) and I had her arrested. I didn’t put up with it for a moment. Now, she lives far away and I get the privilege of raising my children. They still remember the incident, but their staunchest memory was that I took a stand and ended it before it could grow any worse.

In short, grow a spine and stop your abuser, regardless of gender!

March 26, 2012 at 8:03 pm
(5) Realist says:

The author should read Why does he do that? and When Dad Hurts Mom by Lundy Bancroft. These books describe in-depth the damage that abuse does to the victim, the chidren and the family. Divorce in the case of abuse is not immature and selfish but the best thing you can do to protect and nurture yourself and your children.

March 26, 2012 at 11:31 pm
(6) Julia says:

I don’t believe that just because someone grew up in an abusive family that they will be to their spouses. Everyone has a choice on how they treat others. My son said he grew up learning how not to treat your wife when I told him what a good husband he was.

December 19, 2012 at 9:49 am
(7) Wendy Schmidt says:

No Fault divorce laws walk all over the rights of one partner. So nobody is safe. And my daughter and I ended up like many women and children do, living on very little. My husband’s lawyer played games right down to the day when the courts ordered mediation. I sat with my lawyer in another room so his lawyer couldn’t intimidate or manipulate so easily. It is absolutely criminal, what these laws have done to families. And makes it so much easier for the immature partner to walk away without any guilt.

December 22, 2012 at 9:29 am
(8) Sabrina says:

I don’t know why anyone takes her blog seriously. A lot of narccism and just straight up craziness.

December 28, 2012 at 9:02 pm
(9) Ixion says:

Wow, to read this, it almost sounds like the only people who could ever be an abuser is a man and the only people who can be victims are woman and children.

Not so at all. My ex wife made it a point to get physical, It could have been something as simple as her having a bad day and everyone around had to watch out. Come to think of it, that is exactly how my mother was.. I remember one day, my mother got mad at something I did, she picked me up and burned the back of my hand on a gas stove. I still have a small scar on my finger from that and even now, 33 years after the incident took place when I was 5 I could tell you everything about that moment. It was horrifying, it was painful and most of all, i could feel the absolute contempt my mother had for me.

You know what… My mother was never punished. She now teaches other people’s kids in a public school. Where is the punishment for a woman who would do this? The best part is, she has never hesitated to point out every one of my most minor flaws as a parent and brow beat me with it.

No one who reads this should ever think that it is only men who have a Domestic violence problem.. Woman do as well, and I dare say that they have perfected the craft of violence every bit as much as men have.

Enough is enough. No gender should get a free pass on violence and no gender should be able to browbeat the other over it.

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