• Naked Proverbs

#DomesticViolenceAwareness: LOVE SHOULDN'T HURT đź’”

In Episode 006 of the Naked Proverbs podcast, Rich and Nik Scott talk about #DomesticViolenceAwareness Month, different types of abusive behavior and why people stay with abusers.

If you are in an abusive relationship and need help, please call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1 800 799 7233.

Nik: Welcome to the Naked Proverbs podcast where we unclothe the truth about Black love, family and marriage. My name is Nik Scott, one of your hosts, and I'm here with my husband,

Rich: What’s going on it's your boy Rich, and today we're going to tackle a very serious topic. Abusive behaviors in marriage.

Nik: And especially with this topic, we want to let our listeners know that we are not licensed or trained therapists and counselors.

While we do have a lot of experience in the area of marriage, we are here really to share our opinions, our advice and our experience that we've learned through the course of our marriage. If you haven't already, make sure you subscribe to Naked Proverbs on whatever platform you listen to your podcasts on.

And if you like what you hear, show us your love support by becoming a Patron. You can get all of the details about becoming a Patron on our Patreon website at

Rich: So, we want to take a moment. As always, and say thank you to our listeners. You know, I was listening to the radio yesterday and the uh, host was saying that he never takes it for granted, that when he walks out on stage, there's actually somebody in the audience.

And for me, I feel the same way. We never want to take it for granted that you're tuning in. So, thank you so much for listening.

So, today we're going to talk about abusive behavior. And, one important piece to me is making sure that people understand what types of behavior can be considered abusive in a marriage, in a relationship.

Too often people get caught up on the physical side of domestic violence. And I'm not saying that that's not important, but there are other types of abuse in a marriage and a relationship that can be just as dangerous. So, with it being domestic violence month, we really want to just take a moment and discuss abusive behaviors.

Nik: Because the fact of the matter is, is that abusive behavior affects millions of Americans, and it's both men and women of every race, every religion, every culture, and every economic status. It's not just punches and Black eyes. Like my husband just said, it's yelling. It's humiliation, it's manipulation, coercion, threats, and isolation are all forms of abusive behavior.

It even goes as far as stealing a paycheck, keeping tabs of your partner online, nonstop texting and constant use of the silent treatment or calling somebody stupid to the extent that they actually start to believe it.

Rich: And then there's. Sexual abuse. Uh, some of the things you described are psychological abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, and then of course there's domestic abuse.

And you know, you mentioned that it impacts men and women, but it also impacts children because when you have children that are grown up in an environment where they think that's the norm, or they see these things happening, they can very easily grow up believing that. That's just normal behavior and end up in an abusive relationship and not even realize that they're in an abusive relationship.

Nik: Our children are watching and listening to every single thing that we're doing, and it doesn't matter if you have same sex children or not, your kids are watching and doing everything that you're doing, they're learning how to become an adult by watching and listening to you. So, if you're in an abusive relationship or if you are an abuser, understand that that is a generational thing that could potentially be carried on through your children.

Rich: And just to really understand the seriousness of this, you know, they say that every nine seconds. A woman in the U S is beaten or assaulted by a current or ex significant other. Every nine seconds. That is crazy to think that literally every time you take a breath, every time you blink your eye, every time you do anything, every nine seconds, there's someone in the U S that's beaten or assaulted. So, we're not talking about worldwide. We're not talking about in third world countries or countries where, you know, we believe that men are beating down women. We're talking about right here in the good old u s of a.

Nik: Yeah. And I think that is an important thing to note, that this domestic violence awareness month is something that is observed here in the United States of America.

And the way that it came about, it was back in 1981 and it was started by the national coalition against domestic violence and began as just a date of unity to connect battered women's advocates across the country. And since then, it has grown to a national scale and to become a whole month long of observance.

A lot of times here in America, we are very familiar with October being breast cancer awareness month or even Latino or Latin X heritage month. Um, but it's also domestic violence awareness month.

Rich: We talked about earlier, the different types of abuse, but how do you really know when you're in an abusive relationship?

Because. Like the example we gave earlier of children growing up in an abusive household and they think that's the norm, right? They think that hearing someone yelling all the time or someone punching the wall or punching someone is a normal behavior. So, what are some ways that we can identify when we're in an abusive relationship?

Nik: The most obvious way, we kind of talked about it at the beginning of this conversation, and that is when your partner has or is hitting you, beating you, or strangling you.

Rich: And though, I mean, those are all physical, right? So those are pretty easy, I think, to recognize if your partner is putting their hands on you in a way that is causing you pain, unwanted pain in any kind of way, then you're probably in a physically abusive relationship.

Uh, and I think that many times it's easier to identify that then it is to identify you're in an abusive relationship from a verbal standpoint or a non-physical standpoint. And I think that's really where I personally think it's important because everybody comes down on the physical abuser, which we should, but no one says anything to the verbal abuser.

No one says anything to the person that just psychologically and emotionally abuses their spouse because those can easily slip under the radar because there isn't really any physical telltale signs necessarily.

Nik: When you're able to see someone who's battered, it's easier to make a connection with that.

It's easier for even someone who's outside of the relationship to have some type of emotional support for the person who was being abused and even almost shun the person who is doing the abusing. Another very common form of abuse that women, we talk about a lot and that is possession.

Your partner is just flat out. Possessive over you. They're constantly checking up on you, wondering where you are when you go and when you are going to come home. They get mad at you for hanging out with certain people and they make you feel bad for not being in their presence 24 seven.

Rich: And you know, we said at the beginning that we're going to be totally transparent, right?

I've been that guy.

Like the person you just described of a possessive partner. I've been him. I remember a situation where you went to, I think it was a Beyoncé concert. And you don't remember, cause you lookin like what…

Nik: I remember going to the Beyoncé concert, but I'm just trying to figure out…

Rich: And I remember, uh, you know, me sitting here trying to stay up, waiting for you to come home and then I'm calling every 10 minutes because you're not home at the time I thought you should have been home. Forget the fact that you're a grown woman and you're doing your thing and having a good time. But it was like, well, she should be home. Why isn't she home? Uh, I'm calling, I'm texting, I'm blowing up the phone. You're not answering. Then when you get home, I blow up and I'm all out of control and angry, uh, verbally, you know, but still abusive because I was super like possessive.

And honestly, I don't think I even realized that I was that person, uh, that I was a, an abusive spouse. At the end of the day, I was abusive, and it's taken years of growth and you know, trust and all kinds of different things. But, you know, I've reached a point of understanding that that wasn't okay then and it's definitely not okay now, but those things go unchecked so often and can lead to bigger, worse incidents.

Nik: Well, I think a lot of times possession can be confused with, oh, my partner loves and cares about me so much. But remember that saying, that proverb that it's a thin line between love and hate.

It's a thin line between showing concern and showing care for your partner and actually being possessive over that over them. And even with possession jealousy is huge and I don't have a jealous personality. And this one, I, I personally have a hard time identifying when it comes to being an advocate and an ally for someone. A small amount of jealousy is normal and healthy, right?

Like you want to have some, like this is mine and you want people to know that this is mine. And hands off, don't mess with my man, or I'm gonna be the one to bring it to you.

Rich: You’ll become abusive?

Nik: I probably won't put my hands on people. I have way too much to lose for that. But when jealousy becomes this thing of your partner accusing you of being unfaithful, or again, they're isolating from your family and your friends, that to me means the jealousy has gone too far. So, possession and jealousy to me, they go hand in hand.

Rich: Oftentimes they do. You know, because you believe it's yours. So, if what you believe is yours is not with you, then you become jealous of it being anywhere else. You know? And I think that sometimes when we talk about domestic violence, the physical side 99% of time it is men physically abusing women. But when we start talking about some of these other types of violence, it's almost a 50/50 you can find women that are possessive of their men, or that can be jealous, can have many of these different behaviors that we're talking about.

So that's why for me, especially as a man, you know, I don't want to just gloss over the physical abuse.

So, during the beginning of the Afghanistan and Iraq war, 2001 to 2012 there were just under 6,500 American troops that were killed. In that same timeframe, there were twice as many women that were murdered by their intimate partners.

So, just to try to put that into perspective. In a matter of 11 years, twice as many women died from domestic violence as men and women died in a war zone. So, like I said, I don't want to gloss over the domestic physical abuse part because it's serious and it's deadly, but I also don't want us to focus so much on that.

Because there's a lot of focus placed on it as there should be, but I don't want us to focus so much on that, that we gloss over these other types of abuse because these behaviors can lead to, you know, what do they say? Marijuana is the gateway drug? Well, I believe that if you are in an abusive relationship, any of them can lead to something worse.

Nik: I agree. Again, that physical piece is very easy to identify, right? Because it's, it's almost like when you see a disabled vet going to your, uh, statistic about the war, when you see a disabled vet who's in a wheelchair because they've lost a limb. You know that that is a disabled vet and you have no problem having an emotional connection to that.

But when you see a disabled vet who quote unquote looks normal,

Rich: Looks like me.

Nik: Looks like you. The emotional connection isn't there because we don't have anything to physically grab onto. There's nothing tangible for us. So, things like when your partner is threatening you or your family, or if your partner is sexually abusing you, if they ever push or shove or hit you or make you have sex with them when you don't want to, those are all also forms of abuse that may or may not be seen to the outside world.

Rich: And they're easily, I think, missed by the person that's being abused. You know, if you're in a marriage and you are not feeling like having sex for whatever reason, and your partner just forces himself or herself onto you and forces you to have sex, you know what? That's not okay.

If you're the non-working spouse in a relationship, and your husband or your wife is the breadwinner, as they call it. Uh, and they're bringing in all the money and they don't let you have money unless you do certain things, or they don't let you know what's going on with the accounts. Or they have hidden accounts, or they have secret bank accounts and secret investments, that is financial abuse, that is a form of abuse. And at the end of the day, there is never room for any type of abuse in a healthy marriage. If your goal is to have a healthy, happy, just thriving marriage, relationship, family unit, then you have to be willing to identify areas where you may have some abusive behaviors and change that and it, that may not mean you just wake up and say, I'm not going to do that anymore.

That might mean you get family counseling, or you know, you find help in whatever way possible, but you have to be willing to at least identify the behaviors that they exist. Uh, even as we were making this list, I honestly, I was like, wow. I might be a little bit abusive because there were a lot of these behaviors that I was like, man, I've had these, or I have them, and that's a scary realization.

That is something that I don't think anyone, any healthy person would ever want to recognize within themselves.

Nik: But that's the piece, right? It is getting out your feelings. Getting out your feelings enough to hold yourself accountable. And even though many of us that are listening to this podcast and the two of us included, a lot of adults, grown people who pay their own bills are married, who have children, do not know how to hold themselves accountable. And then if someone tries to hold them accountable, they get defensive. And I think it's absolutely normal for a person to get defensive if someone is calling them out about their stuff. Nobody likes to be called out. Nobody likes to be held accountable.

Nobody likes to be told what to what to do. But I'm going to take it back to our very first podcast when we gave those 18 tips to a happy marriage and we said that which is not growing is dead. The only way for a person to grow, the only way for a husband to grow, the only way for a wife to grow is to change.

Is to change and to go to those places that are uncomfortable. You're not going to grow without having some level of discomfort and nothing worth having is going to come easy. So, if you are serious about your marriage and your partner has come to you about physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, listen to them, have a real conversation with them. And if it's not your partner, if it's an outsider looking in, take heed to some of those cues and take a look inside of yourself and see what changes might you need to make. And yes, it's gonna be uncomfortable. Yes, it's going to be hard. Nobody said marriage was easy.

It's not. It's flat out, not easy, but if you really want to have a happy marriage where you're thriving, where you're more in love with your spouse 15 years from now than you are today, then I challenge you to make that decision.

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Rich: You know, and a lot of times I think for people that are on the outside looking in, because people know. They can see how you treat your spouse in public, because usually that's where they want to demean you and put you down and put you in your place. Try to control you. So, people see these behaviors and I think oftentimes they wonder, well, why are they with that man? Why are they with that woman? Why are they sticking around?

How would stay with him? Boy, no way. I'd be married to her. And there's really. A lot of reasons why people stay in these abusive relationships.

Nik: The biggest reason that I can come up with, and the reason that I know a lot of women, I can speak from a woman's perspective because I'm a woman, is because they share a life with their spouse.

They're married to this person. They have children with this person. They have financial ties like a house and cars and credit cards with this person. Pets. These are huge reasons why a person, a woman. I'm going to speak and say women stay with men because they just feel as if, if they left this person, they would just lose all of those things.

Rich: I mean, there's also, you know, the self-esteem is usually destroyed in any of these abusive behaviors and these relationships by the abuser, they destroy the self-esteem of the person that's being abused. So, when you have low self-esteem, it's hard for you to see yourself in a better situation to see the door to get out.

You know, you almost feel trapped, but you also feel like, well, I can't do any better because who am I? Who wants me? Nobody wants me, nobody loves me. You know, this is good enough. And sadly, you know, a person's self-esteem can be being broken down way before they end up in an abusive relationship. So, that kind of pour over effect of whether it be their childhood, a previous relationship, or whatever when they end up in an abusive relationship, it just makes it easier for the abuser because they already have low self-esteem.

Nik: Along those lines. Can I put a pin in the reasons that people stay and kind of go back to types of abuse? Serial cheating is a type of abuse. There is a difference between a spouse or a partner who cheats and a spouse and a partner who is a cheater. Okay?

And I do feel that someone who cheats there is an opportunity for rehabilitation. That's the first word that comes to mind. There's opportunity for healing. There's opportunity for that relationship to then recover from that infidelity, but if you have a person who is constantly saying, oh, I'm sorry, I'm not going to do it again, then they do it again that is abuse.

It's abuse and that honeymoon stage of abuse where it's like, oh, we so mad, we so mad and now we're not mad anymore, and the sex is great and everything's awesome, but then they go right back out and do the same thing. Take heed to those types of things.

Rich: Also, in that cycle of abuse can even be in the physical realm.

You can have that person that puts their hands on you and then you're sitting there and you're bloody. Your eyes are blackened or whatever the case may be, and they're like, oh my God, I feel so horrible. I can't believe I did this. You know, they try to help you put your makeup on so you can go out in public and you believe it.

You believe that they're really sorry because they make it appear that they really are, and then you know, you do something that they don't feel is to the standard that it should be done, and they put their hands on you again. And that cycle just continues and continues and continues. I'm so sorry. Put their hands on you.

I'm so sorry. Put their hands on you. You know, and unfortunately that's how you end up with a lot of women, they get killed because they don't get out of that situation because they get stuck in this cycle of abuse. Apologies, abuse. Apologies. So just understand that.

Look, if that man, that woman is putting their hands on you in any type of way that is causing you harm, that is not love.

Love does not hurt. It does not hurt.

Nik: And I want to reemphasize the fact that if you have children in the relationship, how important it is to be mindful of every word you say and every move you make because they are watching and they are listening. The fact of the matter is, is that most abusers watched their mother, or their father be abused in their home. So, if you want to end that generational cycle of being an abuser or being abused, please, please, please be mindful of the things that you're doing, the things that you're saying in front of your children, how you're treating your spouse is how your child is going to grow up treating their spouse.

Rich: Or be treated by their spouse.

If my daughters see me disrespecting their mother, raising my voice, putting my hands on her, controlling her, not letting her leave my sight or whatever that behavior is, guess what? I am training them to believe that that's normal. And every time she allows that to happen, she's training them to believe that's normal behavior.

Nik: And according to the domestic violence intervention program, it's dangerous for women to leave. So, while we're saying be mindful and we're saying, find a way to get out, it really is dangerous for women, specifically, to leave. Because what this statistic says is that women are 70. 7 zero y'all, times more likely to be killed in the weeks after leaving their abusive partner than any other time in the relationship.

Rich: So, if you are in a domestic violence situation and there's physical abuse and you just don't know what else to do, I beg you. We plead with you to reach out to the domestic violence hotline. The number is 1 (800) 799-7233.

It's important that you remember you are not alone.

Nik: We want to thank you so much for tuning into this week's episode of the Naked Proverbs. We want you to truly have a happy marriage. We want you to continue to thrive in your marriages and indulge in your spouses on a regular basis. Don't forget to subscribe to this podcast on whatever podcasting platform you listen to your podcasts on. Give us a five-star rating on iTunes and let's continue this discussion in the comments section.

We'll talk to y'all next week.

Rich: Peace.