The Safe Side

I did something I very rarely do … I told her to develop an Exit Plan. Our daughters are friends, and my daughter has told me, very generally, that her friend is going through some really hard things. (My daughter is one to keep confidences, even from me. She knows the difference between a confidence – something that won’t hurt people – and a secret – something that has the potential to hurt people. A secret she needs to tell a responsible adult; a confidence she can keep.) I scheduled a lunch date with the mom, who I really like. I had been burdened to do so, and we were finally able to get together. On her own accord, she shared with me her situation.

For the first time I understood what those close to me felt and experienced when I was at the end of my marriage … real fear for her and her kids … because dad is an unsafe man.

I talk with women, and occasionally men, who are struggling in their marriages from time-to-time, and I always encourage their marriage and tell them the truth about the harsh realities of divorce, trying to dispel their unrealistic ideals that the grass is greener on the other side. But with this woman, and in situations like hers, she needs to develop a safe exit plan for her and her children.

The truth is … there are bad people out there. The truth is … not all people are bad, and I think that most people are good, but some people are bad, and unsafe.

I browsed through several respected blogs the other night where they wrote about divorce. Honestly, they were a bit irritating … slanted to one side or the other … or people who are grasping at staws as to how the church should handle and approach divorce. Sigh. One of the things I’ve always deeply appreciated about this place is Amir’s balanced and fair treatment of men and women. Depravity is no respecter of gender.

Yes, God hates divorce … but He hates other things, too. So God, in His wisdom, gave us divorce for those rare times when it is necessary to protect ourselves. The consequences are still there, but so is the protection. There is no easy answer. There is no easy way out. But, sometimes, there is a safer place than the one we’re in.

If you think you are in an unsafe place, seek wise counsel immediately. If you know you are in an unsafe place, seek safety immediately. There are many resources available out there; search till you find one.


3 thoughts on “The Safe Side

  1. I would also add: as long as you can do this safely (i.e. assuming the people under your roof are of otherwise sound mind), buy a good firearm and learn how to use it.

  2. I bruise very easily and bump into things often. I have been told multiple times to tell a doctor or chiropractor who is hurting me because they are required by law to report. One of the times it was the massage therapist who bruised me by going too hard, another time a door at a department store hit me in the back. I bumped my leg on a chair recently and ended up with a huge bruise. While I start laughing and tell them that I have a really amazing and supportive man in my life, I feel horrible thinking about the women who aren’t so lucky. My friend’s mom lied to us and told us she was beat up in an attempted car jacking. My mom was always reminding us to lock our doors. It wasn’t until she landed in the hospital with a cracked skull that she finally confessed that her husband was beating her. Divorce was no rose garden – even when it meant getting away from that – because the next few relationships were not very good either. Yes, there are evil people out there. When you leave, get counseling. Otherwise you may end up with another unsafe person. I had a boyfriend who set off alarm bells for my cousins because he was very angry. We broke up. You have to be willing to do the same.

    A friend of my cousin’s has been manipulated into staying with a very controlling man because they work together and when she broke up with him, he initiated a campaign of harassment at work. She got back together with him because she was afraid she would lose her job.

    I feel for your friend. I hope this man realizes he’s hurting them and stops, but if he won’t, you were right to tell her to get away. God does not condone domestic violence.

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