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Ending an Abusive Relationship is a Tough New Trick but It Can Be Done (Part 1 of 2)

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The popular saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” is not necessarily so. The idea behind having rehabilitation and therapy centers easily accessible... is to teach new tricks.

Many prison systems operate on the premise that prisoners that can become law abiding citizens, which would classify as a new trick. In fact, the word ‘penitentiary’ comes from the word ‘repent.’ I hope the ‘new trick analogy’ is true when it comes to gullible people being abused because the road to spousal abuse is paved with gullibility and learning a new trick is in order. Anyone can change. However, I think it’s a waste of energy for the person being abused to patiently and prayerfully wait for the abuser to change. To change an abuser would usually require a set of strict rules and stricter consequences for the violation of those rules.

During the past weekend, in San Diego, I sat among a group of friends giving much sought after advice to a woman, whom I didn’t know, who complained about her abusive ex-husband. The complaining woman’s bigger problem, it seemed to me, was to stop giving her ex-husband permission to abuse her. It became clear as I listened, that her former husband, who she divorced several years ago because of his abusive behavior, asked to move into her current home, just for a little while, to help him get on his feet - according to her side of the story. However, he has been there, in his own room with sparse and far in between marital benefits, for more than a year and he has not paid rent or contributed anything toward the bills. Thus he has worn out his welcome and refuses to move. She says that she’s afraid to call the police because he’ll only get out of jail and return with a vengeance and might hurt her.

This gullible confused lady is no young woman. She is over fifty years old. She believes that her only two routes of action are first to pray for Gods’ help and secondly to get her friends and family involved, which is always dangerous for the innocent loved ones. For her case, help must come from the police. That’s what the police are armed for and trained to do. I don’t see why she would call on God when God and/or the Bible (2 Corinthians 6:14) warned her about being unevenly yoked in the first place.

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