I am amazed at what women have the capacity to normalize. I believe God made us flexible because women need to be flexible. We have so many tasks coming at us on a daily basis, we are not afforded the luxury of putting things in a box, numbering them and checking down the list. Well, I for one like it when my life can be this way but thinking back when I was in “the thick of things” I did not have this option. See what crazy things can be normal in the normal woman’s day. It can be normal driving a car load of noisy kiddos from school to soccor to Awana, making three stops on the way home, planning dinner, setting a nice table, cleaning up the kitchen, changing a couple of loads in and out of the washer and dryer, switching to playing a game at bath-time in a wee make-believe voice to sounding sweet and loving to someone on the phone demanding your time.
As a counselor to women needing to know the truth about who they are and how their life is playing out, I spend countless hours helping them understand that while some of the stress in life is very normal and to be expected, it is not normal for our hearts to be crushed by those who should love and value us. It is not normal to expect yelling or discounting by an angry husband when he walks in the door. It is not normal to automatically know inside that “he is lying” and to just be OK anyway. It is not normal to accept belittling or being made fun of simply because a husband needs a good laugh among friends. It is not normal to be treated less than with angry tones and sharp demands just because a husband had a bad day.
Yes, women have a tendency to normalize the unthinkable. We can sometimes convince ourselves in our minds that being treated less than is “just normal.” I recently worked with a poor soul whose husband had never been true to her in her entire couple decades of marriage. Convincing herself that “boys will be boys” she had normalized the unthinkable. Out of sheer survival, many women just accept the unthinkable and rearrange their hearts accordingly.
God wants us to live in Truth. Living in denial about abuse doesn’t do anything for ourselves, our children or even the person dishing out the abusive words and actions. Christ calls us to love. Accepting unthinkable treatment is not normal and is not what God defines as marriage. I hope no one reading this can relate to it. But if you do, it is time to look at things truthfully, without the pink glasses.
The truth will set you free. But first it makes you miserable. Moving from denial to the truth may be painful and require a lot of effort. In the long run it is worth it!