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Domestic Violence

Expressing Opinions About an Abusive Relationship

06/15/2005

Question:

Our daughter and grandson left her abusive husband. Our daughter,pregnant due July 9, attended a semester of college made great grades and seems to be doing well. However, lately, she has been talking a lot kinder about her husband- she has filed for divorce-can`t go through until the baby is born. He has started saying the things she wants to hear etc. He did this the last time too. My husband and I feel it is part of game. He`s had a job for 1 month, and says he`s getting a raise. Anyhow, we try not to tell our grown daughter what to do. But, we do not LIKE him at all. My question is if our daughter does decide to go back-should we "pretend" to like him. Or would it be alright to express our dislike and disapproval? We love our daughter and grandchild-children soon, and just feel like he is not truly changed.

Answer:

Dear Respondent, I think it would be important to be true to yourself. I am sure your daughter is well aware of your feelings and concerns at this point in time. Oftentimes, we choose not to share our true feelings and thoughts and as a consequence it may send a message to the perpetrator that his/her behavior is o.k. or tolerable. It makes sense to find appropriate ways of communicating your disapproval or displeasure. I would not support an abusive style of communication that is similar to what he has been demonstrating over the years--where people share mean and hurtful comments to one another. But certainly, letting him know that you disapprove and have concerns about his abusive behavior and the impact that it has had on your family appears reasonable.

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Response by:

Cathy   McDaniels-Wilson, PhD Cathy McDaniels-Wilson, PhD
Adjunct Professor
Department of Sociology
The Ohio State University