Dottie Sandusky – Why Would She Stand By Her Man? Why Stay Loyal?

by Dr. Karen Ruskin on July 24, 2012

The topic of why a woman stands by her man and stays loyal is not a new topic of media interest. The most recent case of this, that is certainly one of the more extreme cases is of Dottie Sandusky. Why would she stand by her man? Why would she remain loyal in the face of such horrible actions? Did she not know what was going on? CKNW radio, the highest rated talk news station in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada requested my psychotherapeutic insights and expertise in the understanding of the relationship dynamics between people in terms of their human behavior to answer these very questions. This interview took place on Monday evening, July 23rd, 2012 where I was interviewed by Jill Bennett on The World Today.

Talking Points

Why Would A Woman Stand By Her Man In This Scenario

Although we do not know the inner mind of Dottie Sandusky, based on my experience working with women who stand by their man in the face of abuse and remain silent, the following are just but a few of the reasons why a woman remains loyal.

  1. Fear – Fear of the unknown. Fear of what life would be without marriage. Fear of what would happen if she said something to: the man she loves, to her, to her kids, to her life as she knows it. Fear of what would happen to her livelihood. Fear of bringing shame or embarrassment to the family.
  2. Marital Philosophy – Philosophical belief in unconditional love, protect your spouse and stand by him no matter what.
  3. Rationalization – Rationalizing what he did by making sense of his behavior (e.g., blaming of the victims, he is so loving and loves so hard he just does not know how to show it in a healthy way sometimes).
  4. Compartmentalization – Compartmentalizing/separating out the view of one’s spouse versus the other part of who he is. The good part of this man is the man I knew and know him to be versus, this other man- he is not the man I know nor the man he really is. Therefore, the wife puts the ugly view of him in a box and rather keeps the view she wishes to view of him in her present conscious mind.
  5. Disbelief/Denial – Too horrific to believe so she does not believe.

Can You Not Know?

When a person does not want to believe something so inconsistent with what you believe your reality to be, you can indeed tuck away the reality in a box in your subconsciousness mind thereby ignoring all signs that are right in front of you. In essence, the person buries what their conscious mind knows so reality does not have to be confronted. The result: it is as if you do not know. For to know, to admit, to acknowledge; the floodgates of one’s emotional response would open and one could drown. Specifically, depression, anxiety, and perhaps suicidal thoughts could indeed occur as a response to confronting truth. Therefore, one lives in a state of denial to protect one’s self.

Listen to this interview on demand by clicking the play button below:

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In addition, check out my interview with yahoo. com, shine.yahoo.com entitled: Dottie Sandusky: What She Must Have Been Thinking

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