When a woman stands by her man, her husband, after he has been charged with sexually assaulting a minor – it is typically quite shocking to many, and yet this scenario is more common then many would think. Whether a wife views her husband’s actions as criminal or as an illness makes a significant difference as to whether a woman would stand by her man or not. In the case of Ron Bencze, once a prominent and respected newsman, a former Global British Columbia TV reporter who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a minor, as of date, his wife is standing by him. It is this particular case and the topic of why do women stand by their man in these types of scenarios that CKNW Radio, The Simi Sara Show with guest host Mike Smyth interviewed this Psychotherapist and relationship expert on Tuesday August 28th 2012. Check out my talking points as documented below, and hear my interview for on demand listening.
A few talking points of why a woman may stand by her man given this scenario is as follows:
- Shock/Disbelief/Denial – Too horrific to believe that the man you thought you knew has done the unimaginable. Too difficult and overwhelming to confront, to believe, to fathom. Still in the state of mind of trying to digest the reality of what he did.
- Marital Philosophy/Instinct To Protect – There are those wives of who have an instinct to protect their spouse no matter what the circumstances are. It is their philosophical belief system and marital philosophy in; “In sickness and in health . . . “.
- View Of The Behavior – How you rationalize and make sense of a behavior that seems to make no sense plays a significant role in how you react to an event. Specifically, if the wife views the sexual abuse as criminal she may have no compassion nor empathy for her mate and choose not to stand by him. If rather the behavior is viewed through the lens of mental illness she may be compassionate and feel obligated as the spouse to stand by him to help him heal and find the man she knows him to be. In fact, it is quite common in these circumstances for the wife who stands by her man to report that she feels bad for her husband. Women in this circumstance often report feeling sad for their spouse stating that he would never in his right mind, the man that he really is – would never act like this.
- Confusion and Fear Regarding What’s Best For The Children – The spouse may feel quite confused about what to do and afraid as to what to do other than stand by him because of the message her actions if she were to leave will send to their children. Specifically, a spouse may think if she believes that her husband can heal and that she can forgive and that the marriage can be saved – that is an important lesson to teach her children and will thus impact one’s children’s view of their father. The wife may fear that if she does not stand by her husband, that she is teaching her children to view their father through a negative lens, and thus they may not accept him and cut off their relationship with him. It is that fear that may lead her to stand by her man for the sake of her children and their relationship with their father.
- Fear Of The Unknown – It is frightening to confront the unknown and thus consider what life would look like without one’s husband. To try to visualize a different life then what was can be quite frightening for many thus leading the spouse to remain.
Click the play button below to listen to Dr. Karen Ruskin’s interview on CKNW.