Anna Dugger. A name synonymous with the phrase “stand by your man.” Being a good and loyal spouse is commendable, but there are limits to what anyone should be expected to endure. A recent Facebook post about the topic went viral, and it did start me thinking. Many have criticized Anna Dugger for not leaving her child molesting, porn addicted, cheating, Ashley Madison account having husband. But instead, I have an incredible amount of empathy for her.
One can only assume that a man, or anyone, who can be so despicable and deceitful to those closest, certainly must also be very manipulative as well. That kind of manipulation is successful because it’s so very subtle, so much in fact, that you can barely recognize it changing you, chipping away at your self-confidence, until a large part of yourself is gone.
Now consider that she has no education, and that her family and social circle blame her for her husbands shortcomings. Her parents encourage her still, to stay with her husband and would shame and ostracize her for leaving him. That coupled with the slow tear down of confidence and spirit…She was the perfect wife, sticking to all the rules, and yet it still wasn’t enough. She is still expected; demanded even, to give more of herself for someone who has cared for her so very little.
It is a shame that anyone should be expected to stay where they are mistreated so very badly. While I do believe in the sanctity of marriage, are limits. Maybe we are all guilty aof staying in a relationship longer than we should have, but at some point you have to wake up, take off the rose colored glasses and get out.
Everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and respect, be made to feel like they are valued, and matter. To be needed, loved and valued are basic human needs, and if someone, anyone, whether it be a friend, a family member, a spouse, or a co-worker, does not value what you bring to the table, then you have the very basic human right to leave.
You also have the basic human right to demand that you be treated with respect, kindness and decency. To know that you are worth those things, that you have value in and of yourself, to know that your soul is important just because you exist.
The Facebook post that went viral stated that men are born with power, but women have to demand it for themselves, and that they should be taught to make a man cower in the corner if they need to. I agree. But not just women, though that is what we see mostly, because women are typically taken advantage of more than men. Everyone has the right, and if you must make a person cower in order to escape mistreatment, then so be it. But these lessons have to start young.
In addition to instilling a healthy sense of self esteem, boys should be taught to value women, not use them. Teach them that women are to be cherished. But also teach girls the value that men have, and that they deserve to be respected too. If both are taught, as children, to value the other, as human beings, then the world would be a much better, kinder place.
To know your worth, to know that you deserve to be loved, that you alone, are Enough. These lessons can make such a difference in shaping lives, and save those lives from an immense amount of pain later When both men and women realize the value in one another, that is when humanity is at its best. So I refrain from criticizing Anna Dugger, but instead feel much empathy and compassion for her. She was never taught that she alone is enough.