Here is a story from my experience.
He used to be a guest at the homeless shelter where I am a chaplain. He is now working full time so we do not see him at the shelter.
He "loves Jesus" and all that crap.
I bumped into him downtown the other week as I left the library.
He asked if I officiated at weddings. I replied in the affirmative. He said that he and his “old lady” (I hate that term) wanted to get married.
I agreed to talk to the couple.
When I talked by ‘phone to the intended bride she expressed a wee bit of surprise that he had begun to make wedding plans without first talking with her.
In subsequent conversations with her she revealed that he often got very angry, and that scared her. She also told me that he had once hit her.
Of course I said that I would not officiate at a wedding given such knowledge. That was the least of my concerns.
I am deeply concerned for her. I suggested to her that I should talk with both of them, but she demurred, saying that I should not raise the matter of his anger.
I urged her to go to our local women’s resource center for counsel and advice.
I told her of my fear that I would see their names in the newspaper after she had been assaulted (a real possibility n’est pas?)
She said that the only way she could end the relationship would be to disappear; to do a moonlight flit.
The saddest thing she said was that he could be so loving and caring after one of his angry outbursts.
Dear Lord above I’ve heard that story so many times. “He abuses me, but then he is so kind”.
I am powerless to do any more. I pray for her every day. And I pray that he will repent of his abusive behaviour, and take the steps to deal with his anger.
But I am not counting on it.