Saturday, April 25, 2009

It Takes Two To Tango!

Posted by Hannah at 9:32 AM

I have heard and read way to often the 'two to tango' phrase when people were confronted by hurtful cruel acts of a person acting abusive. Remember ABUSE IS A PATTERN OF BEHAVIOR! I will admit at times early before I knew what I was dealing with I tended to engage with abusive people when I should have just choose another form of communication.

I don't know how many times I have heard people state to others that they don't have to fight. You make a choice NOT TO! What people didn't realize is that can backfire on you as well. It reminds me of the time in school in which a bully approached me in the lunch room, and I spoke to my mother about my fear. She told me I had a choice to turn and walk away. I told her this person would jump me at that point. Instead of acknowledging that point she told me not to be silly about this.

I think I learned from childhood how to detach from a situation, and I have to say it has its place. I won't tell you its the best way to handle things. I don't believe it is. I remember taking the advice about how to make that choice NOT to fight. I was then accused of ignoring, withdrawing, etc.

I was then told that I needed to use boundaries. No matter what HOLD your line! I wasn't asking for anything unreasonable. I was asking for communication without raging, name calling, blameshifting, etc. I learned a new lesson:

When you are again thrown off balance by your difficult person's words or again get to relearn that hard lesson that is inevitably learned by everyone who tries to get close to a fool: To love a fool is like hugging a fan; you will only be sliced up in the process.

This 'it takes two to tango' really confused me at that point. Okay. I have tried all the above, and much MORE! Him? If you look at that portion you will see that most people are cowards on that front. They did not fear my reaction to their advice, but it seems they were of his! Instead of acknowleding his behavior for what it was I was asked to 'change myself' only. I was given no validation that what he was doing was wrong. If it was mentioned it was pretty much in passing.

I have to wonder HOW people are to grow as others wish them to, and change in a way that is healthy when you can't acknowledge the dynamic that is there? I didn't fight back, and I got thrashed for it. I walked away and I got jumped just like the child in the lunch story I mentioned. I detached and I did see him for what he was, and I learned pretty quick at that point that the world COULDN'T!

Quote by Nancy Edwards that moved me.

Jesus is good and pure; our motives are always mixed.
Jesus speaks words of life; we speak words that protect our own sense of reality.
Jesus loves sinners and judges sin; we judge sinners and ignore sin.
Jesus is wise; we are dogmatic.
Jesus sees people’s hearts; we see their defenses.
Jesus is very attractive to needy people; we are often the last place they would come.

I remember that hint of blame towards me when I woke up. You know the saying! YOU are just looking for the easy way OUT! It takes TWO to TANGO!

You know how that made me feel?

It Takes Two To Tango

I figured out that their answers were setting me up to lose. I could never win or even make any headway if they couldn't acknowledge the evil I was dealing with. I couldn't make it better if I molded myself into their perfect person that didn't do the dance of the tango. If I learned to NOT FIGHT, and detach myself from the venom and used boundaries ... take wouldn't change the dynamics.

If you can't acknowledge evil behavior you are just enabling it!

Sanctuary for the Abused had an article today that linked to another article called, Blaming the Victim of Narcissism.

Barbara at Sanctuary for the Abused had a comment to her post that I wanted to share:

A group of guerrilla fighters burst into an evangelical church, during Sunday service, in South America. "Everyone who proclaims to Love the Christ, must stay and be shot! the rest of you can leave."

Within minutes the church was nearly empty. The congregation exited out the windows and doors. In the end, only 3 remained; waiting to be killed.

The guerrilla fighters immediately threw down their guns and proclaimed:
"My fellow BRETHREN! now that we have rid ourselves of the hypocrites, let us worship our Lord in Truth!"

I think we all wonder if we would be the ones that fled, or the ones that stayed don't you think?

The three that remained at times remind me of the percentage of church goers that will acknowledge the dynamics of domestic violence in its true form. I look at the ones that preached to me about how I need to change myself, and yet they were afraid to acknowledge what was truly happening to me were hypocrites as well.

I have seen and heard from so many people feeling that they can't worship the Lord in Truth, because in their world there isn't any. People have told them they are JUST as evil, and they are looking for the easy way out. They are told to change themselves, and don't worry about your spouse. They see these huge hurtles and large mountains...and they are tired...they don't know if they can prove themselves any longer. They just aren't good enough for Jesus. The spirit is being stripped, and their sense of self worth is disappearing all together. They hear we are rags compared to Jesus..but that rag has an extra meaning that others can't comprehend. People stop them from feeling the love, compassion and mercy. I don't think those that are ignorant realize what a stumbling block they are handing these suffering people, nor do those people choose to view it to close either.

Barbara's article today is quoted as saying:

Since when is it good to be friendly with bad people? Since when is winking at their wrongdoing a virtue?

Perhaps someone can quote chapter and verse in the comments, because holier-than-thous really deserve to have their religion's true teachings show what frauds their twisting of religious doctrine makes them.

In the New Testament, in Revelations, I believe, in one of the letters to the churches, some holier-than-thou Christians are read the riot act for that very same pretense.

The author unloads both barrels at them with this truth: "Good people are not lukewarm toward evil.' Its says.

Cowards Are.

The article she linked to began:

The first thing the victims of narcissists need to know is that they are not to blame.

Not one bit.

In other words, he didn't get mad because dinner was was late. She didn't blow up because you are "too this" or "too that." You didn't "ask for it" by speaking up and saying that you deserved some attention and respect.

The narcissist attacked you just because you are there, period. Don't you have a right to be there?

Let's get real. Narcissists think they have a right to punish you just for being the way you are. Think, don't you have the right to be the way you are? Do you have to be some character in the narcissist's fiction that conforms to his or her specifications?

Does that make any sense? That's as hateful as the crime against humanity of attacking people just for being a certain KIND or nationality.

The narcissist attacks because he or she is a predator, period. Predators attack any vulnerable prey that crosses their sights, period. Therefore, the prey is NEVER the one bit to blame.

It would make as much sense to blame a sheep for getting attacked by a wolf. So what if the wolf says, "I attacked her because she is an obnoxious sheep!" What idiot falls for that line? Yet narcissist sympathizers are doing precisely this and are therefore being irrational.

The narcissist attacked just to do it, and he or she attacks any prey they have some unfair advantage over. They never pick a fair fight. They are bullies, period.

If people tell you that it takes two to tango...ask them when the behavior of the abuser would be acceptable? When is it acceptable to attack with rage, wrath, name calling, blameshifting? Why would they think their mininizing of that fact would be acceptable to Jesus? Would Jesus say it takes two to tango, or would he call out evil for what it is!

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Barbara on 10:10 PM said...

Here's what I had to say on my personal blog about that:

My ex-sociopath has said that "get over it" and "two to tango" bs about me for years now.
His story:

My Factually Based retort:

It does NOT take two to tango with an ABUSIVE PATHOLOGICAL. No way.

Anonymous said...

My mother was and is the master of the maxim. Growing up I constantly heard it "Takes Two to Tango". As a result whenever I try to view my abusive marriage objectively I find this popping into my thoughts, it makes me confused and angry both at the same time. Interestingly the longer I stay the more I feel I live up to this because I no longer even try to nuture my marriage I feel the inherrant guilt of this maxim that over shadows my life.

I was wondering Hannah now that you have written this whether or not you have any thoughts as to how this other golden nugget can affect those in abusive marriages

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Hannah on 3:00 PM said...

I agree Barbara. They have alot of comebacks of 'justification' they like to use.

Hannah on 3:10 PM said...

Anonymous: That saying about NOT saying anything at all has its place, but it can't be used for everything. For example, I remember using it with my son when he was young, and I got tired of listening to his complaints about what I was serving for dinner each night. He knew I was talking about dinner, and not anything else in life! LOL Mom just wasn't in the mood for it that night! Thank GOODNESS he grew out of that!

When it comes to speaking about something that is hurting you I believe its completely different. We should NOT be encouraged to stuff things inside, and I would seek out someone that is safe to speak with. If someone poses that to you they clearly aren't interested in hearing anything. There are a host of reason for that.

If you look at the surface of that shuts off communication doesn't it? We can't say we need 'healthy' communication to reach a 'healthy' relationship if we can't say things that may NOT be so pretty to hear.

Barbara on 5:58 PM said...

Anonymous - take a look at

Being held in a dead marriage because of GUILT is just as big a sin. Being with an abuser changes us and our behavior and we should NOT beat ourselves up over it.

Unknown on 3:41 AM said...

I really get irked at the 'two to tango' comment. DId it take 'two to tango' when Adolph Hitler instigated the second world war? Did it take 'two to tango' when Pol Pot commenced systematic genocide against his own Khmer people. Rarely do folk apply that maxim to politics, so why to they think it is always true for personal relationships?
On my site I have an article called 'Unhelpful comments and how to answer them.' It covers the 'two to tango' comment as well as many other cutting comments made by those who DON'T GET IT about domestic abuse. You can see the article at

Hannah on 7:53 AM said...

Thank you as well! I know what you mean. Somedays when I read or hear that comment I can stay calm, and reubke it. Other days? I try to stay calm, but I'm boiling inside.

Amy on 5:00 PM said...

This was a great post, and as I'm now standing strong to end an abusive marriage I was so glad to hear someone dispute this stupid, stupid thing that people say to me. Yes, it does take two to make a marriage, but I now see that it only takes one to be abusive and destroy that marriage.
I have lived with guilt and doubt for so many years, 20 to be exact that I am still feeling guilty and doubtful over my decision to divorce. Luckily for me, I have much support from my church, although I'm sure there will be those that look down their noses at me for not submitting harder and respecting him more.

Hannah on 6:01 PM said...

Amy: Keep in mind there will always be 'those' people! LOL! I have to keep in mind its easier to look down your nose at people than it is to try to walk in their shoes ... and maybe TRY to understand in some cases. Its called ignorance.

God be with you in this journey!

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