Meredith Vieira Reveals Her Own Shocking Abusive Relationship (VIDEO)

In the wake of the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal, many women are now speaking up about their own abuse. And one of those women happens to be famous. Her name is Meredith Vieira. Meredith went into heartbreaking detail on her new show about the time she was involved in an abusive relationship and tried to explain why a woman like her -- smart, ambitious, employed -- would actually stay in such a relationship.


Meredith revealed that the relationship happened when she was younger, though she doesn't say her exact age. Obviously she was old enough to have a job. She told the audience:

It started out, I loved this guy, it started out we’d have a fight and he'd just sort of grab my arm. I didn’t think a lot about it and then it turned into pushing me into a wall and then it went beyond that to actually taking his hand and grabbing my face and saying, 'I could ruin your career if I wanted to and no one would want you.'

Of course, this would be a huge red flag that worse is to come, but at the time, domestic violence didn't get the attention it does now -- and even now women stay in these situations. The verbal and physical abuse escalated until Meredith's boyfriend threw her in a scalding hot shower one day and then locked her naked out of their apartment.

It's here that Meredith spotlights one of the dynamics that makes domestic violence so complex. The guy came to find her and was crying and begging for forgiveness and saying he would never do it again. Of course, this wasn't the first time he'd done that.

Women often get caught up in two emotional vortexes: One, that the abuse is partially her fault. Often, because the relationship dynamic is toxic, the woman's behavior isn't exactly perfection, and so it's easy to think, "If I hadn't done A, he wouldn't have done B." (Look at all the people saying that Janay Rice was a contributor to the violence -- including Janay herself.) Believe me, if you hadn't done A, he would have figured out a way to make you do A, because an abuser is a master of pushing buttons. And even if you don't do A, he'll figure out a way to do B anyway.

Two, the man usually pleads for forgiveness, and the woman begins to feel sorry for him. Often the guy will blame his childhood or other issues. The woman feels like she wants to stay and "help" him get over his "problems." (A woman's natural maternalness doesn't help when it comes to abusers.)

Add to that a society that says you stay in a relationship for "better or worse" and that you "don't give up on marriage," and a society where single women are deemed lesser than women in relationships.

And I'm just getting started on the abuser-victim dynamic.

But Meredith says that, after much reflection, she realized that the main reason she stayed was, plain and simple, fear. Says Meredith: "I was scared of him. I was scared if I tried to leave, something worse could happen to me."

This is a very real fear and something that the chorus of people saying "Just get out" don't understand. Women are often held hostage by threats -- to them, to their families, to their children, to their pets.

Women have a much greater chance of being seriously hurt or even killed AFTER they leave their abuser. That is why leaving takes so much calculated and cunning planning. By the time you are in an abusive relationship, there is no such thing as "just leave."

More from The Stir: 7 Steps to Leaving an Abusive Relationship Safely

You need to figure out how to pack, where to go, how to get money, how to protect yourself, how to get out your kids or pets. And back when this was happening to Meredith, she says there were no safe shelters or domestic hotlines.

It is important that we do give women the message "You can leave. You should leave. You NEED to leave." But it's also important that we allow them to do this on their own timeline. I'm tired of seeing comments along the lines of, "If she stays, she deserves to get beat." No, she doesn't.

But I also think women need to be more self-protective and much less concerned about a man's love, his psychiatric issues, his problems, his insecurities, why he's doing this, blah blah blah. It's not your job to make another adult whole or cure his issues. That's his job.

It IS your job to make sure you and especially your children are in a safe, healthy environment.

More from The Stir: Women’s Confessions About Staying With Abusers Go Viral With #WhyIStayed

Thanks to Meredith for speaking out and showing that domestic violence can happen to any type of woman.

Are you surprised to hear about Meredith?

Image via Meredith Vieira Show

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