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“Marry Me” Doesn’t Mean “I Love You”

How I Escaped an Abusive Relationship and Found My Rhythm Again

Do you want to know how you can tell if the person you’re dating might become abusive?

Do you want to better understand the cycle of abuse and why he can be loving one moment and in a rage the next moment?

If someone you care about is in an abusive relationship, would you like to understand why she stays and what you can say and do to help her?…

In this one of a kind book I will help you understand the cycle of violence, and the altered thought process of the abuser. I will provide resources for you to to start navigating your way out of the abusive relationship.  I will  help you understand why you have thoughts of going back even though you know you should leave.  You will start to understand your feelings, and very soon you will find new hope in your future… You will move from fear to empowerment.

Abuse is progressive and almost never begins with physical violence.

“As three police cars were en route to my home, I locked myself in the bedroom, while my husband raged on the other side of the door with a loaded .44 Magnum in hand.”  I lived the abuse.

As abuse progresses, even the first incident of physical violence can be deadly.

“As three police cars were en route to my home, I locked myself in the bedroom, while my husband raged on the other side of the door with a loaded .44 Magnum in hand.”  I lived the abuse.

Domestic violence is not just physical abuse. Abusive relationships can be emotional, financial, sexual or physical.

According to the National Coalition of Domestic Violence website, ncadv.org, “It is not always easy to determine in the early stages of a relationship if one person will become abusive.  Domestic Violence intensifies over time.  Abusers may often seem wonderful and perfect initially, but gradually become more aggressive and controlling as the relationship continues.

Did you know that abuse is more common in dating relationships than in marriages?

You don’t have to be married to experience domestic violence.  The abuser and the victim may be currently or previously dating, living together, married or divorced.

“He would touch my heart through letters in all the ways he had never attempted when we were married.  He didn’t want me to leave.  He didn’t want me to file for divorce.  He pleaded with me to come home, but none of it was because he loved me.  All of it was because he was an abuser.”

Abuse is not about anger issues. If it was about anger issues, the abuser would have problems getting along with his friends and coworkers and other family members.

The book I wrote for you is applicable to everybody.  It does not discriminate between men or women, heterosexual or LGBT, married or single, adult or teenager. Abuse has no borders.  I provide the knowledge, the tools and the resources, as well as inspiration and hope not only for the people who are experiencing abuse, but for the friends and family who love them.

Through my professional insight, personal story and shared warmth I help the readers recognize the cycle of abuse and understand what is going on in the abuser’s mind when he alternates between violence and abuse and then apologies and expressions of love.

Many women (and men) can find their way to freedom before it is too late. I know there is hope.  I know there is a way out!

I understand the complexities of the secrets you keep, and trying to find your way out when some days it feels safer to stay rather than leave.  I also know there is a way out!

Everyone has the power to transform their lives, despite the obstacles we experience.  I know because I lived it. That doesn’t mean it will be easy.

Many times at the end of the day you will want to say, “I’m tired of being strong.”  It’s never easy, but each day that you wake up free from the abuse leads you closer and closer to living the life you dreamed of for yourself.

Each day is another step down your path of new beginnings.  You and I are connected in that place.  As we continue to walk together, gathering with us more and more women and men who lived the abuse, who are ready to be free, we will continue to inspire others and walk alongside them.  You will come to a point on your new path when you can finally look back and say, “Yes, I have hurt and I have healed.”

Start living the life you truly desire and the wonderful life that you deserve because you are too special not to

I know it’s painful to leave someone you once loved so much, but letting go will lead to new beginnings.  And pain?  Well, that might be what ultimately leads us to finding our own peace.

This book educates, inspires and empowers those who are experiencing abuse and the family and friends who love them.

You are stronger than you think!  There is hope!

I recognize that the readers will have thoughts of going back to the relationship and I address those thoughts and help the readers understand their feelings, create a safety plan and navigate their way toward freedom. Even if an abuser hasn’t yet become physically violent, the readers will be able to understand that abuse is always progressive. As abuse progresses, even the first incident of physical violence can be deadly.

“Marry Me” Doesn’t Mean“I Love You”

  • Teaches you the cycle of violence, and helps you understand the altered thought process of the abuser.
  • Moves you from fear to empowerment.
  • Focuses on the realities of abuse.
  • I understand that to create lasting change in our lives; we have to gain our own realization of the problem. Change doesn’t occur because we are told we should do something. Change occurs when we can finally recognize the problem and find the truth within ourselves.
  • I have included a compilation of resources for victims of abuse who own pets. My book provides shelter locations that accept pets, pet friendly hotels, as well as information on state protection orders that extend to family pets. Never before have these resources been compiled and available in one book.
  • I bring to light the awareness of the overlap of domestic violence with pet abuse. Many victims of abuse stay within an abusive relationship because they fear leaving their pets with the abuser.
  • For those who are not in an abusive relationship, but concerned for someone who is, I help those readers understand the dynamics of abuse, and what is going on in the victim’s mind. Because I lived it, I will answer the question “Why does she stay?” I provide suggestions on how to successfully reach out to the victim so they can begin taking the steps out of the relationship and toward freedom
  • And so much more…

"Marry Me" Doesn't Mean "I Love You"

How I Escaped an Abusive Relationship and Found My Rhythm Again

“Marry Me” Doesn’t Mean “I Love You”

Chapter Topics

Chapter 1 - The Definition and Cycle of Abuse

  • Includes excerpts from Mayfield’s 911 call as she was locked inside the bedroom.
  • Patterns and cycles of abuse are the same whether the abuse occurs within intimate relationships, abusive friendships, work relationships or families.
  • Abuse is not always physical, but it is always progressive.
  • Delves into the cycle of abuse.
  • Mayfield uses her own personal experiences within an abusive relationship to bring the cycle of abuse to life in a way the reader can identify with.
  • She helps the reader understand what is going on in the abuser’s mind when he alternates between violence and abuse then apologies and expressions of love.
  • The effects of domestic violence on children.

Chapter 2 - Red Flags for Recognizing an Abuser

  • Includes excerpts from Mayfield’s 911 call as she was locked inside the bedroom.
  • Patterns and cycles of abuse are the same whether the abuse occurs within intimate relationships, abusive friendships, work relationships or families.
  • Abuse is not always physical, but it is always progressive.
  • Delves into the cycle of abuse.
  • Mayfield uses her own personal experiences within an abusive relationship to bring the cycle of abuse to life in a way the reader can identify with.
  • She helps the reader understand what is going on in the abuser’s mind when he alternates between violence and abuse then apologies and expressions of love.
  • The effects of domestic violence on children.

Chapter 3 - An Abuser’s Altered Thought Process

  • Includes excerpts from Mayfield’s 911 call as she was locked inside the bedroom.
  • Patterns and cycles of abuse are the same whether the abuse occurs within intimate relationships, abusive friendships, work relationships or families.
  • Abuse is not always physical, but it is always progressive.
  • Delves into the cycle of abuse.
  • Mayfield uses her own personal experiences within an abusive relationship to bring the cycle of abuse to life in a way the reader can identify with.
  • She helps the reader understand what is going on in the abuser’s mind when he alternates between violence and abuse then apologies and expressions of love.
  • The effects of domestic violence on children.

Chapter 4 - Have a Safety Plan

  • Safety precautions to take while preparing to leave, and after leaving an abusive relationship.
  • Christy has created safety checklists for creating safety plans to include:
  • Staying safe in your own home after the abuser has left
  • Creating a plan to keep children safe at school and home
  • Safety checklist for keeping pets safe.
  • Mayfield discusses the interrelated cycle of abuse between domestic violence, child abuse and animal abuse.
  • This chapter also contains a physical abuse scale the reader can use to evaluate their current level of risk.

Chapter 5 - Can an Abuser Change

  • The appearance of change by the abuser, the motivations behind his willingness for therapy, as well as what must truly be present in an abuser to create real, lasting change.
  • The difference and effectiveness of standard therapy versus specialized “abuser programs.”
  • How family and friends can help someone in an abusive relationship. Through Mayfield’s own experience, she shares with the readers how to meet the victim where the victim is at emotional, to think with her, not for her, as well as other suggestions for guiding a loved one away from an abusive relationship.
  • How Health care professionals can effectively assist in the delicate balance of screening for domestic violence without increasing the victim’s risk for further abuse when the victim returns home.

Chapter 6 - Finding Your Own Rhythm Again

  • Thoughts of going back. Mayfield addresses these thoughts and continues to empower the reader.  To more fully identify with the reader, she shares her own thoughts and experiences after her husband was removed from the home by police.
  • This chapter is also helpful for family and friends, educating them as to what is going on in the victim’s mind so they can better support her emotionally.
  • How to approach the reader’s next relationship after they have healed emotionally. With the right information, most victims will heal fully and enter healthy new relationships, filled with joy and trust.

Receive These Very Useful Bonuses

  • Detailed Safety checklist for adults who are in an abusive relationship or planning to leave one.
  • Safety checklist for keeping the children safe at home and school.
  • Nearly 75% of women in domestic violence shelters report animal abuse by their abuser.  For this reason, many victims of abuse will not leave the abuser for fear of leaving their pets behind and subject to more abuse.  Many abusers will retaliate or punish the victim for leaving by harming or killing their pets.
  • Safety checklist for keeping pets safe.
  • Mayfield has also provides resources for pet friendly hotels.
  • Twenty nine states, as well as Washington D.C and Puerto Rico have enacted legislation that includes provisions for pets in protection orders against the abuser.  Because most of the general population is not aware that pet protection orders exist, Mayfield provides the information for each state right at the reader’s fingertips.
  • Specific pet protection orders that apply to each state.
  • Pets are like family, especially to victims of abuse. Many victims of abuse are not aware that there are shelters that will accept pets.  The victim is often unable to search the Internet without their activity being monitored by the abuser.  For this reason, Mayfield has provided the information for the reader on these pages.
  • Domestic violence shelters within each state that are known to accept pets.
  • Domestic Violence State Coalitions

It is my hope that through this book you, the reader, will become empowered by the knowledge you have gained. It is through empowerment that we find desire, inspiration and strength. Once you are free from the abusive relationship, you will find your own rhythm again. Once again you will see the world in color, you will laugh, you are not alone, and you can be free!

What People Are Saying

“This book is anything but sad.  To the contrary, it’s pages reveal true episodes of triumph and perseverance that are quite inspiring.”

“… it is deeply personal and full of real life fear, inspiration and perseverance. Christy truly leads you through the experience of an abusive relationship.  This book delivers!”

“Christy strikes a unique balance of wisdom and warmth as she educates and inspires…. Through her professional insight and her own stories, she has the ability to connect with the reader on a personal level, meeting them where they’re at emotionally and helping guide them out of the abusive relationship.”

“This book is absolutely recommended for those seeking to  better understand the inside view of an abusive relationship… whether your own or someone else’s.”

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I am in an abusive relationship?

He didn’t treat me well, so why do I miss him now that he is gone?

Why doesn’t she leave?!

I know I am in an abusive relationship, but now what? Idon’t know how to get out

But he says he “loves me.” How he can treat me like this then?

But he says he “loves me.” How he can treat me like this then?

I know she is in an abusive relationship. What can I do to help her?

Is it better for the kids if I just stay?

These are just some of the many questions about domestic violence and abusive relationships that victims of abuse, as well as family and friends have.  In my book I share with you what I experienced during my marriage and the domestic violence that ensued and culminated when my ex-husband loaded a .44 magnum with the intent of a suspected murder/suicide. I will help you understand the cycle of abuse, the “red flags” to be aware of before considering a deeper relationship, and what is going on in an abuser’s head when he alternates between violence and abuse then apologies and expressions of love.  Abuse affects not only the person being abused, but the children in the home, as well as family and friends in your life who love and care about you.  I understand how difficult it is to talk about it.  I understand that he has made you feel badly about yourself and you are confused.  You may not even understand your own feelings.  You may wonder what people will think about you if they knew what he was doing to you.

You do not deserve this!  It is not a reflection of you or your choices or your worth, but on the abuser and his inability to respect and love you in the way that you deserve.

Do not be embarrassed.  So many people love you and want to see you smile again. I will help you understand your feelings and take the steps towards getting your life back.

If you are not involved in an abusive relationship, but concerned for someone who you suspect is being abused I will help you understand what is going on in the victim’s head and provide you with suggestions on how to successfully reach out to her so she can begin taking the steps to get out of the abusive relationship.  I will help you understand why she has stayed for so long.

And once you have taken the steps and made the choice to be in charge of your own life again, in all its freedom and light and laughter and beauty… I will help you begin to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving in the direction your life was truly intended to take you… the life where you will feel peace in your heart again and see the world in color once more… the life where you just can’t stop smiling.