Divorce Advice We Can Take Away from Ray Rice

By Jackie Pilossoph, Creator and Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling site, podcast and app, Love Essentially columnist and author

I don’t think there is anyone on this earth whose jaw wasn’t on the ground after seeing yesterday’s newly released video of Ray Rice punching his then fiancé (now wife) Janay in the face in an Atlantic City Elevator last February. But for me, even more shocking is learning that Janay married Rice AFTER that happened. That’s why I decided to write a blog post giving divorce advice in regards to physical violence in a relationship.

The first and probably biggest point I want to make is that physical violence is NOT ACCEPTABLE. Even one time. I don’t care if he has issues from his past. I don’t care that his job is stressful. I don’t care that he didn’t mean it and said he’d never do it again. And I don’t care how much he begs and pleads and tells you how sorry he is and that he has problems. Hear what I am saying: physical violence even one time, one punch, one kick, one push, one grab and shake, is NOT OK. EVER.

DO NOT try to rationalize it because there is no rationalization and no excuse that warrants this type of behavior. Maybe your dad hit your mom, or maybe you had big brothers who hit you as a kid. Maybe you feel guilty about something you did, or even as sick as it sounds, you feel you deserved it. WRONG! It is UNacceptable for your man to lay a hand on you.

Now, does that mean you have to immediately get divorced if your spouse hit you? No. But, what you immediately should do is address it. You can’t throw it under the table and hope it doesn’t happen again.

Why? Because if you do nothing, it WILL happen again. Almost undoubtedly.

What CAN you do?

You can encourage your spouse to go get help. You can help your spouse get help by finding resources, even names and phone numbers of therapists or a program that might benefit your spouse.

I think that the most upsetting part for me about this whole story is Janay. That she STILL married him after that punch. Why wouldn’t she delay the wedding and address the problem first? Imagine standing there in your wedding dress exchanging vows, knowing in the back of your mind that you are entering a marriage where your new husband punched you.  Does Janay deep down think she deserved it?! Do YOU think you deserved it?

Let me be clear on this: NO ONE deserves to be physically harmed by their spouse, no matter what they did.

And then Janay’s message today:

divorce advice

Shouldn’t the morning Janay woke up feeling like she had a horrible nightmare have been the morning her fiancé decked her in the face?

“To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass off for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific”?!

What about what HE took away from YOU? Your dignity, self-esteem, he made you afraid. He hurt you, both physically and mentally. The fact that you don’t see it that way (or maybe you do) sickens and saddens me deeply. Everybody works their ass off and they don’t have the opportunity or the wealth that Ray had/has, AND most don’t punch their wives.

In closing, please remember that I am not a therapist, I’m just a writer who is trying to give the best divorce advice I can. So, if you think you need to talk to a therapist about physical violence going on in your home, I would highly encourage it. This is your life, and the lives of your children!! Physical violence is NOT ACCEPTABLE!!

Remember that the best choices we make are usually the hardest to deal with, but they pay off the most in the long run.

Lastly, I have nothing against Ray or Janay Rice and don’t know anything about them other than what I see in the news and on the football field. But I will wish this for the Rice’s: I hope they both get the help they need, and I know that the public loves to forgive, so I hope for a comeback for them. I really really do.

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    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Divorced Girl Smiling is here to empower, connect and inspire you. Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling, the site, the podcast and the app. A former television journalist and newspaper features reporter, Pilossoph is also the author of four novels and the writer of her weekly relationship column, Love Essentially. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism and lives in Chicago with her two teenagers. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

    3 Responses to “Divorce Advice We Can Take Away from Ray Rice”

    1. Tamara

      Abused spouses/significant other’s usually do make excuses and defend their abusers. It’s why the cycle of abuse keeps happening.

      I certainly hope for Janay’s sake that this truly never happens again. That one punch from a man that size with that kind of stregnth could have killed her. It’s actually not that easy to knock somebody out from ONE punch. He hit her with every bit of stregnth he had. I pray for her that he doesn’t “lose it” again out of frustration or anger b/c she might not wake up the next time. NFL players are not your average sized men.

      Unfortunately, I don’t really hold out much hope of this being the last time but I really hope so.

      It’s a sad sad story from any angle.

    2. Colleen

      Divorce court Florida style – be prepared gals. My Attorney said Judge S*** didn’t want to hear about abuse. The whole issue was brushed aside as if it didn’t matter. Just focus on the business division nothing else matters. So glad I finally ran and so sorry it took so long.


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